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Biographical Sketch of Rev. Increase Graves

Rev. Increase Graves was the first settled minister and received the ministerial lot allowed by charter, the same being the farm now occupied by H. N. Sollace. Calvin Sollace, born in Walpole, N. H., was a graduate of Middlebury College, studied law in Middlebury, and commenced practice in Bridport in 1814, and subsequently served as judge six...

Bridport, Addison County, VT

BRIDPORT lies upon the lake shore, the center one of the county’s western tier of towns. It is bounded on the north by Addison; on the east by Weybridge and Cornwall; south by Shoreham, and west “by the center of the deepest channel of Lake Champlain.” The charter deed which brought the township into existence was signed by Benning Wentworth, the royal governor of New Hampshire under King George III, October 9, 1761, granting to Ebenezer Wiswall and sixty-three others “a tract of land six miles long, from north to south, and seven miles broad from east to west, bounded on the west by the waters of ‘Wood Creek'”; for such was the early name of this part of Lake Champlain. This charter gave these sixty-four grantees, most of whom were residents of Worcester county, Mass., 25,000 acres of land, the same that makes up the area of the Bridport of today, for no material changes have been made in the town’s original boundary lines. The surface of this tract which England’s erratic king granted to “his loving subjects,” for the “due encouragement of settling a new plantation in our said province,” is generally level, with perhaps just hills and rolling land enough to lend a pleasing landscape contour. The soil is principally a brittle marl, or clay, with loam upon the higher land. The timber in the eastern part of the township is mostly maple and beech, and in the western part oak, with some white and Norway pine along the border of the lake. Few streams or springs of importance are afforded, while the water, except that...

Biographical Sketch of Isaac Pettibone

Isaac Pettibone, with his father, emigrated from Norwalk, Conn., to the eastern part of Middlebury, and subsequently, in 1795, removed to Bridport, settling upon the farm now owned by E. Jewett. Isaac was a hatter by trade, which occupation he followed here many years. His sons were Charles C. and Edwin S.; both have died and their widows have homes in...

Biographical Sketch of Daniel Hamblin

Daniel Hamblin came to Bridport from Guilford, Conn., when there were but two families in the township. After the war broke out he returned to Guilford, enlisted in the Continental service and served till the cessation of hostilities, when he soon after returned to Bridport and located upon the farm now owned by J. T. Fletcher. His son Alexander, a noted hunter and trapper, succeeded to the homestead. Hiram E., son of Alexander, now resides in the...

Bridport Vermont- Early Business Interests

The population of Bridport has always been strictly of an agricultural character. Its tradesmen and mechanics have almost invariably devoted their energies exclusively to supplying the home demand. The dearth of manufactures is attributed to the absence, as we have previously noted, of adequate water power. At an early day, when the settlers were clearing their lands and wood ashes were plentiful, Bridport, in common with other towns, did considerable business in the manufacture of potash, which found a market in Troy, Albany, and sometimes Quebec. In this manufacture Samuel Buck was pioneer. His works were located near the present village, upon what is still known as “Potash Hill.” After the lands were cleared the first general product was wheat. This was taken to Troy and exchanged for goods, cash rarely entering into the transaction. The currency system was “exchange of commodities,” and of course no great debates over the “silver question” are handed down to us. This trade with Troy was continued until about 1813, when the business of raising sheep, cattle and horses was ushered in. This interest developed rapidly and extensively, and the town is still noted for its fine live stock The celebrated horse “Black Hawk” had his home here, whither he was brought by David Hill. Allen Smith was a large stock dealer. Among the principal stock and sheep growers of to-day are H. C. Burwell, J. J. Crane, E. H. and H. E. Merrill, C. H. Smith, E. D. Wilcox, F. G. Converse, and many others. Before the days of the railroad, when all the commerce was conducted through the medium of the...

Biographical Sketch of William Myrick

William, Barnabas and Zenas Myrick, the three brothers, were early prominent business men in town. William served as town clerk many years; represented the town in the State Legislature six sessions; was a judge, etc. Barnabas served the town as selectman, and in numerous other offices. He was killed by the fall of a tree in 1823. B. J. Myrick, in town, was his son. Zenas was a carpenter by trade; he also represented the town in 1828 and 1829. William M. and Charles H. Grandoy, of this town, were grandsons of Judge William...

Biographical Sketch of Arunah Huntington

Arunah Huntington, the donor of the munificent sum of $200,000 for the benefit of the common schools of Vermont, learned his trade in this town, as a shoemaker and a worker in leather, of Matthew Nobles during the years 1821 to 1825. Being an industrious, prudent young man, he taught school winters during his stay in town, where a few still retain his memory as being among his small scholars in their younger days. At this date, April, 1886, Bridport has living, in a population, of 1,168, twenty persons who are octogenarians, and one, Lyman Pease, has passed ninety...

Biographical Sketch of William Russell

William Russell, an early inhabitant, located upon the farm now owned by his grandson, N. W. Russell, and raised a large family of children; only one is now living, Mrs. B. J. Myrick, who resides in town. But his descendants are numerous–probably would take the prize, if such was offered, for the greatest number. He died in...

Biographical Sketch of Jakamiah Johnson

Jakamiah Johnson came from the same place as above, 1794, locating upon the farm now owned by his son, Lyman H. Johnson. His widow, Anna, died in 1885, the oldest person then in the township, aged ninety-two years. Mitchell Kingman came from Canaan, Conn., about 1795, and located upon the farm now owned by J. C. S. Hamilton. Rev. Phineas Randall, a Congregational minister from Stowe, Mass., located in Bridport in 1795. He preached here and in adjoining towns several years, then removed to Weybridge, where he married Phoebe Goodyear, in 1798. His son Joel also settled in town. Henry Hall, from Rhode Island, came to Bridport in 1790, locating as the first settler upon the farm now occupied by Henry F. Hall. James Hamilton was born in Barre, Mass., and came to Bridport in 1795, locating upon the farm now owned by his son, Amos Hamilton, and the house he now occupies was built the first year of his father’s residence here. Michael and John Hamilton, brothers of James, came during the same year. Michael settled upon the farm now owned by Charles A. Landers; John upon the one now in the hands of his son, J. O. Hamilton. In 1804 John built a portion of the house now occupied by J. O., and which is still in very fair...

Biographical Sketch of Ephraim Stone

Ephraim Stone, from Groton, Mass., made his first settlement upon a farm now owned by Aikin Dukett, in 1787, where he resided until his death in 1841, aged seventy-eight years. His son Philip, born in 1803, died recently, leaving two sons, Charles and Marshall.

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