Eden, a lumbering town located in the northern part of the county, in lat. 44º 22’, and long. 4º 25’, bounded north by Lowell, in Orleans county, and Montgomery, in Franklin county, east by Craftsbury, in Orleans county, south by Hyde Park and Johnson, and West by Belvidere, was granted November 7, 1780, and chartered August 28, 1781, the charter deed reading as follows: 
 
 

 
      The Governor, Council, and General Assembly of the Freemen of the State of Vermont: To all people to whom these presents shall come, Greeting: Know ye, that whereas Col. Seth Warner and his associates, our worthy friends, viz.: The Officers and Soldiers of his regiment in the line of the Continental Army, have, by petition, requested a grant of unappropriated land within the State, in order for settling a new plantation, to be converted into a township: We have therefore thought fit, for the encouragement of their laudable designs, and as a consideration, in part, for their past meritorious services to their country; And do, by these presents, in the name and by the authority of the Freemen of the State of Vermont, give and grant the tract of land unto the said Seth Warner, Lieutenant-Col. Samuel Safford, and the several persons hereafter named, in equal rights or shares.

       Then follows the names of Warner and those who served in his regiment, seventy-two in all, and the shares each should possess, the document being signed by Thomas Chittenden, Governor of the State. Until 1828, the town had an area of only 23,040 acres, but on the 30th day of October, of that year 13,440 acres were annexed from Belvidere, so that the township now has an area of 36,480 acres, one of the largest in the State. 

       In surface, Eden is rough and mountainous, and made quite picturesque by numerous ponds and rivers. The principal elevations are Belvidere, Hadley, and Norris mountains. Belvidere mountain, situated in the northwestern part of the township, and partly in the town from which it takes its name, is an elevation of considerable height. Its rocky sides are well timbered, but at its summit there is a small open space affording an excellent view of the surrounding beautiful scenery, a view extending beyond the historic Champlain on the west, and to the White Mountains on the east. Tradition has it that there is a copper mine somewhere on this mountain where the Indians were wont to gather the metal. This tradition has never been verified, however, and probably has no foundation in fact. Mounts Hadley and Norris lie in the northeastern part of the town, and are elevations of no mean height. The surface of Mt. Hadley presents rocky, jagged, and, on the whole, quite picturesque aspect. There is said to be a small pond at its summit. 

       The soil of the township is mostly a fertile, sandy loam, which is irrigated by numerous streams, springs, and ponds. Of the latter, no less than nine are distributed thoughout the town. The principal of these, Worth Pond, lies alongside the road leading from Eden to Lowell, and is about two miles in length by a half mile in width. Two peninsulas jutting out from the north and south ends divide the sheet into two distinct bodies, which are connected by a narrow strait, or channel. This pond was formerly, much larger than it now is, owing to an artificial dam that was erected at its outlet. About the year 1803, this darn suddenly broke away, allowing the huge body of water to flood down the narrow outlet. This catastrophe, though destructive, is said to have been a grand and imposing sight. The resistless torrent swept away everything in its course, tearing from their foundations huge rocks and lofty trees. The Gihon river, with its numerous branches and tributaries forms the principal water-course, flowing a southerly direction into Hyde Park. There are several other good sized streams, however, many of which afford excellent mill privileges. Many acres of spruce, and hard wood timber are to be found in the town, though much has been cut, and many thousand feet are being cut each season. Of the many fine farms located through out Eden, most are devoted to dairy farming; but the principal occupation of the inhabitants is lumbering, in its various branches. 

       In 1880,  Eden had a population of 934, and in 1882, contained nine common schools, governed on the town principle, employing twelve female teachers, to whom was paid an aggregate salary of $575.50. There were 200 pupils attending common school, while the entire cost of the schools for the year, ending October 31st, was $662.17, with Edwin C. White, superintendent. 

       Eden Mills, a Post Village, located in the central part of the town, contains one church (Methodist), an hotel, two saw-mills, three clapboard and one grist-mill, two blacksmith shops and about fifteen dwellings. 

       Eden (p. o.), a hamlet located near the central part of the town, consists of one store and half a dozen dwellings. 

       C.A. & E.C. White's starch factory, located on road 7, was built by James Brown, in 1866.   In 1869, it came into the possession of the present proprietors, and, with the exception of two seasons, has since been operated by them. The firm employs about four hands, and uses from five to twenty-five thousand bushels of potatoes per annum. 

       H.H. & 0.E. Newton's saw-mill, located on road 12 1/2  was built by 0.E. Newton and James Brown, in 1874.   Mr. Brown subsequently withdrew from the firm, and Henry H. Newton assumed his interest. The mill gives employment to about fifteen hands, and turns out from five to eight hundred thousand feet of lumber annually. 

       C.A. & E.F. White’s clapboard-mill, located on road 7, gives employment to three men, and manufactures about 300,000 feet of lumber per year. 

       Stearns & Moseley's saw and grist-mill and butter-tub  factory, located on road  27, was built by a Mr. Blake, in 1830. The property changed hands several times and finally was purchased by the present owners in April, 1881. They added the business of manufacturing shingles and butter-tubs, and also erected the grist-mill. The firm now employs eleven men in their saw-mill, manufacturing 500,000 feet of lumber annually. When the butter-tub factory is in operation it gives employment to fifteen men, and turns out from 50,000 to 75,000 tubs per annum. 

       White & Whittemore's saw and clapboard-mill, located on road 7, was built by the present owners, in 1868, the clapboard manufactory not being added until two years later, or in 1870. The firm now employs from six to nine men, and manufactures about 800,000 feet of dressed lumber and 200,000 feet of clapboards per annum. 

       William L. Ober's saw-mill, located on road 32, was built a number of years ago by L.H.Noyes.  In 1868, it was purchased by the present proprietor, and by him entirely rebuilt and furnished with improved machinery. Mr. Ober employs from four to ten men and manufactures about 600,000 feet of lumber annually. 

       Jonas T. Stevens's grist and saw-mill, located on road 22, was built by M. Mason, who carried on the business for a number of years. After several changes of proprietors, the property was purchased, in 1880, by Mr. Stevens, who instituted many improvements and repairs, so that the mill now employs about twenty hands, who manufacture 1,500,000 feet of lumber per annum. Mr. Stevens also operates a planing-mill in connection with the sawmill. 

       The first settlement in Eden was commenced in 1800, by Thomas H. Parker, Moses Wentworth, and Isaac Brown. The town was organized March 31, 1802, the meeting being held at the residence of Thomas H. Parker, where the following list of officers was chosen: Moses Wentworth, town clerk; Archibald Harwood, treasurer and constable; Isaac Brown, Thomas McClinathan and William Hudson, selectmen; Dada Hinds, Jedediah Hutchins and Jonas Joslyn, listers; and Eli Hinds, Jeduthan Stone and William Hudson, highway surveyors. The first justice of the peace was Thomas H. Parker, chosen in 1800, he being also chosen as the first representative, in 1802. The first physician was Dr. Eaton, father of ex-Governor Eaton, who remained here about two years. The first child born in the town was Eden, son of Isaac and Lydia Brown. 

       Lemuel Warren came from Massachusetts in 1800, and located upon the farm now owned by his son and grandson, where he reared a family of seven children, five of whom settled in the town. Mr. Warren died in 1824. Asa, the third son of Lemuel, born in 1800, remained on the old homestead until his death. William A., his second son, born in 1829, now occupies a portion of the homestead. Calvin D., the oldest son of Lemuel, also resides on the old farm. 

       Charles Whittemore, from New Hampshire, came to Eden about the year 1800, locating upon a farm near the eastern shore of North Pond, where he resided most of the remaining years of his life, rearing a family of eight children, three of whom are now living, one, Ira, in this town. Mr. Whittemore held many of the town offices, and was much respected by his townsmen. 

       Eli Hinds, from Hubbardston, Mass., came to Eden in the spring of 1801, being, according to a sermon preached at the funeral of his oldest son, Eli, the first person who entered the town with a team of any kind. He had a family of four sons and three daughters. Two of the sons served in the war of 1812, and two, Freelove and Abel S., are now living, the latter, born in 1809, being one of the oldest residents of the town. Mr. Hinds held many of the town trusts, and was actively interested in church matters. 

       Nathan Adams came to Eden with his father, Asa, in June, 1803, from Rutland, Mass. He subsequently located on a farm in the northern part of the town, where he resided a number of years, and finally, after various changes of residence, he died upon a farm now owned by one of his grandsons, his death occurring in 1854, aged sixty years. Of his family of seven children, five are now living. Harmon S., his second son, born in 1819, has always been a resident of the town. He has reared a family of four children. MasonAdams, the youngest son of Asa, born in 1801, has been a resident of the town since 1803. Mason has had a family of four children, two of whom settled in Eden. 

      Abel Smith, from Hubbardston, Mass., located on a farm in the central part of the town, at an early date. He was a shoemaker by trade, but the latter part of his life he devoted entirely to farming. His death occurred in 1860, at the age of seventy-eight years. His family consisted of twelve children, all of whom located in the town, and three of whom are now living. Asa, his sixth child, born in 1809, now occupies the old homestead. John H., the second son of Asa, born in 1840, has been a resident of the town all his life. 

       John Brown, from Rocksboro, N.H., came to Eden in 1806, and located upon a farm in the northern part of the town, where he died in 1848, aged seventy-two years. He reared a family of twelve children, ten of whom are now living, the youngest being sixty-two, and the oldest eighty-two years of age. John was at the battle of Plattsburgh, and served the town as justice and town clerk for a period of thirty years.  Charles P., the fifth child of John, born in 1807, now resides on road 28. 

       Massa Bassett, from Keene, N.H., came to Eden in the spring of 1808, locating near the western border of the town, where he reared a family of eight children, and was a leader among his townsmen for many years. George, his second son, born in 1810, resided here until his death, in 1879, leaving a family of five children. George was for many years actively interested in town affairs, holding many of the town offices. Two of his children now reside here. William G., born in 1838, is a large real estate owner, located on road 21. He has a wife and two children. Lucius Hiram, the youngest child, born in 1853, now resides on road 27, with a wife and three children. 

       William C. Atwell, from Wentworth, Mass., came to this town in 1814, making the first permanent settlement on the farm now owned by his son, James. On this farm is said to have been built the first frame barn in the town, and which is yet in use. William died in 1867, aged seventy-seven years. He was a physician by profession, and served his townsmen in this capacity, and in various town offices, faithfully and well. Of his family of nine children, two, James and Davis, now reside here. The former was born in 1831, has a family of two children, and resides on road 21. The latter, born in 1836, is a farmer, located on road 22. 

       Jonas Harrington came to Eden, from Connecticut, in 1817, locating upon a farm on road 10, where he died in 1847, aged sixty-two years. He served in the war of 1812, and received a severe wound while in the service. His family consisted of seven children, all of whom settled in the town. Jacob, his oldest son, born in 1812, now resides on road 21 cor 9, having reared a family of four children, three of whom reside in the town. 

       James Kelley, from New York, located in the eastern part of the town at an early date, where he died in 1860, aged sixty-one years. John D., the fourth son of his seven children, born in 1847, now resides on road 22. 

       Freeborn White, from Northbridge, Mass., came to Eden in 1830, after a short residence in Waterville. He located upon a farm on road 19, where he resided about fifteen years, then resided with his several children until his death. Charles A., the second of his eight children, born in 1812, has been a resident of the town since his parents settled here, and is now actively engaged in the manufacture of lumber and starch. 

       Amasa Ober and his wife came to this town in 1832, locating upon new land on road 32. Here Mr. Ober resided until his death, in 1866, at the age of fifty-five years. His wife, Margaret Co[?], still survives him. She possesses one of those sturdy natures that seem to especially adapt a woman for the partner of a pioneer. She shared the privations incident to a new settlement, with her husband, working both in the field and in the kitchen. During the past twenty-eight years she has manufactured 1,558 yards of carpeting, in addition to her usual household duties. Benjamin Ober, cousin to Amasa, located on road 30, in 1836, upon the farm now occupied by his widow and his son, Frank B.  Peter Ober, brother of Amasa, came here the same year with Benjamin, and located upon an adjoining farm, where he resided until his death. 

       Amasa Stevens, from Hartland. Vt., came to Eden in 1832, locating at Eden Corners, where he worked at his trade, carpenter and millwright. In 1859, he commenced the manufacture of lumber. Jonas T., his youngest son, born in 1842, has always been a resident of the town, and is now extensively engaged in the manufacture of lumber. 

       During the late war Eden furnished seventy-five men, nineteen of whom were killed, or died from wounds or exposure, received while in the service. 

       Religious meetings were held at an early date in the town, by itinerant ministers who held services in barns and private dwellings. Most of the early settlers were strong Calvinists; but Rev. Wilbur Fisk, a Methodist minister, finally came here, in 1818, and made many converts, since which time that denomination has been the strongest. 

       The Methodist church, located at Eden Mills, was organized by Rev. Wilbur Fisk, in 1823, with fifteen members. Rev. Schuyler Chamberlin was the first pastor. The first church building was erected in 1831, and gave place to the present edifice in 1864, a comfortable wood structure capable of seating 300 persons, and valued at $1,500.00, though its original cost was $2,000.00. The society now has sixteen members, with Rev. J. W. Hitchcock, pastor. 

       The Universalist church was organized in 1834. The society is now small. 

       The Congregational church was organized November 3, 1812, being the first church organized in the town. The first pastor was Rev. Joseph Farrar, who commenced his labors November 24, 1811, and was dismissed from his charge December 20, 1815. The society is now very small, with no regular pastor. 

       The Advent church has a small society, with Elder Albert Stone, pastor. 
 
 

(Source: Gazetteer of Lamoille and Orleans Counties, VT.; 1883-1884, Compiled and Published by Hamilton Child; May 1887, Page 77-79)

This excerpt was provided by Tom Dunn.


1883 –1884 Eden Business Directory