History of Bristol Post 19, Department of Vermont
The American Legion Bristol Post 19 was organized in 1920 when Dr. Harold Williamson called a meeting in the basement of Holley Hall. At that meeting, Bristol Post 19 was organized and Dr. Williamson was elected as the first Post Commander. There were fifteen charter members. Francis Kilbourn, who died in 1979, was the last charter member of Post 19. For a time, very little interest was shown in Legion activities and the charter was surrendered. The Post reorganized in September 1933.
The American Legion Auxiliary was formed at that time; was active a short time and then gave up its charter. They reorganized in 1935. In 1952, Post 19 and Auxiliary Unit 19 formed a corporation called the American Legion Home, Bristol Post 19 Incorporated. The American Legion met in various locations around town until the current building was constructed on Recreation Club land with a ninety-nine year lease and opened in May 1953. A mortgage burning ceremony was held in February 1965. In March 1985, Post 19 formed a corporation, American Legion Bristol Post 19, Inc. In 1989 the Sons of the American Legion Squadron was formed and became a valuable addition to the Legion family. The SAL does most of the cooking for Legion events and caters some of the non-Legion events.
A building addition was constructed in 1994 and is used as a meeting place for several groups in the area (see our Neighborhood page on this site), as well as Legion functions. A small storage building stores hospital equipment available to loan (for free) to Legion family members and our local community residents (we call it our “Hospital Shed”).
In July 2001 we purchased the site we leased from the Bristol Recreation Club plus an additional piece of land on the north side of that property. On May 25, 2002 the American Legion Home, Bristol Post 19, Incorporated was dissolved by membership vote. In December 2010 we purchased the former Bristol Animal Hospital property (84 Main Street) with a look to the future as expansion for a new Post Home, or addition to our current facility. © Bristol Historical Society