WEST DOVER, VT:   General Manager Randy and daughter Martha Schoonmaker have published a book about the Barnboard Factory’s history, entitled 45 Mill Street that will be available for sale Friday, September 7th.

          The 112-page book uses an abundance of pictures to describe the rich history of Wilmington’s industrial past that took place on 45 Mill Street. Also known as the Barnboard Factory and The Plywood, the DVTA’s site hosted many incarnations of manufacturing. Businesses on the site survived both World Wars, fire, floods, and changing times to provide a rich and colorful history dating back to 1914.

          In its attempt to build a new transit facility on the site, the DVTA had to secure many permits, one of which required a sign-off by the Historical Society of Wilmington to tear the structure down. Society President Julie Moore asked the DVTA to document the site’s history, maybe in the form of a scrapbook.

          The two spent several years poring through old files, collecting information, and interviewing previous employees who had worked there.

           “We got hooked on the site’s history and decided a scrapbook would not do it justice,” said Martha.

          The story starts in 1914 when the site was leased by the Ludington Company, a Michigan manufacturer who moved here to make wooden bowls, plates, and bobbins. The first factory employed much of the town’s workforce and became background fodder for a book, radio show, and three movies. The site progresses through different owners, different products, wartime contributions, auctions, unique motorcycles, and constant innovations. The Hoot, Toot and Whistle Railroad was significant in the site’s past, as were workers from all over the Deerfield Valley.

          Long-time locals will remember the Vermont Barnboard Factory years when Lincoln Haynes made weathered siding through a “not-so-secret” process. The book concludes with the factory’s demolition in 2011.

         the new book cover Two former employees – Jim Raymo of East Dover and George Davis of Wilmington – provided tours of the factory from a 1950’s and 1980’s perspective respectively. As a result, diagrams and descriptions were created. Brian Donelson, author of The Coming of the Train Volumes I & II, donated diagrams, news articles, photos, and publishing advice. Deb Canedy provided photos from her father’s days as Linc’s plant manager.

          “The book would not be possible without all their help,” said Randy. “The DVTA Board was very generous and supportive of this project from the beginning.”

          Video footage of the two tours were shot in August 2009 and will be the highlight of an upcoming documentary produced by The Student Network.

          The book is sold only at Bartleby’s Bookstore in Wilmington in its limited hardcover edition starting September 7th.

          For more information contact the DVTA at 464-8487.