Socialist Labor Party Hall, 46 Granite St, Barre VT 05641
(802)331-0013 or (802)479-5600
A National Historic Landmark
Snail Mail address: P.O Box 496
Barre, Vermont 05641
The Socialist Labor Party Hall
Welcome to the website of the Barre Historical Society, owner of the Socialist Labor Party Hall National Historic Landmark. Here you can find information about the history of the the Hall, about renting the Hall for your event, about how you can help the Barre Historical Society preserve the Hall.
Monday, November 24, at 6:30 pm
Stories of Barre and granite in the 1930s will fill the screen at the Old Labor Hall, 46 Granite Street, when the award-winning film, “The Stone River,” has its Vermont premiere.
Based on the 2004 book Men Against Granite, Italian Giovanni Donfrancesco’s film uses living residents of Barre to give voice to the words of stone workers whose oral histories were collected during the Depression by Montpelier journalists Mari Tomasi and Roaldus Richmond.
Featured Barre participants include Giuliano Cecchinelli, Todd Paton, Marco Parent, Paul Carnahan, Richard and Marianne Venmar, Alfred Rosa, Valerie Baudet, Jill Cassani, Hjonis Hanson, and Robert and Brenda J. Sambel.
Through its original visual style and its stories of social battles, diseases and deaths, anarchist utopia, tragedy, and hope, “The Stone River” presents both an elegiac lament for a world of stone craftsmanship and a poetic portrait of “The Granite Center of the World.”
The film has been honored as "Best Documentary" by the Italian Golden Globe Awards and Rome Film Festival. According to the French newspaper Le Monde, “You can call this film a documentary but . . . it’s actually not far from the allegorical poetry of the “Divine Comedy.” Others have likened it to a cinematic “Spoon River Anthology.”
Filmmaker Giovanni Donfrancesco will attend the showing, which will be followed by a reception and refreshments.
Tickets are $10 to benefit the Old Labor Hall. They may be purchased at the door or in the on-line store. For more information or to make a reservation, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 802-479-5600.
Where Have the Lawrence Strikers' Children Gone?
It's 102 years since the children of Lawrence, MA, came to Barre to be cared for during the great textile strike.
Although the last of the Bread and Roses strikers' children took the train from the Barre Depot Square back to Lawrence on March 30, 1912, the generousity of the Barre community has never been forgotten in Lawrence.
To find out more about Barre's part in the Lawrence Strike, visit our Bread and Roses history pages.
Old Labor Hall History Brochure
Although the Old Labor Hall is a National Historic Landmark, it is also in operation (just as it was in its glory days) as a gathering place for all kinds of events. Because of its constant use, there has been no area in which a permanent exhibit about the history of the Hall could be mounted. So to provide visitors with an introduction to the Hall, the Barre Historical Society has prepared a brochure giving a brief history of the Hall.
The production of the brochure was supported by generous grants from the Vermont Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Vermont State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, Vermont-NEA, and the Vermont State Employees Association.
Copies of the brochure can be obtained on request. For individual copies send a business sized stamped, self-addressed envelope to Brochure, Barre Historical Society, PO Box 496, Barre, VT 05641. For multiple copies, email email@example.com for special arrangements.
More Granite City Tales
At long last author Paul Heller, former Barre Historical Society Board member and friend of the Old Labor Hall, has brought out the sequel to his very popular Granite City Tales, entitled appropriately More Granite City Tales. This anthology includes articles published in the Times-Argus since 2012 as well as an essay on Carlo Abate which has never before been in print.
The Barre Historical Society is delighted to make the book available for purchase from the online store. Here is a glimpse inside:
1 Carlo Abate
2 Wendell Phillips Stafford
3 A Barre Man on the Titanic
4 The Hanging of Asa Magoon
5 Mari Tomasi: Vermont ’s Italian Story
6 Joshua Twing’s Gristmill
7 The CCC and the East Barre Dam
8 Frank Walker and the Blanchard Block
9 Barre and the Spanish-American War
10 The Enright Murder of 1893
11 The Spanish Flu in 1918
12 UFOs Over Graniteville
13 Barre’s Forgotten Monument
14 A Monument to Ethan Allen
15 The Monument for John Belushi
16 The Ludlow, Colorado Memorial
In the short history since the Old Labor Hall reopend in the autumn of 2000, the Hall has coped with one crisis after another. In addition to many "normal" crises that plague historic buildings --2 failed roofs, requiring major structural improvements, changes in fire code regulations, and on and on, the Hall has "survived" three major floods.
In each of these physical crises (which, of course, created financial crises), Barre Historical Society's late president Chet Briggs stepped up and dealt with the threat--again and again.
In Chet's memory, the Barre Historical Society is establishing a crisis fund in his name to set up a reserve to help the Hall weather the next blow in Chet's absence.
Copyright 2010 Old Labor Hall. All rights reserved.