Significant Buildingsh, where early settlers toiled to eke out a living.
There are no remains of the homes of the Websters, Lyfords, or Heaths, some of our first settlers.
There is a marker on the old military road, about two-thirds of the way between Cabot Plains Road and Rt. 215, showing where Benjamin Webster first cleared land and built his cabin, becoming the first settler. Lieut. Jonathan Heath came with his family next, then Nathaniel Webster and Lieut. Thomas Lyford, all clearing land on the Plain and setting up the beginnings of town government, holding their first organizational meetings in early 1788. The Vermont Historical Magazine states there were probably no more than 10 or 12 citizens at those meetings, many of them former soldiers.
The town's business was conducted from the Plain for about 18 years, and then was removed to the geographic center of town, slightly south of what is now Danville Hill Road. There, too, only faint indications where buildings once were remain.
By 1849, most of the business and government had been moved about a mile down hill to the banks of the Winooski River, which remains the center for commercial and government.
As the town continued to grow, more substantial building began to occur. There were saw mills along the river, making lumber easier to come by, and transportation of goods became easier. There are several examples of early architecture remaining in the Village.
The "Wiswell-Wells-Coyle" house (1886-1889) in Cabot Village, having been lovingly cared for by family and now owned by fifth generation Wiswell descendants, is a fine example of Victorian architecture and interior decoration. (See photo at left.)
The "Judge Lamson" home on Elm Street, is a stately and well situated home of 1869. (Pictured at right.) This home has undergone many owners over the years, but has remained much the same as it was in earlier years. It had a sweeping lawn and well-kept barns and carriage houses.
The True A. Town home (1875-1878), located in Lower Cabot (shown at left), has also had several owners, but retains the classic and regionally rare "carpenter gothic" Victorian style. Now owned by Leonard Spencer, who is a professional painter specializing in authentic Victorian colors and design.
Cabot is fortunate to have several former school houses still in existence. Several are now private residences, two others are now the property of the Cabot Historical Society.
The Lower Cabot Schoolhouse, now used as a home, was built in 1880. The original building was altered to include a kitchen, library and theater, and served as the center for the Lower Cabot community. When it was built with a bell tower, some people were upset and the bell disappeared. Many years later, it was discovered in a nearby mill pond and returned to the tower. The building looks much the same as it in earlier years, but has been modified inside into a comfortable home.
The West Hill Schoolhouse was built around 1896, and is a good example of what most of Cabot's one-room school houses were like. It is now owned by the Cabot Historical Society and has been restored with authentic furnishings, open to the public on certain occasions, and also used as a learning center for Cabot and other schools.
The Walbridge Schoolhouse was moved from it's original location on Walden Heights Road, now Rt. 215,
to Cabot Plain. The interior has been renovated as a vacation home, but the outside appearance has not been compromised.
The first Village School was built in 1845 on land which is now behind the United Church of Cabot. The building has had a number of uses. Besides having been the school, it was at one time a tenement, then converted to the meeting hall by the Independent Order of Good Templars. The IOGT made a paneled auditorium and stage upstairs and on the ground floor a kitchen, cloak room and dining hall. The Women's Relief Corps and the Modern Woodmen had their meetings here, but it was finally sold and converted into a plumbing shop. It is now owned by the Cabot Historical Society, and has been restored as a meeting hall and museum, complete with a beautifully restored stage curtain. Historical Society meetings are held there during warm weather; the building in closed from November until May.
The United Church of Cabot is also a relatively old building. The church was originally organized as the Congregational Church in 1801 at the Center of Town, and in 1806, a building was erected. It was taken down in 1826 and rebuilt at the northeast corner of the Village Common. A few years later it was moved to the present location, the northwest corner of the common, and the lower story, which included a kitchen and dining/meeting room, was added. The building remains in use as Cabot United Church. (Photo by Will Walters.)
The Methodist Church's main building was erected in about 1823, and in 1854, they were given a barn which was added to the existing building, and by 1896 the congregation had raised money for an organ and interior improvements. This church is at the southeast corner of the village common, and the two congregations struggled with dwindling membership and in 1927 began holding summer services in the Methodist church building and winter services in the Congregational building. They merged in 1935 to become Cabot United Church and worshiped at the former Congregational building. The Methodist building was turned into a gymnasium for the school, and later additional classrooms. After the town voted to build a new gymnasium and added classrooms to the school, the space at the old church was no longer needed and the building was sold. It became a theater for a short time, and living space for the owner. It is still privately owned.
Willey Memorial Hall, was built in 1921, the money for it being
raised by the Judith Lyford Woman's Club. Mr. C.W. Willey gave matching funds. The
lumber was cut and milled in Cabot. The hall has a large auditorium on the top floor, the second floor housed the Cabot Public Library and had meeting rooms, a kitchen, and dining room. In 1974, the Judith Lyford Woman's Club gave the building to the Town of Cabot. There were extensive renovations in 1996, opening the basement space for more town office space and a walk-in vault. Upstairs, the auditorium remains much the same, and there is an elevator to access the second and third floors.