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History of Addison County Vermont
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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 the events which led to its discovery and subsequent civilized occupation.
Addison County occupies a position on the western line of the State, between 40 50′ and 44 10′ north latitude, and between 3 38′ and 4 18′ east longitude, and is bounded west by Lake Champlain; north by the towns of Charlotte, Hinesburg and a part of Huntington, in Chittenden; northeast by a part of Huntington, and by Warren and Roxbury, in Washington county; southeast by Braintree, in Orange county, and Rochester in Windsor county; and south by Benson, Sudbury, Brandon and Chittenden, in Rutland county. It is nearly thirty miles long from north to south, and thirty-three miles wide from west to east, and contains an area of about seven hundred square miles, divided into the following townships: Addison, Bridport, Bristol, Cornwall, Ferrisburgh, Goshen, Granville, Hancock, Lincoln, Leicester, Middlebury, Monkton, New Haven, Orwell, Panton, Ripton, Salisbury, Shoreham, Starksboro, Weybridge, Whiting and Waltham, exclusive of the territory occupied by Vergennes.
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