XX indexVermont  




Troy lies in the northwestern part of the county, in lat. 44º 55', and long. 4º 36', bounded north by the Canada line, east by Newport, south by  Lowell, and west by Jay and Westfield, thus enclosing an oblong, irregularly outlined township eleven and one-half miles long from north to south, its north line being about five miles long and its south line only about two miles in length. The tract was chartered by Vermont in two gores, the southern gore containing 12,000 acres, to John Kelley, of New York city, October 30, 1792, and the northern, containing 11,040 acres, to Samuel Avery, October 27, 1792, making in all a territory of 23,040 acres. On October 28, 1801, these two grants were incorporated into a township by the name of Missisquoi, which name was retained until October 26, 1803, when it was altered to Troy. 

       The surface of the town is generally moderately level, as it lies almost entirely in the valley of the Missisquoi river, one of the most fertile and picturesque valleys in the State. This river, with its tributaries, forms the water-course of the territory, affording ample irrigation to the soil and several excellent mill-sites. The soil is various, the river being generally lined with a succession of rich alluvial intervales, much of which is overflowed by the spring freshets, and produces luxuriant crops of grass and most kinds of grain, particularly Indian corn. Ascending from these intervales, east and west, are large plains or gently elevated hills composed of sand, clay, and gravel, or loam in which sand generally predominates, the whole basing often well mixed. The plains and hills are also exceedingly productive, easily tilled, and well adapted to most kinds of produce. 

       The principal rock entering into the geological formation of the township is talcose schist. This is cut by ranges, or veins, of steatite, serpentine and clay slate,, narrow in width and extending through the whole length of the town from north to south, while detached or isolated beds of steatite and granite are occasionally met with.   Quartz rock which is gold bearing to a small percentage is also found.  Iron ore in large quantities and of an excellent quality has been discovered. The principal mine was unearthed in 1833. It lies in a high hill in the central part of the town, about three quarters of a mile east of the river. Some years previous, specimens of the ore had been found in detached rocks or bowlders which had attracted attention, and had been pronounced by some scientific men to be iron, and the existence of it in large veins or large quantities in the vicinity had been conjectured. But the discovery of the mine was made in 1833, by Mr. John Gale.   Mr. Gale was a blacksmith, and had resided in Troy for a few years previous to the war of 1812. While living here he discovered a rock which from its color and weight attracted his attention and led him to suspect it might be iron.  After he left Troy, he resided some years in the iron region west of Lake Champlain, and, from the knowledge he then acquired of ore was confirmed in the belief that the ledge he saw in Troy contained iron.  Returning to this vicinity on a visit, he, with Hovey Scott, Esq., of Craftsbury, commenced search for this ore, in which they were joined by Thomas Stoughton, Esq., of Westfield. After searching some days, Mr. Gale discovered the vein of ore lying, as he thought, at or near the spot where he had had discovered it more than twenty years before,   He broke off some specimens of the rock and tested their value by melting them down in a black-smith's forge and hammering them into horse-shoe nails. This discovery occasioned great excitement in the vicinity, and extravagant expectations were formed of the value of the mine. The owner of the lot, Fletcher Putnam, gave a deed of one half of the ore to the discoverers, according to the promise he had made them when they commenced the search. Mr.Putnam had a short time before purchased this lot of land for $500.00, and shortly after the discovery of the ore sold the land and his half of the ore for $3,000.00. Mr.Stoughton, after keeping his interest in the ore for several years, sold for $2,000.00. Mr.Gale realized but little from his ore and Mr. Scott nothing at all.  So their dreams of a great fortune accruing from the mine were never realized. 

       A forge was erected at Phelps Falls, just north of Troy village, in 1834, by several individuals in Troy, and the reduction of the ore commenced. The owners of the forge soon became discouraged, however, and, in the winter following, sold their forge, ores and machinery to Messrs. Binney, Lewis & Co., of Boston. These gentlemen obtained an act of incorporation from the legislature, and commenced making wrought iron, but with little success, and they soon abandoned the business. The forge has fallen into a heap of ruins. In 1835, another company was formed and incorporated by the legislature, under the name of the Boston and Troy Iron Co. This firm purchased three-fourths of the ores, and twenty acres of land on the lot where the ores were situated, for which they gave $8,000.00, also about 1,200 acres of other land. They commenced operations, built a furnace, a large boarding-house and other buildings, in 1837. After expending large sums of money without realizing much profit, the company failed in 1841, and land, ores and buildings passed by mortgage into the bands of Francis Fisher, of Boston, Mass. In 1844, Mr. Fisher put the furnace again in blast, and commenced the manufacture of iron with the prospect of making it a permanent and profitable business; but these expectations were destroyed by the alteration of the tariff in 1846, and like many other iron establishments in the United States, the operations of this furnace were suspended, and have not since been resumed. There is, however, some prospect of a revival of the enterprise with satisfactory results. 

       In 1880, Troy had a population Of 1,522, and in 1882, was divided into thirteen school districts and contained fourteen common schools, employing five male and fourteen female teachers, to whom was paid an aggregate salary Of $1,842.00. There were 390, pupils attending common school, while the entire cost of the schools for the year ending October 31st, was $1.982.25, with J. N. Walker, superintendent. 

       North Troy is a pleasant post village located in the northern part of the town, on the Missisquoi river, and also a station on the Southeastern railway. It has three churches, (Congregational, Baptist and Episcopal,) one academy, one newspaper office, one hotel, three general stores, one wholesale store, two clothing stores, two groceries, two furniture stores, two millinery stores, the usual complement of livery stables, tin, blacksmith, barber and other mechanic shops, and about 800 inhabitants. Its professional men are five lawyers, four physicians, and one dentist. Its manufactories consist of grist-mill, excelsior mill, wool carding-mill, foundry and machine-shop, and the extensive lumber mills of J.W.Currier. The village has a beautiful location, surrounded by well cultivated and finely kept farms. It was incorporated by an act of the legislature approved November 28, 1876. Several fires have occurred to retard the progress of the place, among which were the following: April, 1868, fire was discovered in P. Baldwin's store, on Main street, which, before it could be subdued destroyed the store, hotel, a grocery, dwelling and two barns. The hotel was rebuilt the same year. A year later the store opposite the hotel, owned by Clark Hunt, was burned. Again, March 2, 1882, occurred another disastrous fire. It originated in the second story of Forsaith’s furniture store, the building being the property of H. B. Parkhurst.  The flames spread rapidly and soon enveloped the store and dwelling of Mr. Parkhurst, G. W. Seaver & Son's store, and Mr. Parkhurst's livery barn and sheds. Much of the contents of the buildings were saved, but the buildings themselves were all consumed, entailing a loss of a number of thousands of dollars. While this fire extended over less territory than that of 1868, it was much more destructive.  Mr. Parkhurst has since erected a fine three-story building, with a Mansard roof and basement, containing two fine stores and his dwelling. 

       Troy, usually designated as South Troy, is another handsome post village, located in the southern part of the town, just west of the river. It has three churches, (Baptist, Congregational and Methodist,) one hotel, grammar school, two steam mills, two general stores, a boot and shoe store, two drug stores, a grocery store, hardware store, millinery, blacksmith, shoe shop, etc., and is all in all an enterprising village. 

       Phelps Falls is a hamlet located on the river about two miles north of Troy village. 

       F.S. Forsaith commenced the furniture business at North Troy in February, 1878, locating on Railroad street. For the first year and a half he conducted the business without help, then moved into Parkhurst's building, where the increase of business demanded the help of two persons. Here he remained until the fire of March, 1882. During the summer following he erected the large, commodious store he now occupies, which is elegantly fitted up in ash, maple and walnut, with all modern conveniences, being one of the handsomest furniture stores in the state. He has a large stock, employs three hands and his business is continually increasing. 

       The North Troy grist-mill, Orrison P. Hadlock, proprietor, is furnished with all the modern improvements in machinery, and is supplied with four runs of stones and five water-wheels, giving the mill the capacity for grinding 300 bushels of grain per day. Mr. Hadlock does custom work and deals in flour of all grades, meal, provender, etc. 

       The North Troy Excelsior Manafactory, engaged in the manufacture of excelsior for filling mattresses, furniture etc., was established by E.Hapgood & Sons, of Lowell, Mass., in 1880. It turns out ten tons of excelsior per week, giving employment to six men. 

       C.P. Stevens & Co.’s lumber, clapboard, shingle, and packing box manufactory, located at Phelps Falls, was established in October, 1870. The firm now manufactures here 3,000,000 feet of lumber, 200,000 shingles, and about $15,000.00 worth of packing-boxes per year. The firm also has mills in Richford, Newport, and Potton, P. Q. aggregating a business of about $250,000.00 per year. 

       George S. Porter's saw-mill, located on Jay branch, was built by John Dubois, about twelve years ago, and bought by the present proprietor in 1880, who manufactures 500,000 feet of lumber and a large amount of shingles per year. 

       George W. Aikin's steam saw-mill, located at Troy village, was built in 1860. It turns out 200,000 feet of lumber, which is manufactured into box shooks at the mills, 1,500,000 feet of clapboards, and 1,000,000 shingles per annum, giving employment to from twenty-five to thirty men. 

       The North Troy saw and planing-mills, J.W. Currier, prop., at North Troy, are supplied with modern improved machinery, and under the charge of J.R.B. Hunt do an extensive business in sawing and planing lumber each year. 

       The Eastman Machine Co., also does a prosperous business at North Troy, in all kinds of machine work, iron founding, and also deals in iron, steel and coal, employing a number of hands. 

       Darius T. Johnson's starch factory, located on Jay branch, manufactures about 15,000 bushels of potatoes into starch each year. 

       The Missisquoi Valley Academy, at North Troy, a two story building, has been much improved during the last winter by the substitution of modern desks and seats in place of the old dilapidated ones which had so long been a disgrace to the school, and also by other repairs. 

       The lands of Troy, as, indeed, were most others of this part of the State, were granted to speculators. They were gotten by the proprietors with no expectation on their part of effecting a settlement thereon, but simply, as we said as a speculation.

       Their hopes of speedy fortune accruing therefrom, however, were, in most cases disappointed, while vendues for takes, sales, levies of executions, etc., caused titles to become exceedingly insecure thus disparaging the efforts of honest settlers who desired to reclaim the wilderness land and make for themselves and their posterity a home. The north gore of Troy was sold by Mr. Avery to a Mr. Atkinson, an English merchant, of Boston. It is said that Avery received $ 1.00 per acre for his lands; if so, he doubtless made a handsome profit, but how Atkinson fared in the trade may be inferred from the fact that these lauds commonly sold for $2.00 per acre, and that after sustaining the expense of agencies and innumerable land taxes for more than half. a century. A few of these lots remain unsold, and are still in the hands of heirs and descendants. 

       Kelley sold his grant to Franklin & Robinson, a firm in New York. They failed, and the grant passed into the  hands of a Mr. Hawxhurst, of New York. His speculations proved about as successful as Atkinson's, and, until lately at least, a few of the lots yet remain in the family. 

       The military road made by Col. Hazen during the Revolutionary war, from Peacham to Hazen's Notch, in Lowell, had a tendency to extend the knowledge of this section, and create an interest in the fertile meadows of Troy and Potton. Josiah Elkins, of Peacham, a noted hunter and Indian trader, in company with Lieut. Lyford, early explored the northern part o the county. Their route was to follow Hazen's road to the head of Black river, and thence to Lake Memphremagog, here they hunted for furs, and traded with the St. Francis Indians, who then frequented the shores of that lake. In 1796 or '97, a party of several men from Peacham, of whom Capt. Moses Elkins, a brother of Josiah Elkins, was one, came up and explored the country. They were so much pleased with what they saw that they agreed to come hither and settle, but none of them except Capt. Elkins had the hardihood to carry this resolution into effect. He started from Peacham June 7, 1797, with his furniture in a cart drawn by a yoke of oxen and a yoke of bulls, and one cow driven by his son Mark, a boy nine years old, and two hired men. He located just north of Troy, in Potton, P.Q.   Mrs. Elkins followed them some days after, riding on horseback with a child three years old, attended by a hired man. 

       In the autumn of 1798, Josiah Elkins moved his brother, Curtis Elkins into Potton who located about half a mile north of the State line. In February, 1799, Josiah joined his brother, moving into the same house with him. In the mean time a   Mr. Morrill had located upon a lot and built a house about half a mile east of the present village of North Troy. And during the winter or spring of 1799, James Rines and Mr. Bartlett settled about a mile south of the village, on the meadows below the great falls. Mr. Hoyt also came in and settled about half a mile north of the village site, and Eleazer Porter settled near the Canada line. These families were soon after joined by others from Peacham and that vicinity. 

       About the year 1800, Josiah Elkins, moved from his farm in Potton and located at what is now North Troy, and soon after commenced the erection of a grist and saw-mill. He carried on his mills here for many years, becoming a large land owner, and held most of the town offices. Mr. Elkins was born at Peacham in 1766, married Miss Anna Sawyer, of Haverhill N. H., and reared a family of twelve children, five of whom are now living, three in this town, as follows: Jonathan, aged seventy-four years, Sally P. (widow Whittier), and Ruth (Mrs. T. J. Sartwell).  Curtis Elkins, son of Josiah, is represented here by two sons, Curtis and William G., the latter a wholesale dealer at North Troy. The sons of Jonathan are Col. O. N. Elkins, postmaster and an enterprising business man at Noth Troy, and Oscar Elkins, a veterinary surgeon of the same place.

        Mr. Sumner says in his “History of the Missisquoi Valley:”  The town of Troy, or as it then was Missisquoi, was organized in March, 1802. According to the town record the inhabitants were warned to meet on March 25, 1802 at nine o'clock in the forenoon, to organize the town and choose the necessary town officers. The record also shows that they met agreeable to the warning, chose a moderator, and then voted to adjourn until the next day, at ten o'clock in the forenoon.  No reason appears on record for this adjournment, and we can scarce suppose the affairs of the infant settlement were so intricate as to require a nights reflection before they could proceed to act, or that the number of their worthies was so great that they could not make a selection of officers for the town.   But it appears that they did adjourn, and tradition has it that they were as drunk as lords, and could not proceed any further in the business of the meeting. It appears however, by the records of the town, that the good citizens, did meet the next day, agreeable to adjournment, and chose the usual batch of town officers, including a tything man, and voted  £6 of lawful money to be expended on roads, and $10.00 to defray the expenses of the town for the year. From that time the town of Troy has had a regular corporate existence, notwithstanding it came so near, in its first town meeting, being strangled in its birth." 

       Curtis Elkins was the first town clerk, and Alpheus Moore the first representative, who was also the first justice chosen to the latter position in 1801.  In 1807, the town had thirty tax payers, and in 1810, the population amounted to 281 souls, which has since increased to 1,522. 

       Eleazer Porter's was the third family to settle in the town. He came on from Lyme, N.H., in 1789, with his wife and three children, locating on road 1, near the Canada line. The last twenty miles of his journey was through a dense forest, and for a long time he had to go to Brownington to mill, a distance of nineteen miles. Mr. Porter reared a large family of sixteen children here.  Benjamin Porter, his oldest son, born at Lyme, N.H., September 1, 1797, still resides here, a hale, hearty old gentleman of eighty-six years. He married Lydia Abbott, October 3, 1819, who is also living, aged eighty-three years. This aged pair have been blessed with six children, three of whom now reside here, viz.: Catharine (Mrs. John Wheeler), Esther (widow of David Heath), and Emily (Mrs. C. B. Purinton). 

       John W. Currier, son of John W. and Mary (Elkins) Currier, was born in this town April 5, 1835. His mother died when he was eight years of age, and his father then sold his little farm and removed with his large family to Massachusetts. From this time forward young Currier supported himself by his own exertions, forming while yet a child those habits of industry, energy and self-reliance, that have enabled him to achieve so much success in life and for which he has always been justly noted. In 1854, Mr. Currier became one of the Springfield City Guard, of Massachusetts, and when the first notes of alarm were sounded from Fort Sumter, he hastened home from Pennsylvania, where he then was, to join his old camrades in the 10th Mass. Vols.  He was subsequently transferred to the 1st Eastern Virginia Brigade, as 1st Lieut. and Adjt., from which he resigned and was mustered out after the battle of Williamsburgh, receiving the appointment of trade agent, army of the Potomac. After the movement of the army from the Rapidan, under Gen. Grant, and the day of the battle of Cold Harbor, he was appointed by the Provost-marshal-general to “furnish the officers' clothing and equipments for the army of the Potomac.” His headquarters were established at City Point, where he remained until the surrender of Lee. Two years later Mr. Currier married Eveline Chamberlain, of Newbury, Vt., and now has one son. He came back to Troy, bought the farm upon which he was born, and built a residence over the cellar. Since then he has been extensively engaged in the manufacture of lumber, and in farming. Politically Mr. Currier is a Democrat, and has been twice elected to the legislature of the State by a large majority, and was the Democratic candidate for congress, third district, in 1840. 

       Simon Courser, born in Thetford, Vt., came to Troy about 1800, and located where Ambrose Gregg now resides. He remained here a few years, then removed to New York, and finally to Canada, where he died in 1832.  His son Hiram, born here, died in 1879, aged seventy-two years. Truman W., son of Hiram, now resides on road 14. 

       Charles Whitcomb's was the thirteenth family to locate in the town. He came from New York with an ox team, being obliged to cut a road a portion of the distance, with the snow three feet deep. He died here in 1860, aged eighty-two years. Joel, born on the farm he now occupies, has reared a family of eleven children, seven of whom are now living. 

       John Phelps came to Troy, from Derby, and located at the falls which still bear his name, in 1816. He rebuilt the saw, grist, and wool carding-mill that had been erected here, and died in 1831, aged sixty-two years. He married a Mrs. Robinson, of Montpelier, and had two children, Curtis and Lucy. Lucy married Nathaniel Chamberlin, who was killed by the bursting of a cannon, at St. Johnsbury, in 1830. Subsequently she married Joshua Smith, who died in 1868, and now resides at the Falls. 

       Frederick Fuller, born in Vershire, Vt., came to Troy about 1811, and located where Mr.  Purinton now resides. He commenced a clearing, but soon after enlisted in the American army and was wounded at Fort Erie, unfitting him for service. Previous to this he had taken part in the battle of Lundy's Lane. After the close of the war he returned to his farm and lived thereon for many years, then sold it and removed to the farm now owned by his son, Adna, on road 23, and died there December 26, 1870, aged eighty-four years. His wife, Mary Fuller, died in 1862, aged sixty-five years. They had five children, Orinda, Adna, Dana, Frederick J., and Harriet A., only one of whom, Dana, resides here. 

       John Hamilton was born at Bath, N.H., and came to Troy with his father, Peltiah, in 1820. They settled on the, farm where John now lives with his son-in-law, H.A. Johnson.  Mr. Hamilton has been engaged in farming, the manufacture of starch and brick, and is now a hale old man of seventy-five years, tipping the scales at 200 pounds. 

       Michael Kennedy, born at Waterford, Ireland, in 1799, came to America in 1817 and in 1822, came to Troy and located on road 28, upon the farm now occupied by his widow and their son, C. C. Kennedy, where he died. February 27, 1880. 

       Erastus West, from Bath, N.H., came to Troy in 1827, and located upon the farm he now occupies. Mrs. West, whose maiden name was Maria Marsh, was born in Canada. While she was yet an infant the war of 1812 broke out.   Her father, not being loyal to the British cause, had to flee to the States. Some time during the winter following, Mrs. Marsh took her children, and with two spirited horses crossed the St. Lawrence on the ice, at night. Mr. Marsh and others were on the shore to meet them, enveloped in sheets so that their dark clothing, with its contrast to the snow, would not discover them to the British. 

       William Buggy who now resides at North Troy, was born in this town in 1837. About three years ago he started for California, and was stopped at Jackson, Mich., by the memorable railroad accident that occurred at that place October 10, 1880, when twenty-seven passengers were killed and twenty-nine wounded. Mr. Buggy was one of the latter. His injuries consisted of four compound fractures of the right leg, dislocation of the right hip, with the bone splintered three inches, three broken ribs, the right wrist broken, and a deep gash about three and a half inches in length in one of his thighs. Notwithstanding all these injuries, strange to say, he survived. For all his suffering and consequent disability, the railroad company allowed him $6,148.00. 

       Madison Stebbins, born in Westfield, came to Phelps Falls in the spring of 1841. In company with Curtis Phelps he purchased the water-power, mills and forge, and 300 acres of land. In 1847, they divided the property, Stebbins taking the saw mill, with the privilege of manufacturing all kinds of lumber, while Mr. Phelps took the woolen-mill with the privilege of running two sets of machinery for manufacturing cloth. He conducted the business until 1871, when he sold out to C. P. Stevens & Co. 

       Owen Donagan, a native of Ireland, came to America in 1833, and settled in Troy in 1850, where he remained until his death, March 2, 1882, aged nearly sixty-six years. He had a family of five children, all of whom are now living. 

       Moses Clough came to Troy, from Albany, Vt., in 1851, locating at North Troy, where died in 1854.  Mrs. Clough still resides here, aged seventy-one years. Seven of their eight children are living, one having lost his life in the late war. 

       Nathaniel Hammond came from Peacham at an early date and located about half a mile north of Troy, in Canada, where he reared a large family. His son, Simpson B., settled in Troy about 1845, and died here October 24, 1881, aged sixty years. Nathaniel came to live with him in 1846, and died about 1849. Minerva,  widow of Simpson, resides in North Troy. 

       Luke Aiken was born in Wentworth, N. H., April 23, 1800, and in 1845, was elected register of deeds for Grafton county, removing to Haverhill, the county seat. He held this office four years, and, in 1851, came to Troy, residing here until his death, in 1874. Here he has held most of the town offices. Two sons, G.W. and J.B., now reside here, the only surviving members of the family. 

       David Johnson was an early settler in Jay, and died in Westfield in 1879. One of his sons, Hiram A., came to Troy in 1857, and now resides on road 15. Another son, Darius T., came here in 1869, and now resides on road 14.

       John Wheeler, born at Dorset,Vt., has taught school about thirty years. He taught the reform school at Chicago,Ill., two and one-half years, was assistant superintendent of that institution one year, and also taught at Lansing,Mich. He is now running a farm on road 15. 

       During the war of 1812, though there was a great deal of danger anticipated, none ever came. A fort was erected for the protection of the inhabitants in case of an invasion by the enemy. This fort consisted of a rude palisade, constructed of logs about a foot in diameter and twelve or fifteen feet in height, placed perpendicularly, one end being inserted in a deep trench dug into the earth. The ruins of the structure remained for twenty years. When the late war came upon us, Troy did her full share and stood not a whit behind her neighbors in patriotism and courage. 

       The Congregational church, located at North Troy, was organized by its first pastor, Rev. Luther Leland, with twelve members in 1818. The present neat wood structure, capable of seating 250 persons, was built in 1862, and is valued at $3,500.00. The society has seventy-five members, with Rev.JosephN.Walker, pastor. 

       The Baptist church of Troy, located at Troy village, was organized by Rev. Levi Parsons, in 1818.  In 1842, the society was reorganized by its first resident pastor, Rev. N. H.Downs. The church building was erected in 1842, and is now mostly used by the Seventh Day Adventists,  as the Baptist society has no regular pastor and does not meet regularly.  The Baptist church of North Troy is under the charge of Rev. G. H. Parker, who resides in Jay. 

       The Methodist church of Troy, located at North Troy, was organized as one of the Westfield circuit charges, February 22, 1831, Rev.A.C. Smith being the first resident pastor. The church building was erected in 1879-'80, at a cost of $1,475.00, and is now valued, including grounds, at $1,800.00. The society has about sixty members, under the charge of Rev.G.W. Goodell, of Westfield. 

       The Congregational church of Troy village was organized in 1845, a division of the church at North Troy. The church building was erected in 1863, capable of seating 185 persons and valued at $2,200.00. The society has about twenty members, with Rev. Joseph N. Walker, of North Troy, pastor. 

       St. Augustine Protestant Episcopal church of North Troy.— Mission services were first held here about two years ago, by Rev. Mr. Putnam of St. Johnsbury, Vt., who held services occasionally until Rev.B.W. Atwell, of St. Marks' parish of Newport, who has officiated monthly since he came here. During the past winter, 1882-'83, a very neat little church building has been erected, at a cost of about $1500.00 

       The Seventh Day Advents, are quite numerous and have several ordained ministers, though they have no organized society. 

(Source: Gazetteer of Lamoille and Orleans Counties, VT.; 1883-1884, Compiled and Published by Hamilton Child; May 1887, Page  288-48 to 288-57)

 This excerpt was provided by Tom Dunn.

1883 –1884 Troy Business Directory

1883–1884 North Troy Village Business Directory