town of Castleton is situated near the center of Rutland County, and is
bordered on the north by Hubbardton, east by Ira, south by Poultney, and
west by Fairhaven. It has been ascertained that the name was derived from,
an English locality called Castleton. The hills of the township are rocky,
composed chiefly of argillaceous rocks, traversed and occasionally alternating
with quartz. In the east and north the rocks appear in elevated ridges,
covered for the most part with fertile, arable soil. The southwest part
is a. fine plain, intersected with slate and ridges of gravel. On the west
side of Lake Bomoseen is an extensive range of slate rock, which stretches
south a considerable distance, and is quarried for roofing and marbleized
slate. The large streams are bordered with rich alluvial intervales. The
soil of the plains is sandy, and of the hills a slaty gravel, loam and
vegetable mould, with an occasional subsoil of hardpan. It is quite evident
that the plain which forms the site of the village is an alluvial deposit
of remote ages, for it is composed of gravel to the average depth of twenty
to twenty-five feet, the lower strata resembling the bed of the river.
Lake Bomoseen, or Bombazine, lies principally in this town, its northern
extremity extending a short distance into Hubbardton. It is eight miles
in length and two and a half broad in its widest part. A more extended
description of this body of water appears in Chapter II.
On the 22d of September,
1761, the charter was granted to Samuel BROWN and sixty-nine others, most
of whom being simply speculators in land, never effected a settlement here.
The first records of proprietors' meetings have been destroyed, and the
earliest account of such a meeting is dated some time in 1766, and was
probably held at the house of Colonel BIRD, in Salisbury, Conn. Another
meeting in October of the same year was undoubtedly provisional for the
first visit here by Colonels BIRD and LEE, made in 1767, as appears in
the following vote, passed at that time:
that there shall be a rate or tax laid on the proprietors of the township
of Castleton of one hundred and ninety-two pounds, lawful money, to defray
the expense that has already arisen, or that shall arise, in laying out
the township of Castleton, and in cutting a road through the woods, from
Wood Creek to Castleton, and other incidental charges that may arise."
In the following spring
Colonels Amos BIRD and Noah LEE, accompanied by a colored man, set out
on the first journey to this town, which they had never seen. From Salisbury
they came through Bennington to Manchester. Thence all was wilderness,
to be traversed by marked trees, till they came to Clarendon. At Danby
there was a log but inhabited by one solitary man, where they tarried for
the night. From Clarendon they went to Rutland, where they struck the old
military road leading from Charlestown, N. H. (known as No. 4), to Crown
Point, N. Y. Following this road, they passed along the northern border
of Castleton, wholly ignorant of the fact, to Crown Point, and thence to
Ticonderoga. Here they replenished their stock of provisions, and proceeded
by way of Skeenesboro (now Whitehall) to Castleton, arriving in June, 1767.
They thus nearly compassed the township, touching its borders at one time;
and from Manchester, forty miles south of Castleton, they must have traveled
at least one hundred and thirty miles to reach the place.
The summer of 1767 was
passed in surveying the township, though no record of what was effected
remains. It is said that on one occasion Colonel BIRD lost his way and
was obliged to pass the night on the summit of a precipitous mountain,
a circumstance which endowed it with its present name of Bird Mountain.
A log cabin was built during the season on the bluff in the south-westerly
part of the town, near the original East and West Road, as first surveyed,
on what was afterwards known as the CLARK farm. In the next year the same
party of three made Castleton a second visit, with the evident purpose
of making a permanent settlement. Further surveys were made, and a small
opening cleared, but no seeds were planted. Before winter Colonel BIRD
returned to Connecticut, but Colonel LEE and the colored man remained in
the cabin. It was an extremely cold and stormy winter, and these two men
In 1769 Colonel BIRD,
according to probable inference, returned to Castleton and built the house
which he afterwards occupied, on the bank of Castleton River, near its
junction with the old turnpike. The last proprietors' meeting held in Salisbury,
on the 27th of February, 1770, was "adjourned to be held at the house of
Colonel Amos BIRD, in Castleton, the 27th day of May next, at two o'clock,
p. m." Colonels BIRD and LEE were both present at this meeting and assisted
in making arrangements for the settlement of their, town in the following
spring. In pursuance of these arrangements, Ephraim BUEL, Ebenezer BARTHOLOMEW
and Zadock REMINGTON arrived with their families in May, 177. These were
the first settlers and the only families here during that year, as BIRD
and LEE did not bring their families until later. Other families followed,
and the community increased by degrees until in 1775 there were in town
about thirty families and eight or ten unmarried men. The first child was
Israel, son of Ephraim BUEL, born in 1771. Abigail, daughter of John EATON,
born the same year, was the first female child.
This little community
soon assumed an organized form, and began improving their environments,
clearing forests, cultivating fields, building bridges, opening roads,
etc. A road from the west line of Ira to the town of Fairhaven was surveyed
in 1772, following the course of Castleton River, which passes southerly
from its source in Pittsford, receives a tributary in West Rutland, and
flowing westerly, divides Castleton into two nearly equal parts. The western
part of this road was afterward changed so as to run from Castleton Corners
to Hydeville. A north and south road from Hubbardton to East Poultney,
passing through the village, was surveyed about this time, as was also
a road to East Hubbardton. The old Troy and Burlington turnpike, constructed
at a later day, leads from Hubbardton to Poultney, crossing the East and
West Road at Castleton Corners.
Colonel BIRD took advantage
of the opportunities afforded by the natural water-power at the outlet
of the lake, and in 1772 erected a saw-mill there, which performed its
first work in sawing boards for his coffin, he having contracted a fever
which, after relapse, proved fatal. His death occurred on September 16,
1772, when he was but thirty years of age. He was buried then on the banks
of Castleton River, near where the old turnpike crossed it, and not far
from his former residence. In 1842 his remains were removed to the public
cemetery, and their new resting-place marked by a monument "erected by
citizens of Castleton and friends, as a tribute of respect to a worthy
man." He was born in Litchfield, Conn., in 1742.
In 1773 a grist-mill
was erected near the saw-mill of Colonel BIRD.
Down to the Revolutionary
War times a considerable settlement had been established in Castleton.
The family of Colonel BIRD, which came in 1771, returned to Salisbury,
Conn., upon his death, and did not again visit this town. His daughter
afterwards married William HALLIBIRD, of Canaan, Conn., and became the
mother of Lieutenant-Governor W. S. HALLIBIRD, of that State. Colonel BIRD's
location was a little south of Castleton Corners, on the farm now owned
by Leander JONES. Colonel Noah LEE brought his family to town in 1772,
made his pitch in the east part of the township, on what was afterwards
known as the GRIDLEY farm, and built a log house, which they occupied until
the breaking out of the Revolutionary War. His wife, Dorcas BIRD, niece
of Colonel Amos A. BIRD, then returned to Salisbury, and remained there
seven years, while he enacted the prominent part which he took in the war.
Colonel LEE was born in Newark, Conn., October 15, 1745. He was a waiter
in the Colonial army when he was but fifteen years of age, stationed at
Crown Point. He was one of the active proprietors of Castleton, and was
a vigilant opponent of the New York land claimants. He took a decided stand
on the side of American independence against British tyranny, and was prime
mover of the expedition against Skeenesboro (now Whitehall), which left
Castleton at the same time with the expedition of Colonel Ethan ALLEN against
Ticonderoga, and which resulted in the capture of Major SKEENE, the British
commander of Skeenesboro. From 1781 to the close of the war he served in
Pennsylvania as captain in the Continental army. He was in the battle of
Yorktown, and was present at the surrender of Cornwallis.
After the termination
of the conflict he returned to Castleton with his family, where he passed
the remainder of his long life in agricultural pursuits. Albert SMITH,
now residing at Castleton Corners, is a descendant of Colonel LEE.
Ephraim BUEL probably
located a little to the west of the depot, and is said to have sold his
farm to Brewster HIGLEY. He subsequently removed West. He was one of the
three settlers who brought their families to Castleton in 1770. In the
same year Zadock REMINGTON settled half a mile west of the site of the
village on the tract of land embracing the present farms of Dor E. ATWOOD
and Mrs. Mary BURKE. He was an extensive landowner, and was highly respected,
though eccentric. He erected the first framed house in Castleton, and probably
kept the first tavern. The men recruited for the attack on Ticonderoga
quartered there, and he had undoubtedly kept the house several years at
that time. He was suspected of being favorable to the British cause, though
there is no positive evidence of his disloyalty. He represented the town
in the Council of Safety in 1778. He lived to the advanced age of ninety-four
years. His estate, once large and thriving, had entirely left him in his
old age, leaving him quite dependent.
Eleazer BARTHOLOMEW was
a very early settler in the west part of the town. It is not known just
where he lived, nor when nor whither he removed. Major Abel MOULTON settled
in 1771, on the brow of the hill in the west part of the village, opposite
the site of the Advent Church. He died of small-pox in 1776, in the thirty-fifth
year of his age. His monument still stands near the site of his residence.
Nehemiah HOIT came in
1771, and subsequently married the widow of Abel MOULTON. He lived for
a time where Mr. MOULTON had formerly lived, and afterwards removed to
the south part of the town, where he died in 1832, aged eighty years. He
followed second behind Ethan ALLEN in the capture of. Ticonderoga, and
was with ALLEN when he and his command were made prisoners at Montreal,
though HOIT himself escaped. Though a man, it has been said, of ardent
temperament, he was too reasonable to keep his anger long, and after the
termination of the war he led a useful and Christian life in Castleton.
He was the first deacon of the Congregational Church here, and remained
in the office to the time of his death. In 1771, too, Jesse BELKNAP settled
about one and a half miles west of the village, on the farm now owned by
Fred E. PROUTY and occupied by his father, Luther S. PROUTY. He was the
first justice of the peace, and was a member from Castleton of the convention
which adopted the State constitution.
Reuben MOULTON came to
Castleton in 1771 and established a residence two miles east of the village,
on the Rutland road, on the estate of Carlos S. BEACH. The tavern which
he kept is still standing on the old site, and was occupied as a tavern
after his death by his third son, Reuben. His brother, Samuel MOULTON,
came the same year and settled on the site of the residence of D. D. COLE.
His son, Samuel, lived near the center of the village and kept tavern and
post-office here many years. The same year also witnessed the settlement
here of John and Gershom MOULTON, whose descendants are scattered through
the township now. Among the other arrivals of that year was Gershom LAKE,
of Woodbury, Conn., who settled about half a mile south of the village,
on the farm now owned by John J. JONES. He built both the second log, and
the second framed house in the town, the latter, which he erected before
the war, being still habitable and in good repair. When the British troops
passed through Castleton after the battle of Hubbardton, on their way to
Whitehall, they impressed LAKE with his oxen to transport baggage, after
which they took his oxen for beef.
Captain Zachariah HAWKINS,
father of a numerous race, visited Castleton in 1770, and contracted for
800 acres of land, including the site of the village, but by reason of
sickness in his family, failed to meet the first demand for payment and
lost the purchase. Two of his sons, Gaylard and Silas, pitched in the south
part of the township in 1771. They did not remain long. In 1779 Moses and
Joseph HAWKINS, two other sons, settled here; Moses was the father of eleven
children, all of whom settled in town. Joseph had but one child, a daughter,
who became the wife of Robert Temple. Richard BENTLY erected, in 1771,
the framed house where the council of war was held the night before the
capture of Ticonderoga. It stood on the green in front of the old Congregational
parsonage. Israel HALLIBIRD and his brother, Curtis, lived at this period
a distance of a mile and a half east of the village. Joel CULVER on the
farm now owned by the heirs of Sheldon BLISS, in the southwest part of
the township. He was early a member of the Congregational Church, and from
1805 to 1825 filled the office of deacon; a more particular mention of
the family will be made in subsequent pages. James KILBOURN came in 1773,
and established himself a little south of Zadock REMINGTON. He was a tanner
and currier by trade, and carried on the business while he lived in Castleton.
His only son, James, removed with him in later days to Canada. He had three
daughters, Molly, who married Pitt W. HYDE, of Sudbury; Sally, who married
Araunah W. HYDE, of Castleton, and Ruth, who married Oliver MOULTON. Timothy
EVERTS settled in 1773 on the East Hubbardton road, north of old Fort Warren.
He afterwards went to Ohio. Eli EVERTS came here in 1783, and settled on
the Southmayd lot, on the south side of the green, now owned by Charles
E. RANSOM. He went to Fairhaven. Nathaniel NORTHRUP, in 1774, settled north
of the village on the road to East Hubbardton. He lived to old age, and
left a numerous race of descendants. Captain Joseph WOODWARD settled the
same year west of the village, in the vicinity of Parsons Hill. He was
chairman of the Council of Safety at Dorset, in 1781. He had a large family.
Araunah WOODWARD settled in town about the same time. George FOOT married
Wealthy WOODWARD, and settled, in 1775, on the corner of the old fort site.
Religious worship during the war was held at his house. Captain John HALL
came to this town in 1775, and built his house about a mile and a half
north of the village on the road to East Hubbardton. He represented the
town at Westminster in t 1777, when the State was declared independent.
On the January following he was mortally wounded in the skirmish at Castleton.
He had two sons, Elias and Alpheus, both of whom, young men, were captured
and taken to Ticonderoga where they soon escaped. Elias resided on his
father's homestead until his death in his ninety-fourth year. He took an
active part in the war of American independence. At this time Alpheus was
teaching school in Castleton.
Brewster HIGLEY came
here from Simsbury, Conn., about 1778, and purchased the farm of Ephraim
BUEL. He was descended from a family of HIGLEYs who came from England.
He was a prominent man here and held various town offices, such as moderator,
town clerk and justice of the peace. He was also deacon of the Congregational
Perhaps the most influential
family in town in early days was the HYDE family, and the most influential
member of the family, Araunah W. HYDE. He was born February 14, 1799, at
Hyde Park, Lamoille county, Vermont. His father, Pitt W. HYDE, was one
of the pioneer settlers of that portion of the State, whither he removed
with his family from Norwich, Conn. He became a large landed proprietor,
and by his exertions so promoted the public interests that the right of
naming the county seat was accorded to him. He gave it the name of Hyde
Park, thereby perpetuating the family name in the Green Mountain State,
and rendering due honor to the home of his ancestors in England. In 1802
A. W. HYDE was taken to Sudbury, where he passed his early days on his
father's farm, and received the rudiments of his education at the district
school near by. His characteristics at this period are remembered by survivors
as already remarkable. Thoughtful and earnest to an unusual degree, methodical
by nature, a keen observer of men and their operations, he early formed
the habits which he followed through life.
When he was about seventeen
years old he came to Castleton to attend school at the academy. Not long
after he sought and obtained a position as clerk in the store of James
ADAMS. He served in this capacity five years, receiving the sum of five
dollars a month. At the end of that time he was received as partner in
the business. This connection continued about five years when he bought
the interest of Mr. ADAMS and associating with himself his brother, Oliver
M. HYDE, commenced mercantile life on his own account. He was the "middleman"
of a large agricultural community, buying whatever the farmers had to sell;
he also furthered every public interest, aided with counsel and money the
development of every resource, and in 1828 commenced the erection of the
building now known as the State Normal School. In the following year the
building was completed and furnished sufficiently for practical purposes.
He erected a number of buildings now standing in the village, among them
the Mansion House, which has since given place to the Bomoseen House, three
brick houses on Seminary street, the marble block oil the corner of Main
and Seminary streets, and a considerable number of frame houses in other
parts of the village, many of which are on streets laid out and opened
by him. . He closed his mercantile operations in 1834. During the next
two or three years he was occupied in the settlement of past business transactions
and in arranging to enter new fields of operation.
In 1837-38 he purchased
of Ebenezer B. DEWEY of Hubbardton, the lines of stages extending from
Castleton to the most important stations in Vermont and Eastern New York.
During the five years from 1839 to 1844, when he sold out, he, as a stage
proprietor and mail contractor, was as well known throughout the country,
and at the post-office department at Washington, as many of the railroad
kings are at the present time.
In 1872 he purchased
a water-power and mill-site at what was then known as Castleton Mills,
now Hydeville, and built the second marble mill of any pretensions in Rutland
county. Having become the owner by purchase of a marble quarry at West
Rutland, he energetically entered into the business of quarrying and sawing
He was earnestly engaged
in the railroad controversy of 1848 in relation to the proposed routes;
after the ultimatum was reached, and the opening of the Rutland and Whitehall
Road for traffic, he was made president of the company, which office he
held for nearly twenty years. He was among the first interested in quarrying
and manufacturing roofing slate and marbelized goods, and was actively
engaged in this business up to the time of his death.
The authorities at Washington
named the place where he had passed so many years Hydeville, in his honor.
He had no taste for a political career and he never held an office in his
life. He was killed in October, 1874, by a locomotive at the Hubbardton
crossing, near the site of old Fort Warren.
John MEACHAM was born
in Williamstown, Mass., in 1776, and died in 1848. His father settled in
Fairhaven. He served an apprenticeship at the nailing business, but soon
after he became of age engaged in mercantile pursuits, first with Ebenezer
LANGDON; afterward with John ADAMS. He was trustee of the grammar school,
town treasurer, town representative, and judge of probate. His first wife
was Mary LANGDON, by whom he had one daughter, Mrs. Hiram AINSWORTH, whose
husband now occupies the old homestead.
James ADAMS, born in
Simsbury, Conn. in 1775, settled as a grocer at Hydeville, in 1801. From
Hydeville he removed to Castleton village and entered into partnership
with judge MEACHAM in mercantile business. After this partnership was dissolved,
Mr. ADAMS traded by himself till 1829; then in company with C. N. DANA.
In 1831 the stock was sold to Albert LANGDON. Mr. LANGDON sold to Israel
DAVEY and B. F. ADAMS in 1836. Mr. ADAMS, with most of his family, joined
the Congregational Church in 1831. He died about the year 1857.
Deacon Enos MERRILL,
a native of West Hartford, was one of the early settlers, arriving here
about 1785. His early training was strictly Puritan. He was a pillar in
the church in Castleton for nearly sixty years.
Among the early settlers
in Castleton was Captain John MASON, who came here about the year 1785.
He was a magistrate, a member of the State Legislature, and of the Governor's
Council, a presidential elector, and a trustee of the grammar school. He
died at his residence in Castleton, two miles north of the village, aged
Rufus BRANCH came to
this town from Bennington, Vt., immediately after the close of the Revolution.
His eldest son, Darius, came from Orwell afterwards and remained here until
his death in his eighty-fourth year.
PALMER settled early in the northeastern part of the township in a place
called Belgo. He was the father of Dr. David PALMER and Allen PALMER.
John WHITLOCK came here
in 1775, and settled a little north of the village. The farm he cleared
is still owned by his descendants and occupied by Anson CLARK. He was a
Tory in sentiment, but was of a peaceable disposition. Peter COGSWELL settled
east of the village in 1776. . He was a blacksmith and farmer. He was the
father of General Eli COGSWELL, who afterwards attained prominence here.
In the same year, 1776, Benjamin CARVER came to the Corners near where
Leander JONES now lives. He married a daughter of Colonel Noah LEE. Colonel
Isaac CLARK established a settlement about this time on the place owned
by Albert JOHNSON. He has descendants in town now. He was an officer in
the Revolutionary War, and a Colonel in the United States army in the War
of 1812. Colonel CLARK was chief judge of the county court from 1807 to
1811. He died in 1822 at the age of seventy-four years. Other early settlers
were: Hyde WESTOVER, who kept the noted Westover House at Castleton Corners,
and has descendants there now; Ira HARTWELL, who also has descendants in
town; William SANFORD (father of Dr. James SANFORD), who resided here from
October, 1799, until his death, March 24, 1866; Jacob WHEELER; Dwyer BABBITT,
who settled in 1803 between Castleton Corners and Hydeville, and others.
The importance of Castleton
as a military rendezvous during the Revolutionary War, for the American
forces, may best be remembered from the fact that here, in a small farm
house built by Richard BENTLY, and standing just in front of the old Congregational
parsonage, occurred the angry midnight discussion between Benedict ARNOLD
and Ethan ALLEN as to which should command the expedition against Ticonderoga.
This was on the 8th of May, 1775. The subsequent retreat of the American
forces laid open the entire region around Castleton, indeed all Western
Vermont, to British and Indian depredation. On a Sabbath, July 6, 1777,
a skirmish occurred about half a mile east of the village, around the residence
of George FOOTE, where Fort Warren was afterwards constructed. Captain
John HALL was mortally wounded in this engagement, while Elias and Alpheus
HALL, George FOOTE, and others were taken to Ticonderoga as prisoners,
but soon after effected their escape.
The body of Captain WILLIAMS,
wrapped in a blanket, without a coffin, was rudely buried at the foot of
a tree near by. Forty-four years after his remains were disinterred, and
the bones laid together in order by Luther DEMING (a man perfectly blind),
and re-buried in the village graveyard, with appropriate ceremonies. A
short time after this skirmish a fort was erected near the scene, concerning
which Dr. John M. CURRIER, of Castleton, has kindly furnished the following:
Fort Warren at Castleton,
and the Fort at Hydeville. -- Fort Warren was located one-half mile
east of Castleton village, on a natural plateau, with an area of less than
three acres. This plateau is about fifteen feet higher than the surrounding
meadow in a bend on the north side of Bird's Creek, or Castleton River,
and immediately north of the highway leading through Castleton to Rutland,
about twenty rods west of the mouth of Mead's Brook, now commonly called
Hubbardton Brook. This plateau was connected with a plain to the north,
of many acres in extent, by a narrow neck of land on the same level. When
the Rutland and Washington Railroad was being built in 1850 this neck of
land was dug away to make the dump across the meadow west. A strip of this
plateau, thirty or forty feet wide on the north side, and about one-half
of the west end of it, were also dug away, for the same purpose, to the
depth of eight or ten feet. On the north side of the railroad, and parallel
with it, a new channel was cut by the company, at the same time, and Hubbardton
Brook was turned into it, which saved building a railroad bridge across
the old channel, but necessitated building a bridge for the public travel
across the new channel in line of the Hubbardton Road, which crossed the
old fort ground. The general features of this old landmark have thus been
materially changed; only about one-half of the original plateau, at the
east end, is now left as it was in the Revolutionary period.
The fort was built on
land owned by George FOOT on the east and Peter COGSWELL on the west. The
stockade enclosed the dwellings of both these men. The entire ground is
now owned by John J. LANGDON, and his dwelling-house stands near the eastern
boundary of the stockade.
The road to East Hubbardton
then passed east of Mr. FOOT's house. It was not a well-worked road at
that time. It had been laid out and surveyed by a committee through to
Hubbardton line on May 3, 1776. It was by that committee located on the
line between George FOOT and Peter COGSWELL, six rods wide, taking three
rods from each one's land. But, in all probability, it was not worked until
after the war, for the survey was not received by the town clerk and recorded
until January 24, 1784. The road now follows that survey, and the railroad
clips the northeast corner of the site of the old plateau.
All around the brow of
this natural plateau, and across the neck in a straight line, were set
deeply in the ground large logs, rising above the ground sufficiently high
and thick together to afford protection from musketry. The upright logs
were sharpened at the upper extremity, which rendered it difficult scaling
Surrounding this stockade
was an abatis of entangled trees with sharpened limbs, which reached to
the foot of the embankment. A deep ditch surrounded the abatis. In the
northwestern part of this enclosure a block- house was built of heavy hewn
timbers, two stories high, the upper story on all sides projecting a little
beyond the lower story. This building was inpenetrable to musket balls.
There were several portholes on all sides, convenient for firing through
from the inside.
The water to supply the
garrison and others staying inside was obtained from a well dug outside
of the stockade, at the northwest corner at the foot of the slope. It was
reached by a covered walk from the inside.
The form of this enclosure
was oblong; the west end was nearly circular, while the east end had square
corners. There was a square bastion at the southeast corner which commanded
in three different directions. It has been stated that there was
a bastion on the west end, commanding in two directions, but the
writer does not deem this statement sufficiently well authenticated to
be positive in asserting it.
There were two gates
into this enclosure, one on the north side and the other on the south side,
Fort Warren, named in
honor of Colonel Gideon WARREN, of Tinmouth, then colonel of the Fifth
Regiment of the Vermont militia, was built between April 2 and May 14,
1779, under the recommendation of the governor and Council, by the inhabitants
of Castleton and the detachments of the militia of Vermont stationed there
to guard the northern frontier. The object of this fort was to serve in
the defense and protection of the frontier settlers from the invasions
of the enemy from the north. The north line of Castleton, the west
and north lines of Pittsford to the Green Mountains, was the line of defense
between the inhabitants of the State and the enemy.
The forts at Pittsford,
Rutland and Castleton were garrisoned by detachments of the militia in
varying numbers, all through the war after their establishment. This line
of defense was under the surveillance of the State authorities, and committees
were appointed by the Board of War to make reports upon the condition of
the frontier affairs, that they might be ready for any emergency.
The Board of War at Arlington,
April 25, 1781, "resolved, that this Board do recommend that Commissary
of Purchase, with the assistance of the Troops on the Ground, build in
the cheapest manner a store-house and some Barracks, that they answer for
the time being in fourt Warren."
The visiting committee
for the northern frontiers for the Board of War at Bennington, June 23,
Begg leave to report first that the garrisons at Pitsford ought to be removed
back from the place where it now stands nigh Sutherland's mills or such
particular spot Col. Fletcher shall direct. 2d, That the garrison at Castleton
ought to be removed West from where it now stands nigh to Blanchard's mills,
that the fort to be built at Skeensborough [Whitehall, N. Y.] ought to
be built on a small hill where one WILLSON lives or Norwest about 5 or
6 hundred yards as Col. WALBRIDGE shall direct, Taking into Consideration
the conve'cy of Water. That Each of the above said forts ought to be built
to Consist of a small picket and a strong block house. That the fortification
at Castleton as it is most likely will be Considered Hed Quarters ought
to be much the Largest."
On the same day the General
Assembly "ordered that a Committee of three be appointed to hold a conference
with the within named persons respecting removing the Garison at Pittsford,
&c., and make report." The members chosen were Mr. E. SMITH, Mr. B.
WHIPPLE and Mr. POST.
On June 26, 1781, "the
above named Committee made a verbal report, whereupon resolved that it
be recommended to the board of War to order about one hundred men to be
stationed at the said garrison at Pittsford for the support of it."
On June 29, 1781, the
General Assembly "resolved that Warrants be issued and directed [to] the
respective Sheriff's in this State to Collect the British prisoners which
may be found within the limits of this State and Cause them to be Safely
conveyed to Head Quarters at Castleton by the 10 day of July next."
Thus it appears that
at Castleton was established the headquarters for the military forces engaged
in the defense of the northern frontier on the west side of the Green Mountains.
Henceforth no evidence appears in the journal of the Governor and Council,
or in the records of the Board of War, relative to the removal of the fort
to Hydeville, or as then termed, Blanchard's Mills. But according to the
evidence collected by the Rutland County Historical Society there remains
no doubt that the headquarters of the military of the northern frontier
west of the Green Mountains was removed to Hydeville in June, 1781, and
that a picketed enclosure, block-house and other necessary buildings were
there erected on an enlarged scale, sufficient to accommodate the increased
number of forces at that time. The site of the enclosure was on the bluff
and adjacent plain, south of Main street and east of the road leading from
Hydeville to Poultney, a few rods southeast of the upper falls, on the
creek leading out of Lake Bombazine. No description can be given of the
building, nor any idea of the shape of the enclosure.
On October 24, 1885,
Fort Warren was surveyed and a plan of it drafted by Hon. John HOWE, of
Castleton, assisted by his law-partner, Moses J. HARRINGTON, and the writer.
His survey is herewith appended:
Commencing at the southwest
corner of said fort, it being at the north end of a rock on the north side
of the highway running east and west through the village and town of Castleton,
and distant n. 29 1/2° w. one chain and eiahty-three links from the
"McIntosh corner," so called; thence s. 73 1/2° e. five chains and
nine links to the southeast or bastioned corner of said fort ; thence n.
13 1/2 e. four chains and eleven links to the center of the Rutland and
Washington Railroad track, or northeast corner of said fort, thence n.
87° w. four chains and twenty-five links to the northwest corner of
said fort, at a stake and stones standing sixty six links west from the
center of the traveled road on the Hubbardton highway, so called; thence
around on the west front of said fort, it being in an irregular circular
form, to the place of beginning.
The names of the following
men who were soldiers in the Revolutionary War from Castleton, have been
preserved: Captain John HALL, killed in the battle of Castleton, June 6,
1777; Nehemiah HOIT, was with Colonel Ethan ALLEN at the battle of Ticonderoga,
and taken prisoner with him at Montreal; Lieutenant Elias HALL, taken prisoner
at Castleton; after his escape enlisted in the Continental army, was in
the battle of Stillwater and present at the Surrender of Burgoyne; Colonel
Isaac CLARK was an officer in the Revolutionary War, and colonel in command
in the war of 1812; Rufus BURNET, in the battle of Bennington; Jonathan
DEMING; Cyrus GATES. Doubtless there were others whose names are not here.
Following is a list,
undoubtedly incomplete, of the soldiers from this town in the war of 1812:
Major Milo MASON, of the regular army; Colonel Isaac CLARK, commander of
the 11th Regiment; Captain David SANFORD, and Lieutenat Perez SANFORD of
the 11th Regiment; Hyde WESTOVER, Jacob WHEELER, Elam MORE, Samuel SHEPHERD,
sergeant, Theodore KING, Jonathan EATON, Oliver EATON, Augustus FINNEY,
Mr. HIGBY, Eliel BOND, Darius BURNET, John MEACHAM, Elijah BURNET, Curtis
HULBURT, Oliver MOULTON.
Castleton was formed
into a town in March, 1777. Eli COGSWELL was the first town clerk, Jesse
BELKNAP was the first justice of the peace, Zadock REMINGTON was the first
representative after the organization.
No list of town officers
approaching completeness exists prior to 1782, when the following were
among the most important officers elected: Perez STURDEVANT was moderator
of the meeting; Brewster HIGLEY, Reuben MOULTON, Isaac CLARK, selectmen;
Brewster HIGLEY, town treasurer; Eli COGSHEL (COGSWELL), constable; Stephen
HALL, Zadock REMINGTON, Eli COGSWELL, listers; Araunah WOODARD, collector;
Nehemiah HALL, leather sealer; Zadock REMINGTON, Gershom LAKE, grand jurors;
Perez STURDEVANT and Peter COGSWELL, tithing-men.
The early years of the
colony were prosperous. In less than six years from the arrival of the
first families about thirty log houses had been built, and six or eight
framed houses, schools established, a place of meeting fixed upon, and
measures were in progress to secure stated ministrations of the gospel.
Measures were taken to secure preaching as early as 1775, and thereafter
religious services on the Sabbath were maintained pretty constantly. As
has been stated, the place of meeting in war times was the house of George
FOOT. At the time of the skirmish before mentioned, a school-house on the
corner opposite George FOOT's house attested the educational aspirations
of the colonists. During the winter of 1778-79, two schools were kept in
town, one near the house of Zadock REMINGTON, taught by General Eli COGSWELL,
and one in the east part, near the residence of Reuben MOULTON, kept by
Alpheus HALL. In 1785 appears the first vote to divide the town into districts.
The earliest merchants
in town were: Solomon GUERNSEY, who built and occupied the brick house
where the Bomoseen House now stands, and was succeeded by A. W. HYDE; General
Eli COGSWELL, with a partner by the name of GRAHAM. Samuel COUCH, Mr. BAKER,
who sold to MEACHAM & E. LANGDON, and MEACHAM & ADAMS in 1801;
Dr. Selah GRIDLEY, Albert LANGDON, A. W. & O. HYDE, O. N. DANA, M.
G. LANGDON, ADAMS & DAVEY, Ferron PARKER, James ADAMS, who retired
about 1830, kept store in the building now occupied by his son. John MEACHAM,
MERRILL & AINSWORTH, LYMAN, DANA & Co, and B. J. DYER, all kept
store at different times in what is now the bank building. DYER, the last
there, closed about 1851. Still other merchants have been William MOULTON
& Co., W. & C. MOULTON, GOODWIN & JACKMAN, JOHN GOODWIN, RICE,
ROOT & Co., ROOT & TOMLINSON, Harris BARTHOLOMEW, F. PARKER &
Co., SPENCER & WYATT, SPENCER & LYON, G. D. SPENCER, SPENCER &
ARMSTRONG, ARMSTRONG Bros., ARMSTRONG & SHERMAN, C. S. SHERMAN, A.
L. RANSOM, POST, GUERNSEY & Co.
W. & C.
MOULTON ran a store on the site of the Sanford House. M. G. LANGDON &
Co., William MOULTON & Co., GOODWIN & JACKSON, William MOULTON,
M. J. LANGDON & Son, all occupied the entire building now used by F.
L. REED, the last named firm closing out about 1860. Rice, Root & Co.,
and afterwards ROOT & TOMLINSON, who closed about 1855, kept on the
corner of Main and Elm streets, where Mr. GUERNSEY now is. Harris BARTHOLOMEW
from 1838 to 1840, F. PARKER & Co. from about 1843-51, POST, GRANGER
& Co. for six months, William C. GUERNESEY until 1854, SPENCER &
WYATT from 1859-60, SPENCER & LYON one year, G. D. SPENCER, three years,
SPENCER & ARMSTRONG, 1864, ARMSTRONG Bros. 1864-68, all kept in the
old marble store on the corner of Main and Seminary streets. The following,
taken from Rev. Joseph STEELE's History of Castleton, gives the names of
the early business men in other departments of trade and industry: " Tanners
and shoe-makers: James KILBOURN carried on business near Z. REMINGTON’s;
Deacon Enos MERRILL, at the west end of village; Milton MCINTOSH, east
of the village; Sylvester POND, north, on the E. Hubbarton road. Ebenezer
PARKER and Captain Joseph BARNEY were the prominent blacksmiths.
The hatting business
was carried on early by Read MEAD, in a building which stood where the
Liberal Church now stands. Carpenters and joiners: Jonathan DEMING, Mr.
THOMPSON, John HOUGHTON, N. GRANGER, T. R. DAKE, Freedom BROWN, Clark STEVENS
Previous to 1836 William
SOUTHMAYD carried on the manufacture of britannia tea-pots, near the Congregational
Church. He closed his business about 1835. John MEACHAM had until after
1830 an ashery which stood about where the railroad turn-table now is.
Among the more important distilleries carried on in the town was one at
the foot of Frisbie Hill, which was also closed about 1830, and the building
purchased by A. W. HYDE, taken to Hydeville, and converted into a barn
for the Hydeville, Hotel. About 1841 HALL erected on his farm, two miles
north of Castleton, a distillery for the manufacture of whisky for his
own use and kept it as long as he ran the farm. The farm is now in the
hands of John RYAN.
The tannery of Enos MERRILL
was sold in 1836 to AMSDELL & BANSIER. It was closed about 1841. From
about 1823 to about 1860, or later, Almeran BRANCH carried on the wagon-making
business. Another wagon-shop was started about 1839 by J. C. STEVENS, on
Elmer street. At his death, about 1844, F. S. HEATH took it. Franklin GRISWOLD
then ran it until it burned about 1869.
In 1836 Theodore WOODWARD,
M. D., opened in the west wing of his house a small drug store, the first
in the town. He kept but few drugs. After the decease of Mr. WOODWARD his
son, E. C., removed the stock across the road, and in 1841 associated with
him his brother-in-law, Egbert JAMISON, who soon erected a drug store on
the corner east of the Methodist Church. There, in 1844, JAMISON, after
becoming the sole owner, did a large business, furnishing medicines to
physicians in the vicinity, also to graduates of the medical college. He
also sold them surgical instruments. Jamison sold to C. C. NICHOLS, he
to J. N. NORTHRUP, M. D., who soon took in his son, W. H., who from 1857
to 1875 did a large drug trade. Then the stock was sold to A. H. KELLOGG,
who took as partner W. C. RICE, who, in 1876, purchased the stock and took
John EASTMAN as partner; after some two years Mr. EASTMAN retired and RICE
continued the business until 1882.
Sylvanus GUERNSEY manufactured
both the large and small spinning-wheels in this town from about 1790 till
near 1840 and perhaps a little later. There was very little demand for
them as late as 1830. His shop stood where now stands the dwelling-house
of the late Gustavus BUEL, a few feet east of the Bomoseen House. Mrs.
CASWELL, his daughter, says the last one he made was in the year 1846,
for her the year she was married. Mr. GUERNSEY invented and manufactured
a double-geared wheel-head, which increased the speed of the spindle. He
also made clock-reels, and invented a contrivance so that the springs would
not be broken should the children in playing with them turn them the wrong
way. He made several kinds of swifts for winding off yarn, which could
be easily adjusted to different lengths of the skeins. He also invented
a double-headed flax-wheel, by means of which two threads could be spun
at the same time; few, however, could learn to spin on them, and not many
Sylvanus GUERNSEY was
born in Bethlehem, Conn., October 7, 1767. He was the eldest son of Solomon
GUERNSEY of that town. He married, November 30, 1797, Miss Esther HIGLEY,
daughter of Deacon Brewster HIGLEY, of Castleton. He came to Castleton
when seventeen years of age. He learned the wheelwright and carpenter trades
of his uncle, a Mr. KASSON, of Connecticut, during the winter months, and
in the summer used to work at his trade and cultivate some land in Castleton.
He used to go on foot to Connecticut in the autumn and return the same
way in the spring. In the year 1800 he built the house where Chauncy L.
BAXTER now lives, just a few rods north of Fort Warren in Castleton, on
the west side of the Hubbardton road. He then moved his shop into his house
where it ever remained as long as he needed a shop. After there was no
demand for spinning-wheels, he made and repaired guns and rifles.
On the south side of
Castleton River a few rods east of the present grist-mill, Deacon Erastus
HIGLEY had a carding and fulling-mill, and a cider-mill where he distilled
cider brandy. In the basement of this mill Mr. GUERNSEY had a turning lathe,
with which he used to turn cider-mill screws, bedsteads and many other
articles; all these were carried by the water in Castleton River. Mr. GUERNSEY
died April 3, 1855.
Prior to 1832 Joel BEAMAN,
of Poultney, ran the stages in this part of the country, mostly in Rutland
county. In 1832 E. B. DEWEY obtained the contract for carrying the mails
hereabouts, and became stage proprietor. He made Castleton his central
point. In 1835 he failed, and A. W. HYDE succeeded him and purchased a
line from Salem to Burlington, Rutland to Whitehall, Rutland to Manchester,
between Lake Champlain and Lake George, and in winter had teams from Highgate
to St. Johns. In 1841 he took the contract for carrying the "Lightning
Express Mail," as it was termed, from Albany to Burlington, at $14,440
per annum. He was given a certain number of houses in which to deliver
mail. During the muddy seasons of spring and fall he ran the mails in separate
two-horse wagons, and timed himself with a watch imbedded in a block of
wood. He also placed the way-bill in the driver's hands and obliged the
postmasters along the route to register the time of his arrival and departure.
Castleton was thus the
headquarters of nearly all the stage business west of the Green Mountains
in Southern Vermont. It was the junction of the lines from New York to
Montreal, and from Boston to Saratoga and Buffalo. The fare from New York
to Montreal in winter was $14.00. Between Salem, N. Y., and Castleton,
thirty-four miles, Mr. HYDE had six teams to do the work, and frequently
had forty passengers here at one time.
In 1844 Joel BEAMAN secured
the contract from Castleton to Troy, and after about six months sold out
to Mr. HYDE. By the opening of the railroad in 1850 the nature of the place
was materially changed. Instead of being the central point of numberless
stage routes, it became merely a way station between Whitehall and Rutland.
Hotel business consequently fell into a decline, and all other branches
of business felt the effect. In later years, however, the town has been
achieving a considerable reputation as a resort for summer visitors. It
has always been noted for the number and excellence of its hotels. In addition
to the early taverns already mentioned was the Westover House, which was
erected about 1808, and kept from the earliest date to 1862 by Hyde WESTOVER.
R. H. MORRIS, W. C. HYATT, Frank SANFORD and William L. BATCHELLER, then
kept it until about 1870, when it was destroyed by fire. The Moulton House
was erected about 1812 by Samuel MOULTON, who kept it until about 1839.
His son, Cullen, then kept it about three years and closed it. Frank SANFORD
reopened it about 1878 as the Sanford House, and remained until 1883.
Frank HOY kept a sort
of tavern at Castleton Corners in the early part of the century. In 1838
he was stabbed in an affray there. From 1840 Mr. WHITNEY, William B. COLBURN
and Wilson PROCTOR successively kept it. In 1878, after it had been closed
for years, R. B. WESTON acquired title and has remained there since. Stephen
PERKINS opened a tavern at the Corners about 1830, and closed it when the
prohibitory law went into operation. The Hydeville House, erected by A.
W. HYDE in 1841, out of GILROY's old carving factory, was first kept by
Alphonso KILBOURN. It was burned in 1852, rebuilt at once and destroyed
the second time by fire about 1872.
Among the other early
industries may be named the linseed oil-mill of Ebenezer LANGDON, which
stood on the site of the present grist-mill. It was closed about 1842,
after having been many years in operation. Connected with it Mr. LANGDON
had a plaster-mill. In 1835 S. H. LANGDON started a furnace back of the
site of the present depot in Castleton village. He failed in 1854.
It has been the fortune
of Castleton to take part in all the wars which have interrupted the growth
of this country. It has already been seen that she did her part well by
contributing to the success of her country in the early wars, and the following
list of those enrolled on the side of the Union during the civil war attest
her readiness to do her share still.
The town furnished two
hundred and fifty men to aid the government in putting down the late rebellion,
as shown by the following list:
William H. ALFORD, co.
C, 11th regt.; Oscar L. BABBIT, co. I, 5th regt.; Samuel I. BARBER, and
William H. BARBER, co. C, 11th regt.; Jasper A. BENEDICT, co. B, 2d regt.;
Rollin N. BLACKMER, bat., 2d regt.; Charles F. BLISS, Nathan
G. P. BLISS and Jeremiah BOLTON, co. C, 11th regt.; Jeremiah BOLTON, co.
B, 2d regt.; Frank BORDEAU, 1st bat.; Samuel BRAINARD, co. B, 2d regt.;
Chas. F. BURT and Dunham G. BURT, 1st bat.; Patrick BYRNE, co. C, 11th
regt.; A. B. CANFIELD, 2d bat.; Harry S. CASTLE, co. M. 11th regt.; William
H. CASTLE, co. C, 11th regt.; Eugene CHELSON, co. K, cav.; Henry W. COOK,
co. H, cav.; John DALABEE, co. C, 11th regt.; James W. DONNELLY co. B,
7th regt.; John DONNELLY and Peter DONNELLY, co. C, 11th regt.; James H.
DUNHAM, co. M, 11th regt.; Thomas DUNHAM and William DUNHAM, co. B, 2d
regt.; George J. EVERTON and James J. EVERTON co. H, cav.; .John A. FREELOVE,
co. B, 2d regt.; William FLINN, co. H, cav.; George C. FRENCH, co. C, 11th
regt.; Henry GARDNER, co. F, cav.; Elias S. GIBBS and Moses G. GIBBS, 2d
bat.; Joseph GODFREY, 1st bat.; William GOODRICH and Gile GOULD, co. C,
11th regt.; George K. GRISWOLD, co. B, 2d regt.; Benjamin P. HALL, co.
I, 7th regt.; William C. HARRINGTON, co. C, I 11th regt.; Charles A. HAWKINS,
co. I, 5th regt.; Gideon HAWKINS, co. B, 2d regt.; Michael HAYES, co. I,
7th regt.; Edwin H. HIGLEY, co. K, cav.; Michael HINES, James HOPE, Abial
S. HOWARD, John HOWE, co. B, 2d regt.; George B. HOSFORD, co. A, 7th regt.;
Thomas HOWLEY, co. H, cav.; Daniel S. HUNTOON, co. I, 7th regt.; James
T. HYDE, co. C, 11th regt.; Frederick A. INGLESTON, co. B, 2d regt.; Harrison
INGLESTON, co. G, 5th regt.; Endearing D. JOHNSON, co. B, 2d regt.; Enoch
E. JOHNSON, co. B, 2d regt.; James M. JOHNSON, Lewis P. JONES and Henry
JUBAR, co. I, 7th regt.; Charles H. KELLOGG, co. C, 2d regt.; Lyman S.
KELLOGG, co. F, 1st s. s.; John KILLSEN, co. C, I 11th regt.; Theodore
KING, co. B, 2d regt.; Orlando P. LISCOMB, co. M, I 11th regt.; John MCKEAN,
John H. MCKEAN and Peter T. MCQUAIN, co. B, 2d regt; Henry W. MOODY, Horace
W. MOODY and Patrick MURPHY, co. M, 11th regt.; Charles MORRIL, co. B,
2d regt.; Cornelius O'BRIEN, co. C, I 11th regt.; William O'BRIEN, co.
H, cav.; Albert I. PARKHURST, Leonard R. PARKHURST and William PARKHURST,
co. B, 2d regt.; Noah A. PECK, co. C, 2d regt.; Selah G. PERKINS. co. H,
cav.; Patrick POLAND, co. B, 2d regt.; Edwin POINEY, co. H, cav.; Asa A.
POTTER, Ethan A. POTTER, George W. POTTER and James H. REMINGTON, co. B,
2d regt.; Justin E. ROBINSON, co. H, cav.; Edgar ROSS, co. C, 2d regt.;
George W. ROSS, Horace G. ROSS, James RUSSELL, co. B, 2d regt.; Leonard
RUSSELL and Marcus K. RUSSELL, co. C, I 11th regt.; Thomas RUSSELL, Patrick
RYAN and John M. SHAW, co. B, 2d regt.; John A. SHELDON, co. G, 10th regt.;
John SHERIDAN and Timothy SHERIDAN, co. A, 7th regt.; Daniel SHERMAN, co.
G, 5th regt.; Zebulon SHEPHERD, co. C, I 11th regt.; Sylvester SIMONS,
co. H, cav.; Albert H. SMITH, co. M, 11th regt.; Edward C. SMITH and Henry
C. SMITH, co. B, 2d regt.; James C. SMITH, 2d bat.; John C. SMITH, co.
H, cav.; Leonard F. SOLENDINE, co. A, 7th regt.; Durham SPRAGUE, co. B,
2d regt.; Samuel E. STOCKER, co. C, I 11th regt,; Lemuel STREETER, co.
B, 9th regt.; John STREETER, Lawrence TRAINER, Thomas G. UNDERWOOD and
Rollin C. WARD, co. B, 2d regt.; William A. WARD, co. G, 5th regt.; William
WARD, co. I, 7th regt.; Jacob WHEELER, John D. WHEELER and Nicholas WHEELER,
co. B, 2d regt.; Miles W. WHITLOCK, co. C, 4th regt.; Samuel F. WHITLOCK,
co. K, cav.; John S. WILLIAMS, co. H, cav.; Thomas WILLIAMS, co. C, I 11th
regt.; William WILLIAMS, co. K cav.; William WILLIAMS, jr., co. B, 9th
regt.; William WOODBURY, co. C, 2d regt.; Thomas YOUNG, co. I, 7th regt.
Credits under call of
October 1 7, 1863, for 300,000 volunteers, and subsequent calls:
Volunteers for three
years. -- Henry L. BAILEY, 1st bat.; Reuben BURTON, 54th Mass. ; Joseph
CLARK, co. I, 17th regt.; Frank CULL and Patrick DONNELLY, co. C, I 11th
regt.; Lyman C. FISH, co. H, cav.; Salmon K. GATES and Andrew GODFREY,
co. I, 7th regt.; John HAYES, co. C, 11 th regt.; Israel HUNTER, 54th Mass.;
Frank G. INGLESTON, co. C, 11th regt.; Daniel JACKSON and William JACKSON,
54th Mass.; James P. KELLOGG, co. H, 2d s. s.; William H. KING, CO, I,
17th regt.; Francis O. KNAPP, co. E, 11th regt.; Henry A. LAWRENCE, co.
C, 11th regt.; David LEE, jr., co. C, 11th regt.; Leonard C. PARK, co.
E, 11th regt.; Edwin M. PARSONS, co. A, 11th regt.; Henry PECK and Frank
PENS, co. C, 11th regt.; Patrick POLAND and Lewis D. POTTER, co. I, 17th
regt,; John ROBERTS, Hiram A. ROSS and William SCOTT, co. C, 11th regt.;
Sylvester SIMONS, co. C, 11th regt.; Henry STEWART, 54th Mass.; Henry H.
WARD, co. D, 9th regt.; Cullen WHEELER, co. H, cav.
Volunteers for one year.
-- John W. ALLARD, co. G, 6th regt.; Joseph ANDROS, co. B, 2d regt.;
Alfred ATWATER and Alonzo ATWATER, 2d bat.; George E. AUSTIN, co. G, 8th
regt.; Hugh O'NEIL, 11th regt.; Wallace D. PARSONS, co. B, 2d regt.; Alexander
PHILLIPS, co. C, 7th regt.; Charles E. PORTER, co. A, 7th regt.; John RYAN,
Co. C, 7th regt.; Henry C. WILLARD, 2d regt.
-- Rollin N. BLACKMER and Albert R. CANFIELD, 2d bat.; George C. LOWRY,
co. I, 7th regt.; Peter T. MCQUAIN, co. B, 2d regt.; Noah A. Peck, co.
C, 2d regt.; Robert PEINO, George W. ROSS and Horace G. ROSS, co. B, 2d
regt.; Timothy SHERIDEN, co. A, 7th regt.; Nicholas WHEELER, co. B, 2d
regt.; William WOODBURY, co. C, 2d regt.
Enrolled men who furnished
substitutes. -- George W. GIBSON, Marcus LANGDON, C. H. SIMPSON.
Naval credits. -- Francis
GRISWOLD, Edwin T. WOODWARD.
Miscellaneous. -- Not
credited by name, four men.
Volunteers for nine months
in 14th regt. co. F. -- Harvey BISHOP, Oliver E. BREWSTER, Martin F. BROOKS,
Steven P. CARR, Joseph CLARK, Patrick DELEHANTY, Fred H. DENNISON, Daniel
W. FOX, George H. FOX, Salmon K. GATES, Lyman J. GAULT, Truman J. GAULT,
Franklin GOULD, Henry H. HOSFORD, Joseph JENNINGS, John F. JOHNSON, Aaron
JONES, Jonathan T. KIDDER, William H. KING, Moses KNAPP, Henry A. POND,
Fayette POTTER, Steven P. SHAW, F. H. SHEPHERD, Harry SHEPHERD, Emmet W.
SHERMAN, Frank W. SMITH, Elton E. WARD, Willard D. WARD, Cutten WHEELER,
George C. WHEELER, Charles H. WHITLOCK, Daniel S. WILDER, James H. WOOD.
Furnished under draft
and paid commutation. -- Henderson BISHOP, Nathaniel L. COBB,
James F. DONNELLY, Hiram S. HAWKINS, Timothy FINNEGAN, John FOX, Edward
GLEASON, Henry W. KEYES, Henry LANGDON, William H. NORTHROP, Jehial P.
PARKER, Hale TOMLINSON.
-- Lucius C. NELSON.
Entered service. -- Chancey
BRIGGS, 54th Mass.
Volunteers for one year.
-- James W. DONNELLY, co. C, 1st art. ; James FOX, co. C, 7th regt.; Theodore
KING, co. C, 1st art. ; Hugh MAHAR, co. C, 7th regt.; John H. MCKEAN, co.
C, 1st art; William L. MONROE, co. C, 1st art.; Robert D. PEPPER, co. C,
1st art.; Willie A. PATTEE and Wallace RUSSELL, co. B, 2d regt.; Archie
STEWART, 5th regt.; John D. WHEELER and Miles W. WHITLOCK, co. C, 1st art.
The growth in population
of the town of Castleton is shown by the following figures: -- 1791,
800; 1800, 1,039; 1810, 1,420; 1820, 1,541; 1830, 1,783; 1840, 1,769; 1850,
3,916; 1860, 2,851; 1870, 3,243; 1880, 2,605.
This village is the oldest
as well as the largest one in the town whose name it bears. The little
water-power which it possesses was utilized very early in the present century,
first by Erastus HIGLEY, in 1803, for a carding-machine and fulling-ill,
and by Mr. Langdon for an oil-mill. Afterwards there was a marble-mill,
and a feed-mill on the site. About 1835, Hart LANGDON erected a furnace
there, and carried on an extensive business for several years.
The early schools have
already been mentioned, but this village has in past days enjoyed an enviable
distinction in educational matters. Not later than 1786, the citizens of
this town initiated plans for the establishment of a grammar school. Samuel
Moulton donated land a little on the east of the site of the Methodist
Church. A building was erected thereon, and a school opened. On the 15th
of October, 1787, the General Assembly passed the following act: "Be it
enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont, that the place
for keeping a county grammar school in and for Rutland county, shall be
at the house commonly known by the name of the new school-house, near Dr.
William WALCOTT's, in said Castleton; provided that the county of Rutland
shall not be at any cost or charge in completing or repairing the same."
The school, which is
said to have been the third, in order of time of this grade, in the State,
was continued until 1800, when the building was destroyed by fire. It was
soon replaced by a more commodious building, and on the 29th of October,
1805, in "an act confirming a grammar school in the county of Rutland,"
the General Assembly constituted Rev. Elihu SMITH, Hon. James WITHERELL
and Chauncey LANGDON, Araunah W. HYDE, Theophilus FLAGG, Samuel SHAW, James
GILMORE, Amos THOMPSON, John MASON, Enos MERRILL and Isaac CLARK, a board
of trustees under the title of "the Corporation of Rutland County Grammar
School." The board was completed on the 11th of March, 1807, by the election
of Hon. Rollin C. MALLARY, twelfth trustee. Care was taken from the first
that the town of Castleton should be responsible for all the expenses of
the academy. Save a limited amount of subscriptions secured for the purchase
of the present building, and the rent of lands set apart for a county grammar
school, the entire expenses of the school have been met by the inhabitants
The name, " Rutland County
Grammar School " was changed to the "Vermont Classical High School," by
legislative act, October 28, 1828.
Rev. Oliver HULBERT was
preceptor of the school until 1807, when he resigned and settled as a minister
in Ohio. He was followed successively by R. C. MOULTON, William DICKINSON,
Eleazer BARROWS, Rev. John L. CAZIER and Henry BELKNAP.
In 1815 the building
was removed farther from the street and considerably repaired. Rev. John
CLANEY taught in the year 1819-20, and was followed for six years by Henry
HOWE, who afterwards achieved a wide reputation as principal in an academy
in Canandaigua, N. Y. He was succeeded by Rev. Edwin HALL, D. D., afterwards
president of Auburn Theological Seminary, N.Y.
Hon. Solomon FOOTE was
chosen preceptor in May, 1828, and entered upon his duties with high purpose,
thinking to devote his life to teaching. The school increased rapidly,
and the accommodations becoming too limited to suit his aspirations, he
conceived the plan of a high school for boys. By his own efforts, aided
by Fordice WARNER, a spacious edifice was begun, one hundred and sixty
feet long and forty-feet deep, with a stone basement, surmounted by three
stories of brick. Araunah W. HYDE, on learning that the means of the board
were running low, completed the building at a cost of more than thirty
thousand dollars. On the 1st of November, 1830, an act was passed restoring
to the institution its original name.
Rev. Truman M. POST,
D. D., and Hon. John MEACHAM were respectively principals, among others,
while the brick building, from the expense of its maintenance, fell into
disuse. Rev. Charles WALKER, D. D., and Rev. Lucius F. CLARK followed as
associate principals, and started a boarding-school in addition. Their
efforts were attended with an increase of students to two hundred. Rev.
MEACK succeeded Dr. WALKER as associate principal, and in 1837 became sole
principal of the school. In March, 1838, the old brick building was purchased
of Araunah W. HYDE for sixteen thousand dollars, and it remained in the
hands of the corporation until it was bought in May, 1881, by Captain Abel
E. LEAVENWORTH. Rev. Edward J. HALLOCK was principal from September 3,
1838, until the spring of 1856. Under his management the school was very
prosperous, and the debt of purchase was canceled. For every thousand dollars
raised by Mr. HALLOCK, Mr. HYDE allowed three thousand. Mr. HALLOCK afterwards
died of cholera in St. Louis, and the alumni have erected a stately monument
to his memory in the Castleton Cemetery. In 1859 Rev. Stephen M. KNOWLTON
succeeded Rev. Azariah HYDE, and was followed in 1862 by Miss Harriet N.
HASKELL, who, conducted the school for five years under the title of Castleton
Seminary. During her last year the Medical College building was donated
by Carlos S. SHERMAN for the use of the school and moved upon its present
site at the east end of the seminary building.
In February, 1867, the
trustees of the Vermont Board of Education expended several thousand dollars
in establishing a State Normal School here for the First Congressional
District, and from the start appropriated for such purpose the old Medical
College building. Rev. R. G. WILLIAMS had charge of both Seminary and Normal
School until 1874, and was followed, each one year, by Edward J. HYDE,
A. M., and Rev. George A. BARRETT. The seminary course was suspended in
August, 1876, and Walter E. HOWARD, A. M., began his two years' course
as principal of the Normal School. His successor for three years was Judah
DANA, A. M. In June, 1881, he was followed by Abel E. LEAVENWORTH, A. M.,
a graduate from the University of Vermont, who has had an experience of
more than a quarter of a century as principal of classical and normal schools.
The general supervision of the school remains with the "corporation of
Rutland County Grammar School," and with the State superintendent of education.
The attendance during the fall term of 1885-86 was about 140. Eight counties
and thirty-four towns of Vermont are represented.
Dunham G. BURT began
the saddlery business here in the fall of 1884, as successor to his father,
B. W. BURT. The business was established about 1832 by George W. ELLIS,
who sold out to Volney SHERMAN. T. M. SHERMAN was B. W. BURT's predecessor.
The general store now
owned by James ADAMS was that of LANGDON, DAVEY & Co., in 1837. In
the fall of that year ADAMS & DAVEY bought the concern. The firm was
changed in 1846 to ADAMS & ADAMS; being F. B. and James ADAMS, brothers.
In 1857 James ADAMS bought out his brother, and in 1865 sold to LINSCOMB
& SHERMAN. Seth PEPPER bought them out in 1866, and the next year became
the associate of James ADAMS. PEPPER went out in 1868. The father of the
present proprietor has been mentioned as an early merchant.
The dry goods business
of W. C. GUERNSEY was established by Ferrand PARKER in 1842 or 1843 and
transferred to the present proprietor in 1851.
George L. PRESTON began
dealing in jewelry here in 1883, as successor to his father, L. W. PRESTON.
C. D. GRISWOLD, who founded the business about 1843, sold to L. W. PRESTON.
The firm of E. H. ARMSTRONG
& Co., dealers in drugs and medicines, was formed in August, 1884.
W. C. RICE, RICE & KELLOGG, NORTHRUP & Son and Charles NICHOLS
were successively proprietors in the inverse order of their naming. Dr.
Theodore WOODWARD established the business about forty years ago. The general
store of A. L. RANSOM was started in 1859 by G. D. SPENCER, who sold out
to E. H. ARMSTRONG in the spring of 1865. His successors were ARMSTRONG
& SHERMAN, C. S. SHERMAN and the present proprietor.
C. S. PROCTOR began to
trade in groceries in 1861. He has had Calvin WOOD and Marcus LANGDON as
partners at different times.
T. P. SMITH established
his grocery business in 1866 or 1867.
F. L. REED started his
hardware store here in the spring of 1882.
The dry goods and general
store of H. E. ARMSTRONG was started by him on April 1, 1883. He had before
that traded in Poultney for several years.
W. H. NORTHRUP, wholesale
manufacturer of ink powders, extracts, perfumes and pomades, started about
One of the finest hotels
in the State is the Bomoseen House, which was erected in 1868 by William
L. BATCHELLER. In 1871 he was succeeded in the proprietorship by Stutely
BEACH, who remained about a year. Lucius COLLINS kept it then until the
spring of 1880. H. P. ELLIS commenced keeping it, and remained, with the
exception of eleven months following the spring of 1884, when T. N. CARPENTER,
of the Fifth Avenue Hotel, was here until October, 1885. The present genial
proprietor, J. H. WHITEHALL, took possession on the 9th of last October,
and bids fair to surpass even his predecessor in the excellence of his
"bed and board."
The old Mansion House,
built by Araunah W. HYDE in 1830, stood on the site of the Bomoseen House,
and was kept for the first three years by D. S, KETTLE. E. B. DEWEY and
A. W. HYDE each in turn followed him until the spring of 1837, when Chester
SPENCER opened it as a temperance hotel. He had previously opened a temperance
house in Wallingford, said to be the first in the United States. From 1847
to 1849 others ran the house. Mr. SPENCER then returned and kept it until
Chester Spencer was born
in Pawlet in 1800. He learned the clothier's trade. In 1821 he went to
Mount Holly and four years later married Miss E. E. Draper, of Claremont,
N. H. It was in 1835 that he opened the Temperance Hotel in Wallingford.
He died in 1876. His son, G. D. Spencer, who has rendered valuable assistance
in the compilation of this town history, was born in Wallingford, October
12, 1830; came to Castleton in 1837, from 1852 to 1859 was in New York
city, and from 1868 to 1880 in Fairhaven. The rest of his life has been
passed in Castleton.
Athough there are no
other hotels in this village, there can be no fitter place to enumerate
the summer houses on Lake Bomoseen.
Coffey's Picnic House
was built in 1852 by F. S. HEATH; sold in 1878 to Harvey BISHOP, and at
once transferred to Michael COFFEY, who rebuilt it, and keeps it now. The
Taghkannuc House, on the island of the same name, was built in 1874, and
is now owned by A. W. BARKER. Bixby's Hotel, built by Mark W. BIXBY in
1876, is still kept by him. The Lake House was built by the present proprietor,
R. H. WALKER, in 1880. Johnson's Club House, Colonel E. D. JOHNSON, manager,
is the property of a club composed of members from all about the country.
It was converted into a hotel from a farm-house in 1880.
The first bank in Castleton,
called the Bank of Castleton, was organized in 1852; capital stock $100,000.
Hon. William C. KITTRIDGE was the first president; L. D. FOOTE, first cashier.
T. W. RICE succeeded judge KITTRIDGE in 1854, as president, and C. M. WILLARD,
now of Fairhaven, was appointed cashier. This bank was closed in 1859,
and the Mutual Bank of Castleton was organized in its place, with T. W.
RICE, president, C. M. WILLARD, cashier. In 1865 the title of the bank
was changed to the. Castleton National Bank, and Carlos S. SHERMAN became
president with I. M. GUY, cashier. The cashiers since then have been M.
D. COLE, H. I. COLE, and the present incumbent, D. D. COLE. Mr. SHERMAN
is still president. Deposits, about $30,000. Capital, $50,000. Surplus,
Hon. Jerome B. BROMLEY
was born in Pawlet, Vt., May 4, 1828, was educated in the Burr & Burton
Seminary at Manchester, Vt., studied law in the office of George W. HARMON,
of Pawlet, and was admitted to the bar in September, 1849. He practiced
in Pawlet until 1871, when he removed to Castleton village and has since
been judge of probate for Fairhaven District. He was a member of the Constitutional
Convention in 1856-57, State's attorney in 1867-68, and represented Pawlet
in the Legislature in 1869 and 1870. His son, Charles C. BROMLEY, now a
student in his office, was born in Pawlet, November 17, 1863. Henry L.
CLARK was born in Mount Holly on the 5th of February, 1847; studied law
with EDGERTON & NICHOLS, of Rutland, and C. M. WILLARD, then of Castleton,
and was admitted to practice in 1870. Since 1871 he has practiced here
in company with judge BROMLEY. He represented Castleton in 1884.
John HOWE was born in
Castleton on the 8th day of October, 1833. He studied in the office of
his father, Hon. Zimri HOWE, and at the Albany Law School, and was admitted
in the fall of 1854. He has practiced here ever since, with the exception
of eight years and a half, following May, 1868, when he was without the
State. He has been State's attorney four years from 1880, and represented
the town in 1867, and in 1878. His partner, Moses J. HARRINGTON, was born
in Castleton, August 8, 1859. He studied with Mr. HOWE, and in a law office
in New York city, and was admitted in March, 1884. He has practiced in
Castleton ever since, and has been in partnership with Mr. HOWE since February,
Dr. James SANFORD was
born in Castleton, October 19, 1816; received his medical education at
the Castleton Medical College, from which he was graduated in 1840 and
attended lectures in New York, and the Albany College. In 1840 he commenced
practicing in Westhaven. From 1844 to about 1863 he practiced in Fairhaven,
and then took up his residence in Castleton.
Dr. C. C. NICHOLS was
born June 2, 1824, in Hubbardton, was graduated from the Castleton Medical
College in 1847. From 1855 he practiced in Wells until 1872, when he came
to Hydeville. In March, 1855, he removed to Castleton village.
Dr. G. ROBERTS was born
in Leicester, Vt., September 1, 1861, received his medical education at
the University of Michigan, and the Hahnemann Medical College of Chicago,
from which latter institution he was graduated February 22, 1882. On the
20th of April following he came to Castleton. He practices homeopathy.
Little is known respecting
the postmasters in the early history of the town, or in what year the office
was established. For some years the first settlers went to Rutland for
all mail matter. Dr. Selah GRIDLEY may have been the first postmaster,
though it is probable there were others before him. Samuel MOULTON received
the appointment in 1810, and held it till his death in 1838. His son, Cullen
MOULTON, was then appointed. From 1841 to 1843 the postmaster was Chester
SPENCER, then followed Cullen MOULTON, Hannibal HODGES, Chester SPENCER,
Gustavus BUEL, William MOULTON, and in 1885 the present incumbent, D. G.
The saw-mill of Simon
BASSETT, two miles north of Castleton village, was started about 1876 by
the present proprietor.
The grist and saw-mill
which stands on the site of the old oil-mill came into the possession of
the present proprietor, Russell STREETER, several years ago. His predecessors
were BROMLEY & DEWEY.
The Sherman Marble Mill
was started about the year 1835, by SHERMAN & JACKMAN, who were succeeded
in 1842 by SHERMAN, Brother & Son. In 1844 JACKMAN & SHERMAN purchased
it. In 1851 SHERMAN & HYATT; in about 1854 T. M. SHERMAN; in 1880 T.
S. SHERMAN, the present proprietor.
There are no newspapers
published in town at present. The first newspaper published here was called
the Vermont Statesman. It was commenced in 1824 by Ovid MINER. He was Whig
in politics, under the management of different editors retaining essentially
the same political character. The Statesman continued until 1855.
The Green Mountain Eagle
was established about 1834, under the excitement of anti-Masonry. Judge
HOWE was probably the prime mover and principal proprietor in the enterprise.
Its existence terminated with the anti-Masonic party.
Hydeville. -- The writer's
informants (Mr. and Mrs. John CULVER) concerning the history of Hydeville
have been life-long residents here. John, son of Joel CULVER, was born
July 4, 1807, on the place now owned by Robert WILLIAMS. His wife, great
granddaughter of Mr. CASTLE, from whom, according to one tradition, the
town was named, was born on the 11th of August, 1816, in the same room
which witnessed the birth of her future husband, Samuel WHITLOCK, her father
having in the mean time purchased the farm of Joel CULVER. They were married
January 1, 1851. Joel and Francis CULVER, brothers, came to Castleton from
Litchfield, Conn., with their stepfather, Mr. BLANCHARD. Francis CULVER
acquired title to all the mill privileges in the present Hydeville, and
operated for some time the saw-mill and grist-mill, which were erected
by Colonel Amos BIRD. Joel CULVER owned the farm on the Poultney line,
now owned by Walter METCALF.
About 1815 there was
an old forge here which had formerly done a large business, but was gone
before 1820. In the earliest times the place was called Slab City, and
afterwards Castleton Mills. For years prior to 1820 Mrs. Prudence MURDOCK
kept tavern in the same house now occupied by Dennis MCGRAW. She was left
a widow, with two daughters; her husband, Throop MURDOCK, had owned and
operated cloth-dressing works near the site of the BOLGER Bros.' new mill.
Mr. SWAIN, and afterwards David BRISTOL, also had a carding-machine here.
The store of James ADAMS stood nearly in front of the old tavern and in
the southwest corner of the door yard. The LOVELANDS (Alanson, Alvin, and
others) operated a tannery on the bank, on the place now owned by James
COMSTOCK. There was also an old earthenware pottery near the site of the
BOLGER store, run by Job STYLES. It was gone before 1815. James ADAMS also
made potash in a pine grove just north of Hydeville. After Francis CULVER
retired from the milling business here, he was followed by DRAKE &
PARSONS. Chauncey LANGDON owned a saw-mill before 1820, on the site of
R. HANGER's slate-mills.
In these early days there
was no school at Castleton Corners and children used to come from there
and beyond there to Hydeville, or Castleton Mills, to school. There were
only two houses between here and the Corners, viz., one built and occupied
by John CROSS, now occupied by John SPENSER, and the other occupied by
Noah ARMS, on the south side of the road, on the site now owned by Richard
PHILLIPS. The school-house stood in the hollow in front of the present
hotel. David SHEPARD taught there about 1820.
There were no physicians
here until about 1847, when Dr. G. W. STYLES came. He went to California
for a year or two in 1849, and later still to Sudbury, but died here in
about 1872. He lived first in Pine street, and afterwards in the house
now occupied by Edward COOK. He had a drugstore on the site of the BOLGER
Dr. Charles BACCHUS lived
here forty or fifty years ago, in Mrs. CLARK's east room, but practiced
so little that he is hardly worthy of mention.
The first postmaster
in Hydeville was Pitt W. HYDE, who was appointed not far from 1840. Simeon
ALLEN, Russell W. HYDE and Dallas W. BUMPUS have served since, Mr. HYDE
for nearly twenty years. At the present writing, just after the death of
Mr. BUMPUS, no postmaster has been appointed.
The general store of
the BOLGER Brothers was erected in 1883, on the site of the old drug store
of Dr. STYLES. The general store of A. E. COOK was started by him in the
spring of 1883, though he kept store near the depot four years before that.
Bolger Brothers once occupied this store.
The grist-mill of CLIFFORD
& LITCHFIELD was built by a Hydeville company about 1883.
The saw-mill of R. HANGER
was first operated in 1883.
The Russell House in
Hydeville was formerly a dwelling, built about 1865 by J. T. HYDE. Russell
W. HYDE converted it into a hotel about 1875. In about two years he took
in C. H. HAWKINS as a partner, who now keeps it alone, though the property
is owned by F. A. BARROWS.
Tho only business of
importance at Castleton Four Corners is the manufacture of agricultural
implements, carried on by Francis A. BARROWS since 1852. He makes about
1,000 plows (including cultivators and shovel plows) annually.
The oldest slate interest
in town, although not strictly a slate=mill, as usually considered, is
the slate-pencil factory of the Vermont Slate and Alum Company. In about
1840 John CAIN, of Rutland, bought the land containing the quarry and used
to take the slate to Rutland, where it was sawn into slips and they were
converted into pencils. In 1854 James ADAMS entered upon the manufacture
of pencils here. It was continued by him until 1859, when a partnership
was formed with H. O. BROWN, and continued until 1866. D. R. SATTERLEE
then became a partner, under the firm name of ADAMS, BROWN & Co. The
year following it was incorporated as the "Adams Manufacturing Company,"
with a capital stock of $225,000; James ADAMS, president; D. R. SATTERLEE,
vice-president, and O. A. BROWN, secretary.
The factory is situated
at the quarry, has a steam engine of eighty horse power, and suitable machinery
for turning out 100,000 pencils per day. The company employ about too workmen.
The pencils, called "soap-stone pencils," are of superior quality, and
are sent to all parts of the world.
This stone is also ground
into a fine powder and used in the manufacture of paper. In contains a
very large per cent of alum, and the company have expected to manufacture
alum in large quantities. For the above purposes there is no quarry in
the United States, if there is in the world, to compare with it.
The mill was burned about
1873 and rebuilt. The company soon after failed and the property came into
the hands of George P. and John A. SHELDON, who now own it. James ADAMS
In 1849 Hiram AINSWORTH,
of Castleton village, purchased the carding-mill of Mr. WYATT and converted
it into a mill for making school slates. It proved unprofitable,
and he afterwards sold out to SHERMAN & JACKMAN, who converted it into
The Lake Shore Slate
Company, at West Castleton, is descendant from the first marbleizing mill
in the country. It is now a stock company, incorporated in 1874, in which
Samnel HAZARD is the most extensively interested. The quarry was first
opened in 1852 by the West Castleton Railroad and Slate Company, of which
Newell STURTEVANT was the moving spirit. The mills were erected soon after
the quarry was opened. The process of marbleizing slate was imported to
Boston from Europe, experimented upon in that city briefly, and then first
developed here. The quarry was originally intended to produce merely roofing
slate. One of the incorporators, John BORROWSCALE, was a slater from Wales.
The first meeting of the directors of the West Castleton Railroad and Slate
Company was held at the Mansion House in Castleton, December 15, 1852,
present: Newell STURTEVANT, Francis HODGMAN, Middleton GOLDSMITH, John
BORROWSCALE. There has always been a store here in connection with the
works. About fifty men are now employed at the quarry and mills. About
22,000 feet per month of finished slate can be turned out. Up to the time
when the mills were burned, in 1870, this was the largest finishing establishment
in the county, but the mills were then rebuilt on a smaller scale.
The Billings Slate works
at Hydeville were established in 1834 by E. A. BILLINGS, who operated them
until his death six or seven years ago. His sons, E. A., George H., C.
W. and L. H. BILLINGS now own the property. The mills were repeatedly burned
and rebuilt; in 1870, 1877 and April 1, 1884. About twenty men are employed;
Alexander DANVILLE is the general superintendent.
CLIFFORD & LITCHFIELD
(Joseph and N. A.) started their mill in Hydeville in January, 1885. They
own also the mill at Cookville, which was begun there in 1857 by the Western
Vermont Slate Company, at the head of which were Samuel RAYNOR and B. F.
COOK. The present proprietors took possession in 1878. They employ in all
from thirty to forty men.
The quarries now operated
by BOLGER Brothers (William, Martin, Thomas and James) was opened in 1876
by J. G. HUGHES. Bolger Brothers took it under lease in 1879, and bought
it in 1880. Their old mill is leased from R. HANGER; their new mill, just
built, has a capacity of about 250,000 feet per annum. DOWNS & DELEHANTY
(Patrick H. and James), finishers of marbleized slate mantels, own stock
in a company called the Lake Bomoseen Slate Company, about a mile east
of West Castleton. They came to Hydeville from Poultney with their finishing
works in May, 1877. They employ about twelve men in finishing. They began
to work the quarry near Lake Bomoseen in August, 1882, and erected a mill
in 1885. The superintendent of the mill and treasurer of the company is
John DELEHANTY. They employ about seventeen hands at the mill.
In 1881 R. HANGER came
to Hydeville from Fairhaven and built the mills he now operates. He has
two quarries and employs between forty and fifty men. He has shipped over
200,000 feet of slate in one year.
John JONES & Co.,
of Castleton village, successors of the Castleton Slate Company, leased
the mill January 1, 1885. The Castleton Slate Company, composed of L. B.
SMITH, John HOWE and A. P. CHILD, was organized, and the mill erected in
June, 1882. The company ran it about two years. The quarry, which John
JONES opened about three years ago, is two miles and a half north from
There are now in the
town of Castleton twelve regular school districts and one union district.
The town employs fourteen teachers.
The school district of
West Castleton is No 9. A school-house stood formerly on the site of the
mills, having been erected in 1809, when Eli COGSWELL, Enos MERRILL, Araunah
WOODWARD and Joseph HAWKINS were selectmen. The present school-house was
built about 1852. There is now there an attendance of about fifty pupils.
C. H. SIMPSON was the
first postmaster, appointed about 1865, and held the office about five
years. Samuel L. HAZARD succeeded him until 1880, when he resigned to go
to the Legislature and Samuel L. HAZARD, jr., the present postmaster was
The present town officers
are as follows. -- Town clerk, John HOWE; selectmen, Benjamin F. GRAVES,
Joseph A. CLIFFORD, Thomas BOLGER; treasurer, William MOULTON; first constable
and collector, Phillip D. GRISWOLD; listers, Wilson C. WALKER, George W.
SCRIBNER, Patrick MURPHY; auditors, John HOWE, Moses J. HARRINGTON, Henry
L. CLARK; town grand jurors, James H. WISWELL, C. M. COFFEY, C. E. RANSOM;
superintendent of schools, Moses J. HARRINGTON; town agent, John HOWE.
The first religious society
in town was the town itself. Probably the first minister here was Rev.
Mr. CAMP, who preached for a time in 1775. From 1784 to 1790 religious
worship, regardless of denomination, was held in the store-house for the
garrison during the war. In the fall of 1784, however, Rev. Job SWIFT,
of Bennington, organized the Congregational Church, with an original membership
of nine males and nine females, as follows: Nehemiah HOIT, George FOOT,
Gershom LAKE, Abijah WARREN, Joseph WOODWARD, Benjamin CARVER, Ephraim
BUEL, Perez STURDEVANT, Jesse BELKNAP, Sarah HOIT, Wealthy FOOT, Rebecca
MOULTON, Mary WOODWARD, Rachel MOULTON, Elizabeth CARVER, Amy HICKOK, Mercy
STURDEVANT, Joanna POND. The first house erected for worship stood in front
of the old burying-ground near the east end of Castleton village. The frame
was erected, and the building enclosed in 1790, but it was unfinished within,
and but partly glazed.
It was uninviting and
insecure. The frame was strong, the timber for the most part oak and well
put together; but there was some neglect in underpropping the lower timbers
in the center of the house. During the exercises of the election sermon,
when the house was densely filled, the center gave way, so that the floor
settled two or three feet. The alarm was great. Some of the crowd leaped
through the windows, others shrieked, some fainted, others pressed for
the doors. The true state of the case, however, being soon discovered,
order was restored. Fortunately no one was seriously injured.
The building remained
in an unfinished state for six years. In 1796 it was finished, and was
the place of worship for the Congregational society for thirty-seven years
following. Its length was about fifty feet, and its breadth about forty,
standing the side to the street, with doors at either end. The pews were
square with high backs; the pulpit at the east end, thirteen feet high,
and galleries extended on either side and across the end opposite the pulpit.
A pew in the gallery, elevated above the tops of all others, was the tithing-man's
seat; where, in exalted dignity, he watched the deportment of the boys
and girls, whose allotment it was to occupy seats above.
A steeple was attached
to the west end of the house several years later and a bell hung in its
tower, Hon. Chauncey LANGDON proposing to meet half the expense if the
other half should be secured. About two years since Charles LANGDON, a
grandson of Hon. CHAUNCY, was the means of procuring a new one.
In 1832 a new site was
chosen a little to the west of the old one, and the foundations of the
present edifice laid. The house was completed and dedicated July, 1833,
at a cost of about $6,000. The same year a house and lot for a parsonage
The first pastor, Rev.
Matthias CAZIER, was installed September 4, 1789, and dismissed December
13, 1792. For thirteen years subsequent to his dismission there was no
settled pastor; yet public worship on the Sabbath was constantly maintained,
and most of the time there was preaching by missionaries or other supplies.
Rev. William MILLER labored
here in 1802. Rev. Elihu SMITH the second, pastor, was installed January
17, 1804, and remained till December 30, 1 826. In 1816 the church enjoyed
the addition of 187 members. There was a less extensive revival in 1820.
After the dismission of Mr. SMITH the church was without a pastor for two
years. In November, 1828, Rev. Joseph STEELE, then, preaching at Saratoga
Springs, N. Y., accepted their invitation to become pastor and was installed
December 25, 1828. The number received into the church while he continued
its pastor was 468. He was a native of Kingsboro, Fulton county, N. Y.
; was a member of the church of which Dr. Elisha YALE was pastor; graduated
at Union College in 1824, and at Auburn Theological Seminary in 1827. He
was twenty-six years at Castleton. The fourth pastor was Rev. Willard CHILD,
D. D., installed February 14, 1855, who remained here until February, 1864.
Since then have been installed Rev. Lewis FRANCIS, Rev. Edward T. HOOKER,
and the present pastor, Rev. George H. BYINGTON. The church property is
now valued at about $10,000.
The Methodist Episcopal
Church was formed in 1824 by Jonathan EATON. The house of worship, though
substantially erected in 1824, was not finished for several years. It first
stood about one-fourth of a mile west of the village, and was removed to
its present location near the center of the village in 1839 or 1840. It
was neatly and thoroughly repaired and a convenient class-room appended
The first regular pastor,
Rev. C. P. CLARK, was stationed here from 1832 to 1835. The present pastor
is Rev. William WOOD. The church property is now valued at about $5,000.
St. John the Baptist's
Catholic Church was organized in t834 by their first pastor, Rev John DALEY,
with a membership of fifty. They converted the old Liberal Church into
a Catholic house of worship in 1879, and now estimate the value of their
property at about $15,000. Rev. P. J. O'CONOLL and Rev. Father GLENN, of
Fairhaven, have charge of this church, as well as the churches at Poultney,
West Castleton and Middletown.
The second Advent Church
at Castleton village was organized by Rev. Milton GRANT in 1860, with a
membership of about twenty five. Rev. Albion ROSS was the first pastor.
The church edifice was erected in 1861 at a cost of $3,000, and will seat
about 450. The present pastor, Rev. E. H. LIBBY, came in the spring of
The Calvinistic Methodist
Church in the southwest part of the town was organized in 1862, by Rev.
William HUGHES, of Utica, N. Y. The first pastor was Rev. Daniel ROWLAND.
The house of worship was erected in 1868 at a cost of about $4,000, but
the entire church property is now worth not more than $2,500.
The Baptist Church of
Hydeville was organized by A. ALLEN, Samuel WHITLOCK and others, with Rev.
SMITH as pastor. Their edifice was erected in the spring of 1851. In 1879
Deacon James WILLIAMS, dying, bequeathed this society his property, and
left it in a financially flourishing condition. The present pastor is Rev.
Mr. WALKER. Before the present house of worship was erected, the society
and all worshipers used to hold meetings in the school-house, and still
further back, meetings were held in the upper story of the old gristmill
which A. W. HYDE fitted up for their use.
The Episcopal Church
at Hydeville was organized in 1848 by I. DAVEY, P. W. HYDE, and E. WALLACE,
with Rev. Mr. BAILEY as rector. The church edifice was erected in June,
1852, and consecrated the following March. Occasional preaching is now
done by Rev. Mr. LEE, of West Rutland.
St. Joseph's Catholic
Church of West Castleton was organized and the edifice erected in 1879.
The church property is now valued at about 2,500. Rev. P. J. O'CONOLL,
of Fairhaven, preaches occasionally.
The Society of Liberal
Christians was organized in 1867, by Joseph ADAMS, of Fairhaven, A. N.
ADAMS, Johnson S. BENEDICT, William N. BATCHELLER and Gilbert BARBER. In
1868 they erected what is now the Catholic Church west of the Bomoseen
House. They finally went down. Their society was composed of Unitarians
of Rutland County Vermont: with Illustrations &
Sketches of Some of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers
by H. Y. Smith & W. S. Rann
& Co., Publishers 1886
of the Town of Castelton
by Karima 2002
Gazetteer of the Town of Castelton, Rutland County, VT., 1881-82
Business Directory of the Town of Castelton, Rutland County, VT., 1881-82