is the county town, and capital of the State. The township is watered by
the Winooski River, which runs through the south-east corner, and along
the southern boundary by the Little North Branch, which crosses the south-west
corner, by Kingsbury Branch, which crosses the north-east corner, and by
several smaller streams. The mill privileges are both good and numerous.
The surface of the town is uneven, but the soil is very warm, is
uncommonly fine, and there is scarcely an acre of waste land in Montpelier,
the most of it richly, and all of it fairly rewarding the labors of the
industrious farmer. The prevailing character of the rocks is slate and
lime, sometimes distinct, but more generally combined. Rare minerals
have not been found here, unless the sulphurets of iron, copper, and talc,
which are common in the slate rocks, be reckoned. Some years ago there
was a company formed and a charter obtained, for boring for salt; and,
by the aid of machinery, a hole was perforated to the depth of 800 feet,
through a solid rock, below the falls on Winooski River, but no salt water
obtained. From the sediment drawn up, it appeared that the rock, the slate
limestone, preserved its character, with an occasional layer of flint or
sand stone, through the whole of that depth; and one or two springs, impregnated
with iron, which were come across in the course of the drilling, were the
only discoveries made, till the project was relinquished.
Montpelier Village, incorporated in 1818, embracing a square mile,
and in the southwest corner of the township on the bank of Winooski River,
and on both sides of the Little North Branch. It is about ten miles
north-easterly from the: geographical centre of the State, and, besides
being the point of intersection of the roads from all parts; is the great
thoroughfare between the ocean and Canada; the travel going through not
only in this, but in all directions. The situation is low, but the
streets and building ground have been raised so much, that it is now as
dry as other places of the like soil. The whole site of this village
bears unequivocal evidence of having been the bed of a lake about forty
feet deep, the original surface of the water being indicated by the strata
of earth and rocks on all the surrounding hills, and the whole having been
drained, probably, by the deepening of the channel at Middlesex Narrows.
The place has had a rapid growth, and is now one of the most flourishing
interior villages in New England.
The public buildings are, the beautiful and durable State house,
built under the superintendence of A. B.Young, architect, in 1836-7, which
is superior, perhaps, to any State house in the Union, unless we except
the recent one in North Carolina, a court house, jail, a brick academy,
a spacious brick! Meeting house. and two handsome wooden ones. The
academy, or county grammar school, was incorporated November 7, 1800, and
is now a flourishing institution, with a library, philosophical apparatus,
Montpelier has already become a place of considerable manufacture
and trade by the laudable enterprise of its citizens; but the passage of
a railroad within its boarders, uniting a large and fertile country with
the Atlantic shores, is a new era in the history of the town, and will
be found to accomplish very important services, both to the town and its
A manufacturing company was incorporated at Montpelier in 1847.
Boundaries. Northerly by Calais, easterly by Plainfield and
a small part of Marshfield, southerly by Berlin, from which it is separated
by Winooski River, and a part of Barre, and westerly by Middlesex.
First Settlers. The first attempt to settle in this town was
made in the Spring of 1786, when Joel Frizzle, a hunter and trapper, felled
a few trees, planted a little corn among the logs, after the Indian fashion,
and erected a very small log cabin on the Winooski River, in the southwest
corner of this township, and moved his family, himself and wife, a little
French woman into from Canada, the same season. But the first permanent
clearing and settlement was not made till the Spring after. On the
4th of May 1787, Col. Jacob Davis and Gen. Parly Davis, from Charleton,
Worchester Co., Mass., with one hired man and one horse each loaded with
pork, flour, beans, and other necessaries, came and settled.
First Ministers. The religious denominations in this town
are two societies of Congregationalist and one each of Methodists, Universalists,
Production of the soil. Wheat, 3,652 bushels; Indian corn,
7,630 bushels; potatoes, 66,860 bushels; hay, 7,205 tons; maple sugar,
67,070 pounds; wool, 12,941 pounds.
Distances. It is 182 miles west from Augusta, Maine; 97 north
northwest from Concord, N.H.; 160 northwest by north from Boston, Mass.;
200 north by west from Providence, R.I.; 205 north from Hartford, CT.;
148 northeast from Albany, NY; and 524 miles from Washington. The
above distances are by the old mail routes, and vary some by the new mode
of travelling by railroads. The Iron Horse paid his first visit to
this beautiful mountain town in the Autumn of 1848, and is determined to
press his course northward in the most amicable manner, to induce the Canadians
to make the Atlantic shores of New England the deposit of a large share
of their great and increasing commerce.
of Vermont, Hayward, 1849, p. 88-89.
of Montpelier ~ Gazetteer Of Washington County, Vt. 1783-1899,
Official Web Site for the City of Montpelier, Vermont, U.S.A.
listings from the Elm Street Cemetery, Montpelier, VT
Historic State House
History ~ The Green Mountain State. VTLiving.com
of the Residents of North Hall, Montpelier Seminary 1923/1924