Gertrude Lucy Miller


Reminiscences of Brattleboro.


At the close of another year how our thoughts trend back to the others that are gone, and what a flood of the memories sweep over those of us who have grown older, bringing to our minds the forms and faces of those who have passed over and joined the great majority--of those who, with us, walked these streets and helped to make our history! Let me for the moment call to mind some of those about whom our earliest recollections cling. I shall take them as they suggest themselves, without regard to time, and although there may be years between I am sure that each and every one will appeal to some of us at least. It seems not so long ago that we were accustomed to see the stately and dignified form of the elder Dr. Rockwell as he came rapidly down Main street, always wearing a tall hat and with a look on his face of one who had much on his mind--as indeed he had. And do we not all remember the Rev. Addison Brown who so long filled the pulpit of the Unitarian church? How calm and collected he was upon all occasions, a thoroughly good man, and one who was deeply interested in the schools. What a kind and pleasant face was that of Larkin G. Mead (the elder) as he strolled carelessly along of a morning to take his place at his desk in the old savings bank!


See if you can tell who is this coming slowly down the street, a shawl wrapped about his tall figure, and walking with a cane--isn't it Joseph Steen? and haven't we all bought books and pencils at his store? This fine looking man immaculately dressed and with the handsome gray hair, is Dr. Charles Chapin, whose beautiful home overlooking the common is still one of the most attractive residences in town. How kind and patient was Dr. Post, so long our dentist; and when we must make that terrible visit to him, all trembling with fear, how encouragingly he spoke and coaxed us into that chair of torture, assuring us that it "wouldn't hurt much" and would "soon be over."


When we were ill whom so welcome as Dr. Higginson? So dignified, yet so kindly sympathetic and a born gentleman. What store is this with a slate on the door bearing the information that the occupant is "Gone to dinner--be back soon?" And if you were curious enough to peep in you might see butterflies and bugs impaled upon pins. But you could get good shoes there. The great naturalist was never known to neglect his business although his knowledge of all the flying and creeping things was astonishing. You have already recognized Charles Frost.


But the subject is too large and time and space will not permit even a mention of all those who come thronging to mind, yet I cannot close without a tribute to the "Old Schoolmaster" of whom we were all so fond. Can you not see him now as he stood before us with his "Five times five, less ten, add eight, multiply by two, and--who has it? Wasn't it hard to keep up with him in this mental practice in which he was past master? And a fine teacher he was. Another day I may continue these reminiscences which for the present I must leave unfinished.


G. L. M.


Vermont Phoenix, January 4, 1907.


Gertrude Lucy Miller was born September 13, 1846, the daughter of Nathan W. Miller and Sophia Chase of Guilford. Nathan ran a saddlery and harness making shop on Elliot Street. His house with two stories, the barn and carriage house stood one door west of the Wesselhoeft Water Cure.


Gertrude's great uncle was Captain Paul Chase, owner of Chase's Stage House. She had dress making rooms in her father's house. Gertrude died November 18, 1927.


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