This page is dedicated to the "People of West Fairlee Center" from past to present who have been a part of Middlebrook and Blood Brook valleys and nearby Wild Hill.It is truly "work in progress" with the hope that it will help preserve for future generations, the character of the community. If anyone would like to add photos and stories of family members, neighbors, and friends who have been a part of this small community, they would be most welcome.

Send emails to:

Eloise Twombly - 7/27/1927-3/31/2019

In 1917, Eloise's grandparents (Harvey and Margaret Newcomer) founded Camp Wyoda, a small girls' camp on Lake Fairlee at Middlebrook Road. Eloise was a part of Camp Wyoda for 20 years first as a camper and later a s a waterfront counselor until she finished college. In 1980, she and her husband John Twombly built their summer retirement home on Middlebrook Road and lived there together three months every summer for 35 years until he passed away. She continued to live there during the summer until a few years ago. Kay Schlichting, Eloise’s mother, lived full time on Middlebrook Road with her husband for over 30 years and was a co-director of Camp Wyoda for many decades. Kay was an active West Fairlee community member.

Eloise’s winter residence was Aiken, South Carolina, where she lived for 67 years until her death. Together with her husband John, Eloise was a founding member of the Unitarian Church of Aiken, SC. She played the cello with the Augusta Symphony for 48 years and taught piano for over 25 years.

In memory of their mother Eloise Twombly, her daughters Barbara Twombly-Herrick and Kay Twombly donated Eloise's Everett/Yamaha piano, an upright piano in excellent condition with a very nice tone, to the West Fairlee Center Congregational Church.

Mary Jane Smith - 4/17/1921-3/18/2019

Photo of Mary Jane Smith Mary Jane touched so many lives and her passing brought tears but also a sense of pride for having known her. She lived by example the 4-H motto of Heads-Heart-Hands-Health. She was never afraid of work and perhaps the best example was the cemetery project.

By the 1970s, many of the cemeteries in West Fairlee had long been neglected and in very bad shape. There were few or no records of the people who had been buried there. When Mary Jane volunteered to serve on the cemetery commission, she changed all that. She purchased, out of her own pocket, any material that would get her started. She then proceeded to draw out maps from that information and personal visits to the cemeteries. This work took her 11 years to map all of the cemeteries.

To get an understanding of the scope of the project, there are eight cemeteries in West Fairlee dating back to 1790. The Town’s website lists all the individual plots. She also included history of the cemeteries and families involved in their inception. All of the cemetery plot maps were drawn by her, with much research into the family histories to gather missing information.

There are many stories about Mary Jane's generosity when a family needed help to bury a loved one. She always made sure that every Veteran was recognized with a flag holder and flag. She also spent many years working a table at the West Fairlee Day to raise money for the cemeteries.

Mary Jane served on the commission until 2010. She was always meticulous about all the records. If it were not for all her hours of dedication, West Fairlee cemetery records and properties would be in a sad state of affairs.

Barbara Slack - 3/29/1918-11/14/2018

Barbara lived to be 100 and was the holder of the West Fairlee cane for many years, symbolizing the town’s oldest resident. She and her husband, Alfred, bought their Middlebrook home in 1969 and moved there on his retirement in 1973. For decades Barbara volunteered at the local election polls, church and community suppers and was a supporter of Camp Billings that extended over 60 years.

Barbara was a keen observer of nature and had extensive knowledge of all things outdoors. No tree, shrub or flower went unnamed, no bird unrecognized by sight or sound, no mammal unfamiliar. She recorded every year when the ice melted on Lake Fairlee.

Alice E. Adams – 2/23/1921-3/13/2017

Alice moved to Middlebrook Road from Fairlee in the mid-1960s and became an active member of the West Fairlee community. Like her friends and neighbors on Middlebrook, she took her civic responsibilities very seriously; volunteered at the election polls, helped at the community club and an active member of the West Fairlee Center Church. In 1972, Church members realized that $20,000 was needed for the restoration ($11,000 for the steeple, $9,000 for the foundation). A massive undertaking it was for its 12-14 members.

Alice volunteered to be the Finance Chair for the Restoration. She kept a notebook which she titled “West Fairlee Ctr. Church, 1972-1973, Restoration and Progress Report” by Alice Adams. In it, she kept meticulous records of each and all donations, meeting minutes, correspondence, and newspaper articles.To read excerpts and the newspaper articles, click here.

Doris Honig – 4/27/1920-4/22/2016

Photo of Doris Honig

Doris was the daughter of Dobbie and Wally who were long-time residents were also very active in the community, volunteering their time to help where needed.

Doris was active in West Fairlee town affairs. She served as an election worker at the polls and as justice of the peace in recent years. She was an active member in the West Fairlee Center Community Club and helped establish the recycling program in West Fairlee and neighboring towns. Doris was a member of the Society of Friends in Hanover, N.H., and the West Fairlee Center Church. Her passing on April 22, 2016 was a sad day for all that knew her. ( Memorial Service, June 18, 2016 ).

In a letter written to church members in 1999, Doris Honig wrote:

“We appreciate anew that generation which sprang forward when the steeple threatened to fall. So many of them have already left us, the most recent being Marjorie Graves, 91, on this past March 17th, who, among other things darned the old curtains to keep them going.

They all come to mind: Margaret Eaton, moving spirit, and Mo and Rick; Dorothy Cook, Leonard Russ, Dwight and Vena Beebe, Henry Graves, Bob Adams, Buster Bates, and so many more. Everyone contributed in one way or another and shared the work as well as the excitement of the arrival of the new steeple. Everyone of these friends were THE CHURCH. The building which they worked to restore is a much-loved shelter, filled with memories and associations of all sorts.”

She went on to say: "Let's hope we may be able to pass on some sense of these roots to the coming generations." It can be said that she achieved and lived that goal.

Doris was the Church moderator for many years and also had been President of the West Fairlee Center Community Club. During that time, an application was submitted to the National Historic Society to be a National Historic Site and was approved in 2002.

Photos of the Club's Plant Swap Hosted by Doris in 2008

Club Plant Swap Club Plant Swap

Virginia (Ginnie) Southworth - 1/28/1922-1/2/2016

Ginnie was born in East Thetford and graduated from Thetford Academy in 1942. She married Ken in 1951 and together became farmers and stewards of some of the most beautiful farmland along the lower Middle Brook. It was inspiring to see their devotion to each other as they worked side by side the long hours that farmers must put in. Throughout the summer, it was an anticipation of each vegetable season topping it off with the very best sweet corn. Ginnie would always greet folks with a big wave, a wonderful smile, and the welcoming words of "what can I get for you today?"

In her later years, Ginnie became a Justice of the Peace which she took great pride in and officiated in several weddings.