Photograph Taken In 1866, In Detail
Brattleboro Photographs 2
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George Harper Houghton, Photographer, In Detail
Civil War Hospital presents extensive photographs and details Brattleboro life during the War of the Rebellion. Here are the barracks, the first winter's mutiny, the quinine in the soup, patient lists, the womens' soldier relief, and the military exhibition at the Town Hall.
Officer Of The Guards Quarters, Chapel, Assistant Surgeons' Quarters
Corner Atwood And Sunny Acres, High School Grounds
Also the accidents, the pest house, the backgammon board, the medicinal cherry rum brandy recipe, the postal service, the chapel, the library, the sword presentation to the surgeons, drawings, maps, soldiers' and officers' records and speeches, the Invalid Corps on the Common on the long wooden benches, and the great achievements on "Hospital Hill".
Seth Smith's House describes the familiar landmark on Western Avenue, now possibly threatened---and the Smith grist mill, and the first road and bridge across the Whetstone Brook there. Seth Smith was a Minute Man during the Revolution and a Yorkist afterwards. Ethan Allen came this way.
Seth Smith's niece was Chloe Smith, Mrs. Rutherford Hayes, the grandmother of President Rutherford Birchard Hayes. Seth Smith's grandson was Jedediah Smith, the famed mountain man and explorer in the West, who was killed by Comanche lances on May 27, 1831.
Showing Farms, Brooks, Roads, Walls, Fences
Land Records Citations
The Fort Dummer Site is a wonderful introduction to how the Fort Dummer area has looked and changed over the years.
View From New Hampshire Across Connecticut River
The Levi Goodenough Farm is an architectural treasure on the Goodenough Road in West Brattleboro, built in 1783, and never wired for electricity. Rev. Hosea Ballou, 2d preached sermons in its large attic for the early Brattleboro Universalists. The writer H. P. Lovecraft visited Arthur H. Goodenough there during 1927-1928 and his house was the setting for the classic horror tale "The Whisperer in Darkness".
The Brattleboro Stamp describes Dr. Frederick N. Palmer---music teacher, dentist, bookseller, and Brattleboro postmaster, who invented the famous 1846 provisional stamp, and finally, a life-long homeopathic physician.
The scores for five waltzes and one rollicking polka that Frederick N. Palmer composed in Brattleboro, and published in Boston in 1844 are presented here as originally published, and soon orchestrations for piano, organ, and five-piece band will be available, complete with scores and notes, from Lin Barrell of Illinois---
Courtesy Of Lin Barrell
William A. Conant Violins concerns the violin maker, master craftsman who lived on Canal Street for so long at his labor, who was taught first by cabinetmaker Anthony Van Doorn, then by John Woodbury, and finally praised by the great Remini, concert violinist. Learn more about William Conant violins and cellos.
John Woodbury Violins describes the craftsman of the bass, double bass viols, and violins in Brattleboro, who instructed the young William A. Conant.
Richard Wagner's Estey Organ has rarely seen engraving insets showing the Estey Organ Company in the centennial year 1876, when Estey shipped a custom-made organ to the Bayreuth composer for his Ring of the Nibelungen cycle.
Brattleboro Epitaphs is a collection of over two hundred epitaphs, with their inscriptions, and photographs from the Prospect Hill Cemetery, Locust Ridge, Meetinghouse Hill Cemetery, Glen Street (Old Village), and the Mather Street cemeteries.
Our stonecutters are Ebenezer Soule, Sr. and his son Ivory Soule from Hinsdale, New Hampshire, Henry Ide and George H. Ide, John and Henry Locke, Ebenezer Janes, Stephen Risley, Jr., and Nathaniel Kittredge.
All the inscriptions here are recorded accurately for the first time---the spellings, the precise lining, the chiselling errors, and the superscripts, as, Feby, Esqr, Daur, and ye & the inevitable yt---
Susanna Butterfield the wife
of Benjamin Butterfield Esqr
She Departed this life Novemr
Ye 29 1776 in the 48th
Year of her Age --
She was born in Sept ye 22d 1729
Ambrotype By George Harper Houghton
Mary Elizabeth Bennett was the granddaughter of Capt. James Salisbury of West Brattleboro. She married the painter Edgar P. Gillett, started a family and died aged twenty-six. This ambrotype was taken by her relation, George Harper Houghton.
Winifred Hadley was a well-liked young seamstress who died at age seventeen, of typhoid fever, while attending school in Boston. The Brattleboro monument depicts her sitting pensively over her piecework.
Stephen Risley's Tombstones concerns the stonecutter who came from East Hartford, Connecticut in 1806 with his wife Polly, to conduct an engraving shop on the Turnpike (Western Avenue) at the corner by the North and South Mill-Road (Meadowbrook Road).
The Lost Cemetery On High Street is the account of the 1891 discovery of the abandoned burying ground for the Church and Whipple families.
The Brattleboro Retreat Cemetery gives the story of Sarah Culy, who died in 1854 after composing an epitaph based upon the Book of Job for chiselling into her rare soapstone gravestone, which has now been destroyed. The gravestone is here for Pvt. Henry C. Dawson, 10th Vermont Infantry, who died in 1906.
William Fessenden's Brattleboro Bookstore And Circulating Library follows the large two-and-a-half story brick building from its erection in 1810 on Main Street just north of the former Stephen Greenleaf homestead site and the American House, through its years as the "Brick Row" with its prominent merchant tenants, to its last days as the "Salisbury Block" and its destruction in April 1924. Thomas Chubbuck's March 1848 engraving of the Brick Row is here.
Mammoth Tusk took three weeks of research to prove the location of the discovery in September 1865 on what is now called Solar Hill or Harris Hill. The "smoking gun" was a reference in the land records to "Blake's pasture", and the presence of white quartz intrusions in the blue limestone on the site north of Western Avenue.
Jason W. Prouty Cabinet Card
Gen. John Wolcott Phelps can make any historian ponder "the strange mutability of human affairs". An immensely likable, and equally influential man, John W. Phelps lived in a Greek Revival house, one door north from the High School, which he called "The Lindens".
John Phelps sold "The Lindens" on July 13, 1882 to School District No. 2, and it then served as the Intermediate school for eighty or ninety students until it was removed, beginning in May 1884---lock, stock, and barrel---to where it stands today on the south side of Grove Street. Henry Burnham purchased the main parts of the old high school and set them down for a tenement, along the north side of Grove Street.
Rev. Jedediah Stark, the long-time serving pastor for the First Congregational Church in West Brattleboro, spoke with his congregation throughout the 1820's. His entirely forgotten history of the early settlement of Brattleboro begins in 1768 with the description of an Indian dance ring, poles, and fireplaces at a location near Cedar Street.
Wantastiquet History And Mine Mountain shows many new sides to that old rocky eminence across the Connecticut River. The furious mash-fed boar that escaped from the Thomas farm out the Putney road that gave the name to the mountain's cascading Hog Brook. The description of Wantastiquet in the summer of 1827 by Temperance Tidy, the seventh daughter of an early settler.
Rattlesnakes On Wantastiquet presents the reptiles and their rocks and rattles and oil for medicinal application, and Charles C. Frost's discourse on Chesterfield Mountain.
The John Thomas Farm lay along the Putney Road south from Black Mountain Road. Good English malt brewed here two hundred years ago.
The Rutherford Hayes Tavern, is in West Brattleboro at the old road to Marlboro, with mine hostess Chloe Smith Hayes and Polly her daughter.
Photograph 1911 By Porter C. Thayer
Used By Permission From Porter Thayer Collection - University Of Vermont
East Village Society Law Suit is a letter written by a legal authority for the March 29, 1834 Independent Inquirer newspaper, detailing the four Vermont Supreme Court precedents which were brought against the Church on the Common---removing completely and forever all church claim to the Brattleboro Common.
Reminiscences is Henry Burnham's series of twelver articles published in the Vermont Phoenix starting in March 1866. These articles are half way between Burnham's first lecture in February 1858 for the benefit of the Episcopal Church fund, and his final lively book, "Brattleboro, Windham County, Vermont. Early History, with Biographical Sketches of some of its Citizens" (Brattleboro: Published By D. Leonard, 1880).
John L. Putnam's Toll House
The Abigail White Whipping concerns the most famous incident in Newfane, Vermont history. From the Newfane Hill gaol, she was taken to the whipping post in August 1808. Less known is the fact that sympathetic local women, including the Windham County Sheriff's wife, helped to literally "save her skin", despite Abigail's passing counterfeit money for the Stephen Trask gang out of Keene, New Hampshire.
The Rev. William Wells Farm is described in detail by a traveller passing by in 1796. The house was built by Colonel Samuel Wells in 1773. It later served as a summer lodging for the Brattleboro Retreat's women patients.
Connecticut River Bridge 1804 gathers the scattered sources that describe the first bridge from Brattleboro across to Hinsdale, and its disastrous dedication ceremony, and its speechifying local magnates.
Service For Abraham Lincoln is the complete text for the highly-charged, lyrical service given at the Centre Congregational Church by Rev. George Palmer Tyler for the fallen President, along with articles that describe the cannon-fire, and how Brattleboro looked in mourning that April 1865.
Orion Clark was the popular long-time barber in Elliot Street, and also an entrepreneur.
Black History In Brattleboro is Anne Dempsey's "Special to the Reformer" series in six parts during February 1994. Here are the forgotten black residents---the first black landowner, fugitive slaves, barbers, the women, the soldiers. There is an array of enjoyable research here.
Charles C. Frost's Shoemaker's Shop And Slave Safe House
Fugitive Slaves On Flat Street concerns the only reliably documented station on the Underground Railroad in Brattleboro. Charles C. Frost sheltered roughly forty fugitive slaves at his house and shoe shop on the south side of Flat Street, successfully concealing his activity even from friends for two decades.
John G. Sugland worked in Brattleboro as a woodcutter along the railroad tracks after serving with the Massachusetts 54th Infantry (Colored) in the Civil War, helping Gen. William T. Sherman's march through South Carolina. Private Sugland's letter written on May 20, 1864 from Charleston, South Carolina to Addison Whithead in Vernon, Vermont is here.
Jacob Cartledge escaped on the Underground Railroad from cruelty in Georgia, then enlisted for three years as a private in the 43rd Pennsylvania Regiment. Jake came to Brattleboro in 1879, chopped wood, and worked for the Barrows Coal Company.
"There are few men on the street who will not miss his ready hands and ready wit."
Vermont Phoenix, June 22, 1877.
Andrew Johnson Reed met Col. John S. Tyler and Assistant Surgeon George F. Gale of Brattleboro in Virginia.
Alexander And Sally Turner established his Journey's End homestead after escaping from the Virginia plantation of John Gouldin, serving in the First New Jersey Cavalry as assistant cook and hospital orderly, and raising his great family in Grafton.
Elliot Street Chapel Riot 1837 concerns the disruptions at the Church on the Common chapel which was built three years before, and now stands on Spring Street.
The Henry E. Brewster Diary was generously contributed to this website by Tom Hoffman. Henry Brewster was the adopted nephew of Caroline Brewster, Mrs. Nathan Birdseye Williston. The Diary describes Brattleboro during 1850-1851 from the view of an active and alert youngster.
New Connecticut River Bridge Partly Built
Robert Pender's Fort On Wantastiquet Peak
A. L. Pettee, Dentist, Barber Shop Pole, Thomas Judge House, Gun-Smith
Drawing For Boxwood Block Engraving 1873
Drawn By Henry E. Brewster On Tuesday, April 30th, 1850
One Door North Of The Williston Stone Building
Main Street, East Side, Looking North-West
Church On The Common Registered Historic Site
Photograph Taken Before Vandalizing
Street Boys Help Guard Muskets Outside Town Hall
George Harper Houghton Photograph In Detail
Looking South On Asylum Street, Now Linden Street
Central School, John Wolcott Phelps House, Ferdinand Tyler House
Austin Jacobs Coolidge and John Brainard Mansfield
Boston: Austin J. Coolidge, 39 Court Street, Press of Geo. C. Rand, 1860.
Hall's Long Building 1849
Formerly The Post Office
I have included here the following links to my own writing, because that work is not entirely irrelevant for any resident in Brattleboro---
Nathaniel Hawthorne created two famous literary villains, both modelled upon two very prominent men resident in Brattleboro, Dr. Robert Wesselhoeft and more importantly, Judge Royall Tyler.
Links to http://www.hawthornessevengables.com---
Nathaniel Hawthorne On Beacon Hill contains an account of the corrupt Judge Jaffrey Pyncheon, based upon Judge Royall Tyler, in "The House of the Seven Gables"---Hawthorne's literary reconciliation of crimes committed against his wife Sophia's family.
Dr. Robert Wesselhoeft became the evil figure in the tale "Rappaccini's Daughter" because Hawthorne considered him to be a villain, following an excessively invasive treatment of his wife Sophia. William Wesselhoeft, the hydropath's brother, was the Hawthorne family doctor.
Elizabeth Hunt Palmer, who lived and died here in Brattleboro with her daughter Mary Palmer Tyler, was the model for Nathaniel Hawthorne's character Hepzibah Pyncheon in The House of the Seven Gables.
Una Hawthorne in Brown's Woods recalls Una's visit here in May, 1868, when she was engaged to Storrow Higginson. Una's letter to Storrow is a botanical description of the Rev. Addison Brown's Woods, from Chase Street to the Chestnut Hill pond---following in the footsteps of Henry David Thoreau's walk here in 1856.
Hawthorne And Melville is another fine chapter from "Nathaniel Hawthorne: Studies in The House of the Seven Gables".
Indian-Hating In The Wizard Of Oz is probably my best-known work, concerning the political journalist and editor Lyman Frank Baum's invention of racial symbols for his Oz fantasy, following the Wounded Knee massacre when he was living in nearby Aberdeen in the Dakota Territory.
T. Covil Daguerreotype About 1842
Owned By Amasa Buckman
Kept Faced Toward A Wall
Dr. John Wilson, Captain Thunderbolt contains research about the reformed highwayman called Captain Thunderbolt, who had a
L500 price on his head in Great Britain in the starvation year 1816.
Dr. John Wilson's Round Schoolhouse A pictorial and architectural history of the Brookline, Vermont tourist attraction.
Dr. John Wilson, Probate Records contains the names of creditors and debtors to Dr. Wilson's estate, often with the reason stated, as well as a complete inventory of hundreds of items remaining in the Vernon road house, saw mill, and barn.
Dr. John Wilson's House In Newfane in the village called Williamsville.
Dr. John Wilson, Captain Seth Briggs describes Dr. Wilson's treatments for Capt. Seth Briggs of West Dummerston, including electricity.
Dr. John Wilson, Descriptions, Commentary gathers together the scattered references to the Windham County country doctor.
Dr. John Wilson's Stray Horse concerns the six year old sorrel mare that was last seen at the Fort Bridgman farm in Vernon, owned by Col. Erastus Hubbard.
Dr. John Wilson's Remedy describes the doctor's treatment for Wilder Knight, his indigestion.
Horn Shield Fleam, Tweezers-Ear Scoop, Reading Or Surgical Glass
Sinners in the Hands of An Angry God is the title of the famous execution and hellfire sermon by the Rev. Jonathan Edwards---his response to the particularly lurid, prolonged, and violent events against the slaves in colonial New York throughout the summer of 1741. Several prominent New York men who were active in "the New Yok Negro Riots" were also involved in the land development that became Brattleboro.