lies in the southeastern part of the county, in lat. 44º 26', and
long. 5º 1', bounded north by St. Johnsbury, east by the county line,
south by the Connecticut river, and west by Barnet. It was originally chartered
under the name of Littleton, to Benjamin Whipple and associates, November
8, 1780. In 1797 the name was changed to Waterford for the
reason, it is said, that the settlers had to ford the Connecticut, hence
The surface of the town is generally broken, presenting that diversified
scenery of mountain and valley so common to Vermont. The soil is fertile
and well adapted to agriculture, especially to grazing, which has ever
been the favorite pursuit of the inhabitants, and in which they have gained
an honorable reputation. The valleys produce bountifully the usual varieties
of grains and grasses, while the hills, arable to their tops and thickly
dotted with maple groves, abound in rich pastures. The rocks are primitive
and belong to the calcareo-mica slate formation, and there is a range of
clay slate running north through the town from which superior specimens
of slate for roofing have been quarried. There are also many specimens
of a peculiar formation of granite, sometimes called nodular granite. It
contains balls, usually a little flattened, scattered in it like plums
in a pudding. These balls are usually about an inch in diameter, and are
composed essentially of black mica, having the plates arranged in concentric
layers with a very thin deposit of quartz between the layers. Except the
Passumpsic which flows through the western corner of the town, Waterford
has no rivers, though it is well watered by numerous brooks and springs.
Stiles pond, covering an area of about 100 acres, lies in the northern
part of the township.
In 1880, Waterford had a population of 815. In 1885 the town
system of schools was adopted, and since that date its common schools have
decreased from eleven to nine in number. These were taught during 1886
by one-male and twelve female teachers, who received an average weekly
salary, including board, of $7.82, and $5.05 respectively. There were 153
scholars, fourteen of whom attended private schools. The entire income
for school purposes was $1.452.32, while the total expenditures were $1,221.31,
with Charles Ross, superintendent.
Waterford is a post-Village, located in the southeastern part of
the town. It contains a church (Union), hotel, store, sawmill, tannery,
blacksmith shop, and about thirty dwellings.
Lower Waterford is a neat little post-village, located in the southern
part of the town, near the Connecticut. It is related that Mrs. Sawyer
early gave it the name of “Pucker Street,” from the fancied idea that its
people were a little too aristocratic in feeling. The village
has one church (Congregational), two stores, a blacksmith shop, harness
shop, and about thirty dwellings.
West Waterford (p. o.) is a hamlet located in the western-central
part of the town. It has, aside from the usual complement of dwellings,
a saw-mill, town-house, and wagon shop.
Waterford Hollow, in the northern part of the town, was formerly
a village of considerable importance, having a church, store, hotel, oil-mills,
saw-mill, etc., but now the business goes to St. Johnsbury East and Concord.
Stiles' pond, located here, renders the locality a pleasant summer retreat.
George Ide's saw and shingle-mill, on Hall's brook, does a thriving
Joseph Ide carry on the business of tanning and dressing glove stock, at
the Upper village.
Tradition says that James Adams was the first settler. The exact
time of his coming is not now known. Thompson dates the first settlement
at 1787, but we find by the proprietors' records that a proprietors' meeting,
held in Barnet in the fall of 1783, was adjourned to the house of James
Adams, in “said Littleton,” which shows that Mr. Adams was here as early,
at least, as 1783. The next settlers were Joseph and John Woods, who came
as early as 1784 or '85, and settled on the Passumpsic river. Very soon
after came the Pikes, who were the first settlers in the eastern part of
the town. The first person born in town was Polly Woods, daughter of Joseph
Woods. The first male born in Waterford was William S. Morgan. The town
was organized in 1793. The first town officers were - Selah Howe, clerk;
Peter Sylvester, Daniel Pike and Nehemiah Hadley, selectmen; Levi Aldrich,
Luther Pike and Levi Goss, listers; Samuel Fletcher, constable; and Abel
Goss, town treasurer.
The first saw-mill was built by Solomon Pomeroy, just below Mrs.
Hibbard's brick house, at Upper village John Stiles built a saw-mill
at the outlet of Stiles pond, in 1807, and also built an oil-mill
here in 1818. The first hotel was built by Warner Call, nearly opposite
the store at Upper village. Nathan and Dennis Pike built the Streeter tavern
in 1823, and kept it for many years. The first school kept in the eastern
part of the town was by Candace Billings, in Daniel Pike's barn. The first
church was built in 1818, near the center of the town. It was a large two-story
structure, with a gallery on three sides.
For suppressing the late great Rebellion, Waterford furnished 130
men. It also expended, in paying bounties to procure soldiers, $27,000.00;
for the service of the selectmen and agents for recruiting, $515.14; for
transportation and substance of volunteers, $40.04; and for correcting
the militia roll of the town, $252.00, making the entire cost $27,807.54,
all of which was paid without entailing a debt on the town.
of Caledonia and Essex Counties, VT.; 1764-1887, Compiled and Published
by Hamilton Child; May 1887, Page 368-370)
was provided by Tom Dunn.