Tenney Maple Tree Meeting Reminder-Tuesday Oct. 29 at 6PM

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Agency of Transportation seeks community’s ideas to memorialize Vermont farmer 
A maple tree that has stood for more than a century on the former Tenney family farm in Ascutney is dying and will soon be removed for safety reasons by the Vermont Agency of Transportation (AOT), which owns the land. “The tree has long stood as a symbol and a reminder of Romaine Tenney, his farm, and the broader impact that interstate construction had on interstate construction had on the ways people travel, live, and work throughout Vermont.” said AOT Historic Preservation Specialist Kyle Obenauer. “We want to honor Mr. Tenney in a thoughtful, respectful manner that also reflects the community’s wishes.”
 Photo courtesy of the Weatherfield Historical Society
Tree on the right is the tree in question

Tenney did not wish to yield his land, home, and farm to state officials who sought to take it under eminent domain in 1964 to extend I-91 northward through Vermont. Sheriff’s deputies arrived at his farm with a court order and reluctantly removed machinery and equipment from the barn as Tenney watched from the porch. Later that night, Tenney barricaded himself inside the farmhouse and burned it and his barns to the ground.  AOT will hold a public meeting on Tuesday, October 29th, at 6 p.m., at the Ascutney Fire Station, 540 VT-131, to solicit ideas about how best to honor Romaine Tenney.
In coordination with the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation, the agency has approved the installation of a state historic marker to memorialize Romaine Tenney at the I-91 Exit 8 Ascutney Park and Ride site of the tree after its removal. An additional idea under consideration is to also somehow repurpose wood from the maple tree after it is removed.  
Chief Spaudling remembers Romaine Tenney
Just a few weeks ago, local singer/songwriter Ben Fuller (now living in Nashville) released his song "Spark" about Romaine Tenney. See my story about Ben: https://herecast.us/984175  Ben Fuller grew up on a farm in Weathersfield, not far from where Tenney's farm stood until the interstate made its way north and would cut his farm in two.
Ben Fuller website: https://www.bendfuller.com/
Nancy Nutile-McMenemy is an Upper Valley freelance photographer and writer who loves to attend concerts and local events in and around Weathersfield and the Upper Valley.  If you have an event you'd like listed please email it to: photosbynanci@comcast.com

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