is a township of forty square miles of mountainous land, more fit for the
residence of wild beasts than human beings. Its waters flow both into Deerfield
River and Walloomscoik. The town was chartered in 1761."
of Vermont, Hayward, 1849.
OF THE TOWN OF GLASTENBURY
NEARLY thirty years ago Governor Hiland HALL wrote a brief historical
sketch of the town of Glastenbury; and in writing of its physical characteristics
said: "It is one of the roughest and most mountainous towns in the State,
and until quite lately has been considered a pretty safe place of retreat
for bears and other wild animals. Although much the greater portion of
the town is wholly incapable of cultivation, yet it produces abundance
of spruce and hemlock timber, which has lately been worked into lumber
in considerable quantities, and sent to market A portion of it goes west,
to and through Shaftsbury, and the residue south and westerly, through
Well, Addison county has its Goshen, and Ripton, and Hancock; Chittenden
county has its Bolton and Huntington; and Bennington county must have its
Glastenbury, a fair equivalent of any of those named, and more mountainous
than all of them. But the Glastenbury of fifty or even thirty years ago
and the Glastenbury of today are quite different, although the mountains
remain in all their wildness and grandeur. Even as early as 1791 the town
had a population of thirty-four, and in 1810 it had increased to seventy-six.
From that time to 1860 it declined to forty-seven; but after that improvements,
industry and development worked great changes in this wild region, and
its population again grew so that in 1870 the town numbered one hundred
and nineteen souls, and ten years later, or in 188o, the enumeration showed
a population of two hundred and forty-one. and the present number of inhabitants
will not vary much from that figure. But with all its disadvantages the
town of Glastenbury enjoys benefits such as are afforded to but one or
two other towns in this county; it is the northern terminus of what is
known as the Bennington and Glastenbury Railroad -- not a "trunk line"
by any means, but a short road over which is carried every year a vast
quantity of lumber, charcoal and other manufactures, the great bulk of
which comes from this town. This it is that gives to Glastenbury whatever
of prominence the town enjoys as one of the civil divisions of the county.
This railroad was built during the year 1872. Its length from Bennington
to Glastenbury is eight miles. Its construction was considered entirely
impracticable by experienced engineers on account of the great elevation
to be reached in so short a distance, and the extremely heavy grade to
be traveled in certain localities; but, notwithstanding the opposing theories
of railroad engineers, the road was built and has been in full operation
to the present day. The heaviest grade on the road is 250 feet to the mile
on a branch, while the strongest on the main line is some 230 feet. Narrow
gauge roads are not infrequently built on as heavy grades as this, but
with the standard gauge and traction power this is something remarkable.
Better than all, the Bennington and Glastenbury road has been operated
with a surprising exemption from accidents.
notch of stony land that runs up a short distance among the mountains from
the east side of Shaftsbury, has been occupied by a few families for many
years. Until the year 1834 they were considered for all practical purposes
as belonging to Shaftsbury. On the 31st of March of that year, the proper
legal steps having been taken, the town was duly organized, since which
it has been represented in the General Assembly."
The manufacturing industry of Glastenbury is confined to the business
transacted by the Bennington and Glastenbury Railroad Mining and Manufacturing
Company, an incorporated body, the lands of which embrace something like
eighteen thousand acres, situate mainly in Glastenbury and Woodford, and
some in Somerset township on the east. In the first named these lands extend
north nearly to the Sunderland line. The company has in operation two saw-mills,
the annual product of which is about two million feel of lumber, all of
which is carried over the company's road to Bennington, and thence to Troy
and other large markets in New York State. For the manufacture of charcoal
the company operates twelve kilns, situate in the most convenient localities
for their work. Altogether about fifty men are employed. The officers of
the company are as follows: R. C. ROOT, president; Amos ALDRICH, vice-president
and superintendent; Thomas A. HUTCHINS, bookkeeper and accountant. It may
be stated that whatever of business is transacted at Glastenbury, at the
point where the road terminates, is done by the company, that corporation
owning the lands in the region, but there are some residents there not
in the company's employ.
The "small notch of stony land that runs up a short distance among
the mountains," mentioned in Governor HALL's sketch, embraces whatever
there is of Glastenbury's agricultural district, and this is quite limited.
The outlet for that people is by the way of Shaftsbury, at which place
their trading and marketing is done. There is no post-office in either
section of the town, but formerly, in 1873, one was established in the
south part and subsequently discontinued. The people of the northern section
receive their mail at Shaftsbury, while those in the south part are now
obliged to go to South Shaftsbury.
The educational welfare of the town is reasonably well guarded,
but as for churches it has none. It is not to be inferred from this statement
that the inhabitants of Glastenbury are less religiously inclined than
elsewhere in the county, for such cannot be truthfully said concerning
them. The population of the town is so scattered or separated, and the
circumstances of the people are such that they are not warranted in the
erection of a church edifice for any society or denomination, but Shaftsbury
on the north and South Shaftsbury below provide accommodations for all
who desire to attend at church services.
of Bennington County, Vt.
and Biographical Sketches
of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers.
by Lewis Cass Aldrich.
N. Y., D. Mason & Co., Publishers, 1889.
XXXV. Page 500 - 502.
by Karima, 2004
provided by Ray Brown