History of Barre and the Socialist Labor Party Hall

The City of Barre and the Old Labor Hall have a rich and exciting history. Here is just a taste:

Panoramic view of downtown Barre across Depot Square - 1917
Panorama of downtown Barre across Depot Square with the rear of the Old Labor Hall visible in the distance – 1917, Photographer L.L. McAlister of Burlington, VT


Socialist Labor Party Hall

  • A Brief Introduction to History of the Socialist Labor Party Hall

    Front view of the Old Labor HallThe Socialist Labor Party Hall, also known as the" Old Labor Hall", was built in 1900 by Italian immigrants. They had immigrated to Barre, Vermont, to work in the granite sheds on the famous Barre Gray granite that gave Barre the name of the "Granite Capital of the World." Read more…

  • Barre, the Socialist Labor Party Hall, and the Lawrence Strike of 1912

    The strikers' children on the steps of the Old Labor HallIn the winter of 1912, mill owners in Lawrence, Massachusetts, had distributed reduced paychecks to workers in the Lawrence textile mills. On a cold day in January, the angry workers stormed out of the factories, beginning a strike that was to pit as many as 10,000 workers against police and soldiers in the streets surrounding the factories. Read more…

  • Barre and Lawrence—the Bond Continues

    Barre Historical Society member Marjorie Power pointing at Angelo Savinelli in the pictureBarre and Lawrence, Massachusetts, have shared a common bond ever since the Lawrence textile strike of 1912, when the working people of Barre supported this important strike with money and care for the strikers children. That bond has continued through the years. Read more…

  • The Bakery from the Beginning to 2004

    Union Cooperative Bakery BuildingFrom the beginning, it was clear that the Socialist Labor Party Hall was to be more than just an office and meeting space. The Sanborn Map published in October of 1900 showed the footprint of the Hall (which was then under construction) and noted, even at that early date, that the Hall would include… Read more…




  • Barre’s Past is Present at the Vermont History Center

    Karen Lane, Director of the Aldrich Public Library speaking at the donation of the Barre archives collection to the Vermont Historical SocietyToday at the Vermont History Center in Barre (originally the Spaulding Graded School), Barre's history officially moved into the safekeeping of the Vermont Historical Society. Anointed with drinks and cookies, the Aldrich Public Library, represented by its director Karen Lane passed the torch. As she described it, the collection has had a checkered past. Originally based on gifts of documents and "stuff" given to the Barre Historical Society, it was passed on the the Aldrich when the Society disbanded. Over the years the eclectic collection has grown with the accretion of more papers and things. Since 2000, when the Library built… Read more

Oral History

  • The Granite City Journal

    The Granite City Journal was originally broadcast on WNCS-FM in Montpelier, VT in July 1981 as an introduction to the… Read more…

  • Saving and Celebrating the Socialist Labor Party Hall

    Click below Saving and Celebrating the Socialist Labor Party Hall: An Interview with Karen Lane for the Barre Historical Society,… Read more…

  • Thomas C. Davis: A Life in Vermont

    Oral history recollections by a 17th generation Vermonter, the son of a former governor, and himself a life-long public servant.

    Tom Davis was a political activist, public speaker, storyteller, author, and statesman. Also known as “Tom Terrific,” he was widely admired for his quick wit, humor, humility, kindness, wisdom, and generosity. Read more…