Loading Events

Wilson “Snowflake” Bentley

A Bennington Historical Society Presentation

Wilson Bentley was born on February 9, 1865 in the town of Jericho, Vermont, A farmer by trade, he attracted world attention with his pioneering work in the area of photomicrography. Most notable in his life long work with rain, dew and frost, was his extensive work with snowflakes. On January 15, 1885 he became the first person to photograph a single snow crystal. He would go on to photograph well over 5000 snow crystals (never finding two the same), and his documentation of this work advanced the study of meteorology in his time.

In this program, Bentley great-grandniece, Sue Richardson, will talk about the extraordinary gift that “Willie” gave us through the beauty of his photographs, but also the struggles he faced in perfecting his process. Sue will help us get to know him on a more personal level through photographs, family stories and his writings.

About the Presenter

Sue Richardson is the great-grandniece of Wilson “Snowflake” Bentley and grew up on her grandparents’ farm in Jericho, about 3 miles from the farm where Wilson was born and lived out his life. She is a 9th generation Vermont and the 7th generation of her family to live in Jericho. Sue’s grandmother, Amy (Bentley) Hunt was the favorite of Willie’s 8 nieces and nephews and spent a great deal of time with him while growing up on the family farm.

Though Vermont was always home, Sue spent 5 years living in Tucson, Arizona followed by 21 years in Williamsburg, Virginia prior to returning to her “beloved Green Mountain State” in 2011.

For the past 5 ½ years, Sue has served on the Board of Directors of the Jericho Historical Society, whose dedication to preserving the work of Snowflake Bentley has ensured that his legacy continues to live on.

Bennington Museum requires the use of a face mask that covers both the mouth and the nose at all times while inside the building. Thank you for helping to keep all of our visitors and staff healthy.

The Bennington Historical Society is a volunteer-run program of Bennington Museum. The BHS offers its programs at no charge. Please consider supporting the efforts of the BHS to share the history of our region by making a donation.