Table Of Contents
Formerly Hines, Newman & Hunt Machine Shop In 1852
Sign Over Door Says Black-Smith
John Putnam's Island Toll House In Distance
Photograph Probably By David A. Henry
Post cards, Daguerreotypes, Lithographs, Stereoscopes, Paintings
Brattleboro Photographs 2
Brattleboro Photographs 3
Brattleboro Photographs 4
Brattleboro Photographs 5
Brattleboro Photographs 6
Brattleboro Photographs 7
Brattleboro Photographs 8
Brattleboro Photogrpahs 9
Brattleboro Photographs 10
Brattleboro Photographs 11
Brattleboro Photographs 12
Brattleboro Photographs 13
Mrs. Mary E. Kirkland's Boarding House
Akeley & Houghton Photographers
Root's Island, Covered Bridge
Carriage Road, Covered Bridge, Dorman B. Eaton's Cottage
East Side Of Main 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.
Womens' Group In Bleachers Are Wives Of Vermont Wheel Club Members
(Purple And White Their Colors)
George A. Briggs, Wholesale & Retail
Brattleboro Directory Advertisement
Learning To Pay Attention
George Harper Houghton, Photographer
Hall's Long Building 1849
Formerly The Post Office
Cabinet Card By Caleb Lysander Howe
Estey Wagon Passing By
J. B. Beers Atlas 1876
Baptist Church, Fountain, Stone and Wood Post Fence
Carriage Shop, Unitarian Church
After Singing "Home, Sweet Home"
Mrs. Denslow M. Stockwell
Estey Organ Dedication Sunday, September 11, 1927
Forty-Three Star Flags, Estey Guard Detachment Presenting Arms
"The heavy rain of Friday had brightened the foliage and grass, making everything fresh and beautiful, and though the morning of Memorial day was threatening, it cleared away and the afternoon was pleasant."
Flooding From The Vernon Dam In April 1909
Photograph By George Harper Houghton In Autumn 1866
Brattleboro Street 5 Railway Company
Valley Fair 1897
First Railroad Station With Approaching Train
Estey Factory In Future Plaza Park
From Sketches During July-August 1829
Alvan Fisher was probably 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.
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.
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.
Credit is required for the real historians of Brattleboro, for those who did the real work and research, that their names may not be entirely forsaken by residential heirs. 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
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.
Inside "The House of the Seven Gables", Nathaniel Hawthorne concealed a short story which shows the persecution, trial, and execution of Hepzibah Pyncheon as a witch. This execution story is broken up into paragraphs, sentences, and phrases, and scattered into the text of the ongoing romance. These scattered pieces are re-assembled here. They reveal the cruel old Salem witchcraft story that Nathaniel Hawthorne wished to conceal from eyes more innocent than his own.
Hawthorne very carefully builds up a demonic aura about Hepzibah: "she expected to minister to the wants of the community, unseen, like a disembodied divinity, or enchantress, holding forth her bargains to the reverential and awe-stricken purchaser, in an invisible hand. . . She now issued forth, as would appear, to defend the entrance, looking, we must needs say, amazingly like the dragon which, in fairy tales, is wont to be the guardian over an enchanted beauty."
Satan calls Hepzibah---"She was suddenly startled by the tinkling alarum---high, sharp, and irregular---of a little bell. The maiden lady arose upon her feet, as pale as a ghost at cock-crow; for she was an enslaved spirit, and this the talisman to which she owed obedience." This "ugly and spiteful little din" betrays the appearance of Satan---
"But, at this instant, the shop-bell, right over her head, tinkled as if it were bewitched. The old gentlewoman's heart seemed to be attached to the same steel-spring; for it went through a series of sharp jerks, in unison with the sound. The door was thrust open, although no human form was perceptible on the other side of the half-window. Hepzibah, nevertheless, stood at a gaze, with her hands clasped, looking very much as if she had summoned up an evil spirit and were afraid, yet resolved, to hazard the encounter."
"Heaven help me! she groaned mentally. Now is my hour of need!"
Satan has come to tempt his servant with the riches of the world, in an American version of the temptation of Christ during his forty days in the Wilderness: "Some malevolent spirit, doing his utmost to drive Hepzibah mad, unrolled before her imagination a kind of panorama, representing the great thoroughfare of a city, all astir with customers. So many and so magnificent shops as there were!" The Pyncheon cent shop is very poor.
Hepzibah has "a sense of inevitable doom" about her nearsighted frown, or scowl, for good reason. This "scowl---a strange contortion of the brow---which, by people who did not know her, would probably have been interpreted as an expression of bitter anger and ill-will" has "done Miss Hepzibah a very ill-office, in establishing her character as an ill-tempered old maid. . .The custom of the shop fell off, because a story got abroad that she soured her small beer and other damageable commodities, by scowling on them." Moreover, in "her great life-trial. . . the testimony in regard to her scowl was frightfully important."
The laboring man Dixey testifies against her in his rough voice, "Why, her face---I've seen it; for I dug her garden for her, one year---her face is enough to frighten Old Nick himself, if he had ever so great a mind to trade with her. People can't stand it, I tell you! She scowls dreadfully, reason or none, out of pure ugliness of temper!"
One Mrs. Gubbins also condemns Hepzibah. Hawthorne describes this demonic neighbor: "there came a fat woman. . . Her face glowed with fire-heat; and, it being a pretty warm morning, she bubbled and hissed, as it were, as if all a-fry with chimney-warmth, and summer-warmth, and the warmth of her own corpulent velocity." She angrily jarred and outraged the shop bell, muttered, "The deuce take Old Maid Pyncheon!" and "took her departure, still brimming over with hot wrath".
Judge Pyncheon tells Hepzibah that he has arranged to have Clifford's "deportment and habits constantly and carefully overlooked"---in order to persecute him more effectively. "The butcher, the baker, the fishmonger, some of the customers of your shop, and many a prying old woman, have told me several of the secrets of your interior."
When both Clifford and the Judge die, in the concealed narrative, these eyewitnesses will accuse Hepzibah. She is accused specifically of the murder of Jaffrey Pyncheon, since the Judge died in her parlor. The "good lady on the opposite side of the street" will be there at the trial to explain that "there's been a quarrel between him and Hepzibah, this many a day, because he won't give her a living. That's the main reason of her setting up a cent-shop."
Dixey will be there to implicate Clifford in the murder as well--- "A certain cousin of his may have been at his old tricks. And Old Maid Pyncheon having got herself in debt by the cent-shop---and the Judge's pocket-book being well-filled---and bad blood amongst them already! Put all these things together, and see what they make!"
As one of the Judge's spies, the butcher assaults the House of the Seven Gables, prying about "every accessible door" and the window in his attempts to get a glimpse of Clifford. He sees the Judge himself sitting in the parlor---dead---and thinks that it is Clifford, whom he curses as "Old Maid Pyncheon's bloody brother."
Hawthorne's literary duplicity here convinces the unwary reader that the butcher's motive is his desire to please Hepzibah with "his sweetbread of lamb". In Hawthorne's concealed story, however, Clifford is the lamb sacrificed to the spying butcher's greed for Judge Pyncheon's bribe money.
The chapter called "The Flight of Two Owls" is filled with allusions to death and mortality. It records Hepzibah's sensations on her way to the place of execution and to that "gimlet-eyed" gentleman who will kill her. This acerbic old gentleman thinks that the newly invented telegraph is a great thing, "particularly as regards the detection of bank-robbers and murderers. . ." Hawthorne describes his gimlet eye, which traditionally could bore into a person to cause paralysis or death.
There was "a moral sensation, mingling itself with the physical chill, and causing her to shake more in spirit than in body" and "the wretched consciousness of being adrift. She had lost the faculty of self-guidance". As they went on, the feeling of indistinctness and unreality kept dimly hovering roundabout her, and so diffusing itself into her system that one of her hands was hardly palpable to the touch of the other". She whispered to herself, again and again---"Am I awake?---Am I awake?"
And "the bell rang out its hasty peal, so well expressing the brief summons which life vouchsafes to us, in its hurried career. . .At a little distance stood a wooden church, black with age, and in a dismal state of ruin and decay, with broken windows, a great rift through the main-body of the edifice, and a rafter dangling from the top of the square tower". Hepzibah Pyncheon will be executed as a witch near Salem's Gallows Hill.
The final scene is a deliberate parallel to the execution of Matthew Maule at the beginning of The House of the Seven Gables. Unlike Maule, Hepzibah does not curse the Pyncheons. Still, it is very difficult for Hepzibah to pray---"she lifted her eyes---scowling, poor, dim-sighted Hepzibah, in the face of Heaven!---and strove hard to send up a prayer through the dense, gray pavement of clouds."
"Those mists had gathered, as if to symbolize a great, brooding mass of human trouble, doubt, confusion, and chill indifference. . . Her faith was too weak; the prayer too heavy to be thus uplifted. It fell back, a lump of lead, upon her heart". Hepzibah's prayer on the isolated railroad platform at the end of the familiar version of "The Flight of Two Owls" is, in reality, her final petition---
"She knelt down upon the platform where they were standing, and lifted her clasped hands to the sky. The dull, gray weight of clouds made it invisible; but it was no hour for disbelief; ---no juncture this, to question that there was a sky above, and an Almighty Father looking down from it!"
"Oh, God!"---ejaculated poor, gaunt Hepzibah---then paused a moment, to consider what her prayer should be---"Oh, God---our Father---are we not thy children? Have mercy on us!"
Then "the signal was given;" and suffering "short, quick breaths". . ."With all her might, she had staggered onward beneath the burden. . . Indeed, she had not energy to fling it down, but only ceased to uphold it, and suffered it to press her to the earth".
Hepzibah Pyncheon's execution seems to be a literary description of carrying a cross, combined with suffering the "peine forte et dure"---pressing under planks with stones piled on gradually. This punishment was intended not to kill, but to extract a pleading, or possibly a confession. But beyond a certain weight, the crushing caused a lingering death.
The hidden and scattered quotations that are re-assembled here, may be found in The House of the Seven Gables, Volume 2 of "The Centenary Edition of the Works of Nathaniel Hawthorne", Edited by William Charvat, Roy Harvey Pearce, and Claude Simpson (Columbus, Ohio: Ohio State University Press, 1965). See pages 33-4, 40, 41, 42, 47, 48-9, 126, 223-4, 236, 245, 253, 255, 256, 264, 266, 267, 288-9, 291-2, and 296.
The concealed narrative causes the smooth surface line of Hawthorne's romance to lurch sometimes, and there are occasionally strange descriptions, and unaccountably awkward juxtapositions of sentences. One critic notes that "there are gaps in the plot through which a herd of rhinos could comfortably graze. . .". Hawthorne is so skilled in anticipating his readers' innocent expectations, that his true story remains hidden. The unwary reader sees only the charming, sunny, "blue-eyed" Nathaniel Hawthorne, casting his curiously "happy ending" over "The House of the Seven Gables".