HISTORY OF THE TOWN OF 

LONDONDERRY

      LONDONDERRY lies in the northwestern corner of the county, in lat. 44° 7' and long. 4° 19', bounded north by Landgrove, in Bennington county, and Weston and Andover, in Windsor county, east by Windham, South by Jamaica, and west by Landgrove and Winhall, in Bennington county. The township originally included the town of Windham, and was granted by New York to James ROGERS, February 23, 1770, under the name of Kent. ROGERS was a regular colonel of colony militia, under King George III. In 1778, because of his Tory principles, Col. ROGERS's property was confiscated and he was obliged to fly to Canada, and on the 10th of April, 1780, the Vermont legislature chartered the confiscated land to Edward AIKEN, Samuel FLETCHER and Joseph TYLER, reserving five sixty-fifths thereof for religious and educational purposes, and changing the name of the territory from Kent to Londonderry. In 1792 Londonderry was divided, the eastern part becoming the town of Windham, though the boundary line was not then established, but was supposed to be near the western base of Glebe Mountain. In 1795, through the influence of Esquire ARNOLD in the legislature, a portion of Windham was re-annexed to Londonderry and the boundary established as it now is, ranging with the summit of the mountain. In 1795 James ROGERS, Jr., petitioned the legislature to grant him one half of the confiscated lands that remained unsold, which petition was granted. In 1797 he petitioned again for the other half, alleging as a reason, that if it was right for him to have one half it was also right for him to have the whole. The legislature recognized the force of his logic and again granted his petition.

     Though the surface of the township is broken and uneven there yet remains a large amount of fine, arable land, with a warm, easily cultivated soil, the alluvial lands along West river being considered unusually good. This stream forms, with its tributaries, the water-course of the territory, flowing a southerly course through the center of the town, into Jamaica. It receives Winhall river and Utley brook from the west, and a good sized mill stream from the east. Upon the latter, in the northern part of the town, is located Lowell lake, a fine large pond, and above it a smaller body of water, called Lily pond.

      In 1880 Londonderry had a population of 1,154, and in 1882 its thirteen school districts contained thirteen common schools, employing three male and twenty-two female teachers, at an aggregate salary of $1,194.80. There were 278 pupils attending common school, while the entire cost of the schools for the year, ending October 31st, was $1,332.52, with W. L. GIBSON, superintendent.

      LONDONDERRY is a post village located in the northern part of the town. It has one church (Congregational), one hotel, machine shop, saw and grist-mill, a tin shop, two general stores, and about forty dwellings. West river, along which the village is located, affords several good mill-privileges, which are utilized by the manufactories mentioned.

      SOUTH LONDONDERRY is a post village consisting of about sixty dwellings, scattered for the length of nearly a mile along the valley of West river, a little south of the center of the town, being the western terminus of the Brattleboro & Whitehall railroad. It has one church (Baptist), a good hotel, a weekly paper, “The Sifter,” and various manufactories, including that of lumber, leather, flour and feed, a harness shop, tin shop, livery stable, etc.

      LIVERMOREVILLE is a hamlet located in the southwestern part of the town.

     The Londonderry grist-mill located at Londonderry village, was built by A. A. CURTIS, in 1880, on the site of one originally built about one hundred years ago. The mill has three runs of stones and grinds about 1,200 bushels of merchant grain and 8,000 bushels of custom grain per year.

      A. A. CURTIS's saw-mill, located with and built at the same time of the above grist mill, is furnished with circular saws and the necessary machinery for manufacturing 400,000 feet of lumber per year.

      Francis F. CHURCHILL's saw-mill, on road 32, was placed on its present foundation about 1871 or '72, by Joseph Bailey. It was purchased by Mr. CHURCHILL in 1884, and has the capacity for cutting 2,000 to 4,500 feet of lumber per day.

      WILLIAMS & HAYWARD's machine shop, on Main street, at Londonderry, was commenced here in January, 1884, a continuation of the business carried on at Chester, by Horace A. HAYWARD. The building is a three story wood structure, 36 by 50 feet, erected in 1867. In 1883 Mr. WILLIAMS built a stone dam, one hundred feet in length, across West river, which gives a fall of seven and one-half feet. The firm has ample machinery for carrying on their business, the manufacture of iron planers, power and lever punches, drilling machinery, screw machines, etc.

      William A. SHATTUCK's grist-mill at South Londonderry, has three runs of stones and does custom work.

      Joseph St. ONGE's carriage manufactory, at South Londonderry, was originally built for a church building, but was converted into a factory about twenty years ago. Mr. St. ONGE manufactures all kinds of wagons, sleighs and carriages.

      William W. PIERCE & Co.'s tub factory and job shop, at South Londonderry, was built in 1863. The company employs about five men and manufactures 5,000 tubs per annum.

     The South Londonderry Tannery was erected by Ezra DAVIS, about fifty years ago, and has been operated by H. A. WALKER since 1879, who tans 4,500 sides per year.

      ST. MARIE & BALL's saw and shingle-mill, on road 42, cuts about 300,000 feet of lumber per year.

      A. F. LIVERMORE's saw-mill and chair-stock factory, on road 45, was built by Samuel LIVERMORE, in 1840. Mr. LIVERMORE manufactures about 100,000 feet of lumber and a large amount of chair stock per year.

      Frank M. WOOD has a steam saw-mill on road 40, a mill on West river, operated by water-power, and a steam mill in Jamaica, He manufactures about 4,000,000 feet of lumber per year.

      A. W. J. WILKINS & Co.'s marble works are located at Londonderry village. The works were started by GIBSON Bros., in 1867.

      Londonderry received its name and early settlers through the following circumstances: About the year 1650 there was a large emigration from Argleshire, in the west of Scotland, to Londonderry, in the north of Ireland. The emigrants were warmly attached to the Presbyterian doctrine and discipline, in which the church of Scotland was united. These Scottish Protestants of Ireland were involved in many difficulties during the reign of Charles I. and James II., until 1680, the period known as the British revolution, when William and Mary ascended the throne. They were bound to assist in the support of the church of England, and many of them suffered in the seige of Londonderry, Ireland, in 1688, when James II., with a powerful force from France, besieged the city. They held to their religious faith with a national tenacity that did not accord with the popular faith of Ireland, nor that of their English masters. Disliking the institutions of tithe and rent -- being subjected to the church of England -- they resolved to emigrate to America. In 1718 large numbers of these people landed on our shores, some of them near Boston, and others near Casco bay. Those who landed at Casco settled the towns of Londonderry, Windham, and Manchester, in New Hampshire, bringing with them these names from across the waters of the Atlantic, and also introduced the culture of potatoes, as well as the art of weaving linen, in this part of the American continent.

      A little more than half a century later, 1769, the descendants of these people, McMURPHY, MILLER, the DERBYS, MONTGOMERY, and perhaps one or two more, led by Col. ROGERS, from Londonderry, N. H., explored the territory of what is now Londonderry and Windham, in this county. McMURPHY began his work in the wilderness, on land now owned by Washington BROOKS and son, and erected there the first log cabin in the territory. Robert MONTGOMERY commenced the same year on the COLLINS place; MILLER stopped in THOMPSONburg, on land now owned by Josiah GODDARD, and the DERBYs settled the Vaile farm, which they subsequently sold to George HEWES, in 1790. On the approach of winter they returned to their families in New Hampshire.

      In the spring of 1770, ROGERS in the mean time having procured a charter of the territory, those who came the preceding year returned with some of their families, but whether they remained here the following winter cannot be accurately ascertained; but it is believed that no family on the mountains nor in the valleys faced the storms of winter prior to the season of 1772. In the spring of that year Dea. Edward AIKEN took his hired man and walked from his home in Londonderry, N. H., to the town of Kent, a distance of one hundred miles, through small settlements and dense forests. He began to open the wilderness in the north part of the town, now the northern part of Windham. During the summer, while far away from neighbors and friends, he became a victim of disease. His hired man reported his condition to the small settlement in Rockingham, and from there to his wife, who immediately left her home and journeyed the one hundred miles on horseback, nursed her husband back to life, and then returned to her home as she had come. Such were the hardships endured by the early settlers of Kent.

      In this spring, also, all these people who had been here before returned, consisting of seven families. Col. ROGERS also came again, this time for the purpose of settling the territory which he had chartered. He brought with him several hired men, among whom were William COX, Joseph OUGHTERSON and Daniel COCHRAN, who took their pay for labor in land, at two shillings per day. The land they then cleared is in the eastern part of the town, now known as the LARKIN place, though they believed it was nearly in the center of the town. This party returned in November, and returned again in the spring with their families, the party being increased by James PATTERSON, Samuel THOMPSON, John COX, and Capt. Ed. AIKEN, cousin of the deacon. In 1775 the settlement was increased by GLAZIER, HELLECK, EDDY, ALLEN, McCORMACK, MACK and others.

     The first town meeting for the election of officers was held in March, 1775 at the grist-mill at the mouth of Lowell lake, or Derry pond as it was formerly called. Edward AIKEN was then elected the first town clerk of the town of Kent. He was re-elected in 1778. A record of this meeting cannot be found. Another meeting was held at the same place the following May, the record of which is signed by Edward AIKEN, town clerk. At the annual meeting in 1777, five men were elected as town committee, three selectmen, a constable, surveyors, collector and counter. The committee arranged the valuation of property, and, among other things, performed the duty of listers. The town of Kent elected but one representative before the name was changed. Dea. Edward AIKEN was the first representative, March 3, 1778, and retained the office until 1795. In 1779 James PATTERSON was elected the first grand juror, Robert ANDERSON, brander of horses, Lieut. James HOPKINS, hog constable, and Joseph OUGHTERSON, tythingman. In 1780 Dea. Edward AIKEN was elected the first justice of the peace, and Robert McCORMICK then succeeded James HOPKINS in the office of town clerk, HOPKINS having been elected to the office in 1778.

      Education received the early attention of the settlers. Three or four families would unite in hiring a teacher, who taught in rotation, from house to house, usually a month in each family. Dr. LAZELLE taught the first school, in the houses of Daniel COCHRAN, Joseph OUGHTERSON and Hugh MONTGOMERY. Quite early, however, a district was formed and a school-house erected, in what is now the Faulkner neighborhood. This house was burned in 1814. At a still later period the town was regularly divided into school districts, which have been changing ever since, with the drift of population and the lines of highways.

     The nearest place for the first settlers to obtain the necessaries of life was at Charlestown, N. H., then called Number Four. These difficulties naturally fostered a desire for home manufacture and home trade. Accordingly, in 1774, Capt. Edward AIKEN, after clearing a little land, began work on the first grist-mill in town, located at the outlet of Lowell lake. Col. ROGERS gave the land and right of flowage. Subsequently Capt. AIKEN sold this mill to George McMURPHY, who ran it for several years. In 1785 Capt. AIKEN built another mill on the present site of the grist-mill at the North village, which was run many years by his son Jonathan. In the same year, 1785, the first bridge was built in town, where the bridge near this mill now stands, the bottom log of the same being the foundation of the abutment that now supports the foundation of the bridge. The first store in which goods were sold stood on the height of land between the two villages, owned and kept by PAGE & BURCHARD. Soon after this store was opened, PARKER, DEAN & JOHNSON opened a store in the house lately occupied by Rodney SPAULDING. The first two hotels opened to the public were kept, one by Arrington GIBSON, on the GIBSON place, and the other by Samuel SHERBURG, whose hotel stood just back of the present hotel at the North village. The first child born is said to have been David ROGERS, son of Col. ROGERS, about 1775.

     No important events took place in the town during the Revolution, or the stirring times just before it. In a warning of a town meeting under date of April 20, 1778, when article seven was "to see what encouragement the town would make for two soldiers that are to be raised in said town for the term of eleven months." The meeting thus warned voted to pay two soldiers each thirty pounds as a bounty. It was also during this year that Col. ROGERS was obliged to give up his lands and flee to Canada. In 1782 the town voted to raise two men for the ensuing campaign, agreeably to the resolve of the assembly. They voted to hire Jonathan AIKEN and James MACK to go into service, and have each of them seven pounds and ten shillings, and to have for wages two pounds per month, which was to be paid in clearing their land for them at two pounds per acre, and which was to be ready for seed by September 1, 1782. They also excused James AYERS, John McCORMACK and John MACK, who were out in the three-year's service, from paying any part of the bounty which was to be raised.

      Quite early in the Revolution, tradition has it, a party under Capt. COOKE left Fort Dummer for the purpose of learning the condition of the settlements up the valley of West river and through to Rutland. They found no traces of hostile Indians, nor any disturbances among the settlements. Upon their return down the river, this party laid down their implements of war and began to fish for trout near the north of Flood brook-then called the West branch. While thus engaged a party of hostile Indians, who had followed their trail from the top of the mountain north, lying in ambush, fired upon them. Three of their number fell, and the rest precipitately fled. They retreated to the fort, where they were reinforced, and returning buried their dead on land lately owned by the THOMPSON brothers, formerly owned by Ezra PIERCE. No monument to-day marks the spot where they fell to sleep.

      In 1777, Gen. STARK, in marching his army from New Hampshire to Bennington, passed over the Huntley hill, south of the ravine, thence north of the north village, across the Utley Flats, in Landgrove, and camped near a spring on the Ira K. BATCHELDER farm, now owned by Mark B. LYON, in Peru. The following day he crossed the mountain nearly a mile north of the present turnpike, and camped in Manchester. Thence he marched to Bennington, to take victory from the British, or leave Molly, his wife, a widow. Some of the citizens of Kent joined STARK, while they had their regular quota in the army.

      When the late great war came upon us Londonderry did her full share, and with her sister towns mourns her dead and glories in the victory. 

      Daniel BABBITT, a native of England, came to America in company with two brothers. He was one of the first settlers in Londonderry, locating here when the country was new. He died here about 1804. He had a large family of children. David, one of his sons, was born in Windham, and married Polly GATES, of Ackworth, N. H., by whom he had eleven children, eight of whom are living. His experience vividly illustrates the hardships endured by many of the pioneer settlers of this region. While clearing his farm he went to Boston on foot twenty-two consecutive falls, making the journey of 125 miles in two and one-half days. He carried with him a cleaver weighing nineteen pounds, his business in Boston being the cutting of beef. George, son of David, was born in Londonderry, and married Sarah Jane FRENCH, of Jamaica. He has two children living, George H. and Fred D., the latter of whom is a prodigy, for though only sixteen years old he weighs 206 pounds.

      Edward AIKEN, a native of Londonderry, N. H., was one of the first settlers in this town. He was the first town clerk and the first justice of the peace. His son Daniel was born and died in this town. John AIKEN, son of the latter, was born here and lives on road 37.

      Samuel THOMPSON came from Londonderry, N. H., to Kent, about 1774, and was one of the first settlers. He located near where the school-house stands, on road 34, and died here at the age of about eighty-seven years. He had four sons, one of whom, David, came with his father and died here at the age of sixty-eight years. Joel, one of David's twelve children, was born in Londonderry and lives on the corner of roads 30 and 31.

     Barnet WAIT was born in Alstead, N. H., and came to Londonderry in 1791. He settled about one and one-fourth miles northeast of Londonderry village. He raised a family of eleven children, four of whom are living. He died here in 1838, aged seventy-one years. His son Barnet was born in Londonderry in 1795. He has been a justice of the peace for forty-five years, overseer of the poor about fifty years, and selectman about twenty years. His popularity is attested by the fact that though a Democrat, he has been defeated in a Republican town but three or four times in fifty years. He lives in the north village, and owns the land where the Tory ROGERS lived before he went to Canada. He had six children, four of whom are living, Mary, wife of A. M. ALBEE, of Springfield, Vt., Barnet S., who lives in the north village, Corydon F., a farmer in this town, and Cordelia M., wife of William F. SUTTON.

      Abial WHITMAN was born in Westmoreland, N. H., and removed with his father, who was a native of Attleboro, Mass., to Windham, Vt., when but ten years old. He afterwards settled in the southwest part of Londonderry, on the farm on which he resided till his death about eighteen years ago, at the age of seventy-nine years. He represented the town once and was a justice of the peace for many years. He had twelve children. His son Ira E. was born in Londonderry in 1836, and lived here until July 12, 1883, when he removed to Bellows Falls. He is a carpenter and general jobber. Abial's daughter, Esther W., married Amore E. FULLER of this town, who died in March, 1872, aged sixty-eight years. He was for several years representative from this town.

      Jonathan BUXTON, of Smithfield, R. I., came to Londonderry about 1798, and settled on the farm now owned by George W. JAMES. Of his ten children Nathan was born in Rhode Island and came with his father to this town. He had four sons, Stephen A., Charles, Albert and Horan, and three daughters, Mary, Martha and Adaline. Stephen A. is the only living member of the family. Charles was major of the 11th Vt. regiment and was killed at the battle of Winchester, Va. Albert was captain of BERDAN's sharp-shooters, and was killed in the battle of the Wilderness. Horace was a corporal in the 11th Vt. regiment and died of fever in Washington. Daniel, son of Jonathan, lives in this town. His children are Willard, Jason, Richard, Bradford, who also lives in this town, Carrie and Angie.

      Armington GIBSON, who was born in Lunenburg, Mass., came to Londonderry in 1800 and settled on the farm now owned and occupied by his grandson, H. H. COLLINS. He died about twenty-five years ago, aged eighty-three or eighty-four years.

      Dr. J. B. COLLINS came from Marlboro, Mass., and located first where his son, H. H. COLLINS lives. He practiced medicine till his death. He married Sylvia, daughter of Arrington, and had four children who grew to maturity. H. H. and Emeline live in this town. Another son, J. I., is in Washington Territory.

      Imla COREY came to Londonderry from Groton, Mass., about. 1807, and engaged in agricultural pursuits. He died in 1833. He had only one child, Imla, who was born in 1809, and removed in 1871 to Westminster, where he now resides with his son William W., on road 59. Another son, George M., lives on road 50, in that town.

      Alpheus WRIGHT, a native of Stoddard, N. H., came to Londonderry in 1818, and settled on the farm now owned by his son Winfield S., where he died in 1847, aged fifty-two years. Winfield was born in the house in which he resides.

      Luther STOWELL came from Petersham, Mass., to Windham, in the fall of 1796. April 8, 1818, he removed to Londonderry, where he died in 1857, aged eighty-four years. He had eleven children. His son Avery B., who was born in Windham, and came to Londonderry with his father, located where he now lives.

      Alva W. PIERCE was born in Andover, Vt., and came to Londonderry in 1821. He lived with an aunt until nineteen years old, and has continued to reside here to the present time, with the exception of five years spent in the Mississippi valley.

      Oliver P. NEWELL was born in Dorset, Vt., and came with his parents to Londonderry, in 1821. In 1833 he bought the farm on which lie now resides, and located on it in 1838.

      Emery HARRINGTON was born in Orange, Mass., and came to Londonderry about 1821. He settled in the south part of the town, on West river, and died in Bennington, at the age of fifty-five years. He had six children. His son, E. Leander, was born in this town February 1, 1822. At the age of twenty-one he went to Port Kent, N. Y., and after various removals, covering nine years, he returned to Londonderry, where he still resides.

     Thomas S. VIALL, born in Jamaica, came to Londonderry in June, 1822. He was a justice of the peace in this town for forty years. He died November 15, 1871, aged eighty years. His son Philetus, and daughters Dorothy ALBEE and Jeannette YEARLY, still reside here.

      Sem PIERCE, it is believed, was born in Windham, as he spent his boyhood there and married Lydia MOSES, of that town, September 3, 1815. He came to Londonderry about 1824, and died here October 15, 1865, aged seventy-one years. He had a large family. His son Sem, of this town, was born in Londonderry, and married Eliza N. HOWARD. They had three children, Frank O., Mary O., and William H.

      Abial WHITMAN, born in Attleboro, Mass., came to Windham about 1788, and located on the land now owned by his son Asa. His son Ara, born in Windham in 1802, came to Londonderry in 1826, and now resides at Londonderry village.

      Ephraim WALKER came to Windham, Vt., from Westmoreland, N. H., at an early day, and in 1838 he removed to Londonderry, where he died in 1863. He had four sons and one daughter: Calvin B., who is a farmer in this town; William H., who is a lawyer and a judge of probate, residing in Ludlow; Henry A., who is a tanner; George E., who died in Ludlow; and Lydia Jane, wife of Captain HOWE, of Ludlow.

      James MARTIN was born in Landgrove, in 1813, and lived in that town until 1821. He married Lucy GRAY, of Weston, Vt., and settled in Londonderry in 1853-'54. He represented the town of Landgrove two successive terms, .and the county once. He was a member of the constitutional convention of 1843, and is now station agent and U. S. and Canada express agent at Winhall station, on the B. & W. R. R. He had eight sons, only three of whom are living: John H., who is a farmer in N. H.; James L., who is a lawyer in Brattleboro, which town he has represented since 1874, and as speaker of the VT. House since 1878; and Joseph G., who is a lawyer at Factory Point, Vt. 

     Cynthia BATCHELDER was born in Springfield, and married Lucius GRISWOLD, of that town, who came to Londonderry in 1859, and died in 1860. She afterwards married Chandler EDDY, and now lives on her farm, on road 27. She had eight children by her first husband, two of whom, Dana and Collins R., were Union soldiers. Dana was in Florence prison, and escaped, but died soon after. COLLINS R. lives in this town.

     Thomas JAMES, a native of Rome, N. Y., was a sea captain thirty-five years, and during that time owned and commanded fourteen vessels. He came to Londonderry in 1867, and died here January 4, 1882, aged seventy-six years. He was a very generous man, and though belonging to no church, contributed liberally toward the support of the three churches in this town. His widow still resides with her son George W., in this town.

     Col. Harlan O. PEABODY was born in Chester, Vt., in 1839. May 11, 1861, at the age of twenty-two, he enlisted in Co. I, 2d Vt. regiment, and was the first man who enlisted for three years in the town of Andover. He was discharged from the 2d Vt., as sergeant, in May, 1862, and re-enlisted in the 16th Vt. regiment, August 29th. He was promoted 2d lieutenant of Co. C, October 23, 1862; 1st lieutenant Co. H, December 31, 1862; and adjutant April 1, 1863. He was discharged at the expiration of his term of service. He was elected Lieut.-Col. of the 10th Vt., militia, January 20, 1865. For ten years after the war he lived in Ludlow, engaged in the clothing and boot and shoe business, and was an active politician. He has been engaged in the hotel business in Granville, N. Y., Rochester and Chester, Vt., and at present in Londonderry, to which town he came in 1881.

      Joshua TYLER was born in Chesterfield, N. H., August 16, 1781, and married Lydia FARR, who died January 13, 1805. He married for his second wife, in 1810, Lois BACON, of Chesterfield, and located in Dummerston, where he engaged in mercantile pursuits. He came to Londonderry in 1830, and died in Potter county, Penn., at the age of seventy-seven. Dwight, a son of his first wife, was born January 13, 1805, and married Mary V. FISK, of Montpelier, Vt., December 28, 1832. They now reside at South Londonderry. He has been a merchant for many years; town clerk and treasurer for thirty-seven consecutive years; and justice of the peace for more than twenty-five years. One of their two children, Harland D., survives, and lives at South Londonderry. He married Owel R. WHITMAN of this town and has two children, Minnie A. and Frank H.

      Samuel THOMPSON was a native of Ireland and emigrated thence to Massachusetts. From there he removed to this town when there were but three or four families here, and settled where John RAMSDELL now lives, and died here. His son Samuel was born in Londonderry and died here at the age of about seventy-six. Solon, son of the latter, was also born here. He died in 1880, aged seventy. Henry L. and Walter THOMPSON, Sons of Solon, were both born in Londonderry and live on road 33.

      Samuel LIVERMORE, son of Samuel LIVERMORE, who was one of the first settlers in Jamaica, and the first of the name to settle in the county, was born in that town September 25, 1790, and at the age of nine years was bound out to John ALEXANDER, of Winchester, N. H., with whom he remained till twenty-one years old. He married Mercy LEONARD of Warwick, Mass., and settled in Windham, Vt., where he resided, with the exception of a year spent in Winchester, until September, 1832, when he removed to the farm in Londonderry, now owned and occupied by his sons Austin E. and Samuel M. He died in 1869, aged seventy-eight years, eleven months and four days. He had six children, Jonas L., Asenath, Edward A., Austin F., Samuel M. and Hannah N., all of whom are living, except Asenath. All the sons live in Londonderry except Jonas L., who resides in Townshend.

      James L. MARTIN, member of the law firm of MARTIN & EDDY, of Brattleboro, was born in Landgrove, Vt., September 13, 1846. He received an academical education, studied law at the Albany law school, graduating in 1869. He immediately commenced practice in Londonderry and has resided here since. He was State's attorney from 1874 to '76, represented the town from 1874 to '84, and was speaker of the House in 1878, '80 and '82.


CHURCHES

     The original church members of the town of Kent, in forms and ceremonies, were followers of John KNOX, who had learned from Calvin in Geneva, the form of ecclesiastical government known as Presbyterian. The Scotch "kirk" was the true child of the reformation, being strongly opposed to the church of England, which was viewed by them as not having come out from the abomination of Babylon the Great, but only as having shaken off a few of the grosser corruptions of ancient Rome. Neither did the followers of KNOX fully sympathize with the Puritans, for they (the Puritans) believed in self-government, and that each congregation should be regulated by its own laws; hence the more modern names of Congregationalists. The Presbyterians recognized the authority of Synods and Presbyteries, hence were more in sympathy with the doctrines of church and state being directly connected, and consequently recognized the authority of towns to govern their churches, and lay and collect taxes therefore. The Puritans rejected this doctrine. As the population of the town increased, those who were allied to the Presbyterian faith correspondingly decreased, and the Puritans increased. In 1818 they erected, by the aid of the town, the first house for public worship, in what has long been known as the middle town. The later history of the churches the citizens may all view with pride, because of their perpetual diffusion of morality and good will among men.

     The Second Congregational church of Londonderry, located at Londonderry village, was organized by a regular Congregational council, in 1868, having originally eighteen members, Rev. M. A. GATES being their first pastor, Their church building was erected in 1842, by the Methodist and Universalist societies in union. The two societies subsequently became involved in a law-suit relative to the right of occupancy, the suit being decided in favor of the Methodist society. After this society became extinct, the present Congregational society purchased the property of the M. E. conference of Vermont, in 1869. The structure is capable of seating 300 persons, and is valued, including grounds, at $2,000.00. The society now has fourteen members, with Rev. R. D. METCALF, pastor.

     The Baptist church, located at South Londonderry, was organized in March, 1811, consisting of thirteen persons dismissed from the Baptist church in Peru, Vt., Rev. Gershom LANE being the first pastor. The church building, a brick structure capable of seating 300 persons, and valued, including grounds, etc., at $5,000.00, was built in 1834. Rev. H. C. LEAVITT is the present pastor of the society.

     The Methodist Episcopal church, located at South Londonderry, has 100 members, with Rev. James E. KNAPP, pastor. 

Gazetteer and Business Directory of 
Windham County, Vt., 1724-1884.
Compiled and Published By Hamilton Child,
Printed At The Journal Office, Syracuse, N. Y., July, 1884.
Page 238-248

Transcribed by Karima Allison ~2004