HISTORY OF THE TOWN OF ADDISON.
THE town of Addison lies on the shore of Lake Champlain, in the western part of Addison county, and is bounded on the north by Panton; east by Waltham and Weybridge; south by Bridport, and west by Lake Champlain. The surface of the town is level or with a gradual slope towards the lake, except the extreme eastern part, which becomes hilly or mountainous, the highest elevation being Snake Mountain (or Grandview Mountain, as it is now called; this elevation rises to a height of 1,310 feet above sea level, and is the highest point in the county west of the Green Mountains). The soil is principally clay or marl, mixed to some extent with loam, and in the mountains a strong loam prevails. The principal streams are Otter Creek, which forms the eastern boundary between this town and Waltham, Hospital, Ward’s and Dead Creeks; the latter is formed by what are known as the east, middle and west branches, which flow in a northerly course from the town of Bridport, Dead Creek continuing northward into the town of Panton. Ward’s and Hospital Creeks flow through the southwest part of the town. There is no valuable water power in the town and no manufacturing of importance is carried on. The town was originally covered with a heavy growth of timber, of which pine, cedar, maple, basswood, oak and elm were the principal varieties.
The town of Addison was chartered on the 14th day of October, 1761, by Benning Wentworth, then governor of New Hampshire, to the original proprietors, by the same form of charter under which other towns in Vermont were granted. For purposes of reference we insert here a copy of those charters, in blank, and will omit them in subsequent town histories:
[L.S.] By the grace of God, of Great Britain, France and Ireland, KING, Defender of the Faith, &c.
To all persons to whom these presents shall come, Greeting:–Know ye, that We, of Our special Grace, certain knowledge, Mear Motion, for the due encouragement of settling a New Plantation within our said Province, by and with the advice of our trusty and well-beloved BENNING WENTWORTH, ESQ., our Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Our Province ofNEW HAMPSHIRE, in New England, and of our COUNCIL in the said PROVINCE, HAVE, upon the Conditions and Reservations, hereinafter made, given and granted, and by these presents for Us, Our Heirs and Successors, do give and grant in equal shares unto our loving Subjects, Inhabitants of Our said Province of New Hampshire and Our other Governments, and to their Heirs and Assigns forever whose names are entered on this Grant, to be divided to and amongst them into sixty-eight equal shares, all that tract or parcel of Land situate, lying and being within our said Province of New Hampshire, containing by Admeasurement, Twenty-Eight Thousand Eight Hundred Acres, which Tract is to contain something more than Six Miles square, and no more, Out of which an allowance is to be made for highways and unimprovable Lands, by Rocks, Ponds, Mountains and Rivers. One Thousand and Forty acres free, according to a plan and survey thereof, made by our said Governor’s order, and returned into the Secretary’s Office and hereunto annexed, butted and bounded as follows, viz.:– * *
* * And the Inhabitants that do or hereby shall Inhabit the said Township are hereby to be enfranchised with and entitled to all and every the privileges and Immunities that other towns within Our Province by Law Exercise and Enjoy: And further, that the said Town as soon as there shall be fifty families resident and settled thereon shall have the liberty of Holding Two Fairs, one which shall be held on the —- and the other on the —-annually, which fairs are not to continue longer than the respective —- following the said —– and that as soon as the said Town shall consist of fifty families a Market may be opened and kept, one or more days in each Week, as may be thought most advantageous to the inhabitants. Also, that the first meeting for the choice of Town Officers agreeable to the laws of our said Province shall be held on the first Tuesday in January next which said Meeting shall be notified by —-, who is hereby also appointed the Moderator of the said first Meeting which he is to notify and govern agreeable to the laws and Customs of our said Province and that the Annual Meeting forever hereafter, for the choice of such Officers of said Town, shall be on the second Tuesday in March Annually.
TO HAVE AND TO HOLD the said Tract of Land as above expressed, together with all the privileges and Appurtenances, to them and their respective Heirs and Assigns, forever, upon the following conditions, viz:
I. That every Grantee, his Heirs and Assigns, shall plant and cultivate five acres of Land within the term of five years, for every fifty acres contained in his or their share or proportion of Land in said Township, and continue to improve and settle the same by additional Cultivations on penalty of the Forfeiture of his Grant or share in said Township, and of its reverting to Us Our Heirs and Successors, to be by Us Regranted to such of our subjects as shall effectually settle and Cultivate the same.
II. That all White and other Pine Trees within the said Township, fit for Masting Our Royal Navy, be carefully preserved for that Use, and none to be cut or felled, without Our Special License for so doing, first had and obtained upon the penalty of the forfeiture of the Right of Such Grantee, his Heirs and Assigns to Us, Our Heirs and Successors, as well as being subject to the penalty of any act or Acts of Parliament that now are or shall hereafter be enacted.
III. That before any Division of the land be made to and among the Grantees, a tract of Land as near the Center of said Township as the Land will admit of, shall he reserved and marked out for Town Lots, one of which shall be alloted to each Grantee, of the contents of one Acre.
IV. Yielding and paying therefore to Us Our Heirs and Successors for the space of ten years, to be computed from the date hereof, the rent of one Ear of Indian Corn only, on the Twenty-fifth day of December annually, if lawfully demanded, the first payment to be made on the Twenty-fifth day of December 1761.
V. Every proprietor Settler or Inhabitant shall yield and pay unto Us Our Heirs or Successors, yearly and every year forever, from and after the expiration of ten years from the above said Twenty-fifth of Decemher, namely, on the Twenty-fifth day of December, which will be in the year of Our Lord 1771, One Shilling Proclamation Money, for every hundred Acres he owns settles or possesses, and so in proportion for a greater or less Tract of said Land, which Money shall be paid by the respective persons abovesaid, their Heirs or Assigns in our Council Chamber in Portsmouth, or to such Officer or Officers as shall be appointed to receive the same, and this to be in Lieu of all other Rents and services whatsoever.
In testimony whereof we have caused the Seal of our said Province to be hereunto affixed.
Witness, BENNING WENTWORTH, ESQ.,
Our Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Our said Province, this 14th day of October in the year of our Lord CHRIST, One Thousand Seven Hundred Sixty-one, And in the Second Year of Our Reign.
By his EXCELLENCY’S Command
with Advice of Council.
Theodore Atkinson, Sect’y.
The charter has also this endorsement, together with a list of the grantees:
His Excellency, Benning Wentworth, Esq.
A Tract of Land to contain Five Hundred Acres, marked B. W. on the Plan, which is to be accounted two of the within shares.
One whole share for the incorporated Society, for the propagation of the Gospel in Foreign parts.
On’ share of the Glebe for the Church of England, as by law established. One share for the first settled Minister of the Gospel, and one share for the benefit of Schools in said Town. Province of New Hampshire,
November 3d, 1761.
Theodore Atkinson, Sect’y.
The history of the town of Addison extends farther into the past than that of any other town in the county. In the winter of 1690 a party of French and Indians came up the lake on the ice, crossed over and burned Schenectady, an incident of fire and suffering that has passed into general history. The English pursued the marauders as far as Crown Point, where the French and Indians took to their skates. A portion of the pursuers overtook some of the French and killed twenty-five. On the 26th of March of that year the authorities of Albany county gave to Captain Jacobus D’Narm [Note 1] orders to take seventeen men and pass by way of “Schuytook,” and take from thence twenty savages and Dick Albatrose and proceed to Crown Point. A little later, and in April, Captain Abraham Schuyler was ordered to the mouth of Otter Creek with nine men, “to watch day and night for one month, and daily communicate with Captain D’Narm.” At the same time D’Narm’s orders were so changed that he had to seek a new post, which led him to what became known as Chimney Point, near the southwestern point of the town of Addison. Here he began his watch and erected a small stone fort; this was the first possession or civilized occupation of territory within the State of Vermont, if we except the fort built on Isle la Motte by the French in 1664. In August of the year last mentioned Captain John Schuyler, on his retreat from La Prairie (opposite Montreal), noted that he stopped in this vicinity “at the little stone fort,” which was undoubtedly that of D’Narm.
At a little later period a large tract of land in Addison county, and including the present town of the same name, was claimed by the Mohawk Indians and by them granted to Godfrey Dellius, the Dutch minister at Albany in1694. Two years later his title was confirmed by Charles II, who afterwards revoked the title; but this revocation was not recognized by the thrifty Dutchman, who sold his alleged right to his successor, Lydius. In the year 1730 the French built a small fort on Chimney Point (Point a la Chevelure, as they termed it), and probably repaired the work of D’Narm. In 1743 the king of France granted to Hocquart (intendant of New France) a seigniory of four leagues front on the lake by five leagues deep; the south line of this tract was about half a mile south of the present south line of Addison, and the north line near the site of Adams Ferry in Panton.
The next record we find of Chimney Point is that of Kalm, the Swedish naturalist, who visited the locality in 1749. He says of it: “I found quite a settlement, a stone wind-mill and fort in one, with five or six small cannon mounted; the whole inclosed in embankments.” According to the writings of the late Hon. John Strong (from which we must draw liberally), there was “within the enclosure a neat church, and throughout the settlement well cultivated gardens, with some good fruit, as apples, plums, currants, etc. During the next ten years these settlements were extended north on the lake some four miles; the remains of old cellars and gardens still to be seen (about 1860) show a more thickly settled street than occupies it now.”
The stirring events that occurred between 1750 and the granting of the charter of Addison county as before noted, are emblazoned on the living pages of history. Crown Point, Ticonderoga and their immediate vicinity constituted battle-fields the history of which was to be overshadowed only by that of the more heroic and bloody struggle of the succeeding Revolution. In 1759, after the taking of Ticonderoga by General Amherst, the French burned their fort at Crown Point and Chimney Point, and the settlers abandoned their farms and fled with the troops to Canada. The habitations went to ruin; weeds and trees grew up in the gardens and cellars, and the lands that had seen the thriving homesteads of the French returned to nearly their primitive wildness.
In the year 1763 (April) Hocquart deeded to M. Michel Chartier de Lotbiniere all of his seigniory north of Hospital Creek; the latter petitioned the British government from time to time to be reinstated in his lands. Finally a similar seigniory in Canada was granted him as a substitute. In October of the same year a grant of land was made by the then governor of New York to Colonel David Wooster, beginning near the south line of Addison, running east to Dead Creek and north to D. V. Chambers’s land; another tract to Colonel Charles Forbes, extending from Wooster’s to Potash Bay; another to Lieutenant Ramsay, lying north of the bounds of Addison. Directly east of Forbes’s and Ramsay’s tracts was a grant made to J. W. Hogarty, and east of Wooster’s one to Sir John Sinclair. These grants will be further alluded to on another page.
At about the time Addison was chartered, Panton also was granted to the first proprietors. But the grant as defined extended over the northern boundary of the town of Addison about four miles along the lake; hence some of the first settlers of this town supposed they were locating in Panton. This state of affairs led to protracted trouble and litigation between the two towns, which was not finally settled until May 17, 1774; Addison held her territory according to her charter, by right of priority of grant ; but she gave up to Panton 8,000 acres of the disputed territory, “for a reward for duties done in settling said tract.” (See history of Panton.) On the 22d of October, 1804, 2,000 acres were taken from the southern corner of the town and annexed to Weybridge, and three days later a tract was annexed to Waltham.
Early Settlements.–One of the soldiers of Amherst was named Benjamin Kellogg, from Connecticut. It is said that while stationed at Crown Point he frequently visited the Salt Licks, near where the mansion of General John Strong was subsequently built, to procure venison for the officers of the army. It is believed that the clearings made by the French, and the promising character of the locality, made an impression upon his mind, and that when lie returned he told his acquaintances of the advantages of the place for settlement. He returned to his old hunting grounds in the fall of 1762, and likewise in the two succeeding years; in the latter year some of the Panton proprietors came with him. In the spring of 1765 Zadock Everest, David Vallance and one other settler came on and began a clearing about three miles north of Chimney Point. In September Benjamin Kellogg came back for his fall hunt, and with him came John Strong in quest of a home in the wilderness. The two last-named men visited the place where Everest and Vallance were at work, remained a few days and helped get in their fallow of wheat, and then traveled as far east as the site of Middlebury; they were probably the first white men to reach that locality. On their return to the lake Strong decided to build a house there, which he did with the help of the other men; he selected the site and cellar of one of the ruined French houses as the foundation. It was the first house built by an English settler north of Massachusetts. The party returned to Connecticut, and in February, 1766, Strong returned with his family, consisting of his wife and three children, Asa, Samuel and Polly, and in May Zadock Everest, David Vallance, John Chipman and six others, with their families, came on by way of Otter Creek; all of these but Chipman located in Addison and Panton.
It is not known just how many families settled in this town during the succeeding ten years and down to the breaking out of the Revolution; but in 1768, when Colonel Wooster came on to look for the land to which he supposed he had a title, he found five families on it–John Strong, Benjamin Kellogg, Phineas Spalding, David Vallance and one of the Pangborns. Some of these, according to General Strong, agreed to leave their lands, and others were sued by Wooster in the Albany courts. Then followed the historical controversy between the settlers and the New York authorities. Strong, Kellogg, Everest, and ten other Addison men were in Allen’s party who dispossessed Reid at the falls (Vergennes), for an account of which see Judge Smith’s history of Vergennes herein. When the men returned from the affair with Reid they found Wooster with the sheriff serving writs of ejectment on those living on his land; they were highly incensed that while they, had been engaged in driving the hated Yorkers from the lands of their neighbors, their own homes were invaded. They finally took Wooster and his sheriff, tied them to a tree, and under threats of the “beech seal,” forced them to promise to depart and not trouble the settlers further. The colonel left that locality on the following morning.
Of the part enacted in the Revolution by Addison men, but little can be said. At the time of the retreat of the Americans from their Canadian expedition in 1776, when the small-pox broke out among the soldiers, a hospital was built on the north side of the mouth of Hospital Creek, which incident gave the stream its name. The number of deaths here was so great that pits were dug into which the bodies were thrown without coffins. In the same year the Addison settlers aided General Gates in getting out timbers for his fleet, which was placed under the command of Arnold. This fleet was defeated by the British in October, when Arnold ran his vessels ashore in Panton, burning some and blowing up others. When Burgoyne made his memorable invasion in 1777 most of the settlers departed, those from Addison county going into Pawlet, Dorset and other towns then in Bennington county. In 1778 Major Carleton made his descent from Canada; he took thirty-nine men and boys as prisoners. Among them were Nathan and Marshall Smith, of Bridport; Benjamin Kellogg, and Ward and Joseph Everest, of Addison; Holcomb Spalding, two Ferrises and Mr. Grandey, of Panton, and Hinckly, of Shoreham. Says General Strong: “Grandey and Hinckly were liberated to take care of the women and children, these and other families having come back to their farms on the defeat of Burgoyne; all now abandoned the settlement except three families, and did not return until after the war. The prisoners were taken to Quebec, where they arrived December 6. Kellogg and a number of others died in prison during the winter. They all suffered unaccountable hardships. In the spring they were taken down the river some ninety miles. May 13, about midnight, eight of them made their escape. On reaching the south shore they divided into two parties, four in each. On getting opposite Quebec one party was betrayed by a Frenchman, and again taken prisoners. Three of them again made their escape that night–Ward and the two Smiths–and after being again taken by the Indians, and again escaping, pursued by the Indians fourteen days and nights, all their knowledge of the Indian craft and devices being put to the utmost trial, they finally succeeded in throwing off their pursuers and arrived in Panton, where they met three Americans, on a scout, from whom they got provisions; which was the first food they had tasted since their last escape, except such as they procured in the woods–in all, twenty days. The next day they stopped at Hemenway’s, in Bridport, (Hememway never left his farm through all the war.) After one day’s rest, they pushed on to Pittsford.”
With the close of the great struggle for freedom settlers felt that they Might confidently hope for security in their wilderness homes, and they accordingly began to return. New immigrants, also, attracted by the reports of the beauty of the country, came in rapidly, and Addison soon took the lead in the county. It is our purpose now to trace most of the early settlements of the town, with such other historical records as we have been able to secure.
In 1790 James Bates, Tonah Case, Z. Everest, Joseph Everest, Benjamin Everest, Ebenezer Merrill, Joseph Murray, John Newton, Ebenezer Picket, Seth Storrs, John Strong, esq., Samuel Strong, David Whitney, Timothy Woodford, Ebenezer Wright, Walter Bates, Azariah Bill, Jeremiah Day, Joseph D. Farnsworth, Levi Hanks, Lyman Hurd, Carrel Merrill, Simon Smith, Luke Strong, Bissel Case, Samuel Low, John Willmarth, John Strong, jr.
1791.–Jonathan Bills, Loudon Case, Timothy Pangborn, Theo. Andrus, Daniel Squier, Josiah Waterous, Isaac Buck, Isaiah Clark, Thomas Dexter, William Kimball, Samuel Pangborn, Joseph Pangborn, Otis Pond, Eli Squier, Aaron Warner, Daniel Champlin, Caleb Olin, Stephen Pangborn, Benjamin Payne, Gideon Seeger, David Vallance, John Vallance, Joseph Spencer, Henry Smith, Jesse Smith, Joseph Smith, Clayborn Robinson, Jabez Pond, Kilborn Morley, John Noble, Elizer Hanks.
1793.–Joseph Caldwell, William Everest, John Harris, William Meacham, Andrew Murry, Benjamin Reynolds, Enoch Sacket, Thomas Sanford, jr., Benjamin Southward, Jeremiah Adams, Philo Pickett, William Ellis.
1794.–Seth Abbott, Jeremiah Meacham.
1795.–Elisha Clark, William Merrihugh, Nathaniel Warner, Jacob McClan, Geo. Wright, Timothy Harris, James McClan, Ashur Ashborn, John N. Murry.
1797.–Stephen Day, Reuben Randal, Abel Wilmarth, John Cory, jr., David White, Ashbel Squier, Ebenezer Squier.
1798.–Robert Chambers, Israel Morley, Friend Adams, Peter Stickel, Ashbel Picket, Jacob Post, Asel Wilmarth, jr., Daniel Smith, John Post, Ebenezer Daniels, Wm. Mills, Asel Wright, Alvin White, David Pond, Reuben Randal, Simon Smith, Reuben Sacket, jr., Cyrus Strong, William Picket, James Stiles, Solomon Green, Peter Luis, Curtis Butler, John Harris, James Hoten, Ephraim Mills.
1799–Luce Litchfield, Daniel Hasbrooks, Caleb Pratt, Benjamin Norton, Daniel Dewey.
1800.–William Dusenbury, Sterling Adams, Solomon Doud, Wm. C. Dusenbury, Alexander Ferguson, Francis More, Ebenezer Wright, jr., Zachariah Curtice, jr., John Herrimon, Roe Miner, Thomas D. Allen, Amos Smith, Jacob Travers, Daniel Wright, Aaron Merrill, Henry Cannada, Reuben Spalding, Brattle Butler, James Bushnel, John Fisher, Abraham Burrell, Timothy Burrell.
1801.–Stephen Armstrong, Bela Norton, Josiah Norton, Mitchell Kingman, Gilead Picket, Martin L. Crandal, Nathaniel Pangborn, Jacob Head, Nicholas R. Grinnells, Weaker Bartlett, Reuben Knickerbocker, Ephraim Jackson, John Doran and William Jones.
The names in the above list are spelled according to the record.
The Strong family has been a prominent one in this town. The Hon. John Strong was born in Salisbury, Conn., in 1738 and came to Addison in February, 1766, as before noted. After he was driven away from his settlement by the British he went to Dorset, which town he represented in the Legislature from 1779 to 1782, and in 1781 he was elected assistant judge of Bennington county, and re-elected in 1782. In 1783 he returned to his former home in this town. His first dwelling here was built near the lake and destroyed by the British. In 1796 he built his brick residence, the brick for which were made on the farm. He represented Addison in the Legislature three years, from 1784, and in 1785 was elected first judge of the Addison County Court. In 1786 he was elected judge of probate and a member of the Council; these offices he held until 1801. In 1791 he was a member of the convention which ratified the constitution of the United States. He died in June, 1816, and many of his descendants are still residents of this town and vicinity. His son, the Hon. John W. Strong, was a prominent man in the town; the son of the latter, Charles W., still lives in the town.
For their historical value we quote from Mr. Strong’s sketch of the town of Addison the following incidents connected with early life in the wilderness
“Wild animals,” he wrote, “were very troublesome, especially bears, with which he had many encounters. In September Mrs. Strong, whilst her husband and a few neighbors had joined together and gone up the lake in a bateau and thence to Albany to procure necessaries for the settlement, one evening was sitting by the fire with her children about her. The kettle of samp had just been taken from the fire when, hearing a noise, she looked towards the door and saw the blanket that served the purpose of one raised up and an old bear protruding her head into the room. The sight of the fire caused her to dodge back. Mrs. Strong caught the baby, and sending the older children to the loft, she followed and drew the ladder after her. The floor of this loft was made by laying small poles together, which gave ample opportunity to see all that was going on below. The bear, after reconnoitering the place several times, came in with two cubs. They first upset the milk that had been placed on the table for supper. The old bear then made a dash at the pudding pot, and thrusting in her head, swallowed a large mouthful and filled her mouth with another before she found it was boiling hot. Giving a furious growl she struck the pot with her paw, upsetting and breaking it. She then sat herself up on end, endeavoring to poke the pudding out of her mouth, whining and growling all the time. This was so ludicrous, the cubs sitting up on end one on each side, and wondering what ailed their mother, that it drew a loud laugh from the children above. This seemed to excite the anger of the beast more than ever, and with a roar she rushed for the place where they had escaped up aloft. This they had covered up when they drew up the ladder, and now commenced a struggle; the bear to get up, the mother and children to keep her down. After many fruitless attempts the bear gave it up, and towards morning moved off. After Strong’s return, a door made from the slabs split from a basswood and hung on wooden hinges gave them some security from like inroads in the future.
“At another time Strong and Smalley were crossing the lake from Chimney Point to McKenzie’s in Moriah, in a canoe, and when near Sandy Point they saw something swimming in the water which they at once supposed to be a deer and gave chase. As they drew near they found, instead of a deer, it was an enormous black bear they were pursuing. This was a different affair, and a consultation was held. They had nothing but an axe, but were too plucky to back out; so it was planned that Smalley was to get into the wake of the bear and run the canoe bows on, whilst Strong, standing in the bow with the axe, was to knock Bruin on the head. . . . Smalley brought the boat up in good style and Strong, with all the force of a man used to felling the giants of the forest, struck the bear full on the head. The bear minded it no more than if it had been a walking-stick instead of an axe, but instantly turning, placed both fore paws on the side of the boat and upset it, turning both men into the lake. The bear, instead of following them, crawled up on to the bottom of the boat and took possession, quietly seating himself and looking with great gravity whilst the men were floundering in the water. Smalley, who was not a very good swimmer, seeing the bear so quiet, thought he might hold on by one end of the boat until it should float ashore ; but no Bruin would have none of their company; and they were obliged, each with an oar under his arm to sustain him, to make the best of their way to Sandy Point, the nearest shore. From here they had to go around the head of Bullwagga Bay, and north as far as Port Henry, where they found their boat, minus their axe and other baggage, and were very glad to come off so well.”
“Indians in their visits,” wrote Mr. Strong, “caused more fear than wild beasts, especially after the commencement of the Revolutionary struggle. Although through the policy of some of the leading men of the Grants the British had been induced to treat the settlers on the east side of the lake with mildness, and had forbidden the Indians to molest them , yet their savageness was ready to burst forth on the slightest provocation. So much was this the case, that, if a party of Indians made their appearance when the men were absent the women allowed them to help themselves to whatever they liked. At one time a party came in when Mrs. Strong was alone. They first took the cream from the milk and rubbed it on their faces ; then rubbing soot on their hands, painted themselves in all the hideousness of the war-paint, and sang the war-song with whoop and dances. just as they were leaving, one of them discovered a showy colored short gown, that her husband had just made her a birthday present of This he took, and putting it on, seemed greatly delighted, and with yells and whoops they departed. She had a place between the outer wall of the house and the chimney where, whenever Indians were seen about, she used to hide her babe. A barrel of sour milk was kept, where a set of pewter dishes (a rare thing at the time) was, as soon as used, put for security. One day an Indian came in and saw a small plate, which he took, and making a hole in it, put in a string and wore it off as an ornament. They would sometimes, when hungry, kill a hog or beef. The following will show that their fears were not groundless: One morning in June, just when the sky takes on that peculiar hue that has given it the term, ‘gray of the morning,’ Mrs. Strong arose and went to a spring, a few rods from the house, standing on the bank of the lake. The birds had just commenced their morning matins, making ‘woodland and lea’ vocal with song. The air was laden with the perfume of the wild flowers. Not a breath stirred a leaf or ruffled the glasslike surface of the waters of the lake. She stopped a moment to enjoy it. As she stood listening to the song of the birds, she thought she heard the dip of a paddle in the water, and looking through the trees that fringed the bank, saw a canoe filled with Indians. In a moment more the boat passed the trees in full view. A pole was fastened upright in the bow, on the top of which was the scalp of a little girl ten years old, her flaxen ringlets just stirred in the morning air, while streams of clotted blood all down the pole showed it was placed there whilst yet warm and bleeding. Whilst horror froze her to the spot, she thought she recognized it as the hair of a beautiful child of a dear friend of hers, living on the other side of the lake. She saw other scalps attached to their waist-belts, whilst two other canoes further out in the lake, each had the terrible signal at their bows. The Indians, on seeing her, gave the and made signals as though they would scalp her; and she fled to the house like a frightened deer. The day brought tidings that their friends on the other side had all been massacred and scalped, six in number, and their houses burned.
The morning previous to the taking of Crown Point by Burgoyne, Mrs. Strong was sitting at the breakfast table. Her two oldest sons, Asa and Samtiel, had started at daylight to hunt for young cattle that had strayed in the woods. Her husband had gone to Rutland to procure supplies of beef for the American forces at Ticonderoga and Crown Point, when a daughter of Kellogg (afterwards Mrs. Markham) came rushing in with, ‘The Indians are coming, and we are all flying. There are bateaux at the Point to take us off, and you must hurry!’ And back she ran to help her own folks, her father then being a prisoner in Ouebec. Mrs. Strong was in very feeble health, totally unable to encounter hardships or fatigue; her husband away, her two oldest sons in the woods, and no one to warn or seek them. There was no way but to try and save the children that were with her. She took her youngest, a babe of six months (Cyrus), and putting him in a sack, with his head and shoulders out, fastened him on the back of her eldest daughter, and making up a bundle for each of the other children of the most necessary clothing, started them for the Point, charging them not to loiter or wait for her, and she would overtake them. After putting out the fire she closed the house, leaving the breakfast-table standing as it was when they first heard the news. She traveled on as fast as she was able until she came to the north bank of Hospital Creek. Here, entirely exhausted, she sat down, when Spaulding, of Panton, who waited to see all off, and also the approach of the foe, came riding at full gallop up the road, and seeing her sitting where she was, said, ‘Are you crazy ? The Indians are in sight,– the lake is covered, and the woods are full of them. She told him she could go no further. He dismounted, and placing her on the pillion, remounted, and putting his horse to his speed, arrived just as the last bateaux containing her children was putting off,–it having remained as long as they dared on her account. She was put on board, Spaulding going on with his horse. That night they arrived at Whitehall. Here the settlers scattered in many directions,–some returning to Connecticut, others going east. Zadock Everest and family, with other neighbors, went east, and she went with them. Asa and Samuel, as they returned towards night, saw, by the columns of smoke coming up from every house, that the Indians must have been there. They hid themselves until dark, and then cautiously approaching, found their house a blazing ruin. Believing that the family had escaped, they retraced their steps, and made the best of their way towards Otter Creek. At daylight they found themselves near Snake Mountain. Fortunately, when they left home the morning previous, they took a gun and ammunition. They shot a partridge and roasted it, saving a part for their dinner, and pushed on, and in about a week found their mother and the rest of the children. They then hired a log-house, the older boys working out, and each doing what they Could for their support.
“Strong, hearing that Burgoyne had taken Crown Point, left his cattle at Brandon, and hastened for his home. On coming within sight of the forts he secreted himself until light. He then moved on cautiously, for fear of the Indians. On reaching the center of a narrow ridge of land, just south of Foard’s Creek, with a marsh on either side, covered with a dense growth of alders and Willow, a yell, as demoniac as though the gates of the infernal regions had opened upon him, burst forth, and instantly he was surrounded by more than 200 savages, whooping and swinging their tomahawks over his head. Instant death seemed inevitable. A Tory was in command. Having heard that he was expected in with cattle, he had got the assistance of this band of Indians to intercept him. After a few moments he partially stilled the Indians, and addressing Strong, asked: Where are your cattle?’ Strong answered, ‘Safe.’ This short and disappointing answer fairly drove him mad with rage, and no doubt he would have sacrificed him on the spot, if an old chief, who knew Strong, had not interposed. Strong then told them to take him to the fort, and whatever was proper for him to answer he would cheerfully do. He was then bound and taken to the other side, and placed in the guard-house until morning. When he was brought before the commanding officer, who was Colonel Frasier (afterward killed at Stillwater), Strong explained who he was, the uncertain fate of his family, and his anxiety on their account. Frasier generously let him go on parole until the middle of November, when he was to be at Crown Point, to go with the army and prisoners to Canada. After thanking him, and just as he was leaving, he said: ‘Colonel, suppose the army never returns, how then?’ Frasier, smiling incredulously, said: ‘Then you are released from all obligation;’ and ordering a supply of provisions for his journey, dismissed him. He now procured a boat and went to his house, which he found in ashes. After searching for any remains that might be left, in case his wife and children had been burned in the house, he returned to the fort, where he procured a passage up the lake to Whitehall. He was here completely at fault as to which way his family had gone, but was induced to believe they were in Connecticut, whither he went, but found they had not been there, and returned and went in another direction, and after weeks of fruitless search, had almost despaired of finding them, when one evening, weary and foot-sore, he called at a log house in Dorset, Vt., for entertainment for the night. It was quite dark. A flickering light from the dying embers only rendered things more indistinguishable. He had just taken a seat when a smart little woman, with a pail of milk, came in and said : ‘Moses, can’t you take the gentleman’s hat?’ That voice! He sprang towards her. ‘Agnes!’ and she, with outstretched arms: ‘John! 0, John!’ How quick the voice of loved ones strikes upon the ear and vibrates through the heart! That was a happy night in the little log house. The children came rushing in, and each in turn received their father’s caress. Smiles of happiness and tears of joy mingled freely, for a father and husband was restored as from the dead. They had received no tidings from him after he left his cattle and went to look for them, and they mourned him as dead.”
Such thrilling and pathetic incidents and anecdotes might be multiplied to fill a volume, in which most of the early settlers shared; but these must suffice for this town.
Benjamin Kellogg brought his family into the town in 1766. He traded his farm of one hundred acres in Connecticut for 3,000 acres lying in Addison and Panton. When the settlers were driven off, Kellogg went to Mount Hope, N. Y., with his family, and subsequently to Bennington, where he took part in the battle there. Subsequently he and Lieutenant Everest came back to Addison to look after the cattle they had left here, and found that a Mr. Gale had sold them to the British, and had also reported their owners as spies. They were both captured on the strength of this accusation, but Everest escaped, while Kellogg was taken to St. Johns, where he was imprisoned about a year.
He was then liberated, but in making his way to a neighboring village was so badly frozen that he died soon after. Mrs. Kellogg died at Ticonderoga in 1792.
Zadock Everest came to Addison in the summer Of 1765 and began his clearing, as before mentioned. On his place he built a log house and there kept the first public house in the county. After the breaking out of the war he fled his family to Whitehall, and from thence sought refuge in Pawlet, Rutland county, where he was elected representative in March, 1784. During that year he returned to Addison, and represented the town of Panton in 1785 and Addison in 1788, 1789 and 1795; he also held the prominent town offices through a series of years and was a prominent man. His dwelling was used for a time as the county court-house, and afterwards as a dwelling and a jail. Mr. Everest’s remains rest in Lake View, cemetery, and the following inscription marks his tomb-stone:
HERE REST; THE REMAINS
ZADOCK EVEREST, ESQ.,
Born in Saybrook, Conn., March 5, 1744. In the fourth year of his age he removed with his father, Benjamin Everest, to Salisbury, Conn., where he lived until twenty-one years of age : in the fall of the same year, A. D. 1765, he removed to Addison, Vt., where he lived until Arnold’s defeat on Lake Champlain, A. D. 1776, at which time he was driven from his home by the enemy: In May, 1783, after the close of the Revolutionary War, he moved back to Addison, where he lived until his decease, Much beloved and respected: He died April 30, 1825, in the eighty-second year of his age, leaving a widow and twelve children to mourn his death:
He was a beloved husband, in affectionate father, and an ornament to the church.
Lieutenant Benjamin Everest came with his father to Addison when he was sixteen years old; his father’s name was also Benjamin, and Zadock was his brother. He is said to have been a man of prowess and courage, and with his brother was conspicuous in aiding Allen and Warner to drive out the “Yorkers” from the county. On receipt of news of the battle of Lexington, Everest repaired to Allen’s headquarters, and was given a lieutenant’s commission. He was with Allen when he entered the fort at Ticonderoga, and went with Warner to the capture of Crown Point. After Allen was made prisoner Everest and his company was assigned to Colonel Seth Warner’s regiment, and took part in the battle of Hubbardton and also at Bennington, for his bravery in which he received the thanks of Warner. The account of his thrilling escape from a party of Indians is thus related by Colonel Strong:
“After the capture of Burgoyne, Everest obtained a furlough, with the intention of visiting Addison to look after his father’s property–his father having gone back to Connecticut with his family. Not knowing how matters stood in that section, he approached warily, keeping on the highlands between Otter Creek and the lake, intending to strike the settlement of Vergennes and then turn back to Addison. Arriving at the falls at dark he kindled a fire and lay down. About midnight he was awoke by the war-whoop, and found him self a prisoner to a party of Indians that were on their way to Lake Memphramagog, to attend a council of most of the tribes of Canada, New York and New England. He suffered much from the thongs with which he was bound at the first, but understanding the nature of the Indians very well, he so gained their confidence that they showed him more leniency afterwards. On the breaking up of the council he was brought back to the western shore of Lake Champlain, near Whallon’s Bay, where they encamped for the winter. He had been pondering in his mind for a long time various plans for escape, but concluded to wait until the lake was frozen. It was now December, and the lake had been frozen for some two or three days, the ice as smooth as glass; the sun shone out quite pleasant, and the air was comfortable. The Indians prepared for a frolic on the ice; many of them had skates and were very good skaters. Everest asked to be permitted to go down and see the sport, as he had never seen any one skate; they gave him leave to go, two or three evidently keeping an eye on him. He expressed his wonder and delight at their performances so naturally that all suspicion was lulled. After a time, when the Indians began to be tired, and many were taking off their skates, he asked a Young Indian, who had just taken off a very fine pair, to let him try and skate. This the Indian readily consented to, expecting to have sport out of the white man’s falls and awkwardness. Everest put on the skates, got up, and no sooner than down he came, striking heavily on the ice; and again he essayed to stand and down he fell, and so continued to play the novice until all the Indians had come in from outside on the lake. He had contrived to stumble and work his way sonic fifteen or twenty rods from the nearest, when he turned and skated a rod or two toward them, and partly falling, he got on his knees, and began to fix and tighten his skates. This being done, he rose, and striking a few strokes toward the eastern shore, he bent to his work, giving, as he leaned forward, a few insulting slaps to denote that he was off. With a whoop and a yell of rage, the Indians that had on their skates started in pursuit. He soon saw that none could overtake him, and felt quite confident of his escape. After getting more than half across the lake, and the ice behind him covered with Indians, he looked toward the east shore and saw two Indians coming round a point directly in front of him. This did not alarm him, for he turned his course directly up the lake. Again he looked and saw his pursuers (excepting two of their best skaters, who followed directly in his track) had spread themselves in a line from shore to shore. He did not at first understand it, but after having passed up the lake about three miles, he came suddenly upon one of those immense cracks or fissures in the ice that so frequently occur when the ice is glare. It ran in the form of a semi-circle from shore to shore, the arch in the center and up the lake. He saw he was in a trap. The Indians on his flanks had already reached the crack in the ice and were coming down towards the middle. He flew along the edge of the crack, but no place that seemed possible for human power to leap was there. But the enemy was close upon him; he took a short run backward, and then shooting forward like lightning, with every nerve strained, he took the leap, and just reached the farther side. None of the Indians dared to follow. Finding snow on the ice at Panton, he left it and made good his way to his regiment.”
In 1778 Everest commanded the fort at Rutland, and many other deeply exciting narratives of his experiences in those troubled days are related of him, for which we cannot spare space. He died a member of the Baptist Church and much respected in the county. His tomb-stone bears the following inscription:
Lieut. Benjamin Everest
was born at Salisbury, Conn., Jan. 12, 1752,
and moved with his father [Benjamin] to<
this town in 1768, and died here
March 3, 1843,
aged 91 years.
Thus lies the Christian,
The Revolutionary hero
And the Patriot.
General David Whitney came here soon after the Revolution and located upon the farm previously owned by Kellogg; but subsequently removed to a farm on the north bank of Ward’s Creek, where lie resided until a few years previous so his death, when he removed to Bridport. He died May 10, 1850, aged ninety-three years. He was a member of the constitutional conventions of 1793, 18I4, 1836 and 1843; represented Addison in the Legislatures of 1790, ’92, ’93, ’97, 1808 to 1815 and ’24, and was during his long life here one of the leading men of the town.
Jonah Case located in the northeastern part of the town, on the old “‘Squire Arzah Crane place,” where William J. Conant recently resided. The old brick house is still standing, built by him in 1780–the first brick dwelling erected in the county.
I Here he kept a public house for a long time, and the county courts were held here for several years. It is said that Case first built a log house but while putting on the roof the building was blown down, and that he then built the present house of brick manufactured on the farm. In the masonry at each corner of the building was placed a pint of liquor and a piece of silver, that the occupant “might never be without whiskey nor money.”
Benjamin Southard, from New Jersey, settled upon a farm in the southern part of the town; married Cynthia Mason, reared fourteen children, and died August 7, 1845. Ransom Southard is the only descendant now in the town.
Ebenezer Merrill and his sons, Aaron and Correll, were early settlers in the northeastern part of the town. He died here March 8, 1827, aged eighty-two years. Correll reared a family of eight children, of whom Charles is the only one now living, and died August 29, 1849, in his eighty-third year. Hiram Merrill is a son of Aaron.
Asa Willmarth, one of the five brothers of John Willmarth, and the progenitor of the Willmarth families now in Addison, was born in Providence, R. I., April 27, 1746, and married Chloe Peck, September 20, 1770. They resided in North Adams, Mass., for a time, then immigrated to Addison in 1788, locating in the eastern part of the town. The country was then nearly an unbroken wilderness, the road to Vergennes being simply a bridle path marked by blazed trees. Asa died February 8, 1830. At the time of his wife’s death, October 22, 1829, they had lived together fifty-nine years and raised a family of ten children, eight of whom became the heads of families. Five were sons, who settled about the old homestead so closely that their farms adjoined. The daughters married and moved away, two of them to Canton and one to Farmington, N. Y. A representative of each of the brothers now resides on the respective homesteads. Asa Willmarth, sr., erected a framed dwelling modeled after the style of those times, east Of which there were but three others in the township; but this was subsequently remodeled into the present comfortable and handsome residence. The farm descended to George, and from him to Asa, the present proprietor. George was a public-spirited man; represented the town in the Legislature; was a justice of the peace many years, and served in the War of 1812. Asa has in his possession several interesting relics, among which is a powder-horn which was used at the battle of Bennington, a pair of knee-breeches worn by his grandfather, and the old sword and epaulets worn by George when captain of the State militia.
Amos Smith came here in 1788, locating upon the farm now owned by Olin A. Smith. He died soon after, leaving a family of eight children, four of whom, Henry, Daniel, Rufus and Russell, located in the eastern part of the town. The four eldest sons were all at the battle of Plattsburgh, and were prisoners of the War of 1812. Truman, son of Henry, aged over eighty years, is still a resident of the town. Olin is a son of Daniel. Henry Smith, son of Amos, was born in Cheshire, Mass., October 6, 1769. He married Anna Blanchard, daughter of Seth Blanchard, of Adams, Mass., February 7, 1790, and moved with his father’s family to Addison in the spring of 1790, and settled on the farm, a part of which is still owned by his youngest son, Truman Henry Smith, better known as ‘Squire Smith, was a prominent citizen of his day, having been justice of the peace nearly fifty years, represented the town in the Legislature during the years 1833-34, and at different times held all the offices within the gift of the people of Addison. His family consisted of three sons and two daughters. His oldest son, Amos, was born November 27, 1794; married Barbara Westcott, daughter of Stukely Westcott, of Charlotte. He purchased the farm joining his father’s on the south, at the time of his marriage, in 1819; he owned and occupied this farm until his death, which occurred in November, 1874. His family consisted of two sons and two daughters. His youngest son, Stukely, survives him and resides on the homestead. Stukely W. Smith was born February 19, 1826; married to Mariah 0. Dorwin May 27, 1884, and like his grandfather Henry has been elected to all the offices within the gift of the people of the town. His family consisted of two sons and one daughter. His oldest son, Dr. M. D. Smith, was born April 28, 1848, graduated in April, 1870, from the old Eclectic College of Philadelphia, and in 1884 from Hahnnemann College, Chicago. (See Middlebury Chapter.)
James Stickle, born in New Jersey in 1769, came to Addison in early life, locating in the eastern part of the town, where he died December 18, 1850. The homestead came into Charles Stickle’s possession in 1847, who was born in 1807, and in 1878 reverted to H. A. Stickle, the present owner, it having never left the family since it was reclaimed from the wilderness.
John Fisher, from Massachusetts, located in the eastern part of the town, upon the farm now owned by Osman H. Fisher, at an early date. The homestead passed into the hands of his son Henry, and from him reverted to Osman H. John, whose remains rest in the cemetery near Olin Smith’s place, had a family of five children.
Elijah Elmer, from Amherst, Mass., came to Addison in 1783, locating upon the farm now owned by his grandson, Wright Elmer. He had a family of four sons, only one of whom, Chester, attained mature age. He married a sister of Governor Silas Wright.
Frank Adams, from Salisbury, one of the original proprietors, was an early settler. His father, Benjamin, came on subsequently, locating upon the farm now owned by his great-grandson, William Adams. Benjamin was commissioned a second lieutenant by President Hancock in 1776, and afterwards took a prominent part in the war.
William Allis, from Massachusetts, came to Addison in 1785, locating upon the farm now Owned by Edgar, son of the late Nathaniel Allis, who was his last surviving child. The present house was built by Nathaniel in 1831, succeeding the old log house.
Daniel Champion, a Revolutionary soldier, was an early settler, locating near Chimney Point Newell B. Smith, who came here in 1800, and afterward served in the War of 1812, married Electa, one of Daniel’s twelve children. Austin Smith is the only one of their children now living.
Abel Norton, from Connecticut, located upon the farm now owned by Hiram Norton, in 1790, and died here in 1833, aged fifty-six years. Hiram has eight children, all of whom except Lucy (Mrs. F. M. Moulton, of Vergennes) reside near the old farm.
Gideon Seeger, from Shaftsbury, Vt., located upon the farm now owned by Byron Smith in 1791. He was one of the early postmasters, an office he retained for many years, and which was afterwards held for a long time by Gideon, jr. Luman Seeger, here now, is a grandson of Gideon. Peleg Whitford, the founder of the Whitford family in Addison, was born in Rhode Island in 1744, and after three months’ schooling was apprenticed to a tailor. He married in the town of Coventry, and removed to Lanesboro, Mass., living for a short time near a place called “Cheshire Meeting-House,” and since known as “Whitford’s Rocks.” In the spring of 1781 he again moved, this time to Shaftsbury, Vt., where he remained until February, 1802, when he sold out and came to this town, and resided here until his death, at the age of eighty-eight years. His only son, William, was a resident of the town many years, served in the War of 1812, and left a family of ten children.
Levi Meeker came to Addison from Elizabethtown, N. Y., in 1806, locating in the southeastern part of the town upon the farm lately owned by Horace Meeker, deceased, and now the property of his nephew. He held various town offices, and died at the age of seventy-eight years.
Israel Taylor came to Addison from Middlebury in 1816. He followed the carpenter and joiner trade; reared nine children, two of whom, Cyrillo H. and Esther, now reside here.
Samuel J. Benedict is a son of John Benedict, an early settler in Weybridge, who died in Cornwall in 1873, aged eighty-seven years. S. J. Benedict has been in Addison thirty-four years, thirty-one of which on this place, which he sold to his son-in-law, Frederick P. Owen, in the spring of 1883.
Arnold Gulley, from Rhode Island, came to Addison in 1804, locating upon the place now occupied by his son Erasmus.
Henry Brevoort came from West Haven, Vt., in 1811, and located upon the farm now owned by his son Henry F. He was a tanner and shoemaker by trade, and a very public-spirited man. He represented the town in the Legislature in 1825-26; was a justice of the peace thirty years, and died here in 1880, aged ninety-two years.
James Gorham came on foot from Massachusetts in 1810, locating upon the farm now owned by his son Edward. He was a carpenter and joiner by trade, and was ever respected as an upright, industrious citizen.
Gideon Carpenter, from Bennington, Vt., located in 1802 upon the farm now occupied by his son Isaiah. He had four children, viz. Ruth, who married Daniel Jackson ; Roxana, who married Erasmus Gulley Truman, a resident of Vergennes, and Isaiah. Gideon died in 1803 or ’04, aged eighty-four years.
Asaph Haywood, who settled in Weybridge in 1805, upon the farm now occupied by Joseph Brown, was the grandfather of Benjamin Haywood, who resides in the northeastern part of this town.
James Hindes came from New Jersey in 1800, locating upon the farm now owned by Aaron Hindes, in that part of the town known as “Nortontown.” The homestead descended from James to Aaron, and thence to Aaron, jr., who has been a prominent man in town affairs, being now upwards of seventy-five years of age.
Wheeler French located in Addison in 1833, and his father, Nathaniel, was one of the early settlers in New Haven. George, son of Wheeler, now resides here, one of the ex-representatives of the town in the General Assembly.
John Vanderhoof, from New Jersey, located upon the farm now owned by his grandson, Oliver Vanderhoof, early in the present century.
Asahel Barnes was a native of Bristol, Conn. From there he removed to New Haven, where he remained about seven years, then went to Canada and remained two years, and finally in 1823 came to Addison, locating upon the place now occupied by his son Asahel, Jr. The earliest settler on this place was Benjamin Paine, though Mr. Barnes bought it of James Lewis, whose wife was an adopted daughter of Paine. Mr. Barnes died In June, 1859, in his eighty-second year, while on a visit to his daughter, Mrs. Alfred Roscoe, of New Haven. Asahel, Jr., was born in 1810, at Bristol, Conn., and came to Addison with his father. He purchased the homestead in 1844. In 1837 he removed to Canada, but returned in 1845. Mr. Barnes married Salina Northrup, of Burlington, October 8, 1844, who died May 14, 1847, and in November, 1849, he married Ellen S. Crane, of Addison. Mr. Barnes has had six children born to him, though but four are living, viz.: Charles N., born March 28, 1847 now residing with his father; Albert, born in June, 1853, now of Chicago ; Ella, born in September, 1854, wife of Winslow C. Watson, of Plattsburgh, N. Y.; and Millard Fillmore, born August 21, 1856.
Arzah Crane came from Burlington in 1814 and settled on the farm now occupied by Shepard Olcott, about one and one-fourth miles north of Asahel Barnes’s. His daughter E1len is the wife of Asahel Barnes. He died at Essex, N. Y., in 1861.
In the following paragraph we give briefly the names and the location chosen by a number of the early settlers, which, with what we have already written, will give the reader a tolerable idea of the town in its early days:
John Murray located upon the farm now owned by Judson Hurd. The Picket family located in the southwestern part of the town, on the lake shore. Jeremiah Day located near “The Corners,” but subsequently moved to Canton; among his descendants are Judson and George Day. Levi Hanks, father of William, located in the southeastern part of the town, near Asa Willmarth’s; Lyman Hurd, just south of Asa Willmarth’s; Simon Smith, in the northeastern part of the town; Samuel Low, in the eastern part of the town; Eli Squires settled in the northeastern part of the town. Isaiah Clark settled near the center of the town and had three sons, Lyman, Asahel and Isaiah, jr., and Lyman occupies the old homestead Asahel is represented by his sons Warren D. and Isaiah, jr., by his son George, and a daughter, Mrs. Byron Smith; Thomas Dexter, in the western part of the town; Otis Pond upon the place now owned by George Clark. Aaron Warner located upon a farm north of the present residence of C. W. Reed. Justus Smith, father of Byron Smith, lived and died about three-fourths of a mile cast of the meeting-house at the Center. Joseph Spencer lived in the northeast part of the town upon the farm now occupied by Joseph Barber, and had a son Joseph and a daughter Susan. Andrew Murray settled in the western part of the town. The Sacket family located in the northeastern part of the town; Jeremiah Adams and David White in the northeastern part of the town ; Robert Chambers in the western part of the town; Jacob and John Post in the neighborhood of the Willmarths; William Mills in the northeastern part of the town. David Pond settled upon the farm now owned by his son Alvin. Benjamin Norton settled in what is now known as “Nortontown.” John Herriman located in the southwestern part of the town, near Hospital Creek, which formerly bore his name.
Town Organization.– The town was organized and the first town meeting held March 29, 1784, when the following list of officers was chosen to govern its affairs: Captain Zadock Everest, moderator; Colonel John Strong, clerk; Colonel John Strong, Zadock Everest and Joshua Whitney, selectmen; Colonel John Strong, treasurer; Lieutenant David Vallance, constable; Benjamin Paine, Benjamin Everest and Lieutenant Joshua Whitney, listers; David Vallance, collector; Colonel John Strong, leather sealer; John Ward and Ebenezer Wright, grand jurors; Joseph Chilson, tithingman; Timothy Woodford, brander of horses; Samuel Strong, pound-keeper; and Benjamin Everest and David Whitney, fence viewers. It was also voted at this meeting that “Colonel Strong’s cow-yard be and is hereby made a pound for the present year.” That the bank of the Lake for this year be Considered as a Lawful fence.”
Among important and quaint votes recorded in the town records during the first few years of the town’s corporate existence may be quoted the following:
September, 1784.–That the town be divided into two school districts, north and south districts.
1785- An early highway was surveyed from Hospital Creek, northward to the south line of Panton to be ten rods wide. Surveyed by David Vallance.
1789- Survey was accepted of a road from Bridport to Panton, through Addison near Snake Mountain, eight rods wide.
1797.– Committee of selectmen appointed to ” find out the center of the town.”
1798- Voted “to see if the inhabitants will agree to petition the General Assembly of the State next to be holden at Vergennes, to divide the town of Addison into two distinct towns, making Dead (Creek) the divisional line.”
1800.– Town divided into seven districts.
1801.–“Voted to divide the town into two parishes”.
1812.–“Voted to divide the town into nine school districts”.
The part taken by the early inhabitants of this town in the wars of the Revolution and 1812 has been described in preceding pages; but it may be added that the descendants of Addison’s pioneers fully sustained the records of their ancestors for bravery and patriotism, when the country was threatened with internal war. Men and money were freely supplied for the preservation of the Union, and many fell in defense of their country. The following list gives the names of those who enlisted in the town in Vermont organizations, as compiled by the adjutant-general
Volunteers for three years credited previous to call for 300,000 volunteers of October 17, 1863:
J. Q. Adams, D. Barrow, P. Barrow, S. Bachman, C. Bowers, E. Casey, W. D. Clark, G. W. Converse, J. Crowley, L. Davis, G. H. Dobbin, S. Eaton, H. Elmer, W. F. Elmer, E. Fuller, W. Fuller, 0. Gordon, F. Harris, G. A. Holcomb, W. J. Hurd, E. McKenzie, J. Morgan, L. Murray, C. Norton, H. Palmer, C. H. Smith, D. Smith, L. Smith, J. Turney, J. Vanderhoof, 0. S. Vanderhoof.
Credits under call of October 17, 1863, for 300,000 volunteers, and subsequent calls:
Volunteers for three years.–J. Arno, B. P. Bowers, J. Bogor, jr., D. S. Day, E. Dushon, A. H. Harris, I. C. Heath, S. Knight, H. Laptad, J. Miller, jr., A. Mumble, D. Murray, L. Murray, P. Ruin, L. St. Clair, L. Tatro, M. H. Taylor.
Volunteers for one year.–E. Briggs, jr., C. M. Bucklin, D. W. Clark, H. M. Fifield, D. St. Johns, J. F. Todd.
Volunteers re-enlisted.– J. Bovia, J. Daniels, J. Morgan.
Not credited by name.–Two men.
Volunteers for Nine Months.– P. Berges, M. A. Clark, A. Dachno, J. W. Dallison, A. Dayton, C. L. Elmer, H. B. Heustis, P. Finegan, F. King, W. H. Merrill, A. L. Norton, F. Pasno, J. Pecu, C. Riley, C. Sprigg, J. A. Strong, R. C. Whitford.
Furnished under draft.–Paid commutation, D. R. Brown, E. A. Field, 0. H. Fisher, F. Morby, V. Norton, B. Smith, L. H. Smith, W. D. Smith, G. H, Sprigg, H. Warner, T. S. Warren, P. C. Whitford.
The growth and fluctuations in the town’s population may be seen in the following statistics from the census reports for each decade since 1791: 1791, 401; 1800, 734; 1810, 1,100; 1820, 1,210; 1830, 1,306; 1840, 1,229; 1850, 1,279; 1860, 1,000; 1870, 911; 1880, 847.
Addison is exclusively an agricultural township. Though one of the oldest and in a historical point of view one of the most important towns in the State, the only settlement within its limits at all approaching the dignity of a village is a small cluster of houses in the northeastern part of the town, and known as “The Corners.” Here is located the town hall. As early as 1830 there were two stores located here, and the mercantile business was continued down to about ten years ago, the last merchant being Stephen Gregory.
Chimney Point was formerly a place of considerable importance, and bid fair to one day be the site of a flourishing village. But with the advent of the railroad the course of commerce was taken from the lake; the village declined and its once crowded wharf has long since gone to decay. Asahel Barnes, sr., began keeping hotel here at an early date. In 1841 this was taken by George B. Pease, who ran the business about four years and failed, when Asahel Barnes, Jr., bought the property and kept the hotel down to about 1861, when he gradually discontinued the business. In 1824 Amos B. Chubb opened a store here, and after a time was succeeded by Byron Murray, who continued the business until 1837. He was succeeded by Rev. Mr. Goodwin, a Methodist clergyman, and by Benjamin C. Needham, down to about 1854, when the business was discontinued.
Asahel Barnes, sr., had a cabinet and clock-shop here a few years. The ferry at the Point was established a few years before Asahel Barnes, sr., came here, and has been continued since. It is now controlled by John Wright, though Asahel Barnes, Jr., had it for a number of years prior to 1885.
West Addison is a small hamlet located in the western part of the town.
Town Line is the postal name given a neighborhood on the line between Addison and Bridport.
Postmasters.— The first post-office in the town was established at Chimney Point about 1823, with Amos B. Chubb, postmaster. He held the office about two years, and was succeeded by Byron Murray, and he by Asahel Barnes, sr., who held the Office until he went to Burlington, in 1841, when Dr. Prentiss Cheney had it for a time; then Dr. David C. Goodale, and finally, in the autumn of 1847, it was taken by Asahel Barnes, Jr., who has been continued in the office up to the present time.
At the Corners a very early postmaster was Gideon Seeger. The present incumbent of the office, Miss R. E. Watson, succeeded Stephen Gregory in 1876.
West Addison has for its postmaster Milo Everest.
The Town Line office, only established about two years ago, is held by Elisha Smith.
The Grandview House, located upon the summit of Snake Mountain, was built in 1874 by Jonas N. Smith, the present proprietor. It has an observatory sixty-eight feet in height, from which an unexcelled view of the surrounding country may be obtained, showing quite distinctly the old forts at Ticonderoga and Crown Point, a fine view of Lake George, South Bay, West Whitehall, Lake Champlain from South Bay to Cumberland Head, Crown Point village and furnaces, Port Henry and its two furnaces, Moriah Four Corners, Moriah Center, Mineville, Westport, Split Rock, Point Essex, the spires of churches in Plattsburgh, Middlebury, Vergennes, Bristol, North Ferrisburgh, Panton, Bridport, Shoreham, Orwell, Whiting, Leicester, Salisbury, Brandon, Sudbury, the Adirondack Mountains from Fort Edward on the Hudson to their northern terminus, and the Green Mountains from near Massachusetts on the south to their northern terminus in Canada, while forty-two churches may be counted from the tower.
A Congregational Church was organized in the western part of the town by Rev. Job Swift, assisted by Rev. Increase Graves, of Bridport, in November, 1804, its members being as follows: John Strong, Solomon Butler, Jacob Hindes, Oliver Smith, Lyman Grandey, Ichabod Bartlett, Anna Butler, Mary Ann Swift, Mary Grandey, Eunice Smith, Triphena Henderson, Sarah G. Swift, and Sally Hickox. The church services were held in the old academy, located two miles north of Asahel Barnes’s. A few years after the academy was moved about a mile and a half east on to the east road and made into a church. The church has passed away, though the buildings are standing yet. Meetings continued until 1852, Rev. Benjamin Abbott being the last pastor. There is now only one member of this old church in town, Mrs. Wright, daughter of Ichabod Bartlett, now one hundred and two years old. The old academy stood on the place now owned by Daniel Smith, and was once quite an important institution.
The Addison Baptist Church, located at Addison village, was organized by a council consisting of the Baptist Churches of Cornwall, Shoreham, Panton, and Pleasant Valley, in 1797, having twelve members. Rev. Samuel Rogers was the first regular pastor. The present church was erected in 1817, though it was repaired and greatly improved in 1849. It is a pleasant wood structure, having accommodations for 250 persons, and valued, including grounds, etc., at $4,000. The society now has fifty members, with Rev. J. H. Archibald, D. D., pastor, who was installed in October, 1883. Its deacons are Rufus Smead and Asa Willmarth, and Rufus Smith, superintendent of the Sunday-school.
The Methodist Church, located at West Addison, was organized by Rev. H. Meeker, the first settled pastor, in 1825, with six members. A church building was erected at an early date, which did service till 1881, when the present structure was erected, which will comfortably seat 200 persons, and is valued, including grounds, at $3,000. The society has about fifty members, but is now without a pastor and regular service.
The Advent Christian Church of Addison located in the eastern part of the town was organized July 5, 1850, by about thirty members from the Baptist Church, who had united with others who held the truth of the Advent faith. Rev. Pliny B. Morgan, the first pastor, was mainly instrumental in effecting the organization. The church building was erected in 1849, costing $1,000, and is valued, including grounds, at $1,200, and is capable of accommodating 250 persons. There is no regular pastor serving the church at present.