Founded in 1973, the Richmond Historical Society is a community-based non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the history of Richmond, Vermont.
The RHS’s first major initiative was to help save the Old Round Church, whose decaying roof timbers left the building in danger of collapse. The town of Richmond deeded the church to the RHS in 1976, which took over responsibility for a $190,000 restoration project. Since the reopening of the church in 1981, the RHS has kept the building in good repair, adding safety features such as a fire sprinkler system, handicapped ramp and handrails. It schedules concerts, programs and other community events and makes the church available for weddings and seasonal visitors.
Caring for the Old Round Church is only one part of the RHS’s mission, however. Other activities include publishing the first book-length history of Richmond and managing an ever-growing collection of Richmond history documents, images and artifacts. In 2016, for instance, the RHS purchased more than 400 glass plate negative photos taken by Richmond photographer Joseph Bishop in the 1910s and 1920s. Multimedia programs drawing upon material from the Society's archives have been presented at community events and in the local schools. Tthe RHS has also contributed a number of articles to the Burlington Free Press History Space series. Links to these articles and other Richmond History projects produced by or with the help of the RHS can be found in the Special Exhibits section of this website.
The RHS offers free programs to the community, including a potluck supper in November and a popular holiday carol sing in early December. Recent programs include a demonstration of gravestone restoration techniques and a slide show presentation about the Richmond Cooperative Creamery. A particularly well-received project has been a series of panel discussions inviting some of the community’s oldest citizens to reminisce about their memories of growing up in Richmond.
Annual membership dues provide financial support for the RHS’s community programs and other local history projects. Members receive an annual newsletter and advance notice of upcoming events and activities. To become a member, send a check to the Richmond Historical Society, P. O. Box 453, Richmond, VT 05477. Annual dues are $10.00 per person or $20.00 per family; a lifetime membership is 200.00 per person.
The Richmond Historical Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.