HISTORY OF THE TOWN OF 
BARNARD

      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.
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.

      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 dozen dwellings.
      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.

      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 merchant sawing.

      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 and sawing.

      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 years.

      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, of Woodstock.

Gazetteer of Towns
Gazetteer and Business Directory of 
Windsor County, Vt., For 1883-84
Compiled and Published By Hamilton Child,
Syracuse, N. Y. Printed January, 1884.
Page 82-88.

Transcribed by Karima Allison ~ 2004