Ferrisburgh Vermont Early Settlement

R. E. Robinson, in his sketch of Ferrisburgh, published in the Vermont Historical Magazine, said concerning the early settlement of the town:

The first settlement within the present limits of Ferrisburgh (for the events just related occurred in that part of Ferrisburgh which is now Vergennes) was begun by Charles Tupper, who came from Pittsfield, Mass., just before the Revolution, and commenced improvements near where J. Burroughs now lives; but upon the breaking out of the war he returned to Pittsfield, joined the American army, and was killed in battle. One Ferris began a settlement near Basin Harbor about the same time, which he also abandoned at the commencement of the war.

Mrs. Betsey Gage, an old lady nearly eighty-one, says that her father, Zuriel Tupper, a brother of Charles Tupper, was the first settler in Ferrisburgh after the close of the Revolution. He came in the autumn of 1783, and in March, 1784, brought his wife and three children to Ferrisburgh. During his previous visit he had built a bark shanty for their accommodation, and this they occupied until the completion of their log house. Mrs. Gage, who was then five years old, says that she well remembers seeing the sun shining down through the roof of their primitive abode. At the same time Mr. Tupper had prepared a small plot of ground and sowed some apple seeds, and to him belongs the honor of raising the first apples from the seed in town.

Mrs. Gage’s mother was five and one-half months in her new home without seeing another woman; then Abel Thompson and family came, and soon after three others–Tupper’s brother Absalom, Nathan Walker, Isaac Gage–and others came.

During the Revolution, as already indicated, all those who had come to Ferrisburgh felt constrained to depart, though others had the hardihood, if so it may be called, to settle here before the cessation of hostilities, as follows: Ananias Rogers, Uriah Crittenden and Judge Thompson in 1778; Abraham Rogers and James Saxton in 1779; Noah Porter, Joseph Burroughs and Timothy Dakins in 1780, and Joshua Barnes in 1781. Zuriel Tupper came in 1783, Theophilus Middlebrook in 1784. By this time settlement had made considerable progress, and new arrivals were so frequent as to attract far less notice than formerly. On the heels of the declaration of peace, and before the opening of the nineteenth century, came Cornelius Hurlbut, Benjamin Carpenter, Thomas Robertson, Ashbel Fuller, Asa Carpenter, Obadiah Walker, Samuel Tupper, Wing Rogers, Nathaniel Austin, John Huff, Ira Tupper, Absalom Simeon Miller, George Gage, Solomon and William Kellogg, Sylvester Jaquesways, Benjamin Ferris, Solomon Dimick, Stephen Fish, Abner and Stephen Perry, John Frazier, William Beard, William Walker, J. Hines and Archibald Collins. In school district No. 6 were Joseph Burroughs, Anthony, Stephen, Benjamin and George Field, Theophilus Middlebrook, Benjamin Ferris, Asa Carpenter, Joseph, Benjamin, Joshua and Lewis Barnes, Solomon Dimick, Elnathan B. Beers and Jonathan Keeler.

The first person born in town was Eunice Webster, March 22, 1773. The first public house in town was that of Zuriel Tupper; the house just east of the railroad station at Ferrisburgh village, known as the “old Frazier house,” was the first framed house built in town, and was long known as the Blue House.


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