Page 610 HISTORY OF ADDISON COUNTY.
HISTORY OF THE TOWN OF SHOREHAM.[Note 1]
THE town of Shoreham is situated in the southwestern part of Addison county, and is bounded north by Bridport, east by Cornwall and Whiting, south by Orwell, and west by Lake Champlain, which separates it from Ticonderoga, N. Y. It lies to the south of Burlington a distance of forty miles, and southwest of Middlebury twelve miles.
The area of Shoreham is 26,319 acres. The surface is low and gently rolling, the highest elevation, "the Pinnacle," in the eastern part of the town, rising to an elevation of about five hundred feet above the level of the lake. From its summit fine glimpses of Lake Champlain can be obtained, including old Fort Ti, and of the Green Mountains, from Killington Peak to Mount Mansfield, and of the Adirondacks on the west. The soil along the lake is a fertile clay. About one mile east of the shore the land rises above the clay to a stratum of argillaceous slate, in a range of hills which extends, with an occasional break, more than half way through the town from the south line. The higher land, for the most part, is composed of a strong loam, good for grains of all kinds, and grass. "Cream Hill," which derived its name from its remarkable fertility, is two miles long and one broad, and lies in the north part of the town more than one mile from the lake. "Barnum Hill," which received its name from that of a number of families which settled on it in early days, and "Worcester Hills," so named because the early residents thereon came from Worcester, Mass., are composed of a similar soil, and bear on their sides some of the finest farms in New England. "Mutton Hill," in the north part of the town, is said to have derived its name from the reputation of a family living on one of its declivities, who were accused of filching from the neighbors' flocks. Near the center of the town lies what is called the Great Swamp, which formerly contained about 700 acres covered largely with pine, black ash, and cedar timber, but which has been greatly reduced within the last twenty years.
This town was chartered by Benning Wentworth, governor of the Province of New Hampshire, on the 8th day of October, 1761, to sixty persons who are believed to have had no personal interest in the grant. The charter was obtained through the agency of Colonel Ephraim Doolittle, and bears an earlier date than that of any other town west of the Green Mountains, lying north of Castleton.
Colonel Ephraim Doolittle was the most prominent man in procuring the charter and effecting the first settlement in town. He was a captain in the
[Note1] For the matter contained in this chapter we are greatly indebted to the most valuable History of Shoreham, written in 1861 by Rev. Josiah F. Goodhue, and to the courtesy and information of Mr. Elmer Barnum.
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army under General Amherst in the French War of 1755, and served under him at the capture of Ticonderoga and Crown Point. He was afterward colonel of the Massachusetts militia in the Revolution. Early in the year of 1766 Colonel Doolittle with twelve or fourteen other persons, among whom were Daniel and Jacob Hemenway, Robert Gray, James Forbush, Paul Moore, John Crigo, Daniel Southgate, Nahum Houghton, Elijah Kellogg, and others, came together in a company from Worcester county, in Massachusetts, and selected a spot on which they built a log house. This was situated a few rods east of a stream called Prickly Ash Brook, and known as the Doolittle farm. In this house they all lived, the first year in one family, the men taking turns in doing the cooking. During the first summer this company cleared about twenty-five acres of land lying at the base of Mutton Hill on the north and east of Prickly Ash Brook. Colonel Doolittle did not move his family into town until after the Revolution, but spent much of his time here, with several hired men, who were employed in clearing lands and making improvements. He moved his family here in 1783, and owned the mill-place and mills, and built a house where Mrs. J. F. Birchard now lives. He died in this town in 1807. Colonel Joel Doolittle, his son, came and lived with his father in 1783, and in 1784 became the owner with him of the mills and all his real estate in this town. He also died in this town, in the year 1828.
Early Settlements. -- Paul Moore, who was one of the company that visited this territory in 1766, was, with Colonel Doolittle and John Crigo, the first settler in Shoreham. He was born in Worcester, Mass., in 1731; ran away from home at the age of twelve years and went to sea, passing thereafter more than twenty years of his life upon the ocean. After relinquishing the seaman's life he came to Vermont with some of the soldiers in the French War. As early as 1763 or '64 he passed much time in hunting in the vicinity of the lake, and in the fall and winter of 1765 he remained six months in Shoreham, in a hut which he constructed of pine and hemlock boughs. He did not see another human being during the whole winter. That winter he caught seventy beavers, and for several winters afterward continued catching them until he had accumulated a small fortune. He lived to an advanced period of life as a bachelor, and was married when past fifty years of age. He died in 1810, aged seventy-nine years. His first log house, which was burned by Indians, stood on the farm upon which he afterward erected the two-story house now occupied by J. Q. Caswell.
In the fall of 1773 Samuel Wolcott, from Goshen, Conn., settled with his family on the farm now owned and occupied by Deacon Almon Wolcott. He and his son Samuel, jr., were with Allen's party at the capture of the fort. Becoming alarmed by a party of Indians that appeared in the vicinity, he and his family fled to Berkshire county, Mass., where they remained until 1783. They then returned to the farm they had left. He died while on a visit to friends in Massachusetts and Connecticut.
Page 612 HISTORY OF ADDISON COUNTY.
Amos Callender came from Sheffield, Mass., with his family, in the winter of 1774 to Shoreham. He and his family fled from the Indians in June, 1777, and returning after the war found the brass kettle and other household utensils which they had buried. They reached Shoreham on their return on the 14th of February, 1783. In 1793 he built the brick house now occupied by R. H. Holmes, and kept a noted hostelry there for many years. His farm included the present Cream Hill Stock Farm.
Elijah Kellogg, one of the company that came here in 1766, was from Sheffield, Mass., and was one of Allen's party in the capture of Ticonderoga in 1775, and is said to have been the first man who entered the fort after Allen and Arnold. At the close of the war he settled on the farm where his grandson, Ransom Kellogg, now lives.
Daniel Newton, from Shrewsbury, Mass., was here surveying lands allotted to proprietors before and after the Revolution. He took up several lots in town, commenced an improvement on Cream Hill east of the road, nearly opposite to the house of the Cream Hill Stock Farm; sold that place, and began to make another improvement on the farm now owned by Myron Platt. He died in 1834, aged eighty years.
In 1783 Jesse Wolcott, son of Samuel, sr., settled on the place now occupied by William Corey, where fifty acres of land were given him by one of the proprietors, and continued there until his death. Samuel Wolcott, jr., settled on land adjoining the Cream Hill Stock Farm on the south soon after the Revolution, and died there. William Wolcott, brother of Samuel, jr., located at the Center, in the house now owned and occupied by Wm. Anderson and Wm. Langlois. He afterward sold out to Levi Wolcott, and went to Whitehall, N. Y., to live with his son, Dr. Wm. G. Wolcott. Alvin Wolcott, a son of Samuel, jr., settled on the farm now occupied by George H. Hall, where he remained until his death. Deacon Philemon Wolcott followed his father on the place on which Deacon Almon Wolcott now lives, and died there of the cholera on the 1st of September, 1832, in the sixty-third year of his age.
Thomas Rowley returned in 1783 to the farm he had left at Larabee's Point, where he lived until 1787 with his son Nathan, and then sold the place to John S. Larabee, and removed with his son to the place now owned by Mrs. Luther Parish. In 1795 he went to Cold Spring, in Benson, where he died about 1803, aged more than eighty years.
John Larabee came from New London county, Conn., in 1783, and settled on the farm now owned by Myron Platt. He was a well-educated man, and a surveyor. His son, John S. Larabee, came from Pownal, Vt., in 1783, at the age of nineteen years, and lived four years with his father, after which he cleared a place on Larabee's Point, then called Rowley's Point, where, with the exception of six years passed in Middlebury as clerk of the County Court, he remained the rest of his life. He established the first ferry at Larabee's Point,
Page 613 TOWN OF SHOREHAM.
under legislative grant, and managed it during his life. He held at different times the office of town representative, clerk of the County Court six years, judge of probate and of the County Court. He died on November 28, 1847, aged eighty-two years.
Abijah North came to Shoreham from Farmington, Conn., in 1774; cleared a piece of fifty acres of land, now a part of the Cream Hill Stock Farm, given him by one of the proprietors, planted seed for an apple orchard, built a log house a little west of the house now occupied by R. H. Holmes, and returned in the fall to Connecticut. The war intervening prevented his coming back until March 12, 1783, when he brought his wife and six children. In March, 1875, he removed to the Moseley place in Bridport, where, on the 3d day of May following, he died. Seth, John, and Simeon North, with their families, had come to Shoreham just previous to his death, and John North settled on the old farm of Abijah, where he died at an early day. Mrs. Seth North, being homesick, returned to Connecticut the next day after their arrival, by the same team that brought her here. Simeon North soon after went to Ticonderoga, but returned here and finally went to Orwell, where his death took place. After the death of Abijah North his son Nathaniel went to live with Isaac Flagg; married Sall Bateman, and lived with her father, Thomas Bateman, whose house stood about on the site of the Congregational parsonage, which was erected by Colonel Nathaniel North in 1818. He removed to Ticonderoga 1831, and died there July 9, 1838.
Colonel Josiah Pond came from Lenox, Mass., in 1783, and carried on Paul Moore's farm one year; purchased then the farm now owned and occupied by Edwin Johnson and his son William, and erected thereon a framed house and barn; sold soon after to Isaac Flagg, and went on to the place now occupied by Antoine Dumas, where he cleared a large farm, and in 1790 built a saw mill on Lemon Fair. Here he died on August 8, 1840, aged eighty-three years. He was one of the most eminent and influential men among the early settlers of this town. He was the first militia captain, and was the colonel of the first lent of militia in Addison county. He was chosen to represent the town in the General Assembly in 1788, and was the second person elected to that trust in town. Six times his fellow citizens conferred on him the honor of that office. In 1791 he represented the town in the General Convention, called by the Council of Censors for revising the constitution of the State. He was at the battle of Bennington, and served his country for a few months after in the army of the Revolution.
General Timothy F. Chipman, from Sheffield, Mass., aided in the town surveys in 1783 and then settled on the farm now owned by Clement Fuller. He was born in Barnstable, Mass., on February 1, 1761, and died in Shoreham May 17, 1830. He was descended directly from John Chipman, who came to this country from Dorchester, England, in 1631. Timothy, F. Chipman entered
Page 614 HISTORY OF ADDISON COUNTY.
the American army in the Revolution in 1777, as substitute for his father, who was obliged to support a large family. He served in the retreat of the American forces before Burgoyne. He married Polly, daughter of Captain Stephen Smith, on the 24th of May, 1786, and became the father of two sons and nine daughters. He kept a public house in Shoreham for years. He commanded a company of Vermont volunteers on the way to Plattsburgh, but was a day too late to take part in the battle.
Stephen Barnum came in 1784 from Lanesboro, Mass., and was followed by his family in 1785. He located on a large farm embracing land now owned by Loren Towner, and raised a large family of children. He was great-uncle to Elmer Barnum. He was born in 1757, and bore an active and honorable part in the War of the Revolution. He died here on August 24, 1834, aged seventy-seven years.
Smith street derived its name from four brothers named Smith who settled on that road. They emigrated from Nine Partners, N. Y., and came here from Manchester, Vt. Stephen Smith built a log house in 1784, on the place now owned by Orson Martin, and brought his family here in 1785. Deacon Eli Smith came also in 1784, and in 1785 located on the farm where Widow D. C. Smith now lives. He was in the battle at Stillwater, and beheld the surrender of Burgoyne at Saratoga. He was born on November 10, 1751, and died on June 16, 1816. Major Nathan Smith in 1792 settled on the farm now occupied by Mrs. Voss. He was in the battle of Bennington, and with Benjamin Vaughan was the first to scale the breastworks in pursuit of the enemy. He died before 1800. Amos Smith, a carpenter and joiner, came here in 1793; two years later opened a store in a house owned by Jordan Post, and about 1798 lived on Smith street. About 1808 he went to Canada, where he died eight years later. Philip Smith, son of Nathan, came here in 1786 and settled on Barnum Hill. He served as constable and deputy sheriff for several years, and died February 4, 1847, aged eighty-two years.
Timothy Larabee settled first, in 1784, on the farm owned now in part by George S. Larabee, his grandson, and by Orson S. Jones, and sold it to Hopkins Rowley, in 1792, and went to Georgia, Vt. In 1798 he returned and settled on the place now owned by George S. Larabee, though not inhabited. His birth took place in Plainfield, Conn., on July 6, 1753. He came here from Pownal, and died here on August 21, 1831, aged seventy-eight years.
Up to this time the town had remained unorganized, no town officers having been chosen and no taxes levied except those assessed by the proprietors, for the purpose of constructing roads or bridges, or for supporting schools. The progress of settlement, according to Mr. Goodhue, to the beginning of the year 1786, was so slow that the whole number of families at this time was only eighteen; and counting five persons to a family, the population did not exceed ninety.
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Among the families who came here between this and 1800 may be mentioned the following:
Noah Jones moved here with his family in March, 1786, from Worcester, Mass., after having been here two seasons before that. He built a log house on Worcester Hill, on the place now owned by Milan Cook, where he died in September, 1850, aged ninety-two years. Eleazer Holbrook, who came with Jones when but fifteen years of age, remained with him until he was twenty-one, lived then a short time in Bridport, and settled early on the farm now owned by J. T. Stickney. He passed the later years of his life with his son, David Holbrook, in Orwell. In 1790 James Moore settled on the farm now owned by William W. Moore and his mother. Ebenezer Turrill, from Lenox, Mass., built a log house in 1786, near the site of the Catholic Church at the Center, and in 1795, near the same site, he erected the large two-storied house, afterward a well-known tavern by the name of the Hill House. He was born in New Milford, Conn., in 1742, and removed to Lenox in 1759. His son, Truman Turrill, began to keep the old tavern about 1810, and it was afterward occupied as such by various persons until about 1849. Ebenezer Turrill made potash for some time. He held for several years the office of justice of the peace. He died in 1825, in the eighty-fifth year of his age. Daniel and Beebee Turrill, his sons, settled about 1792 on the farms now owned by Milan Cook and Royal Witherell. Thomas and Nathaniel Rich, brothers, from Warwick, Mass., purchased in 1785 a tract of land embracing the present village of Richville. They were great hunters, and were well acquainted with this part of the country before they made their purchases. Thomas Rich had before this been to New Hampshire with the purpose of buying land about the falls in Salisbury, Vt., but was a day too late to effect the purchase; whereupon he proceeded to Middlebury to look at land there in the market, lying north of the falls, but did not purchase there. In 1786 he brought several men to his land in Shoreham, and began clearing the land and preparing for the building of a dwelling and mills. In 1787 he came again, with his brother Nathaniel, and his son Charles, then sixteen years of age, and who became a representative in Congress. Mrs. Andrew Wright, resident about three-fourths of a mile distant, did the cooking for the party. That season Thomas Rich built a saw-mill alone, and did much work on the grist-mill of Nathaniel. The brothers brought their families here in the winter of 1797, and completed the grist-mill in the following spring or summer. William Jones, from Worcester, Mass., lived for a short time, from 1787, on the farm now owned by James E. Wolcott, but soon after purchased the lot now owned by James F. Moore. He was the grandfather of Elmer Barnum. He died here on November 27, 1833. Asa Jones, also from Worcester, located on the farm now in the hands of Kent Wright, in 1788, and died there on the 21st of April, 1841, aged seventy-six years. Levi Birchard, from Becket, Mass., in
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1787 began to improve the farm now owned by his grandson, Edson A. Birchard, and brought his family there in 1789. He died January 14, 1844, aged eighty-four years. Andrew Birchard came from the same place with Levi, and worked for him two years. He first settled on the lot now owned by Zenus Myrick, and afterward on the place which Conrad E. Birchard now owns. He died on December 31, 1857, aged eighty-nine years. Samuel Hunt, a native of Hardwick, Mass., came to Shoreham from Pawlet in 1787, and settled on the farm now belonging to the heirs of Nazro Northrup. He afterward moved on to the farm now owned by B. B. Tottingham, where he died on the 15th of February, 1825, aged sixty-two years. Jeremiah Northrup, from Lenox, Mass., first settled just south of B. B. Tottingham's, and soon after removed to the place now owned by the heirs of Nazro Northrup. He died on the 12th of April, 1840, at the age of seventy-four years. Samuel Northrup, from Lenox, Mass., first carried on his blacksmithing in a small house a little south of B. B. Tottingham's about 1793. In 1815 he removed to the place now owned by Milan Cook, where on the 17th of January, 1839, he died, aged sixty-six years. Deacon Stephen Cooper was born in East Hampton, L. I., June 22, 1746, and came to Shoreham in the fall of 1789, and was distinguished for his Christian meekness and devotion. He died on January 29, 1827. Samuel Hand came in 1789 from East Hampton, L. I., and bought the farm embracing what is now known as Hand's Point. His father, Deacon Nathan Hand, came from the same place in 1790 to live with him. Deacon Hand died on the 11th of May, 1811, aged sixty-four years, and Samuel died on September 13, 1845, aged seventy-six years. In 1787 Gideon Jennings, first from Natick, Mass., and afterward from Bedford, N. Y., settled on the farm in Shoreham which his son, Isaac D. Jennings, now owns. He was a soldier of the Revolution. Silas Brookins about 1788 located on the place now owned by the heirs of Thurman Brookins. In 1795 Ebenezer Hawes, from Worcester, Mass., settled on the farm now owned by J. T. Stickney, formerly belonging to Gasca Rich. David Ramsdell came from Warwick, Mass., in 1787, and settled on the farm now owned by Pliny J. Waite. Jeremiah Brown, from Long Island, settled on the southwest corner of Mrs. A. R. Minturn's farm about 1790, and afterward built the house in which Edward Harrington now lives, and remained there several years. He died in Benson.
Early Records, etc. -- The first proprietors' meeting of which there is a record was held at the house of Elihu Smith, in Clarendon, on April 28, 1783, Colonel Ephraim Doolittle being chosen moderator. Thomas Rowley was chosen proprietors' clerk, Daniel Hemenway treasurer, and Asa Hemenway collector of taxes. Among the measures of the day which may be of interest now were the following:
"Voted, That those Proprietors who have made improvements on the lake shore shall have their twenty-six acres to cover their improvements and no
Page 617 TOWN OF SHOREHAM.
more, in equal width with the other lots for their draft in said division, in proportion to one right of twenty-six acres as above mentioned. Voted, Mr. Daniel Hemenway be a superintendent to oversee the business of laying out of lands voted to be laid out by the Proprietors of Shoreham. Voted, Thomas Rowley, esq., to be the surveyor to lay out the lands voted to be laid out in Shoreham and his wages to be one dollar each day while in service. Voted, To lay a tax of five Spanish Milled Dollars on each right or share of land in Shoreham, to defray the charges of laying out the lands now voted to be laid out, and other back charges against the Proprietary, and that said tax be collected by the first day of October next. Voted, That this meeting be adjourned to the sun's rising to-morrow morning. The meeting opened according to the adjournment, on the 29th of April, A.D. 1783. Voted, That one hundred acres be surveyed and laid out as aforesaid, to enclose the place where the saw-mill formerly stood, and the same be set to the right of which Ephraim Doolittle was the original grantee: And it is expected that the said Doolittle cause a saw-mill and a grist-mill to be built at said mill place as soon as possible, and that there be reserved, for the use of said mills, sufficient pond room for the use of said mills forever. Voted, That this meeting be adjourned to the first Monday of October next, at one o'clock in the afternoon, then to meet and open at the house of Amos Callender in Shoreham.
THOMAS ROWLEY, Proprietors' Clerk."
The first town meeting of which there is any record was held for the purpose of organizing the town, choosing and qualifying town officers, etc., November 20, 1786. Present: Nathan Manly, esq., justice of the peace; Thomas Rowley, esq., was chosen moderator and town clerk; selectmen, Amos Callender, Ebenezer Turrill, Eli Smith; town treasurer, Ebenezer Turrill; constable, Elijah Kellogg. The remainder were chosen by nomination, to wit: Daniel Newton, Stephen Barnum, John Larabee, listers; Elijah Kellogg, collector; Stephen Barnum, grand juror; David Russel, Daniel Newton, Nathan Rowley, Ebenezer Turrill, Josiah Pond, surveyors of highways. The above officers were sworn before Nathan Manly, justice of the peace. May 30, 1791. -- A committee of seven was appointed to divide the town into convenient school districts. March 4, 1793. -- A report was received and adopted, dividing the town into eight school districts. March 3, 1823. -- A committee was appointed to build, or otherwise procure, a Poor House, for the reception of the poor, with discretionary power to expend not exceeding Six Hundred Dollars for the same. September 1, 1829. -- The selectmen of the town of Shoreham, Messrs. Kent Wright, Silas H. Jenison, and Isaac Chipman, made a report ascertaining and defining the rights of the town to the common. April 29, 1844. -- A motion being made to approbate Inn-keepers to sell spirituous liquors for the ensuing year, after discussion, it was decided in the negative by vote, 14 to 87. On motion, it was Resolved, That the civil authority be instructed to approbate
Page 618 HISTORY OF ADDISON COUNTY.
such persons as they may judge expedient, to sell spirituous liquors, by retail, who will pledge themselves to sell only for medicinal and manufacturing purposes. Passed unanimously.
Early Roads. -- The Old Military or Crown Point road, which passed through the town on its route from Chimney Point, in Addison, to Charlestown (Number Four), N. H., was begun in 1759 by a detachment from the army of General Amherst, but was not for some time completed.
The first road laid out by the proprietors of Shoreham was that which leads over Cream Hill and by the house of Mrs. Luther Parish into Orwell. In early times, at several points it ran farther east than it now does. In 1781 the road was worked which led from Colonel Ephraim Doolittle's to the site of the bridge across the Lemon Fair, at the old De Long place. In 1786 the first bridge at that place was built, and not long after this a road was opened from Shoreham to Middlebury.
The old turnpike road, leading from Bridport to Orwell and Benson, was completed in 1810. The road from Larabee's Point to Middlebury was laid out at different times, each portion finding strong opponents to the straightening process. The road by Richville, to Whiting and Brandon, has also more than local importance.
Lemon Fair River has its source in Sudbury, Orwell, and Whiting, passes through this town, Bridport, and Cornwall, and flows into Otter Creek in Weybridge. At Richville a dam extends across the river, which raises a pond extending nearly three miles up the stream, for the supply of mills below. There were at this place in 1860 saw-mills, two shingle-mills, one grist-mill and flouring-mill, and tannery. Two miles below this place there was also in 1860 a saw-mill and a small works for carding wool and manufacturing cloth.
On Prickly Ash Brook, which flows north from the Great Swamp, Alonzo Birchard then had two saw-mills situated at the falls, and a run of stones in one of the mills for grinding corn. The supply of water here is sufficient to run these mills only in the spring and fall. Earlier still there was a grist-mill which did considerable business. The other streams are small and furnish no water power.
Schools. -- The first school in town was taught by a lady on Cream Hill, probably as early as 1785 or '86, a school being kept up in that neighborhood a portion of every summer and winter for three or four years before there was any other in town.
About 1789 a log school-house was built at the "Corners." For several years the children in the Birchard and Larabee districts were sent to school there. A school was also commenced about the same time on Smith street. The log school-house in the Birchard district was built in 1794. Gideon Sisson, who had a knowledge of the Latin and French languages, taught a school there in 1795, and was employed as instructor several years. Newton Acad-
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emy was incorporated in 1811. The origin of its name in uncertain, there being two suppositions --viz., that it was so called in honor of an early citizen of the town, from whom material assistance was expected, and that the favor of the shade of Sir Isaac Newton was sought. From the time of its organization a school of the usual grade of academies has been kept up, with few intermissions. The original cost of the building was $2,000. In 1853, after the collection by subscriptions of $1,600 the Newton Academy Association was formed and the property conveyed to them. A boarding-house was then attached to the academy building, and an expenditure made of $2,200. Many changes have taken place since then. While the excellent standard of the old academy is maintained, the institution has in a measure laid aside its purely academical character, and is now regarded as a common school with two departments. W. W. Eaton is the principal. Counting the academy as two common schools, there are now fourteen schools in the thirteen districts in town.
Military History. -- Most of the early settlers of Shoreham were men who, having been actively engaged in the service of their country during the war, were attracted hither by the thrifty forests and fertile, well-watered soil of the territory. The position of Ticonderoga in particular had an important influence on the early settlement of the town.
In the second war between the United States and Great Britain this town contributed more than thirty volunteers, who did honorable service.
During the War of the Rebellion Shoreham maintained the standard of patriotism which the soldiers of former days had established. The following list contains the names of those from Shoreham who joined Vermont organizations in this war.
Volunteers for three years credited previous to call for 300,000 volunteers of October 17, 1863:
J. Bolton, G. D. Bryant, T. A. Canfield, F. Y. Center, B. S. Clark, W. H. Cowan, J. A. Dana, A. Decelles, E. Denno, M. Denno, S. Denno, T. Denno, J. 0. Green, E. Guyette, W. Higgins, G. G. Howe, C. Hunsdon, H. Johnson, E. C. Jones, V. A. Jones, W. S. Jones, J. Keefe, M. H. Keefe, J. Kelly, A. Ladam, H. H. Lambert, G. Lamot, F. Lapelle, Z. Lapelle, H. Lapham, C. W. Lemarder, L. S. Lewis, W. F. Lewis, F. Moore, A. Mosely, O. Nephew, H. Nicholson, H. B. North, A. P. Palmer, C. F. Powers, O. E. Pratt, A. L. Reed, C. B. Sloan, E. P. Sloan, S. Smith, F. Trimble, P. Trudeau, J. S. Ward, J. White, H. J. Wideawake, E. F. Wright, L. Young,
Credits under call of October 17, 1863 for 300,000 volunteers, and subsequent calls:
Volunteers for three years. -- J. Basonait, G. D. Bryant, E. E. Cudworth, W. H. Deming, C. Draper, A. Elger, J. A. Huestis, W. Hurley, M. H. Keefe, P. Ladam, I. N. Lewis, E. Lumbard, J. N. Payne, L. B. Powell, T. Ryan, G. H. Shepherd, G. W. Shepherd, W. G. Willey, T. Wisell, J. Woodward.
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Volunteers re-enlisted. -- G. F. Bennett, J. Clair, O. Clair, B. S. Clark, A. Decelles, J. Kelley, K. Morrill, E. P. Sloan, L. Young.
Enrolled man who furnished substitute. -- C. E. Bush.
Not credited by name. -- Two men.
Volunteers for nine months. -- O. F. Atwood, A. Austin, C. A. Bugbee, P. Carney, W. M. Corey, E. C. Cudworth, N. B. Douglass, T. Duchan, I. Farnham, B. C. Jennings, E. T. Kellogg, J. W. Knapp, E. Laundre, W. A. Mead, B. Moriarty, S. I. Northrup, P. Sangrah, A. M. Smith, C. Spaulding, J. Q. Stickney, A. J. Towner, D. J. Wright.
Furnished under draft. -- Paid commutation, H. A. Bascom, A. J. Carr, E. E. Cudworth, R. S. Kellogg, G. L. Moore, J. Newell, M. Platt, C. C. Rich, J. V. Sanford, C. B. Williams. Procured substitute, E. N. Bissell, J. Frost, H. Jones, J. S. Jones, H. C. Mead, P. T. Wolcott.
Present Officers. -- The town officers of Shoreham, elected at the March meeting of 1885, areas follows: Town clerk, C. W. Howard, M.D.; selectmen, D. C. Smith (since deceased), L. E. Moore, K. W. Merritt; listers, J. N. North, Frank Moore, E. G. Farnham; overseer of the poor, Myron Platt; constable, Elmer Barnum (with jurisdiction of the State); auditors, M. Platt, E. Barnum, I. B. Rich; fence viewers, H. W. Jones, E. Barnum, M. Platt; school committee (Newton Academy), L. E. Moore, James Forbes, H. W. Jones; treasurer and trustee of public money, V. Rich ; agent to prosecute and defend suits in which the town is interested, H. W. Jones; grand juror, Irving B. Rich; superintendent of common schools, C. W. Howard.
Population Statistics. -- The following figures give the population of the town at the several dates when the United States census has been taken: 1791, 721; 1800, 1,447; 1810, 2033; 1820, 1,881; 1830 2,137; 1840, 1,675; 1850, 1,601; 1860, 1,382; 1870, 1,225; 1880, 1,354.
The Center. -- The towns of New England were generally laid out by the proprietors and settled by the earliest inhabitants with a view to the erection of a village at the "center of the town." This plan has many advantages, as the place for holding town meetings, the building of houses of worship, the establishment of stores, and the opening of inns, being equidistant from the four corners of the orthodox township, afford equal facilities to all the inhabitants. It often happens, however, that the water privileges and available sites and manufacturing enterprises are situated at one side; the stores follow the shops, and the center of business activity is thus separated from the "center of the town." Otherwise all the towns would need and have but one village and one post-office. This is exemplified in Shoreham; for though the Center will always maintain the importance due to its territorial position, it will have an able rival in Richville, because of its manufacturing importance, as it formerly
Page 621 TOWN OF SHOREHAM.
had at Larabee's Point and Watch Point by reason of their commercial advantages.
The first house at the Center was built of logs by George Leonard as early as 1786, and stood on the site of the house now occupied by Levi Wolcott. About 1798 he built the frame house now occupied by Richard H. Preble. He was a native of Germany, and a soldier in Burgoyne's army. He was a tailor, and for years the only one in town.
Early Merchants. -- The first regular store at the Center was opened in 1802 by Thomas J. Ormsbee, from Warwick, Mass., who did a good business for about two years. Other early merchants here were Alvin and William Wolcott, about 1804 and '05; Barzillai and Eleazur Cary, from 1808 to '19; Dr. Luther Newcomb, from 1805 to '15; Spaulding Russell where Lynde Catlin now lives, from 1818 to '27; Truman Turrill, from 1816 to '23; Samuel H. and John Holley, one or two years following 1819; Ansel Chipman, about 1820; Perez Sanford in the same place previously; Hiram Everest, from 1816 to about '31; David Hill, James Turrill, and Levi Thomas, from 1820 to '32; Moses Seymour, 1829-30; Delano, Hitchcock & Co., from 1830 to 1832; A. C. & E. S. Catlin, from 1832 to '36; Kent Wright, from 1832 to '49; E. S. & L. Catlin, a short time in 1839; Atwood & Jones, from 1843 to '46; E. S. Atwood, for many years after 1846; Brookins & Birchard, 1849 to '50; union store, from 1851 to '58; Wright & Hall, 1858 and '59; Hall & Hunsden, 1859. The store now occupied by C. N. North was built by Kent Wright about 1838, and was occupied by Brookins & Birchard, the union store, E. S. Atwood, Atwood & Son, H. M. Atwood. About 1867 Mr. North went into partnership with H. M. Atwood, and in 1870 assumed the sole management of the business. In the spring of 1880 C. B. Kendall began keeping a hardware and general store below the hotel. In February, 1883 he came into the building now occupied by himself and partner. K. W. Merritt came in with him in April, 1885. The building is an old store, having been formerly occupied by A. B. Catlin. It was built by Hall & Hunsden.
The Professions. -- The first lawyer in town was Moses Strong, who practiced at Richville from about 1800 to '10, when he removed to Rutland. Samuel H. Holley practiced at the Center from 1809 to '21, when he removed to Middlebury. Udney H. Everest practiced here from 1812 to '45. Samuel Wolcott continued in practice here from 1821 to February 28, 1828, the date of his death. Albert G. White practiced here from 1845 to '47. Charles K. Wright was here from 1847 to '55. There are now no attorneys in town.
The first regular physician in town, Dr. Timothy Page, came from Troy, N. Y., in 1788 or '89. He died here in 1810. Others who have been in practice here in earlier days were Tyler Stickney, from 1798 to 1800 or 1801; John McLaren, 1792 to 1800; John Wilson at Richville, from 1801 to '22; Erastus Blinn, from about 1819 to '42; William H. Larabee, a short time in
Page 622 HISTORY OF ADDISON COUNTY.
1802; Nicanor Needham, from 1808 to '47; Caleb Hill, from 1826 or '27 to 1833; Nelson G. Chipman, from 1833 to '34; William A. Hitchcock, for more than thirty-five years following 1824; David E. Page, from 1842 to '56.
The physicians now engaged in practice in Shoreham are Drs. Platt and Howard. Dr. William N. Platt was born at Enosburgh, Vt., on the 7th of October, 1849. He received his general education at the Plattsburgh (N. Y.) Academy, and Hobart College, in Geneva, N. Y. He was graduated from the medical department of the University of Vermont, at Burlington, in the spring of 1869, and then took a post-graduate course in New York city. He began to practice in Shoreham in 1870. On the 23d of November, 1880, he was united in marriage with Lizzie L., daughter of Samuel 0. Jones, of Shoreham. By virtue of his thorough medical education, scholarly attainments, and fidelity to business he has achieved a highly honorable position among the members of his profession in the county and State. He is president of the Addison County Medical Society, having been elected to that position in 1881. Dr. Charles W. Howard was born on the 4th of December, 1845, at Windham, Vt. He was graduated from Middlebury College in 1872, and from the Medical University of Vermont, at Burlington, in 1874. He practiced a year in the hospital in Hartford, Conn., after which he came to Shoreham in 1876. He has also won a high position in the esteem of his fellow townsmen.
Hotel. -- The hotel at the Center was erected in the year 1800 by Joseph Miller, who sold it in 1802 to Thomas J. Ormsbee. He occupied it as a residence and store until 1804, after which it changed owners quite frequently. From 1828 to his death in 1845 Robert R. Hunsden kept it as a public house. During this period it was known as the Hunsden Hotel. Colonel F. M. Wilcox, Mr. Ensign, George L. Deming, and A. J. Bennett followed until 1880, when the present landlord, D. J. Wright, came into possession. The property is now owned by a stock company composed of men who live in the town.
Richville. -- The vicinity of the present little hamlet of Richville was in early years long popularly known as Hackley-burnie. The establishment of the first mills at this place has already been mentioned. In 1785 Thomas Rich purchased the land around the falls at the upper dams, and built a house a little east of the school-house on the south side of the valley, moving into it with his family in 1786. The site is now occupied by David Larrow. He built the saw-mill in 1786.
In 1788 Jacob Atwood built a log house four or five rods southwest from the dwelling house (now) of James Knapp, and brought his family in the following year. Two or three years later he built a forge at the north end of the dam, which was soon burned and rebuilt. Here he began blacksmithing. Soon after this a forge of four fires was built about four or five rods farther down, furnished with two sets of bellows worked by water, and a trip-hammer. Russel Harrington did smithing in this building with two of the fires, and
Page 623 TOWN OF SHOREHAM.
built his dwelling house on the hillside to the north. People used to come here for smithing from Bridport and across the lake. Nathaniel Atwood worked at blacksmithing for Jacob, and lived on the place now owned and occupied by Horace D. Littlejohn. Ebenezer Markham in 1797 built a nail factory and trip-hammer shop on the north side of the upper dam, afterward used for clothiers' works. Two large logs were thrown across from this shop to the saw-mill, and for years used for a foot-bridge. The same year John B. Catlin erected a house on the site now occupied by Mrs. John Chadwick, which was soon after burned by the slacking of some lime stored in the building. Ira Hickok built a part of the house now occupied by George Littlejohn. The place, it will be seen, had considerable importance before 1800, and it retained its prestige until after the building of the railroad from Burlington to Rutland. It is even yet a lively place. E. S. Newell, who was born on the 23d of August, 1812, on the farm now owned by Nazro Northrup's estate, about two miles north of Richville, and came here in December, 1847, states that the village did about the same business then as now, but had not so many houses.
Present Business. -- The butter-tub factory and saw-mill of Cook Bros. (A. J., H. C., and Charles) is the successor to an industry established by E. S. Newell in 1853, when he also erected the building. He first manufactured horse plows, threshing machines, and shingle machines here, and in 1862 added to the lists of his products the Newell mowing machine. About 1880 he began to make butter-tubs and barrels. He sold out to Cook Brothers on the 1st of April, 1884. The grist-mill now owned and operated by H. A. Lyman was built by Ezra Rich as early as 1831 or '32. Thurman Rich followed him, and Virtulon and John Rich followed Thurman. In 1870 Mr. Lyman became owner. He bought the saw-mill a few years ago of Denno & Peltier. The building now occupied by E. H. Lyman, in the manufacture of axe-helves, is one of the oldest in town, having in former days been used as a carding-mill. Mr. Lyman started his business here about six years ago. L. Collette has done blacksmithing in Richville for twenty-one years, and has occupied his present shop more than ten.
Mercantile. -- The first store kept in Richville was about 1795, by John B. Catlin. The next store was kept from 1799 to March, 1811, by Charles Rich, in the old house next east from the grist-mill. Page & Thrall kept a store in this village from 1811 to '13; Davis Rich from 1815 to '21; D. & G. Rich from 1833 to '51. A part of the old store of Charles Rich still stands at the rear of the store now kept by I. B. Rich. This store was kept in 1860 by Henry Rich and Martin L. Royce, as the firm of Royce & Rich until about 1862. Royce bought out his partner and remained until 1864, when he went West, selling to Gasca Rich, now of Middlebury, who conducted the business alone until 1869. His son, Irving B., the present proprietor, then became his partner. About 1878 the firm name became, by the addition of Charles T.
Page 624 HISTORY OF ADDISON COUNTY.
Birchard to the business, Rich & Birchard. On the 1st of April, 1880, I. T. Rich assumed the entire management of the business.
Larabee's Point. -- Before the opening of railroads on both sides of the lake had shifted the channels of traffic and reduced the commercial importance Of the lake, Larabee's Point was a place of considerable importance. The first store kept here or in town was by George and Alexander Trimble, who began about 1789 and continued until about 1800. Soon after this, about 1802, James Rossman opened a store which he kept for two or three years. Abiel Manning had one from 1826 to '28 or '29. Joseph Weed was here from 1828 to '30. Afterward in different years have been Walter Chipman & Co., Azel Chipman, P. W. Collins & Rockwell, John B. Chipman, and Abbott & Brown.
In 1799 a ferry was incorporated here to John S. Larabee, who had run one since 1787; in 1812 James Barker had the ferry; in 1818 John S. Larabee again received a charter from the Legislature. The ferry still remains, being the only steam ferry in the county. "Zeb" Martin, the proprietor, has been in possession about three years.
The only other business now in progress here is the steam saw-mill, owned and operated by Richard Leonard, built in the summer of 1885, and turning out a large amount of work; and the United States Hotel. The old tavern, which John S. Larabee bought of Thomas Rowley in 1787 and enlarged, and which was burned in 1838, stood on the site of the present hotel. The United States Hotel was built by Samuel H. Holley and B. B. Brown. Among those who have kept it in the past were H. S. Gale, Dennis Teazey, A. P. Cutting, F. B. Kimball, Farr & Kimball. A. C. Farr, the present proprietor, has been in possession alone for about ten years.
There is a large deposit of black marble on this point, which in early days was worked to some extent by Dr. E. W. Judd, of Middlebury. In 1851 the Shoreham Marble Company was incorporated, consisting of Nathaniel Harris and Henry L. Sheldon, to work the old "Judd Marble Quarry." The quarry is not now worked.
Watch Point, two miles north of Larabee's Point, was also quite an important point at one time. A ferry crossed the lake there until recent years. The building of the wharf at Watch Point was commenced about 1825. A small storehouse was commenced the same year, and business on a small scale was done by William S. Higley, until about 1828. The wharf was afterward enlarged, and business was done by Turrill & Walker from 1828 to '31, and continued from 1831 to '34 by M. W. Birchard, by whom the business of slaughtering and packing beef was begun. John Simonds purchased the place in 1835, and by him the business of packing beef for market was extended and continued for years, constituting one of the leading business enterprises of the time in the State. The steamboats have sometimes touched at Watch Point. A stage was run here for a single season. There is no business of any kind there now. The place is owned by John S. Leonard.
Page 625 TOWN OF SHOREHAM.
Post-offices. -- The mail was first carried through this town on horseback once a week, until a stage was put on by Comstock, of Whitehall, between that place and Vergennes, about 1816 or '17. The mail was then delivered tri-weekly. After the establishment of the post-office at Larabee's Point a daily mail was received. The stage to Middlebury commenced about 1826. The first post-office was kept at a tavern at the Four Corners, on the Basin Harbor road, and continued there until the turnpike road was opened and the third postmaster opened his office at the present hotel place at the Center. Since the establishment of the first post-office at the Center, in 1806, the following postmasters have served: Barzillai Carey, 1811; Perez S. Sanford, 1819; Udney H. Everest, 1820; Hiram Everest, 1820; Moses Seymour, 1827; David Hill, 1830; Edmund B. Hill, 1833; Asaph Brookins, 1849; Thomas H. Goodhue, 1851; Edwin S. Atwood, 1855; Charles Hunsden, 1859. A. C. Hall followed Hunsden. Then followed George L. Deming, Ira G. Bascom, C. C. Nichols, C. N. North, and the present incumbent, appointed in the fall of 1885, R. H. Preble. The first post-office at Larabee's Point was established on the 3d of February, 1831, when Walter Chipman received the appointment. H. F. Johns succeeded him November 17, 1837. On December 19, 1838, the office was discontinued, but was re-established on June 8, 1840, by the appointment of James H. Chipman. Charles W. Larabee followed March 1, 1842. On the 13th of the next month the office was again discontinued, but was re-established July 23, 1849, by the appointment of Charles S. Abbott. October 1, 1849, Charles W. Larabee was appointed, and on the 10th of January, 1852, Henry S. Gale became his successor. The present postmaster, W. C. Larabee, has kept the office in the hotel ever since Gale left it. The office at Richville was established about 1860, when M. L. Royce was appointed. Gasca Rich succeeded him in 1864, and still holds the office through his deputy, I. B. Rich, who oversees the distribution of mail.
Agricultural. -- From the first settlement of the town the people, with few exceptions, were devoted to agricultural pursuits. Most of the early settlers came here poor, with means barely sufficient to purchase fifty or one hundred acres of land. At an early day they had to struggle on through many difficulties; but by persevering industry and economy most of them in a few years became independent, and a few of them wealthy farmers.
At an early day a market was opened for lumber at Quebec. Many of the early settlers employed their winters in drawing immense quantities of pine logs and square timber to the lake, to be sawn into deal or plank three inches thick, which were floated in rafts through Lake Champlain, and down the Sorel and St. Lawrence to that mart. It was but a small compensation which the laborer received for his time and toil, though he was ultimately enriching himself by clearing his lands and thus extending the area of cultivation. The oak timber as cut and squared, or split into staves, and was sent in the same direction for a market. Before the forests were cleared the quantities of these two kinds of
Page 626 HISTORY OF ADDISON COUNTY.
timber were immense, and the farmer at an early day was essentially aided in bringing his lands into a state of cultivation, by devoting his winter seasons to the timber business.
From the year 1783 to '91 the productions of the land were mostly wanted for home consumption. Wheat was the principal production at that early day, and, as there was little money in circulation, contracts were mostly made to be paid in that article, or in neat cattle. From the year 1797 to 1810 wheat was the principal staple of the farmer. During this period the high prices caused by the wars in Europe brought him a rich reward for his labors. The restrictions put upon our commerce about the year 1810, however, seriously embarrassed this branch of industry.
Previous to the last war with Great Britain very few sheep had been kept. In the suspense of importations caused by that war, and the restrictive measures which preceded it, more wool was wanted for domestic use and to supply the infant manufactures to which that war had given rise. The common wool of the country suddenly rose as high as one dollar per pound. The high price of the article stimulated the farmers to increase their flocks, and a general desire was awakened to make wool-growing a leading business. The interest of the farmer soon prompted him to take measures to improve the quality of his staple, in order to meet the demands for the finer fabrics. (For further details of the sheep interest in this town, see the chapter upon that subject.)
Cream Hill Stock Farm, located in the northern part of the town, on the hill which gave it its name, contains 730 acres of land, purchased by A. C. Harris in 1864. It is made up of the old farms of Hiram Rich and Bela Howe. It was originally intended to be a horse stock farm, and was the home of the famous stallion Daniel Lambert. Reuben S. Denny and Benjamin E. Bates owned it at different times. It is now a Holstein cattle farm. The farm being part of the Benjamin E. Bates estate, is under the management of the administrator, H. B. Hammond, of New York city. About twenty head of imported Holstein cattle are now kept on the place.
F. and L. E. Moore have recently been buying and raising an improved breed of shorthorn cattle, and now have about a dozen head.
E. N. Bissell, of East Shoreham, has been investing in five or six head of Galloway cattle, and promises to do well by them.
Masonic. -- Simond's Lodge, No. 59, was chartered January 9, 1862, With the following first officers: George L. Deming, W. M.; J. N. North, S. W.; H. C. Holley, J. W.; W. C. Simonds, treasurer; J. M. Bishop, secretary; C. J. Moore, S. D.; J. S. Ward, J. D., and W. H. Keefe, tiler. It now has a membership of fifty-eight. (See chapter on secret societies.)
Previous to the Revolution there were no religious meetings held in the town; but a few years after, ministers of the Congregational and Baptist de-
Page 627 TOWN OF SHOREHAM.
nominations occasionally visited the people and preached to them. The earliest preaching of which there is any account was by Elder Samuel Skeels, a Baptist minister, who came here in 1788 or '89, and remained about three years.
In the year 1791 the Rev. Joel West preached for some time in this town. On the 9th of January, 1792, in a town meeting, a motion was adopted--
"That Rev. Joel West be requested to preach in this town for the term of four Sabbaths from this date, on probation, provided a subscription be raised to his satisfaction in compensation for his services."
On the 24th of January a town meeting was held, and acted on the following articles in the warning:
2d. "To form a religious constitution according to the rights of Christianity, to govern such inhabitants, and if they please to give Mr. Joel West a call to settle with them as their minister, and to invite him to join them in such religious constitution or compact.
3d. "To agree on measures for his support.
4th. "To choose a committee of the inhabitants and church, or separate committees from each body, to confer on measures respecting uniting said bodies in one compact, and report their doings to the town and church for their acceptance, if they please."
The only action taken on these articles at this meeting was the appointment of a committee of six persons -- "To form a Religious Constitution agreeable to the rights of Christianity" -- consisting of Ephraim Doolittle, Thomas Rowley, Josiah Pond, Thomas Barnum, Doctor Page, and James Moore.
In March, 1794, the people were favored with the labors of Rev. Ammi R. Robbins and Rev. Peter Starr, missionaries from Connecticut. On the 25th of that month the Congregational Society was organized, with fifteen members. The church was thus favored with missionaries until 1805, when, on the 26th of December, Rev. Evans Beardsley was ordained the first pastor of this church, and retained the position until May, 1809. The first church edifice was erected at Shoreham village, of wood, with a seating capacity for 1,000 persons, and cost over $6,000. In 1846 this structure gave place to the present handsome edifice, built of brick, seventy-two by fifty-four feet, and finished with best materials inside and out. It will comfortably accommodate 500 persons, and is valued, including grounds, at $10,000. The present pastor is Rev. Mr. Curtiss.
The Baptist Church was organized June 2, 1794, with fifteen members--eight males and seven females--and appointed Eli Smith deacon. Rev. Abel Woods was ordained pastor February 26, 1795, and continued to preach with them until 1811. During his residence in Shoreham 170 members were added to the society. For some time this organization has suspended the holding of regular meetings.
Page 628 HISTORY OF ADDISON COUNTY.
The Universalist Society at Shoreham village was organized in 1806, with Rev. Richard Corrigue as pastor, who remained until 1814. Worship was held in the district school-houses till the academy building was finished, when this building was used until 1852. A comfortable brick edifice was then erected at a cost of about $4,000, which was burned in January, 1885. The present house of worship has just been completed at a cost of $4,000. The society now meets every four weeks, services being conducted by Rev. S. A. Parker, of Bethel.
The Methodist Society at Shoreham village is supposed to have been organized about the year 1804 or '05 by Jabez Barnum, Samuel Ames, and others. Nothing definite can be arrived at, as the early records have been lost. The society has never owned a church edifice, and since the erection of the Y. M. C. A. chapel in 1859, has used that building, having a free lease of it as long as it stands. They have at present no regular pastor, and do not hold regular meetings. Rev. Perry Marshall, of Bridport, occasionally preaches to them.
The St. Genevieve Catholic Church, located at Shoreham village, was organized in 1873, with 150 members. During that year the present edifice, of wood, was constructed, which will seat 500 persons, and is valued at $6,000. Rev. Father Coffey, of Orwell, the present pastor, has under his care a congregation of 300 members.