The history of Ralston, Vermont is well-known to many: the story of feuding brothers at odds over logging and textile fortunes, a dispute that ultimately led to the digging of the Thibodeau Canal which now separates the island from Burlington. Only, there is no canal and that history isn't real. But it's all part of "Quality of Life: The Ralston Historical Museum" exhibit now at the Champlain College Art Gallery.
The city of Ralston is the creation of Champlain College associate professor Erik Esckilsen and his students. A setting for fictional stories and a "sandbox" for classroom discussions and activities, that fanciful history has entered the real world with a display of town history and culture at the Champlain Art Gallery that encourages visitors to walk through the exhibit and create their own sense of the town, its people and its story.
Esckilsen joined Vermont Edition to discuss Ralston and the work that went into creating and sharing real artifacts from a fake town.
Broadcast on Monday, March 12, 2018 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.