83 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
BY GEO. A. WEEKS, ESQ.
FROM THE HISTORY OF HIS FATHER, THE LATE
JOHN M. WEEKS.
THIS town received its grant in 1761, and was named after Salisbury, Ct. Mr. John Evarts obtained the charter; and Sam'l Moore made a survey of the town in 1762, and laid it out into lots. The settlement progressed slowly until after the close of the Revolutionary war. But, in 1785—86, and 87, emigration was so rapid, it was difficult to obtain food for the inhabitants. A controversy with Leicester arose from the fact that nearly half of the land of each town was claimed under both charters, that is, the charters of the two towns lapped. At the first town meeting, attention was called to this matter, and committees appointed to undertake to adjust the difficulties. Many lawsuits were commenced for trespass; but finally, in 1796, the division line was run, by which the loss of land was divided between the towns. When it was found that the original survey of Middlebury had embraced more land than it was entitled to, on the resurvey it gave some of its original territory to Salisbury. By the terms of the charter, the Governor of N. H. was to have a share of 500 acres in any part of the town he chose; this lend was located in the N. W. corner, and afterwards sold to Holland Weeks. One share was given for the first settled minister; one for the support of the gospel in foreign parts; one for schools, and a glebe for the Church of England. Some of these shares were lost in the compromise with Leicester, while others were located on lands of little value.
In 1789, the town was divided into 3 school districts. That in the west part was organized Oct. 22, 1789. Matthew Sterling, the first teacher, taught in this district several winters in succession. School taxes were paid in labor or grain, until money became more plenty. The first books used were Webster's Spelling Book and Third Part, Dillworth's Spelling Book,
*A native of Shoreham, and 12 years missionary at Siam, now home missionary and pastor at Ripton.
Pike's Abridged Arithmetic and Latin Grammar. All kinds of grammar were afterwards discarded as being out of place in a district school. A very limited education was considered sufficient to enable a man to perform all the ordinary duties of life; and the Rule of Three the ultimation in mathematical research. Many of the settlers were very illiterate men, and some held important town offices, who could neither read nor write.
The soil is mostly loam and alluvium. Nearly one third of the town lies on the mountains, much of which is good pasture, and has much valuable timber. Most of the pines of the lower lands have been cut. The middle and western portions are better adapted to the growth of grass. There are three quite extensive swamps, well timbered. The ridge lands are nearly equally divided into loam and clay, the loam usually stony, the clay free from stones. The former was most productive of wheat when it was first cleared. Sweet walnut was known by most of the early settlers only by the bark of the trees lying on the ground in the woods while the timber had gone to decay. The walnut again made its appearance, in the second growth, about the beginning of the present century. At an early day, vast crops of wheat were raised from the newly cleared lands. About 1801, the Hussian fly appeared, and did great injury. A little more than 20 years afterwards, it was succeeded by the midge, (improperly called weevil,) which also wrought great havoc among the wheat fields. Rye, oats, corn, flax, beans, peas, and buckwheat have been quite extensively cultivated. The adaptation of the land to grass has made raising stock a very lucrative business.
In 1856, the town organized an agricultural society, taking the name of Lake Dunmore, which has had the effect to stimulate the people to a generous competition. It has holden three fairs, which have been attended with an increasing interest.
Many of them planted their nurseries the year previous to moving their families into the country. Apples thus became plenty and cheap, giving rise to large quantities of cider. In 1806, cider was worth $3 per bbl., but 3 years later, not more than $1. A distillery was built in 1811, which exercised a baneful influence for several years. But, about 1830, the temperance reform commenced, which resulted in destroying a good number of the apple-trees. This was unfortunate, as the trees have proved, in most instances, to be but short-lived. Most of the fruits are incorrectly named, taking their names from the person from whom they were obtained, or from the town in which he lived. Moreover, a great confusion of names has been brought about by unprincipled grafters who came this way. Pears, grapes, and plums have also been raised with good success among us. Indeed, some of the indigenous fruits have been cultivated, and found to be of excellent quality.
Bees were made a source of luxury and profit to the settlers. Their hives were usually made of straw and sections of hollow trees. The honey was obtained by killing the bees, usually done in October, by the fumes of burning brimstone. As the land was cleared, and hard timber destroyed, the product of honey was much lessened, and the interest in bees began to decline; moreover, the appearance of the moth, about the year 1807, brought great destruction among the bees. At an early day, the lake and rivers were filled with excellent fish. The pickerel was brought from Lake Champlain, and committed to the waters of Otter Creek, in 1819.
The outlet of Lake Dunmore forms a stream of no ordinary kind for the purposes of propelling machinery. In its ascent to Salisbury Village, distance of about 2 miles, it will admit of at least 20 mill-seats, several of which are occupied. Its clear water is well fitted for the paper-maker or fuller. Never filled with anchor-ice, and not subject to floods, it affords facilities to the manufacturers which cannot be surpassed in the State. To the east of Lake Dunmore, is Lana River, so called in compliment to Gen. Wool, of the U. S. army. The stream was previously known as Sucker Brook, on account of the vast numbers of suckers found in its waters. The falls of this stream, known as Lana Cascade, cannot be surpassed for beauty in this State.
Among the most important inventions of the town, was that of the screw-plate by A. L. Beach. He never had it patented, and in fact did not know himself how important an invention it was until it had come into quite general use. This plate is found in all the shops and machine manufactories in the United States. Jacob Bartholomew invented a new kind of steelyards, which received quite an extensive patronage. The first forge in town was erected in 1791. Sam'l Keep was the first bloomer; Step'n Gill made its first coal. In 1811, the legislature granted a charter for the manufacture of glass, and a factory was put up on the western shore of Lake Dunmore. About 40 operatives were employed for many years. But finally, on account of sudden changes in the price of glass, the company was compelled to close its business.
Afterwards, in 1832, Geo. Chipman and others repaired the establishment. But the factory, not able to compete with foreign manufactories, soon closed. In 1853, this property passed into the hands of the Lake Dunmore Hotel Company, which soon became insolvent, and passed over to a gentleman who purchased it for the purpose of making a fashionable place of resort. A building, on a commodious and expensive plan, has been erected, called the Lake Dunmore House. In 1815, a charter was obtained for the incorporation of a cotton manufactory, and the work commenced; but the enterprise proved a
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failure. The manufacture of shovels has been carried on to good advantage many years, also that of woollen cloths, and iron, and wagons. And the facilities for making Salisbury a prominent manufacturing town are very great.
Lake Dunmore is the spot most sought by the lovers of natural scenery. This lake lies in the S. E. part of the town, and covers about 1,400 acres. Its extreme length is about 5 miles, and its greatest width a little more than 1 mile. It has but 1 main inlet, and 1 outlet. Its average depth is about 60 feet, and its water of the purest kind. It is surrounded with mountains and hills, affording the most magnificent scenery. Moo-sa-la-moo is the highest of its surrounding peaks, though Rattlesnake Point, which more immediately overlooks the lake, is none the less interesting, and affords some commanding views. The former has a height of 1,959 feet, and the latter of 1,319 feet. On the slope of the former, is "Warner's Cave," a place rendered celebrated by the imagination of Thompson, in his "Green Mountain Boys."
A post-office was first regularly established in 1801. Another, under the name of West Salisbury, in 1850.
Most of the settlers lived to an advanced age, the oldest of whom, Mary Holt, died in July, 1844, aged 102 years.
Six divorces have been granted to parties in town.
The Congregational church was organized in 1804, composed of 9 members; present number, 103. Rev. Geo. W. Barrows, present pastor; Rev. Rufus Pomroy was first installed over the church in 1811. He being the first settled minister, was vested with the ministerial right of land; but retained only half of it, as his stay in town was somewhat short. The remaining half was afterwards deeded to Rev. Mr. Cheney.
The Methodist Church was commenced under the guidance of Rev. Mr. Mitchell, a missionary who came through these parts about the year 1799. The nucleus of the present M. Ch. in W. Salisbury, he first formed in Leicester. In 1836, this society erected a neat little chapel in their part of the town, and in 1859 put up a parsonage which well corresponds with the chapel. The present number of the church is not far from 50.
But, previous to the organization of any church, the people were not without religious meetings. Eleazer Claghorn, Solomon Story, and Holland Weeks, immediately, on their arrival, commenced regular meetings, which continued many years, held in schoolhouses or barns, and usually consisted of prayer, and a sermon read. The clergy of adjoining towns assisted much in keeping up an interest. The church (Congregational) held their meetings for a great many years at the centre of the town, but finally the meeting-house at that place was taken down, and one of more agreeable style erected in the village.
The first persons who undertook to make a permanent settlement, were Joshua Graves and his son Jesse, who came here in the spring of 1774. In the autumn of that year, Amos Story and his son Solomon also came on and made a pitch near Mr. Graves. But a short time after Mr. Story commenced his labors, he was killed by the fall of a tree, and his son was compelled to find his way back to his friends in Rutland. Mrs. Story, nothing daunted by the death of her husband, came on and took possession of her husband's land, and soon developed those wonderful characteristics of body and mind which rendered her so remarkable a person in the early history of the town. She entered in person into all the labors of the farm, and performed an important part in the political moves of the community in which she lived. She dug a cave into the west bank of Otter Creek, in which she remained concealed with her family during the nights, until the most dangerous period of the Revolutionary war was past. In 1792, she was married to Benjamin Smauley, who died in 1808, and his widow was thrown upon the town as a pauper. She afterward sustained herself for a number of years, and was again married to Capt. Stephen Goodrich, with whom she lived until her death, April 5, 1817, aged 75.
The settlers, before the Revolutionary war, met with great trouble and danger from the Indians. The Graves' were once carried off by them, and did not reach their home again for several weeks.
After peace was declared, people began to come in very rapidly, and mills were immediately erected. Addison, Weybridge, Bridport, and other towns, came to Salisbury to have their grain ground, for a long time.
The first child born was Joshua Graves, grandson of the one before mentioned of the same name, July 9, 1785.
For many years the town had no particular place for the burial of the dead. Amos Story was buried on the bank of Middlebury river. Of wild beasts, the wolves did much more damage than any other. These animals were dangerous not only on account of their relish for human blood, but for their nightly depredations upon domestic animals, which the settlers were compelled for many years to keep closely guarded during night.
GILBERT EVERTS, from Salisbury, Conn., was the only one of the original grantees of this town who came on and took possession of his land. He was a Royalist; settled in this town in 1786, and took an active part in all its early doings.
PLINY FLAGG, from Royalston, Mass., settled in 1784. He came on with his mother, who was a widow with quite a numerous family. Mr.
Flagg was longer a resident of this town than any other person, having resided here 67 years and 3 months. He died in July, 1851.
CAPT. JOEL NEWTON, from Cheshire, Conn., moved into town in 1784. He was a Revolutionary soldier. He died in 1842.
ASA LAWRENCE, from Canaan, Conn., came here in 1789. He was a useful and influential citizen, noted for his honesty and frankness of character.
HOLLAND WEEKS, from Litchfield, Conn., moved to Salisbury in 1789. He purchased the lot known as the Governor's lot. He died of lung fever, in 1812.
SOLOMON STORY, from Dalton, Mass., took a prominent part in all the early religious moves, and died in 1816, aged 90 years.
SALATHIEL BUMP, a Revolutionary soldier, was from Oblong, N. Y., and came to this town in 1790. He was one of the most active members in town, and did it great service by his energy of character and sound judgment.
REUBEN SAXTON, from Northampton, Mass., settled in 1799. He received the most honorable offices in the gift of the town, and was long one of its leading men. He moved away in 1837, to the great regret of a large community of friends.
COL. THOMAS SAWYER *
was a native of Bolton, Mass., who engaged in milling till the Revolution, in which he at once enlisted, and was master-workman in constructing the fort at Bunker or Breed's Hill. He afterwards commanded a company at Rutland, Vt., and the fort of Ticonderoga, after its capture by Allen, and the following December led a company from thence to Rutland, through a heavy fall of snow, in which some of the men, exhausted by the march, sank down during the night, and were frozen by the way. Seeing his men fast losing heart, the following story is told of him. He bade them hold on a little longer, — there was a house just ahead, in which he had ordered a warm supper. This roused them so much that they pushed bravely on, till they came to the house, when finding the supper a hoax, they so warmed with anger that they were enabled to reach Rutland without any more freezing. He was afterwards stationed, with 15 men, in a block house at Shelburne, which was attacked in the night by a band of 57 Tories and Indians; but the history of this siege and brave defence we reserve for the history of Shelburne, to which it more properly belongs.
In 1783, the Colonel came down Otter Creek to the mouth of a tributary, now called Leicester river, and followed up that stream in quest of a mill privilege, till he came to the present site of Salisbury village which was then claimed to be in Leicester. Here he determined to build a gristmill, and returning to Rutland, dressed his own millstones from rocks in the vicinity, took them in two canoes, and sending his son (the father of E. Sawyer, now of Leicester) with a yoke of oxen, through the woods, by the aid of a compass, and marked trees, to meet him at their destination, he proceeded to his new location, and erected a gristmill and sawmill, some of the timbers of which now remain where he put them. Before the boundary line between the two towns was established, he was regarded by Leicester as belonging to them, and represented their town in the legislature 3 years. About the year 1800, he removed to Farmington, N. Y., where he died in about 2 years. The name of his wife was Eunice Carpenter. They had 9 children. The Colonel was a man whose traits of character can be best learned from his acts.
BRIEF BOOK REVIEW.
"HISTORY OF SALISBURY, VERMONT," by John M. Weeks, with a memoir of the author. Published by A. H. Copeland, Middlebury. Printed in New York, 1860. A 12mo vol. 302 pp. tasteful in type and binding, embellished with 4 plates, a model for a town history.
Here we read of widow Story, — first woman known to have passed a night in Salisbury or Middlebury, — who came on with six children; amid wolves, bears, and panthers, surrounded by hostile Indians, eagerly and hopefully undertook the work of making a home for her family; of her large stature, and skill in the use of the axe; how stalwart men admitted her to be among the most efficient in handling the lever, and rolling logs; what a true Whig she was, making her home an asylum for all her country's friends. Again we read: Jonathan Titus and Elizabeth Kelsey had appointed their wedding day. A brother of Elizabeth died. They indefinitely postponed the event; but after the services of the burial, the father of the deceased and the bride suggested the marriage should be there solemnized, whereupon, Mr. Prindle, the officiating clergyman, standing at the head of the new-made grave, and the groom and bride at the foot, the astonished audience witnessed a bridal among the tombs.
Anon we read how Lord Dunmore and his party came up Leicester river to the site of Salisbury village, and from thence on foot over to the lake, where the Earl waded into the water a few steps, and pouring upon the waves a libation of wine, proclaimed, "Ever after, this body of water shall be called Lake Dunmore, in honor of the Earl of Dunmore." Two Indians bend down and split the main branches of a small tree standing near, insert the emptied bottle, and the christening ceremony is finished.
*Rev. Mr. Ames, of Brandon, Rev. Mr. Walker, of Salisbury, Salisbury History, &c. furnished facts.
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From his description of this lake we quote:
"The scenery about Lake Dunmore is of that character which is rarely found. It combines sublimity with beauty. On the one hand are immense masses of rocks and earth, which nothing can move, and on the other the fugitive beauty of changing light and shade. The majesty of the cloud-capped mountain is here associated with the undulating curve, and the awe of the precipice relieved by the laughing of the waters."
"From these mountains one of the most remarkable instances of mirage was once observed. Lake Champlain was seen to rise and widen out, so that the intervening hills appeared like islands, and finally all these hills disappeared by being swallowed up by the mighty flood which seemed rapidly covering up this whole landscape territory, and soon appeared like one vast lake of water from Burlington to Benson. Trees standing on the slope of the mountain waded in the water, while others lower down, and nearer its base, were entirely covered, and out of sight. Burlington, though never before seen at this place, even with a telescope, now was in perfect view, and all natural points, as well as artificial monuments, forts, and other buildings on Lake Champlain, were most distinctly visible to the naked eye. This atmospheric refraction took place about the 20th of Aug. 1833, and was doubtless produced by the rays of the sun passing under a long, narrow, black cloud, (as described by one of the witnesses,) which hung in the west just before night. The weather was very hot, and the air was remarkably clear."
In connection with Lake Dunmore we would also quote the following biographic sketch, furnished by a historical friend at Middlebury, and an appropriate song, that came to us without signature; but which, having remembrance of "The Mayflower," in the "Poets of Vermont," we are in no doubt of its Addison county authorship.
EDWARD DOWNING BARBER will always be associated with this distinguished scene, though his course of private and professional life was passed principally at Middlebury. He had the spirit and enterprise of a man of true talent, the sentiment of a man of genius. He was born at Greenwich, N. Y., August 30, 1806. His father was Rev. Edward Barber, an esteemed Baptist clergyman. He graduated at Middlebury College in 1829, in a class distinguished for talents and scholarship, and at once assumed the editorship of the Anti-Masonic Republican, at Middlebury, and was one of the most influential of the politicians who led in the triumph of that period over secret, social, and political combinations. Mr. Barber's impulses in respect to government, were democratic, which attached him afterwards to the Freesoil section of the Democratic party, in which, also, he was a leader. He married Miss Nancy Wainwright, of Middlebury, in 1833, and left two daughters and a son surviving him. He died at Lake Dunmore, Aug. 23, 1855. The following song, written in memory of Mr. Barber, set to a beautiful air, was published by O. Ditson, of Boston.
SCENE OF OUR YOUTH.
WHOSE was the glance that kindest marked thy billow;
Whose the fond word went sparkling with thy fame?
Who in his dream beheld thee from his pillow —
Who in his fate would mingle with thy name?
Whisper it when thy soft, sweet wave is breaking,
And laps the shore, with fondness for its sand:
Blow with it when from night and sleep awaking,
Shadows descend, and hills inverted stand.
Moosalamoo! the mountain's head above thee,
Deep in thy breast its purest shadow forms;
So to the heart, the soul that fondest loved thee,
Comes for its love, when flies the shade of storms.
Moosalamoo! the hand thy wave has painted,
Linked in his own, has felt his bosom's thrill;
Now from each breast that rapturous sense has fainted,
Yet in thine own and mine they mingle still.
JOHN M. WEEKS, son of Holland Weeks, was born in Litchfield, Conn., May 22, 1788. He came with his father's family to Salisbury, when a little more than one year of age. Denied the advantages of a liberal education, he nevertheless early read some of the classics, and addressed himself, to a greater or less extent, to literary pursuits through life. He invented the Vermont bee-hive, patented in 1836, (the first improvement by which the honey was obtained without destroying the bees,) for which he received a silver medal from the American Institute in New York, and which was rapidly introduced into most parts of the United States. The same year he published a treatise on the instincts and habits of the honey-bee, which he revised and enlarged, till more than 20,000 copies were sold. This work was reprinted in England. He also, in 1841, secured patents on 8 other classes of hives. He was a scientific farmer, and took an early and active part in establishing the Addison County Agricultural Society, was for many years a contributor to the best agricultural papers in New England, whose articles met with general favor, and at his death left a manuscript history (yet unpublished) of "The Five Indian Naitons," which for interest of adventure, and historical detail, would doubtless elicit more general interest than any other production of its author. He was twice married; to Harriet Prindle, of Charlotte, in 1818, who died in 1853, and in 1856, to Mrs. Emily Davenport, of Middlebury. As a husband and father, his character is sketched as one who "rendered the family circle a pleasant and sacred place." "One who cared well for the intellectual culture of his sons and daughters." He was for many years of the Episcopal church
at Middlebury, an exemplary member. After a week's illness he was gathered to his fathers, Sept. 1, 1858.
THE HEAVENLY RECOGNITION.
THAT we shall know each other in heaven, is a doctrine clearly taught in the Bible. It is assumed by every inspired writer, — some arguing their points as though it was a principle no one denied, and others giving us historical narratives including instances of it.
But we also believe that philosophical arguments may be adduced, which go very far in establishing this delightful and desirable doctrine. We shall propose two, either of which, if' sustained, will bid us expect to greet in heaven those friends who, with ourselves, have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
Our first proposition then, is, that unless our memory is destroyed, we shall most certainly recognize each other. If our power of memory be retained, then shall the names, the mental peculiarities, and the personal appearance of our friends be known by us as soon as we discern them. If memory be retained, the individual would remember his own name, and in all probability sometimes refer to it, — would remember events which transpired on earth in connection with himself, and would refer to them, — would remember the names of his parents and relatives, and would refer to them. Now these, and a thousand other things, would be recollected, and be the topics of the individual's conversations. Hence we see how readily, from these circumstances, we shall be able to recognize each other. That the memory shall not be destroyed, is evident, — we shall certainly retain it until after the judgment-day, in order to give our account; and every one who will think, will see that the destruction of the memory would be the destruction of the individual himself.
Our second proposition is, that, assuming our memory' shall be retained, we shall certainly know each other if we preserve our individual identity. Scripture does not teach a change in appearance, it is simply one of nature, viz: from mortality to immortality, — from corruption to incorruption. Now this does not at all imply an external, visible change, and hence, the appearance of the person would be the same as when on earth. Besides, this occurs only to the body, so that if it did change its appearance, the mind might still preserve its identity, and would be distinguished by its peculiar manifestations, and by these alone the individual might be known. As we have said it would be with the memory, so we say it must be with our identity, its destruction would imply the annihilation of the person himself.
REV. CHARLES MORGAN.
THE FIRST SABBATH.
MORN broke in beauty o'er a world,
Fresh from the touch of Heaven,
And ushered in the day of rest,
Which crowned the perfect seven.
And from the new-born world arose
Upon the morning air,
This grateful, oft-repeated strain
Of true and fervent prayer,
The morning stars that gemmed the arch
Of heaven's unfathomed blue,
Together sang their hymns of joy,
And trimmed their fires anew,
While all their harps the sons of God
Tuned to a new employ,
And o'er that first, sweet Sabbath calm,
Shouted the song of joy,
In all their awful majesty
The lofty mountains stood,
Their jutting rocks, all covered o'er
With moss and tangled wood;
And from each cliff and craggy peak,
One peal of gladness came,
Till all the valleys caught the sound,
And echoed back the same.
The flowers a tinge of vermeil caught,
While tremblingly they stood,
As if they blushed to hear their God
Pronounce them "very good ;"
And from their dew-bathed petals rose
An incense pure on high,
And from their gently parted lips
The sweet, but mute reply,
Man, too, majestic in his strength,
And woman, sweet as fair,
Went forth and laid their sacrifice
Upon the altar there.
The noblest ones that walked the earth,
All sinless, and all blest,
Sent up the homage of their hearts
On that first day of rest.
MRS. E. A. SEVERENCE.