THE town of Chittenden lies in the northeastern part of the county and is bounded on the north by the towns of Goshen in Addison county, and Rochester in Addison county, on the east by Pittsfield and a part of both Rochester and Sherburne, on the south by Mendon, and on the west by Pittsfield and Brandon.

      Much of the surface is so broken and mountainous as to be unsusceptible to cultivation, though the western portion is more thickly inhabited, and, contains a few excellent farms. East Creek, rising in the center of the town, and flowing southwesterly into Otter Creek near Rutland; and Furnace River, rising in the northwestern part of the town and flowing into Otter Creek near Pittsford, constitute the principal drainage. Tributaries of the Tweed River flow from the eastern side of the Green Mountains.

      The town, which derives its name from Governor Thomas CHITTENDEN, was granted on the 14th and chartered on the 16th of March, 1780, the charter being in the customary form. Gershom BEACH and sixty-five others were the grantees.

      The next oldest man now living in Chittenden who was born in town is the venerable and still active Hiram BAIRD. He was born on the 19th of November, 1804, in a house which stood and still stands about forty rods south of his present residence, being on the same farm. He was married on the 16th of April, 1826, to Miss Sally MORSE, of Leicester, Vt. He has had four children, but one of whom, Stephen, is now alive and a resident of Chittenden. His father, John BAIRD, came to Chittenden in 1792 from Worcester, Mass., and in the same fall his grandfather, John BAIRD, sen., arrived here. Together they purchased the farm just south of and embracing the present farm of Hiram Baird.

      Among the other early settlers were Nathaniel LADD, who came here before the town was organized, in 1789, and settled on the farm a part of which is owned by Stephen BAIRD, and kept tavern where Mr. GREEN now lives. Anson LADD, his son, was the first white child born in town. The most distinguished of the first residents of Chittenden was Aaron BEACH, who served under WOLFE on the "Heights of Abraham," took an active part in the Revolutionary War, and but for the kindly resistance of friends would have been a participant in the battle of Plattsburg. He died about the year 1816 at the age of 102 years. Jonathan DIKE and Solomon TAYLOR settled in the north part of the town. According to Child's Gazetteer, "they cut and stacked hay the first two or three summers on the beaver meadows, drawing it three miles over `Thomas Hill, in the winter,' on hand-sleds. They used to go, in common with others of their townsmen, to Bennington with a portion of their grain for grinding. DIKE, on one occasion, brought from Bennington a bushel of salt, for which he was offered a bushel of corn for every pint."

      The Indian, "Captain John," mentioned in the history of Mendon, was for a time a resident of Chittenden. It is related that he was with the French and Indians at the time General BRADDOCK marched the English Army to defeat on their way to Fort Du Quesne. He fired three times at Washington, and was convinced by his failure that the young American soldier was invincible; whereupon he went over to the English, and subsequently became one of Washington's life-guard. A stone pestle which "Captain John" left here is now in the Vermont State cabinet. Although he was buried in Mendon, his skeleton formed a part of the appliances of a physician in Rutland, and afterwards of a Pittsford physician. 

      Dan BARNARD was one of the original proprietors, and joined the insurrectionists who endeavored to prevent the Rutland County Court from holding its session on the 22d of November, 1788. Walcott H. KEELER, an early representative of Chittenden, introduced and procured the passage of the humane bill abolishing imprisonment for debt. Caleb CHURCHILL resided in early days on the farm now occupied by Patrick MULLIN, in that portion of the northern part of the town formerly included in Philadelphia. Samuel HARRISON was born at Norton, in the county of Derby, England, on the 26th of April, 1756. He went to Pittsfield, Mass., about 1780, where he married Rebecca KEELER, and in 1789 came to Chittenden and settled on the farm now owned by William MULLIN. 

      Jeffrey A. BOGUE settled first in "New Boston," and then removed to the farm now owned by Lewis I. WINSLOW, in the north part of the town. Daniel CARPENTER was an early settler in the neighborhood of the BAIRD farm. A few rods south of the farm now owned and occupied by Hiram BAIRD is the homestead of the formerly notorious EDDY family, who created so much interest in early days with their pretended spiritual manifestations and materializations: The father, Zephaniah EDDY, married Julia Ann MACOMBS, at Weston, Vt., and came to the present homestead in about 1834, the house being now occupied by E. GREEN. He died in 1861. One son, Horatio G. EDDY, now lives in the house a little to the north of the residence of Mr. GREEN, on land included in the original EDDY farm. Another son, William, lives in Moravia, N. Y. Their spiritual trickery has long since been exposed. Jonathan WOODWARD and Josiah PERSONS, Revolutionary patriots, were early residents of Chittenden. The latter lived on the New Boston Road, so called.

      Other early residents of this "New Boston" neighborhood were Elias HALL, Nathan HEWITT and Allen BEEBE. Nathan NELSON lived on the farm now occupied .by Emmett CRAPO. He was town clerk two years. John COWE immigrated to New Boston about 1785 and served as town clerk from 1790 to 1813. He also held various other offices and was for a time a United States revenue collector. Zeb GREEN, father of the well-known Drs. Joel and Horace GREEN, of New York, also resided in New Boston. In the north part of the town the most prominent man was Jeffrey BOGUE, who moved there very early from New Boston. In the beginning of the present century Ebenezer BROOKS lived on the farm now occupied by Joel BAIRD. James LEDGETT, who married BROOKS's sister, lived with him; LEDGETT came from England in Burgoyne's army, and after Burgoyne was taken he deserted and came to Chittenden. It was believed here that he left a wife and three children in England. The ROLLINS family resided where Henry LONG now lives. 

      When John BAIRD, junior and senior, came here, in 1792, the town was of course very thinly settled, the only signs of approaching civilization being the little clearings, in the center or extreme edge of each of which stood a diminutive log-house and the orderly constructed out-houses and barn. The roads looked like cow-paths. There was such a path from Rutland through Chittenden over Thomas Hill to Pittsfield. The road from Rutland to Stockbridge led west of its present route until about 1787, and parts of the old dug-way are still perceptible.

      The population of the town in 1791 numbered 159 persons, and increased by the year 1800 to 327. From that time to the present the population has increased without interruption. In 1880 there were 1,092 inhabitants in town.

      The town was organized at the house of Solomon TAYLOR on the 30th of March, 1789, and Nathaniel LADD was elected first town clerk. The other officers were: Ebenezer DRURY, moderator; Nathan NELSON, Nathaniel LADD, Solomon TAYLOR, selectmen; Nathan NELSON, treasurer; Jeffrey A. BOGUE, constable; Oliver BOGUE, John BANCROFT, Moses TAYLOR, listers.

      Improvement in the economy of the town did not progress very rapidly until after the opening of the present century. The first mill was erected in 1808 by PIXLEY & NEVINS, and stood a few rods above the present mill of John WORMER. It was a saw and grist-mill combined. Since that time twelve sawmills have been built and nearly all of them have had a period of successful operation. Another grist-mill in town in the early part of the century was situated in New Boston, on the farm now occupied by Jesse BILLINGS, and was owned by Nathan BURPEE. One of his sons, Otis BURPEE, was caught by the coat in between the mill-stones and deprived of one of his legs.

      There never was a distillery in town, though Otis WHEELER started to build one and never completed it.

      A number of the inhabitants were engaged, a part of the time, in making salts for sale. Jonas WHEELER used to make potash in 1820, opposite the present hotel. There were two taverns in town which had quite a reputation. One was kept by Nathaniel LADD, in "Ladd Hollow," on the site of the residence of E. GREEN, and the other was kept by Zeb GREEN in the northeastern part of the town.

      The only building in the present village, which goes by the euphonious name of "Slab city," in 1808  was the dwelling house of John DAVIS. The settlement in those days was thickest at New Boston, but after about 1813 the population began to be more generally distributed and New Boston gradually lost its individuality.

      Among the others who went from Chittenden in the War of 1812 were Thaddeus BAIRD (uncle to Hiram F. BAIRD), Justus POWERS and Israel HEWITT. Thaddeus BAIRD went as ensign.

      The first school-house in town was built in New Boston. After that, and early in the present century, a new one was erected about a hundred rods south of Hiram BAIRD's present home, and near the school-house as it now stands.

      There was comparatively little suffering in town during the cold season of 1816. Some families were without bread for a few days, and the only corn successfully raised in town was on the farm now owned by Hiram BAIRD.

      This town, like all the towns in Vermont, engaged actively in enlisting and recruiting for the War of the Rebellion. The following are the names of soldiers accredited to the town: 

      Volunteers for three years credited previous to call for 300,000 volunteers of October 17, 1863. --  Freeman E. BAIRD, co. G, 5th regt.; Oran E. BAIRD, co. B; 9th regt.; Edwin C. BARNARD, Ombro BOLIO, Lewis BONNETT, Valorus S. BUMP, co. B, 7th regt.; Oliver E. CHURCHILL, co. C, 10th regt.; Albert B. DODGE, Montraville L. DOW, co. B, 7th regt.; Francis L. EDDY, co. G, 5th regt.; William H. EDMUNDS, co. I, 7th regt.: Thomas GREEN, Wesley H. HOLLAND, co. H, 5th regt.; George M. HIBBARD, co. G, 5th regt.; Henry F. HUDSON, co. B, 7th regt.; William R. JOHNSON, co. C, 11th regt.; Wallace E. NOYES, Arthur H. PARKHURST, Anthony PORTER, co. B, 7th regt.; Isaac PRICE, co. H, cav.; Henry E. RAVLIN, co. F, cav.; Orlando F. RAVLIN, co. B, 7th regt.; John SALGER, co. C, 10th regt.; Sylvester C. TARBLE, to. H, 10th regt.; Cyrus K. WHITCOMB, co. B, 7th regt.

      Credits under call of October 17, 1863, for 300,000 volunteers and subsequent calls. Volunteers for three years. -- Wolcott BAIRD, jr., co. B, 9th regt.; Samuel BERNHEIM, co. B, 5th regt.; Octave BUSHEY, co. H, 9th regt.; Ira CHAPLIN, co. D, 9th regt.; John B. CHAPMAN, cav.; Charles H. CHURCHILL, co. H, cav. ; Columbus CHURCHILL, co. C, 10th regt.; Edwin R. CHURCHILL, co. H, cav.; George F. DURKEE, co. B, 9th regt.; Hiram H. FITCH, co. B, 7th regt.; Cyrus F. HOLBROOK, cav.; George LAVALLE, co. H, 9th regt.; George MELVOR, Henry MILLS, Ezra P. NOYES, co. H, cav.; Newell PAR, 5th regt.; Peter REVOR, co. H, 9th regt.: Orin K. SMITH, 2d bat.; Alexander SPOONER, co. H, 9th regt.; Charles E. TATRO, co. B, 7th regt.; Sewell S. WHITCOMB, co. H, cav.

      Volunteers for one year. -- William LEONARD, co. B, 9th regt.

      Volunteers re-enlisted. -- Freeman BAIRD, co. G. 5th regt.; Peter DEFORGE, Albert B. DODGE, co. B, 7th regt.; William H. EDMUNDS, co. I, 7th regt.; Amos POTTER, co. B, 7th regt.; Alonzo WHEELER, co. 1, 7th regt.

Miscellaneous. -- Not credited by name, one man.

      Volunteers for nine months. -- Azem B. CHURCHILL, co. G, 12th regt.; Wilson B. CHURCHILL, Rolla W. COLLINS, Martin H. DURKEE, James M. FISK, Wilber F. FREEMAN, Thomas HENDRY, Alfred MANLEY, co. H, 11th regt.; Henry F. MANLEY, Robert Morris, co. G, 12th regt.; Francis Nash, John H. Sargent, co. H, 14th regt.; Beauman E. SEAGER, Wilson C. TARBLE, Ertha WETMORE, co. G, 12th regt.; Jonathan C. WINTER, Wilson R. WINTER, Simeon D. YAW, co. H, 14th regt.

      Furnished under draft. -- Paid commutation, H. F. BEARD, Nathan COLLINS, Kittredge WING. Entered service, Edwin HORTON, John H. Noyes.

      Present Business Interests. -- According to Thompson's Gazetteer "a furnace was erected in this town as early as 1792, by a Mr. KEITH, of Boston. In 1839 a forge was erected" which made about 500 pounds of bar iron per day. The late history of the iron industry here is as follows: On the 4th of March, 1880, a company was duly incorporated at Hartford, Conn., for the purpose of manufacturing iron from the ore found in Chittenden, with a capital stock of $2,500,000, divided into 25,000 shares at $100 each. Four directors were chosen, as follows; J. J. SALTERY, of Pittsfield, Vt., president; Harvey K. FLAGLER, of Boston, secretary and treasurer; Edward L. CHAFFEE and Charles W. BOUTWELL, directors. Operations for the development of the ore deposits were commenced March 29, 1880. Buildings for crushing and concentrating the ores, with necessary machinery, were erected, roads made from the mines through the valleys to the coal kilns and other sections connected with the works. The property owned by the White River Iron Company, consisting of about 100 acres, was purchased, all bearing the ore in its different stratifications, and covered with a fine growth of timber. The ore is mostly quarried and brought to the reduction works for crushing and separating. It is then ready for use at the furnace, which has six fires; it will produce about ten tons of blooms or billets per day, allowing an average of two tons of concentrated ore to one ton of metallic iron, at a cost of about $35 per ton, including freight to Bethel. The products of the above mentioned arc charcoal blooms and billets, especially adapted to a fine grade of steel, by the open-hearth furnace, or by the use of the crucible, for fine tool-steel, etc. The company suspended operations on the 8th of November, 1882, and H. C. WILSON, of Pittsfield, was appointed overseer of the mines. The present extent of this mining company's possessions are about 3,000 acres of timber land, all in Chittenden. The name of the new company was "The Pittsfield Iron and Steel Company," which was changed to the present name of the Tweed River Company in 1884. The new president is William G. BELL, of Boston. J. J. SALTERY, the former president, was obliged to withdraw. The mine is situated over the mountain, near the Pittsfield line. In addition to the machinery here erected, a boarding-house was built which will accommodate seventy of the employees, and another boarding-house and seven or eight small tenement houses were erected between the mines and HAYES's mill. Preparations are now in progress for a re-opening of business at an early day.

      Saw-Mills. -- The mill now operated and owned by L. E. ATWOOD was built about the year 1850, by D. P. WESTCOTT. The present proprietor bought it about three years ago of BROWN Brothers. John LEFFERT's saw-mill was built about 1850 by David WOOD and Hiram BAIRD; after continuing in partnership with BAIRD for several years, WOOD assumed entire control of the property. The next proprietors were ADAMS Brothers, of Massachusetts, followed by SPAWN & HERMITS. SPAWN succeeded HERMITS, and LEFFERT obtained it of SPAWN. It is now operated by steam. The mill now owned by Aaron CONGDON was built by Cyrus HEWITT about 1853. Mr. HEWITT bought it of J. & A. BAIRD in the fall of 1881. The mill now owned by T. B. & M. L. CHEEDLE was built about 1855 or 1860. NAYLOR & Co.'s mill was built by David WHITMORE more than twenty years ago. The CHAPLIN saw-mill, so called, was built about 1860. For a time it was operated by John PRICE, and later by Horace COATS and Ira CHAPLIN. The present owner and operator is Riley V. ALLEN.

      There is no distinctive grist-mill in town. NAYLOR & Co. have one run of stone in the basement of their saw-mill.

      Mercantile. -- There are but two stores in town, both situated in Slab City. H. F. NOYES, dealer in general merchandise, began here in the spring of 1875. The first two years of this time he occupied a part of the present hotel building. He erected his present store on leaving the hotel.

      M. G. BROWN, druggist and general merchant, began business alone in his present building in 1877. From 1872 to 1874 he ran a general store in company with Paul CLARK. In the fall of 1885 he enlarged and improved his old store to its present commodious proportions.

      Landon House. -- This hotel, the only one in town, was erected about the year 1858, and occupied for a number of years by Addison SPAWN as a store and tavern. Being taken ill, he rented it to Calvin SITTERLEY, of Albany, who died in about two years. M. G. BROWN then occupied it about two years for mercantile purposes and was succeeded in the occupancy by H. F. NOYES. About the year 1877 it came into the hands of Walter LANDON, of Rutland, who rented it for a time to Henry STONE, of the same place. In April, 1879, the present proprietor, Wolcott B. WING, bought of LANDON.

      Post-Office. -- Joseph PARKER, the first postmaster of Chittenden, received the appointment in 1841, and remained in the office until about 1850. Daniel NOYES was his successor. John N. HORTON followed NOYES and was followed by Francis L. WING. The post-office was in the store of Brown & Clark in 1872 and 1873. H. F. NOYES, the present incumbent, followed them.

      Ecclesiastical. -- About the year 1810 a society was organized here by the Episcopal Methodists of the town, but owing to dissensions among the members, the society soon disbanded, and the presiding elder, DRAPER, burned the class-book and society records. From that time until 1831 the church attendants in town united with the Congregationalists of Pittsford. During this year the Episcopal Methodists organized another society and erected a church, and in 1832 the Congregationalists erected an edifice, but both of their societies are now extinct. There are now two societies in town of recent origin, the Second Adventists, who occupy the Methodist edifice in Slab City, and the Congregationalists, who worship at Forge Flats.

      Following are the town officers of Chittenden, elected in March, 1885: N. D. PARKER, town clerk and treasurer; John MCCORMICK, W. W. OSGOOD, William MULLIN, selectmen; William MULLIN, overseer of the poor; Edwin HORTON, first constable and collector of taxes; Eugene BARNARD, second constable; Dayton POWELL, Ernest J. PERRY, C. R. HOLDEN, listers; Dayton POWELL, trustee of public money; R. V. ALLEN, L. I. WINSLOW, W. O. BAUD, auditors; Dayton POWELL, James MCIVER, Samuel BARBER, fence viewers; Amos BAIRD, R. O. DOW, town grand jurors; Royal WETMORE, N. D. PARKER, pound-keepers; James MCIVER, inspector of wood and lumber; N. D. PARKER, agent to prosecute and defend; superintendent of schools, R. V. ALLEN; sextons (in parts of the town where they respectively live), E. MILLER, L. I. WINSLOW, John TARBLE, Dan BARNARD ; grand jurors for the box, William MULLIN, R. K. BAIRD, Will D. BEEBE, Amos BAIRD, James WHITE, Fayette CLARK; petit jurors, Danforth BROWN, John CONGDON, C. R. HOLDEN, Ernest ATWOOD, Royal WETMORE, W. B. WING, James CASEY, Henry ELLIOTT.

      The following figures are suggestive as showing the growth in population since 1791: 1791, 159; 1800, 327; 1810, 446; 1820, 528; 1830, 610; 1840, 644; 1850, 675; 1860, 763; 1870, 802; 1880, 1,092.

History of Rutland County Vermont: with Illustrations & 
Biographical Sketches of Some of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers
Edited by H. Y. Smith & W. S. Rann
Syracuse, N. Y.
D. Mason & Co., Publishers 1886
CHAPTER XXIII.
History of the Town of Chittenden
(Pages - 547-553)

Transcribed by Karima, 2002



 
Childs' Gazetteer of the Town of Chittenden, Rutland County, VT., 1881-82
Childs' Business Directory of the Town of Chittenden, Rutland  County, VT., 1881-82