Willard Twin Bridge Rebuild, 2001

Lattice interior of Willard Bridge

Lattice interior of Willard Bridge

Seth Kelley worked on this covered bridge as a sub-contractor for Jan Lewandoski in 2001. A hurricane had destroyed the original bridge during the 1930’s. The state had replaced the bridge with one built of concrete. The concrete bridge began to crumble and fail in less than 65 years. The town opted to rebuild the covered bridge.

The bridge is a Town Lattice Truss spanning eighty feet over the Ottauquechee River. Some of the features of the original bridge were changed in the new bridge, most notably, the engineer specified natural ships knees from Maine be used in place of knee braces. Ships knees are usually cut from the base of spruce trees where the trunk creates a natural buttress. Milled carefully, ships knees provide stable bracing that offer greater clearance for vehicles passing through the bridge. Although most of the ships knees in this bridge came from Maine, the project required a few additional knees. Seth and Jan selected appropriate trees from Jan’s property and hewed out the additional ships knees. Each of the knees were scribed in place. Oak sheer keys were added and finally the knees were bolted to the truss and tie beams. Seth and Michael Cotroneo spent may hot July days drilling and sledgehammering two inch diameter pegs into the lattice truss. With all of the pegs in place, a crane was used to lift the trusses. When the trusses were plumbed, four inch thick hardwood decking was added along with the board and baton siding. The Bridge was rolled across I beams and lowered down to rest on white oak bearing timbers on the new abutments. The remaining siding work was then finished and a wooden curb was added to the interior of the bridge before opening it for public use. If you ever find yourself in North Harland, be sure to visit the bridge. It is a rare opportunity to go through two covered bridges back to back.

Project Pictures

Reprinted from Knobb Hill Joinery, with permission.

Weed Cemetery Survey, 1991

The following is a transcription of the prologue to the 1991 survey of the Weed Cemetery done by Howland Atwood.  Virtually all of the information from the survey has been incorporated into the data in the Hartland Historical Society’s website.  A copy of the original is available in the Society’s library.

The survey has seven pages of transcriptions and notes.  It is supplemented by three pages of names, dates, and ages labeled, “Weed Cemetery – Town Highway #22, Hartland, Vt. (1989 Survey).


Byron P. Ruggles compiled a record from the gravestones in the Weed Graveyard on August 3, 1907. He reported the condition of the cemetery as “now a complete hedgerow of trees, brush, briars and weeds.” The town officers fro many years have taken an interest in the proper maintenance of its cemeteries and new flags are still placed in the metal flagholders on each soldier’s grave every Memorial Day.

The oldest gravestone is probably that of Moses Currier, who died March 20, 1791, ages 77 years. There are dated gravestones in every decade up through the nineteenth century to Dec. 31, 1893, the date of Augustine W. Rodgers, a civil war soldier.  There was a gap of 77 years before burials were resumed.

George Crandall was buried there in 1970 and George Spear in 1978.  Two boys, born the same year (1908), the youngest in their families, who were lifelong friends and grew up on adjoining farms in the Weed neighborhood. George Crandall wasn’t born in the neighborhood Crandall farm, but came there to live when he was about six years old.  His mother, Myrta Crandall exchanged her farm (the Blodgett place on County road) for the farm of Frank Burke on the Weed road in the spring of 1914.  George Crandall and George Spear were very successful in life.  Both retired in the same neighborhood.  George Spear on the farm settled on by his Gates ancestors and George Crandall on the Ahira Flower farm that adjoined the farm wher he spent most of his boyhood.  His retirement home farm may have adjoined the Weed farm.  George Spear’s wife Celia was buried in the Weed cemetery in 1986.

Later generations of the Weed family were buried in the Hartland Village cemetery (see pages 17 and 66A of the record of that cemetery).  The Weed family farm was probably sold out of the family in the early 1900s.  The descendants removed to Massachusetts.  Many descendants of original families in Vermont towns have moved out of state for better opportunities for over 150 years and still will.

Weed cemetery was a part of the old Weed farm.  Evaline (Darling) Morgan, who was a Weed descendant, wrote a very interesting article about a walk she took on June 20, 1943 from her family home on Hartland Hill — the next place beyond Lillian Marcotte’s.  She described her walk “across lots” and down through the Mose Weed hollow at one time.  The mill pond or what remained of it was aftwards used for a “sheep dip”. The brook wound down through the hills to join Lull brook at Fieldsville.

From this point, about 3/4 of the way down page one of the survey, are entries about the people buried in this cemetery and the markers left on their graves.

Transcribed by Brad Hadley, November 2011.

Weed Cemetery: Chloe, Chloe, and Chloe

There are three people buried in Weed Cemetery with the name Chloe (or Chloa). They are a mother, daughter, and granddaughter.

Chloe Peabody was born July 20, 1789, in Reading, VT, the daughter of Daniel Peabody. Her mother’s name is not on the birth record, but the death records says that her mother’s name was Abigail. Chloe married William Rogers, likely his second wife, and had nine children between 1815 and 1834. She died December 8, 1864 of lung fever. She was buried in Weed Cemetery, and her gravestone is included in the 1907 survey, but it is listed as no longer there in the 1991 survey.

Her first child was Abigail Rogers, who was born about 1815. Abigail married George Bagley in 1841. She died November 3, 1863. Abigail and George Bagley had a daughter Chloe Ann (Chloa Ann on the gravestone) Bagley around 1842, apparently named after her grandmother, Chloe (Peabody) Rogers. Chloe Ann died at age 12 in 1854 and is buried in Weed Cemetery.

Chloe (Peabody) Rogers also had a daughter named Chloe Ann Rogers, born around 1831. She married Cornelius F. Person March 27, 1848 at Hartland. She died March 25, 1849, at the age of 18. No cause of death is given in her death record. Her gravestone is in Weed Cemetery.

So the three Chloe’s buried in Weed Cemetery are a mother (Chloe (Peabody) Rogers, 1879-1864), her daughter (Chloe Ann (Rogers) Person, about 1831-1848) and a granddaughter through the first child of Chloe Peabody Rogers, Adeline, Chloe Ann Bagley (about 1842-1854).

The information above is from Hartland Historical Society notes confirmed through Vermont Vital Records.

The Marcy Tomb

This entry is from the 1984 Hartland Village Cemetery survey by H. Attwood.

Although the Marcy tomb is not in the Hartland Village Cemetery, it is located in the western part of the village, behind the A.A. Martin house (Ellis 1991).

However, it seems appropriate to include its record here, because it, too, is within the parameter of Hartland Village, or Hartland Three Corners.

These facts were told to the compiler about 1940 by Mrs. Kimball R. Perry and her daughter Blanche, who were living on the Joseph Marcy farm, more recently owned by their son and brother Russ Perry. (Mrs. K. R. Perry died in 1942).

Joseph Marcy was the great grandfather of Mrs. Charity Hodges Leonard Perry. Joseph Marcy had the tomb built because of the danger of grave robberies at that time.

Internments in the Marcy Tomb in Hartland Village:

  • Joseph Marcy, Sr. (1758-1838) (Rev War Soldier)
  • Mary (Cole) Marcy, his wife (____ – 1854)
  • Joseph Marcy, Jr. (1800-1878)
  • Charity H. L. Marcy, his wife (1801-1863)
  • Thomas T. Marcy, son of Joseph, Jr. (1831-1881)
  • Andrew C. Marcy, son of Joseph, Jr. (1841-1887)
  • Fred Marcy, son of Joseph, Jr.
  • Edgar Marcy, son of Joseph, Jr.
  • Sylvester Marcy, son of Joseph, Sr. (1799-1840)

(Dr. Sylvester Marcy, died Oct. 13, 1840 of Typhus fever, according to a letter from Daniel Ashley to Mrs. Celia B. Page. See Sumner manuscript, page 5171).

George S. Marcy and his sister Mary (Marcy) Leonard were entombed there but were afterwards removed to the Hartland Village Cemetery. (They were the children of Joseph Marcy, Jr.)

A Walker boy is in the tomb, as his farther asked permission to place his body there, planning to remove him later, but he never did.

There are two rooms in the tomb — the outer one is where the Walker boy was placed — the others (Marcys) are in the inner room. The interior has been whitewashed throughout and new coffins have been made to replace the old ones. Frank Marcy Leonard helped do this work and one of the Marcys. This work must have been done some time before Frank Leonard died int 1937 at the age of 83. He was the grandson of Joseph Marcy, Jr.

Thomas Tisdell Marcy (1831-1881), who died unmarried was the greatest Bible student and authority on the Bible in this region. After he died, the family Bible, which he read a great deal, was carefully wrapped up in a cloth and placed beneath his head in his coffin, which was placed in the Marcy tomb.

Mrs. Perry was named for her grandmother, Charity Hodges Leonard, wife of Joseph Marcy, Jr. Mrs. Perry’s parents were George Sylvester Marcy and Adeline Augusta (Carey) Marcy.

Two children of Doctor Marcy died August. 18 and 19 1801, but these were children of Doct. Stephen Marcy of a different family. Dr. Sylvester Marcy never married. Dr. Stephen was a brother of Joseph Marcy, Sr.

Byron P. Ruggles – Cemetery Surveys

From the 1984 survey of Hartland Village Cemetery by Howland F. Atwood, pg 64.

Byron P. Ruggles is buried in the Ascutney Street Cemetery in Windsor, VT.

  • Byron P. Ruggles, born Roxbury, VT. 1837, died in Hartland, VT. 1917.
  • Abbie M. Campbell, his wife, born Roxbury 1828, died in Hartland 1913.

Mr. Ruggles surveyed most of Hartland’s cemeteries in 1906-1907. Many of the graves in that survey were not found in 1984 when Mr. Atwood surveyed them, and many more from 1984 are no longer legible. So the work by Mr. Ruggles is the only record of many buried in Hartland.

Grave and Gravestone Move Notes – Hartland Village Cemetery

From the 1984 Hartland Village Cemetery directory by H. Atwood, beginning on page 65 of the manuscript.  Page references are to this document, which can be viewed at the Hartland Historical Society library.

There are at least fourteen people whose death date on their gravestone occurred before the Hartland Village Cemetery was established — after 24 February 1834, that is. See deed on page 67 and others that follow.

Some of these person's names and dates were placed on large family monuments
by their descendants.  Some have brought their ancestor's original gravestones
from older cemeteries in town to this new cemetery.   The remains of some people
were re-buried in the Hartland Village Cemetery, others were not.
Charles E. Colston lot, page 28:
Sukey, wife of Charles E. Colston, died Dec. 20, 1828, aged 44, also her
        daughter Manerva, aged 2 years.
Josiah Brown, died March 7, 1827, aged 25. His widow, Lucy Bagley, later
        married Charles E. Colston.
Lucina C., daughter of Josiah and Lucy Brown, died April 1, 1828, aged 9 months.
        (The original burial place of the above persons is unknown.)
W. S. Crooker lot, page 12:
Barker Crooker, died Dec. 30, 1825, aged [blank]
        Barker Crooker, his wife Deborah, William S. Crooker's wife, Paulina (Paul)
        Crooker and their daughter Eliza were originally buried in the Center of
        Town cemetery.  See note on page 12.
Benjamin F. Gates lot, page 43:
Catherine L. Gates 1832-1833
John Nelson Gates, M.D. died August. 12, 1827, aged 27.
Elizabeth, daughter of Zelotes & Margaret Gates, died Aug. 12, 1822, aged 21.
Zelotes Gates, died March 19, 1823, aged 67.
        The Gates family members were buried in a private cemetary on the Gates--
        Spear homestead in the Weed district, which is still owned by descendants.
        Many years ago their gravestones and bodies were removed to the Hartland
        Village Cemetery, according to their descendant, Stanley Gates Spear. (His
        brother Ernest A. Spear was an undertaker in Woodstock, Vt.) The removal
        must have taken place before 1907 because these and other members of the
        Gates family are recorded as being in the Hartland Village cemetery by Byron
        P. Ruggles in 1907.
James Hyland lot, page 26:
        William L. Hyland, died March 8, 1819, aged 1 year, 7 months.
        John B. Hyland, died Feb. 13, 1824, aged 1 year, 8 months. He has a
        gravestone in the Walker Cemetery, near Charlotte Gilbert's late home, and
        Helen T. Hyland, John's sister also has a gravestone there.  She died Sept.
        22, 1835, aged 3 months.
Buckley Marcy lot, page 8:
Mary Hadlock Marcy, wife of Buckley Marcy, died Dec. 24, 1834, age 34. Was
        she one of the first burials in this new cemetery?  She was buried at first
        in the Walker cemetery.  Her gravestone is still there, badly broken and lies
        flat on the ground.  Its record is barely legible. [The stone was repaired and
         was standing as of 2011.]
George Merrill - Joseph C. Bates lot, page 27:
        "In Memory of Mr. Jofeph Bates, who died Augt 27th 1789 in the 68th year
        of his age." His former place of burial is unknown.
--- End of page 65 ---
--- Begin page 66 ---
James N. Willard lot, page 26:
        Eluthera Willard, died May 13, 1823, aged 8 weeks
        Louisa Maria Willard, died Sept. 9, aged 1 yr, 4 months
William Short lot, page 18:
Charles H. Young, died Dec. 17, 1867, aged 28 years, 19 months.  Although he
        died some 33 years after the cemetery was established, he is included in
        this list because he was also buried elsewhere.  At first in the Center
        of Town cemetery and later re-buried in the Hartland Village Cemetery.
        He was listed in the "Middle of Town Cemetery" on July 30, 1907, but
        was not listed by B. P. Ruggles in Aug. 1907 in the Hartland Village
        Cemetery, so his re-burial must have taken place later on.  His gravestone
        is no longer at the Center of Town cemetery.
Removing bodies to another location or even entire cemeteries is not so
unusual, but usually requires an eminent domain determination.
Not so many years ago, Dartmouth College wished to expand their campus by
taking over adjacent land occupied by a very old cemetery in Hanover, N.H.
The villagers overwhelmingly opposed the idea and nothing has yet been done
as far as is presently known.  Many of the town's earliest settlers are buried
there, including Eleazer Wheelock, the founder of Dartmouth College.
One of the largest projects of this sort occurred in central Massachusetts.
In the town of Were, on a side road is access to the "dam of the Quabbin
Reservoir, constructed (1937) in the Swift River valley" in order to increase
the water supply for the city of Boston.  "The towns of Enfield, Greenwich
and Prescott" (including North Dana) "were inundated" entirely.  All of the
bodies in a number of cemeteries had to be removed.  A drive through the area
(the roads still remained) revealed only cellarholes where houses had been.
Almost spooky in the day time.  All of the forests were lumbered off.  Here is
an example of where "clear cutting" is excusable and necessary.  What couldn't
be used for lumber was probably burned on the spot.
"The reservoir has 177 miles of shore line, surrounding 39 square miles, with
a maximum depth of 150 feet and a storage capacity of 415 billion gallons. The
water will flow by gravity into Wachusetts Reservoir through Quabbin aqueduct,
a 24.6 mile tunnel through solid rock."
About a mile away from the reservoir is "the Quabin Park Cemetery established
by the commonwealth for the bodies disinterred when the Quabbin Reservoir
was build."
There probably wasn't much to remove of bodies buried as long as 200 years
at the most.  About the best they could do with the oldest graves was to take
some of the earth at the level where the body was supposed to be and put it in
a new coffin.
The references enclosed by quotation marks are from the Massachusetts Guide
(1937), page 526.
--- End of page 66 ---
--- Begin page 66-A ---
Vermont Journal April 26, 1884, Hartland News by Gilbert Thayer:
The remains of deceased members of the C.H. Rodgers family, two in number,
were removed from the old Weed burying ground to a recently purchased lot in
Hartland Village Cemetery. (Gravestones not noted in either Weed or the
Village cemetery. The Rodgers lot is recorded on page 3.)
Vermont Journal, April 26, 1884, Hartland News:
The remains of deceased members of the Weed family, four in number, were
removed on Tuesday from the old Weed burying ground to a recently
purchased lot in Hartland Village Cemetery.
See page 17:
Of twelve persons buried in the Weed family lot in Hartland Village Cemetery,
Miss Abbie Green Weed (1849-1884), who died February 10th, may have been the
first member of her family to be buried there.  Seven others died after 1884.
The four remaining were Abigail (Green) Weed (1788-1878); Asa Weed (1821-1862);
Asa Weed (1792-1847); Eva Nannie (1860-1864); and Nathaniel Weed (1821-1862).
They were the ones bought down from the Weed cemetery to be re-buried in the
Hartland Village Cemetery.  Only about six persons surnamed Weed have
gravestones in the Weed cemetery, viz:
Nathaniel Weed (1742-1818); Rhoda Weed (1747-1816); Miss Lois Weed (1778-1803);
Mr. Jacob Weed (1771-1820); Moses Weed (1782-1840); Jacob C. Weed (1820-1824).
No gravestone was found for Catherine, wife of Moses Weed, nor was there one
recorded by Mr. Ruggles in August 1907.
Jerry Green Hadley was buried in the Elisha Gallup cemetery on Weed Hill in
1864 and his gravestone was recorded there August 3rd 1907 by Byron P.
Ruggles.  After his wife Hannah A. Gallup died Nov. 22, 1907, Jerry's body
was brought down to the Hartland Village cemetery and other members of his
family who died after 1907 are buried there.  See pages 45 & 46 of the
Hartland Village Cemetery record.
--- End of page 66-A ---

The Walker Graveyard

“Sunday Picnic in the Cemeteries”

by Howland Atwood

Carleton Eastman’s first wife was Cyrena Walker.  Carleton Eastman’s second wife was Ann Henderson, who came from New York State and was supposed to be of Dutch descent.  Carleton Eastman died in 1859 and Mrs. Ann Eastman later married Elihu H. Pitkin.  Their daughter, Lucy M. Eastman, who married Charles Carter was Nellie Murphy’s mother and great grandmother of Priscilla Atwood.  Lucy Eastman Carter is buried beside her mother.  The Pitkins had two younger daughters, Mrs. Lottie Dunbar and Mrs. Hattie Cavanaugh and a son Sid Pitkin. The Pitkins lived in a house later owned successively by Mary Perkins, Raymond and Alice Burke and Arthur James.

James Hyland, whose two young children are buried here, lived in Hartland Four Corners in a house that stood on the east end of the garden spot, just south of the barn that burned down recently on the Skunk Hollow Tavern property.  James Hyland once had a blacksmith shop near the site of the present Universalist Society, Mr. Hyland may have had the Varney blacksmith shop built.  Mr. Hyland’s daughter, Calista, married H. B. Watriss and is said to have been given their house as a wedding present.  Her granddaughter, Blanche (Leonard) Bagley sold the place to Chester Smith many years later.

Isaac Sargent came to Hartland from Ware, N. H. in 1792, locating upon the farm now owned by his grandson, Isaac N.  The house the latter occupied was built during that year.  The house was taken down in the 1940’s and a house built from the materials in the Bates District by Mr. Winans.  It was beyond Craig’s.

John Barrell was the ancestor of the Barrell families in Hartland.

James Walker came to this town from Massachusetts, in 1781, locating upon the farm now owned by his great-grandsons, J. and S.S. Walker.  The old frame house used by N. F. English as a machine shop was built by James Jr. in 1800.  This farm was owned in the 1930’s by Eldridge Davis and later owned by Audrey Collins.

Elnathan Walker used to manufacture spinning wheels.

Gardner Marcy is said to have lived in the large house in Fieldsville that is now surrounded by the outside storage of materials and that is opposite the Frank French house that is falling down.  Maxwell Evarts is said to have obtained a rare fireplace mantel from the Marcy house for his large new house on Juniper Hill in Windsor.  This Marcy house may have been used as an inn in the days when the mineral water from the place across the road (Frank French’s) was sold and used for its supposed curative properties.  Delia Field said that some of the rooms still had room numbers painted over the doors when her family lived there.  The well was dug deeper to obtain still more water but in the process the mineral vein or content was lost.  John Field is said to have lived in the Frank French house and his son, Wardner L. Field, lived across the road in the Gardner March house.  His wife was Lydia Jennie Weston, a direct descendant of Myles Standish and had an ancient pitcher brought over on the Mayflower.  It has been handed down from generation to generation to a daughter named Lydia.  But Mrs. Fields didn’t like the name Lydia and didn’t give the name to either of her two daughters.  So after her lifetime the pitcher would revert to another line of Standish descendants who did have a daughter named Lydia.  Mrs. Field always went by the name Jennie Field or L. Jennie Field and latter form appears on her gravestone.  The Standish pitcher was in Pilgrim Hall in Plymouth, Massachusetts for a number of years.  One year, about 1930 and near Thanksgiving time, Della Field brought over to the Four Corners school, then next door to the Fields’ home, newspaper clippings and a picture of the pitcher to show to the school children.

Mrs. Field’s sister, Mary Weston, who lived in Massachusetts, withdrew the pitcher from Pilgrim Hall many years ago.  Its present whereabouts is unknown.

The Fields had three children, a son, Warren, who never married, Estella who married Elisha Flower and Adella, who in later life became the second wife of Leon Ayers.  In the 1920’s Mrs. Field, Warren, and Della moved to the house at the Four Corners, presently owned by the McLeans.

Curiously, Mr. John Harding is not mentioned in either the Windsor County Gazetteer or the Windsor County History which supplied some of the above information about the Walkers and Sargents.  Dr. John Harding, Sr. lived in Charlotte Gilbert’s house.  Dr. John Harding, Jr. lived at the Four Corners.  He built the house now owned by Mrs. Keffer.  It was build in 1827, not 1820 as a later owner arbitrarily decided and placed the date on the front side of the house.  The six Willard brothers of Mrs. Harding, skilled brick masons, did the work.  Their excellent workmanship is just as evident to this day.  While the house was being built the Hardings lived in the Clifford Coombs house (later Spencer’s) at the foot of Town Farm Hill.  Dr. Harding’s office was in the west end of the frame ell that extends westerly from the main house.  Beyond the office in the end of the ell were open sheds for the storage of carriages and farm equipment.  The sheds continued around the corner of the barn. These open sheds were removed by Mr. Parkes.  Mr and Mrs. James B. Miller occupied Dr. Harding’s office area after they moved down from their farm to the Four Corners to take over the Post Office and they lived at the Harding place until the property was purchased by J. C. Parkes.  The Post Office was then in the east end of the Ladies Aid Hall.  The Millers brought down to the Post Office a long narrow wall cabinet of small drawers from Dr. Harding’s former office.  Each drawer was about 8 x 10 inches and there was a single row of them in a framework.  The knobs were of metal and were fluted.  The drawer fronts had been painted to resemble natural wood graining. They probably originally contained medicines and pills.  The drawers probably remained there until later years when the ground floor of this building was completely changed and renovated into a garage of heavy equipment by Leslie Lyman.  Dr. Harding made a lot of his own medicines and raised herbs for this purpose in the garden south of his house.  Nancy Darling wrote that “Dr. Harding, Sr., a prominent and revered physician lived twenty five years in Hartland.  He had three sons who were physicians, one of them D. John Harding, Jr. continued his father’s work.” in Hartland.  Dr. Hardings’ saddle bags containing hand blown medicine bottles are in the Hartland Historical Society room.  Which Dr. Harding used them is uncertain, perhaps both did.  Analdo English said that Dr. John Harding had a big grape arbor and mulberry trees in the lot on the south side of the house — beyond the driveway.  He raised silkworms, bees and herbs.  He used to put a beehive between his legs and take the bees off a grapevine with his hands with no protection whatsoever.  He always moved very cautiously when handling bees, being careful not to excite them and in this way handled bees easily.  John Harding III had a marble shop for the manufacture of gravestones in a building that stood between the Lobdell store and the Mills Billings blacksmith shop (Gene Driscoll’s home) building.  A France frenchman, Joe Hodet, carved the little lambs and other designs.  The marble shop building was later moved up on High Street by ox teams to become the house where Photographer Brousseau now lives.  During Millard White’s ownership this house was renovated and enlarged to its present form.

A government marker for Ichabod Hatch was placed perhaps after Mr. Byron Ruggles compiled his record of the gravestones, which he did about 1907.  Icabod Hatch, a veteran of the Revolutionary War, was the ancestor of Arthur Hatch and Lillian Marcotte.

Frank Sargent was the last of the Sargent family to live on the Sargent farm before it was acquired by Allen Britton.

At present, no information is known about the other persons buried in this small cemetery, other than what is recorded on their gravestones.  There are graves marked only by rough field stones and probably some of the graves were not marked at all.  Probably most of the people lived in nearby houses.  The Hartland land records may reveal some information, but some may not have owned land.  Therefore any type of record at all is very important and should never be destroyed — school district records, merchant’s account books, family papers, newspapers, old letters, etc., for such may contain the only record of some former resident, even though but mere mention of a name.

The Windsor County Gazetteer on page 144 states that “Capt. Caleb Hendricks, from Massachusetts, was among the earliest settlers.  He located with his father, upon the farm now owned by J. and S. S. Walker.  They brought with them two slaves, Caesar Brockey and his brother and located them upon the piece of land adjoining the farm.  A rough stone now marks the colored men’s graves and the spot where stood their cabin.”  This farm on which the Hendricks settled may have been the one on Hendricks Hill, recently the Erroll Rice place, one time home of Veterinarian George D. Wood.  This farm land extended over towards Lull brook.  The Brockey cabin was in this area, once pasture land, now densely forested.  Whether the Hendricks were buried in the Walker Graveyard or not is not known.

Drowning at Sumner’s Falls 1895 (2) – Charles A. Barber

Six miles above Windsor, at Hartland, Vermont, is a part of the Connecticut known as Sumner’s Falls.  A rough cart track goes down through the woods to the river from the main road to the falls, and here the curious will perceive a mound of earth, six feet long, covered with flat stones.

On June 21, 1895, one of Van Dyke’s rivermen, a nineteen-year-old Charles A. Barber, From Cherryfield, Maine, lost his life there. He fell off the log he was riding into the swift water of the falls and was drowned. The drivers recovered the body, took it up into the woods, and covered it with a blanket. The paymaster who accompanied the drive sent a telegram to the boy’s father, who came through from Cherryfield with a pair of driving horses.

The dead youth had about three hundred dollars coming to him. When the father received the money he put it into his pocket, jumped into the buggy, and took off for Cherryfield as fast as he could go. He left the body right there.  The drivers then took it and buried it beside the woods road. Then those rough and mostly uncouth men took time to pick a slab of stone and scratch on it the boy’s name, age, and hometown, and put it on the grave. I visited it on April 9, 1966.  The headstone is still on the mound, but the inscription is getting faint.

Reprinted from “Tall Trees, Tough Men”, By Robert Everding Pike, 1967, Page 236, Google Books

Hartland Buildings, Bridges, and Other Structures

Hartland has a wealth of historical buildings and other structures. The links below go to other pages on the Hartland Historical Society site or to other sites featuring Hartland buildings.

The Connecticut River Heritage Trails Trail No. 6 includes Hartland and surrounding areas. This page highlights several Hartland structures.

The National Register Properties & Districts site lists several structures in Hartland. These are listed at the Connecticut River Joint Commissions site.

William Emerson Damon

We are all familiar with Damon Hall, situated in the center of Hartland Three Corners, but what do we know about the Damons for whom it was named? Bev chanced upon an article that whetted our interest and so we pursued it further and found a most fascinating man and family. As I’ve noted before;, Hartland is full of them!

As this building, Damon Hall, which we dedicate today is a memorial to Luther and Betsy Thayer Damon and to their children, and especially to their son, William Emerson Damon, through whose generosity the gift of this building has been made possible, a short sketch of Luther Damon and his son William E. Damon would seem appropriate. Luther Damon, son of Aaron and Lucy Emerson Damon was born in Reading, Mass. Dec. 17 1795. When 10 years old he came to Vermont to settle on the farm now known as the Damon Farm. He was married to Betsy Thayer of Braintree, Mass Nov. 15, 1819.  (He sold the Hartland farm and moved to Windsor but after a few years he became homesick for the old farm and bought it back, never to leave it gain. He built the present Damon house about 1845.) Ten children were born to the couple.

William Emerson Damon, the youngest son was born in Windsor in 1838. He was educated in the public schools and at Kimball Union Academy. Feb 14 1865 he married Alma Otis of Windsor. For many years Mr. Damon was superintendent of the credit department of Tiffany’s, New York City.  Largely through his efforts the New York aquarium was established and Mr. Damon came to be considered an authority on matters pertaining to aquaria. His interest in the New York aquarium is referred to as follows in “Bermuda, Past and Present” by Walter Brownell Hayward.  No less a personage than Phineas T. Barnum was the first to introduce Bermuda fishes to the New York  aquarium public. Barnum, ever on the alert for new thrills, conceived the idea of bringing live specimens from tropical waters, and sent out two expeditions, one to Honduras, the other to Bermuda. Both returned without their fish, all having died in transit. Barnum was disappointed but was prevailed upon by one of his assistants, W.E. Damon, to fit out the well-smack Pacific which sailed to Bermuda in the summer of 1863. These being the days of blockade runners, all Northerners were regarded with suspicion and soon it was rumored that Mr. Damon in his frequent trips across the bays was taking soundings, not fish. Finally a peremptory order from the authorities halted his work and it was not until the American Consul had intervened on his behalf was Mr. Damon allowed to resume his harmless occupation. His party caught 600 fish, all of which were successfully transported to the greater glory and profit of Barnum and the pleasure of his patrons of the Ann Street museum Mr Damon’s “Ocean  wonders” was published in 1879, was one of the first books to popularize life at the seashore. This book contains besides descriptions of various kinds of marine life, a chapter on marine and fresh water aquaria. All of Mr. Damon’s sisters were interested in natural history but he says in his preface to “Ocean Wonders” that it was his dear and honored sister, Elizabeth with her suggestive spirit and practical example who awakened in his mind a love for nature. He also acknowledges his indebtedness to the intelligent and sympathetic interest of his wife in his favorite study. Because of Mrs. Damon’s interest in her husbands avocation she has become interested in the Hartland Nature Club and has felt it a pleasure to contribute towards this building… Mr Damon never held public office …  He died on the home farm in 1911.

From a speech by Harold Rugg at the dedication of Damon Hall on Dec. 2, 1916, reported in The Vermont Standard.

Reprinted from the December 2006 Hartland Historical Society Newsletter