Biographical Sketch of Col. Asahel Raymond
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Col. Asahel Raymond was born in Middlebury, Mass., April 7, 1781. His parents moved to Woodstock in the following September, where he resided until September, 1807, when he came to Stowe. Here he immediately purchased a farm, where Noah Scribner now resides, and commenced the manufacture of salts and pearl ashes from the ashes obtained in clearing his land, and also purchased by exchange for dry goods and groceries, of the surrounding settlers. He formed a copartnership with Dea. Asa Raymond, which continued until the death of Dea. Raymond. In 1822 and 1823, they built the grist-mill now owned by Thomas A. Straw, it then being located in the forest. In June, 1817, he purchased the hotel at the Center village, of Nathaniel Butts, and fitted up one of the ells for a store, into which he moved his goods. The remaining part of the building he used for a dwelling. After moving to the village he carried on the mercantile part of the business alone. His pearl ashes were taken to Boston on a heavy wagon, drawn by two yoke of oxen and a pair of horses. The conveyance would return laden with merchandise. The surplus pork was hauled in the same manner to Montreal, and the wheat to Albany, N. Y. Mr. Raymond gave employment to many of the settlers who were in destitute circumstances, thus proving a public benefactor. In 1833, he opened his house as an hotel, which he kept until 1839, when his sons, George and Asa, took it and continued the business about eight years. It was afterwards run by other sons until 1854, when George Raymond bought and conducted it until it was sold to Hon. W. H. H. Bingham, in 1861. The structure is now known as the Raymond wing of the Mt. Mansfield Hotel. Col. Raymond continued an active business man until his death, in 1849, aged sixty-eight years. He took a great interest in military affairs, holding at different times all the offices from corporal to colonel. Many people remember his fine, tall, straight figure, and the fine display he made on his well-trained gray horse, which he kept expressly for military parades. He married Orpha Robinson, daughter of Nathan Robinson, in 1810, and reared a family of six children-three sons and three daughters. Four of the children now reside here, viz.: George, the oldest, aged seventy-two years, a merchant doing business at the Center village , Asa, a farmer , Mrs. Harriet Thomas, widow of Henry Thomas , and Nathan R., who resides in Stowe village.