Ryegate, Vermont - History                   





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The settlement of Vermont began after the fall of Quebec in 1759 and the control of North America passed into British hands.  In October 1760, four officers of Colonel Goff's regiment, who had been released from service by the surrender of Montreal, made their way to the great meadows of the Lower Coos, now the Connecticut River. These officers were mentioned by the military titles by which they are mentioned, and were General Jacob Bayley, Colonel Jacob Kent, Colonel Timothy Bedel, and Captain John Hazen.

The Town of Ryegate (New Hampshire Grant of September 8, 1763) was one of only three towns that Governor Benning Wentworth chartered in what is now Caledonia County. The source for the name never was made clear. The settlement of Ryegate began when James Whitelaw and David Allan in the name of the Scotch-American Company came into possession of the southern half of the town.

The first post office in Ryegate was opened in 1799 at the village now known as Ryegate Corner. The second office was opened in 1851 in South Ryegate which is now the largest village in the town. A third office opened in 1891 in the village then called Ryegate Station, there was a railroad station located there. The office was named East Ryegate and the village is now known by that name.

The Bayley-Hazen Road which began in the town of Newbury to the south, runs through Ryegate into the neighboring town of Peacham and eventually ends at the Hazen Notch in northern Vermont. This road followed the Indian trail from Newbury to St. John, Quebec. Construction was abruptly ended in August 1779 with no real reason ever given.