On Friday, May 19, the Great North Woods Committee for the Arts, working with Channel 3 and the Canaan and Lemington historical societies, will bring “1st Republic, 14th Star” back to local audiences with a screening of highlights from the over three hours of footage compiled and broadcast by Channel 3 during that memorable television production.
“We are so excited to have this opportunity to have access to the programming thanks to our friends at Channel 3,” said President Charlie Jordan of the Great North Woods Committee for the Arts. “This footage is a time capsule of the faces and places of this part of the Northeast Kingdom filmed and preserved as never before or since.”
The showing will take place at the Silvio O. Conte Center at 5396 VT-105 in Brunswick, Vt., (the road between Bloomfield and Island Pond). “We have secured the Conte Center for the event, which is centrally located in Essex County,” Jordan said. “Channel 3 is allowing us to hold the event as a fund-raiser for the GNWCA and admission will be free, but a $10 donation is suggested. The event will take place beginning at 7 p.m.”
In 1991 the Essex County programming of “1st Republic, 14th Star” was broadcast live from Wayne’s Lanes in Canaan, at Maidstone State Park in Maidstone, in downtown Island Pond, as well as on the town commons of Guildhall and Lunenburg. For the broadcasts, WCAX sent a fleet of vans carrying the crew and equipment, as well as its satellite truck which featured an entire control booth sending the live broadcast feed broadcast back to the Burlington studio. Reporters from Channel 3 had spent weeks in advance filming interviews with local people, with a focus on each town’s special features and historical highlights. Besides the towns mentioned, other locales included in the shows are Bloomfield, Brunswick, Granby, Victory, Lewis, Concord, Gilman and more. Interviews with many people of the day are seen, including Canaan historians B.M.E. Holmes, Joan Cowan, tree farmer Rene Marchessault, musician Dot Covieo, biologist Charlie Willey, Guildhall court officer Izola Irwin, members of the Lunenburg selectboard–the list goes on. Places and events such as Brunswick Springs, Earth People’s Park, Rudy Vallee’s birthplace in Island Pond, and Stinehour Press provide a panorama of the region.
“Our special guest will be the series’ producer, Tim Lewis, who worked at Channel 3 at the time and today is a professor at Lyndon State College,” Jordan said. “Tim will be able to provide insight into the production of the series and relate a humorous behind-the-scenes look into what went into the production.”
For more information on this event, visit Fiddleheads at 110 Main St. in Colebrook, call 237-9302 or 246-8998, or visit www.gnwca.org.