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Carlo Wolter Dearcopp Papers

 Collection
Identifier: mss-430

Scope and Contents

The Carlo Wolter Dearcopp Papers chronicle the life of Carlo Wolter Dearcopp, a German-born dancer, vaudeville performer, and skater (both ice and roller). The collection includes many photographs and negatives of Carlo's early life in Germany, travels around the U.S. as a performer and as a tourist, and of her home in Searsburg, Vermont later in life. It also contains Carlo's writings, including manuscripts of her autobiography and memoirs as well as articles she wrote for publications such as the Bennington Banner and the Cracker Barrel. These are newspaper clippings and magazines. There is also a large collection of personal memorabilia and ephemera. Scrapbooks contain photographs and newspaper clippings. There are show programs from Carlo's performances. There are also diaries that describe daily weather in Vermont.

Dates

  • circa 1877-2003

Creator

Access

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Curator of Manuscripts.

Biographical note

From niece Joanne Dearcopp: "Carlo Wolter Dearcopp (1900-1996), originally from Germany, came to America as a war bride in 1921. Trained as a ballet dancer, she formed her own dance troupe that performed on vaudeville circuits all across the U.S. When she grew tired of living out of a suitcase, she took up figure skating which led to a career as a specialty skater with ice shows, teaching figure skating and doing choreography for many shows, including the Roxy in NYC. Carlo taught figure skating at Mount Snow when it first opened; the story goes that they put in the rink because they had her on board.

She met Charlie Dearcopp at the 1939 World’s Fair in NYC where he was stationed as a New York City policeman and she was teaching skating. They took a 16,000-mile journey around America to find their dream home and discovered it in Searsburg, VT. They bought the house next to the World’s End Diner from Gertrude Hulett in 1948. Their home, “Skylark,” on top of the Molly Stark Trail was to be their haven and an inspiration for her writing. Carlo’s weekly column “Mountain Chatter” appeared in the Bennington Banner and the Brattleboro Reformer for decades, as did her feature articles in the Cracker Barrel and other regional magazines. She also wrote a beginners book on skating (Franklin Watts).

Articles of local historic interest reflected her thorough research on subjects such as the Kelley Stand Road; the editor of The Social Register, Mrs. Edward Barry who lived in Wilmington; the Arabian Horse fancier Frank Warner; the Carpathians; and the birth of Mount Snow in 1954.The couple were active in Searsburg and held many positions over the years: lister, town auditor, justice of the peace, fire warden, snow-tester, fern-packers, and the list goes on."

Also from Joanne Dearcopp: "The contents reveal the amazing success my Aunt had in her professional career as a dancer, figure skater, choreographer, teacher. I had no idea! What was also amazing was learning that 3,000 would show up for an ice skating show in many a small city across America. Through her industriousness and talent she managed to always be employed - going from one show to the next, shifting gears (getting into roller skating) when the necessity or opportunity arose, and fearlessly flowing into new areas such as choreography and teaching. She wrote a few articles during those years, but it was once she moved to VT that she pursued her writing wholeheartedly.

In these albums one also gets a glimpse of her young life before she came to America as a war bride in 1920 at 20 years old. She took a couple of trans-Atlantic trips to visit her mother (late 20's-30's) and the photos reveal her great zest - she loved a good party!

Looking at the various show programs, letters, etc. one notes the many names by which she is mentioned. I don't know if some are typos or if she used many names but here are some: -Carlo Roden (her first married name). Maiden name Henriette Klein -Carlo Stein and Carlo Sterne and Stern. (This may be what she used with her partner Ingo Thess when they had their feature dance act) -Carlo or Carlo (Carlo was short for Carlotte which was changed in US by authorities to Charlotte) -Henny Roden (Henny was her German nickname for Henriette) -Carlo Wolter (name of her second husband married '29), Charlotte Walter -Carlo Wolter remained her professional name as a columnist and writer -Carlo Dearcopp (third husband, Charles, my uncle, with whom she moved to VT)"

Extent

6.25 Linear Feet

Abstract

The collection contains many photographs and negatives of and by Carlo Wolter Dearcopp throughout her life, from her early years in Germany during WWI, her travels as a dancer and skater, vacations, move to the U.S., travels around the U.S. and life in Vermont. It also contains many of her writings about Vermont, her life, and skating. There are programs of her shows, receipts, memorabilia, and personal records.

Location

Library Research Annex; contact uvmsc@uvm.edu for access

Creator

Title
Guide to the Carlo Wolter Dearcopp Papers
Status
Completed
Date
2017 June
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
English

Repository Details

Part of the University of Vermont Libraries, Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Silver Special Collections Library
48 University Place, Room B201
Burlington Vermont 05405 U.S.A. US
(802) 656-2138
(802) 656-4038 (Fax)