OF THE TOWN OF
BARNARD lies in the northwestern part of the county, in lat. 43°
44' and long. 4° 24', bounded north by Royalton, east by Pomfret, south
by Bridgewater, and west by Stockbridge. It contains an area of 23,040
acres, and was granted to William STORY and his associates in rather a
peculiar manner, the circumstances being mainly as follows:
Previous to the year 1713 the general court of the province of Massachusetts
granted several large tracks of land, which were supposed to lie within
the provincial limits. Upon this presumption these tracts were taken up
and surveyed by the guarantees, and many of them had already become the
centers of permanent and flourishing settlements. But on determining the
boundaries between this province and the colony of Connecticut, in 1713,
107,793 acres of the land thus granted was found to be without the true
limits of the province. Massachusetts then, wishing to retain all the territory
which she had hitherto supposed her own, entered into an agreement with
her sister colony, in accordance with which it was determined "that the
said colony of Connecticut should have 107,793 acres as an equivalent to
the said colony for lands allowed and granted to belong to the said province,
that fall to the southward of the line lately run between the said province
and colony.” The colony of Connecticut having received all the land to
which she was entitled, caused to be sold in Hartford, at public vendue,
on the 24th and 25th of April, 1716. It was divided into sixteen shares,
and was bought by gentlemen from Connecticut, Massachusetts and London,
who paid for it £683 New England currency, which amounted to "a little
more than a farthing per acre," the money thus obtained being applied to
the use of Yale College.
Among these purchasers was a Mr. John WHITE, of Boston. On the 26th
of December, 1753, the "Equivalent Lands," together with a "considerable
quantity of other lands, was formed into three townships, beginning at
the north bounds of Hinsdale, Massachusetts, on the west side of the river,
and extending back about six miles, and so far up the river" as to enclose
the required amount. In the charters of these three towns, the names of
several new proprietors were omitted, but particular care was taken that
the rights of the original grantees should not be infringed upon. In a
petition presented by these grantees to Governor WENTWORTH, in 176o, he
was requested to confirm to Anna POWELL, who held a share formerly belonging
to Governor DUMMER, one quarter part of the "Equivalent Lands," and to
the heirs of Anthony STODDARD, to the heirs of John WHITE, and to William
BRATTLE, each a like portion. The confirmation was made in accordance with
these instructions, and was generally supposed that satisfaction had been
given to all concerned. But at the close of the war, when Governor Wentworth
had recommended his prodigal system of apportioning lands, there came to
Portsmouth, from Pomfret, Connecticut, a Mr. Isaac DANA, who stated that
John WHITE had had an interest in the “Equivalent Lands " but that no portion
had been given him in the allotment which had been made seven years previous.
To compensate for this neglect, DANA asked for the grant of a township.
Colonel Josiah WILLARD, of Winchester, N. H., who was present, told him
that if any wrong had been done, the blame lay with the agent of the proprietors
who had settled all things to "his liking." Notwithstanding this declaration,
however, DANA received a patent for the township of Pomfret. A few days
later another gentleman appeared, William STORY, of Boston, asking redress
for the injury done WHITE's heirs. Colonel Theodore ATKINSON, the Governor's
secretary, was very merry when this claim was proffered, deeming it as
fraudulent. But his laugh was no more effective than had been the reasoning
of Colonel WILLARD, and to STORY and his associates was set off the township
of Bernard, on the 17th of July, 1761 though the application had at first
been made in the name of the injured heirs of the injured WHITE.
The name of Barnard was given in honor of Francis BARNARD, one of
the grantees. In the charter deed it is spelled Bernard, a clerical error,
probably. This orthography was retained for a time, but gradually was dropped,
"a" being substituted for the incorrect "e."
The surface of the town is not generally so uneven as most of the
neighboring townships, yet there is considerable high, mountainous land.
Its whole surface, however, is so elevated that the cannonade of the battle
of Bunker Hill, June 17, 1775, it is related, was distinctly heard here,
though it was one Hundred miles distant. Delectable Mountain is a long,
rocky ridge, extending from the southern line nearly half way across the
western part of the territory, while just north of it is Mt. Hunger. This
latter elevation is said to have derived its name from the fact that two
men by the name of EATON starved to death on its summit. It offers a magnificent
view of the surrounding country. The territory is well watered by numerous
streams, the principal of which is Locust brook and its tributaries, which
flows through the town in a northerly direction, rising in the northwestern
part of the same. A branch of Quechee river has its source in the southern
part. Near the central part of the town is a handsome little body of water,
called Silver Lake, while in the eastern part of the territory is another
small pond. Many good mill-sites are afforded, some of which are utilized.
The soil is various and in many parts quite productive. In the eastern
part of the township there is a bog of excellent marl. The timber is that
common to this section of country, the sugar maple being quite abundant,
from which large quantities of sugar is manufactured.
The geological structure of the eastern part of the town is chiefly
made up of rocks of the calciferous mica schist formation, while in the
western part the rocks are mostly talcose schist. Between these two formations
is found a narrow bed of gneiss extending through the whole length of the
township. Gold has been discovered in this gneiss, though not in quantities
sufficiently large to pay for working. No other minerals have been discovered.
BARNARD, a post village located in the central part of the town,
on the outlet of Silver Lake, contains one church (Methodist), a hotel,
two stores, several shops and mills and about twenty dwellings.
EAST BARNARD is a small post village located in the northeastern
part of the town. It has one church (Methodist), two stores and about a
Daniel M CHAMBERLAIN's saw and planing-mill and general job shop,
located at Barnard village, was built by Daniel AIKENS about fifty years
ago, and came into Mr. CHAMBERLIN's hands in 1869.
In 1880 Barnard
had a population of 1,191, and in 1882 was divided into fourteen school
districts and contained fourteen common schools, employing seven male and
nineteen female teachers, to whom was paid an aggregate salary of $133.60.
There were 277 pupils attending common school, while the entire cost of
the schools for the year ending October 31st, was $2,416.34, with Mrs.
Jennie G. PUTNAM, superintendent.
S.H. LAMB's saw-mill, located on read 8, is operated by water-power,
and does custom sawing.
H.A. THAYER's saw-mill, located on road 16 corner of 27, is operated
by water-power, and does both custom and merchant sawing.
The Wesson NEWCOMB saw-mill, located on road 1, has a circular band-saw,
operated by water-power, and does custom sawing.
E.R. MORGAN's saw-mill, located on road 30, does both custom and
A. WINSLOW's saw-mill, located on road 48, does custom sawing.
J.E. SAFFORD's grist and saw-mill, located at Barnard village, and
operated by water-power, employs six men and does all kinds of grinding
In 1774, James CALL came into the town and chopped some timber,
but left in the autumn. In March of the following year an actual settlement
was commenced by Thomas FREEMAN, his son William, and John NEWTON. During
the same season Lot WHITCOMB, Nathaniel PAGE, William CHEEDLE and Asa WHITCOMB
moved their families into the town. From this time forward the population
gradually increased, until in 1791 the census reports show the town to
have had 673 inhabitants. The town was organized and the first town meeting
held April 9, 1778, when Thomas WHITE was chosen clerk; Joseph BYAN and
Joseph BOWMAN, constables; Thomas FREEMAN, Asa WHITCOMB and Solomon AIKENS,
selectmen. The justices of the peace were Benjamin COX and Beriah GREEN,
in 1786. The first representative was Edmund HODGES, in 1778. Polly CHEEDLE
was the first child born, August 11, 1775.
In 1780 the infant settlement was considerably startled by an Indian
attack. At this time, considering the exposed situation of the northern
frontier, it had long been a matter of surprise and congratulation in Vermont
that the British and Indians had not more frequently improved the many
opportunities which were open to them for attacking the settlers and pillaging
their fields and dwellings. This apparent forbearance, so far from arising
from any praise worthy motive, however, was caused by the many difficulties
which the enemy knew it would be necessary for them to encounter in reaching
the settlements. But the intervention of steep mountains and pathless forests
did not afford complete exemption from attack. On the 9th of August, 1780,
a party of twenty-one Indians made a raid on Barnard and made prisoners
of Thomas M. WRIGHT, John NEWTON and Prince HASKELL. These men were subsequently
carried to Canada, whence the two former escaped in the following spring.
The latter was exchanged after being a year in captivity. While prisoners
they suffered many hardships, which differed only in kind from those they
endured during their return journey. David STONE, of Bethel, was captured
at the same time, by the same party. When the settlement of Bethel was
begun, in the autumn of 1779, a small stockade fort was built by the inhabitants
of that town for their protection. It stood at the lower end of the west
village, on the north side of White river, and its garrison, which had
been removed from Royalton, was commanded by Captain SAFFORD. On the occasion
of this incursion it rendered no effectual service in behalf of the inhabitants.
Immediately after the attack the inhabitants of Barnard called a town meeting
and resolved to build a fort. Benjamin COX was chosen captain, and a message
was sent to the Governor for a commission. As soon as the fact of an incursion
became known, several companies of soldiers from different parts of the
State set out for Barnard, but before they arrived here the enemy had departed,
and the work of defense was almost completed. The fort was known as Fort
Defiance and was occupied by a garrison at times for quite a period.
The first settlement in school district No. 8 was commenced by Major
John GAMBELL, from Spencer, Mass., and Benjamin CLAPP, from Rochester,
Mass., about 1780. Mr. GAMBELL chopped the first timber and built the first
cabin where the SILLEY family now reside. His first child, a daughter,
was born in 1790; she married a Mr. FOSTER and is now living at Potsdam,
N. Y. Mr. and Mrs. GAMBELL lived to a very old age and died on the homestead.
Benjamin CLAPP was married in May, 1788, and built the first dwelling
on the farm now occupied by Horace Hatch. Mr. CLAPP was judge of probate
for a number of years and represented the town twenty-one years. His son,
Capt. Benjamin CLAPP, now resides in Barnard village.
David CLARK settled where Edwin H. CLARK now resides in 1797. Aaron
FAY settled where Eliakim PAGE and Willard WALKER now reside. Eliakim FAY
settled upon what is now known as the PLAISTED place. Moses FAY settled
where Daniel PERKINS now resides. George CLAPP, brother of Judge CLAPP,
settled where Benjamin FURBER resides. His son, Alphonso Haywood, is a
celebrated California millionaire. Capt. William GAMBELL settled the farm
now owned by Monroe and John W. GAMBELL. Daniel McCORMICK, a Scotchman,
came to this country with the British army. He made a settlement here at
an early date and was the father of the late Mrs. Foster GATES. A Mr. MACKINTOSH
made the first settlement where Alvin ANGEL now resides. He had a large
family, and some of his descendants are reputed to be men of great wealth.
Daniel SIMMONDS built the first house on the farm now owned by Nathaniel
RICHMOND. He was a shoemaker and made the first pair of morocco shoes in
the town. Mr. RICHMOND, a thrifty farmer, has resided on the place fifty
Seth DEAN, a Revolutionary soldier, purchased a farm in Barnard,
April 22, 1777. The two following winters he spent in Hardwick, Mass.,
then made Barnard his permanent residence. He married Mary BICKNELL and
reared four sons, one of whom died in youth. Of the others, Paul became
a prominent Universalists clergyman; Seth, Jr., married Martha FRENCH,
reared six children, and occupied the old homestead until his death, in
1835; Asa became a mechanic and reared a large family. Of Seth, Jr.'s,
children, three are in Iowa, one in Massachusetts, and one in Woodstock,
while Paul D., the eldest, occupies the homestead. He has been a constable
thirty years, collector twenty-eight years, selectman six years, and eight
years a member of the legislature. At the time of the Indian incursion
at Barnard, SETH, Sr., was one of the minute men who rallied to the rescue.
Joseph and Moses ELLIS, from Walpole, N. H., were the first settlers
in the neighborhood of East Barnard, about 1785. Moses married Catharine
BOYDEN and reared four children, Clark, Enoch, Lucy and Catharine. Clark
married Anna CAMPBELL, and Enoch married Eliza SMITH, and later Marcia
SPAULDING. Both resided on the old homestead until 1841, when Joel, the
only son of Clark, bought the place. Enoch removed to Royalton, while Clark
lived with Joel until his death, in February, 1863. Moses was a deacon
of the Christian church which flourished in the village at an early date,
but is not now in existence.
Dr. Isaac DANFORTH was born in Bellerica, Mass., September 30, 1763,
graduated from Harvard College in 1785, and the following year established
himself as a physician in Barnard. He married Persis BAKER, of Westboro,
built a log house near the present residence of C. H. WRIGHT, in which
he resided until 1800, then built the latter house and occupied it until
his death, in 1851. His children were Persis B., Betsy M., Isaac E., Joseph
B., Solon, William C., Albert H., and Samuel P.
Benjamin COX was born in 1740, and came to Barnard from Wrentham,
Mass., at an early date. In 1780 he had command of a company at the fort
in Bethel, and two of his sons, Benjamin and George, served under him.
He married Jerusha WASHBURN, and made the first settlement on the farm
now owned by John McAVENNA. He died at the early age of forty-eight, leaving
five sons and four daughters. George COX married Sarah CHAMBERLIN and reared
eight children, all of whom have passed away, except George, who, at the
age of eighty-four years, resides on the farm given his father, by Benjamin,
one hundred years ago.
Roger FRENCH, from Massachusetts, came to Barnard in 1792. He married
Achsah TOBY, and reared eleven children. Martha C. married Seth DEAN, resided
in Barnard, and reared six children. Harrison resides in South Woodstock,
aged eighty-eight years. Enoch married Nancy A. SPEAR, and resides in Barnard.
William S. Spends his summers in Barnard and winters in the south. Celim
E. is proprietor of the Silver Lake House in Barnard. Lewis S. has been
postmaster and town clerk over twenty-five years, and still holds the position.
Francis DAVIS came from Warner, N. H., about 1794, located on road
7, and built the first grist-mill at East Barnard. His eldest son, Ichabod,
married Susan ELLIS about 1804, and made the first clearing on the farm
now occupied by William WEBB, and resided there until 1823, during which
time his eldest son, Joseph E., built the first saw-mill on the site now
occupied by the milt of S. H. LAMB. In 1828 Ichabod removed to Royalton,
where he died, advanced in years. His family numbered fourteen children,
four of whom are now living, three in Barnard and one in Sharon.
Oliver GOFF came from Massachusetts at an early date and located
in the northern part of Pomfret. He reared a family of ten children, all
of whom reared children and spent their lives in Windsor county. Oliver,
who now lives near the village of East Barnard, over the line in Pomfret,
and Jonathan B., at East Barnard, are the only children now living.
Rev. Joel DAVIS, son of Eliphalet DAVIS, was born in Hubbardton,
Mass., October 14, 1776, graduated from Middlebury College in 1804, and
was ordained pastor of the old Congregational church of Barnard in 1808,
remained here until 1824, when he moved to Williamstown, Vt. He married
Persis DANFORTH in 1809, and reared eight children, as follows: Isaac D.,
Betsey M., Martha, Persis B., John P., Elizabeth, William D. and Jolon.
Isaac D. DAVIS has filled with credit most of the town offices, having
been selectman thirteen years, a justice of the peace many years, and represented
the town in the general assembly of 1880-'81.
William H. HOWE, who resides on road 22, is a son of Albert Page
HOWE, and grandson of Alpheus HOWE, an early settler in Pomfret.
Amos LEAVITT, born in Norwich, Vt., August 12, 1807, came to Royalton
with his parents while he was yet an infant. He reared five sons and one
daughter. Amos, the second son, now resides in Barnard. Amos married Susan
DAVIS and has five children residing in this town and in Pomfret, viz VanBuren,
the eldest, in Pomfret; Levi D., on road 7 1/2; Amos, Jr., on road 20;
Mrs. S. E. Howe, on road 22; and Mrs. Louise A. ELLIS, on road 7 in Barnard.
Levi D. and Amos, Jr., served in the 16th Vermont volunteers during the
late war. Levi D. has been a justice of the peace fourteen years.
The First Universalist church, located at Barnard village, was organized
by Hosea BALLOU, with thirty-eight members, in 1802. It 1828 it was reorganized
as the First Universalist Society of Barnard, with fifty-eight members.
The first church building was erected in 1803, and was replaced by the
present structure in 1841, a building capable of accommodating 350 members
and valued, including grounds, at $4,000.00. This society claims to have
been the first Universalist church organized in the State, and that their
first church building was the first for that denomination in the State.
It now has forty-five members, with Rev. Eli BALLOU, pastor.
The Methodist Episcopal church of Barnard located at Barnard village,
was organized by its first pastor, Rev. Joseph CRAWFORD, in 1802. A church
building was erected soon after, which did service until 1837, when it
was replaced by a new one, and which in turn was sold to the town for a
town-hall, in 1863. The Congregational church was then purchased and has
since been used. This building is valued at $2,500.00 and will accommodate
250 persons. The society, numbering fifty-three members, was consolidated
with the East Barnard charge in April, 1883, and both are under the pastorate
of Rev. H. F. REYNOLDS.
The Methodist Episcopal church of East Barnard was organized by
Revs. W. WILCOX and S. RICHARDSON, during the winter of 1834-'35. The church
building was also erected during that winter, in union with the Universalist
society, the pews being owned as undivided property by members of the society.
It will comfortably accommodate a congregation of 300 persons, and is valued
at about $1,100.00. The society, numbering thirty-three members, was consolidated
with the Barnard charge in April, 1883, both being under the pastoral charge
of Rev. H. F. REYNOLDS.
The Universalist church of East Barnard was organized by Rev. John
C. BALDWIN, of Sharon, in May, 1861, with nineteen members, The church
building was erected in 1834, in union with the Methodist society, and
has since been used by both. The society now has about thirty members,
service being held once in two weeks, under the charge of Rev. L. S. CROSSLEY,
and Business Directory of
County, Vt., For 1883-84
and Published By Hamilton Child,
N. Y. Printed January, 1884.
by Karima Allison ~ 2004