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The Hartland Historical Society is sometimes asked to provide a photograph for the annual Town Report. This year’s cover created interest among people of a certain age who grew up in town. It was a 1950 picture of the 1st and 2nd grades on the Three Corners School’s front steps. The names of the students were not included, but it seems many from that era went to work identifying their classmates. We now have a nearly complete list of the 44 students in the photo. There are no teachers in the photo.
I’m a little younger than the ones on the cover, but I know some of them. The cover prompted us to reminisce about school in those days, with one teacher, almost always a woman, in charge of 25 to 30 students, teaching, maintaining order, and meting out punishment. When I was talking with one of those in the photo, he asked if I had checked the staffing level at the present K–8 school. The Town Report, of course, has two sections, the Town and the School. Both give very detailed accounting of their operations. By my count, our K–8 school has about 60 staff for just under 300 students, about the same number we had for Grades 1–8 in the 1950s.
That cover has inspired me to start writing about Hartland in the ’50s. The decade has long been considered a golden era of happiness and prosperity when we saw significant economic growth. Europe and the Asian nations that participated in World War II were beaten down; everything was made in the U.S.A. Some people today would be quick to point out that the ’50s weren’t great for the large black minority in the country. Certainly true, but Vermont and much of Northern New England was nearly 100% white. There were also some poor families in town throughout the ’50s.
Hartland then had been slowly reversing a hundred-year trend of losing population. When men returned from WWII, they found good jobs, and they married. Couples started families, built or bought new houses, bought new cars, and even took vacations. I saw it happening as a young Baby Boomer. The Baby Boom was one of the most momentous demographic eras in American history. Baby Boomers still represent a large segment of the population in the country, certainly in Vermont, which along with Maine has the oldest population in the U.S.
The ’50s did get off to a bad start. Hartland men too young to serve in WWII were now being drafted for yet another war. After WWII, the U.S. and Russia partitioned the Korean peninsula. In June of 1950, the communist North invaded South Korea. A U.N. force consisting of mostly American troops pushed the communists out of the South and right up the peninsula toward the Chinese border. Alarmed, China sent 250,000 troops into the fray, making the U.N. forces retreat a very costly running battle. There was a two-year stalemate until an armistice was signed in July of 1953. Thirty-six thousand Americans died in the brief Korean War.
We at the Hartland Historical Society have a well-documented history of Hartland in the 1950s. Herb Ogden started publishing his Hartland News in February of 1952. After looking through several issues, I couldn’t help but think how much the topics resemble those on our modern List-Serv–for example, people then second-guessed the Selectmen or School Board, or complained about the condition of their roads, or wondered when they would be plowed. There was even discussion about gender issues and the effect of modern media on children. The one all-consuming challenge facing the Town was what to do about the schools. As the Baby Boomers added to the population in the ’50s, everyone knew something drastic needed to be done and that a lot of money would have to be spent. There were many proposals and countless meetings.
Hartland News – February 23
By Saturday night the great storm of the 17th had been licked. It took 85 hours of plowing by the three plow trucks and the bulldozer. Road Commissioner Harold Barbour had no estimate of the cost of the storm other than labor at $1/hour came to $595.
Osmer ran short of hay, but he only buys one bale at a time and will know better next time. Milk piled up at several farms: C. Best had 18 cans, D. Hoisington had 16, and F. Richardson got his out to the road by horse and stone boat. People living on some dead end stubs and remote stretches wondered when they would be plowed as the plows went by on the main road. John Bowley called Road Commissioner Barbour to task: “I live on a 1/2 –mile stub off from Hartland Hill Road and did not get plowed out until nine days after the storm.” Barbour apologized.
Flood Control Legislation from Vermont, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts has formed a Connecticut River Flood Control Compact. Some 10 reservoir sites will be set up in the headwater states. North Hartland is one of them. Communities involved will be recompensated by Massachusetts and Connecticut for loss of taxable property.
April, 4, 1952
SUGARING OPENS UP WITH SNOW HORSEBELLY DEEP
Thin Sap, Fancy Syrup, Snowshoe Gathering Mark New Season. Sugaring began here March 10th when Lyman, Maxfield and Rockwood began setting buckets. M. Adams started his floundering three days later. At least 15,000 buckets are hung in Hartland. There was no real sap run until the 17th – one day after the opening of the two-week “new moon in March” period. This is traditional sugar time and also when hard cider should be bottled.
While most struggled to gather on snowshoes in deep snow, Mesdames Minnes and Rudolph grinned and relaxed while their new tree-to-tree arch pipeline, from some 650 trees, ran full pipe. Most syrup made in Hartland is sold at retail, around $6 a gallon.
Armed Services – Brothers Lawrence and Richard Davis entered the Army and Navy respectively. A third brother, Corporal Robert Davis, is stationed at Fort Drum, N.Y. Pfc Avery Howe has received a medical discharge on account of stomach ulcers. He now works at Cones.
April 16, 1952
Selectmen postponed appointing two new Special School Committee members. Ogden, a member of the Committee, said if they put any more women on the Committee, they would have to replace him as well. Ogden said that mixed committees on basic problems do not cut much ice. Men and women reach their conclusions by basically different methods. Men hesitate to speak freely on such committees and at a showdown men are inclined to be too polite. Chairman Bradley asked “What’s the matter, Herbert, don’t you like working with women?” Persis Stillson, the only woman present, said “He just doesn’t like women, period!” As Editor of the paper, Ogden added: “(She exaggerated somewhat.)”
June 12, 1952
Present at the June 12th Selectmen’s meeting were Dean Bradley, Everett Miller, Kendall Adams, Phil Royce, Jim Howland, 2 public
There was discussion of the Mace Hill incident of that afternoon and the sewage disposal problem at a new house in Four Corners. Work is going forward on proceedings to get some 10 little-used roads either thrown up or designated as trails. No business of any consequence was transacted. No date was set for the next meeting.
Ground broken for new fire station alongside Town garage
Steven Lobdell and Conrad Hoisington have formed a hay-baling partnership. They bought (on time, naturally) a new Turner baler at the start of haying and have been right out straight since. It’s a big, impatient, snorting rig with a capacity up to 8 tons an hour. With rakes, mowers, trailers, and tractors, they will put some $6,750 worth of machinery on a man’s hayfield for the prevailing rate of 16¢ a bale. They also do miscellaneous tractor work and Steve has added chain sawing to his list.
Hartland’s Most Remote Dwelling . The house, marked “camp” on the highway map, and barn are both small and homemade, but uncommonly neat and orderly. The garden, including asparagus and strawberries, is well-cared for. Leon Bettis, about 50 years old, and William, about 80, live there, approximately a mile off the Muskrat Hollow Road on Densmore Hill (now Creampot Road which has 30 houses). The road is in poor shape, good only for Jeep or truck. They have no car, but one horse. Leon hikes to South Woodstock for groceries, but William seldom leaves the place. He receives old-age assistance and does what he can around the farm. Leon does the heavy work. They have 20 cords of solid maple wood for sale, waiting only on someone with a truck to come get it.
There is more to tell, but I did not want to be nosey. The impressive thing is that they live way off from nowhere, on very little, yet do their work, maintain their self-respect and keep their place clean and right.
In the course of her work at HHS, Pip Parker came across this interesting (and amusing) newspaper article. The punctuation, italics and spellings are as the original.
Hartland, VT 1877
A little excitement happened in District No 6 in April. Mr. Sumner T. Lull who lives on the Cady farm, received from the hotel des tramps in Windsor, a lad named Charles Baker, about 15 years of age, to assist him on his farm. About two weeks ago they left him to go to church, when he went to Mr. Lull’s desk, and took about fifteen dollars in money, and what clothes Mr. Lull had furnished him, and left. When Mr. Lull came home he learned the boy had been missing about two hours, and immediately started in pursuit, toward Hartland, with Mr. Charles Wilder; at Hartland Four Corners, G.H. Thayer – who was not making soap – said he had seen the boy pass, as also did Mr. Albert B. Burk; Mr. Wilson Britton, Chairman of the Hartland Thief Detective Society, being busily engaged in his horse barn, did not see the boy pass. Mr. Lull then drove to the Pavilion Hotel, kept by Mr. R. L. Britton, who furnished him with a fresh horse, and also started with him in search of the boy, in company with Mr. Eli Shepherd, one of the Hartland detectives, they then proceeded up the track, on foot, eight or ten rods to Mr. Gilson’s cooper shop, when Mr. Britton becoming weary, returned, and as they came back to the depot they saw the boy who was immediately secured by Mr. Britton and Wilder. Upon searching him, the money was found secreted in a handkerchief around his body; after consultation, they delivered the boy to Mr. Lull, minus sixty-two cents, which “Roy” said was to go to the Detective Society. Now what does Mr. Lull do with the boy? Beat and pound him, as some wou’d suppose, from what they have heard on account of a little trouble he had with a contrary and ill-disposed prisoner? He took the boy home and kept him about a week, and gave him good Christian instruction, telling him the evil consequences of such things, which, from his former experience of rogues, he was capable of doing. The boy may find other homes, but none better than the one he had at Mr. Lull’s. We hope the boy may ever find as good friends as he found at Windsor.
Wilson Britton lived in the brick house across from the fire station. Pip’s father-in-law, Raymie Durphey, has lived there for many years.
In November 1913 as Hartland, Vermont was celebrating its 150th anniversary, The Vermonter magazine published an article by Nancy Darling entitled, “History and Anniversary of Hartland”. The following is a transcribed version of that article.
History and Anniversary of Hartland
But in 1901 Hartland voted to observe as an “old home week” August 11-17. Hundreds returned to the beautiful old town and brought a key to the past that can never be lost. This year it was voted that another old home wee be set apart for the s pecial observance of the one-hundred-and-fiftieth anniversary of the town’s settlement.
Before reviewing the literary program, the exhibit, and the street parade arranged by a committee for the principal day, Aug. 16, 1913, it will make the reading clearer to note a few of the local events that have occurred during the past century and a half.
According to record, the first English name given to that territory west of the Connecticut River of which Hartland forms a part was “Laconia,” the charter name of Charles I’s grant to Capt. John Mason and Sir Ferdinando Gorges in 1622, under the jurisdiction of Massachusetts. Laconia, as Sir Ferdinando dreamed it, was to be a great kingdom, and the glorious banner of his family was to gather beneath its folds, both Cavaliers of the Church of England and Puritan Dissenters. The second name was “New Hampshire,” employed in the charter issued to Capt. Mason in 1629. This held until after 1749, when Benning Wentworth, Governor of the Province of New Hampshire, began to make concessions of lands west of the Connecticut River to persons wishing to settle there. Towns chartered by Gov. Wentworth soon became known as “New Hampshire Grants,” and these, repatented by New York almost immediately, were often referred to as “The New York Claims.”
Just when the first white man visited the region now called Hartland none can say; but, in 1704, a band of French and Indians traversed it on their way to and from Deerfield, Mass. As the eastern limits of the territory bordered the Connecticut River, it was a natural thoroughfare for both red men and white previous to the time of highways.
Old residents of Hartland have told the author about the Indians who formerly visited the Waterquechee Falls, now called Sumner’s, to listen to the roar of the waters and the sighing of the pines as the sounds echoed to them from Home Mt. in New Hampshire opposite, and how it was believed that the Great Spirit dwelt upon that mountain, where they held their councils and signaled by fire in the days of their undisturbed possession. At the base of Home Mt., south of the falls and near the river, is an Indian burying-ground, some say, where arrow-heads were gathered by the pioneers. A descendant of one of the first settlers near these falls tells of the tricks one of the white men of Hartland played, as: When the Indians came to sell their furs, this man would say that his foot weighed a certain amount and then balance the furs with his foot as it pleased him, and that, on being asked by the Indians how he obtained gunpowder, he told them that he planted it, and they buying some and planting but receiving no crops therefrom, became mightily incensed against him – so much so that he fled for his life.
At the close of the French and Indian War, some of the red men returned to Hartland to live with their families. There was a settlement of Indians at North Hartland, according to the late Mr. Paul Richardson, that was destroyed by the whites and whose chief turned and cursed the invaders of the place he was fleeing. Evidences of a settlement exist in the vicinity of the John Webster farm, where arrowheads have been found and a spherical stone a foot in diameter supposed to have been used for grinding corn and in crushing paint from a bed that is near. Mr. Daniel Webster has the stone now.
Indians formerly wintered near Fieldsville, and several persons living have heard the following tradition about one of them: Not long after the settlement of Hartland, an Indian used to pass annually through Fieldsville inquiring for a man by the name of Smith, and it was learned that “Capt.” Samuel Smith, who was born in 1757 and who served as one of Washington’s bodyguard, had, as an unthinking youth, come upon an Indian Papoose while out reconnoitering with other Minute Men near Bellows Falls. Carrying the babe up the river, they set it down near Waterquechee Falls, where it was found by the pursuing parents. The Indians learned that Smith was the culprit, and from that day sought to wreak their vengeance upon him. He made a home on “Smith Hill” in the “Weed District,” raising a family there, and so far as known, was never molested.
Miss Clarine Gallup remembers that when some Indians camped in the woods to the east, near the F. G. Spear place, a squaw named “Sophie Soisine” would come to her father’s house to sell baskets and ask for salt, and Mrs. T.A. Kneen recalls very vividly how, when she was a small child, a band of Indians dressed in buckskin filed into the great kitchen to the number of twelve or so and asked her father, Mr. Benjamin Carey, who lived on what had been the George Marsh place at the western limits of the town, if they might stay over night, and how they arranged themselves on the floor in a semi-circle with their feet to the fireplace, while her father, when he went up stairs to bed, placed an axe beside the door of his sleeping room. Until about the middle of the last century, there lived, on that part of the Carey farm now known as the “Eshqua Bog,” a squaw and her papoose, in a bark wigwam covered with hemlock boughs. Mr. C. E. Darling of Hartland remembers her, and Dr. S.E. Darling of Hardwick, Vt., remembers hearing his father tell of seeing the brave who lived with her. She used to weave ash baskets to sell to the neighbors and was always pleased to have people say a good word for her little one.
“Everyone love my baby” she would answer smilingly to the compliments.
Near the Burk schoolhouse at the Four Corners, and Indian hatchet was ploughed up by Mr. George Jenne; while Mr. A. J. Stevens has several arrow points, an iron needle made for sewing skins, some grinding stones, and other things picked up by the spring on the Isaac Stevens land. The Indians liked the water of this spring especially well, and some of their families lived near it. Mr. Joseph Livermore, who came to Hartland with his father in 1797, used to tell of some Indians, two in particular, that would cross over near his home to a pine ridge and return with lead ore that was nearly pure from which they made bullets in those days.
On the Isaac Stevens plantation, which included at one time about 1800 acres, both silver and gold, as well as the lead which the Indians used, have been reported as found in small quantities.
In certain nearby towns refuge cellars were built in the fields to afford protection against the savages in cases of raids; but the author knows of only one cellar in Hartland that might have been used as such. It is firmly walled, roofed by a great stone slab, and would shelter half a dozen persons. This cellar is on the old James Dennison or D.F. Morgan place in “District No. 9,” and is very near “Sky Farm.”
Hartland Minute Men were called upon several times to go to the relief of places attacked by Indians – Bernard, Royalton, etc.; but, in those cases, the Indians were mostly from Canada. The local bands gave very little trouble, being remembered with friendliness rather than with fear. William Symes Ashley, Asa Wright, and Moses Webster are the soldiers that went to Barnard, and Hartland rewarded them in money, as is shown by an entry in the town clerk’s book for 1780 – Voted “ * * that we will ensure to three Soldiers their pay of 20s pr month.”
At the time when Gov. Wentworth gave the charter, Hartland was an unbroken wilderness. Probably no white man had then cultivated its soil, though two years later Timothy Lull found a log cabin on Lull Brook sufficiently livable for himself and his family. The “Plantation:” of Hertford was granted by the “Trusty and Well-beloved Benning Wentworth” in the name of George the Third, “By the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, etc., etc.” to “our Loving Subjects and Inhabitants of Our said Province of New Hampshire, etc.” – to be divided to and amongst them into Seventy-one equal Shares.” The names of the grantees of Hertford in the New Hampshire charter are:
Samuel Hunt, Ebenezer Harvey, Thomas Chamberlain, Benjamin Taylor, Andrew Gardner, Andrew Powers, Joseph Lord, Joseph Willard, Enoch Hall, John Hunt, John Hubbard, Jacob Foul, Thomas Taylor, Aaron Hosmorre, John Hastings Junr., Jonathan Hunt, William Symonds, William Nutting, Samuel Minot, Moses Wright, Wilder Willard, Caleb Strong, Sampson Willard, Phineas Waite, Lucius Dolitle, Zadcock Wright, Thomas Chamberlain Junr., Michael Gellson, Levi Willard, Elisha Harding, William Willard, Amasa Wright, Daniel Shattuck, Amos Tute, Joseph Burt, Nathan Willard, Uriah Morse, John Harwood, Daniel Sargent, Willard, Stevens, Fairbanks Moore, James Nevin Esq., Wm. Moulton, Wm Earle Treadwell, George March, Benning Wentworth, Timothy Porter, Oliver WIllard, Howard Henderson, Samll Wentworth, Boston, Clement March Esq., George Waldron, John Trasker Esq., Ebenezr Hinsdale, Elisha Hunt, Nathaniel Foulsom, Jonathan Blanchard, Richard Wibird Esq., Elizr Russell, Henry Hilton, John Goffe Esq., Majr. John Wentworth.
The shares included two for “His Exellency,” or 500A.; one for the “Incorporated Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts;” one, for a “Glebe for the Church of England;”
one for the “first Settled Minister of the Gospel,” and one for the “Benefit of A School in Said Town.”
The first town Meeting, or meeting of the “Proprietors,” provided for by the charter, ****Can’t read bottom of left and right columns of page 223.*** grantee, of whom there were sixty-five, his heirs, or assigns, was to cultivate five acres out of every fifty during the first five years. All pine trees fit for masting the royal navy were to be preserved and non such cut without special license. A tract of land near the centre of the town was to be marked out for town lots, one acre to each grantee, and the rent was to be, for each lot, one ear of Indian corn paid each year on Christmas day for ten years, if demanded. After ten years, one shilling was to be paid for each hundred acres owned, settled, or possessed “yearly and for every Year forever.”
As soon as there were fifty families, “resident and settled,” the townspeople were to be allowed two fairs annually and a market “opened and kept one or more Days in each Week.”
A drawing of the map which accompanied the charter shows that Benning Wentworth’s lot was in the north-eastern corner ****Can’t read bottom of left and right columns of page 223.***
forming a square. A part of this land is now in the possession of Mr. Howard Miller of North Hartland and is always referred to as “The Governor’s Meadow.”
The lot for the propagation of the gospel in foreign parts was in the south-western part of the town near Hon. Henry Walker’s farm at South Woodstock. The following list shows the names of those taxed by the Episcopal Church in early days and in the present year on lands leased them by the “Propagation Society:”
Alfred Bell novo Mrs. Oliver Kingsley
Oliver Bailey novo Mrs. Oliver Kingsley
Samuel Weeden novo Mrs. Oliver Kingsley
Amos Ralph novo Ralph Jaquith
Oliver Bailey novo Mrs. A. P. Dinsmore
Holt. Ralph H. Slayton novo Julius Gamling
Henry Rood novo M. J. Holt
The taxes are paid to Mr. Frederick Chapman of Woodstock. The glebe is leased in sections for school purposes, and the following Hartland persons pay school taxes on them this year to the town treasurer: Mrs. A. L. Dunsmoor, John D. Rogers, Martha Crandall, O. C. Watson, E. A. Kinsley, and Frank Sawyer.
No church was built in accordance with the plans of the N. H. charter. The proprietor’s map shows that school land was to be reserved on “The Plain,” and there a schoolhouse may have been built; for, in 1789, the town clerk used this phrase, “at the notch of the road in the south part of the town where the schoolhouse was formerly built.”
It is probable that Oliver Willard notified the proprietors of the first meeting in August, 1761, as provided by the charter; for his warning of a similar meeting in 1763, the oldest document, except perhaps the map, among the records of Hartland, implies previous meetings.
The warning reads:
“Province of New Hampshire, february ye 21st, 1763 — Whereas aplication hath this Day been made to me the Subscriber Clerk of the Proprietors of Hertford By more than one Sixteenth part of the Proprietors of the Said township Desiring me to notify and call a meeting of the aforesaid proprietors to meet at the Dwelling house of Capt. Oliver Willard In Hertford In the aforesaid province on the fifteenth day of March next which day Is our annual meeting and to meet at one O’clock In the afternoon To act and vote on the following articles – viz. – 1st to chose a moderator 2ly to chose a Proprietor’s Clerk 3dly to Se Iff the proprietors wil Raise a sum of money for to defray the charge of making of Roads and other contingent charges that Shall or may arise In said town 4thly to chuse assessors to assess the Same 5thly to chuse a collector 6thly to chuse a treasurer 7thly to chuse a committee to Settle accounts with the Clark treasurer and Collector and pass accounts 8thly to Se If they will buy a proprietor’s Book 9thly to chuse a committey to lay out roads In said town and to git them made. This is to notify the Proprietors of Hertford To meet at time and place above mentioned.
Ovr Willard propr Clerk”
On the back of the paper is the title – “Notification Hertford, February 21, 1763.”
The law then requiring that there be settlers owning land in a town sufficient to equal one-sixteenth of the number of shares granted before a meeting of the proprietors be held in that town, it follows from the above warning that there were in February 1763, at least four actual settlers within the limits of Hertford. Oliver Willard himself is known to have come to Hartland to live in 1763. He had a house at North Hartland where a meeting could be held as early as the date of the notification, – all of which disturbs the ordinary statement that Timothy Lull, the first settler, came to Hartland in May, 1763. It has always been said that he came with his family in May, 1763, and the tradition is persistent that he was the first settler. The conclusion is therefore that he came a year or two earlier, without his family, and waited for witnesses to the christening of Lull Brook and the breaking of the famous flask as they entered the mouth of the stream in a canoe. Mr. B. P. Ruggles, the antiquarian, has copied a statement that illuminates this question, from Timothy Lull’s tombstone in the cemetery on “The Plain.” It is contained in the inscription and reads, “He was the first settler on Connecticut River above Charlestown No. 4.”
Another quotation, sent by Mr. H. G. Rugg of Hanover, N. H. confirms this. It is taken from The Washingtonian (Windsor, Vt.)
Monday, September 16, 1811.
Died, – At Hartland, on Tuesday last, Capt. Timothy Lull, aged 81. He was an industrious, enterprising, worthy citizen, and the first settler on Connecticut River, between Charlestown (No. 4) and the upper Coos. He has left a numerous and respectable family of children, grand-children, and great-grand-children, amounting in all to 103, to lament his loss.
If tombstones may be believed, there was another settler in Hartland in 1762. Mr. George M. Rood, one of the selectmen of Woodstock and a relative of the pioneer, sends the following inscription from his tombstone: “In memory of Mr. Thomas Park Rood, who died October 10th A.D. 1795 Aged 63 years. He moved to Hartland in 1762, one of the first settlers, bore the brunt of a new, uncultivated wilderness, lived to see five of his tender offspring taken by death, one only left to set this stone.
Behold and see as you pass by,
As you are now so once was I,
As I am now so you must be;
Prepare yourself to follow me.
Mr. G. M. Rood adds this note, “The house now standing on the Old Thomas Park Rood farm was built by Thomas, son of Henry Rood, in 1797. The barn was built by Thomas Park Rood, is 44×44 feet square and all Red Elm timber and not a spliced stick in it. The first house on the farm was a log one built on the south side of the road that runs through the land and built by Thomas Park Rood, probably the same year he came to Hartland.”
Col. Oliver Willard’s name does honor to the list of Hartland’s pioneers, for he was a lawyer of distinguished abilities, a large land-owner, and a man of influence among the statesman of his day. He was descended from celebrated ancestors, his grandfather having been Major Simon Willard, the “Indian Fighter,” who came to New England in 1634, and his father, Col. Josiah Willard of Fort Dummer.
On the original proprietors’ map are some lots marked near the North Hartland section with the names – Spooner, Hunt, Richardson, Lee, and Taylor, and it may be that some of these men took up ladn as soon as the charter was granted in 1761. On the map copied from the aforesaid by Caleb Willard in 1789, four lots are marked in the North Hartland section and named – “No. 1, Uriah Morss;” “No. 2, William Willard;” “No. 3, — Wait;” and “No. 4, Nathll Fulsom.”
The King’s pines in Hartland were of great value, covering as they did “The Plains” and a large portion of North Hartland. One of them is still standing behind Mr. Daniel Webster’s house. A timber in this house made from one of the royal pines is 8 in. square and 55 ft. long, and it was 62 ft. long before being cut off. Mr. C. C. Spalding says that on the Frank Whittaker place at North Hartland are red pine rails, still sound, that were split on the day of the Battle of Bnker Hill.
It is proabale that the “Center of the Town” was never marked out for one acre, lots; and as to the paying of a yearly rent of Indian corn at Christmas and having “two fairs and a market,” no one living in Hartland ever heard so much as a suggestion of them.
The long controversy that arose respecting the “New York Claims” is admirably set forth in an address by the Hon. Gilbert A. Davis given at Hartland’s recent celebration and published at Windsor, Vt. in a pamphlet styled “Hartland Anniversary, Aug. 15, 1913,” and is therefore omitted from this sketch, which aims to include unpublished matter mainly.
Doubtless the reason for Hertford’s having so little serious trouble with New York lay in the fact that Col. Oliver Willard was in great favor with that state; therefore the New Hampshire charter, in which he had been a grantee and had appointed moderator for the proprietors’ first meeting, was readily confirmed by New York and was recorded in the auditor-general’s office July 25, 1766. The New York charter was granted by Gov. Cadwallader Colden to Oliver Willard and his associates – Samuel Hunt, Joseph Willard, Zur Evans, William Syms, Zadock Wright, Amasa Wright, Lucius Dolittle, Jonathan Hunt, John Laiton, Experience Davis, Thankfull Willard, Daniel Goldsmith, Obadiah Wells, George Hopson, Henry Beekman, John De Peyster, Junior, John Stout, Benjamin Stout, James Wessek, Joel Matthews, James Harwood, Thomas Taylor, John Hastings, Junior, and John Stevens. “All this aforesaid large Tract or parcel of Land set out, abutted, bounded, and described by our said Commissioners in Manner and form as above mentioned. Except the said Tract of Land (100 A. from the southern end of Hart Island north, etc.) granted to the said (Lieut.) Thomas Etherington as aforesaid, but including all the afore mentioned several smaller Tracts or Lots of Land set out and described by our said Commissioners as parts and parcels thereof containing in the whole Twenty-four Thousand two Hundred Acres of Land besides the usual Allowance for Highways.”
Further exceptions were made of “All Mines of Gold and Silver;” but, in the main, the grant was much like that of Gov. Wentworth. The number of acres mentioned in the first charter is 26,000; but surveys and the setting off of a portion to Hartford in running the line has reduced the acreage.
In the Hartland records, which are full and perfectly legible from the earliest days to the present, Oliver Willard appears as moderator of the first town meeting, March 19, 1767, and as the first formally elected town clerk March 19, 1769. This is a list of the town clerks up to the present: Oliver Willard, 1769; William Symes, 1770; Joel Matthews, 1771-72; Zadock Wright, 1773-76; Paul Spooner, 1777-80; Elias Weld, 1781-89; Oliver Gallup, 1790-96; Stephen Maine, 1797; Marston Cabot, 1798; Daniel Breck, 1799-1812; Eliakim Spooner, 1813-16; Daniel Ashley, 1817-19; Ira Person, 1820-21; Daniel Ashley, 1822-27; Sylvester Marcy, 1828-30; Theophilus Hait, 1831; John S. Marcy, 1832-35; David W. Wells, 1836; Dustin Bates, 1837; Eben M. Stocker, 1838-54; Henry Shedd, 1855; John Colby, 1856-57; Albert B. Burk 1858-77; Wilber R. Sturevant 1878-1913.
Early town meetings were held at various places, at William Gallup’s in the northern part of the town, Isaac Steven’s hotel at what is now Hartland, Joseph Grow’s house at the centre of the town, the old union meeting house, etc. Later meetings were held in the basement of the Methodist church and finally in the arsenal at the Four Corners, where they are still held. The town clerk’s office has generally been either at his home or his place of business.
Mr Sturtevant, the present clerk, has indexed the books, including the land records.
Oliver Willard having secured Hertford’s rights temporarily, proceeded to buy out the grantees by two separate transactions, which conveyed the whole town practically to him. He then continued the settlers in their holdings and deeded a tract of 8,200 acres in the south-western part of town to William Smith, Jr., Thomas Smith, Whitehead Hicks, and Nicholas William Stuyvesant, all prominent in New York City, for £800 or about $4,000. These four men purchased for speculation simply; but the lands of Whitehead Hicks and Nicholas William Stuyvesant were confiscated “for treasonable conduct in joining with our enemies.” William Smith, who became Chief Justice of Quebec and who had deeded lands to the pioneers, transferred his share of 2,000 acres to Benaja Child of Pomfret, who, in tern, made a satisfactory agreement with the following settlers in 1789: Samuel Healey, Ebenezer Holbrook, Samuel Williams, Timothy Grow, Ebenezer Allen, Jesse Peek, Joseph Marsh, and Melvin Cotton. The Smiths are always referred to with respect.
The years following immediately upon Vermont’s declaration of independence, in 1777, were years of settlement in Hertford, 1778 being the date of the first deeds recorded in the “First Book of Deeds.” Meantime the town was contributing an active share in resisting the invasion of savages, in applying the laws of the new state, and in drilling, arming and fighting against New York presumption and British tyranny. In 1778 the “Green Mountain Boys” were organized, and probably nearly all of Hertford’s able-bodied men were among them, beside those already officers.
Even Quakers – or Friends – served in the Revolution, either here or elsewhere. These were excused from paying church taxes in Hartland and allowed to continue attending church in Woodstock in 1790. “As to the denomination called friends,” to quote from the town records, these were the names affixed to the release: Robert Anderson, Abner Brigham, Samuel Healy, Ebenr Paine, Ebenr Allyn, Joseph Marsh, Daniel Marsh, Roger Marsh, Seth Darling, William Anderson, Joseph Anderson, Abel Marsh, Roger Marsh, Benjn Marble, James N. Willard, Seta (?) Russell, Isiah Aldrich.
Among the active founders of the state of Vermont was Dr. Paul Spooner of Hartland. He was appointed clerk of the Cumberland County Convention Feb. 7, 1774, and, at that time, he, Esq. Burch and Jonathan Burk, all Hertford men, were voted as a “Standing Committee of Correspondence to Correspond with the Committee of Correspondence for the City of New York.” Paul Spooner helped to voice a protest against British taxation Oct. 19 1774, at Westminster, and when the Cumberland County Congress assumed the duties of a Committee of Safety, Nov. 21, 1775, Dr. Paul Spooner of Hertford and Major William Williams were chosen to represent the people of Cumberland (which included the present Windsor County) “in the honorable Provincial Congress, at the city of New York.” At the November meeting, Capt. Joel Matthews of Hertford was recommended to be commissioned “Second Major of the Upper Regiment.” He received the commission.
Dr. Spooner was re-elected as delegate to Congress, chosen sheriff of Cumberland County, was made deputy-secretary of the famous Vermont Council of Safety, and was one of those that signed the Constitution of Vermont, at the Windsor Convention, July 2-8, 1777. He was a member of the Governor’s Council for the new state until he was elected Lieutenant Governor, and was a judge of the Supreme Court of Vermont for many years.
Major Joel Matthews and Mr. William Gallup of Hertford were among the members that adopted the Constitution, and they had been among those who signed the revised Declaration of Rights. William Gallup, styled “Col.” on an old Hartland Map, was one of the members of the Convention that met at Dorset, Westminster, and Windsor. He assisted in framing the state Constitution, and was for a long time a member of the Legislature. Both he and Lieut. Gov. Spooner died in Hartland, and there they are buried. Jonathan Burk of Hertford was a member of the Committee of Safety and attended several of its meetings, but non of these following the formation of the state.
Hertford disapproved of including the New Hampshire towns east of the Connecticut River as part of the state of Vermont. There was a powerful coterie of political and military leaders in Hertford during the Revolution – one that would attract the attention of young Vermonters, if the truly great work which they did so modestly were understood. Paul Spooner, William Gallup, his son Oliver, and Col. Oliver Willard were jurists.
Mr. Dennis Flower’s brochure on “Hartland in the Revolutionary War” records a large number of soldiers sent forth by the town and names several officers who lived at North Hartland. Toward the close of those troublous times, Major General Roger Enos, while commanding all the military forces in Vermont from 1781 to 1791, lived in North Hartland. (The name of the town was changed from Hertford to Hartland in June, 1782.) Further, the house which he built, known as the “George Miller House” still stands near the Ferry.
The “Haldimand Correspondence” was well understood by General Enos, also probably by other Hartland men, and every permissible turn of diplomacy was employed to keep Britain at bay on the Canadian border while negotiations were pending for the admission of Vermont to statehood. General Enos was made a Freeman of Vermont in Hartland, and the clerk’s entry reads, “At a meeting of the Freemen of the Town of Hartland Septr the — 1782 General Roger Enos Took the Oath provided for the Freeman of the State of Vermont. Attest by Elias Weld Town Clerk.”
He was an Episcopalian, and with Maj. Gen. Benjamin Wait of Windsor, was influential in having the church of that faith built at North Hartland about 1790. This is now the oldest church in town.
General Enos represented Hartland in the General Assembly several times, while he was frequently moderator of meetings in his own town. The records show him as moderator of a meeting March 28, 1782, where it was voted to “Divide said Inhabitants into five Classes to raise the five Men Required for the Ensuing Campaign;” also at another, May 3, 1785, where “Mr. William Gallup was chosen to attend on a Committee * * * to Affix on a place for the County Public Buildings,” and where Mr. William Gallup and General Roger Enos were chosen by ballot as “Agents to attend the General Assembly to pursue a request to said Assembly to Establish New York Charter in said Town of Hartland.” General Enos was moderator when the selectman laid before the townspeople “the preambilating of the Line between the Town of Windsor & the Town of Hartland as performed November, the Twenty-first and Twenty-second past (1786).” (The line between Hartland and Hartford was run in 1778.)
At one of the meetings over which the General presided, Nov. 19, 1787, “It was proposed to Choose a Comtt to see how the Ammunition was disposed of that was delivered to Capt. Aaron Willard and others in the year 1777,” and the vote passed in the affirmative. Then it was voted that “the Selectmen of said Town and their Successors in office be appointed * * to look up the Ministry right and the School right (Episcopalian or Church of England);” also that the town be divided into school districts.
On Dec. 3, 1778, as the entry is in the records, a division of the town was made into nine (9) school districts – probably the first division, the account of which, with early names, is very interesting. Many years later the number of pupils in the following districts was reported thus: Districts: No. 1, 1803-77; No. 2, 1802-113; No. 3, (omitted always); No. 4, 1807-66; No. 5, 1801-54; No. 6, 1801-65; No. 7, 1803-49; No. 8, 1802-64; No. 9, 1803-56; No. 10, 1801-76; No. 11, 1802-40; No. 12, 1803-57; No. 14, 1803-40; No. 15, 1803-13; No. 16, 1802-24; No. 17, (reported for the first time), 1811-21; etc. In 1790 the number of pupils in Dist. No. 5 (North Hartland) was 90.
At the same meeting where the division of the town into school districts was decided, Dec. 3, 1778, it was voted to raise a tax of “one penny on the pound * * in Money or Wheat at three shillings the Bushel to defray the costs of charge against sd Town for Ammunition procured for the aforesaid Town by Capt. Abel Marsh of Hartford.”
Little is known in general about Revolutionary preparations in this section; but the common around the “Union Meeting House” at the centre of the town was one place where the “Minute Men” trained. Nor are there reminiscences of any moment about these brave
“Green Mountain Boys” At North Hartland, it is said that the mother of two sons who were at the Battle of Bunker Hill heard the roar of conflict there, and it is thought that she was Mrs. Evans, the mother of Joseph and Moses Evans, who were at the famous battle.
One officer, Liut. Samuel Bugbee, was retired by the town Sept. 7, 1790. Several soldiers who were with Gen. Stark at the Battle of Bennington rest in Hartland graves, and the best inscription on any soldier’s tombstone is that of Gardner Marcy, who lived in Fieldsville, Hartland and built the Colonial mansion from which Mr. Maxwell Evarts of Windsor obtained a rare fireplace. The inscription reads:
Gardner Marcy EsqBorn in Woodstock, Ct. 1837-75 In early life a patriot and defender of his country. Revered in his public and private stations : as a friend, true and faithful : as a husband, affectionately kind : as a parent, tender and beloved : as a man, honest.
There are nine grandsons and granddaughters of the Revolution living in Hartland, all descended from Hartland men: Grandsons: Messrs. Wm. J. Allen, Wm. W. Bagley, J. F. Colston, Charles E. Darling, Elbridge Gates, Albert E. Gilson, H. A. Gilson, L. J. M. Marcy, and Andrew J. Stevens; Granddaughters: Madames Louise Bugbee, Rosaline (Flower) Clifford, Adelaide Crosby, Eliza Shattuck, Frances M. Spear, Adaline Sturtevant, Louise M. Sturtevant, Mary A. (Hodgman) Thayer, and Miss Clarine Gallup.
There has been much discussion over the date of the building of the church at the centre of the town. Mr. W. R. Sturtevant thinks it was 1780. The author finds no exact statement to that effect, but references would confirm the date. For instance: In 1779 a committee was appointed by the town to “to fix a place for a meeting House spot,” and “The Centre” was chosen; also, “three acres of land or thereabouts” were accepted from Mr. Bugbee for a common. In that year it was voted to hire Mr. Martin Tuller “on Probation ten Sabbaths more and to pay him twenty shillings per day the old way,” the meeting places to be at Dr. Spooner’s barn and Col. Symes’ barn.
The Rev. Daniel Breck, who served as chaplain in the Continental Army and who has always been called the first “settled minister,” was living in Hertford in 1779, as is proven by the tax-list passed in to Mr. Elisha Gallup, the collector. It is written in Daniel Breck’s own hand and reads —
Hartland th 20 79 to 1 Pole 6 - 0 1 Horse 4 - 0 1 yeerling Colt 1 - 0 3 Cows 6 - 0 2'2 yeer olds 2 - 0 2 yeerlings 1 - 10 28 acres improved land 14 - 0 ------- A true list, £35 - 0 Daniel Breck
From the heading of this list, it would seem that the name “Hartland” was used before it was formally authorized in 1782.
Daniel Breck’s list suggests another, too good to be omitted, though it in no way concerns the church. It is:
“Capt.” Samuel Smith belonged to the “Troops of the Line” and served as one of Washington’s Life Guard on the Hudson after the attempts were made to capture the great patriot.
The church at the centre of the town was Congregational largely at first, and its oldest book begins: “Hertford 6 September 1779. This day the Church of Christ was gathered here in the presence of the Reverend Isiah Potter, David Tuller, and Pelantiah Chapin & Chose Elias Weld Moderator & Clerk. Members – Joseph Grow, Elias Weld, John Hendrick, Samuel Abbott, Zebulon Lee, George Back, Joseph Grow Junr, Abijah Lull, Hannah Hendrick, Rhoda Capen.”
Thus it is shown that a church spiritual existed in Hertford as early as 1779. Dec. 26, 1780, the town voted a salary to Mr. Nathaniel Merril of £30 annually the first three years, also “to set up a Dwelling House about 28 ft. square, one story, fine boards, clapboards and shingles.”
This may have been the one room in which Ebenezer Cotton, the choirmaster, lived later, with its chimney built outside and its Cotton children within named after all the letters of the alphabet.
At the town meeting held the first Tuesday in Sept., 1789, it was voted “to give the Rev. Daniel Breck a call to the work of the ministry in this town.” He accepted, and lived the remainder of his days, until 1838, in Hartland. Graven on his tombstone are the words – Mark the perfect man and behold the upright for the end of that man is peace.
Mrs. Adaline Sturtevant, ninety years of age, has always lived in Daniel Breck’s neighborhood, and Mrs Phylura (Harlow) Bond, now ninety-one years of age, knew Elder Breck and his family well. She says that “Rev. Father Breck” always wore at home a long black gown with scarlet facings. She remembers his children by the names – Samuel, Daniel, Hannah, Abba, Dolly, and Lucy. Elder Breck always drove about in a chaise.
It seems from the following paper of the Moses Webster collection that Pomfret’s revered missionary to the pioneers came to Hartland:
Received six shillings and eight pence of Moses Webster toward Mr. Aaron Hutchinson preaching last summer.
March 24, 1784 Paul Spooner.
In early days, Hartland was always reporting the laying out of roads, and there were, at least three named roads – the “Old Post Road” on the Connecticut River, of which there is a map; the “County Road,” from Windsor to Woodstock over the hills and passing through Fieldsville, and the “Windsor and Woodstock Turnpike,” which had two toll-gates – one near the Goodwin place and the other near the Hemenway place.
Readers may take an interest in a glimpse of an early family through this letter sent by Mrs. Jerome H. Eastman and written by Mrs. Jennie (Brown) Smith.
My Grandfather (Solomon Brown) brought his bride from Connecticut on a famous saddle horse, giving ease of motion to the rider, being sure-footed and most tough and enduring – the bride rode on a pillion – a padded cushion which had a platform stirrup. They brought all their household effects along with them in saddlebags; bread, jerked bear’s meat, ham and cheese furnished food for the journey. They could while crossing the State of Massachusetts buy corn of the farmers for their horse but after reaching the wild woods of Vermont they could find but little for their horse to eat so let him browse. Some of the way there was no path, the way was marked by trees a portion of the distance and by sight clearings of brush and thicket for the remainder. No stream was bridged, no hill was graded, and no marsh drained. The path led through woods which bore the mark of centuries and along the banks of streams that the seine had never dragged. Whenever they found a settlement they were always welcome to spend the night, but sometimes darkness closed around them before “they saw the Smoke that so gracefully curled” and the shrieks of the catamount and owl made life hideous. At last they reached Hartland in the spring of 1782. Grandfather came to Vermont with the pioneers in 1780, to clear the land and build a log cabin to make it possible to live amid the wilds of the Green Mountain State. They soon set their house in order and selected a hollow tree near by where they kept their best wearing apparel where it would be safe in case of fire.
In the early afternoon one pleasant July day, grandmother, in petticoat and loose gown, donned her log-cabin sunbonnet and went out to weed her flower bed. Looking up, she saw a young woman emerging through the woods, at the edge of the clearing: she left her flowers at once and ran to meet her; she was carrying in her arms a boy baby eight months old and a girl of three summers was following on behind. The woman was a neighbor, the wife of a settler who was clearing up the farm where Fillmore Benjamin now lives – she was coming to make the young bride a visit, so they spent the afternoon together making plans for the future. They had a 4 o’clock tea; for even in those primitive days, they thought it necessary to be fashionable. The neighbor started for home long before the sun had set behind the woody hills, and grandmother was to accompany her part of the way – when they had gone about half a mile they heard a terrible howling, and looking through the forest they saw two big bears and a cub making dead set at them; they just ran for dear life, and that was all they could do –
bruin soon caught up with them, and grabbing the baby with his savage teeth they soon devoured it while the women and little girl escaped unharmed. Some men near by who were burning logs started for the bears with a shot gun and killed one of them – the other left for parts unknown.
The men “burning logs” might have been doing so to make “salts” or soda, which, with corn, wheat, etc., was used as money. It seems that Spanish “milled dollars” and other denominations were used as current money, also English coins, Colonial, Continental, and State coins and “scrip.”
Hartland has counted many quaint characters among its citizens, but none more picturesque than Hadlock Marcy, Esq., the pioneer. He was born in Woodstock, Ct. in 1739, married a daughter of Rev. Abel Stiles in 1762, and came to Hartland early, where he died in 1821, forty-seven years after his wife passed away. He was a graduate of Yale College and could speak and write seven foreign languages. He was a lawyer and a traveling Baptist preacher, who always rode horseback except on Sundays, when he walked that his horse might rest. His genealogy says: “He was extensively known in Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Vermont.” He always dressed in black silk velvet made in Colonial style, with silver buckles. His grave is in Hartland Hill cemetery.
William Marcy, Esq., was a cousin of Hadlock Marcy’s, the father of Capt. Gardner Marcy, and the ancestor of all the Fieldsville Marcy’s — five different lines of families. In 1778 he came with his family in an ox-cart from Connecticut to Hartland – early enough to find Indian relics on Lull Brook. One that his son Levi found, buried deep in leaves and mould, is now in the possession of his great, great grandson Mr. Jason S. Darling. It is a perfectly preserved buffalo horn used for carrying powder, and is carved with a border of crosses, an Indian bearing a tomahawk and a scalp, and with the name “Mechil.”
William Marcy’s lot adjoined the lot “pitched by Tepe Dunham” before the days of deeds.
In those primitive times, almost every settler built him a log house preliminary to a better one, and Moses Webster, the Revolutionary soldier, is known to have made a bark house before he built his log cabin. One of the oldest fashioned and most curious cottage houses in Hartland is that occupied by Mr. Loreston Woodward, where the Jaquiths used to live, near the “Burk Stand.” It has a wall-bed space built into one side of the parlor, any number of queer cupboards, and is well worth visiting. Mr. H. H. Miller’s old house at the Four Corners is filled with rare Colonial china and other antiques; while Miss Clarine Gallup’s, an ancient farmhouse has perhaps the most varied collection of any in town – manuscripts, books, china, linen, a scarlet cloak, gowns, coats, ornaments, etc.
A very old cottage is that owned by Mr. B. P. Ruggles at Foundryville, long occupied by C. W. Warren. It is said by Mr. Napoleon Luce to be the oldest frame house standing in his day. Its small windows have four tiny panes in the upper portion and nine in the under; its ceilings are very low in the older parts, and its construction is curious. Some think that the Fred White house, built by Samuel Williams in 1782, is older than the Warren house. The Capt. Dodge house, opposite the Mill Gorge, is almost as early as these; while the Lamb house, below, near Windsor, built in 1793, has never been remodeled. The last is filled with rarely beautiful needlework done by Miss Harriet Lamb. The Gen. Roger Enos house at North Hartland must be contemporary with the oldest.
Many early houses show stone “warfings” on which flowers were grown.
Among the fine mansions is “Fairview,” once the home of Lieut. Gov. Spooner and later of Judge Cutts, now owned by the Elisha Gates and Charles C. Gates families. From its verandah, seven towns can be seen across the valley of the Connecticut River.
The “Conant House,” on the plain, was built by James Gilson, a soldier of the Revolution, considerably over a century ago, from bricks made on the ground, after the early custom. Its hand wrought timbers are fastened by wooden pins. The Judge Steele mansion was built by David Sumner, Esq., on the brow of a hill commanding views of river-valley and mountain. In its yard is much shrubbery; while in its Colonial hall, unoccupied, still hangs the family coat of arms.
There were many separate settlements early, each with its saw-mill, tavern, and blacksmith shop. Some settlements added a cider-mill. At North Hartland, there was a place where hand-made cloth was heckled with teasels, and there were two rope-walks, just why, the author does not know; but, as two sea-captains lived in town after the War of 1812 — Capt. James O’Hara and Capt. John Hammond, their influence may explain the matter.
From 1778 until about 1870, with some interruptions the June training of Hartland’s militia-men was an established feature of the town’s life, and the military reports of men equipped for service, previous to the War of 1812 are very numerous. The earliest report in the town records is dated 1808. The Webster family has the original documents of Capt. John Webster and of many other Captains but the author has never seen one of Capt. David Sumner’s Company — the one that served at Plattsburg. A surprising number of Hartland men prepared for the War of 1812.
A “Resolution” entered in one of the town books by Daniel Breck, town clerk, declares, “That we will never submit to foreign or domestic outrage. That we will do our utmost to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections,
& repel invasions, and to this end ‘praying the God of armies to make bare his arm’ we pledge our lives and Fortunes & our sacred honor.”
All the old flint-locks were brought out and they were many.
Only a few of those who actually went to war have been determined. Among them were: Messrs. Perkins Bagley, Thomas Bagley, Joseph Burk, Daniel Childs, Eldad French, Jonathan Hodgman, William Livermore, Joseph Livermore, Isaac Morgan, Sr., Isaac Morgan, Jr., and Dr. Friend Sturtevant.
A brief item accounts for three men thus:
Capt. Webster : We have enlisted 3 men out of your Company Hial Paul, Otis fish, Perez W. Gallup witch I return their names to you.
State of VT. To Hiel Paul Secy.
You are hereby ordered in the name and by the authority of the State of Vt. immediately to warn those persons whose names are hereunto annexed to meet on the company parade at Hartland meeting House on thursday the 2nd day of February next at 12 O’clock for the purpose of raising our proportion of one hundred thousand men according to an act of Congress and there wait for further orders, thereof fail not but a due return make of your doing thereon according to Law. Dated at Hartland this 23rd day of January 1809.
Consider Alexander, Captain.
Serj. Benjamin Campbell
Do Hiel Paul
Capt. Seth Tin(k?)um
Seth Wood Jr.
Benjamin Barron Jr.
Gideon G. Goodspeare
Samuel Healey Jr.
James H. Durrer
From the above it is apparent that definite preparations for a second war with Britain were being made in Hartland three years before the breaking out of hostilities. However, only a very few items on these preparations are recorded in the town books; but, of them, the following entered in the report of the town meeting of March 5, 1812 is of sime interest: the Freemen were asked to “act on … the article.
5th To build a Magazine for storing the towns stock of powder & lead and also to build a house for storing the Cannon and apparatus belonging to Capt. Dodge’s company.
In reviewing the accessible military returns of officers and men prepared by Hartland for the War of 1812, the author finds more than two hundred reported in the town records as equipped for service, apart from certain of those listed in Capt. John Webster papers. The Webster lists show about two hundred trained by Capt. Webster alone; but only a small part of these were fully equipped. If those partly equipped in other companies could be known, the list for the town would be very long; and, as it is, the names given represent nearly every Hartland family of early times.
The equipment required in Capt. Webster’s company was guns, cartridge boxes, bayonets, bayonet belts, priming wires, brushes, and flints.
The captains thuse far determined were: Capts. Consider Alenander, Andrew Dodge, Abel Farwell, Caleb Hendrick, Seth Limum (Lyman?), Levi Lull, Humphrey Rood Jr., David Sumner, and John Webster. Judge Luce once said of his neighbor, “If all men were like Caleb Hendrick (the Capt. of Artillery), there would be no use for poor-houses, jails, court houses, or prisons.” [A quotation from B. P. Ruggles’ “Hartland Sayings.”]
The liutenants were: Infantry– 1st Liuts. William Barrett, Charles Livermore, John Webster; 2d Liut. Simon P. Hoffman. Cavalry– 1st Liuts. Samuel Perkins, jr., Humphrey Rood, Daniel Smith; 2d Liut. Andrew Dodge. Artilery– Liuts. Andres Dodge, Simon P. Hoffman; Ishmael Tewksbury.
The sergeants were: Sergs. Daniel Ashley, Marston Cabot, Jr., Benj. Campbell, Ezra Child, Cyrus Cushman, John R. Densmore, Sam’l A. Fielding, Sam’l Healey, Jr., Simon P. Hoffman, George Latimer, Levi Lull, Dan’l Marsh, Hial Paul, Sullivan Rust, Frederick Sillsbury, Adin Spaulding, Alvan Taylor, Ishmael Tewksbury, John O. Willard, John V. Williams.
The corporals were: Corps. John Barrel, William Benton, Joseph Bryant, Jonathan Burk, George Cabot, Hugh Campbell, Lot C. Hodgman, Alexander Holton, George Latimer, Sullivan Marcy, Dan’l Marsh, George Miller, Amasa Richardson, Ruggles Spooner, Edward Swan, Alvan Taylor, Thomas Weeden.
The musicians were: Drummers — Joseph Amsden, Jacob Gillman, Adin Spaulding, Alvan Taylor, Spensor Tracey, John O. Willard,; Fifers — Elad Alexander, Elijah Alexander, William Dean, Elisha Rust; Cornetists — Humphrey Rood, Moses Tewksbury; Undefined — Josiah Glading, Noah Shepard.
Two minors are recorded as training in the Hartland militia — Joseph Dunbar and Frederick S. Gallup. Otis Fish, who was enlisted from Capt. Webster’s company, was one of the members of the “1st Company of Matross (?)” recorded June 23, 1813.
The companies trained in every section of Hartland, and they trained so often that the men and boys became thoroughly acquainted with each other and with the topography of their town &ndash. an attainment which would in itself justify universal military drill today. Among the places mentioned as parade grounds, in the military orders of Capt. Consider Alexander and Capt. John Webster, were those at Capt. Oliver Stevens’, Simon P. Hoffman’s, Samuel Taylor’s, Laban Webster’s and “Hartland Meeting House.”
Mrs. H. H. Miller has a scarlet coat and cap which were owned by the Weed family, used in the drills of the Hartland militia, and which are probably typical in style. Capt. Andrew Dodge’s scarlet coat is another of Hartland’s valued relics.
In the Albert Powers pasture, near the Woodstock line, is a large quartz rock by which a Hartland militia company is said to have camped while on its way to Plattsburgh during the War of 1812. This was the men’s first camp on their way out and was called, “The White Rock Camp.”
On Sept. 19, 1809, there was a Regimental Review of arms and exercise at Simon P. Hoffman’s.
Included in the First or “Hartland Regiment” were companies representing Hartland, Windsor, Hartford, and Norwich; and, in the autumn of 1814, these mustered at Woodstock for the famous review of the “1st Brigade, 4th Division of the Militia of Vermont.” Col. Consider Alexander was the commander of the First Regiment. A Hartland company of artillery and a Hartland squadron of cavalry, Humphrey Rood commander, were attached, with others, to the brigade.
Besides the men already named as serving in the War of 1812 from Hartland were: Daniel Bagley, Parker Bagley, Alfred Barrell, Phineas Barrell, Rufus Marcy, and Willard Marcy, Jr.
Mr. Leeuel Spooner, though not a Hartland soldier, was the last survivor of America’s last war with Britain whom the author remembers. He spoke at Woodstock one Fourth of July, and being very aged, he seemed like a battered oak of the forest as he rose in the audience; but he was sound at heart and he voiced a patriot’s soul, while everybody present applauded him roundly.
Mr. Perkins Bagley was Hartland’s last survivor of the War of American Seamen, and Isaac Morgan, Jr., who enlisted at the age of fourteen, was the next to the last. Mr. Mogan used to tell many anecdotes of battles in which local men engaged; but the author remembers only the orders at the battle of Niagara which were “Rush! Rush!” One of his neighbors remembers how, when he became excited in an argument, he would exclaim, “You know nothing about fighting! You know nothing about fighting! The Falls of Nigary and the Battle of Chippewa!” Sometimes he would say, “You know nothing about fighting! Ground arms!”
In looking through the Hartland records of events that occurred immediately before and soon after the War of 1812, one is surprised to find many “Warnings to Depart” issued against perfectly respectable heads of families who came to settle in town, to prevent their gaining a residence. The injustice of the law requiring such warnings was perceived by Vermonters after a time and the statute was repealed.
Some curious entries are those on the marks which were used by stock-raisers in distinguishing their cattle and sheep as:
David H. Sumner’s mark for cattle and sheep is a smooth Crop off the left Ear & a half penny under the right ear.
– Recorded June 6, 1814, by E. Spooner, Town Clerk.
John W. Cary’s Mark for Sheep is a swallow-tail in left ear & a half crop the under side of the right ear.
– Recorded January 18, 1823 by D. Ashley, Town Clerk.
Agricultural development followed the war, and Hartland became celebrated for its farming — for its live-stock, wool, and maple sugar.
For example, we read from an old letter: “Esq. Denison, as everybody called him, represented his town in the legislature — he was generally school committee in my early days and held various offices in town — his farm was one of the best cultivated in Windsor, Co. He kept a large dairy of the finest grades and hundreds of merino sheep roamed over his fertile pastures.”
Col. Denison, a soldier of the Revolution, settled very early on the place now owned by the descendants of Mr. Truman Slayton. He built first a log house, and its hearthstone and chimney still remain; then he built, in 1794, the present large farmhouse with its beautiful verandas. Here is a picture of Squire Denison and his wife: “He was very careful to give all his children a good education; Geo. W. was a prominent lawyer in St. Louis, Missouri. He was always very kind to the sick, would visit those in the neighborhood who were ill and see that they had proper care, would furnish watchers, and when they were convalescing would carry them dainties to tempt their appetites — would often dress a spring lamb or chicken or anything he thought would be strenghening to the patient. His good wife had the same kindly nature; not only would she carry the sick and poor dainties from her own table but would do sewing for them gratis. She was a very fine singer, would always sing in church and at funerals.”
In another letter occurs this description: “Ward Cotton was a well-to-do farmer, owning several good farms at the ‘middle of town.’ He always kept a fine herd of cows, but his money-making industry was raising for wool — keeping several hundred sheep — having a shepherd to watch and care for them as they roamed the green pastures. During the Civil War he sold his wool for a dollar a pound. He raised flax and to a certain extent manufactured his own cloth for family use. Mr. Cotton made a large amount of maple sugar, some years two thousand pounds or more. He used the old fashion wooden buckets for holding sap, and boiled it down in iron pans, in a large sugar house.”
In the early part of the nineteenth century Hartland led the county in the quality of its agricultural products, and often in modern times it has taken first prizes on “town teams” of oxen. The raising of sheep and cattle for market was an important industry here during the last century, and Squire Asa Weed was one of the prosperous farmers who sent “a drove” to Boston once or twice a year at least. His son Nathaniel continued the business and his grandson Nathaniel did the same.
“Blind French” was a successful drover who was generally known and liked.
On Jan. 11, 1845, Mr. Leonard H. Hamilton of New York City wrote to Luther Damon, Esq.: “I was very glad to hear so good account of my stock. I do not care how much they eat so they do not waste. Money is now worth in the street 9 to 12 per cent per annum. The Banks charge 6 per cent fo 60 day paper and over that time 7 pr. ct.”
Consequent upon the production of many cattle, sheep, etc., was the building of tanneries. Mr. Levi Marcy had a tannery early at Fieldsville; but he had a farm likewise, and, in common with nearly all the other heads of families, he went once or twice a winter to Boston with goods. He carried tanned leather, cheese, dried apple, beans, grains, dressed hogs, etc., bringing back West India goods, quintals of fish (cod, mackerel, salmon, herring) kegs of oysters, boxes of raisins, webs of cotton cloth, prints, etc., and a bladder of snuff for his aged mother. He used a “double sleigh,” Miss Helen Marcy, his granddaughter said, when he started from Hartland. He went to Windsor, Claremont, Newport, paying tolls often, crossed Sunapee Lake on the ice to New London, then drove to Nashua where he put up his span of horses. At Nashua, after trains were in use, he loaded his produce upon a car and went on to Boston by rail.
No one seems to know where the Joel Shurtleff tannery was, it was “so far back.” Mr. Joseph Morgan, son of James Morgan, the farmer, and grandson of Isaac Morgan, Sr., the pioneer, had one of the best farms for stock in West Hartland and the largest apple orchard in town. This farm and orchard have improved with time, and ar now owned by Mr. J. S. Darling. Mr. Morgan and his neighbors of the Elisha Gallup family produced excellent honey. The ladies of these two households were famous for their poultry, butter, and cheese, their fine needlework and paintings and for their old fashioned gardens containing herbs. Mr. Luther Damon had a beautiful farm on the opposite side of the town near Windsor. He mad many trips to Boston with produce, and the garden kept by Mrs. Damon and her descendants is one of the loveliest of its kind. The E. M. Goodwin and Henry Britton farms near by ar among the best of the meadow farms. The E. S. Ainsworth farm at “The Centre,” called “Cornbill” has on it one of the oldest local landmarks — the broken headstones of the graves of pioneers. The “Old Asa Taylor Farm” in North Hartland, now owned by Mr. Walter Wood, is on of the many in that section considered superior. Its farmhouse is of the oldest. The Dunbar farms, formerly the Gallup farms, are unsurpassed as corn lands; while the Daniels or Henry Dunbar farm is one of the best on the Connecticut River. On the Lamb farm was the “Hammond and Lamb Distillery.” The firm made cider brandy, rye whiskey, and other liquors, and the copper still is yet in the possession of the Lamb family. The author remembers hearing Mr. Daniel F. Morgan tell of the excellent potato whisky that used to be distilled on the Mackenzie farm in the Densmore District.
Broom corn was raised extensively by the farmers at one time, especially when the Healey family manufactured brooms and brushes. At the Dr. Harding place, silk culture was carried on, and a few of the mulberry trees survived until quite recently.
Shoemakers, tailors, tailoresses, and dressmakers long went from house to house plying their trade for their board and a few shillings a week. Certain erratic and simple persons have always lodged at will among the townspeople. Tin-peddlers have been an established feature of Hartland life, and to this day they perform an acceptable work in bartering their goods, for odds and ends. Everyone remembers “Tinker” Morrison, who mended clocks and tinware. He was a college educated man, silent and dignified, with a tall lank frame and a swarthy complexion. He had a family of excellent children. There have been several tin shops; also harness shops and shoe shops.
At both the Three Corners and the Four Corners was “The Harding Marble Shop” at different times. At Martinsville a man by the name of Zebina Spaulding made guns in a shop opposite “Martin’s Mill” on Lull Brook — shot guns and other fowling pieces. He was fatally shot by the accidental discharge of an old Windsor revolver. William Henry Lemmex, born in 1805, and “a gentleman of the old school,” as his biographer styled him, conducted a store and a mill in Hartland for fifteen years, beginning with 1829. The mill, called “The Lemmex Woolen Mill” stood by the Mill Gorge and near the site of the carding mill. Before the foundry building was used by Mr. Francis Gilbert, it had served as a woolen mill for the Sturtevant brothers when they began milling here, and around 1850 it was used by Frederick Sillsbury as a clothes pin factory. William Colston and James Petrie, British soldiers who settled in Hartland, were weavers. The former lived on the Charles O’Neill farm; the latter on the Albourne Lull farm. The “Petrie and Sturtevant Woolen Mill” was by the Mill Gorge.
For many years there was on Lull Brook a large “shop” built by Mr. Frederick English, the mechanical genius. Mr. Benjamin Livermore, the relative of Mr. English’s, invented “Livermore’s Permutation Typograph or Pocket Printing Machine” in 1857. It was described thus by The Boston Daily Traveler: “The polished steel case, which contains the apparatus, is five inches long, and two and a half inches broad, and one and a half inches thick. This contains the type, the ink, the paper, and the machinery. At one end of the case are six keys, on which the fingers of the operator play, as on a piano. The rapidity of the printing is about equal to that of writing with a pen, as most persons write. One would not believe all this possible beforehand, but when he is presented with a sentence legibly printed and undeniably printed then and there, he is no longer skeptical.” Several college professors wrote a good word for it, and William Lloyd Garrison closed his commendation with the words, “Success to whatever shall lessen toil and facilitate the action of the mind.”
Mr. Livermore invented also a cement pipe for conveying spring water, and it was manufactured on the old Joseph Dunbar or T. A. Kneen farm by Mr. Norman Dunbar. However, it proved of little value, as freezing cracked it. Sections of it, which are three or four inches in diameter may be seen at “Sky Farm,” used in borders for flower-beds.
Mr. A. J. Stevens says that, at the Four Corners, there was a saw mill, a hotel, and a store before there were any public buildings at the Tree Corners. Thomas Cobb’s saw-mill, on the brook west of the L. A. Shedd place, had a sash and blind shop connected with it at one time. Azro Burgett, the Hessian, was a wheelwright who had a shop near the Four Corners, and Mr. Gustavus Morey’s father had a similar shop. Mr. O. F. Hemenway had a carriage shop on one of the old Morey places, near the B. F. Hatch place, and west of the Four Corners two miles or so.
At present the oldest house in the village is thought to be that owned and occupied by Mr. and Mrs. J. A. Rich, formerly the home of the Rice sisters. It was originally a tavern and afterwards used for a store. The brick school house of today was the Stocker store, and it contained the town clerk’s office when Eben M. Stocker was town clerk. In recent years there has been added to the village a milk station and factory for either butter or cheese. It stands just west of the “Hayes House,” on the same side of the road and near the bridge. The building now used as a town hall was put up by Mr. Wesley Labaree who kept a store on the present Marcy store site and who built the watering trough near the Judge Luce place. It was made, some say, from the old dance hall that formed a part of the brick hotel that once stood on the corner near the town hall — one of the principal buildings at the Four Corners in 1822. For a while the town hall building was used as a clothes-pin factory. Two years it was used as a Lodge room for Hartland Masons. March 7, 1865 the town voted — “that the Selectmen procure a place for the Militia Company to drill in and keep Equipment in.” The hall built by Mr. Labaree was secured. The “Equipment” was stored there, and, in wet weather, the “Boys in Blue” drilled there. This year the Ladies’ Aid of the “West Parish” has bought a piano for the hall and has papered the upper room and pit it in order.
About a mile west of Hartland Four Corners, on the hill road to Woodstock, is the “Town Farm,” which was purchased of Mr. Jacob Tewksbury in the earl seventies of the last century by A. B. Burk, the town clerk, and Asa Weed, the selectman. Mr. Burk said, when he was making the purchase, “I want as good a farm as there is in town and I want it near the village.” The farm had previously been the home of Marston Cabot, the surveyor, — a brother of Francis Cabot, the large landholder. It had on it a spring of delicious water known as “The Cabot Spring.” The “Old Town Farm” was near Barron Hill, where the ancestors of the White Mountain “Hotel Kings” named Barron lived, and it was in the neighborhood of the farms of the pioneers—Solomon Brown and Timothy Grow. The original Solomon Brown farm is now the Jerome H. Eastman farm.
The town house was voted to be built in 1790 as a “work-house erected or procured in said Town for the reception correction (of) Idle mismanaging persons in sd Town,” and Samuel Williams, William Gallup, and Joseph Grow were elected a committee “to erect or provide said House.” A tax was voted “of one penny on the pound for the year 1790 to be paid into the Treasury by the 25th of December next in wheat at 12c per quart or other grain.”
After the house was burned, Mr. Oliver Brothers, as agent, sold the farm to Mr. Henry Dunbar, and it is now the property of his son, Mr. Teague Dunbar. The region of this farm is most picturesque and a favorite picnic ground for North Hartland people.
The Adventists built in 1902, under the influence largely of George WIlliams family, a little church on Barron Hill, and there services have been held much of the time since. The “Densmore Neighborhood” years ago was almost an Adventist settlement, and two ministers of that faith—Revs. Wells Hadley and Henry Holt, went from there.
About fifty years ago, there were many Spiritualists who took the waters at the “Spring House” in Fieldsville, and sometimes religious services would be held there attended by as many as two hundred Spiritualists. Now there are no such meetings in town.
In 1830, the Episcopal church at North Hartland was removed from its site on the George P. Eastman place to the present one, since which time it has been a true “Union Church.”
The Congregational church, built in 1834, and the Methodist church, built in 1839, are at Hartland Village. They have been remodeled and beautifully finished inside, and they are both doing good Christian work. East of the Congregational church is a beautiful cemetery.
Union services were held the day following the Anniversary Celebration, at the Universalist church at Hartland Four Corners, which Mrs. H. H. Miller describes thus: “An invitation was extended to the other Churches to unite in this ‘Old Home Service.’ They accepted, and the outcome was one of the finest services ever held in the church. Revs. Hill and Parker, from the other Churches, Mr. and Mrs. Barney assisting in the service. The sermon was given by Ref. Stanley G. Spear and was very interesting, being of a reminiscent nature. There was a splendid choir with all the singers from the other Churches, Mrs. Alice (Sturtevant) Wills at the organ. Solos were rendered by Misses Minnie Barbour, and Florence M. Sturtevant of Hartford, Conn., while the Centennial Hymn composed by Mr. Sturtevant for our Church Centennial was used. The congregation was very large.”
In 1828, Sumner’s Village or the Three Corners was laid out by the selectman — Stephen Paine, Asa Weed, and Alvin Taylor, according to the “Village Law,” and became Hartland Village. Of this place Mr. W. R. Sturtevant spoke thus in his historical address given at the Anniversary Celebration: “The first store was built near the site of the old Pound on the Quechee road and was kept by Johnny R. Gibson, and Jacob Dimick, late a highly respected citizen of Hartford, Vt., who kept a store in Quechee VIllage, was his clerk. The first schoolhouse was built here and the second at Hartland Village half way up the hill on the place lately occupied by B. F. Labaree. It was of brick and was heated by a fireplace, in one end of which was kept a bunch of withes, with which the master used to chastize unruly boys. They were kept there for the purpose of keeping them dry so when they were used they would cut more smartly than if green. The hotel, the old Congregational Parsonage House are (among) the oldest houses in this vicinity. The hotel was built by Isaac Stevens, grandfather of the present generation at Hartland. He was a soldier of the Revolution, enlisted Nov., 26, 1775. He owned a large portion of the land in this vicinity. The hotel was occupied certainly as early as 1804, for my grandfather stopped there then on his way to Woodstock from Pittsfield, Mass. My grandmother told me at that time the country west of the hotel was covered with a heavy growth of pine timber. The road to Hartland 4 Corners led out of the village by the Quechee road and veered west near the site of the old Pound and came into the present road near the large elm tree opposite the Barbour place. This elm tree stands on the corner of one of the 100 acre lots as originally laid out. It is related that the late Daniel Ashley, when a boy, while at work in a field near by, hung his jacked in the fork of this tre whidch is now 40 feet or more from the ground.”
Daniel Ashley afterwards owned the present Guy Graham place and had extensive brickworks there.
Mr. F. C. Sturtevant, in his Anniversary address on “Quaint Characters of Hartland” said of the old hotel, “I remember when the stage, with from four to six horses, would come thundering into town with a toot of the horn and a crack of the whiplash and pull up to the Merritt’s Pavilion (Lewis Merritt’s), change horses, all passengers go into the bar-room and get a good drink of Santa Cruz rum and then continue the journey.”
The “Old Road” at Hartland Village followed along by Lull Brook in very early times, Mr. A. J. Stevens says, instead of turning across the bridge at the head of Mill Gorge. This was probably before the Stevens hotel was build and in the days of Lull Tavern.
Mr. Pliny Smith, whose family were notoriously fine singers, drove the stage from Hartland to South Woodstock by way of the “Burk Tavern Stand” for many years.
Mr. W. H. Gilds now comes into the village as the Hartland “Rural Free Delivery Carrier.” Mrs. Giles is a descendant of Noah Aldrich, who settled on the Almond Davis farm. Noah Aldrich, who died in 1818, aged 81, was a patriot of the Revolution and his grave is in the cemetery on the plain.
Mr. Albert A. Sturtevant has told his family of the games that the village boys used to play: “Two-Old Cat,” “H’I Spy,” “Touch-the-goal,” and “Wicket Fall.” The last was a game played on the south side of the common before the Richardson house. In wicket ball, the boys laid a plank across the common supported by a brick at each end; then they used bats with which to strike a ball back, and forth. The bat was round, long, and flattened out at the end. Some of the boys used to go up on the Larabee Cliffs to sing and roast corn in the fall, and there used to be occasional wrestling matches on the “Green” in front of the W. R. Sturtevant’s store.
Mr. Sturtevant says that Lovejoy and Taylor built a store about 1804 near the site of his present one and that he has two signs, one, “Sumner and Sturtevant,” the other, “Phelps and Barker, 1830”; also that Mr. Leonard Hamilton built the “Sturtevant Store” about 1840, and that in 1851, Mr. Paul D. Richardson built the store leased by Mr. L. I. Walker now. In the latter Mr. Benjamin F. Labaree served the public as a highly respected merchant many years. Mr. Sturtevant says further that the only store ever built in Hartland by the Hon. David H. Sumner was burned soon after the opening of the Civil War, or about fifty years ago. It stood below the site of the present freight depot.
The Alden or “Old Reuben Weld” house at Hartland Village was moved up from “The Plain&rdquo about 1814. Capt. James Campbell was the master workman and Eliakim Spooner, Esq., the lawyer, was the proprietor of the house then. Reuben Weld lived there around 1820. Beyond this Alden house, stood the one recently moved west of the Edgerton or Barbour place and now occupied by Mr. William Lamphear. It was built by Lawyer Merrill, Mr. W. R. Sturtevant says, and, after a few years, was used as a private school for young people of both sexes. About the middle of the last century, Miss Krams, later Mrs. Wm. H. Sabin, of Windsor, taught a school for girls at the Three Corners; and, in the sixties, Miss Mary Hyde had a private fitting-school for young men and young women, and Miss Leonora Robinson, now Mrs. W. R. Sturtevant, was her assistant. A fitting-school for college was kept earlier by Isaac N. Cushman, who became a lawyer of marked ability and who lived in the brick house on the hill approached by many steps. The school was on the site of the Pound, and Mr. John Webster had an uncle who fitted for college there.
Hartland Village is so attractively located and so rich in historical association that it draws may city visitors every summer.
The story of North Hartland as a thriving modern village is almost exclusively that of the woolen mill built by Mr. Oliver Brothers. The place has grown constantly in attractiveness during recent years. It has many pleasant homes, a good general store conducted by Mr. W. D. Spaulding, a flourishing woolen mill, the historic church, a Grange hall, the best school building in Hartland, a beautiful park, shaded streets, and the two rivers with their rich meadows and picturesque falls.
The history of Sumner’s Falls as a settlement is entirely of the past, scarcely a vestige remains of its once busy life. This history has been given in the Windsor County Gazetter, however; so only less accessible items will be mentioned here. A son of one of the early settlers above the plain writes thus of old times:
“After Timothy Lull settled on Lull Brook, Gideon Woodward came up the Connecticut River with such tools as he could draw on a hand sled. He concluded to settle on the east side of the river. Peter Gilson soon moved up and settled on the plain. Joseph Livermore lived on the plain and raised a family of twelve children. Harry Emerson settled north of the plain near Sumner’s Falls. Jo Call moved up on the plain. He was one of the great wrestlers of his day. A man walked up from Massachusetts to wrestle with him, but Jo was not at home, and his sister told the man he would not be at home for three or four days. He said he was sorry, for he was in a hurry to get back. She told him to step out into the yard and if he could throw her he could stay and wrestle with Jo; but he didn’t have to stay long. She laid him on his back short meter.
“Ezra Sleeper settled north of Sumner’s Falls. ‘Johnny’ Warner lived on the place with him and kept school in his house. After school hours, he and the scholars set out maples on the east side of the road. They stand there today and are about 115 years old. Perez Gallup was next. He owned about 640 acres. He built the Gallup burying ground on the west side of the road about one mile south of North Hartland — a very peculiar man. He hewed out a stone to lay over his coffin which took four oxen to haul to the burying ground.
“The church was built by the inhabitants of North Hartland. Thomas Shaw hewed most of the timbers. Samuel Taylor worked, Merrill Kilburn, the Russes. The oldest house in North Hartland is what is called the Rawson place, now owned by Daniel Willard.
“The church was built by the inhabitants of North Hartland. Thomas Shaw hewed most of the timbers. Samuel Taylor worked, Merrill Kilburn, the Russes. The oldest house in North Hartland is what is called the Rawson place, now owned by Daniel Willard.
The Lawtons and Spooners settled here at an early date back on the Hill. They were afraid of the frosts. The Willards and Millers lived at North Hartland later. George Miller owned the ferry at North Hartland. In 1848 they were at work on the Vermont Central Railroad which was very exciting to all the farmers along the line.“ (The author has changed the forms in this letter somewhat.)
October 23 1794, Perez Gallup received from the Legislature a grant of “the exclusive privilege of locking and continuing locks on Water Quechee falls on Connecticut River through his own land in Hartland,” as W. H. Tucker, the historian, expressed it. The toll for loaded boats was authorized to be 18c per ton, the same for each 1000 feet of boards and timber, and for each 6000 feet of shingles.
The property of “The Company for Rendering Connecticut River Navigable by Water Quechee Falls” passed into the hands of David H. Sumner, Esq., Oct. 9, 1809, including the saw mill and the use of the falls. Then, following the charter given Nov., 5, 1830, to “The Connecticut River Valley Steamboat Company” sprang up the canal and locks at Sumner’s Falls and the roads to that place. In 1834, the “Aterquechey Canal” was one of the three canals in Vermont—the “Aterquechey,” “Bellows Falls,” and ”White River“ canals.
A bridge had been built in 1821. Mr. Sumner, who owned the whole town of Dalton, N. H., passed immense quantities of lumber from that place and from others in northern Vermont and New Hampshire down the river to Hartford, receiving in return West India goods, salt, iron, etc., loaded upon flat boats until the steamboats came into use.
The steamers, however, were not successful, and finally only boats were plied between locks. Dalton and Sumner’s Falls were the manufacturing centres for the lumber of the Connecticut River trade.
The articles other than lumber that composed the outgoing cargoes were similar to those taken to Boston by team. After 1836, the roads to Boston were so good that river traffic began to lessen. Freshets swept away the two bridges built across the river; finally, in 1848, the railroad with its substantial iron bridge over Lull Brook was built and the old ways of traffic passed out of existence. Yet, every spring, even now, one sees “drives” of logs, guided by red-frocked lumbermen from the north, plunging over the rocks at Sumner’s Falls on their way to Massachusetts or Connecticut towns as in former days.
Mrs. Fanny (Richardson) Sturtevant, of Hartland Village, has her mother’s mahogany and hair-cloth furniture — chairs, sofa, and card tables — which were bought in New York City prior to 1800. They were brought by boat to the mouth of the Connecticut River, then by raft up the river to “Short’s Landing,” Hartland.
To take up the thread of history following the War of 1812, it may be recalled that, in 1820 there was a great excitement, national and local, over the question of African slavery which resulted in the Missouri Compromise. Hartland appears to have been almost solidly against the system of slavery; though possibly half a dozen “Copperheads” developed before the opening of the Civil War. One of these last is said to have appeared at a town meeting, where he began to express some pro-slavery sentiments; but he never finished his remarks, as in the midst of them he was flying out of a window for his life. No slaves were ever held in Hartland, so far as the author knows; but Caesar Brackey and his wife Flora — “a capable Guinea negress,” brought to Providence by Capt. Snell, were given land here by a minister of Woodstock, Ct., named Bugbee, and their graves and those of their children may be found on “Hendrick Hill.”
In 1825 Lafayette’s triumphal passage through Hartland renewed the spirit of independence and augmented the sentiment for liberty. General Lafayette came into town, on his way from Windsor to Woodstock, in a victoria drawn by six white horses, and he and his young son were attended by an escort under the command of Col. Stimson of Norwich (assisted by Adjt. George Wetherby of Hartland, which was composed, among other, of the “Hartland Rifle Company,” and of several of the Revolutionary soldiers of Hartland. All Hartland children love Lafayette, for they and their fathers have always read of him in the old school books. I one of the popular readers by Salem Town, L. L. D., now owned by a grand-daughter of Capt. Wells Hadley, are thee moving lines, often conned by Hartland lads and lassies:
Again in his old age, Lafayette determined to look on the young republic that had escaped the disaster which had overwhelmed France. Such gratitude and affection were never before received by a man from a foreign nation.
As he passed from Staten Island to New York, the bay was covered with barges, decorated with streamers; and when the beautiful fleet shoved away, the bands struck up, “Where can one better be than in the bosom of his family?” As he touched the shore, the thunder of cannon shook the city; old soldiers rushed weeping into his arms; and “Welcome Lafayette!” waved from every banner, rung from every trumpet, and was caught up by every voice, till “Welcome, welcome” rose and fell in deafening shouts from the assembled thousands. Flowers were strewn along his pathway; his carriage detached from the horses and dragged by the enthusiastic crowd, along ranks of grateful freemen, who rent the heavens with their acclamations. Melted to tears by these demonstrations of love he moved like a father among his children, scattering blessings wherever he went.
When the great controversy led by Webster and Hayne came up in 1830 on the question of Union or State Sovereignty, there was much excitement in this vicinity, and there was a great deal of speechmaking by anti-slavery orators, but there never seems to have been so much rancor as in some sections.
Mrs. Helen (Dunbar) Bagley told the author that Mr. Laban Webster was an ardent Harrison man. He owned the tavern in the western part of the town on the farm know as “The Calvin Greene Place,” and being a pleasant man full of stories, he often sat where people could greet him as they passed by. “Hurrah for Harrison!” they would say, waving their hands; but occasionally a man would pass who shouted, “Hurrah for Van Buren!&rdqul; Thend “Grandfather Webster” shook his cane.
The declaration of war with Mexico found people here anything but enthusiastic; however, they were prepared, as one company under Capt. Pemberton Hodgman, and perhaps others, had drilled faithfully. When the call came, “There were a good many Hartland men that went to the war who never enlisted. They started off, right over the hills for Mexico,” to use the vernacular. Mr. J. V. Colston says that William Douglas went from Hartland, also a man named Spear; while Edward Baker, the Asst. Adjt. General of Vermont reports that Stephen M. Hatch, of Hartland, “died in hospital at Vera Cruz, July 16th, 1847” and James Roden was “taken prisoner at battle of Huamatla and exchanged about March 1, 1848.” These two men served in Capt. E. A. Kimball’s Company, Ninth Regiment, U. S. Infantry.
At the close of the Mexican War, the “gold fever” drew many west, among whom were six “forty-niners:” Messrs. Charles Bagley, A. J. Dunbar, Ralph Labaree, John Lamb, Lucius Lamb, and Eben Stocker. Beside these are remembered Messrs. Arnold Bagley, Fred Bagley, and Denison Halow. Mr. Orson Gill started for California, but died on The Isthmus.
As soon as the foreboding clouds of the “Great Conflict” began to gather, Hartland commenced serious preparations for another war, and little else than politics was talked about on the farms, in the stores, and in the highways and byways.
Capt. E. H. Bagley commanded the militia company represented in the November Vermonter as training on the Harry Shedd pasture. A member of the militia — William Griffin, a skilled musician, was killed in the late fifties while marching with comrades over the Sugar River bridge near Claremont, N. H., that went down one Fourth of July. In 1861, by the town clerk’s report, there were 293 voters in Hartland; and, according to the report of the Asst. Adjt. General sent to the author this year, 212 different men went from Hartland to save their Country from disunion. Twenty-one of these entered the Navy. Fifteen men were drafted, of whom eight paid substitutes and seven paid $300, receiving the money back from the town. The drafting was done at the office of Albert Burk (the town clerk), which was in the Wood house at the Four Corners. “Old Doctor” Emmons used to read the war news in the store of Wesley and Frank Lararee almost every evening during the war times.
Lieut. Col. John W. Bennett, of the First Vt. Cavalry, was a Hartland boy; while Capt. Oliver T. Cushman and Capt. Thomas f Leonard both went from Hartland.
The war was too terrible for glorying; but the Vermont men were faithful to the last, and there is only a very “thin line” of veterans remaining in Hartland: Messers. Wm. I. Allen, W. W. Bagley, Sidney W. Brown, J. F. Colston, Ferninand Fallon, Moses George, W. W. Kelley, Peter Lapine, L. J. M. Marcy, A. A. Martin, A. R. Peirce (sic), S. M. Whitney, J. O. Wright. Messrs. W. W. Bagley and S. M. Whitney were Corporals. Messrs. Enos Gingham, E. B. Maxham, and C. D. Myrick went from other towns but are now living in Hartland.
When the present generation is tempted to think lightly of the flag and of its duty to the town and state and nation, would that it might remember what many saw here: the poor, worn-out soldiers, on their way home from the war, stopping at the Four Corners, emaciated and sick, for the medical aid which Dr. Harding and Dr. Emmons were waiting to give; or, that son of John Willard who weighed one hundred and ninety pounds when he went to war and ninety pounds when he returned from Andersonville prison.
Holmes Cushman, a Hartland soldier of the Revolution, had four grandsons and one great grandson in the Civil War, and Thomas Bagley, another Revolutionary soldier, had the following seven grandsons in that war: Messers. Bagley — Cyrus, Parker, Roderick, Walter, and William; Colston — J. Flaviel and Theodore. Walter Bagley went from Lincoln, Vermont; the rest from Hartland. Cyrus R. Bagley, a boy about sixteen wrote this letter from the field (The punctuation is changed somewhat):
Washington, October 21, 1862
I now take my pen in hand to let you (k)now that I am well now though rather weak yet as I have been in the hospital for a fortnight sick with the bilious fever. We are encamped neer Washington and the talk is wee are agoing to stay all winter but I do not care much if we do. It is cold nights down here as it is up in Vermont. I wishd I might go into the old butery now and then but as I cant I do not complain. We are having good tomes out here. The boys are all in good spirites singing and dancing all of the time. Ben, Dan, and Will are well. William says he should like to be there one day to go over onto the east hill ahunting and Ben would to(o) to the same and so should I. Do write and tell me about hunting as soon as you get this. Tell all about the cropes and all about the folks. Give my love to all the folks. Charley and Wallace are sick in the hospital and Ben says that Charley will never get any better but he may for all that you (k)now. Write often will you. Yours in heart-
C(v)rus R. Bagley
Direct your letter in this way.
Mr. Cyrus R. Bagley, Washington, D. C.
Co. B 12 Reg. Vt Vol. in the care of Capt. Ora Paul.
J. O. Wright, a veteran and a Hartland man, visited the Battlefield of Gettysburg during the Peace Jubilee or Reunion of the Blue and the Gray from June 29 to July 6, 1913; and in an address written for the Anniversary Celebration, he siad, to close: “A few of the Confederates who were in Pickett’s charge and numbering about fifty formed in line and with canes instead of guns charged across what is now called the ‘High Water Mark.’ There they were met by a similar squad of Federals where a general gabfest was soon in full swing. A Yank said, ‘I stood about here, and the Johnnies were coming and I fired and I didn’t have time to load, for one of ‘em was all ready on the wall and I fetched him one on the head with my gun and back he went.&rsquo. ‘Yes,’ said one of the Johnnies, ‘and my head aches yet where you hit me.’ This and many other similar incidents occurred during our stay at Gettysburg and served to cement among the Blue and the Gray a feeling of more intimate comradeship and whether (the feelings) were all founded on fact or not we cannot say, but this I can say, and that row of Comrades down there in front will sustain me, that those yarns recall many desperate, though sad realities of camp and campaign life which remain to us a glorious memory.”
The recent history of Hartland must be omitted from this paper; but a few names of noteworthy citizens of the past and present not already mentioned are added.
For an account of the literary people, see Mr. H. G. Rugg’s “Hartland in Letters,” published in the Vermont Journal at Windsor, Aug. 8, 1913.
Teachers. Squire Stephen Maine of the Barron Hill section, taught district schools until he was an old man. His daughter married George Holbrook of Hartland, also a teacher. When Mr. Holbrook started for Blackearth, Wis., in 1849, he went from home in an emigrant wagon, and Capt. Grow helped him and his family as far as Lake Champlain. George Latimer, the Minute Man, had a daughter that married Mr. Henry (?) Ayers, the schoolmaster. Mr. Ayers was a severe disciplinarian and he used enough spiced liquor sometimes to make him sleepy. After Charles E. Darling became old enough to give up attending district school, he went one day to visit Mr. Ayers’ school at the request of some of the boys. These boys to please Charles, set quills filled with wet gunpowder under the inner doors at recess, put a lighted match to them and had the fun of seeing them back out of sight and of hearing them sputter and spit fore across the school room floor, to the rage of the Master. To close the afternoon exercises, there was a spelling down, each pupil standing in his place at his desk. In the course of the spelling, some of the boys skipped their turns, until Mr. Ayers said, “I’m not feeling in very good mood today, you’d better look wild.” Then one of the boys skipped his turn, and the Master promptly slapped him a heavy blow on the cheek. This secured a quiet and peaceful closing of the spelling down. Marcus Peake, although not a man of learning, was one of the best teachers of the early times. He was most painstaking and conscientious in training pupils to understand principles; but he, too, was severe, so much so that he was often called, “Old Peake” by those who had been to school to him. Squire Stephen Paine and his wife were both teachers, giving years to their profession. They married late and lived on the Squire Paine or Charles Colby farm. Squire Asa Weed taught in his young days; and so did Lewis Darling, who became Dr. Lewis, Sr., of the Civil War.
Squire Cotton taught likewise, and thus an old friend wrote of him: “Ward Cotton was one of the leading men of the town — justice of the peace and represented his town, chairman of the board of selectmen, ‘moderator’ at all the town meetings, school committee, etc. He was also very much engaged in church work being a member of the Universalist Society. He had a fine voice for singing, and often led the choir. He never graduated from college, or even attended a ‘high school’ but in his younger days taught in the different districts of Hartland, ‘boarding around.’ He would arise in winter time before light, and often with the mercury 20° below zero and find his way out of doors by the light of a tallow candle or tin lantern, go to the well-curb over which hung a big sweep, its lower end loaded with stone. On the platform stood a wooden bench icy with the drippings of the water-soaked pail; this bench held an iron skillet and a jar of soft soap — here he would make his ablutions. He was always very temperate, drinking nothing but cold water, so on these occasions he would take a good draught from the ‘old oaken bucket.&rsdquo; The menu for breakfast consisted of bean porridge and brown bread, sometimes pork and potatoes would be added. He carried his own porringer with him where ever he went to board. One time he was stopping with the minister’s family; hominy and milk was served for supper. Mr. Cotton married Charity Bates. They had eight children. Esq. Cotton was habitually diligent — a fine scholar, familiar with many of our best poets, politics, and all of the leading literature of his day, a good orator and writer for the press.”
Josiah Brown, the poet, was a teacher. Several pastors taught in early days with a power and efficiency that lasted in effect until the present, and some of them served as superintendents after 1852, when the town began to appoint men to that office. Austin Smith was a teacher at the “Centre of the Town” in the forties. Albert Burk, so long town clerk, taught in his youth. So did Leonard Hamilton, John Gill, Charles E. Darling, Jabez C. Crooker, who became a lawyer afterwards, and numerous others not known to the author. Mr. George W. Ralph, who was educated at Tufts College, was a true teacher, but rather too lenient in discipline. He grounded in principles as few can.
An endless number of young women have taught in the schools, and some of them have been superintendents.
Supt. Daniel Spaulding, father of Mr. C. C. Spaulding, was connected with Hartland schools many years — as a teacher of district schools forty terms — as a superintendent, for a long time. He was a genial, kindly man and was educated at Norwich, Vt. A “term” was usually sixteen weeks about the middle of the last century and later. Other superintendents deserving special mention were Hon. E. M. Goodwin and Dr. David F. Rugg, both of whom served long and well. Mr. Goodwin was a progressive farmer and scientist. He represented Hartland in the State Senate; while Dr. Rugg was a conscientious and beloved physician.
Prof. Joseph H. Dunbar, was a finely educated man who was born and bred in Hartland. He taught in various academic schools of Vermont and New Hampshire, and he was the author of valuable works on inductive methods of teaching, especially the subjects, arithmetic and Latin. During the last years of his life, he lived on the Col. Oliver Gallup or Norman Dunbar place, and he taught at Hartland Village and at North Hartland — fitting several of the young people for college. He was a graduate of Dartmouth.
Physicians. The first physicians, Dr. Samuel E. Stevens says, were itinerant “Indian Doctors,” who made ”rattlesnake oil” their cure-all; but reputable physicians settled in Hartland with the pioneers. Among the latter were: Drs. David Hall, born in 1733; Friend Sturtevant, a surgeon in the War of 1812; Daniel Jenison, whose epitaph is:
Skilled and virtuous in the meridian of life,
He died universally esteemed and lamented also.
Sylvester Marcy, and Henry Harding, Sr., the soldier of the Revolution who died in 1814. Dr. Harding, a prominent and revered physician, lived twenty-five years in Hartland. He had three sons who were physicians, one of whom—Dr. John Harding, Jr., continued his father’s work at home. The elder physician’s epitaph reads:
Dr. Harding was born in Sturbridge, Mass. After studying Physic emigrated to this town 1789 where he practiced with universal celebrity and unparalleled success extending the hand of relief and comfort unremittingly to the sick of every class and distinction and was ever more zealous for the welfare and happiness of his patients than for medical fee or reward.
Dr. Joseph A. Gallup lived at North Hartland and was buried there. He was the founder of the Vermont Medical College.
Other physicians remembered are: Drs. Silas Sabin, Sidney Bates, Eldad Alexander, H. B. Brown, J. R. Smith, L. H. Dinsmore, Seth E. Winslow, Loreston Richmond, who was a gifted doctor and most successful in treating cases, Dr. Lewis Emmons, and Dr. Henry Hayes. Dr. Hayes was a familiar figure in town, riding about in a gig and reading a book. He was highly esteemed. Dr. Elizabeth Pyrum-Perry practiced medicine in Hartland several years.
Miscellaneous Notables. Judge Elihu Luce, a pioneer, who came to the town in 1779, was a man of rare native judgment and eccentric enough to make himself well remembered. His wife was a famous horse-back rider. William Willard, as a Hertford officer of Cumberland County under New York, was an assistant judge of the Court of Inferior Common Pleas, as early as 1768. Elias Weld was an assistant judge of the Windsor County Court from 1782 to 1790. Judge Hampden Cutts, who married the eldest daughter of Hon. William Jarvis, the Consul, was a man of celebrated ancestry and of brilliant parts. He was a graduate of Harvard, a probate judge, and vice-president for Vermont of the New England Historical Society. One of his daughters — Mrs. Annie (Cutts) Howard — is a well known literary woman.
Isaac N. Cushman, who sprang from a prominent family, was a gifted lawyer whose story of “The French King and the Jester” every-one ought to know. John Colby and John S. Marcy, lawyers, were nearly contemporary with I. N. Cushman. John C. Thompson and the Hon. Benjamin H. Steele were judges of the Supreme Court of Vermont.
Cullen F. Sturtevant, one of the Hartland firm of “C. F. & T. F. Sturtevant,” for manufacturing woolen cloth, discovered the method of cleansing wool by salt which is now in general use.
Henry Dunbar, an engineer who set up locomotives in foreign countries —South America especially, was born on the old Dunbar farm known as “The T. A. Kneen Place,” and he lived at his death on the Connecticut River farm. He invented the steam packing for engines.
Oliver Brothers conferred a great benefit upon the town by building at North Hartland the present mill called the “Ottaquechee Woolen Mill,” shortly after he had invented the self-operating spinning jack, now in use everywhere. Several of his brothers are prosperous mill men. Of late Mr. Brothers has given much time to the building of permanent roads in town.
Two families at Foundryville were in business a long time: the Charles W. Warren family that built the tannery and the Francis Gilbert family, owning the foundry.
The Merritts — Lewis, Hammond, and Asa — have served the public faithfully for years as millers; and the Martins — Alonzo, Frank, and Allan — of Martinsville, where their mills are, have been for over fifty years in the lumber and wood-working business. Mr. A. A. Martin directed the work for forty-seven years, and is now the Town Representative.
Daniel Willard, President of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, is the latest member of his distinguished family to bring honor to his native place. He has a home at North Hartland.
Few towns have a cleaner record than has Hartland, Vermont; and it may be that it is because of all of its people, from the earliest days to the present, have been neighbors, i. e. truly interested in each other. The Hartland spirit is unobtrusive; but it is a free spirit, giving itself unreservedly to sincere worth at home and to righteous causes in the country at large.
The narration of these facts is called history; but it is as a breath compared with the spirit of life which produced it. Yet if it awake in any a clearer vision of greatness that is in simplicity, of devotion that is in duty done, of ambition that is in the welfare of all, then this history is not written in vain.
Note: The author would acknowledge the unqualified generosity of her townspeople in loaning their valued papers, notes, and reference books, that the required information might be secured; also the great assistance which Mrs. H. H. Miller has given in verifying data through those who remember.
Celebration of the 150th Anniversary
On Saturday, Aug. 16, 1913, Hartland, in an unostentatious way, celebrated the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of her settlement. Her people had occupied themselves about ten days in preparing for the event, and it was no less than a marvel that so fine a parade of beautiful floats picturing the history of Hartland was marshalled out. It did great credit to the committees and especially to the workers, who went straight ahead and made what they wanted as they wanted, with the independence of their ancestors.
The day, though very warm, was bright and clear; while the large assemblage of visitors, many of them in automobiles and carriages, were animated by the spirit of welcome everywhere extended them and by the pleasure of looking upon the stately parade in the streets. The procession passed through Hartland Village, Foundryville, and Hartland Four Corners. In the hotel at Hartland, the front part of which was built by Isaac Stevens, Esq. in the earliest days of the town, was displayed a most interesting exhibit of antiques, interpreting the history as only relics can. Opposite the hotel, the literary and musical program was carried out on a platform handsomely decorated in flags and bunting, and there His Excellency Governor Fletcher appeared to speak briefly to the people and to honor this occasion by his presence.
A very full and interesting account of the celebration is given in the issue of the Vermont Journal published at Windsor, Aug. 16, 1913.
The committees and the official program were as follows:
Celebration: J. O. Wright, W. R. Sturtevant, Nathaniel Jenne.
Exhibits: John P. Webster, F. H. Sargent, J. B. Miller, Mrs. C. C. Spalding, Mr. and Mrs. F. G. Spear.
Parade: C. A. French, F. A. Durphey, L. I. Lobdell, D. S. Steele, J. B. Miller, J. G. Underwood.
Building Stage: L. E. Merritt, Frank L. Gardner, J. P. Larrabee, C. W. Backus. W. E. Jenne.
Decoration of Stage and Grounds: Mrs. H. H. Miller, Mrs. H. J. Miller, J. G. Underwood.
Seats: L. I. Walker, A. W. Martin, C. H. Lamb, W. F. Hall, J. G. Britton.
Decorations at Four Corners: Mr. and Mrs. E. W. Billings, Mr. and Mrs. James Rich, Mr. and Mrs. E. W. Kellogg.
J. O. Wright, Master of Ceremonies.
Prayer, Rev. W. F. Hill
Music, “Home Again,” by the Choir
Address, “General History of Hartland.” W. R. Sturtevant, Hartland.
Music by the Choir
Address, “Hartland in Early Times.” Hon. Gilbert A. Davis, Windsor.
Music by the Windsor Military Band.
Address, “Quaint Characters of Hartland,” F. C. Sturtevant, Hartford, Conn.
Music by the Choir.
Address, “Notable Anniversaries.” J. O. Wright, Hartland.
Music by the Choir.
Solo, Miss Florence M. Sturtevant, Hartford, Ct.
Benediction, Rev. Francis Parker.
Correspondent, Miss Florence H. Sturtevant.
Miss Bertha Mower injured her thumb recently, when a butcher knife fell and cut it.
Miss Wilma Emery is in Everett, Mass. She returned with her uncle, Dr. Fred Richmond and family, who were here over the week-end.
Rehearsals are being held Monday nights by the choir, in preparation for a concert to be given sometime in July. The weekly Thursday night choir practice is also being held.
Mrs. Mildred Andrew has been appointed local correspondent for the Woodstock Standard, in place of Mrs. Louise R. Sturtevant who died last week, and who had held the position for more than 35 years.
The primary school, with the teacher, Miss Merriam, had a picnic at the Rockwood farm yesterday afternoon.
Miss Clarice Gilpin returned from Middlebury college Wednesday.
Howard Emery has been quite sick with summer grip.
Date: June 9 1933; Newspaper published in: Rutland,Vt.
Source: Rutland library microfilm
By Ben Conarck, Valley News Staff Writer, Monday, April 15, 2013,
(Published in print: Monday, April 15, 2013). Used with permission.
Hartland — A team of archaeologists hired by the president of VTel to exhume a cemetery located on his 173-acre estate have unearthed fragments of Upper Valley history nearly two centuries old, but not without dredging up some new questions too.
The relocation of the cemetery, which occupied land purchased by VTel CEO and President Michel Guite, stirred up resistance from residents and led to a three-year legal battle over the rights of descendents to access the burial plot.
The case went all the way to the state Supreme Court, which sided with Guite in late 2011. Jerome King, a Hanover resident who has since died and whose family owned the property for 33 years, sued to prevent the unearthing of the cemetery where the ashes of his cremated parents were laid to rest.
[Although the cemetery move was controversial], most of those in attendance expressed only fascination as Kate Kenny, an archaeologist with the University of Vermont team who helped lead the dig at what’s known as the Aldrich Family Cemetery, gave a detailed presentation of findings yesterday at the town’s library.
After going through the history of the Aldrich family, who settled their farm on the property in the early 1800s, and the subsequent history of the cemetery land itself after it left family hands, Kenny began to work through an inventory of items unearthed at the site, slide-by-slide, in a post-mortem of sorts that shed plenty of light on the lifestyle of 19th century Vermont farmers.
“This is kind of where it’s fun, where we start analyzing all the information, everything we’ve found,” said Kenny. “There’s maybe a little bit of CSI going on, but you use everything you can to try and reconstruct, and in this case, none of the coffins survived.”
Due to the type of the soil where the burial plot was located, Kenny explained, there were very few personal items recovered from the grave sites. But she added that was also due to the burials occurring in the earlier half of the 19th century, a time when people were rarely buried with their jewelry, or even in their own clothes.
Some of the later graves at the site had hardware from the coffins such as nails, screws and hatches, which clued archaeologists in on the types of coffins used there, during a time before bodies were embalmed prior to their burial.
“The cemetery is at the one tradition of burial and bordering another,” Kenny said.
As for the lengthy archaeological process, that too was complicated by outside factors. At one point in the presentation, the room erupted into laughter when Kenny explained what had led to delays by clicking to the next slide: an image of a burrowing creature standing on its hind legs with an expression that almost told of the critter’s satisfaction with its natural role.
Burrowing creatures apparently went to work all over the cemetery grounds, displacing earth and human remains in the process. Kenny said that once the crew found a part of a corpse that had been carried closer to the surface by a creature above a marked grave site, it had to stop digging with machines and start excavating by hand.
Going into the dig, Kenny said, she expected to find a maximum of 10 bodies buried there, which she did find, not to mention a family cat. But that’s where the unanswered questions come in.
“The thing is, I found 10 people, and the cat, but some of them were different people (then who she was expecting),” Kenny said.
While she has some “leads” on the two unidentified bodies uncovered there, Kenny couldn’t pinpoint exactly who the people were, despite employing all the research tools at her disposal.
After the presentation, John Crock, director of the UVM Consulting Archaeology program, said that he was reluctant to take up the Hartland job in the first place because of the controversy surrounding the cemetery. He said that it was presented to him by Guite as something that was going to be done either way, and he wanted to get involved “to do it right.” The UVM team received more than $70,000 for their work.
Les Motschman, a Hartland resident and treasurer of the historical society, said given the extent of the report and the work to create a new cemetery for the Aldrich family, it was clear a lot of effort went into the project.”
“Obviously, Mr. Guite spared no expense, so I think you have to hand it to him,” Motschman said. “It’s been a very controversial thing, and some people would try to do it at the least expense to just get it out of here,” he said.
Motschman described the new burial site as one meant to resemble an “old New England cemetery,” but there was just one thing giving away its true age: the grave markers.
“Except it doesn’t look like New England,” said Motschman, “Because it’s not native stone.”
The circumference of strawberries in P. B. SMITH’s garden is, or was Monday, 4 3/8 inches.
Melvin J. HOLT returned home from the west, Tuesday.
H. R. WATRISS and D. P. ATWOOD, Four Corners, had green peas Sunday, the 22nd.
Charles G. BURNHAM is confined to the house with rheumatism. a very severe attack.
The remains of Oliver HAYES, who died in Lebanon, N. H., were brought here, where he formerly resided and deposited in the old burying ground on the plain.
A. A. MARTIN has entered suit against the town for the loss of a horse June 19, ‘83, the same having been killed by running off a bridge near Martin & Stickney’s mill in consequence of alleged unsuitable protection against liabilities.
Dana P. ATWOOD has made the village at the Four Corners look better, and greatly improved the value of his property, by newly painting and blinding his house. The work was done by Paschal P. WATERS, and is well done.
Waldo & Dickinson’s block has been thoroughly painted and the appearance of the building, about sixty feet long, and the street are greatly improved thereby.
Frank GILBERT, at his foundry, is casting (one each day) eight columns for a new block in Montpelier. The weight of each column is 1,000 pounds.
E. S. AINSWORTH, administrator, held a recent sale of property belonging to the estate of Phelps HUNT, at the Four Corners, N. W. PATRICK auctioner. The sale was held within a few yards of the old PATRICK home where Norman commenced, and afterwards completed in the old union store of Windsor, under M. C. HUBBARD, the development of that wonderful linguistical talent which has since made his name famous wherever goods of uncertain value were to be disposed of to the best advantage.
Having twenty minutes spare time at the railroad station, a few days since, we called on Mrs. Ralph LARABEE to inspect a silk bed quilt made by her, of which we had previously heard, and were well repaid for the time spent. The quilt is of the log cabin pattern and contains 4,000 pieces, and is one of those rare specimens of art which only the few are capable of producing. If any intensely practical soul, who would see more beauty in a bushel of potatoes than in anything wherein ornamentation and use were combined, should call this a waste of time, we should answer that Mrs. LARABEE is an invalid, and has done the work while nearly every one in her condition would have done nothing.
Delegates to the republican county convention at Woodstock this week, James G. BATES, George WILLIAMS, W. T. RICHARDSON, Wilson BRITTON.
Rye from the farm of J. C. HOLT, this week, measures 6 feet 8 inches. Later. Sorry for friend HOLT, but just as the foregoing was written, the door of the newsroom opened and O. H. HEMENWAY came in with specimens of the grain measuring 8 feet.
Something like twenty-five years ago, Charles W. WARREN laid a cement foundation in the old tan yard at Foundryville. Being laid in direct contact with the soil, newspapers were spread out on the ground to prevent the moisture being absorbed too quickly from the cement, which would interfere with the process of “setting.” Since the tanyard was burned the property has come into the hands of Frank GILBERT, and the cement bed has been broken up. The other day, while among the ruins, we found a portion of an old VERMONT JOURNAL completely turned to stone, on which the reading is nearly as legible, and the color of the paper nearly as white,as it was the day it was printed.
There was quite a large delegation from this town to witness the graduation exercises of the Windsor High School, last week, among whom may be named Mr. and Mrs. M. C. HARLOW and daughter, Mrs. O. W. WALDO, Mrs. J. G. MORGAN, Mrs. Watson HARDING, Miss Clara A. LAMB, and Mrs. Harland NEWS.
Byron P. RUGGLES has drawn in chalk, on the end of his calf shed, fronting the road, profiles of the republican nominees for president and vice-president, with the announcement: “Now we have James G. BLAINE.” Four years ago the names and profiles of Garfield & Arthur appeared on the same bulletin board, and are still partially visible.
The graduating exercises of Kimball Union Academy, Meriden, N.H., were held last week Thursday, and were attended by several from this town, including Mr. Wm. PERRY and Mr. and Mrs. J. H. EMERSON. The salutatory address was by Miss Carrie E. PERRY, of this town, and is spoken of as a very fine production.
Mr. and Mrs. Carlos McGREGOR have settled their differences, whatever they may have been, and are established in their home on Densmore Hill.
It is so long since the ninepences and fourpences were in general circulation that one dug up the other day by “Jop” REED, in the Pavilion Hotel garden was sent to one of the coin collectors here to find out what it was. It is a very perfect specimen, and dated 1781.
School closed June 17–whole number of pupils 18; those neither absent nor tardy were Charles CUSHING, Frank CARPENTER, Lucy FLOWERS, Don FLOWERS, Ahira FLOWERS, Annie THAYER. Those having no absences, and but one tardy mark, were Carrie DAVIS, Eva DAVIS, Howard GILSON. Those having no tardy marks, and but one absence were Frank CARPENTER and Cora SMALL. Closed with recitations by Lucy FLOWERS, Ismay ATWOOD, Carrie DAVIS, Eva DAVIS, Cora SMALL, Annie THAYER, Ahira FLOWERS. Ernest ENGLISH, Frank BILLINGS, Fred CARPENTER, Frank CARPENTER, Don FLOWERS and Elisha FLOWERS. The pupils never made better progress than during the term just closed, which has been taught by Miss Louise M. BATES.
Transcribed by Ruth Barton
One of the wildest storms within the recollection of our oldest
inhabitants broke over this village on Saturday last. During its
continuance a large maple in front of W. E. Britton’s house was split down the middle and blown across the street. The same fate awaited another maple in front of Mrs. Augusta Bates’ house in another part of the village. The water poured down the Ed Hoisington hill, in front of the newsroom, flooding the main street to the depth of more than twelve inches, while the garden of Cullen F. Sturtevant was entirely submerged. At the lower end of Lull brook lightning struck the house of J. F. Lyman, tearing off a few shingles and passing off by way of the waterspouts. An ancient elm in front of A. A. Martin’s house which had grown in three main branches, had two of them blown down, one falling on the house, broke the chimney off even with the roof and otherwise damaged the house.
Mrs. W. R. Sturtevant is away from home making her annual visit with her father, and other relatives and friends in Chelsea, this State.
Lucian Dunbar left here last week for railroad work in Central America.
Rev. Joseph Crehore preached at the Universalist church, last
Sunday. Rev. Mr. Noyes preached at the brick church last Sunday, and the Sunday before. Mr. Noyes has preached here on several previous occasions, and will probably become the regular minister in a few months.
John Stillson carries on the farm of Mrs. Melinda Tinkham and the crops give evidence of good care, being worthy of the farm which is one of the best in town. Mrs. F. P. Barstow, at the Four Corners, noted as one of the best farm and dairy managers in town, takes personal charge of her garden, and if she could manage some way to take it to the county fair just as it is she would be sure of the first premium in gardens. The only other gardens in that locality that would stand any chance as competitors are those of Mrs. Phelps Hunt, Mrs. Dana P. Atwood, Mrs. C. C. Thornton and Mrs. Lorenzo Wood, by the side of which no masculine garden would have any show at all.
A most beautiful floral sight has been noticed during the past two weeks, in the front yard of Mr. George Sturtevant. It consists of a clump of lilies with petals of the purest white that can be found in nature, and of the sweetest odor. Fifty of these blossoms were counted at one time. The plant is quite old, the present owner having received it as a present from Mrs. Cullen F. Sturtevant, nearly twenty years ago. The name of the lily is Lilium candidum simplex. It seems to flourish in almost any variety of soil. At the same time it is advantageous to plant in a soil composed of mould, sand and well rotted cow manure. All lilies require deep planting and will do better if not disturbed for several years.
Mrs. Samuel Jewett of St. Johnsbury, with children, is visiting with her father, Mr. Jacob Bates, and other relatives in town, and Mrs. James Stone, of Windsor is visiting with Mrs. Melinda Tinkham at her farm residence.
The sympathies of our people are universally expressed for Rev. A. J. Hough and family of White River Junction, in view of the recent death of their little daughter after months of painful illness. It is hard to part with the little ones, even when the passage from the home below to the home above is attended with little pain; but when, as in the case under notice, each step on the way, through months is taken in intense suffering, then one can hardly regret that the suffering is ended and that the little innocent child is at rest.
One of the county papers stated last week that a branch post-office had been established at Martinsville. Such is not the fact. A. A. Martin and others employ a person to get their mail at the post-office and deliver it twice a day, but this does not constitute a branch office; if it did every hill and valley in town would have a branch post-office.
H. B. Watriss had cucumbers and new potatoes from his garden Monday.
Delegates to the Congressional convention this week at Montpelier, with the number of votes each received at the caucus: James G. Bates, 36; Wilson Britton, 36; D. F. Rugg 37.
While Wallace A. Burk was at work in his barn a hawk made a descent upon his poultry -yard, and, fastening upon a chicken, started for the upper air, but before getting above arm’s length, Burk caught the hawk by the legs and brought him back to earth. A brief fight, a few scratches on the hands of the captor, and the feathered chicken thief was dead.
Col. M. K. Paine, of Windsor, is having a large number of boxes for packing Celery Compound, made here by Martin & Stickney.
Our neighbor, Curtis Flowers, lost a valuable three -years old colt Sunday from injury caused by running down a steep pasture hill, producing internal rupture. The colt had developed remarkable speed and had a very high prospective value.
Mrs. Dr. Fuller of Brooklyn, N. Y., formerly Jennie Keyes, of this town, is at P. B. Smith’s.
The school in district No. 12, taught by Nannie Darling, closed July 18. Whole number of pupils was 10. of those, Mabel Bagley, Maud Hadley, Jennie Tarble, Flora Walker, Stanley Spear, Orimer Bugbee, George and Freddie Stillson were neither absent nor tardy. Ernest Spear and Julian Burk were absent during haying. The people in the district speak in high terms of Miss Darling as a teacher. Miss Gertie Walker, a recent graduate of Windsor high school, is to be her successor.
*Information supplied by Ruth Barton.
Transcribed by, Joan H. Bixby