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