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Strad Gray papers, 1865-1987.
Gray, Strad 1884-1987).
Library Call Number Copy Material Location
Vermont Historical Society Library  Doc 445 (cont'd in Doc 446 and Doc 447)  Manuscript  Vault-Manuscript 

Personal Author : Gray, Strad (Forrest Alvin), 1884-1987).
Title : Strad Gray papers, 1865-1987.
Physical Description : 3 linear ft. (3 boxes).
Summary :

The Forrest "Strad" Gray Papers is a miscellaneous collection which spans two generations of the Gray family in East Calais, Vermont, from the 1860s until 1987. About a third of the collection concerns Frank Gray (1855-1934) and the remainder his son, Strad (1884-1987).

The papers contain letters, diaries, business and legal records, scrapbooks, local history, genealogy, and memorabilia. There are only a few letters and entries in both Frank and Strad Gray's diaries are brief. Memorabilia includes greeting cards, postcards, recipes, World War II ration coupons, business cards and stationary, local wedding announcements, and song lyrics.

The papers reflect Strad Gray's interest in fiddle playing, local theater, and photography. The collection includes clippings about him as a fiddler, clippings about other local fiddlers, several issues of Fiddler's News a publication of the Northeast Fiddlers, and music. The papers also include a number of local playbills and acting editions for productions in which Strad Gray had acting roles during the 1920s and 1930s. The photographs that Strad took, as well as older family photographs, occupy a large part of the collection.

The scrapbooks include clippings from both local and national newspapers, obituaries, Frank Gray's tax and store receipts, play bills, and printed ephemera. Strad was interested in many of the lurid stories of his time. The collection contains clippings about several murders in Washington County, Vermont, in the period 1969-1970.

Biographical or historical data :

Frank Gray, son of Kelso (1805-May 18, 1882) and Adaline W. Loomis Gray (d. Sept. 20, 1904) was born in East Montpelier in 1855. He married Mattie Bliss (May 16, 1864-August 22, 1953) in East Calais on August 29, 1883. He was a farmer, although for a brief period (1910-1912) he owned a hardware store in East Calais. Frank Gray died in 1934.

Forrest Alvin "Strad" Gray (May 30, 1884-August 25, 1987), the only child of Frank and Mattie Gray, was born in East Calais. After attending school in East Montpelier, he worked briefly at Drown's Drug Store in Barre. In 1904, he apprenticed for about a year with a tinsmith, Jim Drew of Cabot. He then went to work as a tinsmith at the hardware store owned by George Sanders in East Calais. He retired in 1949. On Nov. 22, 1911, he married Lillian Dudley of East Calais and a daughter, Madeline Ella, was born on May 3, 1914. He subsequently divorced Lillian in 1919. Madeline died in April, 1958 and Lillian died in September, 1960, both in Bakersfield, California. Strad was not only well-known in the community as a tinsmith and talented general tinkerer, but also as a musician and an amateur stage performer.

Subject Term : Crime Vermont Washington County.
Musicians Vermont.
Theater Vermont.
Hardware stores Vermont Calais.
Geographic Term : Calais (Vt.) Archival resources.
Genre/Form : Diaries.
Financial records.
Business records.
Sheet music.
Greeting cards.
Added Author : Gray, Frank, 1805-1882.
Electronic Resource : Click here for full text of finding aid.