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Fireside Chats Feature Hikes, Kids and Beavers

SAXTONS RIVER, Vt. – Main Street Arts and the Saxtons River Historical Society are again pairing for a series of Fireside Chats to highlight the area’s history and nature Sundays in January from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. in the dining room of the Saxtons River Inn.
This year’s series features talks on trails, youthful memories and beavers.
This series begins January 6 with a talk by Roger Haydock titled Out for a Hike: Building and Exploring Trails in Our Area. Haydock has been an avid trail builder since he helped lay out the long, steep trail up Black Mountain in Dummerston 30 years ago. Since then, he has laid out trails for the Putney Mountain Association, the Dummerston Nature Reserve and Trails Committee, Scott Farm and the Windmill Hill Pinnacle Association.
He recently completed the WHPA’s Radford Smith Trail, which opened in September, and is working on a two-mile trail for Dummerston’s proposed Deer Run Preserve.
Prior to his retirement, Haydock was a freelance camera crew member for 40 years, working on documentaries for PBS, including 60 episodes of Nova, the 1980 Winter Olympics, for ABC, 60 Minutes for CBS and with Ken Burns on his baseball, jazz and national parks films.
The second in the series is January 13, when the topic will be River Rats: Growing Up in Saxtons River. Adults who grew up in the village will share their memories, and the organizers are encouraging anyone who spent a youth in the village to attend and share.
The series concludes January 20 with local expert Laurence “Skip” Lisle of Grafton speaking on Beavers: Answering Your Gnawing Questions.
Lisle is best known for creating the Beaver Deceiver and the Castor Master, devices that make it possible to live in harmony with Castor canadensis. He received a master’s degree in wildlife management from the University of Maine and worked with the Penobscot tribe to help them control beavers while maintaining their habitats, a dedication he continued with the founding of Beaver Deceivers International. He has worked in habitats all over North America and in parts of Europe.
He is recommending that those attending read Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter by Ben Goldfarb for good background information.
Attendees are always invited to share their own experiences, photos, artifacts and stories related to the topic of the evening.
The series is offered at no charge, with donations accepted. Those attending are invited to bring their own memories and memorabilia to share in this informal setting.
The Inn’s dining room will be open for dinner after the presentation for further socializing. Reservation are appreciated by calling the Inn at (802) 869-2110. In case of inclement weather, cancellation information will be available by contacting Main Street Arts at (802) 869-2960 or on their Facebook page.