lies in the southern part of the county, and near the center of the state,
in latitude 44° 13' and longitude 4° 25', and is bounded northerly
by the Winooski river which separates it from Montpelier, and a portion
of Middlesex, easterly by Barre and a small part of Williamstown, southerly
by a small portion of Williamstown and the town of North-field, and westerly
Its charter was granted in the third year of the reign of King George
III, by his excellency Benning WENTWORTH, of New Hampshire, to Rev. Dr.
Chauncey GRAHAM and sixty-three others, June 8, 1763, and is six miles
The first proprietors' meeting was held at Arlington, Vt., May 17,
1785, at the inn of Eliakim STODDARD. His excellency Gov. Thomas CHITTENDEN
was chosen moderator, and Thomas TOLMAN, clerk. This meeting also appointed
Gov. CHITTENDEN, Marston CABOT, Moses MOSS, and Samuel HORSFORD a committee
to lay out the fist division of sixty-four lots to contain 103 acres each.
The first settlement was made by Ebenezer SANBORN and Joseph THURBER,
in the summer of 1785. Mr. SANBORN came from Corinth and located on what
was afterward known as the "BRADFORD farm," about half a mile from the
mouth of Dog river, and where C. B. MARTIN now lives. Mr. THURBER came
from New Hampshire and made his "pitch" near the mouth of the same river.
The next year SANBORN and THURBER removed to the state of New York, and
Jacob FOWLER, from Corinth, moved onto the farm vacated by Sanborn.
Berlin may properly be classed with the "hilly towns," although
it has fertile valleys of considerable extent along Dog river, on Berlin
pond, and along its northern border on Winooski river. The views from its
highest hills are grand and extensive; among the best in the Green Mountain
The geological construction of this town is formed of calciferous
mica schist in the southeastern part, a broad belt of clay slate extends
across the town north and south, and mica schist in the western part. Granite
in considerable quantity is found, and traces of gold in alluvium on the
branches of Dog river.
The principal water-courses traversing the town are the Winooski,
which washes its northern boundary; Dog river, which enters the town from
Northfield, flows nearly north, entirely across the town, and falls into
the Winooski about half a mile below Montpelier village; Pond brook, the
outlet of Berlin pond, flows in a northerly direction and enters Stevens
Branch; and Stevens Branch, which enters the town from Barre, crossing
its eastern boundary, and flows across the northeastern corner of Berlin
and joins the Winooski. Berlin pond lies a little southeast of the center
of the town, is about two miles long and half a mile wide, and is in the
midst of a beautiful and fertile valley, at an elevation of about 400 feet
above Montpelier. A few pretty summer cottages are located near its shores.
Pond brook in its descent to the Winooski forms several magnificent cascades
and is a miniature Niagara.
Jacob FOWLER was the first permanent settler of Berlin. He was a
hunter, and was familiar with the streams and ponds as early, or earlier,
than 1780 . At the time of the burning of Royalton, when the Indians were
returning down the Winooski, he was up Waterbury river, and on returning
to its mouth discovered their trail and followed it back as far as Berlin
pond. Although he was accused of being a Tory, in the latter part of the
Revolutionary war, he enlisted in the garrison stationed at Corinth, and
did service as an Indian scout, under the command of Gen. WAIT. Hon. D.
P. THOMPSON relates the following incident of FOWLER: "I used to think,"
said the hunter, "that I had as much wit as any wild varmint as was ever
scared up in our woods; but a sly old moose once completely baffled me,
in trying to get a shot at him. This animal's usual range was on Irish
hill, in the vicinity of Berlin pond. This I discovered by finding one
day, as I was coming along the margin of the pond, a path leading down
to the water which I knew by the tracks of great size, and of different
degrees of freshness, were made by a large moose, that must have come down
daily to drink. On making this discovery I resolved to have him. But after
trying on three different days to get a shot at him, I utterly failed;
for either by the keenness of his sight, or smell, or hearing, he always
took the alarm and made off, without allowing me more than a mere glimpse
of him. As I was turning away from the last attempt, it occurred to me
there might be other ways to choke a dog than by giving him bread and butter,
so I laid a plan my moose would not be looking for. The next day I shouldered
a bear trap I possessed, weighing nearly forty pounds, with the iron teeth
more than an inch long, went up to the pond and set it at the water's edge
in the path where he came down to drink, chained it securely to a sapling,
and went home. The next day I went there again, and as I drew near my trap,
I saw a monstrous moose standing over the spot where I had set it. He had
got one fore-foot into it, and those murderous interlocking teeth had clinched
his fetlock, and held him like a vise.
The next moment
I put a bullet through his heart, and brought him to the ground, when,
cutting out his tongue, lips, and the best part of a round, I went home,
not a little proud of the exploit of outwitting him at last." Mr. FOWLER
eventually went to Canada, it is said, where he spent the last years of
his life, and where he died at an advanced age.
Mrs. TITCOMB kept the first school in Berlin, in a log school-house,
in the summer of 1794, and the wife of Dr. COLLINS taught it the ensuing
year. The school-house stood near the "brick residence" built by Dea. David
NYE. The first school on Dog river was taught by Gershom HEATON in the
winter of 1784-85 in a log house.
For some time after the first settlement of the town the nearest
grist-mill was at Corinth, more than twenty-eight miles distant, and as
a substitute for one, the settlers made themselves a huge mortar in a large
and solid stump, in which they reduced the grain to meal by pounding it
with a large and heavy pestle attached to a spring-pole. The first grist-mill
was built in 1792, on the upper falls of Pond brook, now known as Benjamin
falls. The first saw-mill was built the year before by Eleazer HUBBARD
a little above the grist-mill.
The first marriage of persons living in town was that of Joshua
SWAN and Miss COLLINS. Tradition says the gallant bridegroom, with one
or two friends to assist, drew the charming bride on a hand sled to the
residence of the justice of the peace in Middlesex, where the twain were
made one flesh (probably by Esq. PUTNAM). After the ceremony the party
returned home in the same manner as they came, having made a bridal tour
of about fifteen miles.
The first child born in Berlin was Abigail K., daughter of Jacob
and Abigail BLOCK, in 1789. She became the wife of Ira ANDREWS and died
in 1864. The first male child born in town was Porter PERRIN, in February,
1790, who died May 17, 1871. The first death was that of an infant child
of John LATHROP, in 1789, and a little later in the same year Widow Collins
died at the age of eighty-eight years.
The first store and tavern was opened by Jonas PARKER about 1800.
The next store was opened about 1806, by Charles HUNTOON. These were succeeded
by several others. Since about 1850 there has been no general merchant
The first settled minister was the Rev. James HOBART, who was ordained
and installed pastor November 7, 1798. The first church (Congregational)
was organized October 13, 1798, with three members.
The first town meeting was held at the house of Aaron STRONG, March
31, 1791. Capt. James SAWYER was elected moderator; David NYE, town clerk;
Zachariah PERRIN, Eleazer HUBBARD, and James SAWYER, selectmen; and Micajah
In 1880 Berlin had a population of 1,380. The town now (1888) has
twelve school districts, which were taught the past school year by two
male and twelve female teachers. The average weekly wages paid to male
teachers, including board, was $6 80, and to female teachers $5.24; aggregate
amount paid alt teachers during the year, $1,658.42. Whole amount paid
for all school purposes during the past year was $2,253.78. The whole number
of children of school age was 304, of whom 283 attended the district schools
and eighteen attended private schools. Arthur L. HEWITT was the efficient
COLBY Manufacturing Co., manufacturers of Colby's improved wringers,
was organized by COLBY Brothers in 1872, in Waterbury. In June, 1882, it
was removed to Boston and chartered under Massachusetts laws. The company
returned to Vermont in August, 1887, and though ostensibly doing business
in Montpelier, established the manufactory on the south bank of the Winooski
river, in Berlin, and just across the bridge near the station of the Montpelier
& Wells River R. R. In Waterbury the company manufactured washing machines
in connection with the wringers. They have had and still have agencies
established in many of the cities in the United States. The company was
reformed and the COLBY Brothers retired. Previous to 1872, when the company
was organized under the laws of Vermont, the Colby wringers were manufactured
by COLBY Brothers alone. Col. Fred E. SMITH has been president of the company
since its organization in Waterbury, and Mr. J. S. BATCHELDER, treasurer.
B.J. REED's granite polishing-mills are located at the Pioneer Mills,
on the Winooski river, which furnishes an adequate power. Mr. REED began
business at his present location in April, 1884. He does the polishing
for all the granite shops in Montpelier. His mills are furnished with six
fine polishing machines, and turn out a large amount of work. Mr. REED
gives employment to six men.
Wilbur BROWN, successor to J. S. WHEELOCK, has saw, cider, and grist-mills
located on Dog river, road 10, about a mile and a half south of Montpelier.
The river furnishes a constant power. Mr. BROWN manufactures dimension
lumber to order as a specialty, also hard wood and basswood, and shingles.
He turns out about 200,000 feet per annum. The grist-mill is furnished
with two runs of stones and does custom grinding of meal and feed. Mr.
BROWN gives employment to an average of twelve men.
Thomas GISBORNE's molding and planing-null is located on Winooski
river, opposite Montpelier village, where he does a moderate business,
and deals in both dressed and rough lumber.
The Excelsior Granite Co. was organized in April, 7888, by the present
proprietors, Messrs. S. I. STAPLES and M. A. COPELAND. They manufacture
everything in the line of granite work, with monumental work as a specialty.
The location is at the Pioneer Mills, on the Barre branch of the C. V.
R. R. Their polishing machine runs by water-power, and they have every
facility for turning out work of superior quality. They have a branch track,
and a derrick capable of lifting fifteen tons for loading and unloading.
They employ eighteen skilled workmen.
BERLIN (p. o.), generally designated as Berlin Corners, is a small
village, situated a little east of the center of the town, on the outlet
of Berlin pond. It contains two churches (Congregational and Methodist)
and about twenty dwellings.
WEST BERLIN (p. o.) is a hamlet on Dog river. It contains two churches
(Congregational and Methodist), a butter factory or creamery, a few shops,
'and about twenty dwellings.
BERLIN STREET, situated on the Winooski river, is the most populous
portion of the town, and is the location of the town house, a tannery,
and several manufacturing enterprises. The manufacturers all reside in
Montpelier. The business interests of the location are so much identified
with Montpelier that it is really a part of that village. The inhabitants
receive their mail by the carriers from Montpelier postoffice.
Capt. James HOBART, with his son James, came from Plymouth, N. H.,
in 1787, and settled near the mouth of Jones brook, in Berlin. Capt. HOBART
died February 2, 1834, at the advanced age of ninety-five years. His son
James, born in Plymouth, N. H., August 2, 1776, graduated at Dartmouth
College as A. B., in 1794; studied theology with Rev. Asa BURTON, of Thetford.
The people of Berlin gave him a call to settle as their minister in August,
1798, and November 7, 1798, he was ordained pastor of the Congregational
church of Berlin, which position he filled until May, 1829. He afterwards
preached in several of the New England states. In the ninety-sixth year
of his life he preached well-connected discourses, and was able to walk
six or eight miles in a day. He was below the average height, stood erect,
and was blessed with a retentive memory, strong voice, and good delivery.
In 1804 he married Betsey, daughter of Zachariah PERRIN, Esq., of Berlin,
and: they had five sons and seven daughters. Three of their daughters married
clergymen, one a physician, and one a judge, and after he died a merchant.
The eldest son was the editor of the Hound City, a paper published in St.
Louis, Mo. The second is a farmer, now living (1888), aged over eighty
years. One son died soon after he had graduated at Dartmouth; and the youngest
died when nearly fitted to enter college. The third son, David HOBART,
married Miss REED, a teacher in the graded school of Gardiner, Me., November
10, 1853, and settled on the old HOBART place, where his father, Rev. James
HOBART, and grandfather, Capt. James HOBART, passed the last years of their
lives. The children of David and Caroline E. HOBART are T. D. HOBART, who
was educated in the common schools, Barre Academy, and Vermont Methodist
Seminary. He was, for sometime, superintendent and teacher of common schools
in Berlin, and is now a civil engineer in Mobeetie, Texas. The second child,
Lizzie M., educated in Berlin common schools and Vermont Methodist Seminary,
has also taught public schools. Their youngest child, Clara, remains at
home with her parents.
Abel SAWYER, a native of Lancaster, Mass., with his wife, a native
of Shrewsbury, Mass., and their two sons, John and Moses HASTINGS, moved
from Hartland, Vt., to Barre, in 1788, and located on what is now known
as the old BECKLEY farm. There he lived a short time, and then removed
to Berlin where he settled permanently. Mr. and Mrs. SAWYER came to Barre
in company with the family of John GOLDSBURY, who was the father of Mrs.
SAWYER. The homestead in Berlin is known as the SAWYER farm, and is owned
and occupied by his grandson, David BOLES. Here Mr. SAWYER first erected
a log cabin, and here he reared eight children. The mother of Mr. BOLES
was his fifth child. Mr. SAWYER planted, on his farm, apple seeds brought
from Lancaster, Mass., which produced the finest orchard and best fruit
in town. Mr. SAWYER served seven years in the Revolutionary war in the
capacity of blacksmith, and continued his trade for many years after he
settled in Berlin. At the time he settled in his forest home bears were
numerous, and Mr. BOLES says he often heard his grandmother relate that
she frequently saw them, and noted particularly one with a white face.
The brooks and ponds swarmed with speckled trout. On their journey from
Hartland they camped over night near Berlin pond. A pail of water which
had been dipped from the brook in the evening was found in the morning
to be alive with small trout. The family, like most of the pioneer settlers,
was very poor, and the sons, John and M. Hastings, frequently caught the
"speckled beauties" from Onion river and carried them through the woods
to Capt. AYERS, and exchanged with him even weight for pork. Mr. SAWYER
had a happy disposition, was genial, kind, and hospitable, in religious
opinions a Universalist, but highly respected the ministers of every denomination.
Moses Hastings SAWYER, the second son, when quite a young man, undertook
the task, by hard labor and careful economy, to clear the homestead of
a heavy mortgage, which he eventually accomplished and saved the home for
the family. He never married. With the aid of his maiden sister, Rebecca,
he reared David BOLES, son of his sister Mary, as his own son, and left
the farm to him, which has been in possession of the family about 100 years.
Mr. BOLES was born on the farm.
Zachariah PERRIN, with his family, came to Berlin from Hebron, Conn.,
in March, 1789, and settled in the east part of the town, where his grandson,
J. N. PERRIN, now lives. He came with two yoke of oxen, up the Connecticut
and White rivers, to Brookfield, which was then the end of the road. His
sled was loaded with provisions and his wife and two children. From Brookfield
his route was a line of blazed trees, and the snow was from three to four
feet deep. Mr. PERRIN was an influential citizen and aided in the settlement
and organization of the town, and support of the Congregational church.
He died in May, 1838, aged eighty-eight years. His second son, Porter PERRIN,
born February 1, 1790, was the first male child born in Berlin. He married
Lucy, daughter of Rev. Jonathan KINNEY, of Plainfield. He was a worthy
man and dealt justly with his fellow men. He died in May, 1871, aged eighty-one
years. His brother, Rev. William PERRIN, born in 1793, graduated at Middlebury
College in 1813, entered the ministry of the Congregational church, was
an eloquent speaker, and a poet. He married Fanny, daughter of Capt. Daniel
THOMPSON, and died in 1824, aged thirty-one years. Rev. Truman PERRIN,
fourth son of Zachariah, was born in Berlin, April 28, 1796. He graduated
at Dartmouth College in 1817, preached in various places in Vermont, New
Hampshire, and New York, spent several years in Indiana, Georgia, and Alabama,
and returned to Vermont in 1850. He died in Washington, Mass., November
19, 1869, aged seventy-three years.
William FLAGG and Jacob BLACK, both natives of Holders, Mass., were
born the same year, and died in 1838, aged eighty-four years. The life
of each one was almost a counterpart of that of the other. They enlisted
in the service of their country about the same time, and participated in
the same battles. They were both at the battle of Bunker Hill and again
under General Washington at Monmouth Court House. They both settled in
Berlin in 1789.
Eleazer HUBBARD, when about sixty years of age, came from Glastenbury,
Conn., to Berlin, with an ox-team freighted with mill-irons and gearing
for a saw and grist-mill, which he erected on Pond brook, near the head
of Benjamin falls, in 1790 or '9I. Mr. HUBBARD died in 1819, aged eighty-nine
years. His mills were continued in operation several years after his death.
They were the first mills erected in Berlin.
David NYE, son of Melatiah, came to Berlin from Glastenbury, Conn.,
in 1790. He had served several years in the war for Independence, as a
musician, and was present at the battle on Long Island. At the organization
of the town, in 1791, he was elected clerk and reelected several succeeding
years. In addition to cultivating his farm he was for several years engaged
in buying and driving beef cattle to the Boston market. He died in September,
1832, aged seventy-two years. His brother, Elijah NYE, came to Berlin with
him, and settled in the southeast part of the town. In 1825 he removed
to Montpelier and died therein 1852, aged eighty-four years. Solomon NYE,
brother of David and Elijah, enlisted and served in the Continental army
as teamster when he was but eighteen years old. He came to Berlin about
1808, and engaged in farming. He died in 1857, at the extreme age of ninety-three
Lieut. Ebenezer BAILEY, brother of Joshua, came to Berlin from Newbury,
Mass., as near as can now be ascertained, about 1790, and made a permanent
pitch on the East road. His farm contained 300 acres which he mainly cleared..
He was one of the prominent men of his town, and held most of the town
offices, and was also an influential member of the Methodist church, and
gave liberally for the construction of their first meeting-house. He died
on his farm at the age of eighty-seven years. He had a family of thirteen
children, several of whom settled in town. His son Ebenezer, born in Berlin
May 30, 1796, married Sally BENJAMIN, daughter of Maj. Josiah, and settled
on a farm on the opposite side of the road from his father. He was always
a farmer and resided in Berlin from his birth to the close of his long
life, August 13, I885, aged eighty-nine years. He was the father of ten
children, all of whom lived to mature age. Mr. BAILEY was a man of sterling
integrity, a good citizen, and obliging neighbor. Ozias B. BAILEY is the
only one of his sons now residing in Berlin. He is now a justice of the
peace and is engaged in farming.
Safford CUMMINGS was born in Massachusetts, June 15, 1784. He lost
his father in his early childhood, and in 1791 came to Berlin with his
older brother when he was only seven years old. He married, early in life,
Miss Polly STICKNEY, and settled in a log house on the farm where L. P.
LAWRENCE now lives. Later he built the commodious farm house now occupied
by Mr. LAWRENCE. He was a well-to-do farmer, and a man prominent in the
affairs of the town. He died on the homestead aged eighty-two years. His
oldest son, Kimball, born May I9, 1808, married Catherine DRURY, of Barre,
September 4, 1834, and settled on the farm where his son Albert D. now
lives. He gave his attention to the cultivation of his farm. He was fond
of music, and was especially noted as a drummer, and was always one of
the military band at the musters of the militia. Mr. CUMMINGS was a thrifty
farmer, abhorred debt, and always "paid down." Mr. and Mrs. CUMMINGS reared
three children to mature age, viz.: Albert D., born February 21, 1836,
married Miss Sophrenia ARBUCKLE, of Middlesex, December 18, 1862, and brought
his wife to the homestead, where they now live. They have one son, Alvin,
who married Miss Aden GOODENOUGH, of Walden, and lives in the near neighborhood;
and has an infant son, Harry. Julia, born June 21, 1842, married, December
22, 1863, George RICHARDSON, and resides in Barre. Her children are Addie
and Blanche. Erneline, born January 1, 1838, married John GOLDSBURY, of
Barre. Their children are Joel, Katie, and Hattie.
Hon. Salvin COLLINS was born in Southboro, March 6, 1768. About
1791 he settled on a farm in Berlin, adjoining Zachariah PERRIN, which
is still known as the COLLINS farm, where he resided the ensuing fourteen
or fifteen years. He then sold his farm to Mr. PERRIN and moved to the
"Corners." He represented Berlin in the legislature in 1805 and 1806, and
in 1811 was assistant judge of the new county of Jefferson, now Washington,
and removed to Montpelier. In 1812 he was reelected county judge, and to
1815 was judge of probate for Washington county, and received five successive
elections. The last twenty years of his life he was justice of the peace,
and did a large share of the justice business of Montpelier. Judge COLLINS
was quiet and unassuming, social, honest, and few men were better calculated
to win friends and retain them. He died November 9, 1831, aged sixty-three
Abel KNAPP, a native of Rehoboth, Mass., and his wife, Miriam (HAWKS),
of Charlemont, Mass., were very early settlers in Berlin. They located
their farm at the crossroads at the Center. Mr. KNAPP was town clerk from
1795 to 1845, except one year, when Dr. Greshom HEATON held the position.
He was justice of the peace fifty years, judge of probate in 1813 and '14,
a member of the Constitutional Convention in 1836, town treasurer several
years, and representative fourteen years, from 1809 to 1823. He was also
a surveyor, and because he preserved his field notes was able to settle
many disputes about surveys. His son Chauncey L. was born in Berlin, February
26, 1809. He commenced a seven years' apprenticeship in the printing office
of E. P. WALTON, in Montpelier, when he was but fourteen years old. He
was reporter for the legislature in 1833, and was for some years co-editor
and proprietor of the Voice of Freedom and the State ,journal. He was elected
secretary of state in 1836, '37, '38, and '39. He removed to Massachusetts
and was secretary of the Massachusetts Senate in 1851, elected representative
to the 34th and reelected to the 35th Congress of the United States.
Maj. Josiah BENJAMIN, son of William, was born in Ashburnham, Mass.,
June 19, 1769. October 10, 1791, he married Lucy BANNING. In November,
1793, he removed from Woodstock to Berlin and settled on lot 5, in the
second range. In February, 1795, he removed to lot 5, third range, and
April 26, 1800, he made his permanent home on lot 1, first range, and first
division, of the township, where his grandson S. W. BENJAMIN now lives,
and, where he died January 26, 1836. His wife, Lucy, died October 26, 1844.
Their children were Lucy, born in Woodstock, April 22, 1792; Clara, born
March 8, 1795: Ozias, born April 13, 1797; Sally, born in May, 1798; Josiah,
born November 28, 1801, died November 15, 1803; Josiah, born July 6, 1803;
Eliza, born July 31, 1805; Matilda, born March 26, 1807; and Hannah, born
July so, 1811. Maj. Benjamin succeeded Eleazer Hubbard on lot 1, which
includes Benjamin falls on Pond brook. Mr. HUBBARD had erected the first
saw-mill and grist-mill in Berlin at the falls, about 1791 or '92. Maj.
Benjamin rebuilt the mills near the foot of the falls and kept them up
for many years. He was always a farmer, and a man of great energy. He was
the major of the state militia, and went with his command to Plattsburgh
in September, 1814, but did not reach that place until after the battle
had been fought, on Sunday, September 11, 1814, and a signal victory won.
In religion he was a Congregationalist, and a member of that church. In
politics he was an earnest worker in the "Old Line Whig" party, and prominent
in town affairs. Maj. BENJAMIN was succeeded on the homestead by his son
Josiah, who married Rebecca EMERSON, December 25, 1827. Their children
are Chauncey E., Lucy Ann, John E., Charles K., Philena R., Samuel Webster,
Ira A., and Elizabeth B. Josiah Benjamin, Jr., was a very successful farmer
and gave to each of his sons $1,000, and to each of his daughters $500,
on their wedding day. Mr. BENJAMIN was a constant and regular attendant
at the Congregational church, began in politics with the Whig party, joined
the ranks of the Republican party at its organization, and was in every
respect an honest, upright, and respected citizen. He represented Berlin
in the state legislature and held other offices of responsibility and trust
in his town. He died October 4, 1884. His wife died in December, 1873.
Chauncey E. BENJAMIN, born February 1, 1829, married Lucy J. STANWOOD,
January 22, 1846, and resides in Malden, Mass., where he is engaged in
the express business, and employs sixteen men and twenty six horses. Lucy
Ann, born April 2, 1831, married E. E. ANDREWS, September 13, 1843, a farmer
and nurseryman, and resides in her native town. John E. BENJAMIN, born
July 19, 1833, married Sarah F. PERRIN, November 8, 1858, and resides on
a fine farm near the old homestead. Besides giving his attention to his
farm he has served his town as their representative in the state legislature,
and as lister, but declined to be selectman. His son Forest E. graduated
at Barre Academy, and is now a commercial traveler in the vicinity of Boston,
and resides at Malden, Mass. He was elected captain of the Walden militia
at a younger age than any who ever held the position. The only daughter
of John E. BENJAMIN, Myrtie S., also graduated at Barre Academy and is
a teacher. Charles K. BENJAMIN, born November 20, 1836, married Emeline
S. GOODHUE, March 11, 1861, has been a farmer and is now a granite worker
in Barre. Philena R., born July 18, 1839, married Eleazer HOUSE, December
22, 1859. Mr. HOUSE is a farmer in Berlin. Samuel Webster BENJAMIN, born
May 2, 1842, married Edna L. Downing, March 2, 1865, and settled on the
old homestead. He is now chairman of the board of selectmen and has been
one of its members several years. Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin have one daughter.
Ira A. BENJAMIN, born January 26, 1845, married Emma F. DODGE, September
22, 1867. He is a reliable citizen of Berlin, a successful farmer, and
is blessed with three sons. Elizabeth B., born November 3, 1847, married
Abel H. Stewart, a farmer of Berlin, April 4, 1867.
Elijah ANDREWS was born in Eastbury, Conn., in 1758, and was one
of the early and stalwart pioneers of Berlin. He moved into the town in
1796, and settled on the farm now owned by his grandson, E. E. ANDREWS,
where he lived the remainder of his life. He built a log cabin on his farm,
in which he and his family livers several years. He died January 19, 1826.
His son Asa, born May 28, 1787, married Margaret STRONG, of Berlin, January
1, 1812, and settled on a farm in the western part of the town, where he
cleared eighty acres of land. Not having all the modern improved farming
implements, he commenced drawing his hay from his field on a harrow turned
bottom side up. After eight years he returned to his father's farm, where
he spent the remainder of his long life. He died September 14, 1878, aged
ninety-one years and three months. Mrs. ANDREWS died March 20, 1856. Mr.
ANDREWS was an honest, industrious farmer, liberal in his contributions
for benevolent objects, and won the respect and esteem of the people of
his town. He was a lieutenant of militia, was representative two years
in the Vermont legislature, and held several prominent positions of trust
in town offices. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Asa ANDREWS were Aaron S.,
born January 23, 1815, married Betsey ANDREWS (not of kin), March 5, 1840,
and settled on a farm half a mile from the homestead, where they spent
their lives; Eliza M., born February 18, 1817, married, first, Arad BENNETT,
and second, William H. LOOMIS, a farmer, with whom she now hues in the
adjoining town of Northfield, a mile and a half south of the old homestead;
William L., born February 9, 1819, married Harriet M. STEWARD, and settled
on a farm adjoining and half a mile north of the homestead, where he has
since resided. His wife died about two years ago. E. E. ANDREWS, before
mentioned, was born January 17, 1823. He removed to South Reading, Mass.,
April 1, 1846, and September 14, 1852, he married Miss Lucy A. BENJAMIN,
of Berlin, and moved to Maiden, Mass., where he engaged in hardware business.
He bought the old homestead and returned to Berlin in February, 1858, where
he now resides. He is a farmer and nurseryman, is a prominent citizen of
Berlin, represented his town in the state legislature in 1866-67, and has
also held other town offices. He has held office in Eagle Grange, of Berlin,
since its organization, and has been chaplain of Vermont State Grange several
years. Martin ANDREWS, born September 28, 1825, married Caroline M. ELKS,
March 27, 1851, and settled on a farm in Barre, where they lived several
years. They now reside in Massachusetts. Lucina was born October 30, 1827,
and is now residing and keeping house in Northfield with her widowed sister,
Mrs. AUSTIN. The youngest son, Stephen, was born August 12, 1829. He married
Fanny B. PIKE, February 10, 1853, and bought a farm in the western part
of Barre, where he died August 6, 1860. Martha, the youngest, was born
August 20, 1831, married Chester R. AUSTIN, of Berlin, January 6, 1857,
and is now a widow, and resides in Northfield.
Esq. Joel WARREN, born in Northborough, Mass., November 28, 1772,
went to Weathersfield, Vt., and worked for his brother John, about six
months, and then came to Berlin, as near as can now be ascertained, in
1797 or '98. He located a farm where his youngest son, Judge Abel K. WARREN,
now lives, and where he commenced to make a home by cutting the first tree,
clearing a plot of ground, and building a log cabin. February 14, 1799,
he married Rebecca. P. TOLLES, of Weathersfield, Vt., who was born in New
Haven, Conn., May 4, 1776, and moved his bride into his "lodge in the wilderness,"
where he made a good home, and where he lived the remainder of his life.
He died April 24, 1849, aged seventy-six years, Mrs. WARREN died May 24,
1800, and was the mother of his son Tolles. March 29, 1801, Mr. WARREN
married Hannah KNAPP, of Willington, Conn., who died November 21, 1851,
aged seventy-eight years. Their children were Rebecca, Betsey, Joel, Jr.,
Hannah, and Abel KNAPP. Esq. WARREN was an intelligent, well-informed man,
and was prominent in the affairs of his town. He served in the official
positions of justice of the peace, representative in the state legislature,
and other important town offices. Judge Abel K. WARREN, before mentioned,
residing on the homestead, is the only member of the family except his
father who made a home in Berlin. He was born July 15, 1813, on the homestead,
and has never had any other home. He married Laura A. HOUSE, January 25,
1842. Like his father, Judge WARREN is a prominent and influential citizen
of his town, and has served in the offices of justice of the peace and
associate judge of Washington county. Judge WARREN has always been a farmer.
The children of Mr. and Mrs. WARREN are Isabel (Mrs. H. N. DUSTIN), who
resides in Michigan; Ferrand, of Fargo, Dakota; Ella (Mrs. G. W. DUSTIN),
who resides in Berlin; Alice, a teacher, resides with her parents, and
has been a missionary teacher in Utah; Lizzie died in 1879; Frederick resides
in Kansas City, and is cashier of the Barber Asphalt Paving Co.; and Minnie,
who resides with her parents.
Abraham TOWNSEND was born in Holden, Mass., October 25, 1792, and
came to Berlin with his father in 1803, when but eleven years of age. His
father, Abraham TOWNSEND, settled in a log cabin on a farm in the woods
with a clearing of about one acre. In 1819 he emigrated to Ohio, but was
recalled at the death of his youngest brother. In 1822 he married Lovinia
HAYWARD, who was born in Barre, November 11, 1801. He bought out the heirs
and settled on the homestead, and provided for the wants of his aged parents
in their declining years. He was always a farmer, and gave his attention
to the cultivation of his farm and the comfort of his family. Mr. TOWNSEND
was always a citizen of Berlin, but died in Brookfield at the home of his
daughter, Mrs. Willard SNOW, while there on a visit, June 23, 1874. Mrs.
TOWNSEND died at the old home in Berlin, October 4, 1868. Their children
are Betsey, who was born September 11, 1823, married Willard SNOW, September
10, 1843, is a widow, and resides in Brookfield, Vt.; Martha Lovinia (Mrs.
A. H. HOLT), born November 14, 1825, resides in Woodbury, Vt.; and Sarah
S. (Mrs. P. S. PAINE), burn March 7, 1828, resides in Hardwick, Vt. ; and
Rebecca S., born May 1, 1850, married Joseph W. NORTON, is a widow, and
resides on the Townsend homestead in Berlin.
Daniel CHANDLER was born in Pomfret, Conn., January 21, 1784. When
he was an infant his parents removed from Connecticut to Hanover, N. H.,
and his mother brought him in her lap on horseback. He came from Hanover
to Berlin, it is believed, in 1806, and purchased the farm where his son
Lemuel now lives. His place then contained a log house and a small clearing.
He remained through that season and enlarged his clearing; and in the fall
returned to Hanover married Hannah SLOAN, of Lyme, and next spring settled
permanently on his farm where he spent the rest of his long life. He died
October 3, 1860, aged nearly eighty-two years. He was one of the prominent
and sturdy pioneer citizens of Berlin, and gave his influence to build
up the town. His integrity was unquestioned -- his word was as good as
his bond. He reared nine children to mature age, viz.: Daniel, Joseph,
Hannah, Harriet, Temperance, Samuel, Levinus, Mary, and Lemuel. Lemuel,
the youngest, born September 29, 1832, settled on the homestead where he
was born, and where he has since lived. May 1, 1861, he married Lucretia
E. CROSSETT, of Duxbury, and they have three sons and two daughters, viz.:
Myron L., Ervin L., George W., Marion L., and Mabel W. Mr. CHANDLER is
among the well-to-do farmers of his town and prominent in all its interests.
He is now justice of the peace, has served as selectman four years, and
has filled other town offices.
Nathaniel BOSWORTH was born in Rhode Island in 1753. He enlisted
and served as a soldier in the Revolutionary war four or five years. At
one time he was a prisoner of war, and confined in a prison ship, by the
British, on the Delaware river. One night he managed to escape by swimming,
as near as he could judge, about three miles, and towed his knapsack behind
him by a string, the end of which he held in his mouth. In 1780, when Royalton
was burned, Mr. BOSWORTH was stationed at Corinth. He came to Berlin in
1806 and settled at the "Corners." He was a blacksmith, and died in 1844,
aged ninety-one years. His son, Dea. Jonathan BOSWORTH, was born in Lebanon,
N. H., in 1787, and came to Berlin with his father, and followed the same
trade. After a few years at custom work he began the manufacture of axes
and scythes, with trip-hammers worked by water-power. About 1830 he added
more machinery and did a large business. He also manufactured cast-steel
and steel-plated hoes. His four suns worked in his shops, and all, in turn,
became partners in the business,, which was conducted with success. The
business was discontinued about 1870. Mr. BOSWORTH was a deacon of the
Congregational church many years. He died in April, 1878, aged ninety-one
Dr. John WINSLOW was born in Pomfret, Vt., March 10, 1787. In 1811
he married Sarah BISHOP, who was the mother of one daughter who died at
the age of about five years. In January, 1837, he married his second wife,
Keziah HEATON, who was the mother of one son, John F., who resides in Berlin.
Dr. WINSLOW remained on his father's farm until he was about nineteen years
of age. He then entered the office of his uncle, Dr. WINSLOW, of Windsor,
as a student of medicine, and graduated from the Medical department of
Dartmouth College. In 1813, after two years' practice in Windsor, he settled
in Berlin, where for many years he was a successful practitioner. About
twenty years before his death he retired from active practice and devoted
his time to farming. Dr. WINSLOW was often called by his townsmen to fill
offices of trust.
Aaron MARTIN, born in Connecticut, was the third child in a family
of eight sons and eight daughters. He came to Williamstown, Vt , with a
knapsack on his back containing a small amount of clothing and his provisions
for the journey, which he performed on foot. He was one of the hardiest
of the pioneers and could travel sixty miles on foot in a day. He located
in the woods on West hill, the only road to his home being a foot path
indicated by marked tree's. He carried a bushel of corn or wheat on his
back to the mill three miles distant and then continued three miles further
and performed a day's work, and returned at night, took his grist at the
milt and carried it home. He was never confined to his house by illness
of any kind until after he was seventy years old, when he was so unfortunate
as to break his hip. He remained on the farm of 200 acres, which he settled,
cleared, and improved, and fenced it with more than a thousand rods of
stone wall, which he laid with his own hands. He owned the farm at the
time of his death, which occurred when eighty-eight years of age. He was
the father of a large family, eight of whom lived to mature age. He was
prominent in town affairs and served as selectman a number of years. Campbell
B. MARTIN, the son of Aaron's third wife, Polly BURNHAM, was born in Williamstown,
November 27, 1814. He married Miss Persis D. DAVIS, April 29, 1835, and
they lived to celebrate their golden wedding, in 1885, at which time they
were kindly remembered by their friends, and Mr. MARTIN received a golds
headed cane from the selectmen of Berlin. Mr. MARTIN has spent nearly all
of his active life in Berlin, and now resides on a fine farm about a mile
from the pleasant village of Montpelier, where he has lived forty-three
years. Besides cultivating his farm he has dealt in horses, and largely
in sheep. One season he handled 4,700, and had extensive dealings in mutton
and tallow in Montreal. His great knowledge of horses makes his services
sought for as a veterinary surgeon by the farmers in this and surrounding
towns. Berlin is a strong Republican town. Mr. Martin is a Jacksonian Democrat,
but has been honored with the offices of justice of the peace and selectman
until he refused to hold these positions longer.
Asa LOVELAND, one of the first settlers of Berlin, came from Glastenbury,
Conn. He was a blacksmith and one of the best, and made dentists' tools
and used them. He bought land from time to time until he had over 200 acres,
which cost only about $1.00 per acre. One field of about five acres he
bought for a log chain. He was a worthy man and a class-leader of the Methodist
church. His son Charles succeeded him on the homestead. He married Mrs.
Louisa (POWELL) HUSE, daughter of Dr. Moses POWELL, of Corinth, who was
of Scotch descent. Mr. LOVELAND was always a farmer and lived on the homestead.
He died in 1856. Their daughter died in 1879, aged twenty-six years.
Ebenezer EASTMAN, son of Col. Theodore EASTMAN, born in Sanbornton,
N. H., located in Berlin when he was a young man and unmarried, and a few
years later he married Roxana SHURTLEFF. Their children were Ezra, Emeline,
Rudolphus T., Anna M., Caroline, Jane, Omri, Paulina, and Harmon. Mr. EASTMAN
came to his death by being crushed by a falling mill at the time of a freshet
in 1841. All of his four sons served in the late war. Ezra and Harmon died
of illness at the front, and Omri was killed in battle.
Frederick MARSH came to Montpelier from Hartford, Conn., about 1833,
and bought the farm now familiarly known as the Coffee House place. Mr.
MARSH built an addition to the house, and at the solicitation of Gov. Erastus
FAIRBANKS opened it as the Montpelier Temperance Coffee House. Gov. FAIRBANKS
promised him his patronage and influence. About 1870 Mr. MARSH sold the
place and resided in the village of Montpelier until his death. His first
wife, Harriet HILL, was the mother of all his children, four of whom are
living, viz.: Susan, Ann M., Eli F., and Burridge D. Four are deceased.
His second wife, Chloe ROBBINS, survives him. Burridge D. MARSH was born
in Montpelier, April 26, 1827.April 2, 1853, he manned Evaline E. PERRIN.
Their children are Hattie, who died in infancy, Willie D., Hattie M., and
Annie J. (Mrs. James POLLOCK), of Clinton, Mass.
Alanson M. SLOCUM, born in Sharon, Windsor county, August 7, 1827,
received a common school education. At the age of nineteen years he was
proprietor of a livery stable at Hanover, N. H., and was agent of the Rutland
and Albany stage line. At the age of twenty-four years he went to Geneva,
Ill., and engaged in building the Dixon Air Line railroad, and completed
fifty-eight miles, and built the second track of thirty miles, from Chicago
to Turner. He also built for the same company the levee at Fulton, on the
Mississippi river, put in 485,000 yards of embankment at La Salle, on the
Illinois Central, and built eight miles of the Burlington & Missouri
River railroad. In 1860 he was an extensive mail contractor, which business
he continued eight consecutive years. In 1864, on account of lung troubles,
he returned East. He then contracted with the Rochester State Line railway
to build 107 1/2 miles of their road. When his work was more than two-thirds
done the company suspended business. He next graded two tracks of road
for the N. Y. C. from Rochester to Lyons, a distance of thirty-eight miles,
and ballasted and laid the iron for the same company from Little Falls
to St. Johnsville. He has been since 1865 a farmer in Berlin.
Twenty-four citizens of Berlin volunteered and went to Plattsburgh
to aid in defending our country from a foreign foe in the War of 1812,
but, like most of their neighbors, they were too late to participate in
In the late war of the Rebellion this town sent her full quota to
the front, and fully sustained her part in the patriotic record of Washington
The First Congregational church of Berlin was organized October
13, 1798, by Rev. E. LYMAN, of Brookfield, with but three members, viz.:
Mr. GOFF, Mr. STEWART, and Mr. FLAGG. The Congregational church in Waitsfield
had been organized two years before, and probably this was the second church
of any denomination organized in the limits of Washington county. About
1800 the town selected a commanding and pleasant site for a meeting-house,
near the center of the town, and completed a house 58 by 48 feet in 1803.
This meeting-house was the property of the town, and was finished in the
prevailing style, with a tall steeple, and galleries on three sides. It
was opened for worship, town meetings, theatrical performances, and military
drill, and was burned in 1838. In 1839, or 1840, the Congregational church
completed their present house of worship at Berlin Corners, at a cost of
$2,000. The first pastor was Rev. James HOBART, who was ordained November
7, 1798, and continued pastor of the church until May, 1829. Tire present
pastor is Rev. John J. HALL. The church will seat 250 persons, and together
with grounds and other church property is valued at $3,000. The Sunday-school
has 116 scholars, with an average attendance of about seventy-five, and
ten teachers. This church has sustained worship almost without cessation
since its organization in 1798.
In February, 1803, the late Hon. Daniel BALDWIN, then a resolute
lad of eleven years, who had been attending a school on the lower part
of Dog river, concluded he would visit his sister, Mrs. Israel DEWEY, who
lived three or four miles up the river, and over a road that mainly led
through a dense forest to his destination near the line of Northfield.
He set off about dark, not expecting any difficulty in accomplishing his
journey, and made good progress until he reached the log cabin of Seth
JOHNSON, who, on learning the destination of the intrepid boy, shook his
head and said, "Daniel, you must not try to go through the long woods to
your sister's, for if you do the varmints will catch you." But the courageous
boy was decided to go on. Whereupon Mr. JOHNSON put a blazing fire-brand
into his hand, with these directions how to use it: " There, now take it
and swing it enough to keep it burning, and if the savage brutes beset
you, swing it like fury and I'll warrant they won't touch you." He had
not proceeded more than half a mile before he was greeted by a long, dismal
howl, off to his left, which was almost instantly answered by a chorus
of a dozen responsive howls from the side of Irish hill, and these ominous
howls became more distinct as the hungry pack every moment drew nearer.
The boy then realized that a large troop of wolves, against which he had
been warned, were rapidly closing in upon him. He quickened his pace to
a run for life, and swung his fire-brand as he went, while in front, and
in rear, to the right and to the left, came the same shrill and hungry
howl. He leaped forward with the speed of an antelope, the next mile, shouting
at every bound to keep his own courage up and hoping to frighten away his
pursuers, until almost overcome by fright and exhaustion he succeeded in
reaching the home of his brother-in-law. Several settlers in the vicinity
of the extensive mountain forest of Irish hill had lost sheep, and the
news of this perilous adventure of young BALDWIN spread rapidly in the
adjacent settlements, and established the fact that a pack of destructive
wolves really existed in their vicinity, and that Irish hill was their
headquarters. The inhabitants in concert joined for their destruction,
and assembled, from miles around, to the number of 400 or 500, the ensuing
Saturday, early in the morning, at the house of Abel KNAPP, Esq. They chose
two captains, and a general officer to remain at the starting point. The
captains divided the men into two equal companies, and each led off with
a company in opposite directions along the borders of the woods, and each
left a man every fifty or sixty rods, with orders to keep his station until
ordered to march into the woods. In this manner Irish hill was surrounded.
Next came the command, "Prepare to march," from the general officer, which
was repeated by the next stationed at the south, and in succession until
the sound died away in the distance. In a short time a faint sound was
heard in nearly the opposite direction, which grew louder and louder until
it reached the starting point, and proved that the ring was complete. Then
came the stirring command "march," and, as each man sent the order to his
next neighbor, he marched rapidly towards the center of the ring, as near
as he could judge a quarter of a mile, and as instructed commanded "halt."
And thus rapidly came the commands "march" and "halt" until the ring was
so nearly closed that it was seen that several wolves were enclosed. The
cowed and frightened brutes ran galloping round the circle, seeking a place,
but in vain, to escape. Bullets flew promiscuously and it was discovered
that men as well as wolves were in danger. At this crisis Thomas DAVIS,
an acknowledged marksman, was delegated to go inside of the ring and shoot
the wolves. This he did, dispatched them all, and endangered no man. We
are informed that the trophies of the day were seven wolves and ten foxes.
The company them made the house of the town clerk the objective point.
It was soon announced that the amount of bounties was sufficient to pay
for a supper for the whole company; and while they awaited the cooking,
a five gallon keg of rum was opened and distributed, which, taken in their
exhausted condition, and on empty stomachs, upset many never upset by rum
before. Thus ended the great wolf hunt of 1803, and completely routed the
last of these unwelcome varmints in Berlin.
Of Washington County, Vt. 1783-1899,
and Published by Hamilton Child,
By William Adams.
Journal Company, Printers and Binders.
N. Y.; April, 1889.
by Karima Allison, 2003
Washington Co., VT Business Directory
1883 - 1884
of Berlin, Washington Co., Vermont
1791 - 1876