The Woodstock Improvement Society


Excerpts from the American City Magazine, July, 1911 and the Woodstock Improvement Society's Bulletin No. 2

"The Forming of the Society
     And so cleanliness and beautification may be taken as the foundation ideas of the Woodstock Improvement Society, which was organized late in 1903, and chartered by the Vermont Legislature January 14, 1904. Woodstock is an enthusiastic little summer resort of about 1,500 inhabitants, all of whom realize that a large part of the popularity which the village enjoys is incident upon its beautiful streets and well kept lawns, its good roadways and its cleanliness throughout."

     "One of the first things undertaken was the collection of garbage and rubbish. After a proper dump was secured a systematic removal of garbage was begun. The Society at first employed a man to remove at regular intervals all waste and refuse from houses and shops, which was carted to the village dump. But the work grew out of all proportion, and now a number of collectors are thus engaged, but independently of the Society, save that each garbage collector has to apply to the Society for a key to the dumping yard, which the Society still controls. The collectors require a small monthly fee from the householders in return for their services. All garbage that can be destroyed is burned and the remainder buried. In return for the use of the dump yard the collectors empty the rubbish boxes which the Society keeps in different places about the village streets and in the park, and which are extensively patronized.
     The Society has hired a man to sweep all street crossings in the business part of the village every morning, Sundays included. It has also trimmed and graded and in some cases entirely remade the little triangles and squares of grass at street corners, and is keeping them in order. Flowering shrubs planted at these points have also done much to beautify the streets.
     One of the most remarkable things which the Improvement Society has accomplished is the acquisition and transformation of what is known as 'Resurrection Park.' On this site there stood a tumble-down hovel, and the river bank at the rear and on both sides was used as a dumping place for rubbish. Although with limited resources the Society easily raised the sum of $1,200, and for $1,000 purchased the house and lot, leveled the former to the ground, and filled up the cellar hole. Then with the remaining money in the special fund the little strip of land was graded, grass seed was sown, and shrubs and flowers were planted. It is 'Resurrection Park,' indeed, as the natural beauty of the spot is once more in evidence through the slovenliness which characterized it for many years."