Charles Dewey Receives Award for Lifetime Achievement
Charles Dewey of Bennington recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Vermont Historical Society at the organization’s annual meeting, held at the recently restored Latchis Theater and Hotel in Brattleboro. Dewey, who has long been involved with the Bennington Museum, the Bennington Historical Society, the Friends of the Bennington Battle Monument and the Old First Church Cemetery, said that his work, on behalf of numerous historical projects, “is just what I enjoy doing.” Dewey is a landscape architect by training, and a self-taught artist and craftsman who specializes in hand-made furniture based on 18th-century designs. He also restores antique furniture, using the same hand tools that 18th-century craftsmen did. Some of his exquisite has been exhibited at the Bennington Museum.
Dewey is a direct descendant of Jedidiah Dewey, the first minister of the Old First Church, who came to Bennington in 1763. The Dewey family built the first tavern in Vermont – originally called Dewey’s Tavern and later the Walloomsac Inn. “I just grew up with history,” he said back in 2012 when he donated Jedidiah Dewey’s original tombstone to the Bennington Museum (it had broken off at ground level) and replaced it with an exact laser-cut copy. “My whole family talked about history and the family’s history (here).” Over the years, Dewey has constructed exhibits for the Bennington Historical Society to showcase at the annual Vermont History Expo in Tunbridge; has given walking tours of Old Bennington; has worked to maintain and repair the ornate fence around the Old First Church cemetery; and has lectured often on Bennington’s early history, particularly focusing on his ancestors. He is currently the secretary of the Historical Society.