Original Granite Block With Photographer's Skylight, No Fascade
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
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.
The Old Brooks Library was designed by Alexander C. Currier, and stood on the west side of Main Street until it was torn down on June 4, 1971. In the American style, this local library was truly professional, truthful, and law-abiding---a place for genuine learning that securely housed Brattleboro's historical records, books, and treasures.
It is especially important to remember a time when the local library was truly professional, honest, decent, and law-abiding---a place for genuine learning that securely housed Brattleboro's historical records, books, and treasures.
The old Brooks Library did not serve any dishonest and hostile political agenda, complete with the "Five Year Plan", nor did it ever target for outsourcing, every major historic collection that it kept in trust for the Town of Brattleboro, or to split, fragment, disappear, or cannibalize the collections entrusted to it, or to give well-placed "gifts" for the benefit of very special friends and superior "citizens".
The old Brooks Library did not collaborate with that predatory and uncontrolled group masquerading as a genuine local "historical society" acting like any backstreet "chop shop", or as a private auction house without ethics in pilfering documents and cases of nineteenth-century artifacts from the local Town Clerk's office, especially during 1993.
These cases contained West Brattleboro Society notices, the extensive Brattleboro Academy files, land records, an original handwritten charter, early town tax grand lists, company letterheads, bills, stamped envelopes, and the lengthy, red-wax sealed James Elliot - Aaron Burr correspondence from 1804.
The greatest advantage for the correct enforcers here in this particular swindle lies not in the fairly negligible damage done to Aaron Burr scholarship, and not even in the capturing of a fine trophy for collectors and "experts", but rather in destroying the chance for all students and researchers to find in this small attic corner of Brattleboro history, any worth, pride, or joy in discovery.
The old Brooks Library did not completely destroy the card catalogue system at its heart, with its irreplaceable history, along with the rich, documented provenance it contained for its valuable rare book collections. The original Brooks Library was honest, and consequently did not need to destroy any potential and inconvenient "paper trails" inherent in the catalogue system---which represented hundreds, even thousands of hours of labor by former, honest librarians.
The old Brooks Library did not hire staff that was willing to tear out lithographs and pages from rare, one hundred fifty year old Brattleboro booklets.
The old Brooks Library did not approve this group finessing access, with the collaboration of a "church historian" with long-standing and glaring conflicts of interest, to the local church funds, bequests, historic ledgers, portraits, colonial Bibles, the Mrs. Sarah Goodhue family Bible, and antique sets now in several private collections, or simply gone missing.
The old Brooks Library did not constantly commit acts of "vandalization through restoration"---such as the grotesque, barbaric destruction by scissors and razor blades, of thousands upon thousands of rare and irreplaceable antique newspapers upwards of one hundred and fifty years old.
Newspapers in perfect condition, or with only slight, superficial, and negligible acidification---an entirely natural process---were never consigned to the butcher's block under this or any other convenient false pretext, such as "aged", or "lack of space", or dismissed as useless "duplicates", with the resulting ugly slashed mess callously called "the scraps" and sent to total destruction.
When the original Friday, July 2, 1880 Windham County Reformer was slashed to pieces and dropped in the wastebasket, with the razor blade left lying out on the local history room table, the old Brooks Library would have summarily dismissed the perpetrator.
Sixty years ago, workers in Brattleboro history did not make sport with relics in impromptu and physically destructive games, such as shuffleboard in the Municipal Building hallway, or play wastepaper bucket basketball repeatedly with the 1840's antique taken from the Brattleboro museum.
The game "hang the wash" with antiques was not acceptable then in Brattleboro. Century-old newspapers bound into volumes were not turned into coloring books. The "musical chairs" game was not played anywhere with antiques in order to facilitate their silent disposal or sale.
Nor were historic things defaced and permanently damaged with excessive, unnecessary, inappropriate, and crude use of abrasive household cleansers, heat, paint, opaque tape, scissors, stickers, lead pencils, and large ink stamps, and careless folding. Scrawling large numbers on the autographed flyleaf of Jacob Estey's personal Bible was never a possibility.
Statuary was not smashed, then later sprayed with experimental, permanently yellow-staining chemicals. Interior and exterior architecture was not wantonly, needlessly drilled. Book bindings were not broken and antique patinas were not completely stripped away.
Unique eighteenth-century documents that were confiscated from the Town Clerk's office---including items broken from the complete set of grand lists, over two hundred years old and always in the possession of the Brattleboro town clerks---were not handled with heavy coffeecake grease-soaked fingers.
Misinformation was not provided concerning the colonial Seth Smith house on Western Avenue. No misleading photographs were published and promoted in the real estate brochure for West Brattleboro's historic Levi Goodenough farm. There was no completely unfounded fantasy about a non-existent "Underground Railroad" house on High Street.
The lack of moral red lights, the political failure to recognize the concept of private property, and the practicality of "Thou shalt not steal", in the greater Brattleboro history arena, has produced some strange violations of common sense, has subjected all to the debilitating effects of petty bookkeepers, and has rewarded the collectors who fail to appreciate the true worth of historic objects, beyond any simple value as political trophy, toy, or treasure trove.
The old Brooks Library did not exploit local churches, nor did it accept and inappropriately spend any funds derived from any bequest that specifically designated as the beneficiary, another library in a local church. This library did not allow the covert removal of twenty or thirty antique Bibles from its large collection.
The old Brooks Library understood that moral standards and objective truth exist. This helped librarians to work in an atmosphere of trust. All was open and completely accessible---the Loud Collection, its records, and especially its strictly accurate, stable, and published accession lists, and the minutes of all the Trustees' Meetings which concerned these things. All library trustees were well known in Brattleboro by their real names.
The old Brooks Library never enforced any arrogant, hidden, and hate-driven political agenda. There was no systematic political or religious censorship, shoddy "surveys", unwarranted encouragement of library patron informers, or repulsive gong-show style trivia contests in mockery of genuine learning effort. There was no jeering, anti-Christian pornography.
The old Brooks Library did not allow "mentors" to borrow entire collections for unspecified periods of time, running into years, until caught and forced to return what remained. There were no brutally ignorant and ugly, desecrating attacks made on local history, honesty, and Christian sensibility and traditions by the self-appointed culture masters. The old Brooks Library did not set foxes to guard the chickens, let alone the entire henhouse.
The Historical Society of Windham County's museum at Newfane will hopefully defend itself more skillfully than Brattleboro has so far, when this predatory group begins to range more widely for forage in the coming year 2015.
Hopefully Newfane will be spared from being slowly hollowed out from inside by the re-accessioning, ransacking, and relentlessly hostile looting game played by the unscrupulous who have decreed local history to be not politically correct, not sustainable, and ready for liquidation from the Brattleboro show village.
The sacking of the old Brooks Library building, and the subsequent praying mantis-like steady feeding on its collections, are now accomplished, and only the triumphant third act remains. Brattleboro still needs to protect its own local history. Will it finally recognize the destructive excesses made by these cultural Marxist prodigies? Will Brattleboro always wring its hands and say?
It is important to remember, or only just to imagine, the old Brooks Library that truly respected Brattleboro history and its traditions---to remember, in the hopes that in the future such a library may one day be established again, called possibly, as formerly, the "Brattleboro Free Library", worthy of its name, and our trust.
"There are few men on the street who will not miss his ready hands and ready wit."
Vermont Phoenix, June 22, 1877.
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.
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.
Drawing For Boxwood Block Engraving 1873
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
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".
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.
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.
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
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.
Credit is required, by name, for the real historians of Brattleboro, for those who did the real work and research. This list is partial, and mindful for those not present---
William Henry Wells
Dr. James Conland
Maj. Frederick W. Childs
Abby Estey Fuller
Henry M. Burt
Hon. Hoyt Henry Wheeler
Joseph Steen, Esq.
Stephen Greenleaf, Jr.
Hon. James Elliot
Charles Kellogg Field, Esq.
Gen. John Wolcott Phelps
Rev. Joseph Chandler
Rev. James Eastwood
Harry R. Lawrence
Charles C. Frost
Hon. James M. Tyler
Charles F. Thompson
Rev. Nathaniel Mighill
Col. William Austine
Gov. Levi K. Fuller
William H. Bigelow
Larkin G. Mead, Esq.
Grace Bailey Dunklee
Charles R. Crosby
Rev. Harry R. Miles
Mary Palmer Tyler
Rev. Charles O. Day
Franklin H. Wheeler
Dr. Joseph Draper
Starr Willard Cutting
Rev. Addison Brown
Gov. Frederick C. Holbrook
William E. Ryther
Hon. Kittredge Haskins
Daniel B. Stedman
Charles E. Crane
Rev. Lewis Grout
Hamilton B. Childs
Hon. Broughton Davis Harris
Charles N. Davenport
Annie L. Grout
Rev. John C. Holbrook
Daniel Stewart Pratt
Rev. Hosea Beckley
Rev. Frank T. Pomeroy
Rev. George Leon Walker
Thomas C. Mann
Samuel Storrow Higginson
From Sketches During July-August 1829
Edward Sanborn's Class For Theorem Painting
Brattleboro Messenger, June 26, 1829 Advertisement
Alvan Fisher was possibly teaching at Edward Sanborn's private school for two months. His skill with decorating carriages and finishing commercial signs would be welcome in any class for the traditional American folk art of stencil painting.
Thomas Easterly, Daguerreotype Taken 1844-5
Thomas Martin Easterly was born in Guilford, Vermont to Tunis and Philomela Easterly on October 31, 1809. Easterly first taught calligraphy and penmanship, residing in Montpelier, Vermont from October 1835 through the following April, with customers such as E. P. Walton.
With an extensive practice by 1838, and teaching practical business handwriting chiefly at the blackboard in the High School Hall in Brattleboro, Easterly bought a house in November 1839 just north of the mill pond at lower Main Street, that he sold finally in September 1841 to the papermaker Nathan Woodcock.
Thomas Easterly then learned the daguerreotype process in New York, possibly with Charles and Richard Meade, and spent 1844 in New Orleans in business. He returned to Brattleboro in 1845, taking his views from the summit of Wantastiquet, but by October he was established in Iowa, soon taking daguerreotypes of Plains Indians.
In frontier St. Louis, Missouri, Easterly opened a daguerreotype studio on the corner of Fourth and Olive Streets, near where the St. Louis Arch stands today. His mastery of the daguerreotype is apparent even in his earliest known works.
taken June 18th 1847 at 9 o'clock P. M. By T. M. Easterly
St. Louis, Mo.
Self Portrait In Daguerreotype 1855
Silver-Plated Copper Base, 1/6 Plate Size
Taken At His Cutler's Block Studio On Main Street
Courtesy Of Gunter Mueller, VinimagePlus, vinimageplus.com
In May 1856 John L. Lovell took an ambrotype glassplate view of Brattleboro from a location about one-third of the way up Wantastiquet. This ambrotype was engraved by John H. Bufford, Lithography, 313 Washington Street, in Boston. John Batchelder of Boston published this lithograph for sale in August 1856.
Centre Congregational Church, Unitarian Church, Central School
John Lovell's ambrotype here shows the Centre Congregational Church with its chapel built in 1854 and its horse sheds in back, with its steeple still placed within the church, ten years before the tempest that toppled it. Also seen is the Universalist Church, and the Central School.
The Asahel Clapp house, the Connecticut River boathouse, and the narrow track that became Grove Street, are all captured by the lens and the long glassplate exposure which ambrotype required in 1856.
Another detail shows the Central School, and north from it the residence of Daniel P. Kingsley, which was later owned by Phillip Wells, then by Gen. John W. Phelps. Ferdinand Tyler's house stands next north. Asher Spencer's house stands at the corner of Walnut Street, with poplar trees nearby---
Bradley Farm, Asylum Cemetery Woods, North Main Street, Asa Keyes House
Years later this lithograph was described with all the changes that had taken place in over thirty years---
---Frost & Proctor's window has this week the focus of a good deal of interest. The reason was the appearance there of an old lithograph of Brattleboro, John Batchelder artist, and published by the Buffords in 1856. It shows a very small village as compared to the present. Esteyville was a pasture, Prospect Hill, "Spauldings Pine Woods" as it was called then, a forest, the Chapin district of couse was open, there was no Oak street, no Grove or Tyler, or Brook, or Forest or Frost streets, no Harris Place, not a house on Terrace street and only five houses in all that section between Walnut and North Main streets, no houses on High street or Western Avenue north of the Unitarian parsonage, nothing in all that section now occupied by Mechanics Square, only two on Birge street, nothing where the Estey shops, the Smith & Hunt and the Carpenter works now stand, nothing but four houses on Flat street, no Episcopal church, no gas house.
The village consisted of the Canal and Clark street, the Elliot, Green and High, and the Main and North Main street districts with little tendrils running out Chase and Walnut streets. One of the prominent landmarks in those days was the "bowling alley" kept by Josh Clark and set on stilts 25 or 30 feet high on the river bank, about back of the Congregational church, and reached by a stairway from Main street. In those days our moral sentiment couldn't tolerate such a resort and it had to get into New Hampshire jurisdiction.
Another interesting relic is a slave driver's whip, which a runaway negro presented to the late Chas C. Frost in the days before the war. Mr. Frost, who was an ardent abolitionist, kept a sort of station for the "underground railway," and the fugitive slaves, being lodged at Greenfield, would be forwarded to him, he would feed and lodge them and pay their way to the next friend north. It was a work that had to be conducted very secretly, and few citizens knew much about it even then; but large numbers of the unfortunates were befriended by him in this way.
Windham County Reformer, May 22, 1891.
Main Street 1854
Daguerreotype By John L. Lovell
John Lyman Lovell instructed his student George Harper Houghton in the art of the daguerreotype for three years, beginning in 1852. George Houghton's well-known photograph of Main Street looking north was taken a decade later, with the camera placed in the upper-floor window of the large brick house of Anthony Van Doorn, seen at the left in Lovell's 1854 daguerreotype.
The large house at the right was built by Elihu Hotchkiss late in the eighteenth century. His nephew, Elihu Hotchkiss Thomas---Brattleboro's first daguerreotypist---may have sold his images by "the pencil of nature" here, beginning in March 1841, or at his brick shop six rods south from the Whetstone bridge---
John Lyman Lovell eventually sold his premises to Jeremiah D. Wells and Frederick N. Kneeland of Northampton, Massachusetts, praising their skill and gentlemanly manner.
Reed's Hill Seen From Main Street
Caleb Lysander Howe
View West From Brattleboro Common
Caleb L. Howe Photograph, Attributed To 1854
Lithograph By Fred Meyer & Co., N. Y. 1861
Mary A. Butterfield
Married January 10, 1867 To Lucien A. Elmer
Mary Butterfield was the daughter of Franklin Butterfield and Mary Holland, who lived on a farm on Wickopee Hill in Dummerston. C. L. Howe's photograph shows the "woman of quiet, gentle nature".
Caleb L. Howe & Sons Photograph July 1879
Baptist Church With North Tower Only
St. Michael's Episcopal Church
Centre Congregational Church With New Chapel
Gravel Pit Above Railroad Tracks
Woman Walking South Along Meadow Lane, Later Oak Street
Old High School, Far Right, Wing On South Side
John C. Howe
George Harper Houghton
Civil War Camp At Brattleboro In 1861
First Vermont Volunteers
George Harper Houghton, In Detail, Photographer
George H. Houghton's Late 1866 Photograph
George Houghton's Main Street Photograph takes a well-known 1866 glassplate negative photograph which shows the view north from the Anthony Van Doorn house, and enlarges different areas within it to reveal its heretofore hidden, magnificent details---
August 26, 1864
Celebration For The Seventh Vermont Regiment
August 26, 1864
George Houghton's Photograph
The regiment arrived in Brattleboro at 11 o'clock A. M. on the 26th of Aug. It formed in line and marched through Main street to the field at the north end of the village, where it was reviewed. . .After the speech, the regiment was marched back to the Town Hall, where it was welcomed to a collation by the town of Brattleboro. . .
Vermont Phoenix, September 2, 1864.
This photograph shows the flags at the Town Hall, the Revere House, the Brattleboro House, the old Steen's Corner, and in the foreground, the hitching posts, rail and chain link fence bordering the St. Michael's Episcopal Church yard. Also seen here are men and boys in various activities, including a young player on the recorder, the harp, or the penny whistle.
Revere House, Brattleboro House, Steen's Corner
George Harper Houghton is remembered for his photographs taken during the Peninsular Campaign in Virginia, in the War Between the States, following the 2nd Vermont Regiment to Camp Griffin in November 1861, and to Wolf Run Shoals in April 1863.
In Brattleboro, Houghton photographed scores of veterans during June 1864 with the return of the 8th Vermont Regiment to Brattleboro, during August 1864 with the Seventh Vermont Regiment, in September 1864 with the Fourth Vermont Regiment, and for years before---
Meeting House Hill, Round Mountain
Fort Dummer Site, Fieldstone Foundation, Northwest Corner
Walter Harrington Excavation At Low Water
The Former Higginson Family Cottage On Asylum Street
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Una Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau Were Here
Vermont Asylum For The Insane
Stereoscope, J. G. Lawrence, Northampton, Massachusetts
West River Road - Sunrise On Black Mountain
Vermont Valley Rail Road
Engine "Brattleboro" In 1869
Suspension Bridge At High Water In April 1909
First Baptist Church
From Henry M. Burt's 1874
Guide Through The Connecticut Valley To The White Mountains
Woolen Mill Built In 1847
Elliot, Union, Williams, Flat, Birge Streets
Former Civil War Pest House In Foreground Used As Bleachery
Connecticut River Bridge In May 1902
Large Pines In Prospect Hill Cemetery
Loggers' Camp On The Island About 1907
Tents, Fire Smoke
View From The Bridge
Depot Street On The Connecticut River 1921
Two Rowboats Moored At Railed Dock
Benjamin A. Crown Photograph
Depot Street About 1913
Granite Block, Main Street 1840
Road To Vernon
Looking Down Bridge Street In 1869
Valley Mill Company, William Dutton's Obelisks, Estey Factory
Carriage Works On Lower Canal Street
Whetstone In Summer Seen From The Crib Dam
Charles C. Frost House
Covered Bridges On The Island
Old Road To Guilford
Flat Street About 1909
Albert "Bert" F. Poole, Lithographer
Esteyville, In Detail, Circa 1883-1884
Centre Congregational Church
Town Hall 1905
Ornamental Quoins, Porte Cochere, Williston Block Windows
Dr. Arms D. Putnam
First Baptist Church, Francis Goodhue House
Repairing The Centreville Dam 1869
Ozias L. Miner
His Farm Is Now Living Memorial Park
Old High School About 1900
Clapp & Jones Company Post Card
Covered Bridge Near Broad Brook On The Vernon Road
Elm Street Iron Bridge In 1911
Albert W. Rockwell, Herbert S. Sherwin
Rockwell & Sherwin's Carriage And Sleigh Manufactory
Bridge Opened On Saturday, May 26, 1888.
Captain William S. Brooks
Oil On Canvas, About 1832, By Joseph Wheeler
Upper Forest Street
Photograph 1911 By Porter C. Thayer
Used By Permission From Porter Thayer Collection - University Of Vermont
Western Avenue, Near Allerton
July 21, 1958
Wesselhoeft Water Cure
Frank Harris House, Larkin G. Mead House, Main Street East Side
Main Street, Early 1865
Willis Bemis' Express Office In 1865
Formerly Jonathan Hunt's Law Office
Gardner C. Hall's House Built 1826, Dr. Charles Chapin's Residence
The Willis Bemis Express Office, Corner Main Street And High Street In 1865
Formerly The Law Office Of Jonathan Hunt
Church On The Common 1816 Dedication Service
Rutherford Hayes Tavern
West River Bridges
Walk Your Horse
The Vermont Phoenix
When the proprietors and editors of the fledgling Vermont Phoenix newspaper moved into their Main Street offices in 1834, they named their enterprise after the building's former residents---the Phoenix Lottery.
The name of the Phoenix Lottery came from the notion that if you hit the lottery, then your splendid new life would rise from the ashes of your old life---just like the fabled phoenix rises anew every five hundred years from its own nested pyre, fretted with rue and cinnabar.
Vermont Phoenix, Thursday, April 16, 1846
First Railroad Station 1849
Thomas Chubbuck Engraving
Lithograph From D. A. Henry Photograph
Henry C. Nash's Livery Stable
Former "Chapel On Elliot Street"
Centre Congregational Church, Williston Block 1907
Main Street In 1923
South Main Street Hill
Steam Train Northbound
From The Old Brooks Library
Indenture Deed For Thomas Everett, John Drummond, Ralph Etwall
Dated June 11, 1792
In Original Frame
This Indenture made the Eleventh day of June in the thirty second year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord George the third by the Grace of God of Great Britain France and Ireland King Defender of the Faith and so forth and in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred ninety two
Thomas Everett and John Drummond were Members of Parliament, Ludgershall, County of Wiltshire. Ralph Etwall was an attorney from Andover who held corporate posts of bailiff, town chamberlain, and town clerk.
Enrico Meneghelli, Italian Interior
From The Charles A. And Henrietta M. Loud Collection, Brooks Library
Chesterfield Road Over Connecticut River In 1937
John Burnham's Brass Foundry
Caleb Lysander Howe Photograph
John Burnham made brass pumps for the new-fangled windmills, and fashioned coin silver spoons from Spanish-milled dollars---six dollars to the spoon. From a nugget discovered in Williamsville in Newfane, Burnham cast a gold ring.
The shadows on the front of the building show that the sun is almost directly overhead on a summer day. Had Caleb Howe capped the lens five minutes later, the shadow falling from the roof eave would have dropped, to reveal the words painted on the lower part of the board.
Hall's Long Building
Lower Main Street In 1907
Tichnor Brothers, Boston, Post Card
Whetstone In Winter
Charles C. Frost's House On Flat Street
Main Street At Ten Forty-Five
Groceries - Meats
Lewis R. Brown
Columbus Day Parade, Friday, October 21, 1892
Advance Of The School Division
Republican Club Banner For Benjamin Harrison And Whitelaw Reid
Isaac N. Thorn's Gilt Mortar And Pestle Pharmacy Log Pole Sign
Windham County Artifact
Thirty-two Inches In Height
Possibly From A Windham County Fair
Carriage Road Down From The Summit
Post Card Photograph
Authorized By Act Of Congress Of May 19, 1898
Estey Organ Company, Birge Street
Charles R. Simonds' Public Coupe In 1894
Possibly On The Brattleboro Common
Adin French Styles Stereoscopic View From Prospect Street
Elliot Street, Circa Summer 1864 To Summer 1869
Orion Clark's Barber Shop At Right
Horse Auction, After 1884
Isaac N. Thorn's Mortar And Pestle Drugs Sign At Corner
Brattleboro Free Library, 1905
Benjamin Crown's Main Street Photograph Series, Spring 1918
Frederick W. Kuech & Co., Ernest E. Perry & Co.
F. W. Woolworth & Co., Huntress-Adams & Co.
James Capen House, Far Left, And Prospect Hill Cemetery
Detail From Wood Block Engraving, 1860
Summoned Windham County Draftees
Benjamin Crown Photograph, May 1918
Brattleboro Drug Co.
Drive Slowly To The Right
Benjamin Crown's May 1918 Photographs In Detail
Linden Lodge In 1909
Fourth Vermont Regiment Returns Saturday, September 24, 1864
Brigadier Surgeon Edward Elisha Phelps
Surgeon In Charge
Military Hospital At Brattleboro, Vermont
Civil War Monument On Original 1906 Location With Flag Enclosure
Horse Paddocks And Sheds In Background
Clock Face Inside Steeple, Centre Congregational Church
Sign Of The Watch And Spoon
Corner Main And High Streets
Baptist Church, Fountain, Stone and Wood Post Fence
Photograph By George Harper Houghton In Autumn 1866
Levi Austin Dowley's 1856 House On Asylum Street
Road Through Pines North From Cascade Brook
Carriage Shop, Unitarian Church
George Harper Houghton, Photographer
Mary Howe, Brattleboro Pageant, 1912
After Singing "Home, Sweet Home"
The Old Grist Mill
Brewster, Massachusetts, Cape Cod
Photograph By Laura Burnham Hainsworth Of Pittsfield, Massachusetts
William St. John With Family Genealogy Chart
William St. John, Westinghouse Electric Patent
Fine Wire Drawing Furnace, November 23, 1954