Historian Honored

Front Page / Oct. 8, 2015 9:41am EDT

Royalton’s Dumville Receives State Award

When it comes to Vermont’s historic sites, John Dumville of South Royalton has been known for years to be the most knowledgeable person in the state, the go-to guy for any questions about these important and interesting treasures.

Now it’s official.

On September 26, the Vermont Historical Society presented Dumville with its highest honor, the President’s Award. The award honored him for his leadership in preserving Vermont’s official historic sites and also for his stewardship of the Royalton Historical Society.

“The Vermont Historical Society is extremely appreciative of John’s work to promote a local historical society as well as all he has done to support and assist the VHS in preserving history throughout Vermont,” said Dick Marek, president of the VHS.

In fact, Dumville is the only overseer of historical sites that the state has had. When the position was created in 1979, he was working as summer curator at the Kent Museum in Calais—“the right place at the right time,” he told The Herald. He was appointed and served in the position for 35 years, retiring from the post earlier this year.

He single-handedly raised the profile of Vermont’s nine official historic sites, many of which were crumbling from inattention. He also encouraged activities in each and publicized them, drawing more visitors.

The most-visited of all is the Coolidge Homestead in Plymouth Notch, where Calvin Coolidge took the oath of office as President of the United States from his father. Dumville worked closely with the president’s son, John Coolidge, and in gratitude a room at the homestead was named for him.

Dumville also led the Royalton Historical Society, turning it into an active force in the town where he also served for decades as selectman, library trustee, justice of the peace, and cemetery commissioner.

Return to top