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Orange County

 Bradford Historical Society

Woods Academy Building, 172 North Main Street, Bradford, VT
Mailing Address: 67 Summer Street, Bradford, VT 05033
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
Phone: 802-222-4011

Karen DeRosa, curator, 802-222-4011 or Lawrence Coffin, president, This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

There is a museum of local interest in the old Academy Building (1893), now used as the town hall and other offices. Collections include costumes, documents, photographs, schoolbooks, farm tools, and souvenirs of local businesses.

Hours and Admission: March - December: Friday, 10:00 a.m. - noon, or by appointment. The museum is handicapped accessible by elevator.

   Wait’s River, the principal stream in the town, enters it from the west in two branches, and passing through, in an easterly direction, empties into Connecticut River, affording a number of valuable mill privileges.  Halls’s Brook and Roaring Brook, are considerable streams, which enter the town from Newbury and pass through the corner of it into the Connecticut.  Smaller streams are numerous, and several medicinal springs have been discovered, but are of little note.  The surface of the town is somewhat broken. 

   A handsome and fertile strip of intervale skirts Connecticut River, and there is much good land in other parts.  There is no waste land with the exception of thirty or forty acres on Wright’s Mountain.  In the north-west part of the town is situated Wrights’s Mountain, sometimes, erroneously called Virgin Mountain.  In this mountain is a cavern called the Devil’s Den, which has several apartments, and is through to have been the abode of human beings.  In the east part of the town is a considerable precipice called Rowell’s Ledge.  The timber is principally pine, sugar maple, oak, beech, and hemlock.  Bradford Academy was incorporated and the building erected in 1820.  It has a male and female department, with permanent teachers.  The school is in a flourishing condition.  The yearly attendance is about 200. 

   Boundaries.  North by Newbury, east by Connecticut River, which separates it from Piermont, N.H., south by Fairlee, and west by Fairlee. 

   First Settlers.  Three thousand acres of this town, lying on Connecticut River, were granted by New York to Sir Harry Moore, and by him conveyed to thirty settlers.  The rest of the land was taken up by pitches.  The town was first called Moretown, but was altered to Bradford by an act of the legislature passed Oct. 243, 1788.  The settlement of the town was commenced by John Hosmer in 1765, near the mouth of Wait’s River.  He was joined the next year by Samuel Sleeper and Benoni Wright, and in 1771 the number of families in town amounted to ten.  The first grist mill was erected by John Peters in 1772 at the falls near the mouth of Wait’s River, and the first saw mill by Benjamin Baldwin in 1774. 

   First Ministers.  The first meeting-house in town was built in 1791, by the Baptists under Elder Rice.  A meeting-house was built by the Congregationalists in 1793, who settled the Rev. Gardner Kellogg in 1795. 

   Manufacturers.   At the falls in Wait’s River, which afford some of the best mill privileges in the State, is a furnace for casting ploughs, stoves, etc, whetstone factories, machine shops, and an extensive paper mill.  On Wait’s River, about two miles above the village, are manufactures of woollens and other goods.  The first artificial globes ever manufactured in the United States, were made her about the year 1812, by Mr. James Wilson. 

   Distances.  Thirty miles south southeast from Montpelier, and eleven south south-east from Chelsea. 

(Gazetteer of Vermont, by John Hayward, 1849, p. 29-30) 


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