COLCHESTER, one of the northern lake towns of the county, is located
just north of the city of Burlington, in lat. 44° 33' and long 3°
59', bounded north by Milton, east by Essex, south by the city of Burlington
and town of South Burlington, and west by Lake Champlain. It was one of
the New Hampshire grants, receiving its charter June 7, 1763, by which
it was entitled to the usual 23,040 acres, but owing to the irregular indenture
of its lake shore, and the amount covered by Mallett's Bay, it was found
to have a land area of only about 20,000 acres. The grant was made to Edward
BURLING and sixty six associates, among whom were nine others by the name
of BURLING, from which fact it is supposed that this town was intended
to have been named Burlingtown, or Burlington, but that through some mistake
the name was given to the town on the south.
The Surface of Colchester is moderately rolling, though possessing
tracts of level intervale land, with some portions containing quite extensive
bluffs. Its scenery is very picturesque and charming, though lacking the
grand mountain prospects of some of the other towns of the county; but
the fine lake scene presented from the vicinity of Mallett's Bay, the deep
rocky canons of the Winooski, and the broad, verdant meadows of the level
intervale land, will perhaps compensate for what is lacking of the sublime,
and charm the senses of the lover of the beautiful in nature, while to
the muse of history, an ample field is opened for speculation by the numerous
relics of the misty past that have been found -- relics of a day that is
at present pre historic.
The Winooski River forms the southern boundary of the town, a stream
possessing an exceedingly romantic and picturesque valley, and a history
replete with tragedy and romance, the very etymology of its name being
almost a "fossil poem." The Lamoille River flows through a portion of the
northwestern part of the territory, another noble stream, described on
page 38. The only other streams of importance are Mallett's Creek, and
Pond, Indian, and Sunderland Brooks. Mallett's Creek rises in Milton and
flows a southwesterly course through Colchester, emptying into Mallett's
Bay. Indian. Brook rises in the western part of Essex, flows a westerly
course through the central part of this town, also falling into Mallett's
Bay, on the farm now owned by Noah THOMPSON. Its name is derived from the
Indians having run their canoes up the stream, and thence crossed into
New Hampshire on their numerous marauding expeditions. Sunderland Brook,
so named from Peleg SUNDERLAND, who at an early day was lost in the valley
of the Winooski, and cared for and preserved from starvation by the Indians,
also rises in the western part of Essex, and flows a westerly course across
the southern part of Colchester, emptying into Winooski River. These several
streams contain some good mill sites, and afford ample irrigation to the
land. There are also two small ponds in the township, one containing about
three acres, located upon the level plain in the southwestern part of the
town. It is very deep in the center, and is fed by subterranean springs,
which pass off by a running stream from the surface. The other lies farther
north, in the eastern part of the town, and contains about sixty acres.
At its outlet the works of the beaver are still visible.
The soil of Colchester is variegated. It has a portion of sandy
loam, originally covered with white and pitch pine forests, adapted to
the raising of Indian corn, rye, buckwheat, and roots for stock and culinary
purposes. The main portion of its soil, however, is a gravelly and slaty
loam, intermixed with clay in some localities, and originally covered with
hardwood timber, beech and maple, oak, walnut, basswood, elm, birch, and
in some places intermingled with hemlock. These lands lie for the most
part in low ridges, with a rolling surface, are very fertile, and well
adapted to grazing, wheat, oats, potatoes, etc. The town, as a general
thing, is also well suited to the growth of the fruits of our climate,
-- such as the apple, pear, various kinds of grapes, plums, cherries, and
other small fruits, -- especially upon the bay and lake shore. The whole
border of the Winooski is lined with rich alluvial flats, some of great
breadth, which produce large quantities of hay and grain.
The principal rock entering into the geological formation of the
town is red sandrock, extending in a north and south direction through
the central portion of the territory. West of this range are two small
beds of Utica and Hudson Rider slates containing several quarries of variegated
marbles. East of it, extending to the eastern line of the town, the formation
is the Eolian limestone, or marble, containing some excellent varieties.
There are also some small beds of pliocene tertiary deposit, and Georgia
and clay slates. But few minerals of value have been discovered. Brown
hematite has been quarried to some extent in the northeastern section of
the town, and taken across the lake to mix with the oar of that region;
but for some years the quarry has been abandoned. Magnetic iron ore, in
the form of sand, is found in large quantities on the beach north of Clay
Point, and a bed of bog ore, in the southern part of the town, was worked
to some extent in the early settlement of the town, but has long since
gone out of use.
The Central Vermont Railroad passes through the southeastern part
of the town, with a station at Winooski village, and in the eastern part
of the town, at Colchester.
In 1880, Colchester had a population of 4,421, was divided into
thirteen school districts, and contained twelve common schools, employing
three male and seventeen female teachers, at an aggregate salary of $2,239.15.
There were 658 scholars attending common schools, while the entire cost
of the schools for the year, ending October 31st, was $2,633.24. A. S.
BARTON was superintendent of schools.
WINOOSKI, a post village, and one of the most important in the county,
is located in the southern part of the town, upon the Winooski River, which
affords an extensive water power at this point. The village lies principally
upon two streets, Mallett's Bay avenue and Main street, the former extending
in a northwesterly and southeasterly direction, meeting with Main street
near the river, while the latter tends off towards the northeast. These
are crossed at right angles by numerous others. The water power afforded
by the falls early attracted attention, and Ira ALLEN erected mills thereon
as early as 1787. A settlement sprang up about old Fort Frederick, which
for a long time was called Allen's Settlement. Gradually, however, it assumed
the dignity and proportions of a village, known as Winooski Falls, and
finally was incorporated as plain Winooski village, by an act of the legislature,
in 1866. It was then divided into three wards, designated as East, West,
and South wards. The South ward lies between the railroad track and the
river, while the East and West wards are divided by Main street. The trustees
and other officers were to be elected annually by ballot, if called for,
by a general vote of the qualified electors of the village. The officers
so elected were to hold office "for one year, or until others were elected
in their places." In 1880, the act of incorporation was amended, so that
"hereafter the legal voters of each of the three wards of said village,
at its annual meeting for the election of officers, shall elect two of
the trustees and one of the fire wardens of said village, instead of by
general vote as previously provided by law."
The village now has a population of about 3,000, a number of extensive
manufacturing interests, several good business blocks, one hotel, four
churches (M. E., Episcopal, and two Roman Catholic), and the necessary
public and private buildings to constitute a thriving and prosperous community.
As early as the latter part of the last century there were large forges
and ironworks erected, employing a large number of men, while the business
of lumbering was quite extensive. After crossing the old covered bridge,
say about the year 1818, the two main streets, or roads, were the same
in position as now, while there were but two others -- one leading near
the river on the right, where there were the saw mills and a few houses
near them, and the other leading to the left. On the right side of Main
street, after crossing the bridge above the hotel, all the land where the
stores and shops on that side now are, extending to the corner of, and
quite a distance on Allen street, and also down to the road near the river,
was a tract of land known as the "Allen property." A large, rambling old
house, then much out of repair, stood upon the premises, fronting on Main
street, and having a large piazza overlooking the river. Surrounding it
was an extensive garden, reaching nearly the whole length of Allen street,
or as far as the BENTLY house, including the property owned by Mr. DIKE,
Mr. KIDDER, and others of the present time. This was the old house of Ira
ALLEN, he who did so much for Winooski, Burlington, and, indeed, for the
Another place well known to old residents is the WEAVER house, so
called, situated near the railroad bridge. It was first the property of
Col. RICE, who came here from Boston in 1818. It is said he was an officer
in the war for independence, and in manners and character was a true Christian
gentleman. He died at Burlington many years since. One of his daughters
became the first wife of judge FOOT, of Burlington, and a granddaughter
was the wife of President TORRY, of the University of Vermont, while some
of his great grandchildren now are residents of Burlington. Mr. WEAVER
purchased the RICE estate, the land extending to where the Winooski Block
now stands, but not including the present residences of James PLATT, H.
BARRETT or Dr. RICHARDSON. On the corner of Main and Allen streets, Mr.
WEAVER built a. store, where he long sold groceries, provisions, etc. He
was a public spirited man, full of business energy. Some time before his
death he sold the store building, which was removed to make room for the
Winooski Block. The village, however, has had some misfortunes in the form
of fire and flood. In addition to the loss of private dwellings, the machine
shops have been burned and rebuilt three times. The bridge and dams were
also swept off by the great flood of July, 1830, and at the same time the
old oil mill, grist mill, carding machine, saw-mill and dam, erected by
judge BUEL, of Burlington, at a cost of about $30,000.00. These stood upon
the opposite side of the river, about three quarters of a mile above the
falls, at the bottom of the deep gorge, opposite the point of land between
the railroad bridges -- they were raised by the flood from their foundations
some thirty feet, and, after playing: around for a few moments in the whirling
and trembling eddy, were dashed down the narrow channel between the island
and the high bluffs that form the shore. This flood, the most remarkable
since the settlement of the county, rose some fifty feet in height over
the intervales above the high bridge, and: swept off several buildings.
One barn was chained to the branches of a large elm tree, and thus saved
from being dashed in pieces at the narrows below.
COLCHESTER CENTRE (Colchester p. o.), a post village, located about
three quarters of a mile west of Colchester depot, contains three churches
(Baptist, Congregational and Methodist Episcopal), one store, three blacksmith
shops, and about twenty three dwellings.
MALLETT'S BAY POST OFFICE, located on road 34, was established February
1, 1882, with Alex. C. MORRISON as its first postmaster.
The Burlington Woolen Company. The mills of this
company, located on the bank of the river, just west of the bridge at Winooski
village, were established under an act of incorporation approved November
10, 1835, the company being organized December 15th of that year, with
Samuel HICKOK, president, and Carlos BAXTER, secretary and treasurer. Work
was commenced in 1836, with thirty looms, employing 150 hands. From this
time until December 5, 1851, the mills were in operation most of the time,
though the financial results were disastrous to those engaged in the enterprise,
for about this time it became necessary for the property to be disposed
of at sheriff's sale. Harding Bros., the purchasers, were experienced manufacturers
from Massachusetts, who continued the business until 1861, when it was
purchased by the present company, incorporated with a capital of $200,000.00.
Hon. E. R. MUDGE, of Boston, was chosen president, and still retains the
position. Joshua STETSON, of Boston, was elected treasurer, and was succeeded
by Trewsdel SAWYER, of Boston. F. C. KENNEDY was appointed secretary. The
company immediately instituted extensive repairs, until the mills now cover
an area of two and one half acres, and consume 1,400,000 pounds of wool
per annum, manufacturing about 800,000 yards of cloth, and giving employment
to 700 operatives. Mr. Frederick C. KENNEDY, the agent of the corporation,
under whose supervision all the enlargements and improvements of the mills
have been made, came to its office as an accountant in 1856, and after
four years of office labor succeeded to the management and secretaryship
of the corporation. In direct antithesis to the prevailing opinion that
a person must be educated to a business in order to be successful, Mr.
KENNEDY has succeeded in building up and maintaining these mills to a degree
of success seldom attained. All through the depressions in manufacture
of the past twenty years, he has maintained their operation with signal
regularity, thus assuring to the laboring class a permanent dependence,
one of the most desirable features of domestic manufacture.
EDWARDS, STEVENS & Co. In 1858, A. B. EDWARDS and A. J. STEVENS
bought the land and water power at Winooski village, now owned by
the above mentioned firm, who employ a large number of men in the manufacture
of mill gearing and shafting, iron and brass castings and wood working
machinery. There were then no buildings on the premises, as all had been
destroyed by fire the year previous. They immediately erected a one story
wood structure and commenced a general machine and job business. In 1868,
Mr. F. JUBELL purchased a one eight interest, since which time the shops
have been kept in operation by the above firm. Their present machine shop
is 180x50 feet, with an "L," 40x50 feet, and has attached a wood and pattern
shop 110x50 feet, and a foundry 60x45 feet, together with large lumber
sheds, store houses, etc., to accommodate their extensive business.
T. A. DOUBLEDAY's furniture manufactory. -- This extensive enterprise,
located at Winooski village, was established in 1873, under the title of
DOUBLEDAY, HALL & Co. In 1877, this firm was dissolved, and business
continued by the present proprietor. He uses 1,000,000 feet of lumber annually,
mostly ash and basswood, in the manufacture of cottage furniture, his business
amounting to about $75,000.00 per year.
The Winooski Gold and Silver Plating Works, located on Canal street,
were established by their present owner, Mr. David MITCHELL, in 1864. He
employs twelve men, and has his principal office on College street, in
The Winooski Lumber and Water power Company, located at the village,
was established in 1868. It at present employs about twenty men and manufactures
1,500,000 feet of lumber per year.
WALKER, HATCH & Co.'s sash and blind manufactory was established
at Burlington, in 1874, by the present proprietors. In the fall of 1879,
they removed to Winooski village, where they have since conducted the business.
They employ fifteen hands and do a business of about $14,000.00 per annum.
They are also agents for the Burlington Spoke Company, located here.
The Winooski Brick Yard, located on Mallett's Bay avenue, was established
by Francis LeCLAIR, in 1873. It gives employment to eight men, who manufacture
800,000 brick per annum. Mr. LeCLAIR is also proprietor of the Burlington
Brick Yard, located on Winooski avenue, which employs fifteen men and turns
out 1,000,000 brick per year.
THOMPSON's Mills, engaged in the manufacture of lumber, flour, cider
and shingles, located on road 2 7, were erected in 1871, by R B. THOMPSON.
The site was originally occupied by a mill erected at an early date, by
William and Hezekiah HINE, and destroyed by fire in 1870. They at present
use a circular saw, cutting 150,000 feet of lumber per year. The cider
mill has a capacity for turning out thirty two barrels of cider per day,
while the gristmill has one run of stones.
The Colchester Butter and Cheese Factory, located on road 28, was
built in 1870. It employs two men and uses the milk from 300 cows.
The Wakefield Variegated Marble Company, located on road 34, are
extensively engaged in producing the beautiful variety of marble known
as Mallett's Bay marble. It is used principally for furniture tops, and
for decorating buildings. Mr. A S. BAXTER is manager of the company.
The Town Poor Farm, located on road 29, contains 180 well cultivated
acres. There are at present nine persons receiving its bounty. It is under
the charge of Porter D. MITCHELL.
The Winooski Savings Bank, located on Allen street, was incorporated
in 1869. It is a purely savings institution, with the following list of
officers: S. H. WESTON, president; H. W. BARRETT, vice president; and Ormand
COLE, treasurer. The bank has met with uniform success since the first
of its organization.
Dunbar's Hotel, located at the ` junction of roads 44 and 45, was
built by Arad MERRILL, in 1830, and kept by him about twelve years, when
he was succeeded by his son, Andrew J. In 1878, it was purchased by Mr.
DUNBAR, who has been its proprietor since. It is a neat, two and one half
story building, modern in all its appointments. Since Mr. DUNBAR came into
possession, he has established the Burlington Driving Park, containing
one of the best tracks in the State. His extensive experience in hotel
keeping, together with his uniform gentlemanly manner, renders the hotel
a desirable one.
The Mallett's Bay House, a summer resort located on road 33, has
accommodations for seventy five persons. The locality affords extra facilities
for boating, fishing, duck shooting, etc. It is at present under the management
of William B. CRAVEN, who has succeeded in making the house extremely popular.
The first persons who took possession under the charter of Colchester
were Ira ALLEN and his cousin, Remember BAKER, in the fall of 1772. In
the spring of 1773, BAKER brought his family into town, consisting of his
wife and three children, which was the first English family that ever settled
in the town of which we have any account. ALLEN was young, unmarried, and
lived with them as a member of the family. As a means of protection against
Indian depredations, and defence against the "Yorkers," the first thing
they did was to construct a block house, or fort. This was built on the
north bank of the river, on the highest ground, from six to eight rods
east of the present falls bridge. The greater part of the ground on which
it stood has since slid off into the river and been washed away. It was
constructed of hewn timber, two stories high, with thirty two port holes
in the upper story, and was furnished with arms and ammunition, and named
Fort Frederick. During the same year they cut a road from Castleton to
Colchester, a distance of about seventy miles. At this time there were
no settlements in Burlington or any other part of the county, except some
"Yorkers" who had located on Shelburne Point, and who were suffered to
remain on the promise that they would "behave."
A clearing was made about the fort, in which BAKER and his family
resided. Two clearings were also made on the intervale below the falls,
it is supposed, by Joseph FULLER and Henry COLVIN, and one at Mallett's
Bay, on the farm lately known as the NEWTON farm, by a man by the name
of MONTE. In 1775, Joshua STANTON commenced a clearing on the intervale
above the falls, and Abel HULBURT, Abel BENEDICT, and Capt. Thomas DARWIN,
all made purchases of farms on the intervales below the falls. In the meantime,
a mysterious person by the name of MALLETT, a Frenchman, resided on Mallett's
Head, but who he was, and where he came from, and when and by what authority
he settled there, we have no account. Most certain it is, however, that
he was there previous to the Revolution, and during its progress, claiming
allegiance to no nation, but keeping a hotel for British and Continental,
spy and smuggler alike. He died at an advanced age, in 1790. The clearing
about his house had the appearance of being very ancient, and must have
been commenced much earlier than the date of the charter.
For seven years, from the spring of 1776, the town was abandoned
by all the settlers, save by the venerable Capt. MALLETT, as he was called.
After the close of the war, in 1783, Messrs. MCCLAIN, LAW, and BOARDMAN
settled on Colchester Point, and Ira ALLEN and most of the former settlers
returned and resumed their settlement at the falls. ALLEN, on his return,
to promote the interests of the place and give value to his large landed
estate, commenced an active business, rebuilding the upper dam, erecting
mills, a forge and a shop for manufacturing anchors, so that the place
soon assumed the appearance of a considerable village.
The first proprietors' meeting was held at Fort Frederick, June
1, 1774., at which Ira ALLEN was moderator. The first county court ever
held in the county was also held at ALLEN's house, in November, 1785, at
which time Addison and Colchester were half shires of the county of Addison,
which then, extended to the north line of the State. The town was organized
in 1791, though the first town meeting on record was held March 18, 1793,
when Joshua Stanton was chosen moderator; Joshua STANTON, Jr., clerk; Joshua.
STANTON, John LAW, and Thomas HILL, selectmen; Joshua STANTON, treasurer;
and William MUNSON, constable. The first representative was Thomas BUTTERFIELD,
who married the widow of Remember BAKER, chosen in 1785, and he was also
the first justice of the peace, appointed in 1787. Of this first list of
officers, STANTON, LAW and MUNSON became quite prominent in the county.
Joshua STANTON was three years judge of Chittenden County Court, one of
the original corporators of the University of Vermont, and nine years a
member of the corporation. His son, Joshua, Jr., was for two years second
judge of the County court, and also a liberal patron of the University.
John LAW came from New London, Conn., settling on the Point. Although a
somewhat eccentric individual, he was possessed of fine talents and a liberal
education. In 1793, he was sent from this town as a delegate to the State
convention at Windsor, to consider the proposed amendments to the constitution,
and was six years judge of the county court. William MUNSON was a successful,
enterprising businessman. He came to the town with no capital, first tending
saw mill for Ira ALLEN, then bought a small farm, went into the lumbering
business, purchased and cleared up lands, and thus accumulated a large
property, and added much to the general improvement of the town.
Ira ALLEN has been mentioned so often throughout the body of the
work, and is an historical character so generally known, that an extended
notice of his life, in the few brief biographies our space allows, would
be superfluous. Suffice it to say, then, he bore a distinguished part in
the early affairs of Vermont. He was the youngest of seven brothers, of
whom Ethan ALLEN was the oldest, and was born at Cornwall, Conn., May r,
1751. In his youth he received a good English education, was an early practical
surveyor, and, in later years, a clear and forcible writer in politics
and history. He was scarcely twenty one years of age when he became the
proprietor of lands under the New Hampshire charters, and from the year
1772, when he first came to Colchester, was active and earnest in his opposition
to the New York patentees. On almost all occasions during the Revolutionary
period, he acted, either alone or with others, as agent of the State in
the transactions with the Continental Congress and with the governments
of New Hampshire and New York, and was also one of the founders of the
University. In addition to his other various talents, he was an author
of some merit, having written several works, among which was a history
of Vermont. Notwithstanding all this, however, certain of his transactions
brought him into disfavor with the government. After a few years residence
in Colchester he removed to Irasburgh, Vt., and during the later years
of his life resided in Philadelphia, Pa., where he died, January 7, 1814.
After his death his widow occupied the house at Winooski village, mentioned
on a previous page.
Remember BAKER, ALLEN's cousin, whose active and earnest opposition
to the New York claimants, in connection with ALLEN, WARNER and others,
are well known facts of general history, was born at Woodbury, Conn., in
1737. He was a cousin to the ALLEN brothers, his father being a brother
of their mother. He served as a soldier at Lakes George and Champlain,
in the French war, and had thus acquired a knowledge of the lands on his
route there and in their vicinity. He settled at Arlington, in 1764, and
built, in the eastern part of that town, the first grist mill on the New
Hampshire Grants north of Bennington. After an attempt of justice MUNRO,
on the part of the Yorkers, to take him to Albany jail under the outlawry
act, when he was treated with great harshness, he appears to have been
generally desirous of inflicting severer punishment on the Yorkers than
most of his companions. He was with Ethan ALLEN, holding the rank of captain,
at the taking of Ticonderoga, May 10, 1775, and, in August following, being
sent by Gen. MONTGOMERY to reconnoiter the enemy's position at St. Johns,
he was shot by an Indian. At some distance this side of St. Johns, he landed
and concealed his boat, and was about proceeding on foot, when he saw that
his boat was already in possession of some of the Indians. He hailed them
and demanded his boat, but as they paid no regard to the demand, he drew
up his gun, but it missed fire, and at the next instant he received a shot
through the head from one of the Indians in the boat, and fell dead upon
the spot. His companions then fled, and made their way back by land with
the sad intelligence. His widow subsequently became the wife of Thomas
BUTTERFIELD, the first representative of Colchester.
Nathaniel COLLINS, one of the early settlers of the town, was born
in Connecticut, in 1763, and at the age of twenty years immigrated to Burlington
with his wife's father, Stephen Lawrence. The settlement of Winooski then
consisted of a couple of houses and a saw mill. By his first wife, Elizabeth
LAWRENCE, he had a family of twelve children, and by his second wife, Olive
STEBBINS, he had one child. In 1824, he located in Colchester, where he
carried on the blacksmithing business near the present site of the Baptist
church, at Colchester Center. Only two of his children are now living,
George H., at Elizabethtown, N. J., and Charles, located in this town on
road 15, being now seventy four years of age. Charles remembers well the
war of 1812. When the British vessels opened fire on Burlington, he says
he recollects seeing the soldiers pass his father's house and halt on the
green in front.
Ebenezer JOHNSON, from. New Hampshire, came to this town at an early
day, locating on road 2, where he bought one hundred acres of land at $3.00
per acre, the same that is now in the possession of the JOHNSON family.
He had but one child, Ambrose N., who had a family of eight children, four
sons and four daughters. Two of the sons, Ebenezer O. and John N., were
soldiers in the late war, serving in the 13th Vt Vols. John and Moses JOHNSON
came here about the same time, with Ebenezer. John located on road 3, where
S. H. EVERETT now resides. Moses died a few years after, of pulmonary disease.
Isaac THOMPSON, from Dover, N. H., was an early settler here. He
was .a soldier in the war of 1812, and was present at the battle of Plattsburgh.
He located upon the old THOMPSON homestead, now owned by W. W. W. THOMPSON,
and built the first house thereon, of plank, during the cold summer of
1816, and with others suffered much in consequence of the scarcity of grain
caused by that unfruitful season. He was twice married, and reared a family
of fourteen children.
Abijah WARNER, a native of New Hampshire, located in South Burlington
about the year 1800, where he continued to reside until his death. He had
a family of fire children, three sons and two daughters. Samuel C., the
eldest son, now resides in Colchester, at the age of seventy two years.
Artemas CUSHMAN, from Massachusetts, located in this town at an
early day, residing here with his children many years, attaining the age
of ninety-six or ninety seven years. He held many of the town offices.
Of his family of twelve children, none are now living. The family was remarkable
for its longevity.
Ebenezer and Elijah WOLCOTT, from Pownal, Vt., as early as 1795,
located on road 12, upon the farm now occupied by some of his descendants.
Ebenezer afterwards removed to a place a little north of where Dennis SHAW
now resides, where he was engaged in burning lime for a number of years.
He built the house now occupied by Mr. SHAW, and in which he died. Of his
family of twelve children, eleven arrived at the age of maturity. Elijah
was twice married and also had a family of twelve children.
Antoine MOSS, from Canada, came to Colchester during the war of
1812. His father was a soldier, and came to this country with Gen. LaFayette.
Alexander P. MOSS, now residing on road 46, is a son of Antoine.
Ebenezer SEVERANCE, from Connecticut, came to this town with his
father among the early settlers. They located upon the farm now owned by
George N. RHODES, and built the house now occupied by him. During its construction,
Ebenezer's father stepped upon a nail, which penetrated his foot, causing
tetanus, resulting in his death. Ebenezer had a family of eight children,
five sons and three daughters, two of whom, John and George, still reside
in Colchester, aged respectively sixty nine and sixty four years.
Joseph E. RHODES came to Colchester about sixty years ago, from
Connecticut, and located upon the farm mentioned above, where his son,
George N., now resides. He followed the occupation of farming, and reared
a family of nine children.
William HINE, one of the pioneers of the town, was the father of
three sons, Simeon, Hezekiah, and Israel, all of whom located in Colchester.
Simeon located on road 13, upon the farm now occupied by Mrs. Sophronia
COLLINS. He had a family of six children who arrived at maturity, one of
whom, William, married Eunice, daughter of Benjamin BOARDMAN, and had a
family of seven children. Hezekiah married Hannah SPENCER, and had a family
of five children. Israel married Juliet, a sister of Eunice BOARDMAN, and
reared a family of six children.
Benjamin BOARDMAN, from Connecticut, located near the falls in 1789,
and subsequently removed to Colchester Point. His daughter Eunice became
the second wife of William HINE, and still survives him, aged eighty six
years, having resided in the house she now occupies since her marriage,
at the age of seventeen.
George BATES, a blacksmith, settled in Colchester at an early date,
married Mary HINE, and died here in 1876, aged ninety one years. His wife
died at the age of seventy five years.
Paul CLAPP came to this town in 17 97, from Orange, Vt., and located
near the present village of Colchester Center. He was a soldier during
the war of 1912, followed the occupation of farming, and reared a family
of eight children, five of whom attained a mature age.
Harry DENSMORE, of Chelsea, Vt, came to this town during the early
part of the present century, and died here in 1876, aged seventy eight
years. He married Miss Betsey COOK, who survives him, at the age of eighty
years, and was the father of nine children, seven of whom are now living.
Seth CARY, from Connecticut, came to Colchester in 1800. He served
in the war of 1812, followed farming, was twice married, and had a family
of ten children, of whom Lyman, residing on road 15, aged sixty six years,
is the only surviving one. Lyman's brother, Jesse, located on road 14,
upon the place now owned by his son, Franklin. Jesse had three children
who attained a mature age, Franklin, Josiah, and Azuba.
Nathan BRYAN, from Connecticut, came to Colchester at an early date.
He was a man of culture, and taught school many years. He had a family
of seven children, three sons and four daughters. Of the sons, Joseph removed
to Canada, where he subsequently died. Nathan, Jr., after residing a few
years in Essex, where his father had resided a short time previous to his
settlement here, came to this town, where he died, aged ninety two years.
Jerry became a Baptist clergyman and died in Pennsylvania.
Samuel AUSTIN, a Quaker, came to Colchester from New Hampshire,
in 1790, and located on road 10, upon the place now occupied by Fred H.
MORSE, where he built the first house on that farm. He married Rachel HAWKINS,
by whom he had a family of six children, Abigail, Paul, Solomon, Anna,
Stephen and William. Abigail was married to Dennis DOWNING and resides
in this town. Paul married Lydia, a sister of Dennis, and died here. Solomon
married Sally GARLAND, of New Hampshire, and located in Colchester, where
he died in 1843, aged seventy five years. He was the father of six children,
two of whom, Sarah, the widow of Milton D. WICKWARE, aged eighty
one; and Nathaniel, aged seventy eight years still survive him. Anna was
married to Paul VARNEY and removed to Ohio. Stephen became the husband
of Lucy HYDE, and William married Ruth RICHARDSON.
David BELLOWS was an early settler in Colchester, coming here from
Massachusetts. He married Betsey COVEY, by whom he had one child, named
Betsey. She was married to Roger THOMPSON, by whom she had a family of
thirteen children. Eli BAKER, another early settler, came here from Williamstown,
Vt. He was a farmer, married twice, and had a family of ten children. The
family of Ebenezer BAKER are the only representatives of the BAKER family
Ebenezer LYON, from Canterbury, Conn., came to Colchester in 1798,
locating upon the place now owned by William D. FARNSWORTH, where he died,
aged seventy four years. He was twice married, and reared a family of eleven
children. John LYON, now of Colchester, is the oldest child, aged eighty
James GALE, from New Hampshire, came to this town about the year
1804. He was the father of six children. Amos, his son, came here about
the year 1808, and married Polly JOHNSON, by whom he had seven children,
five sons and two daughters. The only one of the children now living is
Benjamin F. GALE, residing on road 5.
Benjamin WRIGHT, son of William WRIGHT, an early settler in Essex,
came to Colchester in 1882, taking up his residence with Col. TYLER. He
was four times married, and reared a large family of children. Many of
his descendants are now residents of the town.
John THAYER, son of Caleb THAYER, who was an early settler in Burlington,
came to this town during the first half of the present century. He married
Silence ROSS, by whom he had a family of eight children, six of whom are
now living in Colchester.
Thomas PORTER, son of Ashbel PORTER, born September 17, 1773, came
to Colchester from Grand Isle, Vt., in 1806, and bought the AMOS farm,
then owned by Moses CATLIN. Mr. AMOS built the house now standing on the
place. January 24, 1813, he married Abigail, daughter of Job BATES.
Aaron PARMELEE, from Connecticut, came to this town about the year
1812, and located upon the farm now occupied by S. N. MARSH. He had a family
of four children, two of whom still reside in the town. He died in 1834.
Hiram ROOD came to Colchester from Jericho, Vt., and settled on
the farm now owned by Clark ROOD, on road 48. He was a farmer by occupation,
and had a family of five children, four of whom, Mrs. Mary STEVENS, Clark
A., Emeline, and Myra L., now reside here.
James CROCKET, from Portsmouth, N. H., came to Colchester about
the year 1832, and located near Colchester Center, upon the place now known
as the MUNSON farm. He had a family of seven children, four of whom, Charles
W., Jane (Mrs. George M. HORTON), Amelia (Mrs. M. McNALL), and John W.,
now reside here.
William D. KIDDER, from Middlesex, Mass., came to this town about
the year 1829, and kept one of the first livery stables here, and afterwards
was engaged in the manufacture of brick and lumber. He died in 1856, aged
fifty-six years, leaving three children.
William McBRIDE, a native of the North of Ireland, came to this
town, from Grand Isle, about the year 1843. He was a farmer, and had a
family of five children, as follows: Andrew C., George L., Mary Ann, William
H., and Alverta, all of whom are now living in Colchester.
Francis LeCLAIR came to Colchester in 1828, locating at Winooski
village, where he remained, following the occupation of farming, until
his death, in 1862, aged sixty four years. He had a family of six children,
only three of whom are now living, viz.: Lucy (Mrs. Lewis LaDAM), Louisa,
and Francis. Francis, the present representative of the town, first selectman,
village trustee, etc., is an extensive brick manufacturer, and also one
of the oldest merchants in the town. He has done more, probably, towards
promoting the present prosperity of the village than any other one person.
Among the buildings of a public nature which have been erected by him,
or which are largely indebted to him for pecuniary aid, may be mentioned
the Winooski Block, built in 1867, and at that time said to be one of the
finest business blocks in the State, St. Peter's Catholic church, Providence
Orphan Asylum, and St. Joseph's church. He has also helped many poor families
by building homes for them and allowing them to pay for the same in easy
installments, having built 120 such in the village alone.
William WRAY (now spelled RAY) was among the early pioneers of Hinesburgh,
probably from Connecticut. He married Hannah, a daughter of Capt. James
GREEN, who lost a limb at the battle of French Mills, was promoted for
bravery in that action, but died before the commission reached him, and
had a large family of children, only one of whom, George, now residing
in Hinesburgh, is living. Orrin P. RAY, a Lawyer of Winooski village, is
a son of George. He was a soldier during the late rebellion. His brother,
George, is now a member of congress from New Hampshire.
George D. NASH, the master mechanic of the Burlington Woolen Mills
and chief of the Winooski fire department, is a son of Buel T. NASH, and
was born in Shelburne. He has been connected with the woolen mills for
a period of thirty years.
Robert GRISWOLD, from Cambridge, Vt., came to Colchester in 1833,
locating at the village. He was twice married, and is the father of eight
children, one only of whom, Harry, is now living. He has been employed
at the woolen mills since 1835.
George W. HORTON came to Colchester in 1832, and located at Winooski,
on what is now known as Allen street. He was a physician and surgeon, which
profession he followed until his death, in April, 1872, aged sixty four
years. He married Eliza BACH, of Ballston Springs, N. Y., who survives.
him, and had a family of four sons, only two of whom are now living, --
George M., a farmer in this town, and Harvey V., the present town clerk,
trustee of surplus fund, and town superintendent of schools.
Joseph B. SMALL came to Winooski in the fall of 1848, and engaged
in the mercantile business, continuing the same twenty five years, when
failing health compelled him to retire. He has held the various town and
village trusts, and has also been one of the directors of the Winooski
Savings Bank. His wife, a daughter of Truman A. CHITTENDEN, of Williston,
died in 1863.
The First Congregational Church, located at Colchester Centre, was
organized September 14, 1804, in a school-house which stood near the present
village. The church was gathered and organized by Rev. Benjamin WOOSTER,
who had been sent by the Connecticut Missionary Society to labor in these
parts. It consisted of eight members, -- Timothy FARRAND, Friend FARRAND,
Nathan WHEELER; Polly DEMING, Elizabeth WHEELER, Desire WOLCOTT, Lydia
AUSTIN, and a Mrs. DOWNING. Nathan WHEELER was chosen deacon, and held
the office until his death, in 1806. Edward GRIFFIN succeeded him, and
was the only deacon in the church until his removal from the town, in 1812.
No church edifice or house of worship existed in the town until the summer
of 1838. The church at first held its Sabbath worship in a school house,
or when a larger place was needed, in a barn, until 1814, when the town,
in connection with the central district, built the "stone school house,"
to be used not only for a school but for town purposes and public worship.
In the summer of 1838, the Congregational society united with the small
Baptist society and erected a commodious brick edifice, which the two societies
occupied in union until 1861, when this society purchased the interest
from the Baptist society, repaired the church, etc., until it is now a
neat, comfortable structure, with seating capacity for about two hundred
persons. The society at present numbers fifty members, with Rev. A. S.
The First Baptist Church. located at Colchester Center, was organized
by its first pastor, Phineas COLVER, with eight members, January 19, 1820.
The first house of worship was built in union with the First Congregational
church, in 1838, and retained by them until 1861, when it was purchased
by the Congregational church. The Baptists then erected their present wood
structure, costing $3,000.00, about its present value. It has a seating
capacity of about 250. The society now has fifty five members, with Rev.
Alexander A. DAVIS, pastor.
The First M. E. Church, located at Winooski village, was organized
by S. R RATHBURN, H. W. SIMMONS, J. I. HEMPSTEAD, J. P. NEWHALL, Sherman
BEACH, and Rev. H. H. SMITH, who constituted the society, with Rev. H.
H. SMITH, pastor. The first and present house of worship was erected in
1861, a wood building capable of seating 400 persons, and costing $3,500.0,
and is now valued, including grounds, at $6,500.00. The society now has
111 members, and is in fully as prosperous a condition as at any time in
its history, having an average attendance of about 150. It has also a good
Sabbath school with 189 scholars, and an average attendance of 113. Rev.
Edgar L. WALKER, A. M., is the present pastor.
St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Church, located at the corner
of St. Peter and Weaver streets, Winooski village, was organized April
1, 1868, by Rev. Father AUDET, their first and present pastor, with 600
members. Services were at first held in the hall in the Winooski Block,
until the present brick church was finished. It is a fine structure, built
of brick, is capable of seating 400 persons, and cost $15,000.00. It is
now valued, including grounds, at $40,000.00. The society now has 1,100
members, and sustains a Sabbath school with a regular attendance of 300
children. The church also has under its control a convent, managed by the
Sisters of Charity, where 300 children are being educated. The convent
building is 85x36 feet, built of brick, with two stories and a French roof.
St. Stephen's Roman Catholic Church, located at Winooski village,
was organized in 1871, by its first and present pastor, Very Rev. Thomas
FYNCH, with about 200 members, which number has since increased to 300.
The church building was erected during the same year, a structure capable
of seating 350 persons. It cost $6,000.00, about its present value.
The Trinity Protestant Episcopal Church, located on East Union street,
was organized in 1873, by Rev. Edward R ATNILL, its pastor, with four members.
The present wood church was erected during the same year, at a cost of
$3,000.00. It is now valued at $3,500.00, and will comfortably seat 200
persons. The society has forty members, with Rev. Mr. BLISS, rector.
Business Directory of
County, Vt. For 1882-83
and Published by Hamilton Child
At The Journal Office, Syracuse, N. Y,
1882. Pages 179-193.
by Karima Allison ~ 2004