lies in the northeastern corner of the county, and is bounded on the north
by Whiting in Addison county; on the east by Brandon; on the south by Hubbardton,
and on the west by Orwell in Addison county, and a part of Benson.
It was chartered by Benning
Wentworth, governor of New Hampshire, on the 6th of August, 1761, and contained
13,426 acres. The surface is mountainous and broken and is made a watershed
by a range of hills which extend north and south through the town, sending
the waters on the eastern slope into Otter Creek, and on the western side
into Lake Champlain. The soil is generally a rich loam, well adapted to
the production of wheat, oats, rye, buckwheat, Indian corn, potatoes and
hay. The numerous valleys of the streams abound in excellent farming lands,
and the more hilly regions afford the best of pasturage for sheep and cattle.
Many smaller streams, and a portion of Otter Creek which enters the northeastern
corner of the town and flows for some distance along the eastern boundary,
constitute the drainage. The scenery is diversified by the hills and forests
not only, but by numerous handsome ponds, notably High, Burr and Huff Ponds,
and Lake Hortonia. The last named sheet of water is in the southwest part
of the town, extending into
and is about two miles in length by half a mile in width.
Immediately after the
granting of the town in 1761, the host of land speculators commenced the
purchase and sale of land in Sudbury in the hope of creating an interest
that would increase the price of real property in town. As early as 1763,
land situated within the present limits of the town was transferred by
deed from Benjamin FOX, of Nottingham, in the province of New Hampshire,
"Yoeman," to Thomas TOSH, of New Market, in the same province. The name
Benoni FARRAND appears at this early date in many of the land records as
"town clerk," and continues at various intervals to appear thus until 1791
-- over a period of twenty-eight years. No complete explanation of this
seems to be obtainable, though it is naturally conjectured that in his
signatures he persisted in stating his official title as clerk of some
town which was his ante-revolutionary residence. He was certainly one of
the earliest settlers in town, and a man of considerable prominence.
Among the other names
of persons appearing to have settled in town by 1789 are those of Platt
KETCHAM, Aaron JACKSON, Simon GOODWARD, Joshua TRACY, Jeremiah GATES and
John HALL. The earliest record extant of a regular meeting for the conduct
of town business is dated January 15, 1789. The earlier leaves of this
book of records are missing, and thus we are unable to state even the date
of the organization of the town.
Sudbury was represented
in the Dorset convention of July 24, 1776, by John GAGE. At this meeting,
however, John HALL was chosen moderator. The other officers are not mentioned.
Some of the earliest officers of the town were as follows: Shaler TOWNER,
John GAGE, Zebina SANDERS, fence viewers; John RICKE, William BUCK, Jeremiah
STONE, Joseph WARNER, William PALMER, Timothy MILLER, surveyors of highways;
John HALE, esq., sealer of weights and measures; at a meeting held on the
2d of May, 1793, Benoni FARRAND, Timothy MILLER and Joseph WARNER were
chosen a committee to hire preaching. FARRAND at this time was town clerk.
One of the earliest settlers
in Sudbury was Noah MERRITT. He came to Brandon immediately after the close
of the War of the Revolution. He was in the battle of Bunker Hill, and
was one of the nine last men to leave they fort. He there received a ball
in the instep which knocked off the buckle from his shoe. He was in many
of the principal battles of the Revolution, and was one of the guards over
Major ANDRE on the night before the execution. He married Eunice METCALF,
of Templeton, Mass., and, as soon as the war was over, he and his wife
and child (Noah D.) made the journey from Templeton to Brandon, Vt., in
winter. A single ox drew them and their effects all the way in six weeks.
They lived in Brandon for four years and then moved to Sudbury. He died
in 1842, and his wife survived him until 1845, when she died at the age
of ninety-four years. The farm which he occupied was in the east part of
the town, called "Spunkhole."
Thomas KETCHAM, born
February 8, 1748, immigrated from Duchess county, N. Y., to Sudbury at
a very early date. Major Barnard KETCHAM, one of his sons, married a daughter
of Aaron JACKSON, another early settler. Thomas KETCHAM died on the 19th
of May, 1834.
Benoni GRIFFIN, from
Simsbury, Conn, came to Castleton, whence in 1799 he removed to Sudbury
and settled on the farm now owned by his son, Benoni, jr. The house still
stands which he built more than eighty years ago. There was a house on
the place when Mr. GRIFFIN came, built some time before b. Andrew GATES,
who owned several hundred acres of land in this vicinity.
The old military road,
elsewhere described, traverses this town in a north-westerly direction,
from the southeast to the northwest corners. Near this road on the farm
of Mr. GRIFFIN is a famous spring of clear cold water, called "Cold Spring."
It is related that on one occasion a party of Indians passed through the
town with two prisoners, one of whom was very large and the other very
small. The larger one was afflicted with a sore foot, upon which his red
captives, out of pure malice, would jump and stamp. This so exasperated
his small companion that he warned them in not very choice language that
it would not be well for them to attempt the same experiment with him;
at this one of them, stung by his taunts, attempted it, and was immediately
knocked down by the plucky little fellow. This act was loudly applauded
by the discomfited Indian's companions, and the prisoner was molested no
more. They soon after arrived at Cold Spring, and while several of them
were stooped down to drink, the small man suddenly picked up a dog belonging
to the Indians, and from an eminence of several feet, hurled it upon their
heads. For these acts of bravery he was much petted by the Indians and
finally allowed his liberty. A little south of the spring there was once
an Indian camp, where many Indian relics have since been found -- arrow
heads, finished and unfinished, stone pestles for pounding corn, many of
them decorated with antique designs, stone images, etc. Cold Spring is
also the site of an encampment of the Continental army, many relics having
been plowed up, consisting of bayonets, ramrods, knives, and upon one occasion
a large copper camp kettle. It is also related that many years ago, an
old Revolutionary soldier named Enos, journeyed hither from a distant part
of the State just for the purpose of once more drinking from the old spring.
Peter REYNOLDS also came
here in early times, by the way of Otter Creek, traveling on the ice. He
erected a tent on the line between Sudbury and Brandon, subsequently settling
in the latter place. The high water in Brandon drove him out the next spring,
and he crossed the creek on a raft and made Sudbury his home. He was justice
of the peace here for a number of years.
David LAYTON came here
before 1800 and settled on the farm originally cleared by David SMITH,
in the north part of the town. He operated a tannery, manufactured potash
and carried on the trade of hatter for a number of years. In 1804 he adopted
John C. SAWYER, who was born in Brandon in 1800, and on his death, no issue
surviving, the property came into Mr. SAWYER's hands. LAYTON's business
was carried on a little south of the famous "Sawyer Stand," in the early
part of the century a place of wide and pleasing notoriety. It was the
"half-way house" between Brandon and Orwell, and a station on the old stage
road from Vergennes to Whitehall, and from Rutland to Lake Champlain. All
the products of the iron works of Brandon and Pittsford passed through
here on their way to the lake.
Aaron JACKSON's name
appears in the records of 1789 and he certainly resided in town at that
time. Evidence seems to establish as a fact the claim that he built the
first framed house in town, rafting the lumber from Sutherland Falls to
Miller's Bridge, and thence conveying it through the wilderness by "blazed"
trees. He is also accredited with having been the owner of the first oven
in town, wherein was baked bread from the first wheat grown in Sudbury,
and of having made the first cheese made in town. He entered the Continental
army at the age of sixteen years in company with his father and a still
younger brother. They took part in the battle of Bunker Hill.
Captain PEARSE settled
in early days on the farm now owned by M. H. LANDON. His old log-house
stood just back of the present site of the barn.
Charles YOUNG immigrated
to Sudbury about the year 1805, from Athol, Mass., and settled on the farm
now owned by his son. Timothy MILLER was from Massachusetts and settle,
in 1771, on the farm now owned by Andrew STEELE. He afterwards located
at the west end of what is now known as Miller's Bridge, where he built
a log house, in which he resided three years. During the Revolution the
Indians became so troublesome that he, in common with the then few inhabitants
of the town, retreated to some more thickly-settled part of the country
and did not return until after the Revolution. He was justice of the peace
for many years; he died in 1825 at the age of seventy-five years.
Isaac HUFF came to Sudbury
from Nine Partners, N. Y., in 1790, being then in his forty-sixth year.
The first year he resided on land covered in later days by Steele's cider-mill;
meanwhile he cleared land or premises now occupied by his grandsons, and
erected a log house there in which he dwelt until 1812, when he built a
framed house near the old one. He died in 1821.
Gideon MORTON was born
in Orwell, Addison county, in 1789, and died on the 2d of April, 1870,
in Sudbury. He came here in the early part of the present century and settled
on the farm now occupied by Solon BRESEE. Here he resided until 1843, when
he removed to the farm now occupied by his son, Benjamin L. MORTON. Gideon
MORTON was probably the first physician in Sudbury.
Reuben ALLEN came to
Sudbury also at an early date, and started for Plattsburg during the war
of 1812, although he was much too old for military service.
Deacon Eli ROYS cleared
the farm now occupied by C. C. SELLECK in 1790. He was a famous trapper
and hunter, and it is related he once caught a wolf on the site of the
Joseph WARNER came here
as early as 1789, and attained at once a prominence which he never afterwards
relinquished. He and his sons, John L., Jason, Fordyce, Joseph, Hiram,
Warren and Almon, manufactured potash in the middle of the town and ran
a store near the ashery. Judge WARNER also kept a tavern in the northeast
part of the town, on Sudbury Hill; he was one: of the most prominent men
in the town. He represented Sudbury in the Constitutional Convention of
1791 and 1792, and in the General Assembly from 1805 until 1822. He was
assistant county judge of the Rutland County Court in 1821-24, and councilor
in 1821 and 1822. Joseph WARNER, jr., was a merchant in town after his
father until 1832, when he became cashier of the bank in Middlebury, which
position he retained until his death.
Roger BURR was born November
t, 1755, in Athol, Mass., whence he came to Sudbury about the year 1773,
and settled on the farm now occupied by his grandson, Mason BURR. He built
a log house on the ground now used on the old homestead as a garden. His
wife, Jennie RICH, was born July 20, 1762. They came from Athol on horseback.
They had seven children, of whom Asahel, father to Mason, was the third.
Asahel BURR was born on the 8th of July, 1793, and died here at the age
of ninety years and ten months.
Roger BURR built the
first mill in town in 1784. Its work was done, of course, with the old-fashioned
"up-and-down" saw. The building is still, standing on the farm, although
it has been once rebuilt. There was then no grist-mill in town and the
family flour consisted of pounded corn. Before 1810 Mr. BURR erected a
cider-mill, and from the accounts taken from an old journal which he kept,
and which contains, among others, the names of John HURLBERT, Asa SMITH,
Elisha SMITH, Noah MERRITT, Thomas WHITE, John RANSOM, Nahum CLARK, Alvin
GRISWOLD and Walker RUMSEY, it can be seen that it was customary to buy
apples at six cents per bushel and make cider for ten cents per barrel.
Mason BURR was born on
the 23d of October, 1822, in the house he now occupies. He has a curious
relic in his possession, in the shape of two human skeletons found buried
on the BURR farm, which, from the mode of burial and structural evidences,
have been pronounced the remains of an Indian and squaw. In view of the
fact that there have been no Indians in Sudbury since the Revolutionary
War, it is easy to conjecture them the victims either of a White man's
wrath or of disease of more than a hundred years ago. When first exhumed
the skeletons were in a perfect state of preservation, every bone and joint
being still in its proper place, and every tooth complete and perfect.
Exposure to the air, however, has softened and displaced them so that they
are no longer anything but a mass of almost indistinguishable bones.
The first tavern in town
was kept by a Mr. MILLS in the latter part of the last century, and sold
in 1801 to Pitt W. HYDE. He was born in Norwich, Coon., December 29, 1776,
and was the fifth son of Captain Jedediah HYDE by his first wife, Mary
WATERMAN. The family originally came from England. Before 1801 Pitt William
HYDE was all inn-keeper in Hyde Park, Vt., and gave that place its name.
On the 19th of October, 1796, he married Mary KILBOURNE, of Litchfield,
Conn. He died May 29, 1823. James Kilbourne HYDE, father of the present
proprietor of Hyde Manor, was born on the 19th of November, 1801, at Morristown,
Conn., and was brought to Sudbury in the same year. On the 15th of February,
1824, he married Lavinia GAGE, and continued the hotel until he died, September
21, 1870. This house, both under Pitt W. HYDE and the Hon. James K. HYDE,
was one of the most celebrated hostelries in New England, situated as it
was at a convenient resting-place on the old stage route between Canada
and Northern Vermont, and Whitehall and Rutland. Hyde's hotel became widely
known, not only for the excellence of the fare and the comfort which the
very rafters of the house seemed to shed upon all guests, but also for
the genial welcome extended to all alike, the rich and the well-dressed,
and the poor and humble. James K. HYDE was also town clerk for thirty years,
and justice of the peace thirty-four years. He represented the town in
the General Assembly in 1833, 1834, 1835 and 1840, and was senator from
Rutland county in 1850 and 1851. He was elected assistant judge of the
Rutland County Court in 1869.
Arunah Waterman HYDE,
the present proprietor of the hotel, son of James K. HYDE, was born May
14th, 1842; married on the 3d of January, 1866, to Miss Elizabeth EDDY,
of Whitehall, N. Y. In 1862 the old hotel was destroyed by fire, and the
present house erected by James K. HYDE in 1865. A. W. HYDE has had the
entire management of the business in his hands since that time. The hotel
has capacity to accommodate two hundred guests. The Hyde Manor fame as
a perfect resort for families with children has long been established.
Mr. HYDE well sustains the reputation of the family name for genialty and
heartiness, and will undoubtedly educate his only son, James K. HYDE (born
March 14, 1874), to carry on the business for the fourth generation.
With reference to the
early condition of the town, Colonel H. H. MERRITT, now of Brandon, briefly
gives the following information: In 1820 there was a grist-mill in the
north part of the town, with one run of stone; there was no distillery
here, the nearest one being operated by Mr. BRESEE, of Hubbardton. Judge
WARNEr's ashery, store and tavern have already been mentioned. David LAYTON
had an ashery in the north part of the town. Isaac HUFF and Roger BURR
ran the only saw-mills in town, the one at the outlet of Huff's Pond, and
the other at the outlet of Burr's Pond.
THE WAR OF THE GREAT REBELLION
To prove that Sudbury
did her share in the war of the Rebellion, the following names alone will
Volunteers for three
years credited previous to the call for 300,000 volunteers of October 17,
1863. -- Peter BAKER, Schuyler BAKER, 2d bat.; Tuffel BROTHER, co. L, 11th
regt.; Nathaniel BUCKLIN, co. H, 5th regt.; John M. CHASE, co. L, 11th
regt.; Charles V. COOL, co. H, 5th regt.; Lewis GONYAW, Erskine S. GRAVES,
11th regt.; Mason K. GOODELL, 2d bat.; Anthony JACOBS, Milton LANDEN, James
F. LILLIE, co. H, 5th regt.; Alonzo MARTIN, co. B, 7th regt.; Franklin
MERCHANT, co. H, 5th regt.; Julius K. MORGAN, co. K, 2d regt.; Henry J.
NICHOLS, co. C, 11th regt.; Julius REIVERS, 2d bat.; Charles M. SHAW, 5th
regt.; James L. SLASON, John C. Slason, co. B, 9th regt.; Alphonzo F. Smith,
co. C,.; t 11th regt.; Edward H. SMITH, co. H, 5th regt.; James SULLIVAN,
co. M, 11th regt.; Julius M. WALACE, John N. WELCH, co. H, 5th regt.
Credits under call of
October 17, 1862, for 300,000 volunteers and subsequent calls. Volunteers
for three years. -- Augustus P. CHASE, co. E, 11th regt.; Luther GROVER,
co. K, 2d regt.; Moses C. HUNT, Frank J. MAYHEW,; Clarence MCARTHUR, 2d
bat.; Julius S. MORGAN, co. K, 2d regt.; Daniel SMITH, Erasmus D. THOMPSON,
2d bat.; Charles C. WARD, co. H, 5th regt.
Volunteers for one year.
-- Alva M. ALLEN, Rial F. CART, 11th regt.; William R. DERBY, co. B, 8th
regt.; Volney W. JENKS, co. F, 1st s. s.; Wallace SAWYER, Harrison M. WILLIAMS,
co. H, 5th regt.
-- Nathaniel BUCKLIN, Charles V. COOL, Jonathan LARRABEE, James F. LILLIE,
co. H, 5th regt.; Peter MAY, George OAKLAND, Julius RIVERS, 2d bat.; Charles
M. SHAW, co. H, 5th regt.; Morrill SHEPPARD, 2d bat,; John N. WELCH, co.
H, 5th regt.
Volunteers for nine months.
-- Abram C. ACKERMAN, Lorenzo G. BARRETT, Albert F. BURR, David W. CLARK,
William GOODROW, Martin KETCHUM, German LANDEN, Charles P. MORTON, co.
G, 12th regt.; Harrison T. PETTEE, Sherrard SAWYER, Charles C. WARD, John
L. WOOD, co. G, 12th regt.
Furnished under draft
and paid commutations. -- Franklin T. LANDEN. Procured substitute. -- Edward
The first Congregational
Church of Sudbury was organized in 1803, with Silas PERSONS for its first
pastor. Land was soon afterwards donated by Apollos ROLLO, and the church
edifice was erected in 1807. The church property is valued at about $1,500.
A great many deaths have depleted the membership of the church in later
years, so that the present membership is very light. The present pastor,
Rev. Mr. GROUT, has passed fifteen years of his ministerial life in Africa.
He came to Sudbury in June, 1885.
The first postmaster
within the memory of living men was Joseph WARNER, who kept the office
near the ashery. The present postmaster, N. A. BUCKLIN, was appointed in
1879, as successor to R. W. PITTS, who had held the office for fifteen
or twenty years. Jefferson GOODRICH preceded him. Mr., BUCKLIN has had
a general store here since the year 1878.
The following table shows
the variation in population which has fallen to the lot of Sudbury since
the year 1791: 1791, 258; 1800, 521; 1810, 754; 1820, 809; 1830, 812; 1840,
766; 1850, 794; 1860, 606; 1870, 601; 1880, 562.
of Rutland County Vermont With Illustrations And Biographical Sketches
of Some of Its Prominent Men And Pioneers
by H. Y. Smith & W. S. Rann
& Co., Publishers 1886
Of The Town Of Sudbury
by Karima, 2002
Business Directory of the Town of Sudbury, Rutland County, VT., 1881-82
History of the Town of Sudbury, Rutland County, VT., 1881-82