lies on the southern extremity of the county, in lat. 44º 36', and
long. 4º 41", bounded northeast by Glover southeast by Wheelock and
Goshen Gore, in Caledonia county, southwest by Hardwick, in Caledonia county,
and northwest by Craftsbury. It contains an area of 23,040 acres,
granted November 6, 1780, and chartered by the name of Coltshill, to Harris
Colt and sixty-six associates, August 20, 1781. The name given in honor
of Mr. Colt, however, soon became considered not sufficiently euphonical
for the dignity of the infant town, so it was changed to the one it now
bears, given in honor of Mr. Green, another of the grantees.
The surface of Greensboro is quite uneven, though its elevations
are not generally abrupt, and the whole town is said to have the highest
altitude of any in the State. For this reason its winters are longer
than in many of the neighboring towns, and for the same reason the summer
months are unusually cool and delightful. Numerous streams and ponds abound,
lending a pleasing diversity to the landscape. The largest body of water
is Caspian Lake, sometimes called Lake Beautiful and Silver Lake, located
in the southern part of the town.
It is indeed a “beautiful lake,” its shores being lined in some
places with forest trees, at others with highly cultivated farms.
It is nearly three miles in length, averaging about a mile in width. Fed
by springs beneath its surface and tributaries from the surrounding hill-sides,
it is the natural home of the speckled trout, the angler's especial pride.
The lake is also a favorite resort for camping parties and pic-nicers.
Elligo pond lies in the western part of the town, extending into Craftsbury,
and there are several small ponds in the northern part of the town.
The ponds and springs form the sources of the headwaters of the Black and
Lamoille rivers. West branch and Mill branch in the southern-central
and eastern parts of the town are the largest streams, though there are
several others of almost equal importance, that afford many excellent mill-sites.
The soil is strong and productive, and except that it is some what cold
might be considered of an unusually fine quality, generally speaking. The
timber is principally of the hard wood varieties, though in some localities
it is entirely hemlock, spruce, cedar, and fir. Maple is especially abundant
and the manufacture of its sap into sugar forms an important factor in
the industries of the township. Upon the farm of James B. Calderwood
are two mammoth maples, or rather one, or two in one, as it were, sort
of Siamese twins, that are a fine illustration of the curious freaks nature
sometimes indulges in. The holes or trunks of the trees stand about six
and one-half feet apart, the larger being five feet in circumference at
its base, and the smaller three and one-quarter feet. Seventeen feet above
the ground they unite, forming a trunk five and one-half feet in circumference.
The rocks entering into the geological structure of the territory
are principally of the calciferous mica schist formation, though there
is a large bed of a species of granite in the western part. Huge bowlders
are scattered over the surface of the town, which bear unmistakable evidence
of the abrasion of ice and water, and it is quite probable they were dropped
to their present beds from some mighty iceberg at a remote age when the
whole of this territory was covered with water. Upon the farm of Thomas
Gebbie, in the northern part of the town, is a huge bowlder known as the
“rocking stone.” It rests on another large rock, and is so nicely balanced
that it can be set in motion by the pressure of the hand. Upon the farm
of Alexander McLaren is another curiosity, known as the "big rock." This
mighty bowlder is forty feet in length, thirty feet wide, and twenty in
height, its sides being nearly perpendicular and its general outline
reminding one much of the hull of a ship. A ladder has been placed against
one of its sides, by means of which one may gain its top, where is a level
space large enough to afford seating room for fifty or more persons.
In 1880, Greensboro had a population of 1,061, and in 1882, was
divided into twelve school districts and contained twelve common schools,
employing one male and twenty-one female teachers, at an aggregate salary
of $1,258.40. There were 247 pupils attending common school, while the
entire cost of the schools for the year, ending October 31st, was $1,571.87,
with J.A. Crane, superintendent.
Greensboro is a handsome little post village located on the outlet
of Caspian Lake. It was formerly a center of considerable importance, and
even now its fine water-power affords unusual facilities to the manufacturer.
It contains three stores, a grist-mill, butter tub manufactory, blacksmith
shop, cabinet shop, Caspian Lake hotel, town hall, and about thirty dwellings.
Greensboro Bend, a post village and station on the St. J.& L.
C. R.R., is located in the extreme southern corner of the town. It contains
three stores, a hotel, Tolman, Simpson & Co.'s mills, a blacksmith
shop, and about fifteen dwellings. Its history, however, bears a comparatively
recent date, being coincident with the advent of the railroad.
East Greensboro is a post office located in the eastern part of
North Greensboro is a post office located in the northern part of
the town, for the accommodation of the farmers in that section.
The Caspian Lake hotel, located at Greensboro village, within a
few rods of the beautiful little lake that Prof. Hall describes as the
highest body of water of its size in the, State, and in the vicinity of
some of the most exquisite scenery and the best trout fishing grounds in
the State, thus being a most desirable summer resort. The present proprietor,
William B. Sawyer, a popular host, has been in possession since 1880.
The Greensboro Bend hotel was built in 1877, by A.P. Folsom, to
accommodate the operatives of the steam mills, but was subsequently changed
to an ordinary hotel. In 1880, it was purchased by the present proprietors,
W.E. & A.D. Hopkins.
Tolman, Simpson & Co.'s saw and shingle-mill and box factory,
located at Greensboro Bend, was built by the present firm in 1873, upon
the site of the mill destroyed by fire the year previous. The mill is operated
by steam, employs from thirty-five to forty hands, manufacturing all kinds
of lumber and shingles, and also a large number of boxes.
William Engall's cabinet shop, located on the outlet of Caspian
Lake, was built by the present proprietor in 1862, who now carries on a
good business. The machinery is driven by water-power.
Sargent Dow's sash and blind factory, located on road 52, was built
by a Mr. Pinney in 1832, for a fulling-mill [?], and was remodeled
for its present use by Samuel Dow, father of Sargent.
J.O. Cutler's carriage shop was built in 1804 by Eli Austin, for
a carding-mill, for which purpose it was used forty-nine years.
Smalley & Martin's butter-tub factory, located on the outlet
of Caspian lake, is furnished with machinery capable of turning out 200
tubs per day.
A.A. Caldwell's saw, shingle and planing-mill, located near road
49, was built by Gov. Miles in 1878, and purchased by the present proprietor
in 1882, who made several improvements, so that he is now able to manufacture
10,000 feet of lumber, and 10,000 to 15,000 shingles per day.
Henry Edwards' saw-mill, located on the head waters of the Lamoille
river, was built by Dwight Jocelyn in 1867, and was purchased by Mr. Edwards
in March, 1879. It has the capacity for manufacturing 5,000 feet of lumber
and 5,000 shingles per day.
H.H. Hills' saw and shingle-mill, on road 48, has the capacity for
manufacturing 10,000 feet of lumber and 10,000, shingles per day.
Among the farm buildings in the town that are worthy of special
mention is the finely appointed stock barn of D. C. Melvins, on road 46.
This building is 44x109 feet and thirty-six feet in height. Above a good
cellar for storing roots, etc., is a basement capable of stabling thirty-eight
head of cattle, and above this is the main barn-room, with the capacity
for storing 150 tons of hay. Everything about the building is arranged
after modern ideas of convenience, so that it will compare favorably with
It was not until eight years after the town was granted that the
first settlement was commenced. As early as 1779, however, the old military
road was opened through the township, upon which, at different points along
its entire length, were erected small forts or block-houses. One of these
was located on the western shore of the Caspian.
In 1781, Capt. Nehemiah Loveland, of Peacham, sent a scouting party
of four men over this road. They proceeded as far as this block-house,
where they were surprised by a party of Indians, and two of their number,
Bliss, of Thetford, and Moses Sleeper, of Newbury were killed and scalped,
and the other two carried into Canada as prisoners. (For a more detailed
account of this affair see page 186.) Other than these military expeditions
the territory is not known to have been visited by white men, except hunters,
and by two men by the name of Tolman and Wood. Thomas Lyford, a famous
hunter of Cabot, used to spend a great deal of time here in the vicinity
of Caspian lake, where he had camps built at several different points,
the precise location of some of which, it is said, can be pointed out at
the present day. In one of these camps Messrs. Tolman and Wood spent three
In December of the following year, 1788, a meeting of the proprietors
was held in Cabot. Timothy Stanley, one of the proprietors, on his journey
to attend the same, had his limbs frozen so badly that amputation of a
portion of one of his feet became necessary. The operation was performed,
owing to the want of proper instruments, with a mallet and chisel. Uncouth
as the instruments were, it is said the operation was quite successful.
During the spring following this meeting of the proprietors, the
first actual settlement was commenced. Ashbel and Aaron Shepard,
with their families, came on from Newbury. Both families consisted of five
persons, Ashbel and his wife, and Aaron and his wife, and one child. From
Cabot Plain, a distance of sixteen miles, the women had to make the journey
on foot, the furniture for both families being drawn on the three hand-sleds.
Aaron occupied the block-house, and Ashbel erected a log cabin a little
south of it. In August, Aaron returned to Newbury with his family, leaving
his brother and his sister-in-law the only inhabitants of the town during
that winter. Their nearest neighbors were Benjamin Webster, in Cabot, and
Nathan Cutler, in Craftsbury, the latter being, with his family, the only
inhabitants of that town, and both families forming for a time the entire
population of the territory now included within the limits of the county.
During that winter Mr. Shepard brought all his grain from Newbury,
more than fifty miles, sixteen miles of which he drew it upon a hand-sled,
the snow being four feet deep. In this manner also he drew hay for the
support of his cow from a beaver meadow three miles distant.
About the middle of March Mrs. Cutler paid a visit to Mrs. Marsh,
and during that visit the first child in the county was born, William Scott
Shepard, March 25, 1790, to whom the proprietors voted a hundred acres
of land near the center of the town. About this time Aaron Shepard returned
with his family and with them Horace Shepard and his family, and also their
sister, Miss Susan Shepard, who came to reside in the family of Ashbel.
She afterwards became the wife of Col. Levi Stevens. The same year, also,
came Timothy Stanley, who erected a saw-mill near the outlet of the lake.
Soon after, his brother, Joseph, a blacksmith, came on and started a shop.
During the following year, 1791, John Law, Dea. Peleg Hill, Peleg Hill,
Jr., and James Hill and their families, and probably some others came on.
About this time Timothy Stanley erected a grist-mill.
On the 25th of July 1793, in a frame house standing on the eminence
west of the road about half way from the mills to the Congregational meeting
house, was performed the first wedding ceremony in the county, uniting
in matrimony Joseph Stanley, of Greensboro, and Mary Gerould, of Craftsbury,
the ceremony being performed by Timothy Stanley, Esq. To this wedding all
the inhabitants of the town were invited, and it is believed they were
all present, with the exception of five adults and a few children. This
newly married couple constituted the fifteenth family in the town. In 1795,
two years later, this number had increased to twenty-three families and
108 persons. In 1796, came Mr. Walton, a miller, and lived in the mill-house.
In 1797, came Dr. Samuel Huntington, Samuel Elkins and Amos Blanchard.
In 1798, came John Ellsworth, commencing a settlement two miles east of
the lake and in 1799, Aaron Farnham made a settlement towards the
northern part of the town, and in February of the same year Williard
Lincoln succeeded Josiah Elkins on his farm. Thus the settlement advanced,
so that the census returns for 1800 show the town to have had a population
In 1799, or early in 1800, Ephraim Strong and Ashbel Hall established
themselves here as merchants, commencing trade in a large bed-room in Timothy
Stanley's new frame house. During the year 1800, however, they built the
large house still standing a short distance south of the village, near
the forks of the roads leading to Hardwick street, the southwest room of
which they fitted up for a store. They did business here two or three years,
then moved their goods into a new store they had just completed, a little
below the house and nearer the road. During the following year Asahel Washburn
established himself here as a clothier.
The town was organized and the first town meeting held, March 29,
1793, at the house of Ashbel Shepard. The early records were all destroyed
by fire, however, together with the store and an extensive stock of goods
belonging to Storrs & Langdon, August 9, 1830, so it is impossible
to tell who the first officers were: Nathan Cutler was the first town clerk,
holding the office twelve years. Timothy Stanley was the first justice,
in 1791, and also the first representative, elected in 1795. There was
another large fire December 6, 1838, destroying the large store of Babbitt
& Gleason, and seven or eight other buildings. The first public road
laid through the town after its settlement was the old road to Glover,
formerly known as the Norton road. The first school was held in Aaron Shepard's
barn in 1794, taught by Anna Hill, and the following year was held in the
barn of Ashbel Shepard. In the same place soon after, Eunice Stoddard taught
a school. She afterwards became the wife of Col. Elkins, of Peacham. The
third teacher employed was Jane Johnson, who occupied the first school-house,
built upon an eminence on the old road leading from Greensboro village
to Hardwick street. This house, not many years after, was destroyed
The Scotch settlers in this town, though they cannot be ranked among
the early settlers, coming only from thirty to fifty years ago, deserve
honorable mention among the permanent settlers, for their characteristic
industry and frugality has secured to them, with few exceptions, comfortable
homes and farms whose appearance betoken the thrift of their possessors.
John Urie was the pioneer, coming from Paisley in 1830, locating in the
northwestern corner. John Simpson came the same year, from Glasgow. They
were followed, in 1832, by John Gebbie from Ayrshire, and in 1839, by David
Calderwood, from the same place. In 1843, James Simpson and Bruce
H. Cuthbertson came. In 1849-'50, came George and Alexander Young and wives,
Matthew Marshall, Andrew Jardine, and Clark Brownlie, from Glasgow, and
were followed later by David Logan, John Findlay and others.
Thomas Tolman, from Attleboro, Mass., came to Greensboro in 1795,
and located upon a farm on road 36, where he died in 1842, aged eighty-six
years. Mr. Tolman was a Revolutionary soldier having held an office of
minor rank in the Continental army. During his later years he was a Congregational
clergyman, and always more or less connected with State affairs, and was
also a prominent mason. His father came to reside with him in 1817, at
the age of ninety years. He reared a family of ten children. Enoch, the
third son, born in 1787, died here in 1846. Only one of his thirteen
children, Henry S., the fourth son, settled in Greensboro. He now occupies
the old homestead and is the largest landowner in the town. He represented
the town in 1866-‘67, and was State senator in 1874, and has also held
most of the other town trusts.
Charles Cook, from the southern part of New Hampshire, came here
in 1796, locating upon the farm now owned by his grandson, John B., on
road 35, where he resided the remainder of his life. Only two of his seven
children are now living. Charles, Jr., born in 1805, was a resident of
the town until his death, in 1868. When his father located upon the old
homestead it consisted of a farm of forty acres, but at the death of Mr.
Cook he and Charles, Jr., had increased it to 328 acres. This entire farm
was then owned by the latter. John B., the oldest of Charles, Jr.'s three
children, born in 1832, has resided here all his life. He served in the
6th cavalry all through the war, and has three children, all residing at
John Ellsworth came to this town, from Windsor, Conn., in 1798,
and located upon a farm on road 46, where he resided the remainder of his
life. He was the first county judge, and held the office of county clerk
for a number of years, together with the different town offices. Two of
his seven children are now living. William Wallace Goss, a grandson of
Mr. Ellsworth, and tenth child of Sophia B., resides on road 41.
Jason White, from Oakham, Mass., removed to Craftsbury with his
father, James, about 1800, and after becoming of age he resided in various
places in the county, finally dying with a son in Barton. Royal,
the oldest of his ten children, born in 18l4 resided in Craftsbury twenty-five
years, then came to this town, where he now resides, on road 5.
Ezekiel Rand, from New Hampshire, came to Greensboro about 1800,
locating in the northern part of the town, and subsequently removed to
the eastern shore of the lake. He held most of the town offices, among
which that of representative. Five of his ten children are now living.
The youngest, Nelson, born in 1824, resided here until nineteen years of
age, when be began the study of law. In 1848, he entered into mercantile
pursuits in Craftsbury, following the same about twenty years, then resumed
his profession. He had four children.
Luther Scott, from Hartford, Vt., came to Greensboro in 1803, locating
upon the farm now owned by E. R. Hanson, on road 2. He died at the
residence of his son, John M., in 1824, aged sixty years. Mr. Scott reared
a family of twelve children and was for many years an active member of
the Baptist church then located in Craftsbury. Three of his sons became
Methodist clergymen, two of whom are living. Nathan W., his second son,
born in 1813, has always resided here. In 1842, he purchased the farm he
Rice came to this town, from Norwich, Vt., with his parents in 1801, locating
on road 4. He now enjoys excellent health at the age of eighty-four years,
his wife being eighty-three years old, they having been married fifty-eight
years. Two of their children, Eveline, wife of James B. Calderwood,
and Harvey A., reside in the town.
Elijah Austin, from Tunbridge, Vt., came here in 1804, in company
with his older brother, Eli, a blacksmith, who erected a wool carding machine,
one of the first in the county. Elijah, at the age of ten years, commenced
work in the carding-mill for his brother, and at the age of twelve years
could take entire charge of the works. Mr. Austin has led an active business
life, held many of the town offices, and kept hotels in seven different
cities of Vermont, Massachusetts and New York. He is also one of the oldest
masons in the State, having joined that order in 1819. Both of his children,
S. Stanley and Lorina A., reside here.
John L. Porter, from Danville, Vt., came here with his father, Amos,
about 1812, and located upon a farm in the western part of the town, where
he resided until he was of age, then removed to the farm now owned by his
son George, where he still resides. Two of his three children are residents
of the town.
Romans E. Crane, from Fitzwilliam, N. H., come to this town with
his parents at the age of nine years, in 1819, and his been a resident
of the town since. Joseph A., his only living child, is town superintendent
of schools, residing on road 11.
Jabbed Piney, from Royalty, Vt., came to Greensboro in 1822, and
engaged in the clothing business and farming. He soon became interested
in public affairs and was elected sheriff twenty-eight consecutive years,
holding various other offices at the same time; has been town treasurer
over twenty years, represented the town ill 1842, '48, and '49 and was
also postmaster a long time, He is a highly respected citizen of the town,
aged eighty-four years, fifty-five years of which he has spent with his
most estimable wife. Five of their ten children are now living, three in
this town. Summer P., their eighth child, with whom the aged couple reside,
occupies the old homestead. The house was built in 1828, and the well from
which they draw their water was dug by Col. Abase Washburn in 1801.
John No, from Paisley, Scotland, came to America in 1830, and worked
for a number of years at carpet weaving in Lowed, Mass., where, it is said,
he wove the first piece of carpet by machinery in the United States. He
finally came to this town and resided until his death, in 1865. Eight of
his ten children are now living, five in this county. Thomas, the eighth
child, resides in this town on road 5.
John Simpson, from Glasgow, Scotland, came to Greensboro in June,
1830, locating upon the farm now owned by his son, William B.
Nine of his twelve children are living, two, William B. and John in this
Thomas W. Smith, from Kilmarnock, Scotland, came to Glover in 1827.
John M., the second of his six children, born in 1816, was for a number
of years one of the leading men of Greensboro. He represented the town
in 1864-‘65, and died in 1880, aged sixty-four years.
John Gebbie, from Ayrshire, Scotland, came to Greensboro in 1832,
locating in the western part of the town. Five of his children now reside
here, Thomas W., the third child, born here in 1845, resides on road 5.
Nathan Keniston came to Greensboro, from Cabot, in 1837, and located
in the southern part of the town, where he remained about a year, then
moved to Massachusetts, staid there five years, then came back to this
David Calderwood came from Ayrshire, Scotland, in 1839, when he
was twenty years of age. In 1843, he married Eliza C. Scott, and located
upon a farm in the central part of the town, and has resided in that vicinity
since. He has reared a family of seven children, five of whom are living,
three in this town. Harvey S., his oldest son, is a practicing physician
in St. Johnsbury.
Zaccheus J. Thompson, from Woodstock, Vt., came here in 1841, and,
with his father, John, who came here a few years previous, located upon
a farm in the eastern part of the town. He died in July, 1879, aged seventy-four
years. Three of his nine children now reside here. Carlos W., the sixth
child, born in 1840, has always resided here, and served in the 11th Vt.
Vols. three years. His brother, Isaiah C., also served in the same regiment.
Thomas Smith, from Ryegate, Vt., came here in 1842, locating on
road 38, upon the farm now owned by his son, T. Frank Smith, where he died,
in 1879, aged sixty-four years. He reared a family of ten children, all
of whom now reside in the town.
James Simpson, from Ayrshire, Scotland, came here, in 1843, on a
visit to his friends, and remained three years. He then returned to Scotland,
and, in 1849, came back to America, locating at East Craftsbury as a shoemaker.
Finally he purchased a farm in this town and has since resided here.
He has four children, all residing in Greensboro.
Bruce H. Cuthbertson, from Ayrshire, Scotland, came to Greensboro
in May, 1843, following the carpenter trade twenty-four years, building
many of the houses now standing in the town. In 1867, he began a mercantile
business where his sons, H. M. and G. M., are now located.
He is at present the principal dealer in flour, grain and, lumber in the
Albert Chesley was born in Barnstead,N.H., married Lydia J., daughter
of Charles D. Ayers, and in 1848, came to this town and located upon the
farm he now occupies. Mr. Chesley has held various town offices, and has
been, postmaster at North Greensboro since 1863. His father-in-law, Charles
D. Ayers, came here in 1834, and resided here until his death, January
6, 1883, aged eighty-six years.
Matthew Marshall came from Scotland in 1849, and after a few months
spent in New York city, came to this town. He has resided upon the farm
he now occupies since 1855.
Aaron Hill, from Connecticut, came to Greensboro when eight years
of age with his father, Peleg, and located on road 28, and resided there
until his death. Aaron was a carpenter by trade, and many of the older
houses of the town now remain as monuments of his industry. Seven of eight
children are living, and three, Aaron R., Samuel, and Ephraim P., in this
George Young, with his wife and ten children, came from Ayrshire,
Scotland, in 1849, and located on road 5, where he died in 1865.
Six of the children, Jane, Alec, George, James, Mary, and William W. now
Andrew Jardine came from Ayrshire, Scotland, with his father, Peter,
in 1850, and located upon a farm in the western part of the town, where
Peter died in 1852.
Alexander Young, from Scotland, came to Greensboro in 1850, and
located upon a farm in the northern part of the town. He has reared four
children, two of whom now reside in the town.
Claud Brownell, from Glasgow, Scotland, came here in 1850, but remained
only one year, then returned to Scotland, remaining seven years, when he
again came back to this town and is now located on road 3.
David Logan, from Ayrshire, Scotland, came here in 1852, and located
upon the farm now occupied by his sons, and where he died, November 25,
1881. Four of his six children now reside here.
John Findley came here, from Ayrshire, Scotland, in 1873, and now
resides on road 3. During the late war 114 Greensboro men enlisted in the
service, of whom six were killed in action, seven died from wounds, and
nineteen of disease.
The Congregational church of Greensboro, located at Greensboro village,
was organized by Revs. Leonard Worcester and Samuel Collins, with twenty-one
members, November 24, 1804. The first pastor was Rev. Solomon King. The
church building was erected in 1827, repaired in 1852 and 1866, and is
now a comfortable structure capable of seating 300 persons, and valued
at $3,000.00. The society has seventy members, with Rev. S. Knowlton, pastor.
The Methodist Episcopal church, located at Greensboro Bend, was
organized by Revs. Thurston and Udall, with twenty members, in 1880, with
Rev. Xenophon Udall, pastor. The society now has thirty members with Rev.
G. Wheeler, pastor.
The United Presbyterian church, located at Greensboro village, was
organized by Rev. Thomas Goodwillie, with twenty members, January 13, 1845.
Rev. G. Campbell was the first pastor. The church building, a wood structure
capable of accommodating 200 persons, was built in 1845, and is now valued
at $1,600.00. The society has fifty-one members, with Rev. A. McBride,
euphonical, especial, bowlders, staid
of Lamoille and Orleans Counties, VT.; 1883-1884, Compiled and Published
by Hamilton Child; May 1887, Page 274 to 278)
was provided by Tom Dunn.
–1884 Greensboro Business Directory