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History of Addison County Vermont

Probably the first European to gaze upon the green peaks of Vermont was the French navigator, Jacques Cartier. On the 2d of October, 1535, he was conducted by an Indian chief to the summit of Mount Real, which now overlooks the city of Montreal, and there “in that bright October sun” was opened to his enraptured gaze the beautiful country for many miles around. Before him the mighty St. Lawrence, coming solemnly from an unknown land, rolled on majestically toward the ocean; the distant horizon was bounded by the lofty mountains of Vermont, crowned with perpetual verdure; while illimitable forests, robed in the gorgeous hues of autumn, were spread out before him in every direction. Donnacona, the Indian king who conducted him to the summit of the mountain, informed him that he might sail westward on the great river for three moons-passing through several immense lakes– without reaching its source; that the river had its origin in a sea of fresh water to which no limits were known. Far to the southwest, he continued, there was another great river (Ohio River), which ran through a country where there was no ice or snow; to the north, there was an inland sea of salt water (Hudson’s Bay), extending to a region of perpetual ice, while southward there were rivers and smaller lakes, penetrating a beautiful and fertile country, belonging to a powerful and warlike nation called the Iroquois-including within its limits the present territory of Addison county. Before we proceed to the narration of the historic events directly connected with this locality, however, we will turn back and briefly review...

Bridport Vermont – 1786 Freeholders

That the reader may gain a more definite conception of the freeholders of the town, and the amount of money on which they were taxed at this time, we have herewith the grand list of 1786, from the original record: £ s. d. Alexander Osborn……… 12 0 0 Marshall Smith……….. 25 0 0 Phillip Stone………… 48 0 0 Samuel Smith…………. 26 0 0 Esril Hucker…………. 6 0 0 Isaac Chipman………… 9 0 0 Bijah Dunning………… 18 0 0 John Fisk……………. 31 0 0 ??? Rockwood…………. 5 0 0 John Nobel Bennett……. 27 0 0 Samuel Lewis…………. 57 10 0 Nathan Smith…………. 38 0 0 Moses Johnson………… 32 0 0 James Wilcocks……….. 11 0 0 Jonathan Viery……….. 6 0 0 Nathan Manley………… 9 0 0 The above is for improved real estate. On the opposite page of the old record appears the following, which alludes to the personal property and improved land of the persons named: Joshua Done, one head, £6 os od; two cows, two three year oalds, £l 0s 0d. Asa Hemenway, one head, £6 0s 0d; two oxen, one horse, two cows, £17 0s 0d; two three year olds, two yearlings, twenty-eight acres of land, £14 0s 0d. Solomon Moss [nearly illegible] one head two three yearlings, two cows, one hog, five acres of land, one hors, £21 10s 0d. John Barber, two heads, one hors, two oxen, three cows, two yearlings, three hogs, seventeen acres of land, £4s 10s 0d. Joel Barber, one head, £6 os od. Isaac Barrows, one head two cows, two two yearlings, six yearlings, three acres of land, £23 10s 0d. Abel...

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 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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