Francis Xavier Church was established in as many new families arrived from Quebec. Outside that church, we met two local history buffs, Joe Perron and Kim Chase. Kim is the daughter of Claire Chase. Joe is the new president of the local historical society, and he also grew up in Winooski. Kim and Joe point out that Winooski was not exclusively French-Canadian. Francis church was built through many small donations from working-class French Canadian families.
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Joe looks up at the church, a tall, red brick structure with two steeples topped with aging copper, and points out some details. Francis parish was established in as many new families arrived from Quebec. Joe and Kim say, given the prominence of the Catholic Church in Quebec at that time, it was crucial to establish a French parish with French-speaking priests.
But also marriages, baptisms, funerals, all of the social events that are centered around the church. The sanctuary is lined by colorful frescos and intricate stained glass. Joe says this served as a sort of beacon back to Quebec.
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Next door to the church is another landmark of French Canadian Winooski: St. Francis Xavier School. It was founded in , and for many years, it was run by the Sisters of Providence. Their former convent is across the street.
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Rita Martel, the former president of the Winooski Historical Society, recalls how her grandmother would dress her mother up to look as old as possible so she could work in the Winooski mills. According to Tom Devarney, who went to St. Francis starting in , half of every school day was taught in English, half the day in French. As Tom tells it, into the s, school subjects were pretty evenly divided.
This is this and this is that. Sue Valley grew up in Winooski and went to St. Francis around the same time as Tom. Back outside St.
It was very much self-sufficient. According to our question-asker Francis Tenney, his grandmother Doris Leclair, a first-generation Vermonter who grew up in St. Albans, was told not to speak French at home. Another interview conducted by the Vermont Folklife Center speaks to the difficulties of being a Franco American in Vermont. You get to high school and you have to take a second language, and suddenly it's important to know French?
Side note: Martha was a collector of Franco-American song and a musician herself. You can listen above. In graded school you're told not to speak French. And you've almost lost all your French already because you've tried so hard to do right, to do the right thing. So no matter what, it's always a situation where you always feel inadequate. You never quite feel like you got it all together. And I'm sure that's the same with lots of first-generation ethnic anybody. I'm sure it's not just an experience that Francos had.
Martha was aware of the universality of her experience — that difficult back and forth between two cultures. And because French Canadians and Franco-Americans were minorities in Vermont, they were also subjected to more organized discrimination. Professor Susan Ouellette talks us through two forms that it took. But historically, it was against a whole range of minorities, including Catholics.
Susan says it established a presence — albeit a short one — in the Green Mountain State. The anti African-American aspect of it is less of an issue here because there aren't large populations of black folks. And so it's the anti-Catholic, anti-Jewish aspect of the Klan that really appeals. But there's also people who are very stridently opposed.
He digs up all newspaper editorials roasting the Klan for things like bigotry and lawlessness. That said, the group did have a foothold in the state, and hoods were donned and crosses burned. In July of , there was a cross-burning at the Catholic cemetery in Montpelier. Then we are told she is not an imposter after all but the real person.
This partially redeems her, but at the same time it makes early plot elements make little sense and the whole thing is too contrived to be convincing. The story also goes on far too long and wanders around at times. Six Queer Things by Christopher St. John Sprigg, Valancourt, originally published in A young woman takes a live-in job with a medium and begins to deteriorate physically and mentally.
She consults a doctor, but while undergoing supposed treatment, she has a bizarre experience one night and wanders out into the street, where she is abducted. The medium is poisoned the following day, and it turns out that he was actually a woman in disguise. The mysterious plot involves certifying people as insane and holding them in a bogus asylum so that a relative can take over control of their money. A delightful mystery in which Carolus Deene agrees to find out what happened to a missing couple. It is suspected that the man murdered his wife and absconded but when Deene looks into the matter, it appears that the man actually had three wives, all of whom have now disappeared.
And two other women connected to the case have both died under suspicious circumstances.
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But things are not what they seem to be and events get slowly unraveled to present a quite surprising — although I guessed most of it — solution. One of his best mysteries with a methodical investigation to uncover what is really going on.
Murder by Matchlight by E. Lorac, Poisoned Pen, originally published in There were two quasi-witnesses but the motive seems more obscure. The dead man was using a false identity and it takes a while just to figure out who he really is. The solution is only mildly cheating. One of the people involved misjudges a period of time badly and we are not told of the close proximity of a restaurant to the murder scene, but generally it is quite well done and the characterizations are much better than in most novels of this type.
Looking for more. The Death Coins by Walter S. Masterman, Ramble House, originally published in A man calls the police and tells them he is about to be murdered. They arrive to find him garroted by a bizarre device. An investigation turns up a number of suspects, but there is nothing to connect any of them directly to the act.
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A painstaking but somewhat erratic investigation follows until the killer is caught. The second Ludovic Travers case has an abundance of detectives, three from Scotland Yard, a private investigator named Franklin, and Travers himself. A man has been murdered in a locked room after his killer writes letters to the newspapers announcing his intentions.
The obvious suspects are the four nephews who will benefit from his death, but each of them seems to have an unimpeachable alibi, confirmed by neutral observers. Clearly one of those alibis is flawed and since one is far more elaborate than the others, I correctly guessed who was responsible. There are some clever literary devices in this that might have been clumsy but manage not to be. The author speaks directly to the reader on several occasions, and there are some early vignettes which appear to be unrelated, but which become very relevant toward the end.
Only 61 more titles in this series! A woman vacationing in Greece meets a man who has come to see the place where his brother died during the war. But there is a secret surrounding his death involving a cache of stolen gold. The traitor who supposedly died at the end of the war is still around and only an earthquake that changed the contours of the hills has prevented him from carrying off the loot, but now his chance has come at last.
Related Rutland Place: 5 (Grands détectives) (French Edition)
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