Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Project to Celebrate Williston's History

The Town of Williston will celebrate the 250th anniversary of its charter signing in 2013. The Williston Revisited: A Community Portrait will debut on June 7, 2013. It will chronicle the changes in Williston over the past 20 years and update the town's story from when original documentary premiered in 1992.

The changes over time are significant and dramatic including:

- The development and expansion of the shopping district at Taft Corners
- Expanded public safety services - new fire and police stations, an ambulance
- The demise of the Circ Highway project and a new boulevard project
- Expansion of the Williston schools
- Land use, farming and conservation
- New businesses, technology and a changing workforce
- Williston’s growing population and the changes that has brought.

Which all raise the questions: “Can Williston maintain its sense of hometown community with all this change? Who are we today and where are we going in the face of tremendous change ahead?

A little history
In August of 1991, James Heltz of Green Mountain Video, Inc. was commissioned by the Town of Williston’s Historic Preservation Committee to produce a 26-minute film describing the Williston’s past, present and future. The Town of Williston was awarded a matching grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service by the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation.

Williston: A Community Portrait was divided into three main sections: the historic past, the present and a look to the future. Through the use of photos, paintings, news clippings, artifacts, maps and on-camera interviews Williston’s history, people and voices were recorded. It premiered at Williston Central School on July 2, 1992 as part of the Town’s Vermont Bicentennial Celebration.

Williston: A Community Portrait was broadcast in the fall of 1992 on Vermont Public Television as part of the PBS series Crossroads and proved so popular it aired nearly a dozen more times. Williston: A Community Portrait also earned awards from the Vermont Historical Society and American Association for State & Local History.