Years of Cabot History

1779 – General Hazen built the military road from Peacham over Cabot Plain to Walden and Hardwick.

1780-81 – A year of “great severity” due to heavy snowfall.

1780 – John Whittier cleared land on Whittier Hill.  He came to the Plain in 1790.

1780 – Town of Cabot was granted.

1781 – Town of Cabot was chartered by Vermont to Jesse Levenworth and 63 others.

1781 – Colonel Thomas Johnson of Newbury and Colonel Jonathan Elkins of Peacham were abducted by the British and taken to Canada.  They camped the first night of their march to Canada on the Plain, and for a time it was known as “Johnson’s Plain.”

1783 – Benjamin Webster was the first to settle on the Plain.  He cleared land and then  brought his wife,    their two-year-old daughter (who later married Hanson Rogers, Esq., in Cabot), and a hired man to the log cabin he’d built.  Lieut. Jonathan Heath was the second settler and his family actually arrived two days before the Websters.  Nathaniel Webster followed, building opposite Benjamin’s.  Lieut. Thomas Lyford also settled on the Plain.

1786 – Town of Cabot was lotted.  The survey was done by Mr. Cabot of Connecticut, and James Whitelaw, with 18-year-old Thomas Lyford assisting.  There were six divisions with 12 lots in each.  Proprietors met at the house of Jonathan Elkins, in Peacham, to set guidelines for the new settlement and form a committee to draw lots.  Lots were drawn on November 3, 1786.  A tax of ten shillings was set to pay the expense of surveying and lotting.  The town was named by Lyman Hitchcock to honor his “bride-elect,” Miss Cabot, of Connecticut.  Leavenworth never resided in       this town, but instead settled in what is now West Danville, where he built mills.

1786 – First death:  Nathaniel West, who worked for Benjamin Webster.  West was killed when felling a large birch tree.

1787 – Six more families arrived on the Plain:  Lyman Hitchcock; David Blanchard; Jeremiah McDaniels; John Lyford; James Bruce; Thomas Batchelder – all came from New Hampshire with their families; all settled along the military road.

1787 – First child born in Cabot:  A daughter, to Thomas Blanchard on Oct. 3, 1787.

1788 – Lieut. Fifield Lyford came to settle in Cabot.  He served in the war of 1812; he died here in 1846.

1788 – The first town meeting was held on the Plain on February 4, 1788.  Warned by Walter Brock, Justice of the Peace.  There were probably 10 or 12 voters at the time.

1788 – Second child born in Cabot:  A daughter to James Blanchard, born Apr. 1, died April 14; also the     second death.

1789 – First vote to defray expenses in town by taxing 12 bushels of wheat.

1788-89 – Lt. Thos Lyford, mill-wright, built saw mill on the Winooski River.  The mill was located where John Brown’s shop was later.  There was a pond at the “upper end of the street.”  Lyford also built, with his son, Thomas Jr., a grist mill in Cabot.

1789 – James Morse first settled at the Center of Town [geographic center of the six-mile-square town].   Morse built the first “hotel” of logs.  The second home at the Center was built by Oliver Walbridge.

1790 – Dr. Gershom Beardsley came to settle in Cabot.

1790 – Eight acres of land at the Center of Town was presented to the town by Jesse Leavenworth, Major      Hitchcock and Asa Douglas “for public use.”  Luther Wheatley built a store there; later Hector McLean had it.

1791 – Lieut. Thomas Lyford elected town representative, but for some reason did not attend Legislature.

1791 – The Osgood family came to Cabot to settle.  Four brothers came in the spring and boarded with the Whittiers.  Father, William, and six sons came in the fall.

1791 – Voted "the width of sleds shall be four feet and six inches from outside to outside."  Anyone whose sled was less would be fined five dollars for every offense.

1792 – James Morse elected town representative; attended Legislature in Rutland.  He was also the first Justice of the Peace.

1792 – The first school, taught by John Gunn, was a log cabin at the foot of Shephard Hill, near the Hazen Road on the Plain.  A few years later, another school house was built nearby and was designated District 1. 

1793 – First full slate of town officers elected:  Capt. James Moss, moderator; Lyman Hitchcock, town clerk; Samuel Danforth, James Moss, David Blanchard, selectmen; Thomas Lyford, treasurer;  Thomas Batchelder, constable and collector; Ephraim Marsh, grand juryman; James Chapman,  Martin Durgin, Thomas Osgood, surveyors of highways; Ezekiel Gilman, hog-ward; Edward  Chapman, fence-viewer; Jonathan Heath, pound-keeper; Fifield Lyford, sealer of weights and measures; Thomas Lyford, leather sealer; listers and selectmen were also appointed.

1793 – Deacon James Marsh (Cong.Church) arrived from Plymouth N. H. and settled near the Center of Town.

1793 – Population was 122; second school district formed.  (District 1 was on the Plain, District 2 was at the Center.)  This district first had a log school which later was burned and a better one built.

1794 – Lt. Lyford built the first house in the Village.  It was located where the Lance house later stood.  The second house was built by Samuel Lee; third by Elias Hitchcock.  John Dana bought the house where Mrs. Haines was and started the first mercantile business in Cabot.  Later George Dana built a large store.  (John Dana at one time owned most of the land that later became the village.)

1794 – Dr. Parley Scott came from Craftsbury Common to settle on Cabot Plain, practicing in Cabot nearly 50 years.

1795 – First Board of Listers elected:  (Job had previously been done by the selectmen.)  Capt. David Blanchard, Fifield Lyford, and Samuel Warner.

1795 – First Marriage in Cabot:  David Lyford to Judith Heath, July 23, performed by James Morse, Esq.

1796 – Voted to move the town’s business from Cabot Plain to the Center of Town.  People living on the Plain threatened to secede.

1796 – Marcus O. Fisher was born in Cabot.  He and his wife, Fanny Hall, began their life in the "old Red House" in the village.

1797 – Every “able bodied man between the ages of 18 and 45 was obliged to do military duty.”  David Blanchard was the first captain of the military company.

1797 – Col. John Stone settled on land near where the Lower Village (Durant) Cemetery is now.

1797 – William Haines settled in what is now Lower Cabot, where the Gould farm is.  Moses Stone built a saw-mill where the Haines factory eventually was located.

1797 – Enoch Hoyt bought 320 acres of land on West Hill in Cabot from Edmund Gilman.  Hoyt came with four brothers, some of whom later left for Wisconsin.  The Hoyt farm later became the Orson Kimball farm.

1797 – Leonard Orcutt, Esq. arrived in Cabot with his mother when he was 18 years old.  He soon became town agent, assisting in all town law-suits.

1799 – James Butler was the first settler on Southwest Hill.

1799 – Elihu Coburn was one of the first to settle near the river in Lower Cabot.  He and wife, Abigail Putnam, kept a public house, “Farmer’s Tavern,” where town business was often transacted.

1800 – A school in Lower Cabot was built and became District 3.

1800 – Joseph Fisher elected captain of the military company; John Stone was elected sergeant; there were several officers (we do not have their names) and eleven privates; they met at the “parade” at the Center of Town. 

1800 – Second marriage performed in Cabot: Solomon W. Osgood to Ruth Marsh, Jan. 3, by Joseph Fisher, Esq.

1800 – The town purchased an acre of land at the center for a burying ground.

1801 – Voted to organize a congregational Church in the Town of Cabot.  Officers:  Thomas Osgood, clerk; Oliver Walbridge, treasurer; Joseph Fisher, Horace Beardsley, Thomas Osgood, assessors; Clement Coburn, John Edgerton, Reuben Atkins, committee; Moses Stone, collector.  Rev. John Joslin engaged as pastor. Services were held at the Center School house.

1801 – William Osgood died on Feb. 5, 1801, and was the first to be buried at the Center of Town Cemetery. 

1801 – Clement Coburn built the first grist-mill in Lower Cabot

1802 – John Dana and John Damon, traders, arrive on Cabot Plain, deal in land, cattle, etc.  Later, both moved to the Village.

1802 – John Edgerton and Gershom Beardsley were elected the first tithing men.  They were charged with   seeing that there was “no hunting, fishing or lounging about” on the Sabbath; and anyone violating the Sabbath in this manner would be arrested and brought before a magistrate and fined.

1802 – Thomas Lyford was born in Cabot.  He gave a long account of Cabot history one evening and apparently suffered a stroke after the meeting.  He never spoke again and died 23 days later on June 23, 1881.

1802 – John Dana came to the Plain and opened a store south of the yellow house.

1803 – Col. John Stone married Betsey Huntoon of Kingston, N.H.  and brought her to his Cabot farm.

1803 – Baptist Church organized.  Officers elected:  Perley Scott, clerk; Fifield Lyford, treasurer; John N. Gunn, John Whittier, John Spiller, assessors; Enoch Hoyt, collector; Samuel Kingston, John Blanchard, Thomas Lyford, committee.

1803 – The family of James and Sarah Shepard was “warned out of town” because they were not prosperous and the town feared they would become a town charge.

1804 – Zerah Colburn was born in Cabot.  He became known as a math wizard and traveled Europe.

1806 – The frame for the Congregational Church was raised.

1806 – First surveyor of wood and lumber appointed:  Oliver Walbridge.

1807 – Twelve families were warned out of town because they were poor.

1807 – First Methodist meetings held on the Plain.  Elder Thomas Branch probably preached.

1808 – First mail service through Cabot; carrier was Henry Denny, on horseback, traveling from Montpelier to the Canada line, passing through Cabot, Danville, Lyndon, Barton and on north.  Round trip took about 10 days.  He brought letters and The Vermont Watchman, published in Montpelier. Nicholas Warner was the first postmaster at Cabot.

1809 – Hanson Rogers built the first distillery in town on Cabot Plain, and in 1810 the potato crop was utilized for whiskey.  Shortly after, Judge Dana built another distillery half a mile away; others quickly followed.  Whiskey not used at home was sent to Boston or Portland.

1810 – Parker Hooker built a saw-mill in South Cabot.  He lived in Peacham, four miles away.  The Mill was rebuilt by Liberty Hooker in 1839.

1810 – Business began to shift to the valley.

1811 – First class at Methodist Church formed.  Members:  Mrs. Judge Dana, Mrs. Dr. Scott, Mrs. B. Webster, Mrs. Hills, Mrs. N. Webster, Mrs. Durgin, Mrs. Rogers.  Shortly afterwards, the first men joined:  Judge J. W. Dana, Daniel Smith, Dr. Scott.

1812 – The Yellow House became known as the “Smugglers’ House” and a pond beyond as “Smugglers’ Pond.”

1813 – Second cemetery laid out in Lower Cabot. Col. John Stone and Joseph Coburn each donated ½  acre of their land.  The cemetery is now known as Durant Cemetery.

1813-14 – Spotted fever epidemic.

1814 – The militia, including minute-men from Woodbury and Calais, was called out on September 11, expecting to engage the British during a battle in Plattsburg.  They camped overnight in Montpelier Center, but the British were defeated and the men all returned to their homes.

1814 – A small cemetery was laid out on West Hill near the school on land later owned by Orson Kimball.  There were 19 burials there; all were moved when a new cemetery, still in use today, was laid out a short distance away.

1814 – Jeremiah Babcock appointed postmaster.  He lived on what was later the Dow farm, not far from the post road.  Mail not delivered from horseback along the way was taken to church and distributed there on Sunday.

1815 – Apple trees planted by first settlers began to produce.  Cider mills began to spring up.

1816 – Known as “The Year of Famine” because 5 inches of snow fell on June 4th and 5th, ruining crops.

1816 – W. S. Atkins built another distillery and found a market in Canada, despite it being illegal to supply the British.  More distilleries were built, making a total of 12 in operation at one time.

1817 – George Sumner elected captain of the militia and enrollment numbered 52 men.

1817 – John Edgerton and David Lyford donated land for a new cemetery on West Hill. 

1817 – A distillery was built where the Union Block later stood.  After the distillery, the building became a tannery and “currying and shoe-shop.”

1817 – John Heath was second settler in East Cabot.  John Clark owned a tavern opposite Molly Pond which was called “The Pond House.”  George Rogers had a farm near the school house.

1818 – John Edgerton was the first to be buried at the West Hill Cemetery.  He died on March 8.

1820 – The Village Cemetery laid out on ½ acre of land donated by John W. Dana.  Eliza Dutton, 22, was the first buried there.  It was later enlarged to 1 acre.

1820 – First Camp Meeting held in the grove of Daniel Smith, later the A. M. Foster sugar woods.  Presiding elder was John Linsey.

1820 – Avery Atkins built a dam at the brook in the western part of town.  This formed what is now called West Hill Pond.  It flooded the "great meadow" formerly used by early settlers and Indians to grow hay.

1820 – Harvey Babcock was appointed postmaster to replace his father, Jeremiah.  He moved the post office to Lower Cabot. Captain Covel, Sr., carried the mail for several years; Mr. Babcock resigned.

1822 – First overseer of the poor elected was Daniel Smith.

1822 – John Dana deeded 1 1/8 acres of land to the town for a common, to be used especially for drills.

1822-23 – First Methodist church built.

1823 – Farmers began to believe raising so many potatoes was “running out their farms,” so turned to other crops.

1824 – Congregational meeting house at the Center of Town was taken down and removed to the village.

1824 – Town voted to “not elect an overseer of the poor.”

1825 – Reuben Atkins cleared land in Petersville, in the southeast corner of Cabot.

1825 – Cabot Plain grave yard opened.  Land donated by Alpheus Bartlett.  Alvira Covell was first burial.

1826 – On the west side of the river, William Scales built a blacksmith shop and a small foundry.

1826 – Congregational Church building taken down at the Center and rebuilt in the village.

1827 – First Temperance Society organized by Rev. Henry Jones.

1827 – Hector McLean appointed postmaster appointed postmaster; Captain Covell died and Deacon Adams became mail carrier; he initiated a horse-drawn stage to carry the mail.  When Adams died, Deacon Kellogg became mail carrier.

1829 – Free Will Baptists built a meeting house on West Hill.

1829 – A road was built from Danville four corners to Cabot; Lyman Clark drove the first stage.  Traffic previously went over the Plain, and the new road was the main thoroughfare to Montpelier for the next 45 years.

1830 – First petition for a road from Molly Pond in East Cabot to Marshfield was turned down.  The road was finally built and completed in 1865.

1831 – Overseer of the Poor reinstated: John Damon elected.

1831 – A Total Abstinence Society organized.  (No records, only a notation by J.M.Fisher in Vermont Historical Magazine, so this group may not have flourished.

1832 – No longer any distilleries in town.

1833 – Wool carding and cloth dressing establishment run by George Fielding.  It was where the carriage shop was later.  In August, 1833, the building was washed away by a flood.  It was rebuilt in   1834, and eventually Jason Britt bought the business and expanded it to include a carriage shop.  The carriage shop was later knows as “Cabot Carriage Company,” and was run by A. P. Marshall and W. W. Buchanan.  The business closed after three or four years and the property became J. A.    Farrington’s. (Note:  According to Rev. Fred Blodgett, The Blodgett Papers, two painters who worked at the carriage shop, Clark and Heath, painted the stage curtain now at Willey Memorial Hall – a replica of the famous painting by Culver, “Along the Oregon Trail.”

1834 – Moses Clark donated land for the South Cabot Cemetery.  His 6 month old son was the first buried there.

1834 – George Dana appointed postmaster.  He removed the post office from Lower Cabot to the Village.

1838 – Joseph Lance,, Esq., who was in the merchantile business in Calais, bought the estate of Judge Dana.

1839 – Bell for Congregational church tower was purchased (1100 lbs., $300.)

1840 – The tannery was powered by water instead of horse power.  It was owned by Marcus Fisher, who sold it and the Union Block was built.  The new building had stores, offices, etc.

1840 – A starch factory was built where Mrs. Lances house later stood, then was moved across the river to where the hotel stood.  [May have been part of the Union Block.]  The hotel building was first owned by Fisher, then Horace Bliss, and in 1895 was kept by William Whittier, who repaired and renovated it.  It was sold in 1881 to W. W. Buchanan.

1841 – Canker-rash epidemic.

1842 – An Abstinence Society founded at Lower Cabot:  Benjamin F. Scott, president; James M. Harris,  vice president; M. P. Wallace, Eben Smith, Jr., A. T. Gibson, committee.  At one time had 196 members, but ceased to exist within a few months.

1843 – Beginnings of the Advent Church meetings at West Hill and Lower Cabot; no formal church organized.

1843 – Dr. M. P. Wallace, a graduate of Hanover Medical College in 1842, opened a practice in Cabot.

1843-44 – Erysipelas epidemic. (also known as "St. Anthony's fire).

1845 – Joseph Lance, Esq., moved from Calais to Cabot and dealt extensively in cattle and sheep.

1847 -  East Cabot Cemetery opened.

1848 – Cracked bell at Congregational church replaced.

1848 – Committee formed to purchase a “poor farm” and stock it: Joseph Lance, Jacob Way, Joseph Hoyt.  They purchased the farm and stock for $1,947.89.

1849 – Congregational church building torn down and moved to present location.

1850 – Free Will Baptist church lost its organization; building on West Hill was abandoned.

1852 – Methodist Church renovations begun.  Building Committee:  Joseph Lance, Paul Dean, John Clark. 

1853 – Committee to build the Methodist parsonage:  Allen Perry, Jerry Atkins, Robert Lance.  Joseph Lance gave land for the parsonage.  A barn was donated to the church and was added to the existing building.

1854 – The town purchased its first hearse, for $100.

1855 – A “commodious house” was built at the Poor Farm.

1855 – Hon. John McLean died.  He was born in Peacham and became a leader in Cabot.

1857 – Meeting house for the Advent Church group built through efforts of Dr. M. P. Wallace.  It was dedicated in 1858.

1858 – Peter Lyford formed a school district in Petersville.  At that time there were 4 dwellings; 1 school;  1 saw-mill.

1858 – The Advent Church organized with 40 members.  Deacons were Nathan Wheeler and Erasmus L. Burnap; M. P. Wallace, scribe.  Samuel W. Thurber was first pastor.

1862 – Dr. S. L. Wiswall, a graduate at Woodstock Medical School, set up practice in Cabot

1862-63 – Diphtheria epidemic.

1864 – Good Templars Lodge organized:  Rev. S. F. Drew, pastor of the Congregational church was presiding officer over 19 charter members.  First officers:  S. F. Drew,Mrs. Edwin Fisher, Wm. Atkins, Miss Lucy Ray, Wm. Gould, Mrs. O. L. Hoyt, Moses Haines, Miss Olive Stone, R. A. Gunn, Miss Abbie Hoyt, Miss Levina Gould, O. L. Hoyt, William Atkins, F. G. Hoyt, Allen Walbridge, N. J. Mason, and George Dow.  The group met at homes, the village hall, Masonic hall, and eventually the hall of John Brown.

1865 – T. H. Lance opened a new cemetery adjoining the original Village burial ground, charging for lots.

1866 – The Village was incorporated.  

1866 – Good Templars Lodge updated.

1868 – Nathaniel Webster left town for Minneapolis, Minnesota to be near family.

1870 – The first post office was established in Lower Cabot, with Cornelius Smith as postmaster.

1871 – Telegraph service by the Vermont International Telegraph Company came to Cabot.  The telegraph was set up at Sprague & Wells’ store with Charles B. Putnam manager of the telegraph office.  One year later, Hiram Wells was appointed to run the office.

1872 – New interest in Methodist church brought about painting, frescoing, carpeting ($200), chandelier ($50).

1874 – Methodists install a bell which cost between $400 and $500, a gift from Paul Dean and Jeremiah Atkins.

1881 – Lower Cabot had:  30 dwellings; 1 meeting house; 1 store; 1 blacksmith shop; a woolen factory; and a wheel wright shop.

1881 – Population of Cabot was 238.  There were 64 dwellings; 2 stores; 1 millinery shop; 1 hotel; 2 blacksmith shops; 1 carriage manufacturer; 1 cooper shop; 1 grist-mill; 1 saw-mill; 1 graded school; 2 churches.

1891 – South Cabot had:  13 dwellings; 1 store; a post office; a saw-mill; a grist-mill; a blacksmith shop; a school house; a wagon manufacturer; and a “wood and iron workshop” which burned in 1876.

1896 – Methodist Church organ installed.

1901 – Electricity installed at the Congregational Church.

1928 – Congregational and Methodist church groups merge; Methodist church building sold to school. The Congregational Ladies Missionary Circle and the Methodist Ladies Aid merged to become Willing Workers.  The Methodist organ went to the Congregational Church; the Congregationalists removed the unsafe steeple and bell from the Methodist Church building; the bell was sold to a scrap dealer and is believed to be in the East Barre Catholic church.

2010 - At town meeting it was voted to merge the Village and Town.


Note:  Much of the information contained here is from A. M. Fisher's history written in about 1881 and published in the Vermont Historical Magazine; also from The Blodgett Papers, published in 2008 by the Cabot Historical Society.  This list is incomplete, and will be on-going.