Welcome to our F.A.Q. page. Don't see what you are looking for? Please contact us if you need additional information.
We are located at 75 S. Main St., Northfield, VT, next door to the Brown Public Library, near the downtown district.
The Society has no paid staff, only very dedicated volunteers! Hours for 2014 have not yet been set. If you want to plan a visit for research purposes, please call or email for an appointment: 802-485-4792, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, hours can unexpectedly change, so best to call or email ahead of time if you are planning a visit.
§ How can I do research at the Society?
We welcome researchers at the Society and do have a small office space set aside for that purpose. We have a small library of material related to Vermont history in general and Northfield in particular. We are currently working on cataloging those titles. We do not loan out materials, but you are welcome to come to the Society to do your research. The Society now has wifi for Internet access. We do not supply computers for research, so you would need to bring your own laptop or other electronic device. If your request is small, such as copying or scanning a page or two from a book, we can usually do that for you and either mail or send via email to you. The same applies for other material, such as ephemera, that we have in our archive collection. We have no set fees for scanning or copying, but we always welcome donations!
§ Do you do genealogy research?
It depends. We have a Society board member who is an accomplished genealogist, and any requests we receive we pass along to her. It is strictly up to her discretion as to whether or not to do any research on a request. You can email us your request and it will be passed along; she will, in turn, get back to you to let you know if she can do or not. Also, be aware that any genealogy requests need to be related to persons who lived at some point in time in Northfield. The more information you can supply about the Northfield connection, the better. We do not handle general genealogy requests.
We also have a subscription to Ancestry.com, United States information only. You may make an appointment to use this resource at the Paine House. (We do not give out the username and password for off-site use.) Or, if your genealogy request is brief, we can do simple research for you and forward if you cannot come to us. (Donations are always appreciated for services provided.)
§ How are you organized and funded? How can I join?
The Society was founded in 1975 as a result of writing the town history by a committee of dedicated volunteers who wanted to record Northfield’s history for future generations. The Society is managed by an elected Board where members serve for two and three year terms. Funding of the Society comes mainly from membership dues and donations. On occasion we apply for and receive grants for specific projects. We would love to welcome you as a new member or a renewing member. You don’t even have to live in Northfield! Click here for more details.
§ Do you have a newsletter and can I read it online?
The Society publishes the Dog River Crier three times a year. Members receive a copy as part of their membership; anyone may request a copy, which costs $2.00 + postage. You may now view older issues online as pdf files. More back issues will be added over time except for the latest 7 years, which may be purchased. We also have the Table of Contents for recent back issues. The Table of Contents for the current issue is available here.
§ I’d like to make a donation. How do I do that?
If you would like to make a monetary donation, please send to the Northfield Historical Society, PO Box 422, Northfield, VT, 05663. Make sure to include your name and address so we can thank you! If you would like to make a donation of any object, letters, ephemera, photographs, scrapbooks, audio/visual material, etc., please contact us first. All non-monetary donations need to relate to Northfield in some way. When you call or email about what you would like to donate, we can explain our collection policy to you in more detail, or you can read it here. We do not provide appraisals for donated items.
§ Do you have any permanent exhibits?
Labor Day of 2012 saw the opening or our permanent exhibit, which features various aspects of Northfield's history. A history timeline was created inside the Community Room entrance to the Paine House, and extensive genealogies have been made available on the first homesteaders in Northfield. The most significant change was turning our former storage shed into the Tool Room, which features old tools and other industrial-type objects from our collection. The exhibit continues to grow, and over time various sections will be closed out, with new displays put into place. The exhibit is free and open to the public. Please check back with us on this website to see our open hours for 2014.
§ Do you have a photograph collection and can I obtain copies of images?
Yes, we have quite a photo collection of over 5000 images, so far! We are in the midst of cataloging and digitally scanning all of them into Past Perfect, a museum and archives collection management software product. Depending on your intended use, we can make copies of images available to you. Please contact us for more details.
§ Do you have Northfield house histories?
We do not have house histories except for a few notable houses, and even those are not complete. If you have a Northfield house and want to know more about it, the best place to start is in the Northfield Town Clerk’s office of land records. (We do not keep land records at the Society.) Visitors who are interested in researching house histories are welcome to use the (small) office in the Town Municipal Building that holds these records during regular business hours. The town clerk does not do research for you. This research can sometimes take hours, so be prepared to spend time looking at the records that are available for public viewing.
In 1980, the Vermont Division of Historic Preservation published the Vermont Historic Sites and Structure Survey: Town of Northfield, Washington County. This 2-volume set surveys some of the homes in Northfield and provides some historic background information. A copy is available at the Society and at Norwich University’s Kreitzberg Library Reference Collection (720.973 V527n).
§ How many cemeteries does Northfield have, and is there an index of who is buried where?
Northfield has 11 cemeteries (listed in alphabetical order). Some are family plots rather than cemeteries used by the general public. All cemetery records are located in the Town Clerk's office (except where noted in the list below), next door to our building. There is a small space that researchers can use if spending time there. Records cannot be removed from the Town Clerk's office. There is no master index to all the graves. (A project that begs doing!) Best to contact the Town Clerk's office to ask what the record availability is for any of the cemeteries.
Located on West Hill, Northfield
Records availability unknown
Catholic Cemetery (“Old Catholic Cemetery”)
Located on King St., Northfield
Owned by the Town
Inactive – Records owned by St. John’s Catholic Church
Calvary Catholic Cemetery
Located on N. Main St., Northfield
Owned by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington
Managed by St. John’s Church, Northfield
Contact the Church for records
Elmwood Town Cemetery
Located on Cemetery St., Northfield (near the Northfield School campus)
Owned by the Town
All lots sold
Records in Town Clerk’s office
Four Corners Cemetery
Bean Road, Northfield (aka Devils Washbowl Road)
Records availability unknown – cemetery not maintained so is disappearing
Located on Berlin Pond Road, Northfield
Records availability unknown
Mount Hope Town Cemetery (aka Center Village Cemetery)
Located on S. Main St., Northfield, south of Norwich University
Records kept in Town Clerk’s office
Active with lots for sale
Northfield Falls Cemetery
Located behind St. Jacob’s Church, Route 12, Northfield Falls
Ownership and records turned over to the Town of Northfield
Norwich [University] Cemetery
Located on Dole Hill, Northfield
Owned by the Norwich Cemetery Association
Active – lots are for sale
Records kept at Norwich University
Richardson Family Cemetery
Given to the Town in 1818
Located on land now owned by Norwich University, in the middle of a soccer field
Town still owns the cemetery, which is a small family plot
As of Spring, 2010, it is being restored by the Northfield Historical Society and Norwich University.
Located off Route 64, Mill Hill
Records availability unknown