BY GEORGE W. KENNEDY, ESQ.
township all unnoted for distinguished institutions of human invention,
has nevertheless so fine a mountain landscape, it becomes self-evident in a
physical point of view,
Soil. — The lands in every part of the town produce in a manner that amply repays the labor of the skillful farmer. The sandy loam of the intervales, or the marl and clay of the hillsides are not surpassed in fertility by any in the state. The soil is scarcely ever much affected by dry seasons.
rocks are principally clorite, and mica slate and quartz, the former containing
the sulphuret of iron, and the sulphuret of copper.
These rocks properly belong to the talcose slate formation, though generally
more or less talcose, they vary considerably in their aspect and composition.
There are also slight indications of the red sand rock formation,
interstratified with talcose slate. We find them in some places schaly, very
quartzose, and with very little talc or mica in their composition. Veins of
granite running in a northern direction, pass through
the town, the most remarkable of which may be traced from
town is situated midway between
spruce and hemlock, and has many good mill privileges, all of which have long been a great temptation to lumber speculators; but many impediments at the entrance of the valley, which is narrow, prevented the making of a feasible road except with great expense, till nature, as if to help the feeble efforts of men, made a beginning.
It was about 7 o'clock P. M., on the 9th of July, 1852, the streams were exceedingly low, the day had been very warm, when a thunder shower came from the N. W. The dark clouds seemed to stand, or rather move backward and forward over this valley, firing bolts at each other, and pouring down upon the earth below such a flood of water, that in one hour's time, the giant hemlocks and spruces that stood on the banks of Joyner brook, were being torn up by the roots, and swept onward to the river. About 10 rods of the rail road was swept away and a fine farm known as the Stone place nearly ruined. But where was Mr. S. Stone and his housekeeper, when his house was thus surrounded by the roaring of the waters, the crashing of trees, and the rumbling of the great boulders as they dashed against each other in the darkness? Let him speak for himself. "The water" he said "had surrounded our house, and was rising rapidly. The first thing was to try to find our way to the hills; but we soon found the current so rapid, and the water so full of stones, that it was tearing the woman's dress to strips. We were obliged to go back toward the house, but it appeared that at the rate the water was rising that it would soon be carried away. So we had but one resort; and that was to climb one of the sycamore trees in the front yard. No sooner were we safe in the branches of the nearest tree, which stood in the corner of the fence, than the two blocks upon which we had stepped in order to get up the tree, were carried away. There in this old tree, we swung to and fro, with the night so dark that we saw nothing except an occasional glimpse of the tumultuous waters, in the flashes of the lightning, with trees and crags floating among the surges. It seemed that the old tree itself would soon be uptorn like many others, and we be carried away in the flood. But the old tree stood and in a few hours the water had fallen so that we could light on the ground. The cellar wall was carried away from one end of the house and a large heap of drift wood was smashed into the back kitchen. Still the old house was left with a plenty of sand on its floors, and dampness in its walls. I found my old jug," he added, "safe in the cupboard, and with it I spent the rest of the night."
It was remarked that the mill owners at Winooski falls, realized more than $1000 from the trees carried down in this shower. And the way that the banks and side hills were torn, and the way that the large rocks were piled one upon another, and tumbled about, is entirely beyond description. One large boulder that was estimated to weigh 100 tons was found lying on green limbs of trees. This shower opened the way for enterprising men to build roads and mills, and commence settlements in this valley.
The mountains rise abruptly on either side of the Winooski, in such a manner that the wind blows but two ways, the north and west winds coming up the stream, while the south and east winds always blow down stream. The consequences are that one will always find a steady breeze, drawing through this tunnel-like passage. This is all very pleasant in summer, but as soon as ever the cold weather sets seriously in, travelers are apt to make rather wry or unpleasant faces as the keen, cutting, protracted stream of wind which gives a pinching box to each ear, slaps them straight in the face, shakes every garment and passes on only to be succeeded by another gust, and for this rather desirable wind in the winter Bolton has had to bear many hard names.
mountains, piled up on each other like a wall on either side of the river, are
broken by ravines and gorges, with brooks dashing over the rocks, in many
places similar to the canons of the
no less wild and romantic than the Duck. In passing through Bolton one is well reminded of the ravines and recesses of the Catskills, in one of whose hollows Rip Van Winkle fell asleep among the strange little fellows whom he found playing nine pins and drinking black strap; and who knows but there may be another Rip in the side canons of the Winooski, waiting only to be waked by some good natured sprite, to deliver tales of genii and mountain spirits for the illustration of the Green mountains for all time to come. But let him remain in his Lethean slumber until we have an Irving of Vermont ready to carol him upon his emerging upon the outer world again."
CHARTER AND SETTLEMENT.
town was chartered June 1, 1763, by George the Third, through Gov. Wentworth of
Names of the Original Proprietors of the Town.
Bethnal Piersons, Benjamin Day, Daniel Warner, Esq., John Bunnel, Elisha Frazee, Thomas King, Thomas Day, Esq., Joseph Ward, Ezekiel Johnson, David Ward, Hon. Richard Wibberd, Nathaniel Bunnell, Isaac Tuttle, John McGilivir, Joseph Wingate, Thomas Treat, Crowell Wilkinson, Stephen Day, Nathaniel Cogswell, Thomas Darling, Henry Broadwell, Joel Osborn, Ebenezer Halbert, Benjamin Coe, Alexander Simpson, Peter Gilman, Alexander Carmichael, Patridge Thatcher, Stephen Here, Thomas Millage, Joseph Smith, Esq., Enoch Beach, Jacob Merrill, Benjamin and Geo. Bunnell, Timothy Day, Israel Ward, Josiah Broadwell, Ebenezer Coe, Daniel Tuttle, Philip Hatheway, Wm. Broadwell, —— Geverd, Elisha Wicks, Nathan Wilkinson, David Sampson, Richard Minthorn, William Darling, Samuel Averill, Seth Babbit, Daniel Cogswell, John Denning, Isaac Clark, Ephraim Hayward, Jonathan Wilkinson, John Johnson, George Day, Seth Crowell, Jr., Gilman Greeman, Samuel Hand, Paul Day, Wilber Clark, Thos. Osborn, Mathias Clark, Stephen Tuttle, Zebulon Giddings, Laurence Willson, Christopher Wood.
first meeting of the grantees of the town of
first actual settlements were made immediately after the war of the Revolution.
The precise time does not appear upon the town records; yet as near as can be
ascertained from the oldest inhabitants, it is evident that some of the first
settlers came from the
was, therefore, soon after the Revolution, that John and Robert Kennedy, Peter
Dilse, a noted trapper, Amos Palmer, Noah Dewey, Augustus Levaque, Jabez Jones,
Daniel Pineo, James Craig, John Preston, John Moore, Robert Stinson and Samuel
Barnet settled in
The town was first regularly surveyed by John Johnson in 1800.
hundreds of bears have been killed in Bolton, and there are many bear stories
connected with its history, yet, if we confine ourselves to the strict truth,
there is no particular instance which will compare with some stories related
for other towns, hence it will suffice us to say, that the bears were killed
with clubs, guns, dogs; caught in box traps, dead falls, and steel traps; that
the bears killed sheep according to their nature whenever they could catch
them, and frightened a great many people whom they never hurt; broke
into corn-fields, eat corn in the night, and climbed apple trees and stole
apples. John Kennedy's oldest son, whose name was John, and who died in
Duxbury, 1858, in his 86th year, had killed more bears than he was years old. Elijah Hinkson, who died in Bolton in December, 1860,
in the 72d year of his age, Hon. S. B. Kennedy now living in
building of the
"Much was the noise, the clamor much
Of men, and boys and dogs."
Yes, and women too.
the seige, Mr. Barker was kept in the hotel, expecting every moment to be
killed by the furious mob. Mr. Belknap would not pay him his estimates,
therefore Mr. Barker had no money with which to satisfy his men. At length the
militia arrived from
Mitchell was invited from
"—— rock in the wilderness, welcomed our sires,"
and here was held the first Methodist quarterly meeting. The
Rev. Shadrick Bostwick of
Roswell Mears and Rev. Samuel Webster were the first preachers. They came to
Was a soldier in the Revolution, and one of
after Mr. Barnet came to
1814, the sound of the cannons at Plattsburgh were distinctly heard in Bolton,
and as it resounded through the valley, it awoke the spirit of '76 in the
breast of every man, Mr. Barnet was one of a large company that marched from
Bolton as soon as they heard the sound, They were organized into a company by
Capt. John Pineo, at the old stage house kept by James Whitcoomb; and being all
ready at sunset, they marched all night, and took a sloop at Burlington the
next morning, and sailed for Plattsburgh, Mr. Barnet, with others of the
Revolutionary soldiers, formed a company called the Silver Greys. A song
illustrating the language of the British retreating from
"Old seventy-six has sallied forth.
On their crutches they do lean;
With their rifles leveled upon us,
And with their specks they take good aim.
There's no retreat to them my boys,
They'd rather die than run;
And sure as hell is hell,
We shall all be Burgoyn'd.
we've got too far from
Run, boys, run!"
When the battle was over, and the enemy had left Plattsburgh, as Mr. Barnet was about to take the boat to go home, he said in the language of one of old, "Now, Lord, lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation." In four weeks from this time he died in the 68th year of his age.
A native of
day in June, not far from the year 1798, that he complained of headache, and kept his bed most of the day. He walked out in the afternoon, and was last seen going towards the mountain. He did not return, and the neighbors gathered the next day to search the woods for him. It was very difficult to find any trace of the lost man, but they finally discovered a trail in the dried leaves, and followed it to the brink of a precipice 400 feet high. The track was very near the edge, as if one went there in the dark without knowing the danger, then it went back from the cliff, but soon came around in a circle, and appeared to end at the edge of the rock. They found his lifeless body at the bottom of the precipice. It had stripped the limbs from one side of a spruce tree as he fell, and this retarded the force of so great a fall, in such a manner that he was not so badly bruised as he otherwise would have been. In memory of the man who met such a horrible fate, this precipice has ever since been called Bone mountain.
It has been said by wise men that "poets are born." Mr. Lewis was an illustration of this maxim. Without education, and almost isolated from the world by the wilderness with which the early settlers were surrounded, yet he spoke (he never used the pen) in rhyme as fluently as common people do in prose.
He was a Methodist, and almost invariably spoke at social meetings in verse. It seemed to require no special effort, and indeed if he commenced speaking in prose, he would naturally run into poetry, sometimes it would be blank verse, but more frequently rhyme, and in one instance he delivered more than twenty stanzas impromptu. As reporters were not present in those days when they held meetings in log school houses, this poetry could not be preserved. One verse is remembered by an old inhabitant. It is a part of an exhortation:
"May the south wind of thy sper-it,
O'er thy garden please to blow,
And revive these drooping flowers
That have been withered so."
On one occasion the meeting had been unusually dull, and Mr. Lewis arose and said:
"A solemn time it seems to be,
The Lord have massy on you and me:
Hold fast in faith, abide in Him,
He'll fill your vessels to the brim."
B. J. Kennedy was present at this meeting, and noted this stanza in his
memorandum. Mr. Lewis was at the battle of
"Chill penury repressed their noble rage.
And froze the genial current of the soul."
COL. ROBY G. STONE.
[We take the following sketch from the
Stone, the veteran editor of the Plattsburgh Republican, is the oldest
democratic editor in the state of
Stone is a native of
"More than 31 years have rolled by since we hung up, in that same Sentinel office, a little snuff colored jacket and brown cap, and standing upon an old type box, commenced 'learning the cases.' We remember the cap and jacket well, and we remember how our mother sat up several nights, after the other members of the family were in bed, to get that little brown suit ready by the day appointed for her boy to leave home and enter upon his long apprenticeship. The day arrived — the suit was donned — and, with a small bundle in our hand, we were ready to start for the 'stage house.' It was a sad day for the inmates of that dwelling — the breaking up of the household. Alas! father and mother have long since passed to their rest, the house is in ruins, and none of our 'kith or kin' are upon the premises. But the 'Good bye, God bless you,' whispered in sorrowful tones by that mother, has never passed from our memory. We hear it often and often, as we sit alone, busy with the scenes and memories of the past; we hear it 'in the silence of night, in the hours of nervous watchfulness,' when we lie upon our bed thinking of 'the loved and lost,' and it will be with us forever."
The printer's boy remained almost ten years in the Sentinel office, and no more apt scholar, politically or professionally, ever
graduated from that stanch and true democratic establishment. After
his six years' apprenticeship had expired he assumed the entire editorial,
mechanical and financial management of the paper. He embarked actively and
boldly in public life, and his popular manners early attracted a large circle
of personal friends. Having an inclination in the military life, he rose from
one commission in the militia to another, and before he left
Some time in 1832 or 1833, Col. Stone removed to Plattsburgh and purchased the Republican, which had been originally established by the Hon. Azariah C. Flagg (afterwards state comptroller, and now controller of the city of New York), in the year 1811. Col. Stone has printed, edited and owned the Republican for now about a quarter of the century, and is still in the vigor of life. His eye is not dim, nor his natural force abated; and woe be to the tyro in the profession who rashly couches the goose quill against him.
has been chairman of the democratic town committee of
* * * * * * * *
Stone, though a stranger to salaried offices, has not abandoned his early
military ambition and propensities, since his sojourn in our state. For 17
years he was a brigade inspector, and he is now inspector of the fourth
division of N. Y. state militia ......................
As a military man his repute keeps pace with that which he has won as a
politician and an editor: and socially, morally and professionally he is
esteemed by all who know him. No man stands higher in the affections of the
democracy of northern
the Burlington Sentinel of January, 1855, we add: "Col. Stone has
held a commission in the militia, and done military duty ever since 1827. His
first commission was given him in 1827, by Gov. Butler of this state, as Ensign
in the 6th company 2d brigade, and 3d division of
From the Burlington Daily Times, Aug 1862: "Among the numerous visitors attendant on commencement, none was more prominent or quickly noticed. The colonel informs us that he has attended 38 commencements; the first being in 1822."
Stone is the last of his family of the name of Stone. His parents (who
EXTRACT FROM AN ADDRESS
Delivered by Rev. B. J. Kennedy (a native of Bolton, and a
member of the
"That the impulses by which the Christian missionary is actuated, are of a divine character, there can be no doubt, when we take into consideration the fact of his taking his life as it were in one hand, and his Bible in the other, and voluntarily banishing himself, and that too for life — from the scenes of "sweet home," native home — the friends of his youth, the ties of kindred, nearest, dearest, sweetest and strongest, to take up his abode in some benighted corner of the earth, some far-off island in the watery waste, where only wild beasts and wilder men inhabit, with no other earthly motive than the dissemination of the truth 'as it is in Jesus,' the promulgation of the 'glorious gospel of the blessed God.'
"That holy mandate, 'go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature,' is now being obeyed. The fatal torch is now being withheld from the funeral pile of the Hindoo, and the unhappy widow no longer suffers the death of a Pagan victim. The Red men of the American forest are exchanging the tomahawk for the word of God.
The war club and scalping knife are falling useless, and the more civilized implements of husbandry are being used in their stead, wherever the light of the blessed gospel is made to shine. However gratifying the ac‑
counts of the progress of Christianity among the heathen thus far may appear, yet much, yea, very much, remains to be done. The funeral fires have not all ceased to burn, the widow's shrieks and orphan's cries are not all hushed in Christian peace. Hence the harvest is truly great, and the laborers are comparatively few; and in order that the many dark abodes of heathen cruelty, ignorance, guilt, sin and degradation, may be blessed with the diffusion of Christian knowledge, and the promotion of virtue and piety increased, much is yet required of the Christian and the philanthropist to perform.
"Let us then, my friends, as a Christian people having the good of our fellow-men at heart, and under a deep sense of the duty due to them, to ourselves and to our God, come forward in the true spirit of charity and Christian generosity, and render that pecuniary aid which the 'giver of every good and perfect gift' has so generously, as his stewards, placed in our hands, to be expended for the diffusion of Christian knowledge and gospel truth in the land of the heathen."
REFLECTIONS ON A DESERTED WAREHOUSE.
BY B. J. KENNEDY.
Vile competition! how I hate thy name!
Thou 'st tumbled thousands from the tip of fame.
The poor unfortunates that lack for brain
Are strongly trammeled with thy galling chain.
You Gambriel roof a monument doth stand,
Of wild ambition's direful reckless hand.
That "firm" which once so boldly met the eye,
Low as the basement, "bottom up" doth lie.
No busy crowds are starting from thy doors,
Nor heaps of goods bestrew thy numerous floors. [ware,
The tur'ring wheel that raised the merchant's
Hangs on its axle, but revolves not there.
That iron "safe" which once was wedged with gold
Doth vacant stand — and utter nothing hold.
The brilliant key once faithful to its trust,
For want of use now cover'd o'er with rust.
"Rust may corrupt," but "thieves cannot steal" here [to fear.
For where nought dwells there is for nought
The sun hath sunk — dark clouds obscure the sight —
Deserted warehouse, here 's to thee — "Good night."