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Woodbury History

Following are the excerpts from the Gazetteer of Washington County, Vermont 1783-1889, Hamilton Child Publication, Syracuse, New York.

"Woodbury lies in the northeastern corner of the county, in latitude 14' 26"' and longitude 4' 35" and is bounded northerly by Hardwick in Caledonia County, easterly by Cabot, southerly by Calais, and westerly by Elmore in Lamoille county. It was chartered August 16, 1781, by the legislature of Vermont, to Colonel Ebenezer Wood, William Lyman, Esq. and sixty associates. The first action of the original proprietors was to divide the township into three sections, and these sections were ultimately divided into 224 lots, each lot containing 100 acres.

As a township its territory is decidely rough and mountainous. A mountain range extends entirely across the western part. Located on its base on the western slope are many fertile farms, the most productive area of the township. The balance of arable land is mainly in the southern half of the town where a large portion containing the mountain region is unfit for cultivation. From the fact that the water flows towards every point of the compass, from Woodbury, and that none flows into it, there can be no large streams in this township, yet it is well watered by numerous streams and twenty-three natural ponds - the greatest number in any town in Vermont.

The rocks that form the geological structure of this town are calciferous mica schist, which occupies about two-thirds of the town in the eastern part and next a broad belt of clay slate and talcose schist in the western part. There is a belt of excellent granite that extends through the calciferous mica schist in the southeastern part.

In 1880 Woodbury had a population of 856. In 1888 it had ten school districts and as many common schools. Attended by 195 scholars, and fifteen attended private schools. The common schools were taught by five male and fifteen female teachers, at an average weekly salary of $6.35 for the former and $4.21 for the latter. The entire income for school purposes was $1,246.11, and the amount expended for all school purposes was $1,539.43. R.F. Drenan was superintendent.

The first settlement in Woodbury was made, as near as can be now ascertained, in 1795 or '96 by Gideon Sabin, who located in the eastern part of the town, near where P. Lyford and Mr. Rideout now live. Mr. Sabin was followed in the same year by Joseph Carr, and soon after by William West.

Judge F.C. Putnam gives the following list of the first twelve settlers: Gideon Sabin, Joseph Carr, William West, Benjamin Ainsworth, John Bettis, Ephriam Ainsworth, Ezekiel Ball, Daniel Rugg, Ferdinand Perry, Daniel Smith, and Samuel Mackres.

The first town meeting on record was held March 4, 1806, Samuel Mackres was the moderator, William West, town clerk and treasurer, Samuel Mackres, Joshua Kenaston and Smith Ainsworth, selectmen; Benjamin Ainsworth, constable; David Rugg, Joshua Kenaston and Smith Ainsworth, listers.

The first school was taught in 1808, by Sally White. Anthony Burgess built a sawmill in 1806 on the outlet of Dog Pond. In 1818 Phineas Dow built a grist mill near the center of town. The town was first represented in the state legislature by Elisha Benjamin, in 1812.

In accordance with a petition of the inhabitants of Woodbury, the legislature changed the name of Woodbury to Monroe, November 6,1838, and again to Woodbury about four years after.

The production of granite, of which Woodbury has an inexhaustable quantity, is now in its infancy, and only awaits a railroad to become an immense industry.

The Woodbury Granite Co. was organized and commenced business in the fall of 1878. The members of the firm are L.W. Voodry and H.W. Town. This enterprise is under the supervisionof Mr. Voodry. Their Quarry is located about one and a half miles east of Woodbury Center, and one mile from the proposed railroad from Marshfield to Hardwick.

The J. Ainsworth quarry, opened about 1876, is now operated by the St. Johnsbury Granite Co. The quality is good and easily worked, and takes a good polish.

Samuel Daniel's grist mill is located in the hamlet of South Woodbury, is run by water, and contains four runs of stones. He does custom grinding, and grinds corn and feed for market. The mill has a capacity of 300 bushels per day.

Ball and Daniel's sawmills are situated in the eastern part of the town, on road 32. Mr. Rideout manufactures hard and soft wood timber, chair stock, spruce and fir shingles, and finishes and deals in furniture.

A.A. Clark's circular board mill is located on Dog Pond Brook, road 23, where he saws lumber for customers and for the trade.

Nichols Pond sawmill, situated in the northeastern corner of Woodbury, on the outlet of Nichols pond, Heman H. Carr, proprietor, manufactures hard wood, spruce, hemlock, and dimension lumber, and also dresses lumber. It has East Long Pond for a reservoir, and produces 1,000,000 feet annually.

A.H. Nichols' sawmill on the West Long Pond Brook, road 47, has a circular saw and a planer. The waterpower is good, with a head of twenty-one feet and cuts out annually from 300,000 to 500,000 feet of lumber.

Three veterans of the Revolutionary war settled in Woodbury, and were confortable in their declining years by receiving a pension from the government they fought to establish.

In the late war Woodbury claims, and justly entitled to, an excellent and honorable war record. One hundred and forty-four of her patriotic sons enlisted and went into the army- a number that more than filled her quota, who came forward without being stimulated by the public meetings, ot the offer of excessive bounties. No town in the state, with a population as small,sent more men to the war than Woodbury.


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