In 1759 Col. Ephraim Doolittle and his detachment under General Amherst (in the French and Indian War) were ordered to cut a corduroy road from Fort #4 in Charlestown, NH to the shore of Lake Champlain across from the fort at Crown Point, NY. When they got over toward the Lake, they thought the ground looked fertile and the rolling hills would be perfect for a settlement. Doolittle went back to Worcester, MA, his hometown, and got investors to put up money for a town charter. The land was to be divided among the grantees (investors) along with
“...one share reserved for the Incorporation for the propagation of the Gospel in Foreign parts; one share for the Glebe for the Church of England; one share for the first settled minister of the Gospel; and one share for the benefit of a school in said town.”
He had enough for two charters which were obtained on Oct. 8, 1761—Bridport and Shoreham. (The original charter can be seen in the Town Clerk’s office.) Click to read more...
No settlement was started here till the summer of 1766 when a group of 14 men came up, built a small cabin at the base of Mutton Hill near the spring (cellar hole is in Gerard Sabourin’s pasture) and began clearing land. They all went back to Worcester for the winter, except for Paul Moore and Elijah Kellogg. The next year some of the men came up to continue and brought their families. All of them, but Paul Moore, cleared out when the Revolution broke out. Still a bachelor, he continued hunting and trapping. He was captured twice by the Indians(see the History of the Town of Shoreham, Vermont by Josiah Goodhue, for Moore’s fascinating story).
Because of its location, Shoreham was instrumental in the capture of Fort Ticonderoga by the Green Mountain Boys on May 10, 1775.
Settlement began in earnest in 1783. The main settlement was on Lot 37 where Shoreham Village is located. Hamlets also developed at Larrabee’s Point, Cream Hill, East Shoreham, Richville (later officially changed to Shoreham Center in 1911), and Shacksbury. Almost like mini-towns, they contained schools, stores, churches, and post offices. As transportation improved the services shifted to Shoreham Village. The post office at Cream Hill was discontinued in 1904, that at Larrabee’s Point in 1918, and both East Shoreham and Shoreham Center in 1936.
By 1791 the population of the town was 721. In 1800 it surpassed our present population, with 1447 inhabitants. By 1810 the population had risen to 2043. Most of the land was cleared and being farmed. Soon space had run out for new farms and when the Erie Canal opened in the 1820s, young people went west.
Agriculture has always been a mainstay of the Shoreham economy. Merino sheep were first brought imported in 1816. For much of the 19th century they brought wealth and recognition to the town. Now dairy cattle outnumber sheep. The Shoreham Apple Producers Association had the first controlled atmosphere apple storage in the country and was a vital part of the Shoreham economy for sixty years. Over the years we’ve had carding mills, an ax handle factory, an iron forge, sawmills, grist mills, and a quarry producing some of the best black marble in the country.
Two native sons of Shoreham have gone on to be Vermont governors, Silas Jenison and Ebenezer Jolls Ormsbee. Levi Parsons Morton (whose father was the minister of the Shoreham Congregational Church) became a governor of NY, ambassador to France and vice president of the United States under Benjamin Harrison.
Provided by Sue MacIntireClick to hide text
Sales to benefit Historical Society projects
They sell several books and
pamphlets and are selling Shoreham caps as a fundraiser for the restoration
of Newton Academy. Contact Sue MacIntire about purchasing any of the
or stop by the Town Clerk’s where most are also available.
|History of the Town of Shoreham, Vermont||Rev. Josiah F. Goodhue, published by the town 1861 (reprint)||$10|
|Shoreham The Town and Its People||Shoreham Historical Society, 1988||$12|
|The History of Architecture of Shoreham||Vermont Division of Historic Preservation||$5|
|A Genealogical Register of the Early Families of Shoreham, Vermont||MacIntire & Witherell, Vol. 2 pub. 1992||$25|
|Shoreham Notecards—8 cards, 4 Shoreham designs||$4|
|Shoreham baseball caps with apple tree logo and name available in navy with stone trim and stone with navy trim||$12|
Meetings are open to interested individuals and are held the first Wednesday of the month (except Jan. & Feb.) at the old stone schoolhouse on Rte.22A, across from the phone company, at 7PM. Check the Calendar for changes and links to the month’s agenda & speaker.