The Way Tom Stores of Brattleboro Got Drunk.
From Our Special Correspondent.
Brattleboro, Vt., Saturday, February 10.
Probably not half a dozen people in town ever heard of Tom Stores who, 50 years ago or more, was a character here. Tom was a skilful mechanic and a very attentive workman for weeks in succession, but he was not always of abstemious habits, and when he did use liquor he made a regular business of it, giving up everything else and devoting his whole time to it. All of the village stores in Tom's time were well stocked with toddy sticks and the customers were treated to the grateful beverage gratis, provided their purchases amounted to 10 cents. One who knew Tom tells of his peculiarities when he had been imbibing. He was anxious that the public should understand that he was on deck, so he would invariably procure a bass drum and parade the streets pounding the head till it broke -- then his spree ended. He would, according to reliable citizens drink just as long as the head of his drum held and if this desirable object could not be accomplished in one day he would keep it up the next and so on till he had finished the head. The public peace as well as his own health was involved in the strength of his drum head. Stores dropped out of sight about as mysteriously as he appeared and hardly any one knows just what became of him.
Springfield Republican, after February 10, 1894.
"An Old Time Vermont Character" by Maj. Frederick W. Childs.
Warnings Out of Town for Brattleboro lists Thomas Stores for May 27, 1816. At this time, a warning was issued for any new arrival in town as a legal formality, in order to protect the town from liability. The writ had to be issued within one year of the stranger's arrival, so Thomas may have settled here any time after May 27, 1815.