01112022 J&L building

The tribute will honor the recently torn down J&L building in Springfield, Vt.

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. — The Springfield Art and Historical Society will present “A Photographic Tribute to the J&L,” on Saturday, Jan. 22 at 2 p.m. at the First Congregational Church in Springfield, Vt. This program is free and open to the public. Masks will be required.

This program is not a fact and figures history of J&L manufacturing but rather a tribute to how the company physically grew and to its 114-year-old building, now gone from the face of the earth. We have gathered up old and new photographs to illustrate how this business, which arrived via ox carts over dirt roads in 1888, turned a basic farm town without a railroad, into a world-renown machine tool producer.

To many, what was memorable about 1888 was the blizzard that dropped 3 feet of snow and whipped that snow up into 15-inch drifts. But to the people of Springfield, Vermont, it was the arrival of the Jones & Lamson Machine Tool Company from Windsor Vermont. It took from April to October to complete the move down the 17 miles of dirt roads from Windsor to Springfield. Thanks to Adna Brown and company who made the deal to bring the business to town, and to James Hartness and his three offspring who guided it, it became a world-renown machine tool business.

So what was this business that, at a special town meeting, the townspeople voted 500 to 1 to give a 10-year tax exemption? So many of us had a relative who worked there, be it a sibling, parent, grandparent, aunt, or uncle. This program is for them. For more information, call 802-886-7935 or email sahs@vermontel.net.

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