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Black History Month Community Events at Bixby Library

Updated: Mar 13


During Black History month the Bixby Library in Vergennes is providing community

events celebrating the life of Stephen Bates, the first Black sheriff and chief of police in Vermont. These events include a showing of the new documentary, “The Life of Stephen Bates,” by Chris Spencer, a Vergennes filmmaker, followed by a panel discussion with Q&A. Please visit the links below for an overview of these events along with links to the documentary and the historic marker unveiling event that was held in Vergennes on October 3rd, 2021, filmed by Media Factory.


Bixby Library, Stephen Bates Notable Collection

https://bixbylibrary.org/the-stephen-bates-collection/ Stephen Bates Documentary (view on-request at Bixby Library) Saturday, February 12, 10am – 3pm https://bixbylibrary.org/event/stephen-bates-documentary-showing/

Stephen Bates: From Slave to Sheriff – Virtual Panel Register to attend - February 26 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm https://bixbylibrary.org/event/batesbixby/

“The Life of Stephen Bates” documentary Filmmaker: Chris Spencer Length: 8.5 minutes https://vimeo.com/641604952/24cfd0a471  

October 3rd, 2021, Stephen Bates historic marker event Filmed by: Media Factory 1hr, 15 minutes https://www.mediafactory.org/watch#!/widget/32/episode/127630

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Vergennes was the backdrop for the dedication and unveiling of the historic marker for Stephen Bates community event that took place on October 3rd , 2021. The story of Stephen Bates' incredible life and service to our community was recently rediscovered when Bates’s great-grandson, Larry Schuyler, and his wife Lynn, visited St. Paul’s during the late summer of 2019, as they were looking into Larry’s family history. Stephen Bates and his family were members of St. Paul’s during the 19th and 20th centuries and Larry’s grandparents, Rose Bates and Raymond Schuyler, were married at St. Paul’s in 1893.

Pictured below is a recently discovered postcard photo of St. Paul’s from the 19th century that Larry shared with us, showing his grandparents’ names and wedding date recorded.



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