A daily record of life on a Colchester, Vermont farm and in the Colchester Reef Lighthouse on Lake Champlain.

Who was Albert Hunter?  
Albert Hunter was a hired hand who lived on Colchester Point in Colchester, Vermont. He was also a spare lighthouse keeper at the Colchester Reef lighthouse (pictured at the top left) atop a reef in Lake Champlain.  When the Buttons, the official light keepers, wanted time on shore he would fill in for them.  Albert kept a Daily Record of his life.  He noted the weather, chores he did, the success of fishing trips and goings-on at the farm and about town.  "The Daily Record of Albert Hunter"  provides us with the means to step back into the late 1800's and early 1900's and see what life was like for an ordinary person living in the Champlain Valley. Albert's observations allow us a detailed glimpse of our region's history including the rich maritime history of Lake Champlain.

The entries from the "Daily Record of Albert Hunter" have been transcribed from a copy of the one thousand page hand written original. The the bulk of the the transcriptions were done 8th grade students on the Sutton House Team at the Shelburne Community School in Shelburne, Vermont. The later years of the journal were transcribed by students at Champlain Valley Union High School in Hinesburg, Vermont. In both cases the students have worked hard to transcribe them accurately.  They have tried to be true to the original.  Therefore spelling, punctuation and formatting may occasionally look odd.  This website continues to evolve. Check in to read new segments of the journal and new student created research-based links to related information.   

Thanks to the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum for providing us with the original "Daily Record of Albert Hunter".

How to read the Journal:  
Use the navigation bar on the left hand side of the page to select individual months under each year.  Do not be surprised to find gaps in the list of months. Albert Hunter was not a perfect journal keeper.  His journal keeping would lapse from time to time.  Sometimes these lapses several days, other times months or years.  We have transcribed everything that he has written up through 1906.  This is a work in progress and will continue to post months as students complete their work.

Related Links:
What is the weather like at Colchester Reef right now?  See real time weather data from the Colchester Reef weather station.
Where is the Colchester Reef Lighthouse right now?  Visit the Shelburne Museum's Colchester Reef Lighthouse page.
Where can I find out more about the rich heritage of Lake Champlain?  Learn about the historic role of Lake Champlain.
Where can I learn about ferry crossings or cruises on Lake Champlain?  Come take a boat ride on the lake.
Where can I learn more about the Lake Champlain Basin?  Your connection to organizations who care about the lake.

Student Comments about the Project:

"This glimpse into the past helps me compare my life today to those who lived long ago."

"I think that reading and transcribing is...a way of preserving Vermont history."

“Albert isn’t that different than people today.  He has a different lifestyle, but he still does things that I like to do, like going for bike rides and visiting his friends.”

“I really liked the project more than I thought I would."

“Even though he lived 100 years ago, we do the same things, like going into Burlington”

 “Publishing the website was cool because now people can use our work.”

“When I pass different locations in my town, I visualize what it was like at the time period that we were studying.”

“Reading his journal kind of made me want to write a journal.”

“I felt I kind of knew him because I was writing what he was feeling.”

"I remember it because I learned about where I live."

Click here to see a .pdf version of a presentation about this project done for the Lake Champlain Land Trust

This project won a Chittenden County Historical Society Preservation Award in 2006.

If you have any questions or comments, or would like to start a similar project in your school or community, please contact Jeff Hindes via e-mail or call him at (802) 482-7100.

Last updated on December 19, 2013

Project Information: For more information about the 19th Century Journal Project©, click on the logo below:


Subpages (3): 1899 1901 1903