Historian and Past President of Monkton Museum and Historical Society
Monkton Museum and Historical Society (MM&HS) would like to thank Gill Coates, past president, long-time Board member and artifact conservator, as he leaves the MM&HS Board. We are grateful for all the great historical work he has done for the Society, and for Vermont. We appreciate his legacy of commitment to, and passion for, history. The names Gill Coates and (MM&HS) have been synonymous over the past 2 decades.
Gill initially served as vice president when MM&HS was reactivated in 2004, then later served as president for 16 years. As such, he shared historical information at each monthly meeting, researched and responded to genealogical inquiries from people searching for relatives from Monkton, implemented annual calendar and membership cards, arranged field trips for the society, and he provided annual recap of society’s events for the annual Town Report.
Gill made wonderful posters showing Monkton’s history, and created displays for events, including having a regular presence at Monkton Town Meetings. Such displays would include pictures of Monkton School houses and map of locations, Sugaring in Monkton, “Then and Now” pictures of town buildings, and biographical research about Eva Munson Smith. He also created an index for the Monkton History book. Regardless of the event, Gill was always happy to engage in conversation about local history with folks who stopped by with questions or comments.
Under Gill’s leadership, he initiated and participated in MM&HS projects. He organized a team to inventory all the town cemeteries all the town cemeteries with inscription and pictures of stones, partnered with Vermont Humanities Council to host speakers, hosted other speakers on historic topics of interest, networked with other Historical Societies for MM&HS members to participate in some of their trips, and supervised the preservation process of the Boro School house. In 2012, Gill was instrumental in planning the Monkton 250th anniversary celebration of when the town was organized. He arrived dressed as Benning Wentworth, Governor of New Hampshire 1741-1766; Vermont did not have statehood until 1791.
Gill is an accomplished historian and has personal projects also, for example, he made the information listed below accessible to the public via the town website:
- Researched and created a list of Civil War Soldiers of Monkton Vermont, 1861-1865, which included each soldier’s rank, dates of enlistment and muster, and notes about service. Gill had access to some primary sources.
- Transcribed Monkton History from Hamilton Child’s Gazetteer and Business Directory of Addison County for 1881-1882
- Scanned Monkton’s Name List from Hamilton Child’s Gazetteer and Business Directory of Addison County for 1881-1882
- Compiled list of Monkton population figures.
Thank you Gill for all your historical knowledge, and your enthusiasm for Monkton’s history that you shared as Vice President, and President of MM&HS over the years. We wish you well as you continue researching Vermont’s history and enjoying your other endeavors.
Monkton Museum & Historical Society
December 22, 2022