“Clothespins” featured at The Kent Museum, courtesy Flywheel Industrial Arts.
Did you know that Montpelier was once the clothespin capital of the world? Montpelier Alive and the City of Montpelier Public Art Commission aim to celebrate this history by acquiring a sculpture of three large clothespins made by local artists and locating the piece near the historic home of one of Montpelier’s clothespin factories. More than half of the project funds have been pledged by two local donors, and the organizations aim to raise the remainder through a public fundraising campaign.
Two competing clothespin factories, the National Clothespin Factory (along Stonecutters Way near Hunger Mountain Co-op) and the U.S. Clothespin Factory near the current location of Shaw’s, dominated clothespin manufacturing for parts of three centuries. The U.S. Clothespin Factory Building was notable for one unusual feature, a giant clothespin that adorned its roof from 1897-1924, proclaiming itself “The World’s Largest Working Clothespin.” Inspired by this sign, in 2020, local artists Ben Cheney, Jesse Cooper and Chris Eaton of Flywheel Industrial Arts created a sculpture of three clothespins that have been displayed locally at The Kent Galley and Highland Center for the Arts.
Montpelier Alive and the City of Montpelier Public Art Commission hope to bring this unique sculpture to the vacant lot beside the Drawing Board on Main Street, close to the historic site of the “World’s Largest Working Clothespin.” Generous local donors have already contributed $6,000 toward the $12,000 cost of acquiring and installing the piece. The public is invited to contribute to close the gap and help honor Montpelier’s history with this beautiful artwork. Contributions can be made online at www.montpelieralive.com/clothespins or by mail to Montpelier Alive, 39 Main Street, Montpelier, VT 05602.
Montpelier Alive works to create a more vibrant and livable community by celebrating Montpelier’s heart and soul: its downtown. We bring the community together through events, keep our downtown beautiful, support local businesses, and promote Montpelier to visitors.
The Montpelier Public Art Commission aims to invest in public art and increase the public’s awareness of visual arts in Montpelier.