Hartland in World War 1 (Part 2)

In the November issue, I stated that there were 62 names on the Hartland Honor Roll. I only wrote about the men whose war service was described by Walter Hatch. Some readers told me they enjoyed reading about Hartland guys who were old when we were young. Here are some more names from Mr. Hatch’s writing about members of the Hartland Legion Post.
Les Motschman

Hamilton Bail joined the Legion in 1946. He served in both wars. (I knew him in the 1970’s as my father did work for him. He lived in the brick house beyond Fairview Farm on the Dam Road.)
Dean McArthur is on the Hartland Honor Roll. He served in a Battery of the American Expedition Force. The McArthur farm was on the Quechee Road (Now the large brick house owned by the Littles). After his Army service he married and bought the property in Foundryville that was featured for sale in 1855 in the previous HHS newsletter. Mr. McArthur worked for the Hartland Telephone Company, which was owned by Ernest and Jennie English. He also worked in the garage Mr. English established as the first one in town. The garage was the red building near the Foundryville bridge across from the falling-down Telephone garage.
Paul Morrison ran a store in both North Hartland and Hartland Three Corners. He also served in both world wars.
William Carter will be remembered for his work at the Hartland Fair. In his younger days, Bill was a canvas man with a circus. He supervised the tent city at the Fair.
Fred Crowel worked in the area as a carpenter. He bought the old creamery building in the Four Corners and remodeled it into apartments (Now the bridal shop).
John B. Cawthorn married Dorothy Lamb and lived until his death in the brick house at the corner of Route 5 and Martinsville Road. He was from the Carolinas.
Rodney Burk was listed in the previous HHS newsletter as one of the Hartland men who went to France during the World War. Burk grew up on the Crandall Place on Weed Road (now Kennedy/O’Brien). I indicated that after the War he lived in the red house on the corner of Brownsville and County Roads (Gilberts), but it was probably the next house up County Road
as Mr. Hatch wrote that he built a cement dam above the house to store water for an ice harvesting business. At that time the Whiting Creamery in Four Corners stored a large quantity of ice to cool milk and cream in the summer. The milk and cream was shipped by rail to Whiting’s main plant in Boston. The dam is still visible, but the pond is mostly filled in.
Dean Bradley ran Fairview Farm on the Dam Road in North Hartland. He served with the American Expedition Force during the World War.
James Young worked at Fairview Farm and later started a trucking business. He was stationed in Fort Worth, Texas during the War.
Frederick Woodruff worked with the Red Cross in France during the War. He bought the house in Four Corners right on the corner of Route 12 and the Brownsville Road. He was involved with the small library that was across the street for many years. His wife Olga made the memorial that used to be on the Damon Hall lawn (It’s now in our HHS museum. It lists WWI, WWII and Korean War veterans from Hartland.).
Clint French was sent to the Clarkson College Training Depot in Pottsdam, NY during the War. He lived in a very old house in Foundryville (Now Derek Levin’s).
Deane Hoisington spent the War at the U. S. Naval Air Station in Halifax, Nova Scotia. NAS Halifax was established in 1918 as a base for “flying boats.” These large seaplanes had no landing gear and were used to patrol the North American coast looking for German U-Boats. (Wikipedia). His farm on Merritt Road still retains his name, even though he sold the farm in the 60’s and built a house nearby just off the Quechee Road.
Robert Patch is on the Hartland Honor Roll. He went into the garage business in Lebanon after the War. The Flanders and Patch name was still in use up until a couple of years ago.
Withington brothers Earle and Robert “Lyle” were from N. Hartland. During the War, Earle was at Camp Wright in Maryland and Robert was at Camp Devens in Massachusetts.
HHS member Judy Howland pointed out to me that I was spelling Osro Patch’s first name incorrectly (Osro, not Orso). That’s interesting because in the first part of his 13-page paper, Walter Hatch was misspelling his friend’s name wrong (Ozro).

Hartland in World War 1

Starting in 1848, Prussian Prime Minister Otto von Bismarck sought to unite the many German states into a German empire. Prussia was by far the largest and most populous state. Three successful wars against neighboring countries (Denmark 1864, Austria 1866 and France 1870-71) demonstrated to the citizenry how powerful a united Germany could be. Germany also created a colonial empire, claiming much of Africa not yet claimed by other European powers. As Bismarck was succeeded by Wilhelm II in 1890, the German Empire was becoming one of the most powerful nations in the world. It had the largest army; its navy was second only to the British Royal Navy. Germany had the largest economy in Europe and only the United States’ was larger.

By the turn of the century, many European nations had formed alliances for mutual defense. If one were attacked, allies would come to its aid. This arrangement set the stage for how a relatively minor event could lead to a truly global war. Germany was aligned with the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Italy. Under Bismarck it had been allied with Tsarist Russia, but Kaiser Wilhelm II had allowed that treaty to lapse. Russia then aligned with Britain and France.

On 28 June 1914, a Bosnian Serb and Yugoslavian nationalist assassinated the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, in Sarajevo, causing a diplomatic crisis. One month later, the Austro/Hungarians shelled the Serbian capital of Belgrade, starting the war. Soon Russia mobilized and France mobilized to support Russia. Germany invaded Belgium, causing it to invoke the 1839 Treaty of London, requiring Britain to join the war. Even Japan joined the Allied Powers as it hoped to seize German possessions in China and the Pacific. Italy left its alliance with Germany to join the Allies. The Ottoman Empire joined with Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Eventually fighting spread to the African colonies. In 1917, the Russian Revolution ended Tsarist autocracy, and Russian military resistance to Germany collapsed. Germany transferred a large number of troops to the Western Front.

After the sinking of seven U. S. merchant ships and the revelation that Germany was trying to incite Mexico to make war on its neighbor, the United States declared war on Germany on 6 April 1917. The U.S. had already been on somewhat of a war footing in that it had been providing war materials and foodstuffs to war-ravaged Europe for some time. The cover page of this issue is one of several large posters displayed in our museum. They were used to encourage men to sign up and citizens to buy War Bonds, in effect lending funds to the government so it could prosecute the war.

That the country was at war was evident right here in Hartland, where the National Guard was detailed to guard railroad bridges. Much of what we know about Hartland in the World War comes from a paper prepared by Walter Hatch in September, 1966. Mr. Hatch reprints an Honor Roll of 62 men who served in the War. It was prepared by Wilbur Sturtevant who was Town Clerk for fifty years. The men’s names are followed by the unit to which they were assigned.  The original handwritten Honor Roll is displayed in our museum.

  • Claude E. Wood had the highest rank of the Hartland men. He was commissioned Captain in the Medical Reserve Corps. He was the town’s doctor for many years. He had an office in his home in Three Corners on the left side of the road to Woodstock.
  • Lee Graham was a 1st Lieutenant in the Air Service. He was a graduate of Dartmouth and Harvard. Stationed in England, he was assigned to ferry a very old type of plane to France. He ran into a storm, the plane’s controls failed, and he crashed into a trash dump in Hastings, England, breaking his ankles.
  • Earle Graham was a 2nd Lieutenant in the Air Service, stationed at Love Field in Dallas, Texas. The Grahams grew up in the brick house near the Fire Station.
  • Rodney Burk was an Engineer in what was called the American Expeditionary Force (the AEF). Mr. Hatch recalls him later telling stories at hunting camp of his time in France, including building a bridge while under enemy fire. He lived in the red house on the corner where the County Road begins.
  • Elbridge Davis grew up in Hartland and Windsor. In the war, he was with a Coast Artillery Unit of the AEF.  When he returned, he married Eudora Sykes of Brownsville. They knew each other here but happened to meet in France where she was a WWI nurse. They had five children: Arthur was a well-known businessman in the area; Virginia married Micky Cochrane of Windsor and three of their children became Olympic skiers.
  • Mr. Hatch knew Orso Patch in Springfield where they grew up. When Hatch moved to Hartland in 1911, he roomed with the Patch family that was then living in the first house on Rice Road. Hatch worked at nearby Martin’s Mill. Orso went to France, where he drove a car for a Major.
  • The local National Guard trained during the summer of 1917 and sailed from Halifax on October 3, 1917. Frank Bement, Frank Russell and Ben Russell served in that unit. Ben was wounded in the Meuse offensive just before the war ended. The other two were in an ammunition train unit. Mr. Hatch recalls stories at hunting camp of what it was like in France to harness kicking mules to wagons at night while under orders to use no lights and make no sound. The roads were deep in mud and often ran through woods. Frank Bement married Ethel Russell [Yes, that happens a lot in wartime, your buddy’s sister starts writing you. In this case, they were classmates at Windsor High.].
  • Webb Hatch went to England on the Mauritania, without convoy as it was a fast ship. His unit crossed the Channel to Le Havre, France where they engaged in moving supplies. At first, they lived in tents in a muddy field but later were billeted in a barn’s hay loft, which was not so bad.
  • William Crane was one of the National Guard soldiers sent to guard the Martinsville railroad bridge when America entered the War. He later was in an artillery unit of the AEF. About three months after arriving in Hartland, William married a local girl, Mildred Howe, who was not yet seventeen. Mildred was born in 1900 and lived to 1992. She was aunt to Raymond, Viola, Paul, Avery and Laura Howe.
  • Walter Hatch was a corporal when discharged. He was stationed at an Aviation Repair Depot in Montgomery, Alabama. He lived in the house by the bridge just south of the Village. He was Marjorie Royce’s father. Mr. Hatch was involved with establishing an American Legion Post in Hartland in 1938. Much of his 1966 paper is concerned with members of the Legion—whom they married, what they did for work and leisure, and when they died. There was a lot of information about the old folks in town when I was growing up in the ‘50s and ‘60s.              

The majority of Hartland men served in units of the American Expeditionary Force and probably went overseas. Several were at camps or bases stateside. Five men were in specialized training at Dartmouth, UVM and Clarkson College when the war ended. Three Hartland men died in the war, all of disease: Winfred Morgan on March 11, 1918, Lester Harwood on September 26, 1918, and Isaac Springer on October 4, 1918 at sea. The disease may have been the “Spanish” flu. While millions of people died in the World War, tens of millions around the world died of the influenza that probably didn’t originate in Spain. Certainly that so many people were displaced by the war and troops moved from one place to another–often living in crowded, sometimes unsanitary, conditions–contributed to the spread of disease.

For a local perspective of the War, I scanned the 1918 weekly Vermont Journals published in Windsor. One article stated that deaths by influenza in the U.S. in just two weeks were far greater than those in the American Army in the past year. A November paper stated that the ban on places of public congregation and all other rules enforced for the prevention of the spread of influenza had been lifted on November 9. The Hartland News column noted that no events or meetings had been held at Damon Hall in October fbecause of the ban.

I wondered how I might learn how many Hartland people died from the Flu. I remembered something from the information HHS Secretary/Treasurer Pip Parker had provided me about the Howe family.  Mildred Howe had an older brother, Raymond Stickney Howe, who married a Hartland girl the same age as Mildred. Christine Barbour married June 18, 1917 and died October 19, 1918. Raymond then married her sister Hazel Barbour. According to the recorded Certificates of Death in the Hartland Town Clerk’s office, Christine’s cause of death was Pneumonia Lobar – Influenza. William Nugent, age 45, a Canadian working in a woolen mill, and Francis Spaulding, age 1, also died of the flu in early Fall 1918.

It’s apparent that civilians were expected to make sacrifices and volunteer for the war effort. At HHS, we have quilts that were made to raise money. We have several booklets in which groups of women kept track of the items they had made. They were making knitted items, surgical dressing, hospital garments, and so on.  An item in the Windsor paper stated that 8 million had volunteered for the Red Cross, and 291 million items had been made.

Every week included a section of the paper devoted to war news. By late summer of 1918, it was clear that Germany was nearly beaten, and discussion turned to what it would take to make the Germans surrender and what the terms should be. Articles encouraged farmers to produce as much as possible as Europe would need help long after the end of the War. The government was still asking landowners with walnut trees to sell them to sawmills with government contracts as walnut was the best wood for gunstocks and aero-plane propellers.

The November 5, 1918, edition reprinted an article from the Boston Globe, saying it would be especially interesting to Hartlanders. “Daniel Willard, Chairman of the Baltimore and Ohio R.R., has been appointed a Colonel of Engineers, U.S. Army, for duty in France. General Pershing recommended the appointment. The French Government has taken over operation of all French railroads and thought it desirable to have an American executive in view of the extensive use the American Expeditionary Force is making of those railways.” [Daniel Willard was born in North Hartland.] In Hartland news. “Deer hunters at Plymouth are F. A. Durphey, Frank Barrell, Frank French, A. B. Howe and Raymond Howe.”

Germany surrendered November 11, 1918. My grandparents’ generation knew it as Armistice Day. The U. S., Britain and France returned to peace; Germany was in chaos. Millions had died, great damage had been done, and the terms of the Peace Treaty were particularly harsh. Germany was marginalized by its former enemies. With no government, leftist and rightist groups fought for power. Just over twenty years after the Armistice, Germany would start an even larger World War.

Hartland Celebration: Those who were overseas didn’t come home immediately after Germany surrendered as there was still work to be done. It wasn’t until August 23, 1919 that Hartland held an all-day War Service Festival in honor of those from Hartland who served. The morning was devoted to sports. At noon there was a banquet at Damon Hall. At 2 p.m. there was band music and an address by Vermont’s Adjutant General. In the evening there was a band concert and dancing until midnight.

Background on Germany and the World War is mostly from Wikipedia. Thanks to Susan Motschman for typing and arranging and Pat Richardson for editing.

                                                                                    Les Motschman

Hartland in the Civil War – Part 7

Seventh Installment By Les Motschman

Constant Conflict

Last spring’s newsletter described the terrible Battle of The Wilderness and ended with the running battle between the two armies through Spotsylvania and Cold Harbor. There was no break from the fighting. Elements of both armies engaged each other all over northern Virginia throughout the summer and fall of 1864. Some clashes named for the nearest town or crossroads hamlet are quite well known. Many lesser engagements are hardly known at all except that officers’ reports duly note every interaction with the enemy. In his Hartland in the Civil War of fifty years ago, Howland Atwood mentions several engagements where he had determined that Hartland soldiers were present.
General Lee expected a full-scale attack on Richmond, but General Grant moved instead on Petersburg, an important Confederate supply base. Wilmington, North Carolina, was the only Confederate port still open and three railroads moved supplies from there to Petersburg and Richmond. In mid-June 1864, Petersburg was scantily fortified, but confusion among Grant’s subordinates caused a delay in taking it before Confederate troops arrived and strengthened its defenses. Grant called for a belated heavy attack but soon called it off when he realized Petersburg could not be taken by assault. Petersburg might have been taken in a day; instead the Federals laid siege to it. The siege lasted ten months. “Blundering” Bob Butler, a Massachusetts politician with no prior military experience, who was made a general at the start of the War, was blamed for not taking the town when ordered to do so. He had failed Grant and other commanders before, but President Lincoln would not dismiss him because of his influence in Massachusetts–The nation would vote for President in a few months, and Lincoln’s re-election was by no means a sure thing. The five Vermont regiments of the “Old Brigade” were at Petersburg.

Weldon Railroad – June 23, 1864

The Weldon Railroad engagement was not militarily important, but a tentative and poorly coordinated movement to destroy the railroad was very costly for Vermont troops. Operating near an area where 1700 Union soldiers had been captured the day before, the Vermont regiments battling Confederates near the railroad did not receive the order to retreat. Forty-nine Vermonters were killed, and 412 were taken prisoner. The captured were marched to the prison camp at Andersonville, Georgia, where 203 died and many of the survivors were permanently disabled. From the 11th Vermont, Edgar Leonard was mortally wounded and Elisha Spaulding was taken prisoner but paroled on Sept. 1. The Vermont 4th, 6th, and 10th, and the 1st Vermont Cavalry regiments also saw action there.

Monocacy, Maryland – July 9, 1864
After Cold Harbor, General Lee learned that a Union force was heading up the Shenandoah Valley. Though short of troops, Lee dispatched General Jubal Early and his Confederate corps to clear the valley and frighten Washington. At Monocacy, Early’s 15,000 Confederates overwhelmed the 5,000-man Union force assembled to slow the move on Washington. The nine-hour battle was important in that it delayed the Confederate advance, while a larger Union force sent by Gen. Grant made its way toward Washington. Atwood believes Hartland soldiers Charles Colby, Charles Colston and Seneca Young of the 10th Vermont were in the battle.

Fort Stevens, Maryland – July 11-12, 1864
From Monocacy, Early marched his men thirty miles toward Washington. They halted at Fort Stevens inside the district’s line on Seventh Street to assess the fort’s defenses. In fact, Washington’s defenses were poorly manned at that time. When the alarm was sounded, government clerks, home guards, invalid soldiers and casual detachments of soldiers in the city rushed to its defense. President Lincoln, looking through a glass at the White House, could see steamers in Alexandria arriving to unload veteran combat troops sent by General Grant. Soon, men in blue were filing into the fort and some formed a battle line in front.
Inexplicitly, Lincoln went to the fort himself to see how the confrontation would play out. When Early attacked, the President was standing on a parapet, a real concern for the officers accompanying him. As bullets started whizzing by, a surgeon was hit in the ankle and an officer was killed. Some accounts note an officer profanely cursed his Commander-in-Chief until Lincoln removed himself from danger.
The President had sent hundreds of thousands of men off to war. He had visited battlefields to see the resulting carnage. He had seen the wounded return to Washington in ambulances. He visited the hospitals to talk with the wounded and hold their hands. On this day, he saw first-hand many of his fine troops, under a rain of enemy fire, fall wounded or dead.
Early realized that the prize of Washington, so close, was not within his grasp. The Confederates withdrew to the Shenandoah Valley, leaving 400 wounded behind.

Les’s note: Howland Atwood ventures that helping to repel Early’s assault on the nation’s capital may have been Hartland’s most important contribution to the outcome of the war. If Early’s army hadn’t been delayed at Monocacy, it might not have been repulsed at Fort Stevens. American history from that point on would differ from what we know. One can only imagine the events that would unfold if the Confederate Army had been able to sack and burn Washington before the Union troops arrived. It would have sent a shockwave throughout a war-weary North. The war might have ended on terms more favorable to the Confederacy. Slavery might not have been abolished at that time. Who knows what a reconstituted United States would look like going forward? By my count, from the rosters of the Vermont 3rd, 5th, 6th, and 11th regiments that were at Fort Stevens, there could have been as many as twenty-four Hartland men in the battle. It would take a look at each soldier’s actual service record to determine who was fit for duty at that time, as several of the men had been wounded a few weeks earlier in the Overland Campaign.

The Army of Shenandoah
Following the battle at Fort Stevens, General Grant decided he would send an army after the Confederate force that had threatened Washington. It was time to wrest control of the Shenandoah Valley from the rebels. Earlier in the war, a large Union force had entered the Valley but had been beaten back at every turn by General Stonewall Jackson’s army. The Shenandoah Valley was Virginia’s breadbasket and it supplied food for the Army of Northern Virginia. Vermonters serving there likened it to the Champlain Valley without the lake. Grant placed General Phil Sheridan in command of the new Army of the Shenandoah. It consisted of some of the finest troops from the Army of the Potomac, including the Vermont 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 11th Regiments. The 1st Vermont Cavalry was also operating in the Valley.

Charles Town, West Virginia – August 21, 1864
Charles Town was founded by George Washington’s brother, Charles. In 1859 John Brown was tried, sentenced and hung here for treason. He prophesied “Many more lives than mine will be spent before slavery vanished.”
For a month the opposing armies maneuvered around each other. Then came the battle of Charles Town. The 6th Vermont reported being in a sharp battle, suffering more casualties than any other regiment. John Willard of the 1st Vermont Cavalry was taken prisoner.
Les’s note: A large part of Virginia beyond the Allegheny Mountains became the state of West Virginia in 1863. Residents in the mountains there and also East Tennessee did not depend on a slave economy, so they generally were not sympathetic to the Southern cause.

Winchester, Virginia – September 19, 1864
Sheridan defeated Jubal Early in an all-day battle at Winchester, also known as Opequan Creek. The Federals took 2,500 rebels prisoner. Sheridan began a “scorched earth” policy, destroying all crops and any food fit for man or beast. Barn fires everywhere illuminated the night sky. The usual five Vermont regiments were there along with the 8th and 10th. Frederick Small of the 1st Vt. Cavalry was wounded at Winchester.

Cedar Creek, Virginia – October 19, 1864
Most Vermonters likely recognize the name of Cedar Creek, even if they do not know its significance. A distinctive feature in the Vermont State House is the Cedar Creek Room on the second floor. A giant painting by Julian Scott on one wall depicts the Vermont troops’ role in saving the day at the Battle of Cedar Creek.
After the rout at Winchester, Sheridan’s Army of the Shenandoah went into camp for a well-earned rest. Sheridan went to Washington to report to his superiors. Meanwhile, the Confederate general, Early, had received some reinforcements and wanted to make one more run at Sheridan’s army. Confederate scouts
were atop a small mountain in the Valley looking down on the Union encampment, evaluating its defenses. Early sent 7,000 men quietly through the night to take up positions opposite the Union line. At first light the screaming rebels emerged from the heavy fog and overran the Union camp. Dazed Union troops ran from the oncoming mass of gray. Those who were left of the battered 8th Vermont Regiment, along with a few hundred other Union soldiers, were ordered to make a stand against the surging rebels so that the main army could escape, regroup and form a battle line. Such an order seemed like a certain death sentence as the gray wave engaged the defenders in hand-to-hand combat.
Gen. Sheridan could hear the battle begin twelve miles away in Winchester. His army had been pushed back four miles. Sheridan galloped back to lead his army. He urged the retreating soldiers he encountered to turn back. Because the men had the utmost respect for their commander, many did so. A thin Federal line was forming to receive an expected final massive assault. The rebels didn’t attack, and at 4 p.m. Sheridan ordered a counterattack across the ground given up earlier in the day. For a while it seemed as if the Confederates might hold their positions until nightfall. Later in the day, though, General George Custer’s cavalry, including William Wells’ 1st Vermont Cavalry, joined the battle and Cedar Creek became a rout. The great Union victory electrified the North, assuring Lincoln’s re-election a couple weeks later.
Five hundred Vermonters were killed, wounded or went missing at Cedar Creek. Of the 159 members of the 8th Vermont making the valiant stand against the rebel onslaught, 100 were shot or captured. We know of only one man from Hartland in the 8th Vermont Infantry Regiment. Thomas Geer joined the 8th on August 12, 1864, just in time to become part of the Army of the Shenandoah. He died of disease four months later. Judah Dana was wounded and Eldridge Thompson was killed at Cedar Creek. Both were with the 3rd Vt. Regiment.

Les’s note: For much of this installment, I have relied on Howland Atwood’s work of fifty years ago. To describe the Battle of Cedar Creek, I referred to Howard Coffin’s book Full Duty. Coffin has said that the 8th Vermont’s role in delaying the initial Confederate attack and the full Vermont Brigade’s participation in the successful counter attack may have been Vermont’s single greatest contribution to winning the Civil War. Coffin was instrumental in securing placement of a historical marker near the battlefield this past October for the 150th observance of the Shenandoah campaign. The marker details the story of Vermonters at Cedar Creek and says “Vermont soldiers played an important role in the Union Victory.”

The St. Albans Raid – October 19, 1864

On the same day as the Battle of Cedar Creek, the Civil War’s northernmost action took place right here in Vermont. Nineteen Confederate soldiers rode twelve miles from Canada to rob three banks in St. Albans. They shot and killed one man and tried to set the town on fire. After returning to Canada, the soldiers were arrested and held there. Most of the money was returned. The raid was one of several planned along the northern border, but the only one carried out. The objectives were to cause the Union to move troops to the border and acquire much needed money.

Men credited to Hartland who enlisted in late 1864
3rd Vt. Inf. Reg. 8th Vt. Inf. Reg. 1st Vt. Cavalry Gaius Thompson Thomas Geer Cyrus Bagley* Asa Benway 4th Vt. Inf. Reg. 9th Vt. Inf. Reg. Frederick Blaisdale John Douglas Richard Wheeler Hiram King Ferdinand Fallon* George Martin 17th Vt. Inf. Reg. Franklin Parker 5th Vt. Inf. Reg. George Hurley James Sleeper* John Blanchard John Temple* Frederick Small* Andrew Walker 6th Vt. Inf. Reg. 3rd VLAB** Zina Walker Thomas Kneen Cornelius Bagley Albert Willard Herman Orcutt Dwight Bagley Thomas Willard Hosea Young 2nd USSS*** William Petrie

* Nine-Months men who reinlisted ** VLAB – Vt. Light Artillery Battery *** U.S. Sharp Shooters (snipers)

Hartland soldiers James Emery of the 6th and Benjamin Hill of the 11th died of disease in late 1864.

The Election of 1864
Never before had the world seen anything like the election of 1864. A nation was preparing to hold free elections in the midst of a violent civil war. When people voted President, they would in effect be voting on whether to stop the war effort or to carry on to victory at any cost. Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase (from Cornish, New Hampshire) made a bid to replace Lincoln as the Republican nominee. Lincoln was renominated but did not campaign. His prosecution of the war would be the principal issue. The Democrats nominated General George McClellan, who was Lincoln’s first choice to lead the Army of the Potomac early in the war. McClellan’s tentative use of his great army against a much smaller Confederate force in the Peninsula Campaign had caused Lincoln to remove him as commander.
The military campaigns of the spring and summer of 1864 looked like failures. Lee remained unbeaten; neither Richmond nor Atlanta had been taken; the Confederates had recently made a brash move on
Washington. The Emancipation Act and the Union’s enlisting black soldiers inadvertently led to the creation of prisoner-of-war camps in both the North and the South. Tens of thousands of soldiers were housed in those dreadful prisons. Casualties in battle were higher than ever. To top it all off, Lincoln called for a new draft of 500,000 men. Lincoln did not believe he would be re-elected.

Les’s note: Some of the information above is from Bruce Catton’s 1960 book Civil War. 


That one word in bold print caught my eye in a ship’s library while we were on vacation about three years ago. I don’t own gold and I don’t think I would have been a gold seeker if I was around in the mid 1800’s, but I regard the California Gold Rush as one of the most fascinating events in American history. People have always treasured gold–some have been obsessed with acquiring it. Still, one cannot understate the pull that California gold exerted on hundreds of thousands of people when it became known that it was there for the taking, just by digging in the ground or streambeds. In just a few years, the lightly populated Mexican territory of California became a booming U. S. state.

The book “GOLD!” was written by Fred Rosen and provides much of the background material for this article.

In 1848 the two-year Mexican War was winding down. Some considered the war a trumped-up affair that justified the U.S. acquisition of a large territory from Mexico. At that time, many people believed in “manifest destiny.” It was thought that the novel experiment in governing that was the Union of States would become the greatest and most powerful nation in the world. Its land mass should extend across the continent, sea to sea, and be bounded by the Rio Grande River and the 45th parallel of latitude. A treaty signed in March 1848 called for Mexico to cede one half million square miles of territory to the U. S. for $18million.The land represented most of what was to become the states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. Ironically, gold was discovered at Sutter’s Mill on the American River on Jan. 24, 1848. Word of the discovery did not travel very fast, as that was such a sparsely populated area.

John Sutter was the head of a group of emigrants that established an agricultural and trading community on the site of present-day Sacramento in 1839. With the end of the Mexica War nearing, he thought more pioneers would be arriving and they would need building material. Sutter hired James Marshall to build a sawmill. Marshall was from New Jersey and of the restless type. He had made his way clear across the continent, trying his hand at farming, ranching, and various jobs. He was ranching in the area before he joined the fight against Mexico. Marshall had worked as a wheelwright, carpenter, and blacksmith, so he was a good man to take charge of building a water-powered sawmill.

On that January day, he was inspecting the tailrace where the water leaves the mill. He saw a nugget that he thought was gold. He showed it to the workers and someone hammered it. It did not break apart; it was malleable. They thought it must be gold. There was not too much excitement at first; it was considered a rare lucky find. Marshall allowed the laborers, consisting of Mexicans, Native Americans, and members of the recently disbanded Mormon Battalion, to prospect on their own time. When they started finding gold, a local rush was on. Work on the sawmill ceased and it was never finished. San Francisco was a small town, a tent city with a few structures, but it was where ships arrived from back East. San Francisco became abandoned; what few ships arrived were abandoned as whole crews and any passengers headed for the hills. Soldiers at military posts around California deserted en masse.

Eventually word did reach the East as rumors and wild speculation. Once the government could confirm that prospectors were indeed recovering a quantity of high-purity gold, President Polk announced that the rumors were true, that people were finding gold and lots of it. People trusted the President and assumed he was telling the truth.

The President made the confirmation on Dec. 5, 1848, so it took over ten months from the discovery until gold fever infected hundreds of thousands of people around the world. The announcement absolutely opened the
floodgates; men walked away from their factory machines, left their farms, saying farewell to their families. They had to find a way to get to the land of gold.

It wasn’t easy; most people in the U. S. lived in the eastern third of the country, 2000 miles or more from the gold. There were three main routes. The shortest was the overland route: Take the train to Missouri, then follow the trails established by the early pioneers, cross the Great Plains, go over the Rockies, then across the Great American Desert and finally over the Sierras. Hostile Indians could be encountered along the way and this route was considered the most dangerous.

It was easier to take a train to a New England port or New York, then travel to Panama and walk across the Isthmus. The danger here was contracting a life-threatening disease in Panama, especially if one had to wait weeks on the Pacific side for a ship to San Francisco. The many ships abandoned in San Fran-cisco harbor did not return for more passengers. A few years ago, while I was walking in the Hartland cemetery to my grandparents’ graves near the little brick building, a gravestone caught my eye. A young man had died in Juan Dalsud. I thought that was an exotic sounding place for a Vermont boy to die. After researching it at the Hartland Historical Society, I learned that it was the Pacific port at the end of the overland trail taken by gold seekers on the way to California. Orsan Gill died there April 24, 1852.

Surprising to me was that the longest route—17,000 miles around Cape Horn at the tip of South America—was the safest. It took 150-180 days, but one could leave from New England. I suppose those New England sea captains and crews had plenty of experience rounding the Horn on the way to the Orient for trade or for whaling in the Pacific.

About half the gold seekers traveled overland and half by sea.

Some prospectors did strike it rich. Most did not, especially if they were not up to working with a pick and shovel or standing in icy water all day. Some returned home, but many found well-paying jobs servicing the needs of the prospectors. Many enterprising individuals who went to California had no plans to dig for gold. They intended to acquire wealth as merchants, manufacturers, bankers, doctors, lawyers, and so on. This element of the gold rush made San Francisco into a great city.

Unfortunately, we at HHS do not have a lot of details about how those who went from Hartland traveled to California, what they did there, how long they stayed, nor how successful they were. It would be great if readers have information about “49ers” in their family that you can share with us.

Here is a list of Hartland men mentioned in Hartland records as going to California:

Arnold Bagley _______French Thomas Richardson Charles Bagley Orsan Gill Eben Stocker Fred Bagley Dennison Harlow James Sturtevant Jefferson Bagley S. Hoisington E. S. Taylor _______ Burgett John Lamb P. Taylor A.J. Dunbar Julius Lamb R. Taylor Joseph Dunbar, Jr. Ralph Larabee

This is quite a list, and it is surprising that we have so little information about their adventures. It must have been a big event in their lives.

What we know:  Orsan Gill died April 24, 1852 on the Pacific coast of Panama.  We have a letter from California inquiring about James Sturtevant who left his pregnant wife in 1849.  Thomas Richardson came back to Hartland only once or twice, and townspeople remembered he contracted yellow fever on the ship home. He was confined to the Richardson house during his stay. He was the younger brother of Paul who built a Greek revival style house and store in the Three Corners in 1851. The Richardson House is now the Post Office. The store was moved from the corner and is now
BG’s Market. We have a very good picture of Mr. Richardson taken in a studio in Nevada City, CA (in gold country). He appears to be a distinguished gentleman. He died in 1906.

The best we have is a letter John Q. Lamb wrote home after arriving in San Francisco on May 8, 1850, on the steamship “Carolina,” accompanied by his brother Julius. The “Carolina” made the voyage from Panama to San Francisco in only 19 days, stopping in Acapulco, Mexico, and Monterey, California, for two days to take on coal.

Excerpts from John’s letter:

Sacramento, California Dear Father [Harvey Lamb], Here we are in the golden land at last. We had a very good passage and have been in good health since leaving Panama. A number were sick on board and a man from Maine died after we arrived. San Francisco is the meanest place out-of-doors; one can hardly get his breath the sand flies so. We do not know what mines we shall stop at, but think we shall go to the Yuba River. Wages are not as high as they have been. Carpenters get $12 a day, laborers $5. We have got here full early, they say, to make much in the mines, but they say there is no trouble to make our living there now, so we think it best to go and be there when the water goes down. Board is $25 a week or a dollar a meal. There is plenty of snow on the mountains yet. They say it does not go off until the month of August. If I were to start again, I would not take half as much baggage as I have now. We are not going to take much to the mines now, so we are storing it on a ship for $1 a month. Hoisington is now here with us. He is going to the mines today also but not with us. Taylor has not found his father and I don’t think he will. Tell Mother not to worry about us as it is as healthy in the mines as in Vermont. All the sickness they have here is the fevers and ague and there is not much of that. I should like to be at home to sleep in a bed once more, but a hard board or the ground goes very well now when one is tired and sleepy. We are going to start soon, I cannot write much more so good-bye. John Q. Lamb

John included a short note to his sister:

Clarissa, You must write to me as you get this and you must get Hatch to write too. I would write to her if I could, but it is not here as it is at home. I do not know when I shall have another chance to write, so you need not worry if you do not hear from us for two or three months. Write about every living critter in Hartland, where they are and what they are doing. Direct your letters to Sacramento City. I should like to see some folks in Hartland, I tell you, but I must wait some time but I hope not over a year. Here comes Jule and Taylor so I must finish so good-bye. JQL

According to family lore, John and Julius were successful in California. When they returned to Hartland, they wisely invested their money in land. That has benefitted later generations to this day. I don’t know what happened with Hatch, but John married Lucy Damon from a neighboring farm. [The farms are now separated by the I-91 Interchange.] John died in 1856 at the age of 29. Lucy returned to the Damon Farm with their two young children and she and daughter Lizzie never left.

In order to get a sense of what the local response to the Gold Rush was, I went to the Windsor Library. They have the weekly Vermont Journals that go back before that time. I started with January 5, 1849. At the top of the first page in bold letters was “El Dorado” heading a lengthy article. Here are excerpts:

“After making all due allowance for the exaggerations of traders and speculators in California, we cannot doubt gold has been found in the valley of the Sacramento River and in the spurs of the Sierra Nevada. Some thousands of Yankees, Sandwich Islanders, Mexicans and Indians are hard at work in the intervals of
fever and ague, sifting sand and washing gravel. According to Government documents, they are actually acquiring gold at the rate of $15 to $40 a day per laborer. There is getting to be a general rush towards the Paradise of Gold. We hear sixty to seventy vessels advertised in our principle ports for California and Chagres. A mere boat of 30 tons manned by adventurers has just sailed from New Bedford for San Francisco to encounter the ice bergs of Cape Horn and the dangerous billows of that mighty ocean.”

The article continues with a description of how, starting in the 1500s, Spanish explorers came to the New World in search of gold. Even Sir Walter Raleigh hoped to find El Dorado, a place of fabulous riches, in the Carolinas. The article concludes that El Dorado has been found and it’s in California.

Each of the four January 1849 weekly Vermont Journals included news of the growing rush to get to California:

“We hear of young and middle-aged men starting in every direction in this [Windsor] county, heading for California.

“California fever continues to increase and every day we hear of new adventurers starting for the Gold Mines.

“It’s been about a week or two since a party of ten from Vergennes and about thirty from Rutland left for California.”

The third edition of the month reprints a very long speech by Senator Colonel Benton “on the difficult subject of regulating the disposition of the lands in California. People are going to California to dig and dig they will. Wise legislation would regulate, not frustrate, their enterprise.”

The fourth edition of the month describes “The Woodstock party for California,” which was made of some prominent residents and included some wives: “The party is not of gold hunters; probably none will go to the diggings. Capt. Simmons and Mr. Hutchinson will establish a brokerage and commission business. Capt. Simmons is the owner of large real estate in or near San Francisco, which he purchased on an earlier trip. Dr. White has gone with Mrs. White to practice medicine, Mr. F. Billings to establish himself in the practice of law.”

Frederick Billings was born in Royalton, VT in 1823. He became a lawyer in 1848 and headed to San Francisco where he became the city’s first land claims lawyer. He also was a successful real estate developer and became one of the wealthiest and most prominent men in California. After the Civil War, he sold most of his property and returned to Woodstock, VT and purchased the George Perkins Marsh estate. Today the Billings Farm and Museum is a working dairy farm.

Susan and I have visited Gold Country twice. It covers a large area in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada range. Many boomtowns were established and then abandoned. Coloma, site of the discovery, attracted two thousand prospectors in 1848. By the end of 1849, there were ten thousand placer miners working there. A couple of years later, it was nearly deserted as richer diggings were found elsewhere.

Initially, the Gold Rush symbolized the American Dream. No matter an individual’s status, if they had the stamina and determination to go to California and dig, they might greatly improve their lot in life. Eventually, companies were formed to mine the gold. Prospectors noticed gold flakes embedded in quartz rocks, but breaking the rock to dust by hand was too much work. Mining companies tunneled into the hillsides thousands of feet, following quartz veins. The environmental impact of hard rock mining was great, but even worse was hydraulic mining. This method required enormous amounts of water brought in by a network of flumes and directed into something like a fire hose. The resulting jet stream was used to erode hillsides, directing the runoff to sluice boxes where the gold could be collected. Of course, the silt and gravel continued on downstream, eventually impeding steamboat ravel on the Sacramento River. I believe it was the basis for some of the first environmental regulation the country.

The towns of Grass Valley and Nevada City grew to support hard rock mining. The wealth form the mines led to the creation of nice little towns. The professional class of merchants, bankers, doctors, and lawyers built fine Victorian-style homes. The highlight of one of our trips was staying in Nevada City’s National Hotel, built in 1854. I wish I had known that Thomas Richardson, a Hartland man, had probably spent most of his adult life there.

Today, most of Gold Country is encompassed by National Forest. State parks preserve and interpret historic sites.

Hartland in the Civil War – Part 9

By Les Motschman

The Aftermath

The Official National Park Service handbook—The Civil War Remembered—states that the American Civil War was the most momentous era in American history. It defined who we are as a nation. It was not only our greatest military struggle, but also our greatest social revolution, root of our greatest evolution as a nation. In the eighty years from the founding of the country until the Civil War, it was not certain at all that the disparate areas across the broad continent could be united into one nation. In addition, although the War was not fought to free the four million Black Americans from bondage, the institution of slavery was a deeply divisive issue that had been hotly debated for decades.
At the start of the War, slavery was legal in 15 states and the nation’s Capital. And in the mostly agrarian South, the economy was dependent on slavery. In 1848 a South Carolina senator asked, “Were ever any people persuaded by argument to voluntarily surrender two thousand million dollars of property?” In the North, abolitionists were the radicals of their time, who argued that slavery was a moral evil that should be prohibited. The arguments about whether slavery was a moral evil or a benevolent institution designed to care for a particular race split America’s two largest religious denominations—the Methodists and the Baptists—into separate churches. Each quoted Biblical scripture to support its position.
The Civil War affected the lives of every American in the 1860s. The outcome of the War determined that the Union would survive. Going forward, we would be one nation. Slavery was abolished by the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. The 14th and the 15th Amendments defined and nationalized citizenship and banned race as a reason for disenfranchisement. Before the War, the primary interaction people had with the Federal government was through the Post Office. Prosecuting the War, though, required more powerful central governments. Both the North and the South passed draft laws requiring many to risk their lives in service to their government. The North established income and excise taxes and created a national banking system.
Much of the South was beaten down after the War, its agricultural system and industries destroyed. A much higher proportion of its young male population were killed or maimed than the North’s. It took generations to rebuild and to come to terms with the place that freed Blacks would have in society.
The North emerged from the War an industrial powerhouse, ready to resume westward expansion. With its larger population, the North had more casualties in numbers, but wave on wave of immigrants from Europe displaced by war or by the Industrial Revolution headed straight for the Western territories or the growing cities.
Much of northern New England, however, was becoming a backwater. Our area as the frontier had experienced a large influx of settlers decades before the Civil War. Hartland’s population peaked in
1820 at 2553, and then declined with each census until 1920 when there were only 1212 people in town. It slowly rebounded but did not exceed the 1820 figure until 1990.
The population at the start of the War was less than 1800, yet Hartland is credited with sending 200 men. Twelve were killed in action, eighteen died of disease, and twenty were wounded. I’ve noted throughout the series that some returning veterans were at least partially disabled by their wounds or diseases they contracted in camp. At a time when the main occupation was farming, and most paying jobs involved physical labor, it was difficult for some to earn a living.
A year ago, I attended a lecture by Brian Jordan, who teaches courses on the Civil War and Reconstruction at Sam Houston State University in Texas. The topic was The Lives and Struggles of Union Veterans after the Civil War. Despite some of the progressive governmental measures put into effect after the Union victory, Mr. Jordan said it was an incomplete victory—there were race riots, the Ku Klux Klan was founded, and Southerners flouted the Reconstruction Laws imposed on them by the victors.
Most of the civilian population in the North did not suffer great hardship during the War unless they had lost a loved one. Generally, they were just glad the War was finally over so things could return to normal. The returning veterans, however, because of their sacrifice, were not so willing to reconcile with the Southern states and simply move on. They joined veterans’ organizations such as the G.A.R. (the Grand Army of the Republic), which demanded that Confederate President Jefferson Davis, General Robert E. Lee, and others be executed for committing treason. (They were not.) They saw themselves as returning heroes who not only preserved the Union, but also made possible a better Union, with liberty for all. Many veterans despised those in the community who did not serve, especially those who purchased a substitute. Some veterans could not work because of disability or the mental demons that can possess soldiers who have seen the massive killing and maiming of battle; some died of chronic ailments a few years after the War; some committed suicide.
Mr. Jordan said it was different in the South. As most of the War was fought there, civilians in the South shared in the suffering and defeat. The Confederate population in general tended to look backward after the War. The Civil War was a glorious lost cause that they hoped might someday receive vindication. Rebel soldiers, of course, were not eligible for U. S. pensions, but even in the face of widespread poverty, communities supported their veterans as living evidence of a just cause.
Many of the veterans returning to Hartland soon left for the cities or the Midwest. Most Hartland soldiers were in their late ’teens to mid-twenties, an age when they would naturally want to strike out on their own and get a good job or go into business or farming. Not all of them would have been able to stay in town. Older vets like the Davis twins or Benjamin Hatch were in their mid-thirties, already established in town, and remained here the rest of their lives.
About two dozen Hartland Civil War soldiers are buried in the Hartland Village Cemetery. An equal number are buried in the neighborhood cemeteries, and about that many are buried in cemeteries just beyond Hartland’s borders in South Woodstock, Woodstock, Quechee, and Taftsville. Quite a few more are buried elsewhere in Vermont or nearby in New Hampshire. The records indicate that two Hartland soldiers are buried in California and a few in the Midwest. For many, a burial site is not indicated,
presumably because they left the area for good. Those killed in action were often buried in a National Cemetery or in an unmarked grave on the battlefield.
Hartland historian Nancy Darling (1862-1932) wrote in The Vermonter magazine in 1913 on the occasion of the150th anniversary of 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.
Miss Darling lists the veterans still living in Hartland nearly fifty years after the War: Wm. J. Allen, W. W. Bagley, Sidney W. Brown, J. F. Colston, Ferdinand Fallon, Moses George, W. W. Kelley, Peter Lapine, L. J. M. Marcy, A. A. Martin, A. R. Pierce, S. M. Whitney, J. O. Wright; also, Enos Gingham, E. B. Maxham, and C. D. Myrnick, who went to war from other towns.
Around the time I started this Hartland in the Civil War project, long-time Town Clerk and HHS President Clyde Jenne told me the town went deeply into debt during the War. As I have said, the Federal government was not that big an entity before the War. There was a small standing army and navy. Towns had militia companies just as they did at the time of the American Revolution. Some of the men would gather from time to time to drill. One of the earliest pictures we have is of the Hartland militia drilling in a pasture above Foundryville. It soon became apparent that the U. S. Army as then constituted would not put down the rebellion quickly, President Lincoln called for volunteers to create a large army. Each state was given a quota, and the Adjutant General of Vermont in Woodstock determined a quota for each town. Incredible as it seems today, the responsibility for finding men for the army fell to the Selectmen in the individual towns. Technically, almost all the men went to war as volunteers, not draftees. There was, however, a bounty paid to those who signed up. Again, it’s hard to comprehend why the towns and not the Federal government paid the bounties. Towns weren’t able to double or triple the amount they raised by taxes; they had to borrow the money from banks.

From the February 1863 Town Report for payments made in 1862: Current expenses for the year in the Selectman’s Dept. $ 657.60 Orders drawn for Surplus Revenue paid State Treasurer 688.65 Amount of orders drawn for cash borrowed to pay soldiers ` 3,100.00 Amount of orders drawn to soldiers 1,750.00 Whole amount of orders drawn by Selectmen $6,196.25

The town finished the year $4,654.25 in debt. For some reason, three-year men got $50 and nine-month men got $100. All the soldiers’ names are listed in the Town Reports.

From the March 1864 Town Report: Names of drafted men who received orders for three hundred dollars each as their bounty from said town. [Seventeen names] at $300 whole amount $ 5,100.00 (Les’s note: These men did not serve but secured substitutes and were still paid by the town.)

Names of volunteers who have received their bounties voted by said town in cash, who volunteered under the last call of the President of the United States for three hundred thousand men: 24 men at $500 $12,000.00

The Town was $23,305 in debt.

From the February 1865 Town Report: Cash paid to three years men, $850 to $950 $ 10,225 Cash paid for substitutes, $750-$950 $ 6,450 Amount paid to one year men, $400-$750 $ 11,460 Amount paid to three years men (sailors), $625 $ 12,951 Amount paid to Men Re-Enlisted in the Field, $300 $ 7,213

The Town was then $65,407.80 in debt.
This seems like a crushing amount of debt at a time when the town was raising only a few thousand a year in taxes. Clyde says there are no minutes of Selectmen’s meetings from that time. The actual Town Reports are mere eight-page pamphlets with no written reports, only accounts. (By comparison, the 2016 Town Report is 127 full-size pages.). The Selectmen were paid two dollars a day when they worked on running the Town. Normally, much of the time involved overseeing work on roads and bridges, but it also included traveling to banks in Windsor and Woodstock to “hire” money. The 1865 Town Report indicates that most of the days the Selectmen billed the Town for in 1864 were spent in Windsor “after substitutes” or “for volunteers.” As indicated by the steep increase in bounties paid, it must have been a desperate time, as all the town selectmen competed for warm bodies to send to the Federal government. By 1864, most of the eligible Hartland men must have volunteered or been drafted. Many of the men receiving the large bounties were probably not Hartland natives.
Town Reports after the War indicate taxes raised increased somewhat. Of course, the Town had an interest expense of nearly $3,000 a year on top of normal expenses. In 1872 the Town was still $61,000 in debt. An 1887 warning asked whether the Town would vote to raise money for current expenses, for the school fund, and to pay a part of the indebtedness, reducing it by a few thousand a year. By 1898 the Town’s debt was down to $2,800.

Hartland Fair

By Ruth Jenne, 1948

The first Hartland Grange Fair was held on October 17, 1925. The one-day fair was held in the Village and Mechanics Hall (across from the brick church). There was a chicken pie supper and dance at Damon Hall. The fair has grown to a three-day fair with land of its own and many buildings erected as the fair grew. The Steele meadow was purchased in 1931 and the bandstand and judges stand built the next year. Buildings for exhibits and livestock were built. In 1934 the grandstand was built, the merry-go-round from the Woodstock fairgrounds was acquired, and land across the road was purchased for parking cars. Several of the buildings were built from buildings from the State Fair at White River Junction and Floral Hall at the Woodstock grounds. The grandstand came from St. Johnsbury and Floral Hall was part of the old Barnard Hotel.

The program consisted of sports, a parade, a children’s parade, horse stunts, a chicken pie supper and dance. After the cement floor was built, dances were held on the grounds in a large tent. An automobile was given away the last night to the holder of the lucky dance ticket. There were fireworks on two nights. In the early days of the fair, the vaudeville shows were presented by local talent. As the fair grew, these attractions were engaged from outside sources.

From the start of the fair until 1942, the fair opened with a parade. At first it was a street parade in the Village, but it grew to be nearly a mile long with beautifully decorated floats and vehicles, pedestrians and animals. [The route was from the Methodist Church, now the Sign Shop to the fairgrounds, now Hartland Elementary School. L. Motschman]

The fair was not held in 1942 because of the war. In 1943 there was a one-day fair with horse pulling and 4-H events. The following year the fair returned to the three-day program.

I asked people who viewed the exhibit for their comments and memories of the Fair: 

Elizabeth Spear Graham attended her Aunt Elizabeth’s Farm-Home camp in the early 1950s and remembers the Fair as the most anticipated event of the summer. On fair day, the campers wore their best suits and dresses, complete with hats. A picnic lunch was packed as they were strictly forbidden to eat or drink anything from the Fair except bottled drinks. This was because of the extremely widespread fear of polio at that time. Since most of the campers were from the city or suburbs, they were quite interested in the animals at the Fair.

Sandra Springer Palmer grew up on top of the hill that overlooked the fairgrounds. She started working at the fair as a young teenager selling tickets. In the early sixties after auctioneer J.W. Barber bought the Fair, Sandy worked at a variety of events that Barber held there. For a few years there was a large Sportsman’s Show held in October. 

As a young boy, the Hartland Fair was a highlight of my summer, occurring just a week or so before “back to school.” As a teenager, it wasn’t as exciting, but still not to be missed. My father and his Fish and Game Club buddies ran a dice game so I was at the Fair with him most nights. My favorite attraction at the Fair was the Joie Chitwood “Hell Drivers” show. The next day, we kids would be building ramps for our bicycles. 


HHS has ledgers used by the various judges, ribbons, tickets, posters, programs and premium booklets. The latest booklet is 1964 with Hank Williams, Jr. and his white Cadillac on the cover. I don’t remember the show but distinctly remember Williams hanging out with people near the Floral Hall office after closing time. I didn’t think to get an autograph as I was more interested in getting an up-close look at the Cadillac. 

Speaking of my father and cars, he won the car raffle in 1947, a black Plymouth. Les Motschman

Damon Hall Dedication

Hartland’s Big Day – Damon Hall Dedication

On December 2, 1915, The Honorary Clark C. Fitts of Brattleboro spoke at length about the importance of community life and how it forms a town’s character. “You of Hartland, with this beautiful building, are far richer than if mere money had been given, for here is great opportunity for the best community life. This building should be a center of the very best social life in the community and of the highest intellectual life as well.”

Mr. Fitts commented on civic life: “The trend of the times is radicalism. The referendum and recall are put out as remedies. Now the very essence of democracy is in getting together the men of the town in such community centers as this for a meeting of the minds and discussion.”

The dedication exercises closed with a medley of patriotic airs by a chorus, ending with “America” by the chorus, orchestra, and audience. After the program, all were invited to inspect the hall, and supper was served in the new dining room. Townspeople provided the food for what was probably the most notable meal ever served in Hartland. Six-hundred people enjoyed the bounty of the town. At eight o’clock, the orchestra played for a dance, preceded by a grand march with 87 couples. The hall may have been too crowded for comfortable dancing, but everyone seemed to have a lovely time. Supper was served until 10:30, and dancing went on until 1:30 a.m.

Damon Hall was a gift to the town from Mrs. William Emerson Damon, the children of Urias and Harriet Cotton Damon, the children of John and Lucy Damon Lamb, and the children of Merit and Lavinia Damon Penniman.

Damon Hall’s 100th Anniversary Celebration

September 26 & 27, 2015

Before Damon Hall

Damon Hall is turning one hundred, but the site it occupies has been the center of activity in Hartland for well over two hundred years. The first recorded building on that site was a hotel. It is not known when the hotel was built, but the land on which it stood was deeded to Isaac Stevens by William S. Ashley in 1774. Stevens built a square building with a high roof. There was a line of sheds on the north side and two barns on the south side. There was no road on the south side of the hotel until the “new road” (now Route 12) was built in 1835. The land west of the hotel was wooded.
It was no trick to make money with a hotel in those days, as freight was moved to and from Boston with six- and eight-horse teams. The horse barns were full every night. Weary travelers arriving by stagecoach could get a room, and enjoy rum in the bar and a meal in the dining room. The upper floor of what was known as the Pavillion House (later Hotel Hartland) was divided into a large hall and sleeping rooms. The hall hosted meetings, suppers, and dances. In the 1830s, Stephen D. Marcy built a wing with a spring dance floor that was said to have no equal in Vermont. On the ground floor were a store and post office.


Pavillion House



History and Anniversary of Hartland – Nancy Darling (1913)

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

From the day when Gov. Benning Wentworth of New Hampshire granted the first charter to Hertford (now Hartland), Vt. July 10, 1761, until the ushering in of the twentieth century, the town had never officially turned a retrospective page. Its history had been one continuous tale of action – the pioneer’s, the soldier’s, the legislator’s, the home-makers.

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 Esq
Born 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.

Lieut. Dodge.

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
Oren Liscomb
Amos Ashley
Dan Marsh
John Stevens
Zenas Webster
Seth Wood Jr.
Benjamin Barron Jr.
Gideon G. Goodspeare
Theron Rust
Wm. Nutting
Jesse Billings
Moses Billings
Jonas Benjamin
Orea Rawson
David Badger
Abjah Benjamin
Elijah Green
Samuel Healey Jr.
Elida Sabin
William Sabin
Roswell Hill
James H. Durrer
Thomas Perkins
George Marsh
Timothy Moore
James Nutting
John Billings
Jesse Benjamin
Otes Marsh

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.

Listening to the Exercises of the 150th Anniversary Celebration at Hartland

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.

Govenor Allen M. fletcher speaking at Hartland's 150th Anniversary Celebration

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.

The Exercises

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.