Who We Are


First came a couple of people, Melody Reed & Sabrina Smith, good friends who met often for lunch and found that they both admired the Steampunk aesthetic.

They decided to start a Facebook group where people could post their thoughts or pictures pertaining to Steampunk.

George McNaughton, an attorney in town, learning more about the Steampunk aesthetic and why it was perfect for Springfield, began nudging Melody & Sabrina to put on a Steampunk themed Festival.

In January 2015, the Steampunk Society of Vermont was born and began planning the Steampunk Festival partnering with Hartness House Inn …. and the rest, as they say, is history


President/Director ~ Lisa Mobus

Texas-born and raised in Europe (Austria and Italy) for much of her childhood and young adulthood, Lisa Mobus attended the University of Dallas – a small, private school in Texas – and married Jeff Mobus, a Springfield native, in 1989. In 1991, she moved to Italy with her husband to work on the University of Dallas Rome Campus; she taught Italian courses and provided translation services to the campus administration. In 2000, Lisa and her family moved to Springfield, and she has been teaching at Riverside Middle School since 2004. She is a proud “word nerd” – etymology (she studied Latin and Greek in high school and college) and foreign languages (she speaks Italian fluently, German and Spanish tolerably, and is working on French, Portuguese, and Turkish) are her passion. Reading has always been her favorite hobby, and she was raised on a diet of classics including Frankenstein, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Time Machine, and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea from an early age. Lisa’s first formal introduction to the Steampunk aesthetic came with Springfield’s first Steampunk festival in 2015, and since then she has read materials and attended events (including education conferences!) to learn more about this fabulous movement. She is proud to serve as the President of the Steampunk Society of Vermont’s Board of Directors and looks forward to helping support the momentum of the Steampunk festival and, through this event, the visibility of the town of Springfield.

Vice President/Director ~ John Landry

JOHN LANDRY comes to the Steampunk Society with experience in broadcasting. As a broadcast engineer he has worked at radio and TV stations big and small throughout the east for three decades. It was interest in old things, particularly old machinery such as engines and clocks and later obsolete electronics (radios with glowing tubes) that ultimately led to that career. Along the way he discovered music, and while many years of violin and viola lessons failed to spark much of an interest for Mozart and Beethoven, a deep appreciation for a forgotten genre of music– that of the first three decades of the 20th century – grew. For the past 12 years, he has hosted (as “SirJack Scratchy”) a radio program of that ancient music onWBCQ The Planet, an international shortwave station in Monticello, ME.  John and his brother Rob purchased a group of radio stations in 2017, and duties at WCFR (Rewind 106.5) in Springfield have brought him up to Vermont. He plays a few times monthly with The Buck And A Quarter Quartet in New York City.  John is excited to be involved with the society.  Wearing his derby hat, it’s expected he will fit right in.

Secretary/Director ~ Darlyn Walker née Nemkovich

A native of Springfield, Darlyn has a keen desire to see change for the good taking place in a town she grew up in. After having lived out West for 32 years, she returned in 2009 to be with family and friends she grew up with. Art was always in her blood. Having taught art for three years in Claremont, NH and then pursuing a career as a potter, jeweler, gemologist, feathersmith, and jewelry sales associate, Steampunk caught her eye while visiting her cousin in Payson, Arizona in 2014. Her cousin, also an artist, had a mannequin in her bedroom with a whole Steampunk outfit she had made herself, including accessories, and Darlyn immediately became enthralled with Steampunk. She immediately saw Springfield as a base for Steampunk. After all, her Dad had been a traveling engineer for  Fellows Gear Shaper and this was a gear town – what better setting for Steampunk? Upon seeing the Steampunk sign in a downtown window, she was excited to volunteer and somehow become a part of this movement, to help this community grow and change by bringing interesting and creative people to Springfield. By the third year of involvement seeing the need to help with sponsorship, she became dedicated to letting people know our goal was to become the Steampunk Capital of Vermont and help where she could. When the S.T.E.A.M. scholarship was instituted, her motto became “keep those gears moving.”

Treasurer/Director ~ Dallas Welch

Born in the small town of Plymouth, New Hampshire and raised in Ashland, NH, Dallas is no stranger to the blue-collar machining industry. She moved to Laconia, NH at the age of 12, where the big city life and tourist attractions enthralled her. Dallas originally moved to Springfield, VT in 2006 to join her mother. Taking a 3-year break to explore and enjoy living in California, she decided to move back to what has always felt like home, the town of Springfield. Since moving back, she has had a range of professional accomplishments that led her to taking on the role of Treasurer on the board for the Steampunk Society. Dallas works full time as the Financial Controller for the Springfield Area Parent Child Center. Her love of numbers is only outweighed by her love for her children. All four of them attend Springfield schools and enjoy the wonderful atmosphere that this engineering-inspired town has to offer! Steampunk culture has always fascinated Dallas, and she is looking forward to helping further cultivate Springfield as the Steampunk Capital of Vermont!


Merrilee McFadden Fortune grew up on a farm in Springfield, where innovation and forward thinking while using the past, were a necessity. Her family will tell you she has always marched to her own drummer. During her childhood and as an adult, she has figured how to solve needs with innovative solutions. Creating something from nothing has been a way of life. She retired back to Springfield after 25 years as CEO of her cooperation in Northern Vermont. She brings her business sense, her creativity and her thoughtiveness to The Steampunk Society of Vermont. She believes every person is the architect of their own life. How they bring the past into the future is a personal design unique to the individual. Most importantly, she finds joy in ride, regardless of the transportation vehicle her life provides.