Christine "Gussie" Levarn

Christine "Gussie" Levarn
Bristol, VT

Born on a farm in Hinesburg, VT in 1918, Gussie grew up one of eight children. She grew up without electricity, indoor plumbing and farm work was dependent on horse and human power. Today she still remembers the coming of electricity "as a fantastic wonderful experience" which always brings tears to her eyes and a break in her voice. She graduated from nursing school in 1943 and served in Europe in the Army Nurse Corps. After the war she was sent to the Czech- Austrian border to care for the victims of the Holocaust. When she returned from Europe she married Leonard "Rosie" Levarn and they settled in Bristol where she lives to this day. Now retired after a fifty year career in nursing she remains active in the community and particularly with a number of artistic projects, particularly the carving of applehead dolls. Not only does she carve the appleheads, but creates the dolls out of paper mache and wire, sews their clothes and has them engaged in various activities from carrying in wood to cooking. She is also a fine storyteller with a tremendous sense of humor.


The ritual of the Saturday night bath.

Electricity comes to Hinesburg for the first time.