Update 4/13/02


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Summary of Rochester Town History & Beginnings

The town of Rochester was brought into existence by an act of the Vermont legislature passed on November 6, 1780. When originally chartered it contianed about 23,000 acres, but numerous additions raised this total to 38,000 acres making it the largest town in Windsor County. The first addition was in 1806 when 1,175 acres were taken from Pittsfield, Rutland County, and added to Rochester. In 1814 300 acres was taken from Goshen. In 1824 1,500 acres was surrendered by Braintree, Orange County, and another 300 acres were taken from Pittsfield and added to Rochester. In 1834 the town of Hancock, Addison County, gave up 160 acres. The final addition came in 1847 when Goshen, Addison County, yielded 11, 300 acres to the town of Rochester. In 1783 Rochester experienced a change in jurisdiction when it was annexed to the county of Windsor and became one of its towns.

The first town meeting took place on May 15, 1788 at the house of Ebenezer Burnham. Lt. David Currier was chosen twon clerk; Capt. Timothy Clements, selectman; Timothy Clements, Enoch Emerson and Aaron Wilbur, highway surveyors; Moses Currier, constable; and Joseph Boice, collector.

In August of 1780 and again in October the Indians attacked the towns of Barnard and Roylaton. These two events put off the settlement of Rochester until 1781 when John Sanger, Joel Cooper, Timothy Clements, James Guggin and John Emerson came to the town. In 1782 Daniel Emerson and David Currier settled in town. Davids' twin sons, Frederick and William, were the first born children in the town of Rochester. In 1786 and 1787 Enoch Emerson built the first saw and grist-mills in town and Ebenezer Burnham donated four acres to build a meeting-house, church-yard and commom. In 1790 Dr. Retire Trask, the first physician, came to town. In 1793 Ebenezer Morse , the first blacksmith, also settled in Rochester.

Prominent families of Rochester: Truman D. Austin, Thomas Bailey, Henry Chaffee, Major-General Artemas Cushman, Benjamin F. Hubbard, Dr. Daniel Huntington, Fayette A. Keezer, Messer Family, Chester and Rev. Daniel Sparhawk, Gideon W. Angell, Oren L. Beckwith, Emerson Family, Hubbard Family, La Roy Martin, Calvin Morse, Francis T. Mosher, Robinson Family, Wyman Family.

Rochester Historical Society

Vt. Route 100, Rochester, VT  Mailing Address: P.O. Box 7, Rochester, VT 05767
E-mail Address:

The museum is located on the 2nd floor of the Rochester Library, in the center of the village opposite the park. Special exhibits summers of 1999 and 2000, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the arrival of the White River Railroad in Rochester. Other exhibits include farm tools, military items, clothing, verde antique marble, and paper trivia. Contact Person: Mary Ordway Davis, President
Hours and Admission: Memorial Day to mid-Oct, Tues. and Thurs. afternoons; Sat, 9am 1pm; also by appointment.

Town Clerk:

P.O Box 238 - Rochester, VT 05767 Phone: (802) 767-3631.

Comments or Questions Welcome  
This genealogy site copyrighted by 
Debbie Axtman



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