Archive for March, 2009

Cutts Family

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

On Clay Hill Road there still stands a stately old home that went through some rough times in her old age, but luck was with her and love and care have returned her to stately elegance. People now-a-days refer to it as Fairview Farm but during the time that we are studying, it was known as Woodland. The Hon. Hampden Cutts lived here with his family. They moved there from Portsmouth, N.H

“—the family decided to move to Vermont where the young man’s father-in-law had offered him a valuable estate in Hartland if they would reside there. So in accepting the offer, he was accompanied by his mother and sister, Miss Mary Cutts , as well as his wife and son. He was admitted to the bar in Woodstock and represented the town of Hartland in 1840,41,47 and 1858. Windsor County in the Senate in 1843, and was Judge of the Windsor County court in 1849-51.

Mr. Cutts was known as a literary man and particularly as a public reader and lecturer. As a reader of Shakespeare he gained a very high reputation, and appeared many times in public. He was an officer of the Windsor County Agricultural Society and an active member of the Vermont Historical Society, before which he read several important and interesting papers At his death he was Vice President from Vermont, of the New England Historical Genealogical Society, of which he had been a member for years.

[Mr. Cutts wrote the History of Hartland for publication in Abby Hemenways's Vermont Historical Gazetteer .. Unfortunately she was publishing her works by county alphabetically as she was able to raise the money and Windsor County burned before it could be published.]

During the time he lived in Hartland, from 1833 to 1860, his home was the scene of many interesting entertainments, and he and his children and wife did every thing possible to help make the religious life of the place what it should be, by constant attendance and contributing generously to the support of religious worship. There 8 children were added to the one they had on arrival, and 5 had been laid to rest in the adjoining cemetery (Cutts/Paddleford) before they reached mature years. His mother was also buried there at an early day, as she only lived to 1847

In April 1860 they moved to Brattleboro, Vermont, soon after the death of Consul Jarvis, where Mr. Cutts had found college classmates and where their three daughters, Anna, Lizzie and Hattie were married. Their eldest son Edward, had married and moved to Fairbault, Minnesota before they left Hartland.

At the outbreak of the Civil War he( Hampden) was very desirous of taking command of a regiment, but on account of his age, he did not receive the appointment

He said at the time, “It is hard, hard that they will not let me fight for my country.” He felt as capable as ever in this regard.

His death occurred April 27, 1875, in Hartland, on the old home place, where he and his sister happened at that time to be spending a vacation, and the place had never left the family, for over 40 years. It was known then as the “Governor Spooner Farm” , and situated near the North Hartland. Services were held at the house attended by his widow, his daughter Harriet, one grandson, and his devoted sister, as well as many relatives. The internment took place in the adjoining cemetery, where his mother and children were buried. He was survived by his widow, Mary P.S.J. (Pepperell, Sparhawk Jarvis) Cutts, the author of a life of her father Consul Jarvis.(Consul Jarvis ,Wethersfield, Vt. introduced Merino sheep to Vermont , bringing them from Portugal where he was Consul. I have tried to find evidence that sheep were raised on the farm in Hartland  but all I have found to date is accounting with the Mallory Woolen Co. of Hartford., which began in 1836. This may have just been an investment.) His son and grandchildren( Capt E.H. Cutts of Fairbault, Minn, His daughter Mrs. Anna Holyoke Cutts Howard ( more on her later) and daughters Anna and Harriet.  . . .”

Author unknown.

Reprinted from the Fall 2006 Hartland Historical Society Newsletter

Nathan Frederick English

Monday, March 16th, 2009

Last March we talked about Benjamin Livermore, inventor among other things, of the so called “Permutation Typograph” or “Pocket Printing Machine”. Benjamin was the brother of Emily Livermore English who was married to Nathan Frederick English 1822-1902. Nathan is the star of the show for this newsletter.

English Family ca. 1855

English Family ca. 1855

The photo above was taken by Nathan English around 1854-55. It shows his wife Emily (Livermore) and the four oldest of their ten children.

Nathan English was a remarkable man with a remarkable family. He was an inventor (we have many of his patents, CYM) as were his sons, Euler, Analdo and Ernest. He also had some inventions with his brother-in-law, Benjamin Livermore.

A kindly man who carried raisins in his pockets to give to the children, N.F. spent countless hours in his shop on Lull brook inventing such things as a machine to bind or wrap horse whips and he made a drill that would drill cast iron. The Foundry people wanted to buy it but he wouldn’t sell. Told them to come over when they wanted anything bored and he would do it for them. [Good businessman !!]

The following is from Analdo and Ernest’s reminiscence recorded by Howland Atwood in 1938.

“Back in 1847 or1848 Nathan and his brother-in law got up a line of shoe machinery -press and dinking machines, etc. They went to Milford, Mass. and hired a loft with power and he was the pioneer in introducing shoe machinery. Formerly a shoe factory was merely a warehouse. The materials were accumulated and dealt out to men who cut out shoes - though in those days, boots were mostly made. The people used to come there and they were given so many pegs and various shoe parts, which they took home. They lived on little farms and had a room or two in their homes which was used as a shop where they worked on or made the shoes. The people did not all do the same thing. There would be a team of stitchers who would go and get their materials and take them home and stitch them. The bottomers pegged or sewed on the bottoms-did lasting. The news leaked out that English and Livermore were making shoes by machinery. English used to hire teams of men to work for him and the people, being jealous, would mob the men and disable them so they couldn’t work for a few days. Of course, when the men weren’t able to work, English and Livermore used to work in their places and Mr. English got very tired. Milford was sort of a malaria city and Mr. English became sick and he and Livermore gave up the business as things didn’t go right. Mr. English came home, poorer than when he left, when Analdo was a baby. Mr. English was sick for 2 or 3 years and wasn’t able to do much. A partner in their business had absorbed what was left.

A daguerreotype had not been out a great while and along in 1850 Mr. English made them. After awhile he dropped that and began experimenting with machinery. Along in the 1850’s he and Lysander Billings became partners and made machinery. Mr. English’s first shop was in the barn and then he had a shop around 1854 or 5 with a round top roof which was a rather long and narrow building. This stood at the back of the house cut in unison with the turning of the last. He carried on the last business for a few years (last- a wooden or metal block on which shoes were shaped). He wouldn’t make a fashionable last so that is probably why he lost the business. He made several of these turning machines. Hammond and Merritt had one in their factory on the mill gorge. There was a gristmill with several runs of stone and below that a sawmill with machinery for making other things out of wood in this establishment. There was one of Mr. English’s turning machines over in the foundry where they turned out wagon wheel spokes, etc.

Along in 1858 - 59 Mr. English got up a sort of photographic apparatus, so that he took pictures around in the area. He had a room downstairs in the house for working with daguerreotypes and later a room upstairs for sensitizing and developing ‘amber types’. By the time the Civil War broke out he had completed a daguerreotype machine and used it for a year or so.

In 1862, Nathan English made up a portable ‘amber type’ machine. It was a box 10 inches square and 20 inches long. This was the wet process. Mr. English made quite a few of these apparatus’s and he used to fit out men with them. He outfitted and man named Hart and H.B. Cross, a boy studying to be a doctor who put himself through college by taking pictures during vacations - at the seashore and elsewhere. Mr. Milliken, editor of the Brattleboro Reporter bought the patent right. Mr. English took hundreds of
pictures, many of them portraits.

Ed Bagley … sold Nathan English a piece of land near the Lull Brook and he built a dam and put up a shop there. For 6 or 7 years Analdo worked in his father’s shop. His father did some but mostly liked to be up in the front room of the house mostly - making models, etc.

In the square shop Nathan built a 40 horsepower engine for John Labaree as Labaree had gotten the idea that he could run a flouring mill along in the 1850s. This mill, in the Ladies Aid Hall in Four Corners was discontinued before 1861.

N.F.’s last years were spent making microscopes, telescopes, etc. He ground thousands of lenses and had rather a craze for making them. He spent months making powerful microscopes. He had one with such a wonderful lens that doctors used to come from all over to use his microscope, as it was so much better than theirs.

His son Euler did a lot of work in the shop after Analdo went away in 1872. Euler got up a machine for sawing marble in the quarry. It had a rectilinear frame which went

Mr. English once invented a flying machine and his son Euler tried it out. Mr. English always said the flying machine was practical if they had an engine to run it. The only engine he could have was steam. Mr. E once told some farmers that it would be only a few years before motorized vehicles came and they would sometime be everywhere.

Reprinted from the Hartland Historical Society Newsletter, Winter 2007.

The Mill at Water Quechee (Sumner Falls) - 1885

Monday, March 16th, 2009

In the last issue of the newsletter, we talked about the Ottaquechee Woolen Mill and as this is a related article, I thought it might be of interest. I don’t know the story about the “mulish obstinacy” but it sure shows that Hartland knows how to give a party. This is from the Vermont Journal, Windsor, Vt. on October 3, 1885.

“Wednesday of this week was a day long to be remembered in Hartland. Never since   the Connecticut valley was settled has the region around Sumner Falls been so densely packed with men, women and children. There were at the least calculation 2000 people on the ground, and many good judges think that too low an estimate.

The occasion of this great gathering was in honor of the Newton brothers of  Holyoke, and  in celebration of the victory they have gained over the mulish obstinacy of the Ottaquechee Woolen Company. After discussing various methods by which the town might   give expression in some unmistakable way to the prevailing sentiment, it was  decided to hold a grand town picnic. That picnic has been held, and more complete success never attended a human undertaking. By the princely generosity of the Newtons in supplying the substantials, supplemented by endless varieties of cake and pies of Hartland make, the tables, nearly an eighth of a mile in length were literally loaded down, and after the thousands had been fed the tables still looked as though other thousands might be accommodated.

The Newtons arrived by mail train, which let them off at the crossing near the grounds, from which place they were escorted to the tables by a procession of citizens headed by the Hartland band, which, by the way, performed excellent service through the day.

After leaving the table, W.R. Sturtevant, one of the citizens committee, mounted the band stand and called the vast multitude to order. In reply to comments given out by the master of ceremonies, W.R. Sturtevant, the first speaker called upon was Rev. W.L.Noyes of Hartland, he being followed by Rev. B.M. Tillotson of Woodstock, Hon. E.M. Goodwin of Hartland, and S.M. Pingree, Esq. of Hartford. E.C. Emmons of Taftsville, Henry Safford of   Hartford, A.A. Martin of Hartland, and Rev. Graham of Plainfield, N.H.

One of the speakers, E.C. Emmons, made honorable mention of the names of David   H. Sumner, Solomon Emmons, Frederick Freeman, Russell Freeman, John Burnham and   several others, as veterans of Sumner’s Falls who were engaged in active business there 40 years ago. We would gladly report, in substance, all the speeches, but the nearness of the time of the Journal’s going to press will not admit of this, but we can say they were all able and appropriate, and it is doubtful if better after dinner speeches were ever heard in  town.

And now by the authority of the great meeting here reported, as well as by the late special town meeting, which exempted their property from taxation with only one dissenting vote, the Journal welcomes the Newtons to the town of Hartland.

Reprinted from the Hartland Historical Society Newsletter, Summer 2008.

Poem: The Free Soul - April 1917

Sunday, March 15th, 2009

Spring means new starts on the farm, new starts for the Town and perhaps a new start for your heart. I think this is the real New Year . Here is a portion of a much longer poem by J. Howard Flower, Four Corners, Hartland, Vt.

The Free Soul  - April 1917
Spring is Coming
That’s One Good Thing Nobody Can Prevent

The Duel Natures now begin
To rime with passing sweetness
The God without, the God within
Are teeming with completeness!!

All night premonitory throes
Of change came perseverant
And this chaotic dawn o’erflows
With voices incoherent.

In lofty solitudes afar,
Where hilltop snows are thawing’
I know the fir-shut hollows are
Now full of crows and cawing

I mark thine advent, hailing Spring’
As blithest of assurance:
It comes to pass, a heavenly thing
Above mankind’s concurrence.

The social powers that bear the purse
May thwart, and mete denial
To many things,- but not reverse
The tide upon the dial!!!

Reprinted from the Hartland Historical Society Newsletter, Spring 2005

Hartland: June 1877

Sunday, March 15th, 2009

Two women, each with a young child and a man by the name of Shattuck, ran away from the town farm last week.

An eagle, measuring four feet and three inches from tip to tip of wings, was shot by a man in the employ of Cyrus Ayer, last week. The nest was found, which contained besides three young eagles, two squirrels, two chickens and a young woodchuck.

The Universalist society at the Four Corners seems to be in a flourishing condition. Good audiences greet the new preacher from Sunday to Sunday, and the probabilities are that preaching will be sustained through the year. There are fifty scholars in the Sunday school.

Reprinted from the Hartland Historical Society Newsletter, Spring 2005.

Spring days gone by. What were people doing?

Sunday, March 15th, 2009

Lyndon Shedd March 5, 1904
16 below at village- rehearsal at Kellys paid music 25 ” [Mr. Shedd ran a singing school at what is now the Flower Farm]

Sebastian Cabot Jenne [Clyde's great grandfather] April 2,3,and 4 1856
I worked on wood A.M. P.M. I went to the sugar place taped 20 trees. I went to the sugar place. Started a fire. I went to the sugar place with oxen broke carried the tubs around saved a little ware.

Mildred Varney [I do love Mildred!] April 1, 1911
I got up about 7 o’clock. I went down and helped Mrs. Backus [This is Mr. Shedd's daughter, also a musician] and took my music lesson. Had an extraordinary one. I made some little pies for myself. May Fallon came in. She and I went to the L.A. [Ladies Aid] meeting. I rode home with Nora Plumley [Leon Royce and Ginny Dow's mother]. She and I went down by Martinsville. There were four members present and Miss Nelson [a Hartland teacher for many years] and Miss Sturtevant [Ruth Flanagan's aunt] was with us today and Mrs. Rogers . I have been “April Fooling” people and got “April Fooled” myself. I got a postal from Allen Rice and a letter and a postal from Flora Blanchard. I have been in Laura”s. She has been in here. Papa had some fish come this morning [Alfred Varney had a fish route]. I have been over to Mrs. Rich’s this evening. I got a library book, Lavender and Old Lace by Myrtle Reed. It is nice and interesting… Not a very good day, snowed some and cold.

Reprinted from the Hartland Historical Society Newsletter, Spring 2005.

Town Meeting from The Hartland News, March 15, 1955 issue

Sunday, March 15th, 2009

There were about 185 voters at Town Meeting. A tax rate of $7. 92 was approved, the town manager system was retained, the Australian ballot lost by one vote, and the meeting adjourned around 4:30!!

The meeting started right off with a bang with the election of Moderator. Ogden having been nominated for the office, turned the meeting over to Town Clerk Rogers. There were no further nominations. Woodruff, however asked for the floor and set out to show that Ogden was a poor man for the job. To prove his point he recited a list of incidents from Ogdens school days, such as the fact that he flunked out of college, only won second prize in a declamation contest, once interviewed Norman Thomas, etc. After 5 minutes of this, Moderator pro tem Rogers, with the support of the Selectmen ruled Woodruff out of order with the comment that his charges were of no consequence; that, if he did not care for a certain candidate, all he had to do was vote against him. This stand was hailed by vociferous cheering and clapping and Woodruff resumed his seat. Ogden was then elected unanimously to serve as Moderator.

The Town Report was accepted with very little discussion. Woodruff criticized the Officers for not including , in full the report of the State Auditors. The Selectmen explained they did not think it worth the expense and that the report was in the Clerks office for anyone to read that might want to. The Town Manager system was discussed next. James asked for an opinion from the Selectmen concerning the system. Ginter replied that there are only three problems in Hartland: Roads, Schools and Taxes; that the School Directors attend to the Schools, the Selectmen have charge of the Taxes and that leaves only the Roads ( and the Poor) for any Town manager to contend with. He stated
that the cost figures in the Hartland News , while not absolutely accurate were basic that the Managers salary comes only partly from the road money. In general he stated that the Selectmen did not recommend the system for Hartland. Woodruff gave a speech in favor of the system. In reply to Mrs Alfonse, Blaisdell presented figures to show that the salaries for the old system during its last full year were:

Road Commissioner        $3,216
Overseer of the Poor        315
Selectman – bookkeeper       25

Town Manager salary for the current year was $3,600 , leaving a difference of only $44. The question was settled by ballot, 110 in favor, 50 against. Later in the meeting, Blaisdell received a unanimous vote of confidence.

Town Meetings are known for providing good entertainment, whether that is the intent or not. As for Mr. Ogden, he was certainly qualified for the job, and served for many years as a State Senator. Like Mr. Ruggles, he was a man of many opinions. We’ll visit him more some other time.

Reprinted from the Hartland Historical Society Newsletter, Spring 2005.

Byron P. Ruggles (1838 – 1917)

Sunday, March 15th, 2009

Remember the last newsletter when we visited Snail Swamp and learned about the muck found there? Of course, muck would be a wonderful compost and Mr. Ruggles, whom I consider to be a genius , mixed it with manure to reduce the acidity, spreading it to bring back his poor farmland. Here is an excerpt from Farm Journal Dec. 1896.

” I bought my farm in the fall and had the next winter to get together my tools and stock; all of which I bought cheap at auctions. The tools were second - hand , of course, some of them requiring repairs that I made myself. I bought an old wagon that I repaired so that it lasted until I was better able to buy a new one. I borrowed a cultivator two years, then bought a set of teeth and made the rest of it. I hired a mowing machine four seasons, then I bought one , that with good care, has run twenty one seasons, and does good work yet, and so of all my farming tools, I got along at first with the least possible expense and turned the greatest amount of money I could toward paying for the farm. I began with one horse that did all of my team work except plowing and mowing when I hired another horse of a neighbor.”
Byron Ruggles in Field

This is a Byron Ruggles “trick photo” showing Mr. Ruggles doing 2 jobs at one time.

” I was decided on being a dairy farmer and bent all my energy in that direction. My plan was to keep the best of cows, that they should have plenty of good feed and good care, that I would make the best of butter, if possible, and get as high a price for it as I could , and all other branches of my farming should be subordinate.

I began with three cows for the farm had less than one hundred acres, and was so run down it would not well keep more. I hired the use of thoroughbred Jersey bulls, raised my heifer calves, named them, made pets of them, kept them pets as cows, and always call them by their names. In a few years I had some first rate high grade Jersey cows. I mowed weeds in the pasture so as to have more and better feed there. I set water tubs there so the cows would have better water to drink than the stagnant puddles that the springs really were . . .

I dug muck in the driest part of the summer from a swamp in the sheep pasture and drew it in the winter to the amount of two or three cords a year to mix with manure and have found the mixture equal to all manure. A pond formed in the swamp where I had dug muck and I found it a convenient place to get ice in the winter for my ice house; some of my neighbors saw the advantage of getting their ice there. I sawed out ice for them, more and more as the pond grew larger from digging muck. I have sawed as many as forty four cords of ice there in one winter, at seventy cents a cord.”

Reprinted from the Hartland Historical Society Newsletter, Spring 2005.

Bine the Blacksmith

Sunday, March 15th, 2009

“The poem about Bine referred to a blacksmith named Bine Spaulding, who lived and had a shop where the first house in Martinsville now stands. [The brick house on the corner is the old Lamb school. The next house is newer and the one referred to here is the next, red house, right next to Lull Brook where Ruth and Roger Flanagan lived for so many years. C.Y.M.]. He and his wife occupied an upper room reached by a ladder, and when he came home in a rather unsteady condition she would say sternly, “Right up the ladder, Mr. Spaulding”.  Enjoy!

Did you know about Bine, with the speckled dog?
Used to lead him by the for’ard paw;
Was a portly man with a baldish head,
And the bluest eye you ever saw.

Way under the hill he had a shop,
With a trip hammer and it’s paddle wheel,
And its whack, whack, whack, and the stooping smith-
I can see him yet; I can hear it still.

He came to the village every night.
There were kindred spirits always there.
The journey up was a tiresome walk;
The going back was another affair.

One night we sat around the fire;
The smaller ones were snug in bed;
Aunt Rosaline rushed in through the door,
And”Bine’s in the brook ” was all she said.

My! What a rumpus was abroad!
Sure, in the brook was where we found him,
Straight as a gun rod sitting up,
With the rushing waters all around him.

“The water’s risin’! Lower a rope!”
That was the cry, more agonizing
With every breath of the summer air.
“Lower a rope! The water’s risin’”

The action of that pretty brook
Took out the sand beneath his quarter,
And every wave that kissed his side
Left him a-struggling in the water.

Next morning in that little shop-
Since many years the grasses cover-
The anvil rang, the bellows breathed,
The mill-wheel flew; The farce was over.

Wilbur Sturtevant

Reprinted from the March 2007 Hartland Historical Society Newsletter.

Maple Parfait

Sunday, March 15th, 2009

Maple season is here. Give this a try. I made a bowl full and have found it to be especially good when more maple syrup is poured over it and some nuts are sprinkled on top.
Maple Parfait Recipe
Della M. Dunsmoor Merritt (1883-1982) was Henry Merritt’s mother. This recipe was found in an autograph book. The owner of the book and the date are unknown but the owner chose to have her friends write recipes instead of the usual poem or other sentiment.

In case you have difficulty reading the original:

Maple Parfait

4 eggs
1 cup maple syrup
1 pint sweet cream
Beat eggs slightly. Pour on slowly the hot syrup. Cook in double boiler until very thick, stirring constantly.

Strain, cool and add the cream, beaten stiff. Would pack in ice with salt. Let stand 3 hours.                            Della M. D. Merritt

Undated News Clipping

It is safe to say that our western friends, who for many years have depended on this town for their maple sugar, will look in vain for it this year. A large number of the maple orchards have been ruined by the forest caterpillars, and been cut into stove wood. Farmers, who have had in years gone by from one to two tons of sugar, or its equivalent in syrup, for New England and western friends, will have little, if any, for their own use. More than this, the season for sugar making is getting late, and still the snow’s reported from 3 to 4 feet deep in the woods. We doubt very much if there will be honest syrup made to run the usual number of church socials. The truth is, sugar-making has become a lost art, where, a few years ago, it furnished our farmers with a source of no inconsiderable income.

Reprinted from the March 2007 Hartland Historical Society Newsletter