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THE EARLY SETTLERS OF
TROMBLY'S BAY

 

BY MISS FRANCES Anderson

Among the early settlers in Chazy was Bruno Trombly, who came here from Canada at the close of the Revolutionary war in 1786. In those days, as we all know, travel by water was not accomplished with the comfort and rapidity as at the present time and the only way of travel was by canoe or small boat. Mr. Trombly was a native of Bay St. Paul, near Quebec. He, with his family, embarked in a canoe and proceeded through the rivers to Lake Champlain. He settled near what is now know as Saxe's Landing, on the little point south of the dock. There seems to be no trace of the house left. There were two families living there at that time, John La Frombois, (who was the first permanent white settler in the county) and a man by the name of Huot. Mr. Trombly was very friendly with the Indians, trapping with them for many years, acting as their friend and adviser till they forced to give up their homes and lands to the white settler, which no doubt caused not a little sorrow on leaving forever the shores of the beautiful lake. This old pioneer, by hard labor brought up a family of ten children, nine sons and one daughter. The elder boys (who were Mr. Lawrence Trombly's uncles) took an active part in the war of 1812. John B., the eldest of the boys (who was my grandfather's father) was ten years of age when his father came to this country and it is owing to his help that they succeeded in clearing up the land and providing for the large family.

In 1803, at the age of 27, John Trombly married Miss Marney of Rouses Point, which was then a settlement of only a few families, and soon after settled about one and one-half miles south of Chazy Landing, at the beautiful bay which bears his narne. Here he built a small log cabin in which his family of eleven children were born and brought up. This log cabin, now nearly a century old, still stands near the large stone house built by John Trombly in 1827, and is now owned by Lawrence Trombly, his youngest living son, who was seven years of age at the time his present home was built by his father. John Trombly (my grandfather's father) became very wealthy and was a prominent and widely known man in his days. He owned large tracts of land between his home and Monty's Bay. He entertained many travelers and emigrants who were making their way to the States. During the war of 1837 (sometimes called the Patriot war) his home was opened to the defeated Canadian soldiers, where they secured food and shelter. Many a time his large stone house was filled with the refugees who would have fared badly had they fallen into the hands of the British. During the long winter evenings, I have often listened to the stories which my grandfather loves to tell about old times and incidents which happened during his childhood.

It was a very familiar sight (when my great-grandfather came to this country) to see the Indian camps all around. Their favorite camping ground was on the sand beach and on the point where Mr. Jones' cottage now stands, also on Robarge and Wool's points. The Indians were on friendly terms with the white people and would often come to the houses for milk and other articles of food for their families. My grandfather's mother often told how she once tried to buy a silk handkerchief from an Indian women, who with her little child bad come to her house to buy food. The Indian baby was wrapped in the handkerchief, which was a handsome one, but on offering money, even more than the article was really worth to the mother, she could not be induced to part with it, as she kept it to wrap around her children for baptism.

The style of dress was very simple in those days, and once a year the father would buy a piece of goods, also some leather to make up into clothes and sboes for the children, The tailor and shoemaker went from house to house as the dressmaker of today, remaining until each of the boys had a new outfit, which would be expected to last until the next year. When the farmers decided to go to mill each of the men would take as much grain as he could carry and start out in a canoe or bv a little path through the wilderness to Plattsburgh, that being the nearest mill. john B.Trombly lived to the good old age of 72. Manv of his descendants are living here and in adjoining towns and are counted among our respectable citizens who are justly proud of belonging to one of the oldest families in Clinton county.

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last edited 10 Sep 2018

 

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