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      Let us see what J. A. GRAHAM, LL. D., "late lieutenant-colonel in the service," of Vermont, and the first lawyer in Rutland, had to say of the place before 1795: 

       "Rutland is a shire town, and the capital of the County of the same name; it lies on Otter Creek, between Killington and Ira Mountains; It is distant from Bennington about sixty miles, and is divided into two parishes, called East and West Rutland. On the East side is the main street, three miles in length, the centre of which, for near a mile, lies high, straight and level, and much resembles Dartford.

       "In the centre is a square, containing about five English acres, known by the name of Federal-Square (which name I had the honour to give it); in front of this, on the east side, stands a new Court-House, built of wood, by no means an ornament to the place, owing to the bad taste, and want of judgment in architecture of the Committee appointed to lay out the money, which was raised by voluntary contribution, for the purpose of erecting this building. In this are held the sessions of the General Assembly (established here and at Windsor alternately), the District Court under the Federal Government, the Supreme Court of the State, the Courts of Common Pleas, and the Court of Probate for the district of Rutland. The Goal stands about one hundred rods south of Federal Square, on the West side of the main street; it is a good building and answers every purpose for which it was designed. About half a mile North of the Court-House, is a neat Church. On each side of the Square, and Main street, are built some handsome and elegant houses; particularly on the East side, are several which draw the attention of all travellers -- the largest of these was intended for the residence of the bishop of Vermont.

       "The upland is filled with lime-stone, the low lands abound with clay. The intervale lands on the Creek are of a deep rich soil, and produce excessive crops of hay, and Indian corn; but, unfortunately for the husbandman, the Indian corn is often cut off by the frosts. The uplands produce wheat, rye, oats, barley, beans, peas, hemp, and flax. About half a mile from the Court-House, in the main street, a Silver Mine has lately been discovered, said to be of great value; but for the truth of this I cannot pretend to be answerable; though beyond doubt there is a Copper Mine in the vicinity; and there are great quantities of iron ore near Rutland. There are two great falls of water here, known by the names of Medes's and Sotherland's Falls, on each of which are corn and saw-mills. Mr. OSGOOD, in the year 1794, erected, on Otter Creek, the best corn-mills in the County. Here also is a Printing Office, an Oil Mill, a Hat Manufactory, a large Brewery, and a Manufactory of Nails. The water is conveyed from the mountains in wooden pipes, laid about two feet under ground. Every material for building, except glass and paint, are made here. The principal timber is pine, maple, hemlock, and birch. Pot and pearl ash are made in great abundance. The wolf and bear often descend from the East mountains, and do much damage, destroying the sheep and corn. The value of the land is from twenty shillings to sixty pounds an acre. The number of inhabitants about sixteen hundred, emigrated from England, Ireland, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and the State of New York."

      The above forms a most interesting and, doubtless, a tolerably correct picture of the town of Rutland and the little village of that remote day, and is a basis for the subsequent history that should not be ignored.

      In many respects the site of the village of Rutland is not surpassed in general adaptation and beauty of situation and surroundings by that of any village in the State. The older part, which Mr. GRAHAM has described, stretches in length from north to south over a gracefully rounded low hill, which is in reality a foot-hill of the Green Mountains. This hill slopes off westward to the valley of Otter Creek, and down this slope and on the level lands at its foot is "thickly built the newer and now most active part of the village. Towering heavenward on the east are the majestic peaks of Killington, Shrewsbury and Pico, forming part of the Green Mountain Range, and west of Otter Creek stretch the less important Taconic Range, their sides covered with forests from the peaks downward to near their feet, where are interspersed the cultivated fields and thrifty-looking farm-houses that characterize the better parts of this county. In summer days this valley and its environs form a scene of grandeur and picturesque loveliness that is seldom equaled, even by the lavish hand of nature.

      According to Mr. GRAHAM's further statements, "Doctor WILLIAMS, Mr. MATTOCKS, Mr. SMITH, Mr. BUELL, Mr. BELL, Mr. OSGOOD, Messrs. CHIPMANS, Messrs. WILLIAMS, are the leading people of the town." He then proceeds to pay a high tribute to the learning and character of Samuel WILLIAMS, LL. D. Of Nathaniel CHIPMAN he says: "Mr. N. CHIPMAN is one of the first Law characters in the State. He has been District Judge, and Chief Judge of the Supreme Court. Mr. Darius CHIPMAN is a good lawyer, assiduous and persevering in his profession, a gentleman of wit and humour, and a most agreeable companion.

       "Mr. MATTOCKS is treasurer of the State, which office he discharges to the universal satisfaction of the people. Mr. SMITH was educated at the University of Connecticut, and was bred to the Law; he is a good scholar, conversant ink special pleadings, and is now a representative from the State, in Congress manners are mild, modest, and agreeable.

       "Mr. BUELL is a practitioner at the Bar, and much merit is due to him for his ambition and perseverance in the objects of his pursuit, the more so perhaps for his devoting himself to a laborious profession, while nature has endowed him with great original talents for Poetry, the fascinating charms of which few minds have sufficient resolution to withstand. 

       "Mr. Bell [Jonathan Bell noticed in a previous page], is High Sheriff of the County, a gentleman of the strictest honour and veracity, has a tenacious memory, and I can with propriety declare he is better informed in point of the local business, and the true situation of individuals, in the different counties, than any person in the Commonwealth."

      Mr. GRAHAM then pays a very eulogistic tribute to Mr. Stephen WILLIAMS, who was one of the selectmen of the town in 1795-96 and '97. We find no records further of this pioneer. In connection with a high testimonial to the character of Rev. Lemuel HAYES, Mr. GRAHAM concludes his notes on this town by stating that "on the West side of the town, the farmers are better husbandmen than those on the Fast, and raise the best wheat, butter and cheese; great quantities of wheat they send off to foreign markets."

      With the early settlers in the immediate vicinity of the site of Rutland village and their locations, the reader has already been made familiar. Among these pioneers he has learned also that there were many men of strong character, a large measure of general intelligence and vigorous energy and enterprise that enabled them to accomplish important work in the new community. This site, as we have endeavored to show, wits a prominent one, although it is generally believed that the situation al Center Rutland offered better advantages as the site of a village than this; and it is probable that if the owners of the land in that vicinity in early days had not held it at so high a figure, the larger business center of the county would have been located at that point.

      The village of Rutland in early days, as indicated by Mr. GRAHAM's description, and indeed down to about the year 1846, was built almost entirely on Main street and West street. Green street and Woodstock avenue are old highways, but aside from these all the streets in the village have been opened since the year named. Previous to that time from near the top of the hill on West street to the creek there were only four houses -- the RUGGLES houses (three in number) and Chipman THRALL's. The old State-house, now the oldest building in the village, was erected about the year 1775, and there the courts were held from 1784 to 1792, having been held previous to 1784 and after the county organization in 1781, at Tinmouth. The building then comprised only two rooms, one having a floor and the other none. The west end contained the court-room, with a floor and seats on the north side, a little elevated, for the judges, and benches for the jurors, witnesses and spectators. The east end had no floor and was used miscellaneously for other public purposes. The first jail was built of logs and stood a few yards northwest of the court-house; this was used but for a few years, when the stone jail on Main street (now the residence of George E. LAWRENCE) was erected. There is much of historic interest attaching to the old State-house, as it has come to be known. It was there that the first United States District Court held in Vermont convened, on the first Monday in May, 1791, with Nathaniel CHIPMAN as judge, and Frederick HILL, clerk. The State Legislature met there in 1784 and 1786, alternating with Windsor, and in 1786 the old structure was for a brief period in control of the anti-court mob.

     
    On the corner where DANIELS & BELL were for years prominent merchants of the place (now occupied by the store of G. W. HILLIARD) was a building erected previous to 1795 by John A. GRAHAM, from whose book we have quoted; parts of the old structure are incorporated in the present building. Just south of this stood the old FRANKLIN House, for years one of the most popular hostelries in the county. The Herald was then published at what was known as the old Fox place, on Main street, and a bookstore kept in connection with the office, as was customary in early years. In the old numbers of the Herald we look for advertisements of the early business of the village; but find little to enlighten us until after the beginning of the present century. In numbers of the paper for the year 1797 is an advertisement signed Elias BUELL, who offered for sale for ready pay, "an elegant Mansion House forty-four by thirty-four feet, Beautifully situate fronting the Square in Rutland," etc. " The premises are well situate for a Merchant, or public house for which it is now licensed."

      Trobridge MAYNARD was a saddler, probably about the first in the town, and advertised in 1796 for "a smart active boy about fourteen years of age to learn the business." He died in 1801, aged only thirty-four years. James DAVISS and William LEADWELL were clothiers in 1795 and in January called for d "a couple of likely good journeymen taylors." Joseph MUNN kept the tavern near the court-house (the Franklin), and CRAFTS & INGALLS came out in 1796 with a column announcement of their general mercantile business "adjoining MUNN's tavern." William HALE was a cabinet-maker " too rods west of the State house, Rutland," in 1796, and about that time the partnership between Ralph POMEROY and Daniel PARSONS was dissolved, and soon afterwards Mr. POMEROY became associated with "Dr." Thomas HOOKER, as merchants; Mr. HOOKER was a prominent business man before the beginning of the present century, and lived on the east side of Main street north of the DANIELS & BELL store; in 1795 we find him advertising that he had "just received from London a large and general assortment of drugs, medicines," etc. The firm of POMEROY & HOOKER was a prominent one for some time and they probably ,e added groceries to their stock. Mr. HOOKER died in April, 1836, at the age of sixty-six years. In 1795 William STOREY was a silversmith and Sampson LADD a carpenter and joiner; both of them called for an apprentice in that year. Eben MUSSEY, who has already been mentioned among the pioneers of the town, dealt in leather, etc., half a mile south of the court-house, Rutland, and advertised "well-tanned sole and upper leather, skins and Boot Legs of superior quality;" he died in 1841, aged seventy-seven years. In the same year we learn that Messrs. PEPOON, FULLER & Co., "have for sale at their store next door to the old Corner Tavern in Rutland, now kept by Captain LESTER, an assortment of dry goods, groceries, crockery and hardware." This firm was probably successor to John GOVE and Ozias FULLER; in 1796 the firm became Silas PEPOON & Co., the company being Silas WHITNEY. In June, 1795, Elijah TAYLOR made the public announcement that he "has opened a tavern at the house lately occupied by Major BUELL, in Rutland." Issacher REED was a merchant at this time, "a few rods east of the meeting house," and in July, 1795, offered for sale a "store lately occupied by Mr. LEWIS, a few rods north of the court-house." He for years kept REED's Hotel on West street. Eleazer WHEELOCK was a well-known resident of the village and was here as early as 1795, in which year he was engaged in delivering newspapers on what he termed his "northern ride;" in later years he owned the hotel now known as the Brock House; Mr. WHEELOCK subsequently became prominent in the large staging business that was carried on for many years, and died in 1841. One of the principal lines was from Albany to Burlington, passing through several of the towns of the county; another came in from Boston and another from Rutland to Whitehall. Rutland and Castleton were the prominent stage headquarters of this county. Mr. WHEELOCK's daughter became the wife of Dr. James PORTER. John and William SMITH were blacksmiths here in 1795, and in the same year David STEVENS, "late of Walpole, N. H.," advertised the opening of "the boot and shoe-making business a few rods north of the meeting-house, East Parish, Rutland;" he also carried on a small tanning and currying business; he adds to his card, "if distance renders it inconvenient to Pay when the work is done, Credit will be given till the first of Sleighing;" which was certainly a fair proposal. Ralph PAGE was a clothier and merchant "one mile west of the court-ouse." Abel PAGE, an early settler, long kept tavern where Nicholas DAVIS now lives on West street; afterwards kept by Alanson DYER. Mr. PAGE was grandfather of Mrs. General CUSTER, He removed west many years ago, and died in Michigan. Jonas and Anthony BUTLER were merchants. Joseph ATLEY was a distiller here in very early years, and it is probable that it was his distillery which John A. GRAHAM alluded to as a "large brewery;" for it is doubtful if there was a brewery of any kind here then. Uri HILL did the house and sign painting for the little village, and as evidence that the light accomplishments were not neglected it is announced that Aug. St. Paul had opened a dancing school in Rutland and Middlebury; the sessions in Rutland being held at the houses of Nathaniel GOVE and " landlord MUNN." The Herald was then printed by J. KIRKALDIE. His son David lived at Center Rutland and and was a mail carrier in early life; later he lived just east of the site of the BARDWELL house; he died in 1853.

      In connection with this account of early mercantile operations, it will be of interest to give the following incident, related by the venerable R. R. THRALL:

      He thinks that one of the first stocks of goods in the village was owned by one of the OSGOODS and was sold from the house then occupied by Captain David TUTTLE, which stands on the west side of Main street -- the only double house on the street. At the time the goods were placed on sale the house was in process of building. The chamber was occupied by a clergyman, and when he was absent on Sundays, a woman who also lived in the house, or a part of it, would go up stairs, take up one of the loose boards which then constituted the chamber floor, let her boy down through to the store-room by a rope, where he helped himself to such of the goods as she directed. The boy was arrested for the theft, and when his mother upbraided him for stealing he replied, "Mother, you taught me to steal."He afterward went to South America, and it is believed was there executed for murder. William PAGE, father of John B. PAGE received a letter from him to the effect that if his father or mother was alive he wanted them to know of his fate.

      In the year 1784 the Legislature of Vermont established five post-offices in the State, at Bennington, Brattleboro, Windsor, Newbury and Rutland. Anthony HASWELL was then postmaster-general. The office in this place continued under State administration until the State became a member of the Union in 1791, when it passed under control of the United States government. Frederick hill was the first postmaster of Rutland after the change. (See later pges).

      In the year 1804 the State Legislature met for the last time in Rutland; it has already been stated that the sessions of 1784 and 1786 were held here. In 1790 it met at Castleton; 1792 in Rutland and continued its sessions here until and including 1797. In 1808 the State-house was erected at Montpelier and that became the permanent headquarters of the State government.

      The growth of the village was not rapid for many years. The commercial demands of the surrounding country were limited to the necessities of the farmers, which were very small compared with those of the same number of modern families. The potash and pearlash manufacture was one of considerable importance in the early years and provided a means of exchange between farmers and merchants at a time when money was very scarce; the land had to be cleared and the forests burned, so that the source of this product was a natural one. G. W. L. DANIELS & Co., successors to James BARREN, jr. & Co., were largely interested in this line of manufacture; they also made brick largely. In the year 1807 we find Zenas ALLEN, of the Tinmouth furnace, advertising potash-kettles for sale. 

      As the farms surrounding the village become more productive and the area of producing lands much larger, the growing of wheat was begun in quantities that left a surplus for foreign market; this surplus gradually increased, and in the course of the succeeding twenty-five years was the chief export from the county and the source of important revenue. Troy and Lansingburgh were the principal markets, previous to 1823, when the Northern Canal was opened, when Whitehall became the market. The little village simply kept pace with the demands of its surroundings. In 1807 Abijah LATHROP took the store which had been occupied since 1804, or earlier, by WELLS & WASHBURN, and kept a general stock of goods. S. PRENTISS was then postmaster. In 1809 the Vermont Courier was published "a few rods south of the court-house," by Thomas POMROY. Messrs. HALL & GREEN then kept a store and there were other insignificant business changes; but nothing of importance occurred in the place for a number of years aside from the great freshet of 1811, which swept away two-thirds of the mills and bridges in the county.

      Coming down to 1820 we find that Miles W. BLANCHARD had removed "from the large building at the head of the West street, to the West side of Main street, one door south of the brick school-house," where he did a saddler's business, carriage-painting and trimming. Silas WARREN & Co. were hatters and sold "ladies' bonnets." Orel COOK had begun his hat manufacturing business. Benjamin BURT was in the bookbinding business, and FAY & BURT were publishing the Herald. Bela PAUL was a shoemaker and PAIGE & JEWELL kept a general store. W. D. SMITH was postmaster. Among the advertisers in the Herald were John CONANT, of Brandon, stoves; BEMAN & MALLARY, Poultney, in the same business; Ben. DIX, general store in Rutland; HARRIS & YOUNG, Poultney, brewery; William & John HALL, general store in Rutland; Caleb HALL, Clarendon, stoves and hollow ware; William ALVORD & Son, Rutland, furniture; and James BARRETT, jr. & Co., showed that they were among the most enterprising merchants by the regular publication of a two column advertisement of their goods. The annual meeting of the "Social Library" was held on the first Monday in March, at GOULD's Hotel; E. W. BISBEE was clerk. The political situation of that period was looked upon by the editor of the Herald as rather novel. "We are on the eve of an important election," said he, "and from general appearances a stranger would hardly mistrust that there were any such privileges amongst us as elections. It can hardly be said that we have any politics or any parties." Whether this condition of affairs was a source of anxiety or of congratulation to the readers of the Herald may be a question.

      The foregoing page shows that the business of the village had materially increased. This fact is also indicated by the incorporation of the Bank of Rutland on the 1st of November, 1824, and the incorporation about that period of several manufacturing companies. On the 25th of October, 1825, the Rutland Iron Manufacturing Company was incorporated by Moses STRONG, Rodney ROYCE, Charles K. WILLIAMS and associates; the capital being placed at $100,000. Several years previously William GOOKIN and Richard GOOKIN, with others, incorporated the "Rutland Cotton Manufacturing Company." In 1836 Moses STRONG, John STRONG, George W. STRONG, Ruel PARKER, Edward DYER and James COLVIN, and associates, incorporated the " Clarendon Manufacturing Company "for making cotton and woolen goods at Clarendon. In the same year William FAY, James BARRETT, jr., Luther DANIELS, William HALL, Aaron BARNES, Alvin TIERNEY, William BARNES, Moses LESTER, William W. FORD, Robert GODDARD, James PORTER, Jared C. BURDICK, incorporated the Rutland East Creek Manufacturing Company, for the making of woolen goods in Rutland. The marble industry, also, began to attract attention and capital, inspiring hopes that have since been more than realized. In 1832 a resolution was passed in the General Assembly that the representatives in Congress, and senators be instructed to use all honorable means to procure the passage of a "law which shall effectually protect our citizens engaged in the manufacture of marble from foreign competition."

      While almost none of the incorporated companies above noticed ever began manufacturing, the bare fact of incorporation shows the spirit of enterprise then existing and the progressive character of the leading men of the village and town.

      In 1836-38 some of the business houses not before mentioned were George T. HODGES and William GILMORE, who had formed a partnership, while DANIELS. & BELL had recently dissolved, Mr. DANIELS continuing alone; A. L. BROWN [Mr. Brown was elected town clerk in 1826 and efficiently performed the duties of that office for period of nearly forty years. He died in 1865. His daughter and a son reside in Rutland.], Alanson MASON and James BARRETT, jr., formed a partnership in the tanning business in Mendon; Gershom CHENEY, 2d, "a few doors north of the Episcopal church, would inform his customers that he has recently so arranged his business in the line of coopering" as to furnish stock at wholesale and retail; the firm comprising Charles BURT and Barnard MCCONNELL, in staple and fancy dry goods, dissolved, and Mr. BURT joined with Lester MASON in the business; John F. KNIGHT carried on tailoring and would take country produce for his goods; James PORTER was a general merchant; in 1838 E. PIERPOINT and William Y. RIPLEY became partners and took "the brick store once occupied by William GOOKIN & Son," for general mercantile business (Center Rutland); Nelson G. HOWARD carried on a general store; WHITE, EVERSON & Co. had book stores in Rutland and Castleton, the firm being William FAY, A. L. BROWN, H: T. WHITE and J. EVERSON; Orel COOK, dealer in hats and caps, had "a leetle the best assortment that he has had for many years"; Alanson DYER called on delinquents to pay for meat, tallow, etc.; CLARK & HARRINGTON were a firm of attorneys, and Jesse GOVE would attend to the business of pensioners, "two doors north of the court-house"; William HALL wanted an apprentice in the saddlery business, and SNELL & WHITNEY were blacksmiths. Thomas J. ORMSBEE was postmaster in place of R. H. WALLER, resigned, in 1836. Between the Papineau war, a predicted war with France, the "bank mania," as it was termed, the approaching financial crisis and the general activity in the political field, it was a stirring period from 1835 to 1838. The Herald, always Whig or Republican, posted the name of Harrison for president, with the Whig ticket senators for Rutland in the names of Robert PIERPOINT, William C. KITTRIDGE and Thomas D. HAMMOND; The Vermont Anti-Slavery Society had become of some importance in politics and held its second annual meeting in 1836 at Middlebury, with Samuel COTTING, a former manufacturer of wire screens, etc., here, as secretary. The local newspapers were over-burdened with political discussions, and the columns of the Herald and the Middlebury Free Press in particular bristled with invective. The Middlebury editor was characterized as "the restless, rattle-headed young man of the Free Press, late of the anti-Masonic party, but now hanging on the skirts of the Van Buren ranks," while he in return speaks of the editor of the Herald as "Grandfather FAY." General Jackson finally signed the Distribution Bill, by which a large sum of surplus revenue was distributed among the various States, giving Vermont nearly half a million dollars, a measure that for a short time caused a feeling of encouragement; but this was soon dispelled, as detailed under the heading of financial interests a little further on.

      At that time Castleton and Clarendon were successfully contesting with Rutland for a right to the title of the most thrifty village in the county. Another important cause of the lack of growth and the more rapid development of the village resources for quite a period was the absence of railroad communication with other prominent business centers. The community felt their isolation seriously, and it was not until a railroad was assured that the place awakened to the fact that it might become one of the most thrifty villages in the State. The people of the village encouraged every movement towards securing railroad transportation. In reference to the Champlain and Connecticut River Railroad (incorporated in November, 1843), a meeting was held in this village on the 3d of March, 1846, at which the following preamble and resolutions were adopted: 


"WHEREAS, It is probable that the whole capital of the said corporation will soon be subscribed and the work upon said road be commenced, and,

"WHEREAS, It is believed that the success of this enterprise will greatly conduce to the interest and prosperity of this town and of its inhabitants, and deserves such aid and encouragement as it is in our power to bestow, therefore, 

"Resolved, That whenever said railroad shall cross any existing highway in this town, the said corporation shall not be required to raise or lower said highway, so that said railroad may pass over the same, but this town will do the same so far as said highway is concerned, without expense to said corporation." 


 
[The above resolution was rescinded in the following year, but it was rather on account of the impracticability of its provisions than from antagonism to the railroad enterprise.]

      The railroads came, as we have detailed in the chapter on the internal improvements of the county, and with them such a marvelous impetus was given to the growth and prosperity of the village as the most sanguine had not anticipated. Meanwhile the village was incorporated, under an act of the Assembly passed November 15, 184. The first section of this act reads as follows:

       "SECTION 1. -- That part of the town of Rutland embraced within the following boundaries to wit: Beginning at the east side of the highway at the northern corner of land owned by Charles K. WILLIAMS; thence east on the north line of the said land, and in that direction too rods; thence due south to the south bank of Moon's Brook; thence west along said bank until it strikes Truman MOULTHROP's land; thence in a straight line to the southeast corner of Jonathan C. THRALL's land; thence north on the east line of said land to the northeast corner of the same; thence due north to the north line of land set off to Lydia FAY, as dower in her husband's estate; thence east on the north line of said land and in that direction to the east side of the highway first mentioned; thence to the first mentioned bounds, shall hereafter be known by the name of the village of Rutland, and the inhabitants of said village are hereby constituted a body politic and corporate with the usual powers incident to public corporations, to be known by the name of the village of Rutland."


These boundaries have since been changed, and are now as follows: 
"Commencing at n point; on the east bank of Otter Creek, where a continuation of Robert MOULTHROP's north line would strike said bank of said creek, at the water's edge at low water mark; thence easterly to the said MOULTHROP's northeast corner ; thence easterly in the same direction to a point due south from the bridge crossing MOON's Brook, on Green street; thence north to a point due east of H. H. BAXTER's northeast corner; thence west to said BAXTER's northeast corner; thence westerly on said BAXTER's north line, and in the same direction to East Creek; thence southwesterly on the east bank of said East Creek to Otter Creek and thence southerly on the east bank of said Otter Creek, to the place of beginning." 
      The village was divided into seven wards in 1856 of which the following were designated as the boundaries: 

Ward 1. -- All of Main street north of the court-house square, including, the streets and roads running east out of it, to the north and east lines of the village.

Ward 2. -- All of the court-house square and all of West street, to and ineluding Wales street. 

Ward 3. -- All of all Main street south of the court-house square, including Green street, to the east and south lines of the village.

Ward 4. -- All of Washington street, including Pleasant, Prospect and Madison streets, to the south line of the village, and west to and including the Bardwell House.

Ward 5. -- All of Merchants Row, from the Bardwell House to West street, and all of the buildings and streets west and north of West street, including all of the territory east of the Rutland and Burlington Railroad track south to the line of the village.

Ward 6. -- All of the remainder of West street from Wales street, including the streets and buildings leading out and south of West street, to the east corner of Merchants Row, and the streets and buildings on the north side of West street, Cottage Place, Grove, Spring and Pine streets to the north line of the village.

Ward 7.  All the streets and buildings situated west and south of the Rutland and Burlington Railroad track, to-wit: east side of Forest and east end of Pierce streets, Franklin, Union, Furnace, Howe, Granger, Brown and Cherry streets, to the south and west lines of the village.

      In January, 1848, the rights and privileges of the "Fire Society," under the total protection of which the village had remained for many years, were relinquished to the new corporation, and a meeting was called for the 5th of January of that year, at the court-house. The meeting was held and Solomon FOOT was made moderator and F. W. HOPKINS, clerk. The officers elected at this meeting were as follows: trustees, George T. HODGES, Robert PIERPOINT, Luther DANIELS, Solomon FOOT, Charles BURT, R. R. THRALL and Moses PERKINS. Fire wardens, James BARRETT, jr., Silas H. HODGES, George W. STRONG, Ephraim BUTTERFIELD, William W. BAILEY, Robert PIERPOINT and Jacob EDGERTON. Treasurer and collector, John B. PAGE. A committee was appointed to report bylaws at the next meeting; it consisted of Silas H. HODGES, Robert PIERPOINT and R. R. THRALL.

      Let it be remembered that at this time there was scarcely a building on the western slope of the hill or on the flat below, except a little way down on West street -- and that was only thirty-five years ago; but a railroad had reached the town, and great changes were already inaugurated.

      Among the instructions to the trustees at the July meeting of 1850, they were directed to "clear out and cover up such ditches as they shall think proper." This was the precursor of the sewer system of the village. The board was also instructed to "extend the plank walks and construct them through the Main street north and south from Mrs. TEMPLE's to Mr. PERKINS's on both sides; also, on the street from Mr. PERKINS's east on the north side as far as they think proper." And in the following year (1851) it was deemed incumbent on the trustees to issue the following edict: "No person shall drive or ride any horse or other beast upon the plank sidewalks, except to cross the same; penalty fifty cents." It reads as if these regulations might be twice as old as they are.

      A glance at the business interests of 1851 shows that H. L. SPENCER was conducting the "Rutland county bookstore;" J. R. PARKER & Co. had recently opened "a new clothing store near the depot a few rods north of LANDON & GRAVES' store; D. P: BELL was a general merchant and O. L. ROBBINS the same; James BARRETT & Son were still largely engaged in trade; J. B. KILBURN was a hatter in CHAFFEE's building; Joseph GOULD would take daguerreotype miniatures "for a few days only, over Barrett & Son's store;" B. H. KINNEY was about to locate here as a "sculptor and monumental marble-worker;" H. T. DORRANCE was a saddler in the village, and John QUILTY carried on the tailoring trade; Dr. E. V. N. HARWOOD announced that he had taken rooms at the Franklin Hotel and would remain "as long as business requires;" Charles CLEMENT had a "cash store" at Center Rutland, which he disposed of in April to William H. LISCOMB and John OSGOOD; George W. STRONG advertised for wood for the Rutland and Washington Railroad; the Rutland Savings Bank was just getting into successful operation; PRATT & FOSTER kept the Franklin Hotel; Charles BURT was postmaster and Reuben R. THRALL and W. H. SMITH were partners in the law business; J. B. PROCTOR kept a store at Center Rutland; a new line of stages was recently opened from Castleton to Salem, N. Y., by BARDWELL, FIELD & Co., and another by H. BRYANT from Rutland to Bethel, Woodstock and Windsor.

      In 1850 Melzar EDSON and Marcus P. NORTON purchased of William Hall the "lot adjoining the depot grounds on the east and fronting on the main road leading to the village from the west," on which it was intended to lay out streets. They announced that "in view of the prospective increase of business in our village consequent upon the completion of the Rutland and Burlington Railroad, this offers a rare chance," etc. Had they properly appreciated the value of that "rare chance," a higher price would undoubtedly have been placed on those lots.

      The reader has already learned something of the enormously rapid development of this village between 1850 and the end of the war of the rebellion; it was phenomenal in New England. The real estate business was, perhaps, the most important traffic in the place. Far-sighted men who had faith in the influence of railroads to draw around their depots and lines the business of a village or city, purchased lands on the before neglected flats, and were jeered at for so doing. New streets were rapidly laid out and improved, lots were surveyed and sold, and the sound of hammer and trowel were heard on every hand. The marble industry was becoming one of the greatest importances and, a source of wealth which gave the utmost stability to the extensive building and business operations, which might otherwise have changed the era of prosperity into one of disaster. Manufacturing establishments were removed hither from other parts of the county and population followed.

      The chief products of the county in 1850 and before, were butter and cheese; fine stock-breeding had not then become a prominent industry. Before the railroad era the business of the place was all on Main street The brick buildings of the village were James PORTER's store, Robert TEMPLEs, house, Orel COOK's house, D. BUTLER's house, William BUTMAN's house, J. C BURDICK's house, the Eleazer WHEELOCK Hotel (now the Brock House). There were three other hotels, the GROVE (house, which stood next north of KNOWLTON & CARVER's store, the latter adjoining the old court-house; the Franklin Hotel and the. Reed Hotel; another public house was kept by Abel PAGE; the latter was on West street on the lot now owned by Nicholas M. DAVIS.
 

The house where William H. B. OWEN now lives is said to be the building whence the indemnity was taken to be paid to New York when Vermont entered the Union. The house was at one time the property of John A. GRAHAM and later of George T. HODGES. 

      In 1851 the farm of 150 acres, embracing a large portion of the flat land on which the village is now built, originally owned by Moses STRONG, was sold to a syndicate of six men, called the "Rutland Land Company," who cut it up and sold it in lots.

      Before 1860 the following named new streets had been opened; Grove to 1858, Madison street, Pleasant street and Prospect street, opened in 1852; Evelyn street, opened in 1853 and extended in 1866; Freight street and Forest street, opened in 1853; Wales street, opened in 1853 and extended in 1862; Spring street, opened in 1853 and extended in 1868; Meadow, River, Franklin, Mechanic, South and School streets, opened in 1854; Court and Centre streets, opened in 1856 and Nickwacket in 1860. All this shows the remarkable extension of the village during those years. There was some opposition to the rapid progress down the hill-side and upon the flats, particularly in regard to the post-office, which was removed to its present location in the year 1854; but the powerful influences at work could not be resisted, and soon it became a matter for wonder why the business part of the place was ever placed on the hill.

      The prominent business houses in the year 1860, as indicated by their announcements in the press, were Isaac M. SOUTHWICK, wholesale groceries and provisions; C. BURT & Son, general merchants; BARRETT & Son, hardware; A. F. SPENCER and F. CHAFFEE, clothing and furnishing goods; J. B. KILBURN, cloaks, fancy goods, etc.; FRENCH & KINGSLEY, hardware; LANDON & KINGSLEY, grocers; I. D. COLE, clothing, fur goods, etc.; F. FENN & Co., drugs and toys; H. O. PERKINS, flour and feed; H. C. WOOD, boots and shoes; POND & MORSE, drugs, toys and fancy goods; CLARK Brothers, jewelers; FISHER & HAVEN, dry goods; BOWMAN & MANSFIELD, foundry; Julius H. MOTT, successor to William L. BELKNAP, merchant tailor, hats and caps, etc.; E. N. MERRIAM, music, sewing-machines. A. F. & M. C. DAVIS were large brick-makers. The Bardwell House had been built and opened in 1852, and the Franklin Hotel renovated and improved.

      Returning again to the records we learn that, as another evidence of the general spirit of progress, a meeting was called in June, 1858 to see if the people would aid in putting up gas works, and the same year $500 were appropriated to erect fences around the parks on Main street. In March, 1859, a proposal was advanced at a meeting, that the people buy the land between West and Center streets and west of Court street, for a public square; and to see if the corporation would purchase a vacant lot between Washington Center streets and east of Dr. Page's residence and the new bank, for a public park. This proposition called out from some individual, who may have been more facetious than wise, a proposal to buy three acres in "Nebraska" (a name applied to a portion of the low land) for musters and bullfights. In 1867 a special meeting was held to consider the project of lighting the village with gas, and a committee was appointed to confer with the owners of the stock of the Rutland Gas Light Company as to the purchase of their works; General BAXTER then held a majority of the stock. (See Gas company a little farther on.) The bad sanitary condition of the village in 1867 led to agitation of the introduction of a better sewer system; but the matter was postponed until 1872, when the sewerage was greatly extended. It was in the latter year, also, that the Municipal Court was established, with M. G. EVERTS as judge.

      Additional streets were opened after 1860 as follows: Strong's avenue, in 1861; South street extension, Maple, Summer and Church streets, in 1864; Merchants Row extension in 1866; Lincoln avenue in 1867; East street, Pearl, Baxter, Garden, North and Maple street extension, opened in 1869; Temple street, opened 1870 and Washington street extended; State street opened in 1879.
 
 
 

History of Rutland County Vermont with Illustrations and 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
History of the Town of Rutland
Chapter XIX.
(pages 393-406)

Transcribed by Karima, 2002