Winter Carnival Films from the 1940s

Fun in the snow at Middlebury College!  These recently digitized 16mm films haven’t been seen in more than fifty years.

This silent film montage shows scenes of the 40 meter jump on Chipman Hill, early ski trails at the Snow Bowl and the “new” 50 meter ski jump, Mountain Club outings to the winter woods, and even “aero-skijoring” on Lake Champlain. Winter Carnival the way it was in the middle of the last century!


And this newsreel, produced by Paramount Pictures in 1949, is an entertaining glimpse back into a unique moment in time.  It was shown in movie theaters throughout the country before the feature film.



Vermont flood of 1927 or 1938? You be the judge.

In our ongoing effort to digitize historical, fragile films we discovered this unlabeled and undated clip depicting a flood in East Middlebury:


Though we were confident that we got the location right because of the recognizable buildings still standing in East Middlebury, we weren’t sure about the date.  Based in part on the vintage of the cars, we assumed the flood of 1927. To test our theory, we shared the film on the Growing up in Addison County Facebook group and its 2,000+ members. As a result, we revised our initial date. Based on what evidence, you might ask?  First, about 52 seconds into the clip, a Green Mountain National Forest tool box appears. The Forest wasn’t established until 1932. And second, the trees in the film clip are full of leaves. The ’27 flood was in November (fewer leaves!) while the ’38 flood was in September. Eureka!  Part of the Facebook thread (as of December 1) is below:

FB flood post