and Philadelphia Rivers supply this town with mill privileges. The
lands along the rivers are very good, but in general they are too mountainous
for profitable cultivation . . . No permanent settlement was commenced
here till 1800."
of Vermont, Hayward, 1849.
OF THE TOWN OF GOSHEN
The town of Goshen, situated on the southern boundary of Addison
county, is bounded on the north by Ripton, on the east by Hancock and Rochester,
south by Chittenden, and on the west by Brandon, Leicester and Salisbury.
The town was granted by New Hampshire on the 23d of February, 1782, though
the charter was not obtained until February 2, 1792. It entitled John POWELL,
William DOUGLASS and sixty-three others to 13,000 acres. A new charter
was granted on the 1st of November, 1798, by which two gores lying in Caledonia
county, seventy miles away, containing respectively 2,828 and 7,339 acres,
were added to the original territory, thus forming a disunited township
containing 23,167 acres. The inhabitants soon began to realize, however,
that either of the gores might properly be organized into a separate town
and enact proceedings which could not be invalidated. Accordingly, the
Legislature soon passed an act legalizing the organization of the 13,000
acres into a township. The gores in Caledonia county nominally belonged
to Goshen until 1854, when they were severed from it by the Legislature.
On the 9th of November, 1814, eleven thousand acres from the north part
of Philadelphia were annexed to Goshen, and on the 1st of November, 1820,
the north part of this town was annexed to Ripton. The next and last change
was effected on the 10th of November, 1847 by the annexation of a part
of this town to Rochester.
The surface of the town is high and rocky, being contained wholly
within the bosom of the Green Mountains. The geological formation is principally
gneiss and quartz rock, while iron ore and the oxide of manganese exist
to some extent. There are, nevertheless, many valleys in Goshen, with alluvial
soil easily susceptible of cultivation, on which are raised considerable
quantities of wheat, oats, rye, buckwheat, Indian corn, potatoes and hay.
The industry of the town is almost wholly agricultural, and is devoted
chiefly to the dairy and wool-growing interests. Large quantities of maple
sugar are also made annually, the maple having an extensive growth here.
The other varieties of timber are pine, hemlock, spruce, oak, beech and
birch, the deciduous trees prevailing.
Sucker Brook and Mill Brook constitute the chief drainage, the former
rising in the northeastern part of the town and following a westerly course
into Salisbury, while the latter rises near the central part and flows
northwesterly into the town of Brandon. These streams, with their tributaries,
also afford a number of good mill privileges.
Owing to the unpromising nature of the town, and its seemingly inaccessible
situation, it was not settled very early. The first settler in that portion
annexed from Philadelphia was Phineas BLOOD, whose arrival is dated the
year 1806. The first child born in town was Roswell W. MASON, born March
11, 1811. The first settler on the territory of Goshen as it was originally
chartered was Jabesh OLMSTED, who located in March, 1807, on lot fifty,
one-half of which Nathan CAPEN afterwards occupied. His wife had been sick
for some time, but by reason of his desire to reach the place in sugar
time, he brought her to the half-finished log cabin on a bed, with the
assistance of three other men. He was soon after arrested and imprisoned
in the Middlebury jail for debt, where he died only a day or two after
he had expected to rejoin his family.
Jonathan Olmsted, one of his sons, afterwards lived on the farm,
which was occupied at a later date by Benjamin PHELPS. His other son, Henry,
lived on the place now occupied by Barnd OVERBEEK. Jabesh was an exhorter.
His grandson, Wolcott BAIRD, jr., lives in Goshen at the present time.
The hardships of the first settlers in Goshen exceeded those of
nearly every other town in the county. The pioneers were obliged to buy
their grain of farmers in adjoining towns, carrying it home on their backs.
They usually paid for it in day labor. Joseph CARLISLE and William, jr.,
once traveled three days before they could buy a bushel of grain.
Phineas BLOOD, before mentioned, was three and a quarter years in
the Revolution. After he came to Philadelphia in 1806 he conceived the
idea of annexing the north part of Philadelphia to Goshen, when it was
organized. He built a log house in each of four different lots and sold
them, after which he erected a frame house for himself. All this was accomplished
before 1820. He was the second representative of the town in 1815-16, and
for five or six years a justice of the peace. He died September 10, 1822;
his widow survived until recent years and died in Wisconsin. He lived on
the farm now owned by his grandson, Otis BLOOD, and Jacob CARY, his granddaughter's
husband. Maria, wife of Jacob CARY, and the widow of Silas GALE, are the
only descendants now in town. Otis BLOOD lives with his sister in New Haven.
Other descendants are residing in Illinois and Iowa.
Reuben GRANDEY was an active soldier for seven and a half years
in the Revolutionary War. He came to Goshen in 1809 and settled on the
place now occupied by John PERSONS. Numan ALLEN is his grandson. Reuben
GRANDOY died April 30, 1819, and was the first person buried in the cemetery
now in use here.
Abiathar POLLARD, another Revolutionary soldier, took part in the
battle of Red Bank, and was one of the four hundred men under Colonel GREENE
who defended Fort Mercer and fired sixty rounds of cartridge before the
enemy retired. He died in December, 1813, at the house of Nathan CAPEN,
and was the first adult who died in town. He was buried near the west line
of lot number fifty, by the roadside. No headstone marks his burial place.
He was related to the GRANDEYs.
James COWEN, who had served for a time in the Revolution, came to
Goshen in 1823. He was a man of piety and of wonderful memory. It has been
said that he could repeat the texts of every sermon he had heard for forty
years, and could repeat vebatim a discourse two days after its delivery.
He was in religious belief a Restorationist. His death occurred on the
13th of May, 1845 at the age of eighty-one. He occupied a piece of land
north of the burying ground and across the brook.
Noah ALLEN came here in 1809 and lived on the place now owned by
Burgess FIELD, though all the buildings have been removed. He was one of
the selectmen chosen when the town was organized, and held the office a
number of years. He was chiefly remarkable for his generous disposition,
which brought him the enviable title of "father of the town." He and his
six sons have been among the foremost men of the town during its entire
history. He died on the 20th of May, 1844. Numan ALLEN, his son, is now
a prominent citizen of Goshen.
Griswold DAVIS came to Goshen in the spring of 1811; was elected
first selectman at the first town meeting in 1814: in May of the same year
was appointed a delegate to the Constitutional Convention, and in September
was chosen representative to the General Assembly. In 1815 he removed to
Yates, N.Y., where he recently died.
Nathan CAPEN, from Boone's Station, Mass., came here December 10,
1810, and settled near Jabesh OLMSTEAD's place on the town line between
Philadelphia and Goshen. At the organization of the town he was elected
town clerk, which position was accorded him twenty-eight successive years.
He was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of June 1828; was representative
of the town for six years following 1831, and was for years an active justice
of the peace. He died much respected on the 12th of March, 1852, aged sixty-six
years. The only descendants of Nathan CAPEN now in town are Nathan, his
son, and Minerva, wife of Numan ALLEN. Charles, another son, lives in Breedville,
Mich., and Asenath, a daughter, widow of Justus N. DART, lives in Monticello,
Wis.; John, a son, died in Forestdale in January, 1878, aged fifty-nine
years. Nathan CAPEN, jr., was born in Goshen April 18, 1815. In 1863 he
bought his present farm of William CARLISLE. On the 14th of March, 1839,
he married Rebecca HOOKER, and has now a family of three children--Nathan
Sidney, Ida Elizabeth and Cornelius R. Ford CAPEN. Mr. CAPEN has been town
clerk of Goshen for some time, and rendered valuable assistance in the
compilation of this chapter.
Abiathar KNAPP, the first settled minister in town, came in 1822,
and on the 9th of December of that year reorganized the Christian Church
here. He preached in Goshen eight years. In September, 1830, he was chosen
town representative, but soon after removed to New York. His place of residence
was about one-fourth of a mile north of James COWEN. Mary, daughter of
Eli KNAPP, and wife of Andrew S. BROWN, is a granddaughter of Abiathar
KNAPP and the only one of his descendants in town.
Josiah BROWN and Perley GREEN reached Goshen in 1819 from Brookfield,
Vt. Joseph CARLISLE, the second settler in town, came in 1808, and lived
on part of the place now owned and occupied by John WHITE. He was the son
of William CARLISLE, and brother of William, jr. He was an honest, hard-working
man, and for years was considered the best leader in vocal music in Goshen.
He died in Michigan in September, 1859, aged seventy-seven years. His eldest
son, Mial, the first male child born in town (spring of 1810), now lives
in Rochester, Vt. Another son, Amasa, lives near Ticonderoga, N. Y. No
descendants now live in Goshen. His brother, William CARLISLE, jr., came
in 1816 and succeeded Lemuel TOBY in the occupation of the place next north
of Abiathar KNAPP. He raised a large family. He was remarkable for his
power of relating anecdotes. He died May 11, 1858, aged seventy-nine; his
wife died three days later, aged seventy-four. His son William, and daughter
Deborah BECKHORN, now live in Forestdale. Other descendants are in Wisconsin.
Benjamin PHELPS settled in 1813 on the first place west of the Methodist
Church, now occupied by James MCGIBBINS. He was a consistent and active
Christian; he died July 5, 1857, aged eighty-nine years; his wife died
December 25, 1856, aged eighty-seven years. She and Triphenia SHEDD were
the two oldest persons ever deceased in town. Elmira, widow of Orris ALLEN,
is daughter of Benjamin PHELPS and his only descendant in Goshen. James
PHELPS, his grandson, lives in Brandon.
Lemuel TOBY has already been mentioned as the predecessor of William
CARLISLE, jr., on the farm north of Abiathar KNAPP. His daughter Lydia
became the wife of Simeon C. DAVIS.
David AYER settled west of the place now owned and occupied by Barnd
OVERBEEK Arnold, Hiram and Edward AYER, his grandsons, are still residents
James FITTS was an early resident on the place where John WHITE
now lives. One son and a daughter now reside in Salisbury.
Anthony BAKER originally located on the place now occupied by Albia
AYER, the "Martin ALLEN" place. He afterward bought out John Naples in
the north part of the town. His son, Loren H. BAKER, is the present town
clerk of Ripton He has also two sons in Forestdale and other descendants
in the West.
William JONES was an early settler in that part of the town afterward
set off to Rochester, where his son Lynn now lives.
William ROBBINS and Jonathan KENDALL lived on the east side of the
mountain. KENDALL built and for a time operated a forge there, but became
heavily involved and was compelled, it is said, to leave.
Daniel HOOKER was an early settler on the place now owned by Riley
BLODGETT and Thomas J. HOOKER. He died December 6, 1860, leaving descendants
surviving as follows: Thomas J. HOOKER and Joseph HOOKER, of Goshen, sons;
Jane, wife of Riley BLODGETT; Rebecca, wife of Nathan CAPEN, and Susan,
wife of James WASHBURN, of Goshen; Mary, wife of John KENNA; Sally, wife
of Noah E. BISBEE, of Brandon, and Lavina, wife of S. JONES, in Missouri.
Jonathan BAGLEY lived on the place now owned by Nathan CAPEN, on
the old mountain road.
Francis BROWN came here in 1819 and settled on the farm now owned
by Romeo M. BROWN, a grandson of Francis's brother John. Mary, widow of
Francis BROWN 2d, was daughter of Francis BROWN above named, having been
married to her cousin. Francis BROWN 2d, born in Rochester, Vt., on the
29th of September, 1797, came to Goshen in 1822 and located on the place
now occupied by his widow, Mary BROWN, in Goshen South Hollow. He served
the town three years as representative and nearly fifty years as justice
of the peace. E. J., ANDREW S. and Dan B., his sons, now live in town.
Francis BROWN 2d died February 22, 1883, aged eighty-five years.
Robert MASON settled on the place which still goes by his name,
now occupied by Charles WASHBURN. Samuel ROBBINS lived on the east side
of the mountain.
Nathaniel BELKNAP, who attained some prominence in the community,
lived on the place now owned by Jared L. SNOW. Mrs. Almon G. BAKER and
Mrs. Stephen SALLES, of Forestdale, are his daughters.
Amos SAWYER settled on the hill north of Barnd OVERBEEK's present
Lazarus CARY, son of Theodore CARY, lived south of the Wolcott BAIRD
place; he went West years ago.
John COOMBS lived for a time on the line between lot number fifty
and the place now occupied by John FERSONS; he was something of a pettifogger,
but not owning any real property, and not being considered self-sustaining,
he was warned out of town at an early day.
Isaac GALE lived at a very early day on the place west of the farm
afterwards occupied by Reuben ALLEN. The town organization was effected
on the 29th of March, 1814, the meeting having been warned by Henry OLIN,
of Leicester, there being no justice of the peace any nearer, and was held
at the house of Simeon C. DAVIS. The following officers were then chosen:
Samuel WHITE, moderator; Nathan CAPEN, town clerk; Grindal DAVIS, Noah
ALLEN, and Anthony BAKER, selectmen; Joseph DAVIS, treasurer; Anthony BAKER,
collector and constable; Joseph DAVIS, grand juror; Simeon C. DAVIS and
Nathan CAPEN, fence viewers; Joseph CARLISLE, pound-keeper; Mial CARLISLE,
sealer of weights and measures; Nathan CAPEN, tithingman; Grindal DAVIS,
James FITTS, Anthony BAKER, Hendrick HYER, surveyors of highways; Henry
OLMSTED and Lemuel TOBY, haywards.
Proceedings were at once set on foot for the purchase of a burying-ground,
which culminated in the buying of the one still used by the town, the report
of the committee having been accepted on the 10th of June, 1814.
At a meeting held at the house of Simeon C. DAVIS, on Tuesday, March
31, the following proceedings were enacted: Voted to raise fifteen dollars
to defray town charges and one hundred dollars for making and repairing
Among other internal improvements the construction of roads was
an important consideration. The road from Philadelphia to Ripton (the original
proprietors' road) had been substantially completed before 1807. The old
turnpike past the present residence of Nathan CAPEN to Rochester was finished
in the fall of 1838. The other highways of Goshen were opened at an earlier
Thus the settlement and improvement of this little town increased.
New arrivals frequently made their homes in town until in 1815 the list
of voters was placed on record as follows: Jonathan OLMSTED, Lemuel TOBY,
David AYER, Joseph CARLISLE, Reuben GRANDEY, Benjamin PHELPS, James FITTS,
William CARLISLE, Anthony BAKER, William JONES, Willard ROBBINS, Jonathan
KENDALL, Daniel HOOKER, Jonathan BAGLEY, Robert MASON, Samuel ROBBINS,
Henry OLMSTED, Nathan CAPEN, John WHITE, Nathaniel BELKNAP, Amos SAWYER,
Lazarous CARY, Mial CARLISLE, John COOMBS.
occupation of the inhabitants of Goshen from time immemorial having been
purely agricultural, nothing can be said concerning the early mills, etc.,
of the town.
Notwithstanding the sparseness of the population, the town has won
an enviable record for unanimous patriotism, as evinced in the wars which
have convulsed the country. Settlement had not begun here until years after
the closing events of the Revolution had been enacted; but we have seen
that a number of those who afterward erected their rude cabins within the
limits of Goshen, bore the scars of that terrible struggle for independence.
The War of 1812, however, found this town well equipped with men of nerve
and daring who were eager to defend the cause of their country against
the encroachment of a foreign foe. Asa GRANDEY, jr., and David OLMSTED
were killed in battle at French Mills. Jesse WHITE, a much respected citizen,
was in the United States service during a greater part of the war, and
Sanford GRANDEY was also in the service, and in the battle of Plattsburgh.
Such was the noise of that battle that the guns were heard here. Asa GRANDEY
and his wife walked the road before their house, wringing their hands in
an agony of grief, expecting to hear that Sanford was killed, as Asa had
been before. When the alarm was given that the British were marching on
Plattsburgh and a battle expected, Samuel WHITE, Grindal DAVIS, Samuel
C. DAVIS, Reuben ALLEN, David AYER, jr., Martin CARLISLE, Benjamin PHELPS,
jr., Robert MASON, Henry S. and Jonathan OLMSTED, and Leonard TOBY took
their equipments and started for Plattsburgh. The battle was fought, however,
before they arrived. John AYER and Jesse WHITE also served eighteen months
in this war.
"There are two things, at least," writes one,
"of which the people of Goshen are proud. One is, that three presidents,
Lincoln, Grant and Hayes, received the unanimous vote of the town. The
other is, that during the late rebellion the quota of the town was more
than filled." No higher eulogy can be passed upon the past of the town,
and no higher praise bestowed on those who fought in the civil war. The
following are the names, so far as they can be ascertained, of those who
served in Vermont organizations:
Volunteers for three years credited previous to call for 300,000
volunteers of October 17, 1863:
W. F. ALLEN, E. AYERS, W. BECKHORN, P. BLOOD, C. F. BROWN, M. COURTNEY,
H. M. FERRIS, H. A. HENDEE, H. HOOKER, J. LOVELL, J. R. MCGIBBON, V. D.
SALLS, A. P. SMITH, P. TYLER.
Credits under call of October 17, 1863, for 300,000 volunteers,
and subsequent calls:
Volunteers for three years.--H. D. AYER, P. H. BLOOD, H. BROWN,
Volunteers for one year.--S. C. ALEXANDER, S. T. CHAMBERLIN, R.
Volunteers re-enlisted.--J. R. MCGIBBON, J. W. PITRIDGE.
Volunteers for nine months.--M. F. ALLEN, J. AYERS, D. B. BROWN,
H. S. BROWN, J. W. BROWN, N. CAPEN, E. KELLEY, J. WASHBURN, J. S. WILBER.
Furnished under draft.--Paid commutation, A. AYERS, N. J. PHELPS,
S. H. WASHBURN. Procured substitute, A. S. BROWN, H. J. HENDEL.
The only industries in Goshen, aside from the agricultural pursuits
of the people, are represented by the saw-mill now owned and operated by
Numan ALLEN, located in the southwestern part of the town, which was built
by John CAPEN about the year 1850. Mr. ALLEN bought the property in the
fall of 1863. Staves, barrel heads, shingles and all kinds of lumber for
building purposes are manufactured in this mill. The mill is run by water
power and has a capacity for sawing about 10,000 feet of lumber a day.
The saw-mill of Turner W. DUTTON, the only other mill of any description
in town, was built within the past four years and is now operated by steam.
There is no post-office in town, the inhabitants contenting themselves
with receiving and sending their mail at Brandon, where they do all their
The population of the town from the beginning of its settlement
to the present time is shown by the following figures from the census returns:
1800, 4; 1810, 86; 1820, 290; 1830, 555; 1840, 621; 1850, 486; 1860, 394;
1870, 330; 1880, 326.
The Methodist Episcopal Church, located in the southwestern part
of the town, was organized in 1818, with seven members, Rev. Nathaniel
ALDEN being their first pastor. Rev. L. O. HATHAWAY is their present pastor,
with a very sparse membership. The first house of worship was erected in
1831, giving place to the present structure in 1848. The building, which
cost $1,000, will accommodate one hundred and fifty persons, and is now
valued, including grounds, at $1,500.
The Wesleyan Methodist Church, also located in the southwest part
of the town, was organized by Martin ALLEN in 1848, Rev. Robert H. ROSS
first pastor. The church building was erected in 1851, with seating capacity
for one hundred and fifty persons, at a cost of $500, about its present
value. The society has, at present, eight regular members, with Rev. Winfield
HATHAWAY, brother to the pastor of the M. E. Church, in charge of the pastorate.
XXI, pages 454-460.
of the Town of Goshen.
of Addison County, Vermont,
And Biographical Sketches
Of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers."
by H. P. Smith. Syracuse, N. Y.;
& Co., Publishers, 1886.
by Jan Maloy, 2002