This is written by senior Charlie Haynes
In 1964 Eliott Morse had a visit from a neighbor, Bob Simon, who told him that the Montpelier Fire Department was now charging 500 dollars an hour to travel to East Montpelier and Calais for fire calls.
When I interviewed Eliott this spring at his house, he motioned out the front windows to a snow-covered County Road and told me that it took forever for Montpelier to respond, because the road was dirt at that time.
“They used to say, ‘well, at least we saved the cellar hole,’” he said.
In 1964 about 15 members of the East Montpelier and Calais community met in the old schoolhouse in the East Montpelier Center. Eliott was elected President of the Fire Department in their first meeting. Eventually, Eliott also served as Chief for a couple of years.
Eliott Morse is a pillar of the East Montpelier Community. Having been born in Montpelier and lived almost his whole life in East Montpelier and Calais, his roots run deep in the community.
Eliott spent his early years doing chores, and helping take care of his family’s small dairy herd atop Robison Hill in Maple Corners. Being raised this way was very valuable to Eliott. When asked how his childhood years influenced his life, he said, “You know, wanting to do hard work.”
His work ethic is proven through his dedication to the town, especially through his commitment to the fire department.
The first fire station consisted of a small rented barn off of County Road, with an old oil tanker from the local oil company.
Then in 1967, they decided it was time for a station of their own, which is when they built the fire station that is still located on Templeton Road in East Montpelier. Eliott spent countless hours helping construct the original fire station, which is still located on Templeton Road and used today.
Today, Eliott lives with his wife Florence in their “sugar house” in East Montpelier. Well, one might not be able to tell due to the fresh paint and landscaping, but at one point in time, their home was a sugarhouse where maple syrup was made every spring.
Eliott has also been responsible for taking care of East Montpelier’s many cemeteries scattered around the town for over 30 years, acting as Commissioner for 15 years and then Sexton and Caretaker for another 15. His reason for continuing doing it is he “wants to see those cemeteries pretty.”
Eliott has done much more than just these few things for his community, and his community has recognized him for it. The town recognized him by naming him East Montpelier’s 2004 Citizen of the Year.
Eliott does so much for his community that so many people don’t even realize. Once Eliott truly does retire from all his roles and positions within the Central Vermont community, there will be a large hole left to fill.