Norton lies in the extreme northwestern corner of the county, in lat. 44º 58', and long. 5º, 6, and is bounded north by the Canada line, east by Averill, south by Warner's Grant*, Warren's Gore** and ***Avery's Gore, and  west by Holland, in Orleans county. When the town was chartered, or to whom, we are unable to state, for the charter was destroyed by fire many years ago. It matters little, however, when this charter was granted, for its conditions must have necessarily been violated as the town had no settler previous to 1860. 

       The surface of the land is rough and uneven and heavily timbered. The soil is said to be good and durable. Two ponds of considerable extent lie in the northern part of the township. The outlet of Norton pond is the head branch of Coatacook river, which unites with the Massippi, in Askot, and then unites with the St. Frances, at Lennoxville. Farrands river, also, heads here and runs south. 

       In 1880, Norton had a population of 239. The town system of schools was adopted at the organization of the township, and now it has two common schools, with sixty scholars, which were taught during 1886 by three female teachers, to whom was paid an average weekly salary, including board, of $6.00. The entire income for school purposes was $57.77, while the total expenditures amounted to $400.60, with W.H. Bishop, superintendent. 

       Norton Mills (p. o.), located in the northern part of the town, on the G.T. railroad, is the only village in the, township. It has a store, steam mill, and about thirty dwellings. Woodard & Lyster's steam saw-mill is located in the eastern part of the town on road 2, near the town of Averill. It was built by R.M. Woodard and W.L. Ball.  It was commenced October 1, 1874, and finished in April, 1875. Shortly after it was finished Mr. Woodard bought out his partner and was its proprietor until August, 1885, when a half interest was sold to P.R. Lyster. The mill is operated by steam, furnishing employment for about seventy men, and cutting about 25,000 feet of lumber per day. The mill cuts dimension timber, clapboards, shingles, lath, etc. 

       Cameron's saw-mill is owned and operated by D. H. Cameron. The mill is located about one-half mile from the boundary line, in the town of Barford, P.Q., although the lumber is drawn to this town before it is loaded on the cars. The mill was built in 1879, by F.B. Cleveland. Mr. Cameron bought it in 1882. The mill furnishes employment for seven men, cutting about 7,000 feet of dimension timber per day. Water-power is used.  A.M. Stetson's steam saw-mill is located on road 2. It was built by George B. James, in 1873-74, and has been owned by Mr. Stetson since the failure of Mr. James.  It employs about seventy fine men and cuts over 10,000,000 feet of lumber per annum. It was built at an expense of nearly $90,000.00. 

       The first permanent settler in Norton was Samuel Cleveland. He came here from Canada in 1860 and erected a saw-mill, forming a co-partnership with John Thornton and a Mr. Remick.  The mill was operated by them only a short time, when it was sold to C.W. Pierce, George B. James, A.M. Stetson and J. Wilder, who assumed the name of Norton Mills Company.  In 1868, Mr.Stetson and Mr. Wilder withdrew from the firm, and the mill was operated two years by Pierce & James.  In 1870, Mr.James bought out his partner and was sole proprietor until 1874, when he became financially embarrassed to such an extent that he was obliged to suspend business. A short time previous to his failure he built the large steam mill now owned by A.M. Stetson.   In 1867, Mr. James commenced clearing land, and from that date up to 1874, the time of his failure, he had cleared over 1,000 acres, upon which he raised large quantities of oats, rye, potatoes, etc. 

       The town was organized March 6, 1885, when the following officers were elected: William G. Nelson, moderator; Albert McLean, clerk; W.G. Nelson, Hazen E. Ames and L.F. Jones, selectmen; Albert McLean, treasurer. The road from this town to Canaan was built in 1867, by the Norton Mills Co. The first store was opened by the Norton Mills Co., in the building now occupied by A. McLean & Co. 

       Robert J. and William Carpenter were sons of  Willett Carpenter. They were natives of Brunswick. Robert came to this town in November, 1865, as a surveyor of timber for the Norton Mills Co.  His brother William came in the fall of 1870.  They are both still living in this town. Robert J. is a shipper of lumber, and William is the proprietor of the Stetson House. 

       The town has no church. Most of the inhabitants are of the Roman Catholic faith, and belong to the church at Barnstead, P.Q. 

*WARNER'S GRANT, a tract of 2,000 acres, lying in the northwestern part of the county, is bounded north by Norton, east by Warren gore, south by Morgan, in Orleans county, and west by Holland and Morgan, in Orleans county. It was granted October 20, 1787. It contains no stream of importance, and is uninhabited. 

**WARREN GORE is an uninhabited tract of 6,380 acres, lying in the northwestern part of the county, and belonging to the town of Warren, in Washington county. It is bounded north by Norton, east by Avery's Gore, south by Morgan and Bristol, and west by Warner's grant. The records do not show when this territory was granted, but it was probably chartered with the town of Warren, October 20, 1789. On the line between this gore and Norton is a considerable pond, the waters of which flow to the north into Masuippe river, in Canada. 

***AVERY'S GORE is located in the northwestern part of the county, and is bounded north by Norton,  east by Lewis, south by Bristol,  and west by Warren Gore. It was granted January 27, 1791, to Samuel Avery, and contains 10,685 acres. It is mountainous and uninhabited


(Source for Gores in Essex Co.:  Gazetteer of Caledonia and Essex Counties, VT.; 1764-1887, Compiled and Published by Hamilton Child; May 1887, Page 490)

(Source: Gazetteer of Caledonia and Essex Counties, VT.; 1764-1887, Compiled and Published by Hamilton Child; May 1887, Page 482-483)

This excerpt was provided by Tom Dunn.