HUNTINGTON, a mountainous, irregularly outlined town, lies in the
extreme southeastern corner of the county, in lat 44° 20', and long.
4° 5', bounded north by Richmond and Bolton, east by Duxbury and Fayston,
in Washington County, south by Buel's Gore, and Starksboro in Addison County,
and west by Starksboro and Hinesburgh. It was chartered by Benning Wentworth
to Edward BURLING and sixty six others, principally from Connecticut, June
7, 1763, and was to contain an area six miles square or 23,040 acres, under
the name of New Huntington. This area, however, as well as the name, has
since been very materially changed. Originally, the township included all
the southern part of Richmond lying between the Winooski River and within
one or two lots of Hinesburgh's east line, thence down the Winooski to
the north line of the farm adjoining the river, formerly owned by Peter
CRANE and since by Oliver and Thomas CUTTER, and last by Alfred CRANE,
about half a mile above the old meeting house, following a line running
west, and approaching within a lot or two of Hinesburgh, not far from the
farms owned by Royal BRIGGS and John WILLIAMS. The original western boundary
was separated from the Hinesburgh line by a narrow strip of land running
from the southeast corner of Williston, as it then was, called Williston
Leg, which was afterwards annexed to the respective towns of Richmond and
Huntington, according as they came in range. The direction of the present
north line between Huntington and Richmond commences near the southeast
corner of Bolton, on the top of the mountain rising east from the gorge
that divides it from the North Mountain, back of Chester and Harry ROSS's
farms in Huntington, thence running across the said gorge, following the
North Mountain down to Huntington River, passing near a maple tree which
stands by the side of the road leading to Richmond, and north of the bridge
near Daniel SCOFIELD's house, and so on west, or rather southwest, till
it strikes and intersects with Hinesburgh and Richmond lines, on the north
side of David SHERMAN's farm, on road 1. The act by which this change of
territory was effected was passed by the legislature, October 27, 1794,
which also took the easterly part of Burlington, the southerly part of
Jericho, the town of Williston, together with the portion of New Huntington
mentioned, and a part of Avery's and Buel's Gores, forming the whole into
three towns. In addition to the part taken to form the new town of Richmond,
another part was annexed to Bolton, while a portion of the Gore on the
south was annexed to this town. Other than these, no changes have occurred
in its area. On October 27, 1795, the name of New Huntington was changed
to Huntington by the legislature.
The surface of the town is cut by hills and mountains, containing
but little level laud, except along the verdant intervales of Huntington
River. Camel's Hump, one of the principal peaks of the Green Mountain range,
lies in the extreme northeastern corner of the town, its summit standing
within the eastern boundary of the township, being the highest elevation.
North Mountain is next in prominence, lying just within the northern line
of the town, east of Huntington River. A range of small hills also skirt
the western edge of the town. All, however, except Camel's Hump, are clothed
with a heavy growth of timber, or where it has been cut away, by good grazing
land. The soil, which is various, produces ample crops of grass and grain,
and for a mountainous district is an unusually rich farming territory.
Camel's Hump, which is almost a too well known summit of the Green Mountains
to need especial mention here, rears its bald, rocky head 4,083 feet above
tide water, affording a prospect from its summit which is excelled by no
mountain in the State. Its isolated position, with respect to other peaks,
and the strongly marked and peculiar outline of its summit, which suggested
its name, make a conspicuous and easily recognized object from a large
portion of the Champlain Valley. It is situated like a huge observatory,
towering far above the surrounding country, and affording from a single
point one of the most extended and varied views anywhere to be found. The
same enchanting prospect of Champlain Lake and Valley is here afforded
that is seen from Mount Mansfield, and to the east is outspread a rich
and varied landscape that extends to the hazy summits of the White Mountains.
No mountain peaks encroach upon the north and south to hide the prospect,
but from the base towards either point along the Green Mountain range may
be seen a beautiful succession of peaks, that gradually fade out as they
rise beyond each other in the blue distance. The pleasant village of Waterbury
is only ten miles distant front the summit, and Montpelier about twenty
miles to the east, and Burlington lies within thirty miles upon .the west,
while beneath, nestled at its feet, is the picturesque town of Huntington,
with its well kept farms and neat villages. Surrounded by these places,
and the numerous other thriving villages that are planted within full view
from its summit, Camel's Hump cannot fail to become a favorite resort for
those who would wisely combine healthful exercise of the body with well
directed recreation of the mind. The township is watered by Huntington
River and its tributaries, a handsome stream flowing across the whole length
of the town from south to north, affording several good mill privileges.
Calm and placid though it usually is, it sometimes plays mad, vicious tricks,
one of which, the memorable freshet of July 3, 1858, will long be remembered
by the inhabitants. It had been dry and sultry for several days preceding
the 3d, and about 3 o'clock in the afternoon the storm which Nature had
been brewing began to descend. Dark, heavy cloud banks came up from the
west and northwest, turning the day to almost the darkness of night, and
emitting their electric fluid in blinding, zigzag streaks of flame. Soon
the rain began to descend, gently at first, but gradually increasing to
a perfect deluge, continuing to pour down with an intensity rarely exceeded
by tropical showers, for two hours and a half without cessation; and when
at length it did abate it was soon renewed for a shorter period The effect
of this deluge soon raised the waters of the river and its tributaries
far above their usual height, and at sunset they were bearing huge masses
of drift wood and whole trees upon their angry breasts, and at ten o'clock
had attained a height never before reached by any previous freshets. Bridges,
fences, and all within the sweep of the current were borne away, besides
in some places cutting out huge pieces of land with their standing crops.
At the north village, besides sweeping away the covered bridge, ninety
feet long, it tore away the dam, and undermined and tore away two buildings
adjacent, one of them a machine shop, bricked outside and three stories
high, 60x46 feet The grass, grain and corn were beaten down, and in many
places covered with sand and gravel, so that when the swollen current subsided
it left a scene of devastation that was appalling. The loss of property
was immense, amounting to many thousands of dollars. A singular incident
of the flood was the carrying of a three story building, stored with carriages
and lumber, one hundred rods down the stream and landed it perfectly sound,
without a scratch upon the carriages, or any damage done to the lumber.
On the day of the flood a party of four men, Sidney GILLETT, Charles
WORK, Edwin DIKE and Chester ROOD, ascended Camel's Hump, intending to
remain over night for the sake of viewing the sunrise. The storm came upon
them so suddenly that they were obliged to encounter its fury with no shelter
but the clouds. The atmosphere was so dense and the rain descended in such
torrents that they could only breathe by placing their hands upon their
mouths and nostrils. But a more sublime and awe inspiring scene was never
viewed by mortal, probably, than this storm beheld from the summit of Camel's
Hump. They claimed that until it became too dark too see at all, the clouds
below them resembled the waves of the ocean, rolling and seething, as though,
as they in their fright imagined, the whole earth were covered with a mighty
deluge as in the days of Noah. After total darkness had settled over them
the vivid flashes of lightning continued to dart through the inky blackness,
followed by deafening peals of thunder that seemed to shake the mountain
upon its base. From the effects of this night of terror Mr. ROOD never
recovered, but died about two years after from results of the exposure.
Mrs. Stillman JOHNSON informs us that she was living with her father
and mother, on road 14, at the time of the flood, and that about eight
o'clock in the evening, after their house had been surrounded by the angry
waters, they left the building and waded to a tree near by, where they
took refuge, remaining in their retreat until twelve o'clock, when the
flood had subsided sufficiently for them to make their way to a neighbor's,
on higher land, where they remained during the rest of the night.
In 1880, Huntington had a population of 811, was divided into seven
school districts and contained seven common schools, employing two male
and seven female teachers, at an aggregate salary of $721.81. There were
177 pupils attending common school, while the entire cost of the schools
for the year, ending October 3 1st, was $860.12, with Mr. I. L. STRONG,
HUNTINGTON, a post village located in the northwestern part of the
town, on Huntington River, contains one church (Union), three stores, one
blacksmith shop, a hotel, saw mill, grist mill, and about thirty dwellings.
The nearest railway station is Richmond, with which the village is connected
by a daily stage.
HUNTINGTON CENTER, a post village located on the river about two
and one half miles southeast from Huntington village, near the centre of
the town, contains one church (Union), a town hall, a hotel, one store,
a blacksmith shop, and about twenty dwellings. The village is connected
with Richmond depot, eight miles distant, by a daily stage, which carries
Norman J. MIX's saw mill, located on Huntington River, was built
by Harry M. SMALL, in 1875. Mr. MIX manufactures annually 100,000 feet
of clapboards and 500,000 staves, in addition to a large amount of common
The Forest Mills Lumber Co.'s mills are located at the foot of Camel's
Hump, on road 24. They give employment to ten men, manufacturing staves,
chair stock, and dimension and common lumber. They saw annually about 800,000
feet of spruce and 400,000 feet of hard wood lumber. Their mills are operated
by a stock company with Sidney M. GILLETT, manager.
A. C. DEARBORN's saw and grist mill, located in the southern part
of the town, on Huntington River, has the capacity of cutting 30.000 feet
of lumber per week, and operates one run of stones.
Jehiel JOHNS was the first settler early in 1786, a bold, hardy,
athletic man, just the timber for a pioneer. He emigrated thither from
Manchester, Vt., together with his wife, following Otter Creek down to
Lake Champlain, thence on the ice to Burlington, which at that time contained
only three families living in log cabins, then up the Winooski to what
is now called Richmond Flats, where, leaving his wife and movables in the
care of Joel BROWNSON, an early settler in that locality, and taking his
axe, proceeded to his pitch in New Huntington, being the farm long known
as the "JOHNS Place," located on the river just south of the village. Here
he commenced cutting the timber, the first felled in the township, and
from the logs began to build a log cabin, rolling the timber for the lower
part into place without help, and for the upper portion being assisted
by Stillman and Samuel BRADLEY, early settlers in Williston. Having completed
this abode, he returned to BROWNSON's for his wife, and removing his household
effects thither, few indeed, commenced his pioneer home. Mr. JOHNS subsequently
built a log house on road 11, and some time after a frame house on the
same site. He was born in Duchess County, N. Y., February 19, 1756, and
married Elizabeth SEXTON, of Manchester, February 19, 1786, and to them
was born six children, five sons and a daughter, one of whom, James JOHNS,
is at present well known in Huntington as an antiquarian. Mr. JOHNS was
early chosen to important town offices, being moderator of the first town
meeting, first justice of the peace, first representative, besides filling
various other offices. He died August 12, 1840, aged eighty five years,
his widow surviving him until March 25, 1851, aged eighty four years.
During the first year of his settlement, 1786, Mr. JOHNS was joined
by Elisha BRADLEY, from Sunderland, Vt., who built the second log house
in town. He removed, however, to Williston the next winter, leaving Mr.
JOHNS the sole inhabitant until the following spring, when Charles BREWSTER
and Ebenezer AMBLER, with their families, came on from Tinmouth, Vt., and
began a settlement in his vicinity. Next came Asa GILLETT, all locating
on the river. The first settlement in the western part of the town was
commenced by Jacob SCHNEIDER. The first on East Hill was made by John MARTIN,
who was soon after joined by John THOMAS and Rufus WILLIAMS in 1788 or
'89. The first settlement in what is called Buel's Gore was made by Abel
TURNER, John FITCH and Samuel FARGO. The first on Southeast Hill, south
of Brush's Brook, was by Jacob FAIRMAN and Lawrence RAVELIN. The first
in what is called "Sherman Hollow," in the northwestern part of the town;
was begun by Stephen SQUIRES, about 1789 or 1790. In 1794, came Oliver
RUSSELL, John RAYMOND, Jonathan SHEPARD, John TEFT, Jabez FARGO, David
CASWELL, Joseph CARPENTER, Elias FARR, and Zebediah JOSLIN, though some
of them proved mere temporary squatters, acting, as is the nature of some
people, much after the manner of a hen, scratching a little in one place,
becoming dissatisfied, and leaving it for another to gather the worm. Settlement,
however, was slow, so much so that it was full forty years before any portion
of the town began to assume the appearance of a village and place of business.
In 1791, the population was 167.
The town was organized and first town meeting held at the house
of Owen BREWSTER, March 29, 1790, with Jehiel JOHNS, moderator, at which
Charles BREWSTER was elected town clerk; Amos BROWNSON, constable, and
Ebenezer AMBLER, Ozum BREWSTER and Perley STARR, selectmen. The first justice
was Jehiel JOHNS, chosen in 1790, and the following year was also chosen
the first representative. The first-born was Peleg, son of Elisha BRADLEY,
November 6, 1786. The first marriage was that of Samuel FARGO to Lydia
JOHNSON, at the house of Abel TURNER, by William BARBER, of Hinesburgh,
in 1790. The first adult person who died here was Mrs. Keziah BREWSTER,
wife of Dea. Charles BREWSTER, April 10, 1 790, aged sixty six years. The
first frame buildings erected were a dwelling house and barn, built for
Charles BREWSTER, Jr., in 1795. The next was a barn built for Ebenezer
AMBLER, in 1796. The first mill was a grist and saw mill built by Abel
TURNER, about the beginning of this century, located in the southern part
of the town on Huntington River. Another saw mill was erected about the
same time, by Samuel BUEL, upon one of the tributary brooks empting into
the river from the east. TURNER's mill was ruined by a freshet in 1804.
Another grist mill was built about this time for Ornn POLLY, in the western
part of the town, on a brook which enters the town here from Hinesburgh,
and was discontinued in 1819, and the power at the site used for a saw
mill. The first frame school house was erected in 1806, and stood on the
top of the high ridge over which the road formerly passed between David
CASWELL's and Sherman Hollow, and opposite the ox bow bend of the river
below by which the road now runs. It accidentally burned in 1808, and we
have no knowledge of any other being built till 1816, located at the south
of the village. The first school was established in 1794, in Ebenezer AMBLER's
dwelling, within what is now District No. 3, with Dr. William AMBLER, teacher.
The first CARPENTERs and joiners were Josiah and Thomas MILLER. Jonathan
DIKE was the first kitchen chair maker. First man to work at the blacksmith's
trade was James WELLER. Rufus WILLIAMS was the first tailor, and Benjamin
BROWNELL the first resident shoemaker. The first carding machine was built
and started by Roswell STEVENS, in 1821, at the north village, where cloth
dressing was also done. The first general store was established at the
house of Jacob FARGO, in 1801 or '02, as a branch store of Ezra MEECH &
Co., of Charlotte. ROSS & CONGER started trade in a new building erected
partly for that purpose, in 1807. The first post office opened in town
was established near the commencement of this century, kept at the house
of Jabez FARGO, of which FARGO was postmaster. As it did not quite pay
its expenses, however, it was soon discontinued, and no other was established
until 1828, when one was opened at the south village, of which Amos DIKE
was postmaster. In the fall of 1829, it was, on application to the general
department, removed to the north village, and Alexander FERGUSON appointed
postmaster. An office was subsequently opened at the South village. The
first tavern in Huntington was opened by Jabez FARGO, who kept it for many
years, and nearly to the time of his death, in 1827. The next was opened
at the north village by Guerden TAYLOR, in 1826, being the same, with some
additions, now standing, called the Huntington House, with Edmond T. COLLINS,
proprietor. There is also a hotel kept at the Center, the Camel's Hump
House, with Gershom CONGER, proprietor. This hotel is very pleasantly situated;
and the picturesque village, with its many pleasant drives, and adjacent
brooks stored with the finny tribe, together with its near vicinity to
the famous mountain from which it takes its name, renders it a very popular
summer resort. The first physician who made the town a place of residence
was Dr. William AMBLER, brother of Ebenezer AMBLER, mentioned previously,
he being also the first school teacher.
Dea. Charles BREWSTER, from Tinmouth, Vt., came to this town in
1787, and purchased lot 60, upon which he settled his son, Charles, Jr.
He also purchased a farm in a part of the town since set off to Richmond,
upon which he placed another son, Ozen, being the same now owned by the
TOWER estate. Mr. BREWSTER then returned to Tinmouth where he remained
until his death. Charles, Jr., built the first frame buildings in the town,
in 1795, as previously mentioned, and which are now standing on the old
BREWSTER farm. After the death of her husband Mrs. BREWSTER removed from
Tinmouth and took up her residence with Charles, where she died in 1790,
aged sixty six years, being the first adult person who died in Huntington.
Charles, Jr., had a family of ten children, none of whom are now living.
His son, Charles, 3d, married Laura CRANE, had a family of seven children,
three of whom are now living, the two sons, Byron and Henry, occupying
the old homestead. The other, a daughter, Fanny, married George LEWIS,
and resides at the north village. The widow of Hiram, the eighth child
of Charles, Jr., is the only surviving member of the original family of
BREWSTERs, she being now seventy six years of age, residing with her daughter,
Ellen L. (BREWSTER) SMALL. Numerous descendants of the family, however,
reside in this and adjoining towns. Hiram, above mentioned, served as an
officer in the State militia, being appointed ensign by Gov. VAN NESS,
in November, 1824. In 1826, for general diligence, etc., in his duties,
he was promoted to a lieutenancy, and again, in 1828, he was made captain.
He also held many of the town offices, filling them acceptably and well.
John FITCH, from Hartford, Conn., located in Buel's Gore in 1789.
He was a grandfather of Mrs. Adeline (FITCH) REMINGTON, now residing with
her daughter, Mrs. Samuel J. RANDALL, on road 20. She is now sixty nine
years of age and has resided upon this farm thirty two years. Her husband,
Philemon REMINGTON, died in February, 1880, aged sixty six years.
John THOMAS, from Tmmouth, Mass., came to Huntington in 1788 or
1789, and located on road 16, upon the farm now occupied by his grandson,
John SPRAGUE. The old homestead has never left the possession of his descendants.
Ira SWEET located in Buel's Gore, in 1826, where he cleared a large
farm, now owned by O. W. SWEET, on road 35, upon which he resided until
his death, in 1878, aged seventy eight years. He had a family of nine children,
four of whom are now living. The Gore not being' organized into a town,
Mr. SWEET and a few of his neighbors united in building a school house
and sustaining a school, until the adjoining towns were divided into districts,
when the children residing on the Gore attended school there.
George SMALL, from Tinmouth, Vt., came to Huntington in 1793, and
located upon the farm now owned by the Butler estate and occupied by S.
B. ELLIS, on road 20. Mr. SMALL had a family of five children, three boys.
and two girls, one of whom, Daniel B., now resides on road 32.
Nathaniel PIERCE, from Hollis, N. H., came to this town in 1795,
locating. on the east branch of Huntington River, in Buel's Gore, where
he remained until his death, in 1821. His son, Truman, now owns and occupies
a farm on road 33, at the age of eighty five years.
John CARPENTER, from Wallingford, Vt., came to Huntington at an
early date, locating on road 29, upon the farm now owned by Daniel TUCKER,
of. Williston, and occupied by C. A. HIGLEY. The site of the old log house,
long since torn down, is a few rods south of the present dwelling. He had
a family of eleven children, three of whom are now living in the town,
Calvin D., on road 20, Anna N., and Clarissa (Mrs. Noble ROSS), on road
10. John CARPENTER, Jr., resided here until his death. His sons, D. J.
and N. A., are still residents, D. J. on road 26, and N. A. on the old
farm on road 28. His mother also lives with him, being now seventy eight
years of age, and able to do the work of a girl of eighteen.
Luman E. LOVELAND and Nathaniel NORTON, from Otis, Mass., came into
this town in 1812, locating on road 30, upon the farm now owned by H. R.
NORTON, the youngest son of Nathaniel, and where Nathaniel lived until
his death. Luman located upon the farm now owned by C. A. HIGLEY, on road
29, in 1818. After residing in various parts of the town, he finally located
upon the farm now owned by D. J. CARPENTER, and died there in 1842, having
been twice married and rearing a family of twelve children. Two of his
sons, A. H. and Theodore, are now residing here. Henry R. Norton, Nathaniel's
youngest son, who represented the town in 1878, tells us his father taught
school here some fourteen or fifteen years, and served in the war of 1812,
for which he was pensioned. Mr. NORTON was also a justice of the Peace
many years, and died at the advanced age of ninety years, possessing the
respect of a large number of acquaintances.
Abijah ELLIS, from Fitzwilliam, N. H., brought his family to Huntington
in March, 1811, and located upon the farm now owned by Asa GORTON, on road
25, and upon which he continued to reside until his death. Of his family
of nine children, two only are now living, Abigail (ELLIS) BUEL, and Stillman.
Mrs. BUEL, the widow of a near relative of Judge BUEL's, who was proprietor
of the tract of land known as Buel's Gore, resides with her daughter, Mrs.
Polly (BUEL) ANDREWS, wife of G. B. ANDREWS. Stillman was born in April,
x807, came to this town with his father, and subsequently married Olive
T. ROWLES, of Shoreham, to whom was born one child, Edson W., who now resides,
together with his father, on road 20. Edson married Cordelia ALDRICH, in
1855, and has followed farming most of his life, until 1877, when he commenced
trade as a general merchant. He has held the office of postmaster since
the spring of 1877.
Roswell STEVENS, from Middlebury, came to this town in 1822, and
located upon the site now occupied by the Huntington Hotel. Three years
subsequently he built the first dam across Huntington River at the north
village, engaging in the business until 1832, when his son succeeded him,
and several years after Emery TAYLOR purchased a half interest in the business,
and it was continued for many years under the firm name of TAYLOR &
Peter DANFORTH came here in 1818, locating on road 35, upon the
farm now, owned by John S. PURINTON, and Samuel WRIGHT in 1828, upon the
farm now owned by Harry WRIGHT, also on road 35.
Lyman WHITE, from Wallingford, came to this town in 1843, remained
one year, then removed to Duxbury, Washington County, and remained eight
or nine years, then came back to Huntington and located on road 5, and
subsequently removed to road 11, where he now resides.
Enoch CONGER, from Danby, Vt., came to this town in 1847, and located
on road 28, with his family, consisting of wife and son, Gershom. Enoch
died in 1873, his wife in 1872. Gershom still resides here, proprietor
of the Camel's Hump House.
The Baptist Church, located at Huntington Center, was organized
by its first pastor, Elder Daniel BENNETT, May 17, 1828, with eight members.
The church building, a wood structure capable of seating 300 persons, was
built in 1861, at a cost of $2,500.00, and is now valued, including grounds,
at about $3,000.00. The society now has twenty members, with Rev. Ezra
B. FULLER as their acting pastor.
The Free Will Baptist Church has seventy two members, with Rev.
Ezra B. FULLER, pastor.
The Methodist Episcopal Church, located at Huntington village, is
presided over by Rev. A. O. SPOOR, as pastor.
and Business Directory of
County, Vt. For 1882-83
and Published by Hamilton Child
At The Journal Office, Syracuse, N. Y,
1882. Pages 215-223.
by Karima Allison ~ 2004