My passion for WWI Vermont material is endless and I make every effort to track down unique, original photos and objects related to Vermonters in the Great War. It’s not easy to find and often comes at a price; 26th Division material is popular with French collectors and fetches a high price when purchased on eBay. In this case, I was able to purchase a studio photo of a 102nd Field Artillery Vermonter of Battery A . Curtis J. Sawyer was born in Middlebury, VT on September 13th, 1893 – nearly 120 years ago!
He worked at hotels most of his life, having worked at Clark’s Hotel in Boston in 1917 when he registered for the draft. Previously he served as a clerk for City Hall in Barre, VT – not far from where I work! He started his career early at the age of 17 (at least) and worked as a clerk and hotel man unit his death. He is listed as being tall with a slender complextion with blue eyes and brown hair. He lived nearly 90 years and died in 1980 in Arlington, MA – not far from Boston.
WWI Vermont Roster Entry
1910 Barre, Vermont Directory
Sawyer in Burlington, VT 1910
Middlebury News Reference
The bulk of my collection has been culled from endless pages of ebay listings, but I occasionally have the opportunity to discover hidden gems at flea markets and trade shows. Today I attended a Antiquarian Book and Ephemera show at the Sheraton in South Burlington, VT. I attached a link below to help plug this great organization. Anyway, I eagerly searched through thousands of postcards and photos looking for military related images. I saw a few overprices Civil War images, and a number of lack luster WWII photos. My WWI radar was in full swing and I left with a handful of great images. Please enjoy reading about my favorite find!
This wonderful image depicts two band members of the 102nd Field Artillery of the 26th Division. Taken in France in 1918, this RPPC (real photo postcard) has everything going for it. The two doughboys are wearing French style caps with unit designation affixed. Their collar discs are a mix of MASS National Guard insignia and 102nd Field Artillery band discs. The details on the M1911 pistol grips is superb. Even the embossed leather US is visible on the holster.
Vermont Antiquarian Booksellers Association Website
Check it out!