GazeteerChittendenCoHuntington  

 

 

       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, Jr., superintendent.

       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 the mail.

       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 lumber.

       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 & STEVENS.

       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.
 


Gazetteer and Business Directory of 
Chittenden County, Vt. For 1882-83
Compiled and Published by Hamilton Child
Printed At The Journal Office, Syracuse, N. Y, 
August, 1882. Pages 215-223.

Transcribed by Karima Allison ~ 2004