GENERAL HISTORY

OF

THE TOWN OF SHARON,

LITCHFIELD COUNTY, CONN.
FROM ITS FIRST SETTLEMENT
BY CHARLES F. SEDGWICK, A. M.
AMENIA, N. Y.
CHARLES WALSH, PRINTER AND PUBLISHER.
1877

CHAPTER II

AN ACCOUNT OF THE MEASURES PROPOSED AND EXECUTED FOR THE SALE AND SETTLEMENT OF THE TOWNSHIP.




AT the session of the Assembly in May, 1738, it was ordered that the township should be sold at public auction at New Haven on the second Wednesday of the following October. Samuel Eels, Esq., Joseph Whiting, and Capt. Isaac Dickerman were appointed a committee for that purpose. It was divided into ñfty-three rights, or shares, as they were called. one of which was given to the first minister, one was reserved for the use of the ministry in the town, and one for the support of schools, and the debts accruing from the sale were secured by the bonds of the purchasers, and when collected the avails were divided among the other towns in the colony for the support of schools therein. The following is, a list of the original purchasers of the town :—

Nathaniel Skinner,
Thomas Skinner,
Nathaniel Skinner, Jr.,
Samuel Calkin, 2 rights,
Samuel Gillet,
Joshua Lyon,
Joseph Skinner,
John Pardee,
Niles Coleman,
Matthew Judd,
Jabez Crippen,
William Goodrich, 2 rights,
Jonathan Petit,
Zephaniah Swift,
Joseph Parke,
Joseph Holley,
Caleb Chappel,
Josiah Gillet, Jr.
Samuel Beach,
Joseph Monroe,
Eben Case,

Ichabod Foot,
Stephen Calkin,
Samuel Hutchinson,
Timothy Pierce, 3 rights,
James Smith,
Ebenezer Mudge,
John Sprague,
Samuel Butler, 3 rights,
Benjamin Johns,
James Talmadge,
Daniel Hunt,
Thomas Spafford,
John Goold,
Benjamin Owen,
Ebenzer Norton, 3 rights,
Samuel Comstock,
Jonathan Peck,
Jonathan Case,
Moses Case,
John Woodin.


These purchasers formed a legal corporation, whose designation was and is, The proprietors of the Common and Undivided Land in the Township of Sharon. The clerks of the corporation have been Nathaniel Skinner, John Williams, Daniel Griswold, Samuel Canfield, Samuel B. Everitt and Eben W Chafee. The corporation had power to set out to each proprietor in severalty his share of the lands, and at different times they have been thus deeded, and each right has furnished to its owner nearly seven hundred acres of land. The average price of each right was about one thousand dollars, and each deed to the purchaser contained the following condition, which would ensure the speedy occupancy of the lands:

“Always provided, and these presents, are upon this condition, that if the said ______, shall by himself or his agent, within the space of two full years next after the date hereof, enter upon the said granted premises, build and finish an house thereon not less than eighteen feet square, and seven feet stud, subdue, clear, and fence six acres of said land, and continue thereon for the space of three successive years, commencing after the two years aforesaid, (unless prevented by death or inevitable Providences,) and do perform all duties and orders, pay all taxes that shall be granted, then the aforesaid deed shall remain in full force and virtue.”

The records do not show how much, if any of the purchase money was paid on the sale, or that any other security than the personal bond of the purchaser were required before giving the deeds.

Of the original proprietors these became inhabitants of the town:

Nathaniel Skinner,
Nathaniel Skinner, Jr.
Joseph Skinner,
Stephen Calkin,
Samuel Hutchinson,
James Smith,
Ebenezer Mudge,
Joseph Holley,

John Sprague,
John Parde,
Jabez Crippen,
William Goodrich,
Jonathan Petit,
Joseph Parke,
James Talmadge,
Daniel Hunt.

All the above names have become extinct in the town except those of Pardee and Calkin, each of which is represented by a bachelor, one of the age of eighty-six years, and the other not in a condition to afford much hope of progeny. There are many now remaining in the town who are descendants from the first proprietors through female lineage.

Many of the original purchasers sold their rights tO those who were also among the first settlers of the town. Some of them were as follows :—

John Williams,
Ebenezer Jackson,
Jonathan Dunham,
Caleb Jewett,
Obadiah Chapman,
Caleb Strong,
John Corbet,
Caleb Curtice,
Ebenezer Frisbie,
Benjamin Fuller,
John Gay,

David Hamilton,
Thomas Hamlin,
Bartholomew Heath,
Samuel Hurlburt,
Jonathan Lord,
John Marvin,
Jonathan Rowley,
Matthew St. John,
John Tickner,
Bazaleel Tyler,
George Way.

Immediately after the sale of thetownship, a number of the purchasers came on for the purpose of exploring, and to determine in what part of the town the settlement should be made. After exploring the lands and viewing their situation, it was found that the centre of the township was very unfavorably situated for the town plot. It was on a high ridge of land, where the face of the country was forbidding and uncomfortable. After mature deliberation, it was determined to fix the settlement on a street, laid out from Jackson s Patent to Salisbury line, and the place designed for the center, or site of the public buildings, was laid out in squares of a half mile each.

All the individuals who came on to explore in the Fall of 1738, returned to their families except one, who was William Goodrich. He brought his family with him, and spent the winter, which was a very severe one, with no other neighbors than the Indians, nearer than the Dutch settlements in the Oblong. The next Spring, however, brought a large accession to the number of inhabitants, and from that period the settlement of the town may be said to have commenced.

The first division was into lots of about eighty acres each, which was to furnish the Home lot or residence of the proprietor. A Committee was appointed to lay out a lot of eighty acres, which was called the Standard lot, and all the other lots were made to conform to this in value, the quantity to be more or less according to the quality. Some of the home lots were laid out wholly on one side of the street, and some on both sides, according to the situation of the land. The Standard lot was the one adjoining Jackson’s Patent, owned by the late Charles T. Lovell. The settlers principally located on the main street leading from Jackson’s Patent, now Hitchcock’s Corner, to Salisbury. Some, however, settled on the mountain and some in the valley, and in the course of a year or two nearly the whole territory of the first society was occupied. A large proportion of the first inhabitants of Sharon were from Lebanon and Colchester, in the county of Windham; some few were from Norwalk and Stamford, in Fairfield county, and several families were from the Old Plymouth Colony. As they removed into the town they located themselves upon the several Homelots which they had taken up, and by the next fall, were all comfortably provided with homes and other necessaries.

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