History of Barre Village, Vermont

Barre Village is situated nearly in the center of the town. The principal stream running through the village is called Jail Branch, taking its name from a log jail once built on its bank. Coming from the south part of the town is a stream called Stevens’ Branch, and uniting with Jail Branch before it enters the village. On this stream is situated a famous water-privilege called Day‘s mills, on which is now a grist and sawmill, an extensive door, sash and blind manufactory; on the same stream there is also Robinson’s sash and blind establishment and granite polishing works, and on the same strewn before it enters Jail Branch is located Moorcroft Flannel Factory. The first water occupied on Jail Branch is by the Stafford & Holden Manufacturing Company, for the purpose of manufacturing all kinds of hay and manure forks, potato diggers, etc., and in addition to the water power they have a 30 or 40 horsepower engine. Next on the stream are the mills and furnace of Smith, Whitcomb & Cook. These, are the works formerly owned by Joshua Twing, once a celebrated mill builder.

There is one principal street running through the village, called Main street, and near the upper end of the village called South Main street; Bridge street crossing the Branch and connecting with Brooklyn street; also with Hoboken. Elm street leaves Main near the National Bank, and runs north; Merchant street is another fine street running north; Seminary street also runs north, and passes the Goddard Seminary. Depot Square and its surroundings is also very pleasant. The street leading from the village by Barre Academy is a very gentle rise, leading to the Cemetery.

Barre Cemetery justly deserves, and has the reputation of being one of the best in the State. It is partly surrounded by a very beautiful cedar hedge, and has two fountains, furnished by water from the neighboring hills, which add very much to its beauty. Many fine monuments of goodly variety have been put up, the grounds tastefully laid out, and, taking it all in all, we are happy to compare it with any in the State.

The streets of Barre are well lined with shade trees, which add very much to its attractions. There are 18 stores in town, and our post-office has been made a salaried office, and does a very fair business.

The town has a well regulated library, of several hundred volumes, which are considerably read, but the newspapers probably take nine-tenths of all the time devoted to reading. Geo. P. Boyce is our librarian.

Barre Agricultural Library — First officers, J. S. Spaulding, pres. , S. E. Bigelow, vice-pres.; C. Carpenter, sec.; Stillman Wood, treasurer and librarian.” Among the things that were: sold out.

Barre has a Job Printing Establishment run by Prentiss C. Dodge, and a newspaper.

The first newspaper printed in town was The Barre Times. It was a monthly sheet, issued during the year 1871, spicy, of a literary character, and published by Stillman Wood, Esq.

The Barre Herald, established in 1879, by E. N. Hyzer, was published about 9 months.

The Barre Enterprize, was commenced in 1880. The first number was issued December 11th of the past year. It was conducted till April, 1881, by Mr. Lewis P. Thayer, of Randolph, when W. F. Scott, its present editor and proprietor, came into possession of the publication and issued his first number of the paper, April 16, 1881.

Manufactures in Barre Village, Vermont

Plows and casting for mill-irons are manufactured at the old Twing stand, by Smith, Whitcomb & Cook. Their plows are becoming a great favorite among the farmers. We have also Stafford & Holden’s Fork Factory, Holden’s Factory — Dr. McCroft, proprietor: Makers of Tin Ware: J. M. Jackman, Geo. J Reynolds. W. C. Durkee, Coffins & Caskets: Sheplee & Jones; Harnesses, C. La Paige, M. B. McCrillis. Boots & Shoes, J. Porter, O. D. Shurtleff. Sash, Blinds & Doors, South, J. S. Robinson, Abel Wood; Woolen Goods, William Moorcroft—are our minor manufactures: See Walton’s Register, 1881; our chief business being the Granite Works, a notice of which will appear by the parties themselves, or some representative from their numbers.

We have a very efficient Fire Company of sixty stalwart young men, with a first-class hand engine, that took the first prize at a trial made in Burlington a few years since.

Barre has a Lodge of Good Templars in successful operation, which promises to be of great benefit to the people.

Barre Cornet Band, well organized, is under the present leadership of Dr. Clarence B. Putnam. This Band was organized several years before the late war, and was at that time one of the best in the State. Early in the war they volunteered to go as a Band, were accepted, and served during the war. They did not all return. Some were left to occupy a grave in the Southern States. G. B. Putnam, who resigned the office of Postmaster to go and serve his country, now rests in an unknown grave. He was the father of the present leader of the Band. Those who belonged to, and went as members, were H. Warner French, leader; A. B. Fisher, P. Parker Page, Geo. Beckley, Albert Wood, James Averill, John W. Averill, Geo. Blanchard, Wm. Clark, G. B. Putnam, Wm. Olds. With some few exceptions, the Band has been in practice ever since the war, and some of the veterans still occupy prominent places in the same.


Article is based largely on the The Vermont historical gazetteer : a magazine embracing a history of each town, civil, ecclesiastical, biographical and military.
Additions, corrections, changes, and design have been made to the original source to produce this article. Those additions and changes are © 2020 by Vermont Genealogy.

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