Celebrating a Pioneer Journey

Hertel with Jennifer (Balivet) Roper and Rob Balivet.

Hertel with Jennifer (Balivet) Roper and Rob Balivet.

By Patty Conly, Danville Historical Society

A large and enthusiastic crowd enjoyed Autumn On (temporarily off) the Green, held on Sunday, October 6, despite the threatening gray skies and cool temperatures of early October. The weather, however, was not a deterrent for the array of craft and food vendors who participated. Shoppers enjoyed browsing and visiting with friends and neighbors from far and near while listening to an assortment of musical groups as they performed for the festivities.

The Danville Historical Society acted as host for Mr. Hertel Boisvert along with his granddaughter Heidi Hopper, her husband and young son from Danville, Quebec. Mr. Boisvert promoted his new book based on a daily travel journal kept by his wife, Margaret, during their fourteen day journey in a chuck wagon. The trip began on Danville Fair day, 1960, and the couple, along with a borrowed dog, made the trip from Danville, Vermont, to Danville, Quebec. It was planned to coincide with Danville, Quebec’s centennial celebration and to commemorate the twinning of the two towns and the pioneers who once made a similar journey.

Carmen (Calkins) Bigelow enjoyed visiting with Hertel. Howard and Alice Calkins, Carmen's parents, hosted the Boisvert's before their historic trip.

Carmen (Calkins) Bigelow enjoyed visiting with Hertel. Howard and Alice Calkins, Carmen’s parents, hosted the Boisverts before their historic trip. Heidi, Hertel’s granddaughter, is pictured in the background.

Mr. Boisvert was greeted during the day by several family members of people he met during his journey; he enjoyed sharing memories and stories with them. As he autographed copies of his book, he expressed a great sense of pride and accomplishment in this attempt to keep memories alive for generations to come to help strengthen the connection between the sister towns. The Danville Historical Society exhibit featured a timeline map of the chuck wagon trip with photographs, business advertisements and newspaper articles of the time. Visitors at the booth were able to enjoy reminiscing about familiar people and places at stops where the chuck wagon made along the way. The map and stories allowed a better understanding of the magnitude and difficulty of such a journey.

A representative of the Danville, Quebec, Historical Society was also on hand at the event and stated that plans are currently being made to insure that future celebrations and events will keep communication and connections between the two towns.

The book is beautiful and has photos taken during the trip, American and Canadian. Both paperback ($10) and hardbound ($20) are available for purchase at the Choate-Sias house in Danville, VT.

The book is beautiful and has photos taken during the trip, American and Canadian. Both paperback ($10) and hardbound ($20) are available for purchase.

Mr. Boisvert’s book is available at the Danville Historical Society’s Choate-Sias House in both hardcover and paperback format for those interested in purchasing a copy.

 

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