BY HON. A. G. ALLEN.
GRANVILLE was granted November 7, 1780, and chartered to Reuben King and others, August 2, 1781. It was originally called Kingston, from King, a name quite common among the proprietors and first settlers; but, owing to some local prejudices, the name was changed, Nev. 6, 1834. Settlements were commenced soon after the close of the Revolution, by Reuben King and others. At a meeting of the proprietors holden at Windsor on Sept. 28, 1784, a vote was taken to give 100 acres of land to each of the first women who should go with their families to make a permanent settlement in the town. This offer was accepted by Mrs. Hannah King, wife of Daniel King, a Mrs. Sterling, and Mrs. Persis Ball, wife of Israel Ball, grandfather of Joseph P. Ball, who has represented the town several years in the General Assembly, and is one of the most influential men in town.
Joseph Patrick, the first town clerk, held the office upwards of 40 years; was the first justice of the peace, and first representative. Some of his descendants still reside in town, and occupy respectable positions in society.
The climate, though somewhat rigorous, has ever been regarded as very healthful; and, notwithstanding the privations and hardships in‑
40 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
cident to new settlements, only 17 deaths occurred during the first 20 years, and two of these were men upwards of 80 years. The dysentery was mortal in 1806. Many aged persons who were among the early settlers have died within a few years, and with them many interesting historical events are shrouded in oblivion.
Among those who have resided longest in town, and who still live here, is Amos Lamb, aged 85, and his wife Eunice, aged about 90. They are the parents of Joseph Lamb, so well known as a wealthy citizen, and member of the General Assembly. Uncle Amos, as he is called, retains his mental faculties remarkably well, — relating many interesting incidents of bygone days, even in detail. The following is given nearly verbatim as related by him, a short time since: "When the country was new, and only a few settlements had been made, a man by the name of Powers went to the State of New York, to build a mill for some one there, leaving his wife and boy, a lad of about 9 years, in their log cabin. On the Saturday following the boy left home about noon, and, failing to return at night, the fear-stricken mother gave the alarm, and search was made the following day. Intelligence having gone to the adjacent towns, many hold, warm, and sympathizing hearts were found at the lonely cabin of the bereaved mother soon as the dawn appeared on Monday morning. With horns and sonorous voices, they spread out upon the mountain side, and passed through the ravines and dark recesses of the mountain forest. It was in April, and snow still covered the mountains far down their sides. The boy was thinly clad, without shoes or stockings. The sun was sinking behind the snow-capped mountain, and no traces of him had been found. Many, in despair, were preparing to return home, — but, fortunately, I (says Mr. Lamb) had taken a circuitous route, and coming to a swampy piece of ground, partly covered with snow, saw evident footprints of the lost boy. This joyful news was soon communicated to the whole party, and the search again commenced with renewed vigor.
Just as the last rays of the setting sun were silvering the mountain tops, the words 'He is found' were borne on the 'wings of the wind' to many a glad heart. The boy, faint with hunger, benumbed with cold, and bewildered, did not recognize his friends; and, from fear, for a long time refused to come into the arms so gladly extended to embrace him."
The catamount, the black bear, the wolf, the moose, the lynx, the beaver, and the deer, for a long time roamed unmolested on the mountain sides, or played and sported on the banks of the limpid streams. For a time after the settlement commenced, many of these animals made their nocturnal visits, committing numerous depredations on the property of the inhabitants; but they have now chosen some other retreat, or become extinct.
Among the many heroic and daring deeds worthy of particular notice is that related of the widow Mary Lamb, 89 years of age, now residing in town with her son William, a respectable and influential citizen. Her husband being absent, Mrs. Lamb was left, with the children, to take charge of the domestic affairs. One morning she heard a terrific scream in the deeryard, and on looking out saw a catamount making an onslaught upon the poultry. On opening the door the dog rushed out, and a fearful encounter foIlowed. The dog finding himself unable to grapple successfully with his antagonist, fled into the house, followed by the catamount. Fear for the safety of the terrified children nerved the strong arm of the mother to desperation, and seizing the fire poker, she gave the "varmint" a heavy, well-directed blow, and with the assistance of the dog, now weak from loss of blood, succeeded in killing him. The dog died soon after, from wounds received in the contest.
The wolf and the bear are now occasionally seen. Hunting and destroying these animals used to be fine sport for the bold and daring hunters. Among the last, but not the least of these, were Zenas Robbins and Josiah Lewis, now residing in some of the Western States. These men not unfrequently followed bears on a still hunt several days in succession, camping out upon the mountains at night, while their families at home felt quite sure that when they returned they would bring ocular demonstrations of their success. On the west mountain, in what was formerly Avery's Gore, is a large cave, called the "Bear Den," in which these men, "Put. like," have often entered torch in hand, and, when they heard the terrific growl and saw the flashing eyes, the sharp crack of their well-directed rifles reverberated through the dark recesses of the cavern, and Bruin was soon hauled up the dark entrance to be examined in the light of day.
About 25 years since 13 bears were thus taken from the same cave by these men, assisted by others, in one season. Several years later 4 were taken, — and, among them, one that weighed over 400 pounds. The last taken in this retreat were caught in the winter of 1855, when Lewis, in company with McDonald, son of Zenas Robbins, entered and dislodged 4, one old one and 3 cubs. These were exhibited in different parts of the State during the winter.
The religious denominations were originally Congregationalist and Baptist. In 1840, the Methodists and Universalists had very much increased. In the winter of 1843, a sect calling themselves Adventists held a series of protracted meetings, in which great religious excitement prevailed, and the different churches for a long time expected that great numbers would be added to them; but, as is too often the case, one extreme was followed by another, and the churches, not possessing sufficient stamina to resist the reaction that followed, crumbled beneath its weight. Since
that time a general dearth in religious culture has been but too visible.
At present a new era seems to be opening to cheer and resuscitate the desponding hearts of these Christians. Rev. J. B. Smith (Congregationalist) is now laboring zealously, and an increasing interest to attend church and sustain the gospel is manifesting itself. A society is formed composed of different denominations, and they are uniting their efforts to support preaching every Sabbath, and many, in the language of the Psalmist, are saying, "I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord."
The town is watered by White River and its numerous branches. The water is remarkably clear, soft, and pure, and every pebble can be easily seen at the bottom of the stream, though the water is very deep. It would be difficult to find a farm in any part of the town that does not have on it a gushing spring of excellent water; and the man or woman who would substitute a beverage for this, must be insensible to Heaven's richest blessing.
Several streams, coming down from the mountain sides, unite in a beautiful valley near the centre of the town, and form White River: one of these, called the Alder Meadow Branch, rises in the northerly part of the town, and the traveller, by passing up to the head of it, finds himself also looking upon the head waters of Mad River, that flows into Lake Champlain. The altitude between the waters that flow into the Connecticut River and Lake Champlain is found to be much less at this point than at any other for a great distance north or south. On one of the branches, and in sight of this stream, may be seen Moss Glen Falls, so much visited by citizens and strangers, and admired by all for the picturesque scenery with which they are surrounded. The water falls over a massive rock 100 feet; 50 feet — at the lower part — is a perpendicular descent. Several writers have given graphic descriptions of these falls and the surrounding scenery, one of which recently appeared in the "Vermont Standard."
The land bordering on White River and its branches, lying as it does between two mountain ridges, is sometimes inundated, and the roads and bridges much damaged by the superabundant water coming down like a torrent from the surrounding hills and mountains. The fertility of the meadows adjacent to the streams is much increased by the fertilizing sediment left upon them when the water subsides.
The most remarkable freshet within the recollection of the present generation was that of July, 1880. The height of the water at that time, as indicated by those who were present, is almost incredible. It appears, at this time, there was a mountain slide near Moss Glen Falls, which literally filled the deep gulf between the mountain on the west and the hill on the opposite side, forming an immense dam of earth, rocks, and trees. The flood wood left in the tops of the trees, and on the side of the mountain, proved the water to have been 75 feet deep above the slide. When this immense barrier gave way, the water above rushed through the narrow valley, carrying destruction with it, and spreading out upon the broad intervales below covered them with several feet of water, filling the inhabitants with consternation, whose hearts were already throbbing with fearful apprehensions. Although this flood came in the night, and thick darkness covered the earth, no lives were lost: some saved themselves in the chambers of their houses, some by swimming, and others by constructing rafts on which they escaped to the adjacent hills. The house of David Wiley, in the eastern part of the town, was swept away, and he and his family barely escaped with their lives by clinging to a projecting rock, under which they stayed until morning.
In the winter of 1840 and 41 an epidemic prevailed. The typhus fever went through many entire families, and in many instances the most athletic and robust were the first to fall by its fatal power, — while the scarlet fever was making fearful ravages among the children and youth. It was truly a time when mothers, like Rachel of old, wept for their children, "and would not be comforted, because they were not."
The town now contains 793 inhabitants, and, from natural or other causes, there is greater equality in property and general intelligence than is often found. The people are industrious, frugal, thoughtful, and temperate. They neither suffer from a bloated wealth, proud aristocracy, "Young America," or extreme poverty. Agriculture constitutes the chief pursuit, the land being well adapted to grazing, having great power to resist drought. The number of horses, cattle, and sheep, is probably greater in proportion to the number of inhabitants than in most other towns. There are, however, many engaged in the wood, coal, and lumber business, particularly along the eastern slope of the mountain, in the vicinity of the Vermont Central Railroad, which passes through the N. E. corner of the town at a place called Sandusky, where there is a post office, printing office, and railroad station, and some other business, mostly under the supervision of D. Tarbell, Jr. At a little distance from Sandusky there is an aqueduct, or trough, constructed, extending far up the mountain, through which by means of water a large quantity of wood is annually floated to the railroad.
An extensive steam mill, which cost about $15,000, containing a saw-mill, stave machine, and much other valuable property, was consumed by fire on the 16th of September last. This mill is accidentally represented quite too far west on the map of Addison county. The area should
42 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
have been filled with an entire school district, in which are 106 inhabitants, and many excellent farms not represented on the map.
The town is divided into 6 school districts, and 3 fractional districts connected with school districts in Warren, Rochester, and Hancock. In two of these (Nos. 1 and 2) are found handsome, commodious, and well-ventilated schoolhouses ; while the others, though fully equal to the majority of similar structures in the State, are better calculated to disseminate disease and death, than health, intelligence, and happiness. The schools have very much improved within the last few years, resulting from a uniform system of textbooks, udder which a more judicious classification is obtained; and in these respects the schools may justly rank among the first in the State. Each district usually supports a school 6 months each year, and select schools are becoming common in different parts of the town. There is a greater number of teachers, both male and female, than find employment at home, — and some are teaching abroad.
Among the eminent professional men who claim Granville as the place of their nativity are Rev. Jonathan Lamb, a graduate of Vermont University, and author of several books ; Rev. Prince Jenne, for many years pastor of the Congregational church in town, now deceased; Dr. J. M. Parker, an eminent physician in the Southern States ; Hon. Henry Starr, a self-taught, but learned judge, now residing at the West; and Uriah Rice, principal of Seventh Ward school in Cincinnati. Those possessing thorough business habits are Harvey Lamb, an extensive manufacturer in Pennsylvania; Chester Lamb, formerly an alderman in New York city, now connected with the St. Nicholas House; Artemas Rice, a wealthy speculator in California; and E. B. and George Ford, merchants in Massachusetts.
Music, both vocal and instrumental, is receiving much attention. An excellent choir, led by A. W. Ford, is found at church every Sabbath. The "Green Mountain Brass Band, (of which Capt. A. Fisk of Rochester is leader, and Gen. A. G. Allen drill-master,) consisting of 20 members, has merited and received a wide-spread reputation for its excellent music and gentlemanly deportment.
Gold has been found to some extent in White River and its branches. It was first discovered by Cyrus Kennedy, who washed it from sand taken !rota the bed of the river. Having thus gathered several pieces worth from $1 to $2 each, he purchased the land; but for want of means, or other causes, no extensive mining was done. The land is now owned by the Hon. Stephen A. Thomas, and a charter is obtained under which it is expected a more thorough investigation will soon be made.
A limestone ledge has been discovered, and opened to some extent in the northerly part of the town on land owned by William C. Chaffee, Esq. The town contains 1 (Union) meeting-house, 1 store, 1 tavern, 1 railroad station, and 1 snath factory, which furnishes employment for several men, and supplies the market with large quantities of scythe snaths annually. There are also 2 post offices, 2 blacksmiths, 2 carriage makers, 3 shoemakers, 8 carpenters, 3 clapboard mills, and 8 saw-mills. With such facilities the antiquated dwellings, having answered their intended purposes, are now being rapidly superseded by more modern and convenient structures.
A large grist and lumber mill has been erected the present year by E. N. Spalding, an energetic, practical, business man. The building is capacious, and thoroughly built in all its parts, and demonstrates well the character of its proprietor. It is situated near the junction of the three principal branches of White River, near the centre of the town ; and this locality, from its water-power and other local facilities, is destined to become a place of considerable business.
A MARRIAGE CEREMONY VERSIFIED.
In Granville, June 5, by A. G. Allen, Esq., Mr. Edgar H. Chadwick and Miss Adelia A. Allen, both of Granville.
You, sir, take the lady you hold by the hand,
As your own lawful wife, by the laws of the land;
Engaging to love her, and give her your aid,
When health shall attend her, or sickness invade;
To provide and support her, you covenant, sir;
To forsake other lovers and cleave unto her;
And do as God's law and the statutes advise,
Till God send his message to sever these ties.
And you, lady, take him you hold by the hand,
To be your own husband, by the laws of the land;
Engaging to cherish, to love and obey
Him in sickness and health, through life's troubled way.
His pleasures and sorrows you promise to share,
As God's holy law and the statutes declare;
Till Death, as a messenger sent from the skies,
Shall sunder you from him, and sever these ties.
To assent to these pledges, on you I now call,
That they may be known and acknowledged by all;
If each of you now will consent to these bands,
You will here make it known by disjoining your hands.
Now I, by authority vested in me,
Declare that you husband and wife shall now be,
And call on all present, who purposely came,
And God, your Creator, to witness the same.
A. G. ALLEN.
THE RAVAGES OF TIME.
IT is only by recurring to the chronicles of the past that we can arrive at any appreciation of the ravages of time. Then we ascertain that the many things which were, are not ; that they withered at the touch of time, and were hurled into the dark chasm of forgetfulness.
History reverts to the scenes of other times. We review the catalogue of names perpetuated in song ; we trace the lives of those who bore
them, from their youth upward; we mark the struggles through which they passed, the numerous obstacles encountered, the many trials undergone for the emancipation of our country from hostile hands; and as we muse we wander through the lapse of ages and hold communion with those great and good patriots of the past. We stand upon the battle-field; we see the clashing steel; we hear the roar of the booming cannon, the death-groan of the victim. We pause. This is only the kindlings of imagination over the records of the past; we can only regret the great, the good, the noble should thus have passed away. The dilapidated walls of architecture, the rusting sword on the cold floor of antiquity, the mouldering bones of the ancient warrior, all evince an invisible power whose mission is to destroy. Where are the champions who fought in defence of the word of God, and caused its sacred light to penetrate the darkest recesses of superstition? Where those noble martyrs who suffered for the propagation of the truth, — who removed the mask that enveloped the face of Christendom, and caused the true light to shine forth amid the gloom of darkness? Where those brave pioneers of the sixteenth century, who caused the city of seven hills to totter upon its foundation; who removed the briers and brambles from the path of Christianity, and planted in their stead the seeds of piety and truth? Their deeds are recorded on the tablet of history; their names have become immortalized by being linked with one of the great revolutions of the world. Yet, they are gone, — gone to the charnel-house of Time. Where is the wild, uncultivated race, that traversed our hills and vales a few short centuries ago, unmindful of the rich soil beneath their feet? Receding from the stage of existence like a momentary vision, — as a race nearly extinct, doomed to annihilation. The hand of civilization, the children of education, have usurped the abode of ignorance, and inculcated the moral principles of civilized life. Time, indeed, has made sad havoc of that strong and noble, though uncultivated race. And where shell we find the precedent of such a victor? Shall we ascend the summit of renown for a rival? Time plucks the fairest wreath from the brow of Fame, Shall we seek the path of knowledge to find an equal? Time is knowledge; for in him are all things accomplished.
CELIA M. BALL.