VHG Addison County, Vt.


                                                  ADDISON COUNTY.                                      119







ADDISON COUNTY was incorporated Oct. 18, 1785, and included Chittenden, Franklin, Grand Isle, and Lamoille counties, 9 towns in Orleans, and 8 in Washington counties. Oct. 19, 1789, Granville was annexed, and on the 22d, Chittenden county incorporated, and Addison re­duced to 21 towns. Starksboro', Orwell, and a part of Goshen have been since added. Its geological properties will be described in a subsequent No.*

The farmers for the last 30 years have given special attention to sheep husbandry; and in the West it is generally admitted the sheep of Addison are superior to any other county. The most successful dealers extensively known East and West, are the Bingham brothers, Rollin J. Jones, S. S. and S. B. Rockwell, of Cornwall, Wm. R. Sanford of Orwell, Messrs. Wm. S. and E. Hammond, of Middlebury, and S. W. Jewett, of Weybridge. Mr. A. L. Bingham's sales alone, in 1850, amounted to between 30 and $40,000. The population in 1850 was 26,579, of which only 25 native Amer­icans were reported who could not read, and no person has ever been convicted of a capital offence in the county. By the last census the improved land was 243,312 acres, unimproved, 115,287, cash value of farms, farming implements, and live stock, $9,345,103. The first Agricultural Society commenced at an early day, soon declined for lack of legislative encouragement.

THE ADDISON COUNTY AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY was organized at Middlebury, Jan. 22, 1844. The first fair was held at Middlebury, Oct. 1, 1844; the fairs of 1845 and 47 at Ver­gennes, and in 1849 at Shoreham; the others have all been held in Middlebury, which place, since Jan. 1852, has been established as the permanent location for the annual exhibition. Silas H. Jenison was the first president of the Society. Wm. R. Sanford is the present president. THE FIRST ADDISON COUNTY MEDICAL SOCIETY was organized Dec. 15, 1813, at Middlebury, Ebenezer Huntington of Vergennes first presi­dent, and continued in full vigor until about 1824, when a rupture with the State Society ensued, which ended in the library being sold at auction to members of the Society, a withdrawal of several members by general consent, and finally, the last recorded meeting in October, 1826. June 30, 1842, the society "was reorganized by a convention held at Vergennes. Meet­ings are held semi-annually at Middlebury, "on Thursday of the first week of the County Court." Since the last organization the So‑


* When we promised a geological chapter for each county, it was with the encouragement of some of our first geologists, and the Addison chapter especially promised, but our legislature unexpected­ly deferring the publishment of our State geological surveys, shuts the door at present. It being deemed advisable to wait till the published "reports" may be rendered available, and a succinct digest of the same given, which it is now our intention to pub­lish in connection with the smaller counties.




 120                             VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.


ciety has been in efficient and successful oper­ation; first officers, Dr. J. A. Allen of Middle­bury, president; Dr. D. C. Stone of Vergennes, vice-president; and Dr. D. C. Goodale of Addi­son, secretary. The present president is Dr. E. D. Warner.

"THE MIDDLEBURY HISTORICAL SOCIETY was instituted in 1843. Hon. Samuel Swift has been president of the Society from the beginning, except 3 years. The Society has held at times monthly, at other times quarterly meetings, at which papers on historical subjects are read." Measures for the encouragement and procurement of town histories throughout the county were "commenced in 1847, and has been a leading object of the Society." Only two histories have yet been published, viz: Middle­bury and Salisbury. And in a tour through the county last fall, (1859,) we found only about one third of the towns with their material for this purpose gathered. Several towns had made no movement in the matter, — and yet some of these towns sent in their historical chapters the most promptly. We state this fact as an encouragement to those counties and towns in which no movement of the kind has yet been made.

The Historical Society has many Indian rel­ics, such as arrow-heads, gouges. chisels, fire hearths, &c. Indeed, upon historic research, it appears evident that the lands on the Champlain were owned by the Iroquis or Five Nations, (see Addison and Ferrisburgh chapters.) But it does not appear that they had any permanent residence here after their retreat upon or about the time of the discovery of the lake. The Mohegans also sold to Col. John Lydius a tract of land embracing most of the counties of Addison and Rutland, a map of which is in possession of Henry Stevens, Esq., of Burlington.

For these items indebtedness is acknowledged to Mr. Battell, History of Mr. Swift, and others. For a catalogue of county officers, for which we have not space here, see Demming's "Principal Officers of Vermont." Mistakes in the work, of any consequence, will be corrected at the end of the volume.