Belvidere Center, VT, 05442
- Monday: 7:00 am - 5:00 pm
- Tuesday: 7:00 am - 5:00 pm
- Wednesday: 7:00 am - 5:00 pm
- Thursday: 7:00 am - 5:00 pm
- Friday: 7:00 am - 5:00 pm
BELVIDERE VERMONT, a very mountainous, pentagonal shaped town, located in the northwestern corner of the county, in 44° 47′ north latitude, and in longitude 4° 19′ east from Washington, is bounded north by Avery’s Gore, and Montgomery, in Franklin county, east by Eden, south by Johnson and Waterville, and west by Waterville. It was granted to a Mr. John Kelley, of New York city, March 5, 1787, and chartered by Vermont, November 14, 1791, by the name of Belvidere. The town originally contained an area of 30,100 acres, but was shorn of its limits November 15, 1824, when a portion of its territory was taken towards forming the town of Waterville, and again, October 30, 1828, 13,440 acres were annexed to Eden so that Belvidere now has an area of less than 20,000 acres.
In surface, the town is extremely broken and irregular, some of the mountains attaining an elevation of from 2,000 to 3,000 feet, so that for agricultural purposes it is of little value, though there are some good farms found along the streams, where the soil is principally a clay loam. To compensate for this deficiency, however, Belvidere has, aside from a variety of wild and picturesque scenery, many thousand feet of valuable timber standing in her forests. The manufacture of this timber into lumber, and into manufactured articles, butter tubs, sap buckets, etc., constitutes the principal occupation of the inhabitants, and is the source of the principal exports of the town. The higher peaks and ridges of the territory are covered with immense quantities of spruce and hemlock, while the lower portions abound with maple, white and yellow birch, etc. The maple yields an excellent quality of sugar, many thousand pounds of which find their way to market annually. North Branch. flows through the center of the town, from east to west, affording many excellent mill-sites, several of which are utilized. This stream forms the water-course of the town, and into it flow the waters of Rattling, Basin, Mill, and several other brooks. All of the streams are noticeable for their clear, cold water, and are quite plentifully supplied with trout.
The geological structure of the town is composed of rocks principally of the talcose schist and gneiss formations. The former underlies the western half, and the latter the eastern half of the township. The large bed of schist is cut in several places by beds of steatite, or soapstone, many deposits of which bid fair to develop into quarries of value. Gold in alluvium is said to have been discovered in the extreme western portion of the town, though in very small quantities. A bed of saccharoid azoic limestone also exists, near the line of Bakersfield. Iron and led ores, too, have been discovered in limited quantities, yet sufficient to warrant the belief that mines of considerable value might be developed. Current tradition has it that an Indian at one time took one of the first settlers with him upon Belvidere mountain, and there cut from a ledge a chunk of very pure led ore, which he afterwards run into bullets. There were indications from the cuts in the ledge, so it is said, that there were large quantities of lead, and that the Indian had frequently been there before to procure it. The settler thought to mark the place with his eye, and his route back, so as to return, but the wily savage crossed and re-crossed his steps so many times on their return, that the man lost all traces of the spot containing the treasure, and was never able to find the place afterwards.
In 1882, Belvidere had a population of 400, was divided into five school districts, and contained five common schools, employing nine female teachers at an aggregate salary of $430.10. There were 509 pupils attending common school, while the entire cost of the schools for the year, ending October 31st, was $466.10, with R. D. Whittemore school superintendent.