Ferrisburgh Vermont Commercial History
|Post-office.--No post-office was established in town until about 1838, the
reason being that Vergennes and Charlotte were conveniently near, and all
attempts previous to that date to secure the establishment of an office in
one part of the town were successfully resisted by other sections, on the
ground of its not being a central situation. In 1838 Stoddard Martin, who
was then keeping the stage-house and hotel in North Ferrisburgh, gained the
assistance of Stephen Haight, of Monkton, at that time member of Congress,
and succeeded in securing the appointment of first postmaster at North
Ferrisburgh. After he went out of the proprietorship of the hotel in 1841
his son, John W. Martin, became his successor, and remained in the office
about fourteen years. After his term have been successively Aaron B. Webb,
Calvin Martin, Benoni Thompson, Absalom Wheeler, Martin F. Allen, and, since
the fall of 1885, James Mooney, the present incumbent.
Henry Rogers was, it seems, the first postmaster at the Center, and was followed by Rowland T. Robinson, Dr. George E. Stone, John Bell, Mrs. Betsey Colter, and the present postmaster, George Field, who has been in the office several years.
Hotel.--The only hotel now kept in town (Martin's Hotel) was first opened to the public in 1830 by Stoddard Martin, his father, Reuben, being with him. In 1841 John W. and C. C. Martin, sons of Stoddard, contracted for the purchase of the property and became absolute owners at their father's decease. John W. Martin owns it still, though it is well conducted by his son Stoddard.
Grist-mill.--The grist-mill at North Ferrisburgh, now operated by M. L. Partch, J. P. Kenyon and M. F. Allen, under the firm style of Partch & Co., was operated some years before the beginning of the present century by Robert Hazard, as before stated. On the 19th of March, 1811, Thomas R. Robinson bought the property of Gideon Spencer, Gideon Spencer, jr., and Stephen Spencer. Afterward his son, Rowland T. Robinson, acquired title, and in 1828 substantially rebuilt the mill. In March, 1833, John Van Vliet bought it. In more recent years P. D. Percival operated the mill, and for a number of years preceding March 23, 1885, Allen and Percival ran it. The mill has a capacity for grinding about four hundred bushels per day.
Mercantile Interests.--The oldest mercantile business now in town is the store of J. L. St. Peters. The business was started in 1837 by C. W. Wicker. In 1877 the present proprietor, who had been his clerk for eight years, succeeded him. He carries about $4,000 stock. Mr. St. Peters came to Ferrisburgh from Charlotte.
The store of M. F. Allen & Brother dates its establishment as far back as 1845, when N. J. Allen, father of the present proprietors, and A. L. Wheeler began under the title of Allen & Wheeler. Since then the firms have been Wheeler & Allen, M. F. Allen & Co., and since April 1, 1883, the present firm. The present building was erected on the site of the old one in the summer of 1885. This store also carries about $4,000 stock.
C. H. Mallory bought the store property which he now owns of C. W. Wicker December 7, 1857, and began working at cooper work. From this he gradually established a trade in various articles until he was compelled to abandon the cooper work and devote himself to his mercantile business.
L. B. Fuller began in the fall of 1885 the business of pressing hay for exportation, and has already built up an extensive business. He has been a dealer in hay in town, however, about fourteen years.
Manufacturing Interests.--The oldest saw-mill in town is the one now operated by J. R. Barnum, which now has a circular saw and cuts from 100,000 to 500,000 feet of lumber annually.
Mahlon Kingman's barrel factory was first operated in 1850. He employs about five hands.
John Banyea's brick-yard was established as early as 1806. He employs ten hands, and manufactures about a million brick per annum.
The cider-mill of George B. Kimball was established in 1844 by Daniel Kimball, father of the present proprietor. Four men are kept during the cider season.
Stephen Ball also operates a cider-mill (near the Kimball mill), which he started about twenty years ago.
Oliver Danyow started his cider-mill at Little Otter Creek Falls in the summer of 1884.
The population of the town since the taking of the first census in 1791, has varied according to the following figures : 1791, 481; 1800, 956; 1810, 1647; 1820, 1,581; 1830, 1,822; 1840, 1,755; 1850, 2,075; 1860, 1,738; 1870, 1,768; 1880, 1,684.
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