River, the principal stream in the town, enters it from the west in two
branches, and passing through, in an easterly direction, empties into Connecticut
River, affording a number of valuable mill privileges. Halls’s Brook
and Roaring Brook, are considerable streams, which enter the town from
Newbury and pass through the corner of it into the Connecticut. Smaller
streams are numerous, and several medicinal springs have been discovered,
but are of little note. The surface of the town is somewhat broken.
handsome and fertile strip of intervale skirts Connecticut River, and there
is much good land in other parts. There is no waste land with the
exception of thirty or forty acres on Wright’s Mountain. In the north-west
part of the town is situated Wrights’s Mountain, sometimes, erroneously
called Virgin Mountain. In this mountain is a cavern called the Devil’s
Den, which has several apartments, and is through to have been the abode
of human beings. In the east part of the town is a considerable precipice
called Rowell’s Ledge. The timber is principally pine, sugar maple,
oak, beech, and hemlock. Bradford Academy was incorporated and the
building erected in 1820. It has a male and female department, with
permanent teachers. The school is in a flourishing condition.
The yearly attendance is about 200.
North by Newbury, east by Connecticut River, which separates it from Piermont,
N.H., south by Fairlee, and west by Fairlee.
Settlers. Three thousand acres of this town, lying on Connecticut
River, were granted by New York to Sir Harry Moore, and by him conveyed
to thirty settlers. The rest of the land was taken up by pitches.
The town was first called Moretown, but was altered to Bradford by an act
of the legislature passed Oct. 243, 1788. The settlement of the town
was commenced by John Hosmer in 1765, near the mouth of Wait’s River.
He was joined the next year by Samuel Sleeper and Benoni Wright, and in
1771 the number of families in town amounted to ten. The first grist
mill was erected by John Peters in 1772 at the falls near the mouth of
Wait’s River, and the first saw mill by Benjamin Baldwin in 1774.
Ministers. The first meeting-house in town was built in 1791, by
the Baptists under Elder Rice. A meeting-house was built by the Congregationalists
in 1793, who settled the Rev. Gardner Kellogg in 1795.
At the falls in Wait’s River, which afford some of the best mill privileges
in the State, is a furnace for casting ploughs, stoves, etc, whetstone
factories, machine shops, and an extensive paper mill. On Wait’s
River, about two miles above the village, are manufactures of woollens
and other goods. The first artificial globes ever manufactured in
the United States, were made her about the year 1812, by Mr. James Wilson.
Thirty miles south southeast from Montpelier, and eleven south south-east
of Vermont, by John Hayward, 1849, p. 29-30)