The Franklin County Savings Bank and Trust Company (now known as the Franklin Lamoille Bank) leased the bank building at the current site of the St Albans Branch in 1899. The brick and granite building at 8 North Main Street had been previously been occupied by three banks, The Old Franklin County Bank, The First National Bank, and The Peoples Trust Company.
The Franklin Lamoille Bank is celebrating its centennial anniversary during the Railroad Days Festival.
The Franklin County Savings Bank and Trust Company actually opened its doors for business on November 1, 1899. That marked the beginning of an incredible century of service. Carroll Morton, 39, a merchant from St Albans, was the first president. Morton opened the first checking account with a deposit of $749.59, and the first savings account was opened by Charles K. Worthen. In 1999 dollars Morton's $750 deposit would be worth over $50,000.
By 1909 the bank had outgrown its quarters and had built a four story addition to the south of its old building and adjacent to the America House, the bank occupied the gound floor itself. Above the bank on the second floor of the old building were the law offices of C. G. Austin and his sons Warren and Chauncey, Jr.
The banks assets reached the $1,000,000 mark in 1912, and by the middle of 1919 the assets had doubled and passed the $2,000,000 mark. In 1919, the bank replaced the old banking house with a four story duplicate of its 10 year old addition to the south. From the outside, the only evidence that the two halves are not one building is a slight variation in the ornamental brickwork of the roof cornice, but inside, the difference in the floor levels are obvious.
In a long article in 1919 the St Albans Daily Messenger described the "splendidly remodeled quarters," the customers' rooms with "standard agricultural papers and other periodicals upon business and finance" for the men and "a writing desk, and writing materials, and a dressing table and all those little appointments which go to make such a room cheerful and homelike" for the women, and of course there was a splendid directors room.
The Franklin Lamoille Bank is celebrating its 100th Anniversary during the entire week of the Railroad Days Festival with a customer appreciation week at all branches. There will be cake, giveaways, a drawing for a "bucket of cash," and a special Certificate of Deposit that runs Oct 25 - Nov 12. Their windows on Main Street house an array of historical information and memorabilia.
In 1865 the precursor to the Franklin Lamoille Bank, the Franklin Bank, was the site of the northernmost raid of the Civil War. In this raid 22 confederate soldiers robbed three and fled to Canada. The Railroad Days Festival will re-enact the bank robbery on Saturday, November 6, at noon. Although we expect to scatter some of the loot among the waiting crowd we foresee that the bank will not give up a lot of real money.
Dick Harper, Chair
P.O. Box 1
Highgate Springs, VT 05460
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