is located in the northeastern corner of the county, in lat. 44º 57',
and long. 4º 25', bounded north by the Canada line, east by Troy,
south by Westfield, and west by Richford, in Franklin county. It
contains an area of 23,040 acres, and was originally granted by the State,
under the name of Carthage, March 13, 1780. Nothing was done towards
a settlement under this charter, nor were the bounds laid out until
1789, when it was surveyed by James Whitelaw, consequently, under the conditions
of the grant, the charter was made void, and the land reverted to the State.
In 1792, the legislature decided that “the tract of land called Carthage
is an uncommonly good one, and that it should be erected into a township
by the name of Jay.” One third of the territory was granted
to Gov.Thomas Chittenden, and the remaining two thirds to John Jay and
John Cozine, of New York. The Chittenden grant was chartered November 7,
1792, as follows:-
Governor, Council and General Assembly of the State of Vermont.
To all to whom these presents shall come — Greeting: Know Ye, That
whereas His Excellency Thomas Chittenden, Esquire, our worthy friend, has
by petition requested a grant of unappropriated lands within this State,
for the purpose of settlement, We have therefore thought fit, for the due
encouragement of his laudable designe and for other causes and valuable
considerations us hereunto moving, do, by these presents, in the name and
by the authority of the freemen of the State of Vermont, give and grant
unto the said Thomas Chittenden, Esquire, and to his heirs and assigns
forever, all that certain tract or parcel of land, situate in the County
of Chittenden, in the state aforesaid, described and bounded as follows,
viz.: Beginning at a stake and stones, being the Southwest corner of Carthage;
thence South 82º 20' East, six miles in the North line of Westfield
to a birch tree standing in the Northeast corner thereof, marked 'Carthage,
Westfield 1789;' thence North two miles to a stake sixteen links Northeast
from a spruce tree marked ‘2, 1789;' thence North 82º 20' West, six
miles to a fir free standing on the West side of a mountain marked 'M.
4, 1789;' thence South to the first bound, containing seven thousand and
six hundred acres of land reserving out of said tract of land five hundred
and ninety acres to be appropriated for public uses, in manner and form
as is usual and customary in other townships, granted by the State, and
to be divided and laid out in like manner in quantity and quality and be
disposed of, for public and pious uses agreeable to the usual customs aforesaid,
and which tract of land is to be comprehended within the township of and
forever hereafter to be called and known by the name of Jay and the inhabitants
that now do or shall hereafter inhabit said township tract within the township
of Jay aforesaid are declared to be enfranchised and intitled to all the
privileges and immunities that the inhabitants of other towns within the
State do and ought, by, the laws and constitution thereof to exercise and
have and to hold the same granted premises, as above expressed with all
the privileges and appurtenances unto him the said Thomas Chittenden, Esquire,
and to his heirs and assigns forever, upon the following conditions and
reservations, viz.: That the said Thomas Chittenden, Esquire, his heirs
and assigns shall plant and cultivate five acres of land and build a house,
at least eighteen feet square upon the floor, or have one family settled
on each respective right or share, or on each three hundred and sixty acres
within the time limited by law of this State made and provided for that
purpose on penalty of the forfeiture thereof, according to the usual custom
in grants made by this State aforesaid, and the same to revert to the freemen
of this State, to be by their representatives regranted to such persons
as shall appear to settle and cultivate the same and that all pine timber
be reserved for the use of a navy for the benefit of the freemen of this
testimony whereof, we have caused the seal of this State to be hereunto
affixed, in Council at Rutland, this 7th day of November, A. D., 1792.
his Excellency's command.
“JOSEPH FAY, Secretary."
The remaining two thirds of the town was granted November 28, 1792,
to John Jay and John Cozine, of New York city, the following being a copy
of the charter deed:—
The People of the State of Vermont,' BY THE GRACE OF GOD FREE AND
To all to whom these presents shall come, Greeting: Know Ye, That
we have given, granted and confirmed and by these presents do give, grant
and confirm unto the Honorable John Jay, of the city of New York, Esquire,
and to John Cozine, of the same place, Esquire, as Tenants in common and
not as joint Tenants, all that certain tract or parcel of Land situate,
lying and being in the County of Chittenden, in the State of Vermont, Beginning
at the North Easterly corner of a Tract heretofore called Carthage, being
a stake and stones, standing in the North Line of the said State, fifteen
links north from a Beech Tree, marked ‘Carthage 1789’ and running thence
North eighty-two degrees and twenty minutes West, six miles in the North
line of the State to a Beech Tree, marked ‘Richford, Carthage, October
17, 1789.' Thence South four miles in the East line of Richford to a pine
or fir Tree on the west side of a small mountain, marked ‘M. 4, 1789.'
Then South eighty-two degrees and twenty minutes East, six miles to a stake
six- teen links northwest from a spruce Tree, marked ‘M. 2, 1789.'
Then north in the East line of said Tract to the place of Beginning, containing
fifteen thousand three hundred and sixty acres, statute measure, being
sixteen Thousand acres of land straight measure, be the same more or less
in the following proportions, viz.: Fourteen full equal and undivided sixteenth
parts, (the whole into sixteen equal parts to be divided) unto the said
John Jay, and the residue and remaining Two full and equal undivided sixteenth
parts (the whole into sixteen equal parts to be divided) unto the said
John Cozine, together with all and singular the rights Heriditaments and
appurtenances to the same belonging, or in any wise appertaining, excepting
and reserving to ourselves all Gold and Silver mines. And also all that
certain piece of land or parcel of the tract hereinbefore described: Beginning
at the northwest corner of a tract of land granted to his Excellency, Thomas
Chittenden, in the East line of Richford: Thence along the north bounds
of the Tract so granted to Thomas Chittenden, south eighty-two degrees
and twenty minutes East, three hundred and ten rods: Thence north three
hundred and ten rods: Thence north eighty-two degrees and twenty minutes
West, three hundred and ten rods to Richford aforesaid. Thence south in
the East line of Richford three hundred and ten rods to the place of Beginning,
for public uses.
have and to hold the said fourteen full and equal undivided sixteenths
(the whole into sixteen equal parts to be divided) of the said above mentioned
and described Tract of Land and premises unto the said John Jay his heirs
and assigns forever, as a good and indefeasible Estate of Inheritance in
fee simple. And to have and to hold the residue and remaining two full
and equal and undivided sixteenth parts (the whole in sixteen equal parts
to be divided) of the above mentioned and described tract of land and premises
unto said John Cozine his heirs and assigns forever, as a good and indefeasible
Estate of Inheritance in fee simple; and on condition nevertheless, that
within the term of seven years to be computed from the first day of January
next ensuing the date hereof, there shall be one actual settlement made
for every six hundred and forty acres of the said Tract of land hereby
granted, otherwise these our Letters Patent and the Estate hereby granted
shall cease, determine and become void; and we do by these presents Constitute,
erect and create the tract of land hereby granted and chartered, together
with another tract of Seven Thousand acres to the south of and adjoining
thereto, granted to the before mentioned Thomas Chittenden and bounded
westerly on Richford, southerly on Westfield, and easterly partly on land
granted to Samuel Avery and others, a township to be forever hereafter
distinguished, known and called JAY, with all and singular the powers,
privileges, Franchises and immunities to other incorporated Townships within
the State of Vermont—
witness whereof we have caused these our letters to be made Patent, and
the Great seal of our said State to be hereto affixed—
our trusty and well beloved Thomas Chittenden, Esquire, Governor of our
said State, General and Commander-in-Chief of all the militia of the same.
Williston, this twenty-eight day of December, in the year of our Lord,
one thousand seven hundred and ninety-two, and in the sixteenth year of
the Secretaries office this 28th day of December, 1792.
his Excellency's command,
JOSEPH FAY, Sec’y."
A copy of the Charter was filed for record in the office of the
Secretary of State, January 29, 1806.
In the Chittenden grant is situated nearly all of the intervals,
and nearly all the streams of water run through it, which unite in this
town to form what is known as Jay branch, which empties into the Missisquoi
river in Troy, and is the largest tributary thus far in the course of that
river. Jay Peak, the highest point of the Green Mountain range north of
Mt. Mansfield, is also situated in the Chittenden grant, and is 4,018 feet
above sea level. Its summit is twenty rods or more north of the north
line of Westfield, and one hundred rods or more east of the east line of
The Green Mountain range covers nearly one-third of the town on
the west side, presenting a formidable barrier to roads, and none have
ever been built across it ; but there are two quite feasible routes, one
of which is through the notch south of the Peak, and it, will probably
be utilized before a great while. The other is some distance north of the
Peak, opening into the settlement on the west side of the mountain, known
as West Jay, and East Richford. The range forms a vast semi-circle, commencing
on the line between Jay and Westfield, about two miles west of the east
line, and running on the line between the two towns nearly all the way
west, rounding up the southwest corner of the town, as it swings around
to the north, and then following along between Jay and Richford a couple
of miles, and then bending around to the cast to within about two miles
of the east line of the town, making room for the settlement of West Jay,
and thus completing the semi-circle. From this point the mountains swing
back again to the west, forming another and smaller curve, crossing the
Canada line. There is a vast amount of spruce and hardwood timber on the
sides of these mountains, and there was formerly considerable pine timber
in the town, but the navy was never benefitted by it, notwithstanding the
charter. A pine tree was cut on the meadow of lot NO. 12, in the 2d range,
which made 5,250 feet of inch boards. It stood 135 feet high, and was five
feet in diameter at its base. The first branches started twenty-five feet
from the ground, and were three feet through. These again branched out
so that the continuous length of sawlogs taken from the tree was two hundred
and fifty feet. The tree was sold on the stump for $5.00. Another remarkable
pine was cut on the little meadow just above the “duck pond " on lot No.
11, in the first range. It was but twenty-two inches through or, the stump,
though it was 125 feet high, straight as an arrow, and the first limb eighty
feet from the ground.
The whole of the eastern part of the town is comparatively level,
contains considerable intevale land, and is susceptible of producing excellent
crops of grains and grasses. In this section the geological structure is
quite varied, the rocks being disposed in alternate parallel veins, of
narrow extent, extending north and south. They consist of serpentine clay
slate, steatite, and talcose schist, while in the residue of the township
the rocks are almost entirely of this latter formation. The
serpentine contains large quantities of chromic iron, of excellent quality,
which is found in veins, somewhat irregular, of which the largest is from
one to two feet wide. An early use of this ore was made by Prof. A. C.
Twining, of Middlebury college, who obtained a large percentage of chrome
yellow from the ore without exhausting the chromic oxide of the latter.
Small quantities of gold have been found here, but not to any great value.
In 1880, Jay had, a population of 696, and in 1882, it was divided
into six school districts and contained six common schools, employing one
male and six female teachers, to whom was paid an aggregate salary of $596.96.
There were 202 pupils attending common school, while the entire cost of
the schools for the year, ending October 31st, was $667.61, with A. A.
Jay, a post village located in the southeastern part of the town,
on Jay branch, contains a church (Baptist), an hotel, a school-house, one
store, a steam saw and shingle-mill, tannery, blacksmith shop, and
The Chittenden grant was surveyed into lots of 100 acres each, by
Curtis Elkins, in 1803-'04, and numbered from one to seventy-six consecutively,
beginning at the southeast corner of the grant, numbering back and forth,
north and south, being one-half mile long and 100 rods wide, east and west.
Most of the lots, however, overrun in width, some of them being 140 rods
wide. This land has all passed out of the possession of the Chittenden
heirs, the last sale being made to B.F. Paine, of this town, by George
W. Chittenden, of Boston, Mass., on April 1, 1874.
In July, 1805, John Neilson, justice of peace of Ryegate, published
a warning in Spooner's Vermont Journal, in the Rutland Herald and in the
Green Mountain Patriot, warning the proprietors of that part of Jay that
was chartered to John Jay and John Cozine to meet at the dwelling of Thomas
Tolman, of Greensboro, on August 29, to choose officers to see if the proprietors
will vote to allot or divide said tract in severalty, and to transact any
other necessary business. The proprietors met at the appointed time and
chose Curtis Elkins, moderator; Thomas Tolman, proprietor's clerk; and
Charles Azarius, treasurer. It was also voted to allot the whole of said
tract and divide the same“in severalty,into lots of one hundred and three
acres each strict measure.” Curtis Elkins was appointed surveyor, and took
the necessary oath for the faithful execution of the trust, when the meeting
Several meetings were held subsequent to this, all at the same place,
but no business of importance was transacted until July 30, 1806, when
the following transactions occurred:—
“Voted, That the proprietors do accept the Report
and Plan of the survey of the lots made, and presented at this time by
Curtis Elkins, surveyor and committee.
“Voted, That Louisa Tolman, an indifferent person,
be and is appointed to draw the numbers in the Draft.” John Jay drew
112 lots and John Cozine sixteen.
Under date of December 19, 1806, the following entry appears in
the proprietor's records:—
“Draft of that Part of the Northern Division of the
township of Jay that was drawn to John Jay, Esquire, by the proprietors
of said part of Jay and now divided between John Jay, Esq., and Azarias
Williams, this 24th day of November, 1806.” In this draft
each party drew fifty-six lots.
Samuel Palmer was the first settler of Jay, as a bond for a deed
from Azarias Williams, now in the possession William Williams, of Troy,
locates Palmer in Jay the 16th day of July, 1807, and Mr. Williams is confident
that Palmer came to town in 1803. He settled on lot No. 6, in the
third range, and left town before it was organized.
Luther Bailey and his brother, Philander, came about 1806. Luther
settled on the place now owned by J. E. Chase, and when he came there was
a party of Indians, fourteen in number, camped on the meadow. They left
that summer, though occasionally one came back but not to stop long. When
they left they told Mr. Bailey that they had more dried moose meat
than they wanted, and left him about forty pounds. Mr. Bailey cleared
a couple of acres, put up a log hut, and when harvesting time came went
back to Peacham to work on a farm owned by his father, leaving his wife
alone in the wilderness for three weeks, though his father, who lived in
Potton, came over on horseback through the woods every Sunday to see how
she got along. Mr. Bailey sold out to Madison Keith, about 1811, and went
to Canada and was drafted there. He took his equipments and came this side
of the line and afterwards bought out a man by the name of Whitcomb, where
Hollis Manuel now lives, and was living there when the battle of Plattsburgh
was fought and heard the guns. He was present at the organization of the
town, being elected one of the auditors. He sold out to Adna Crandall,
December 16, 1830, and left town in 1831; but was living in town again
between the years 1836 and 1840. He had four sons born in Jay, viz.: Charles
F., in 1820, who was second lieutenant of Co. D, 6th Vt. Vols., wounded
at the battle of Lee's Mills, Va., April 16, 1862, and died May 1, 1862,
having enlisted from Troy; Chandler, born in 1823, now lives in Troy; Luther,
Jr. born in 1825; and John, born in 1829.
Philander Bailey made a pitch on the lot now owned by H.S. Ovitt,
and built a log house; but had no family there and did not remain in town
a great while.
Robert Barter came on in 1807, and began on lot No. 2, in the third
range, and it is said, and probably truly, that his was the only family
that remained in town during the panic created by the war of 1812. It is
said he would have gone, only his wife had just put a web into the loom
to weave, which had to be finished and the cloth made into garments for
the children before they could go, by which time the scare was over. He
was the father of twenty-four children, many of whom are living. The fact
of his having so large a family caused a traveler who was passing through
the town and happened along at the log school-house at noon-time, to enquire
if "Mr. Barter lived there." He died in 1856, aged about ninety years.
The Keith family, James and his sons Madison, Bela, James,Jr., and
Nahum, came to town about 1811, from Bridgewater, Mass. Madison bought
out Luther Bailey, and Nahum began on lot No. 12, in first range, but left
before the town was organized, and all but James went to the State of New
York previous to 1845. James went to Troy, residing there until his death.
Joseph Hadlock came with his sons, Hiram, Ithamar, and Joseph, Jr.,
about 1820, and settled on what is called Hadlock hill. Ithamar soon
after took up lot No. 10, in the second range, now owned by E. J. Blair.
Joseph Hadlock, Sen., was found dead in his field one Sunday afternoon
in the summer of 1849, and his mother, many years before that, died instantly
while sitting in her chair knitting. Other Hadlocks soon followed
them to the town, until there were about as many Hadlocks as all the other
settlers combined. Their names, in addition to those already given, were
Samuel, Stephen, Amos W., Jonathan, Jonathan, 2d, Hazen, Henry D., Archibald,
Jonathan, Jr., and Adams B., most of whom had large families. Several of
them died in town, while others moved away. Hazen was shot and instantly
killed on the night of February 27, 1838, at the house of Samuel Elkins,
of Potton, P.Q., while engaged, with about thirty others from Jay and Troy,
in making a raid on Elkins' house for guns and equipments.
Eli, Appleton, and Nathan Hunt, Abner Whicher, Asa Wilson, John
Bell, Abel Alton, Elisha Upton, and Jehu Young were settlers in town previous
to its organization.
The town was organized and the first town, meeting held, March 29,
1828, at the house of Jehu Young, pursuant to a warning issued on the '5th
of the same month, by Ezra Johnson, Esq., of Troy. Asa Wilson was chosen
moderator; Abner Whicher, town clerk; Abel Alton, Madison Keith, and Joseph
Hadlock, selectmen; Madison Keith, treasurer; Madison Keith, Abner Whicher,
and Joseph Hadlock, listers; Madison Keith, Stephen Hadlock, and Abner
Whicher, highway surveyors; Joseph Hadlock, Stephen Hadlock, and Madison
Keith, fence viewers; Abel Alton, scaler of leather; Madison Keith, sealer
of weights and measures; Abel Alton, Madison Keith, and Abner Whicher,
school committee; Abner Whicher, Elisha Upton, and Joseph Hadlock, overseers
of the poor; Luther Bailey, Appleton Hunt, and Asa Wilson, committee to
settle with treasurer; Nathan Hunt, constable and collector; Samuel Hadlock,
tything man; Nathan Hunt, Eli Hunt, and John Bell, haywards; Jehu Young,
pound keeper; Abner Whicher, and Abel Alton, grand jurors; and Nathan Hunt,
Madison Keith, Hiram Hadlock, and Stephen Hadlock, petit jurors.
John Blair was born at Paisley, Scotland, and emigrated to this
country, locating at Ryegate, Vt., in March, 1817. In 1818, he came
to Jay, having a capital of seventy -five cents, and now has a good farm
of 240 acres. Mr. Blair is noted for his rigid ideas of honesty, and now
enjoys a hale old age of sixty-six years. He first located in a log
house where F. B. Wakeman now resides.
At a freeman's meeting held on September 2, 1828, the town was divided
into school districts, as follows: District No. 1 comprised the Chittenden
grant. District No 2, two miles north, or to the line between lots 6 and
7, in each range, and District No. 3, north to the Canada line, making
each district two miles wide and six miles long. There were twenty-one
votes cast for governor at this meeting, but it is not stated who they
were for. Madison Keith was elected representative. In 1829,
the vote for governor stood for Samuel C. Crafts, 17; for Heman Allen,
2. In 1839, Samuel C. Crafts had them all, twenty-two.
Eli Hunt kept the first school, in the winter of 1823, in a log
house that was built on the point or bluff east of the pond where the Ball
mill stood. School was afterwards kept in a log house on the meadow east
of C. R. Bartlett's present residence, with Emeline Lamb, daughter of the
Rev. Silas Lamb, of Westfield, and afterwards wife of Bradley Sanborn,
teacher. The first frame school-house was built at the Center, as it was
called, in 1831, where it still stands. It served also for a town-house
and meeting-house, and is now used for town and school purposes. In the
first district, a log school-house was built on the road leading west from
the postoffice, upon the flat on the north side, west of the stream. Afterwards
a frame house was built at the foot of the hill, farther west, and in 1860,
the present house was built at the Corners, south of the postoffice. There
are now five school districts on the east side of the mountain, and a fractional
district on the west side.
The first church was built in 1880, by the Methodist society. It
was located at the Center contrary to the better judgment of most of the
society, who wished to have it at the south end of the town, where the
business enterprise is centered. There has been an effort made to move
it to that point which may yet prove successful.
The first store was opened by T. A. Chase, in the spring of 1867,
by finishing off the wood-shed, a room 14 by 20 feet, in the ell of the
house built by A. B. Chamberlin. On February 3, 1873, H. D. Chamberlin
took possession of the store by purchase, remaining until the spring of
1877. In November, 1880, the building was burned, being then the property
of B. F. Paine. In 1881, H. D. Chamberlin purchased the building lot, and,
in the summer of 1882, began to build a hotel, which is not yet completed,
but is intended to be open for summer boarders in 1884. The building is
30x48 feet, two stories in height, with a French roof, and is designed
to accommodate from twenty to thirty boarders. The post office and town
clerk's office are located in this building. In 1881, H. G. Banister built
a store and dwelling combined, commencing trade in the winter of 1882,
and is now doing a thriving business. His store is situated just across
the stream, south of the hotel and postoffice.
The first saw-mill was built in 1822, by Solomon Wolcott, on the
Branch, twenty or thirty rods below the present mill site and below the
covered bridge. It was carried off the following summer by high water,
and was never rebuilt. The house was built upon the bluff on the south
side of the stream, and was occupied by a man by the name of White, who
run the mill. The next built was a saw-mill erected by Ithamar Hadlock,
on the Cook brook, just below the present dam. The precise date cannot
be ascertained, but was about 1830. Hadlock sold Ebenezer Brewer a half
interest, April 16, 1835, and the whole interest June 22, 1838. Brewer
sold to Solomon Sheldon, March, 18, 1839, and he in turn to Willard Walker,
September 25, 1841. Walker, although one of the leading men of the town,
had but little respect for the Sabbath and did most of his sawing during
low water time in the summer on that day. It was so rare for him to saw
on a week day, that when he did so once, a neighbor's little girl
went to the mill and inquired of Mr. Walker if it was Sunday. Walker sold
the mill to T. M. and Josiah Caswell, February 26, 1857, and they sold
to S.D. Butler, March 10, 1858. Butler deeded the property back to
them March 4, 1859, and they in turn deeded it to Z.0. Sargent January
7, 1860, and he to Willard Walker, March 2, 1867. Walker sold to S.S. Huntley,
March 1, 1872. Huntley built a new mill below the bridge and conveyed the
water in a tube. The next saw-mill was built by James Peck in 1834, where
B.F. Paine's upper mill now stands, on what is called South branch. It
was afterwards owned by Chester Hovey. In 1858, B.W. Lee became the owner
of the property, and put up a new mill, adding a circular-saw, the first
in town, and also put in the first clapboard-mill which he afterwards run
in the starch factory. In 1866, Lee deeded the property to George E. Percy,
but again became the owner in 1864, by a deed from S.M. Field, who obtained
his title from Thomas Reed, in 1862. Lee again deeded to Root & Paine,
in 1866, and the next year Dwight Root put in a dam a short distance below
the old mill, and also put up a clapboard-mill, which is now owned and
run by B.F. Paine. The upper mill has gone out of use.
In 1834, Maj. Orin Emerson became an extensive land owner in Jay,
by way of his uncle, Thomas Reed, of Montpelier. He owned twenty lots in
the north division, thirty-five whole lots and parts of two others in the
south division, from Martin Chittenden, and in 1835 he was deeded by Truman
Galusha seven whole lots and parts of two other lots, and by Truman Chittenden
fifteen whole lots and part of a lot. Soon after, on one of these
lots, No. 22, Emerson built a forge, where A.W. Honsinger's mill property
is now situated. This forge contained a trip hammer, operated by water-power,
and all the appliances for manufacturing iron. It was run until about 1848,
when it passed into the hands of Thomas Reed, who sold it to I.P. Hunt,
in December, 1851. Here also the fourth saw-mill was built, by the said
Hunt, in 1852, and was sold to John Magraw in 1853, being destroyed by
fire during that year. Another was erected on the same site by I.P. Hunt,
that autumn, which he sold to Alfred Hunt, in 1857, and he to Daniel Burt,
in 1858. Burt put in a circular saw in 1860, and deeded it back to Hunt
in 1861, and the same year Hunt deeded it to Horace Squire, and Horace
Squire to Amini Squire, in 1864. Amini Squire deeded it to John Young,
of Troy, September 5, 1866, who, on the 15th day of September, 1866, deeded
it to John Young, of Derby, and J.T. Allen. In the spring of 1870, Young
& Allen deeded it to D. Y. Clark. Clark put up a new mill a few rods
below the old one, in 1872, and in the spring of 1873, sold a half interest
to his brother, F.E. Clark. They run the mill together and did considerable
business till the fall of 1874, when F.E. Clark retired from the firm.
D.Y. Clark run the business alone for a couple of years, or till February,
1877, when it went into the hands of Hildreth & Young, who disposed
of it to G.S. Butlerin March of the same year. Butler sold it to R.M. Dempsey,
in the spring of 1881 but Dempsey failed to fullfill his part of the contract
and it went back again into Butler's hands, and in the fall he sold it
to A.W. Honsinger, who still owns it. He has torn down the old mill, which
had not been used for years.
In 1853, John Hamilton, of Troy, built a starch factory which he
ran for several years. In 1864, the dry-house connected with it was burned
while being used by M.S. Chamberlin, for drying lumber. The factory is
now used by William Porter for a tannery. In 1875, Brown & Kimball
built a large steam mill in West Jay, to be used for a saw-mill and the
manufacture of trays and other wooden-ware. In connection with the mill
they owned a large tract of timbered land, employing a large amount of
help in taking the timber from the stump and manufacturing it into lumber.
In September, 1881, Brown & Kimball dissolved partnership, Kimball
retiring, and in the summer of 1882, the mill was burned.
In 1876, A.O. Brainerd, of St. Albans, who had been interested in
the steam mill, built a factory for the manufacture of acetate of lime.
This did not prove a good investment, and the mill is now lying idle. It
was built a few rods below the steam mill at West Jay. In the same year
H.D. Chamberlin commenced to build a saw-mill and tub factory, completing
it in the spring of 1877. The dam was built about twenty-five rods below
the tannery, the water being conveyed to the mill in a large wooden tube
690 feet long, giving a head of sixteen feet. The mill did not long remain
in Chamberlin's hands, however, as he was forced to go into bankruptcy,
August 31, 1877. He took the job of manufacturing the butter-tub stock
remaining on hand, making about ten thousand tubs. On May 1, 1878, the
property was sold to B.F. Paine, and the tub contract to J.W. Currier.
Chamberlin continued to live in the house and run the mill for Paine until
the house was burned on November 25, 1880. In the fall of 1881, the water
power was exchanged for steam, which adds greatly to the facilities for
cutting lumber. The concern is furnished with a board-mill, edger, planer
and matcher, clipper, shingle-mill, and a full set of machinery for making
boxes, with band-saws for cutting chair-stock. The building of this mill
proved the means of starting a village, of concentrating business, of greatly
increasing the grand list of the town, and will doubtless prove a strong
factor towards drawing the new railroad from Johnson to North Troy, by
this place. In 1868, a clapboard-mill was built where the dam now stands,
below Mr. Blair's, by M.W. Shurtleff, of Waterbury, and C.P. Stevens, of
Troy. They run the mill for two years, when Shurtleff bought out Stevens,
and took in a partner by the name of Ball, from Canada. They run the business
one year, then Ball bought out Shurtleff and run the mill alone until it
was burned in the fall of 1874. The site is now the property of the Waterloo
In 1844 or '45, Moses C. Cutler came into town and built a general
repair shop operated by water-power. It stood about where A.D. Hinkson's
saw-mill now stands. Mr. Cutler did wheelwright work and cabinet work,
and made coffins as they were needed. He also put in a run of stones for
grinding provender and corn, the first in town. The property was afterwards
owned by the Caswells, who also owned the saw-mill above, but it was not
used very much after that. The Caswells sold to Mr. Butler, who used the
building as a cooper shop, doing quite a large business in the manufacture
of starch barrels. The Hunts also had a run of stones in their saw-mill
previous to 1860. They had also a planing machine, the first in town. In
1861, A.W. Burt leased of David Johnson a piece of land lying on the Branch,
where Henry West and Henry Trim's buildings now are, and built a dam across
the stream, putting up a wheelwright and repair shop, with a planing machine
and splitting-saw. This he run for about ten years, when the high water
carried away the dam and the shop became useless. The planing machine was
taken to S.S. Huntley's mill.
About 1870, a shingle-mill was built by Albert Everts, on the brook
just below A. Youngs. The shingles were cut by a knife, but it did not
prove a successful experiment, and is not now in use. In 1875, James Willard
put up a shingle-mill on the brook west of, Wm. Ryans, in North Jay, operated
by an overshot wheel, and supplied it with the first machinery for sawing
shingles in town. He also made fancy boxes. He lived in the mill and was
found dead there on the 19th of March, 1877, dying from the effects of
over indulgence in rum. The mill has never been used since and has partly
gone to decay. G.S. Butler bought the shingle machinery and put it into
the mill now owned by A.W. Honsinger.
S.S. Huntley built the next shingle-mill in 1877, setting it just
below his saw-mill and putting in a dam where the oldCutler dam was located.
It is now owned by A.D. Hinkson. A new steam mill is to be built this summer,
(1883,) at West Jay, to take the place of the one that was burned last
year, L.D. Hazen, of St. Johnsbury, being the owner of the property. The
lumber business is quite extensively prosecuted on the east side of the
mountain, by P.F. Paine, whose mill will cut this year about 4,000,000
feet of lumber. On the west side the business is carried on by L.D. Hazen,
and formerly Kimball & Co. Willard Walker, born in 1798, came to Jay
from Fletcher, Vt., in 1841, becoming a prominent man in town affairs.
He held the office of town clerk 16 years in all, was representative four
terms, and a member of the constitutional convention in 1850. He
also held various other town offices and was postmaster during Lincoln's
administration. He had one son, GilbertD., who now lives in Albany. In
1873, he moved to Newport Center and died there in 1880, aged 82 years.
William Williams was born in Bath, N.H., Feb. 5, 1802, and came
to Jay in 1829. March 22, 1832, he married Martha Sanborn, the first marriage
on record in Jay. He held the office of selectman eleven years, and various
other town offices. He moved to Troy, where he now lives, in 1860.
Ebenezer Sanborn was born in Bath, N.H., October 13, 1772, and came
to Jay in 1828, locating on the place now occupied by E.K. Hunt. He was
town clerk from 1831 to 1835, and represented the town twice. He married
Mary Child, January 8, 1795, and died October 28, 1839, aged sixty- seven
years. His wife survived him several years and died at the advanced age
of eighty-four years.
Lanson Sanborn was born in Bath, N.H., November 26, 1797, and came
to Jay with his father, Ebenezer Sanborn, in 1828. He was town clerk seven
years, and represented the town once, besides holding other minor offices.
He was the first postmaster, but at what time he was appointed we are unable
to state. He died November 26, 1882, aged eighty-five years,
Bradley Sanborn was born December 2, 1805, in Bath, N.H., and came
to Jay, with his father, Ebenezer. He was selectman several times, and
represented the town three years. He sold out in 1849, and went to Lowell,
Vt., where he died, November 28, 1852.
Walter Charlton came from Littleton, N.H., in 1834, and located
on the place where Jerry Deaett now lives. The next year he was elected
town clerk, which office he held ten years. He was a very neat penman,
and undoubtedly would have held the office longer had he remained in town.
He was also selectman and town treasurer several years, or until he went
to Hanover, N.H. in 1845.
David Jonson was born in 1807, and came to Jay in 1833, locating
on the place where S.S. Huntley now lives. He represented the town two
years, and went to Westfield to live in 1868, dying there in 1880.
Joshua Chamberlin was born in Bath, N.H., March 8, 1802, and came
to Jay in 1835, having lived in Troy twelve years previous to that. He
married Sophia Smith, of Georgia, Vt., July 11, 1823. He was selectman
four years, and held other town offices, and was a deacon of the Baptist
church at North Troy and Jay for several years. His wife died April 26,
1867, and, in 1870, he went to Nashua, N.H., and married a Mrs. Baker,
and died there September 4, 1871.
Martin S. Chamberlin, son of Joshua, was born in Troy, Vt., October
29, 1824, and came to Jay with his father, in 1835, and has resided here
ever since. He has held various town offices, representing the town two
years, is a deacon of the Baptist church, and has been superintendent of
the Sunday school here for twenty-two years.
Henry D. Chamberlin, son of Joshua, was born in Jay, July 11, 1841.
He served as a private in Co. B, 3d Vt. Vols., and was discharged December
10, 1862, has been superintendent of common schools five years, from 1866
to 1871, justice of the peace ten years, town clerk nine years, postmaster
twelve years, represented the town at the biennial session of 1874, and
at the extra session of 1875, was first lieutenant, and afterwards captain
of Co. H, 5th Regt. Vt. militia, composed of the towns of Jay, Lowell,
Troy and Westfield.
Hiram and Pascal Wright, the first settlers in West Jay, came here
in 1831, locating upon the farms now owned by their sons, Elias H. and
Alonzo. Pascal died in 1880, aged seventy years, and was buried on
the farm now occupied by his son Elias H. Hiram resides with his son Alonzo.
Newton Chase was born in Croydon, N.H., March 5, 1807, and came
to Jay from Cambridge, Vt., in 1849. He at once took a prominent position
in town affairs, and the following spring was elected constable and one
of the board of selectmen. He represented the town in 1859, has been school
superintendent and justice of the peace. He now lives with his daughter,
Mrs. W.N. DuBois, in Troy. His father, Jonathan Chase, came to town with
him. He was born at Sutton, Mass., July 1, 1787, and died July
T. Abel Chase, son of Newton, was born in Fletcher, Vt., October
9, 1832, and came to town with his father in 1849. He served as corporal
and sergeant of Co. B, 3d Vt. Vols., and was discharged December 16, 1862.
He learned the surveyor's profession, which he practiced in this and adjoining
towns. He lived in Troy awhile after the war, and, in 1867, bought H.D.
Chamberlin's house and lot, and in the spring commenced keeping a store,
continuing the business till he sold back to Chamberlin in 1873. He then
went to North Troy, as a station agent. He was school superintendent several
years previous to the war, was elected town clerk in 1868, and held the
office till he went away; represented the town at the annual session of
1869, and at the biennial sessions of 1870 and 1872. He is now in the custom
house at Island Pond, Vt.
Jonathan E. Chase, son of Newton, was born in Fletcher, Vt., November
3, 1838, and came to town with his father in 1849. He enlisted in Co. H,
2d Regt., Vt. Vols., May 1, 1861, from which he was discharged September
21, 1863. He afterwards enlisted in 2d U. S. S. S., Co. E., December 9,
1863, was transferred to Co. G, 4th Vt. Vols., and received a severe wound
in the ankle considered equal to the loss of his leg below the knee, on
account of which he draws a pension, of $24.00 per month. He is now town
treasurer, and represented the town in 1880.
C.R. Bartlett was born in Sutton, P.Q., June 17, 1836, and came
to town with his father, Enos Bartlett, in 1849. He has held the office
of selectman ten years, and has been lister several times, also constable
and collector, and represented the town two years, 1867, '68, and has also
held two other town offices.
Jehu Young came to Jay in 1826. He was born in Lisbon, N.H., in
1791, and located on the place where H.S. Ovitt now lives, the town being
organized at his house two years later. This is also the same lot that
Philander Bailey settled on. He died in 1845, aged sixty-four years.
John Young was born at Lisbon, N.H., June 11, 1816, and was ten
years old when he came to Jay with his father, Jehu Young. His farm was
the next one north of the one his father located on. He was honored with
the different town offices and represented the town in 1853 and '54. He
sold out September, 26, 1864, and went to Troy, where he still resides.
B.F. Paine, son of Amasa Paine, of Lowell, Vt., was born in Lowell,
October 29, 1838, and came to Jay in 1870, where he has been engaged in
the manufacture of lumber ever since. He represented Lowell in 1863-'64,
and was State senator from Orleans county in 1878, the only county
office ever held by a citizen of Jay. He has also served as selectman,
lister, town grand juror, and justice of the peace.
Joshua Hunt was born in 1791, married Eunice Chamberlin, sister
of Joshua Chamberlin, and came to Jay in 1829, locating on the farm where
Rominer Morse now lives; but he lived in the log school-house on the “meadow"
when he first came. He reared a large family of children, his sons being
as follows: Israel P., Alfred, Wallace W., Edward K., and Franklin B. He
died in 1853, aged sixty-two years. His widow is still living, at the advanced
age of eighty-eight years.
Jay now has a bonded indebtedness of $7,000.00, given in aid of
the M.& C.R.R.R., upon which it pays an annual interest of five per
cent., payable semi-annually. The grand list for 1883, is $1,730.00, or
about double what it was when the town was bonded. The other liabilities,
including interest on bonds, for this year amounts to $1,125.00, to meet
which a tax of $1,730.00 is raised.
During the late war Jay furnished sixty-five enlisted men, who nobly
performed their share in sustaining the honor of our old flag.
The Baptist church.—The Baptists hold their meetings at the south
school-house. The society is a branch of the Baptist church at North Troy,
and consists of about twenty members. They had the first settled minister,
Rev. Prosper Powell, the present pastor being Rev. George H. Parker. He
was born in Montgomery, Vt., April 5, 1841. At the age of twenty years,
August 26 1861, he enlisted in Co. A, 5th Vt. Vols., and was mustered in
as corporal September 16, 1861. He was severely wounded in his side by
a fragment of a shell during the seven day's fight before Richmond, June
27, 1862, and in consequence of it was discharged January 6, 1863. He was
educated at New Hampton Institution, Fairfax, Vt., and ordained as an evangelist
January 30, 1867, at Montgomery, Vt. He represented the town of Reading,
Vt., in l876, and began his present labors here last May, but had preached
here three years previous.
The Methodist church.—The Methodists have a meeting-house at the
center and hold their meetings there. Their resident minister was probably
Enos Putnam. The society is a branch the Westfield church and is considerably
larger than the Baptist society. E.A.Emery supplies the pulpit, though
he is not an ordained minister.
The Christian church.—Rev. H. C. Sisco is the pastor of the Christian
society, and they hold their meetings at the school-house in North Jay,
where their pastor resides.
intitled, Heriditaments, hereinbefore, intevale
of Lamoille and Orleans Counties, VT.; 1883-1884, Compiled and Published
by Hamilton Child; May 1887, Page 288-9 to 288-15)
was provided by Tom Dunn.