Sutton, Vermont History                   


                                                                                        Sutton Page                    Caledonia-Co                    VT_History      

The Town of Sutton, by act of the Vermont Charter dated February 26, 1782, was chartered as Billymead to Dr. Jonathan Arnold of Rhode Island and his associates, as were the towns of Lyndon and St. Johnsbury. Billymead was named for Arnold's younger son, William. The Oxford English Dictionary says mead is either a beverage made of fermented honey or a meadow. It is more likely the second definition Arnold had in mind when constructing the name (as in "Billy's Meadow"), but the records show that William leaned toward the first. He became such a drunkard and bully that in later years he completely disrupted town affairs.

By 1810, townsfolk had had enough of Billy and his name, and at town meeting that year they voted overwhelmingly to change the name to Sutton. They began to use the name right away, not waiting for recognition by the Vermont Legislature, which did not officially recognize the name until October 1812. To add to the confusion, just as the Legislature was taking action to recognize the change, postal authorities opened the Billymead post office, and did not change its name to match that of the town until sometime in 1817.

After all that, perhaps it should be noted that one Jocktan Putnam, originally from Burrilville, Rhode Island, proposed the town's new name. Fortunately for researchers, his own unique name made it possible to trace him to his birthplace: Sutton, Massachusetts.

Today the town has only the one village named Sutton, where the first post office opened in 1812. The office is still open under the name Sutton. Maps dated in the late 1800s show two other place-names, Summit and Sutton Depot. Summit was also known as Summit Siding as there was a railroad siding located there. Today this area is known as Summit Station and the pumping station for the Portland Pipe Line is situated here.

Geologically, Sutton is divided by four heights of land; West Ridge, North Ridge, East Ridge, and South Ridge.