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Vermont History Documentary Premieres in Montpelier

New Documentary “Life in Washington County” Premieres December 10, 2010 in Montpelier

November 30, 2009

The premiere of the historical documentary “Life in Washington County” by Bill Doyle, history professor at Johnson State College and state senator, will be held at the Capital Plaza Hotel Conference Room in Montpelier, Thursday, Dec. 10 at 6:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

“Life in Washington County” is the sixth documentary produced as a collaboration between Bill Doyle’s Vermont Government and History class at JSC and Vince Franke of Peregrine Productions of Waterbury. In developing the documentary, Franke and the JSC students interviewed 18 Washington County residents* – including Lola Aiken, wife of the late Sen. George Aiken – about life in the early 20th century.

The other five documentaries – focusing on Grand Isle, Chittenden, Lamoille, Franklin and Orleans counties -also were developed with the help of students in Sen. Doyle’s Vermont History & Government class at JSC and produced by Peregrine Productions.

Like the other documentaries, “Life in Washington County” blends interviews and images of local people in the first half of the 20th century. More than 200 historical photographs provide a visual record of life in the region.

Free copies of the film will be sent to all the local schools, historical societies and libraries. DVD copies are $15 and are available online at or from Sen. Doyle at 802-371-7898. Proceeds from film will be donated to local historical societies.

The project was funded by Allen Lumber Co.; Bates & Murray Inc.; Bragg Farm Sugarhouse; Community National Bank; Bill Doyle; E. F. Wall & Associates; Electrical Contractors; Granite Industries of Vermont; Jet Service Envelope Co.; Johnson State College; Milne Travel; National Life Group; Noyle Johnson Insurance; Paige and Campbell; Rock of Ages Corp.; Sarducci’s; Small Dog Electronics; Sugarbush Resort; The World Publications; Union Mutual Fire Insurance; Vermont Humanities Council; Vermont State Employees Credit Union; and WORK-FM.

* In addition to Lola Aiken, others interviewed for the film were Huguette Abbott, Gleason Ayers, Ernest Bankroft, Carlton Domey, Paul Gillies, Stan Fitch, Judy Knapp, Harry Monti, Conrad Ormsbee, Sally Pedley, Jay Pedley, Rebecca Peatman, Marilyn Piro, Ron Pitkin, Mary Reagan, Jack Smith and George Thomas.