HISTORY OF THE TOWN OF SHARON

      SHARON lies in the northern part of the county, in lat. 43° 47' and long. 4° 35', bounded north by Strafford, in Orange county, east by Norwich, south by Pomfret, and west by Royalton. It contains an area of 23,040 acres, and was chartered by Gov. Wentworth, of New Hampshire, August 17, 1761, to John TAYLOR and sixty-one others, in sixty-eight shares. Its original area is still maintained, except that a small portion of Pomfret was set off to it October 20. 1807.

      The surface of the town is rather uneven, though not so much so but that large acres of excellent agricultural land is left, yielding large crops of corn, grain and grass. White river flows through the southern-central part of the town, in an easterly direction, affording some excellent mill-sites. It also receives numerous minor tributaries from the north and south, some of which also afford good mill-privileges. The geological structure of the territory is made up entirely of rocks of the calciferous mica schist formations, which, owing to their rapid disintegration, constantly add depth and strength to the soil. Easy facilities for transportation are afforded by the Central Vermont railroad, which passes through the valley of White river.

      In 1880 Sharon had a population of 1,012, and in 1882 it was divided into eleven school districts, and contained eleven common schools, employing four male and twenty female teachers, to whom was paid an aggregate salary of $1,202.18. There were 429 pupils attending common school, while the entire cost of the schools for the year, ending October 31st, was $1,327.75, with A. C. SHERWIN, superintendent.

      SHARON is a pleasant little post village located near the center of the town, on White river and also a station on the C. V. R. R. It has two churches (Baptist and Congregational), one hotel, two stores, and several manufacturing establishments.

      J. S. QUIMBY's saw and planing-mill, located on Quimby brook, was built in 1871. Mr. QUIMBY employs five men in the season and turns out about 250,000 feet of lumber per annum.

      C. E. JONES's grist-mill, located on road 21, has three runs of stones and does custom and merchant work.

      William H. BLAKE's saw and shingle-mill, located on road 21, was built about 1843, and came into Mr. BLAKE's hands in 188o. He manufactures about 75,000 shingles and 300,000 feet of lumber per annum.

      J. Q. ADAMS's saw-mill, located on Mitchell brook, was purchased by him in 1880. Mr. ADAMS employs six men and manufactures 1,000,000 feet of lumber per annum.

      The first settlement of the town was made by Isaac MARSH, Willard SHEPARD, Robert HAVENS and a Mr. PARKHURST, from Connecticut, probably in 1764, as they came on just in time to save the grant by complying with the requirements of the charter, the proprietors allowing them 320 acres for making the said settlement. Mr. MARSH located where his great-grandson, Joel H., now lives, and the others located in the northern part of the town. During that summer, each built for himself a log house and made a start towards clearing a farm. In the autumn it was decided that one of the number should remain during the winter, while the others should return to Connecticut. This duty fell upon Mr. MARSH, and the others departed, about Thanksgiving week. Not long after Mr. MARSH was visited by a Canadian Indian and his family, who came to this locality to hunt and trap during the winter. The family consisted of the Indian, his squaw and four children. The whole family lived with Mr. MARSH that winter, occupying one half of the house and Mr. MARSH the other. During the following winter Mr. MARSH and one other of the party returned to Connecticut and the others remained in the town, and the next summer their families came with them. Joel MARSH, son of Isaac, came on and settled on his father's farm and made the town survey. He became a prominent man in town affairs, holding the office of justice of the peace, etc. His son Elias was the first child born in the town, and received one hundred acres of land from the proprietors, in honor thereof. Timothy, eighth child of Joel, was born here in 1786, and three of his children are now living, though only one, Joel H., in Sharon. From this time forward the settlement increased so that in 1771 the town had sixty-eight inhabitants, and in 1791 it had a population of 569.

      The time of the organization of the town does not appear on the records; but the first meeting held in which an election appears on record was March 12, 1776, when Benjamin SPAULDING was chosen town clerk; Roswell MORGAN, constable; and Joseph PARKHURST, Daniel GILBERT and Joel MARSH, selectmen. The first record of a freemen's meeting is of that held March 3, 1778, when twelve persons took the freeman's oath, and Daniel GILBERT was elected to represent the town in the first legislature, to be held at Windsor on the 12th inst. March 10, 1778, William HUNTER, Capt. Ebenezer PARKHURST and Lieut. Elias STEVENS were chosen a committee of safety. The first justice was Joel MARSH, appointed in 1786, holding the office twenty-five years. In 1780 the growth of the town was greatly retarded by the Indian invasion of that year, spoken of in connection with the history of Royalton.

      Simeon HOWE purchased of the proprietors, in 1764, a tract of several hundred acres of land in Sharon. Some time after this he rented the property to a man by the name of DOWNER, who occupied it for several years. After the close of the Revolution, Mr. HOWE came on and claimed his property, but the tenant refused to give it up, claiming the property as his own. No law at that time could enforce the refractory tenant to give up the property, so Mr. HOWE decided to take the law into his own hands, and proceeded to pummel Mr. DOWNER until he was glad to cry quarter and give up the land to its rightful owner. Descendants of Mr. HOWE still occupy portions of the land.

      Jonas BRUCE, from Petersham, Mass., came to Sharon at an early date and located on one of the river farms, but subsequently removed to the farm now occupied by Harry BRUCE, where he died in 1849, aged ninety-three years. The present occupant of the old homestead is a grandson of Jonas, born in 1820. He has reared a family of four children.

      Ashbel LADD, a native of Connecticut, came to Sharon about 1786, locating in the northern part of the town. Ralph, the fourth of his seven children, born in 1790, lived most of his life on the old place. Ralph had three children, one of whom, Chester B., resides on road 29.

      Rodman MOSHER, a native of Connecticut, came to Sharon in 1790. Abijah C., born in 1792, lived here until his death, in 1875. One of his two children, Albert B., born in 1817, now resides on road 36.

      Sparrow SNOW, a native of Massachusetts, came to Sharon about 1800, locating at Sharon village, and followed the clothier's trade. Five of his seven children are living, two in Sharon.

      John CHAMBERS came from New Hampshire to Sharon, with his parents, previous to 1812. He was a cabinet-maker and reared eight children. His fifth child, S. Webb CHAMBERS, now resides on road 56.

      Eleazer B. BALDWIN came to Sharon in 1842. He is now located on road 42. He reared a family of ten children, has held many of the town offices, etc., and is a respected citizen.

      Henry CHAMBERLIN, from Unity, N. H., and later from Strafford, Vt., came to Sharon in 1828, locating at the village. In 1844 he removed to West Randolph, and died there in 1851. He reared a family of ten children. One of these, Rev. Edward B., a Congregational clergyman and graduate of the University of Vermont, class of 1848, resides on road 21.

      Amasa WATKINS, a native of Ashford, Conn., located in Reading about 1790. Zera, the fourth of his eight children, born in 1799, has been a resident of Sharon forty-eight years.

      Abial BUGBEE, a Revolutionary veteran, came to Pomfret from Pomfret, Conn., in 1788, where he became a prominent man. He reared a family of nine children. Rufus, the youngest son, died on the old farm. Of his family of seven children, five are living, and one, Austin, in Sharon, on road 40.

      William QUINBY came from New Hampshire to Norwich in 1828. William, Jr., the fourth of his five children, resided here until his death, in 1867. James F. and Clara F., children of William, Jr., still reside here.

      Edward K. BAXTER, M. D., of Sharon, was born at Barton, Vt., February,-, 1840, a son of Harry BAXTER, late of that town. He came to Sharon in 1853. Mr. BAXTER received an academic education at Kimball Union Academy, of Meriden, N. H., studied medicine with Drs. DIXI and A. B. CROSBY, of N. H., attended lectures at Dartmouth Medical College and at the college of Physicians and Surgeons of N. Y., and graduated at Dartmouth Medical College in 1864. He has been assistant physician at the Hartford, Conn., Insane Retreat, and at Sanford Hall, Flushing, L. I.

      Parker W. DEXTER, son of Parker, who was one of the early residents of Pomfret, was born in 1834, and now resides here on road 42. He has four children, Edwin K., Ella N., Mary E. and Frank K.

      Joseph SHERWIN, son of Nathan, was an early resident of Reading. Calvin, his eldest child, born in 1812, had a family of four children, two of whom, Orlando W. and Aurelia C., are practicing physicians at Woodstock and Sharon.


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 216-219.

Transcribed by Karima Allison ~ 2004  



Photograph of Four generations of the Finney Family 
Photo taken in Sharon, Vermont