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Stellafane History

The Original Mirror Class Oct 1920
The Telescope Makers of Springfield Vermont: Oscar S. Marshall, Clyde W. Baldwin, F. Eugene Lockwood, Russell W. Porter, Raymond P.W. Fairbanks, Gladys A. Piper, Oscar P. Fullam, Ralph A. Baker, Frank H. Whitney, Roy J. Lyon, Everett H. Redfield, Carlton B. Damon, Ernest N. Brookings and Guy E. Baker. (Not in the photo were Albert A. Herrick, Charles A. Longe and John M. Pierce).
Photo taken October 1920 behind the Jones & Lampson factory in Springfield, Vermont.
The Telescope Makers of Springfield, Vermont
October 1920

On August 17, 1920, fifteen men and one woman signed up to learn how to grind their own mirrors from instructor Russell W. Porter in Springfield, Vermont.  After successfully completing their telescopes and using them for a while to explore the wonders of the universe the men decided to build a hilltop observatory and form an official club.  On December 7, 1923 the first official meeting of the Springfield Telescope Makers, Inc. was held. Their clubhouse, Stellafane, was completed soon after.

Stellafane and The Springfield Telescope Makers have a long and rich history, and we are pleased to chronicle much of that history on these pages.

In order make the information more manageable, the history has been divided into two eras. Early History covers everything that happened prior to the purchase of the Stellafane East property in 1987; Modern History covers the purchase of Stellafane East and everything that has occurred since then.

Stellafane in 1924
Stellafane in 1924,
just after it was built

Early History

  • Club pre-history and founding.
  • The Stellafane Observatory National Historic Landmark.
  • The Stellafane Pink Club House.
  • The Porter Turret Telescope.
  • Russell W. Porter and Governor James E. Hartness.
  • Early Conventions.
  • Relationship with Scientific American.
  • Our Museum at the Hartness House.

The McGregor Observtory
The McGregor Observatory,
first major addition to Stellafane East

Modern History

  • Purchase of Stellafane East and the Bunkhouse.
  • Development of the property for Convention.
  • Web Site History.
  • McGregor Observatory and 13" Schupmann Telescope.
  • Donation and Development of the Hartness Acreage.
  • Dealing with Light Pollution from the new Springfield Prison
  • Construction of the Domed Observatory.
  • Construction of the Flanders Pavilion.

Stellafane History Books
Covers of books on Stellafane History

Stellafane History In Print

Here is a brief selection of books and articles about Stellafane from a historic perspective.