Pawlet, Rutland County, Vermont Genealogy

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Brief History[edit | edit source]

Pawlet was chartered in 1761 and probably named after the Pawlet family in England. By 1768, a gristmill turned on Flower Brook, a tributary of the Mettawee, and Pawlet grew around the mill.

Two additional villages developed within the town boundaries: North Pawlet and West Pawlet, which sits right on the New York border adjacent to Granville. Nine families lived in Pawlet when it organized in 1769.

By the time Vermont became a state in 1791, Pawlet had the second greatest population in Rutland County.

Pawlet's agricultural history passed through several stages. Potash, gained by the burning of timber during the clearing of fields, became the first cash crop. Eventually thousands of sheep dotted the land in the 19th century, but when that craze subsided, dairying took hold.

Both sheep and cows created industry. Factories manufactured wool and dairies managed the raw milk. S. Bardwell opened Vermont's first cheese factory in Vermont in Pawlet in 1864. Prior to that farmers manufactured cheese at home.

Starting in the 1860s Pawlet witnessed further diversification in its economic base. It had centered around agriculture, but the discovery of a rich slate belt running through the western part of town changed that region.

Fair Haven tapped its slate resources in 1839, however, it took several decades more for the slate boom to reach Pawlet. Quarries opened in West Pawlet in the 1860s and roofing slates were the prime manufactured product. Dillingham, Rising & Nelson, Hugh W. Hughes and Brownell Slate & Flagging represented some of the firms.

The domination of this industry is still apparent by the large waste piles that remain near working or abandoned quarries and the numerous slate roofs found on local houses. The Rising & Nelson Company still operates.

The Rutland & Washington Railroad that passed through West Pawlet made transportation of this product more manageable and assisted in bringing experienced Welsh immigrant quarry workers.

Before becoming known as West Pawlet, the village had the name of Mark's Crossing because of the railroad.

The Delaware & Hudson Railroad eventually purchased the Rutland & Washington. Trains ran on the line until its abandonment in the 1980s. The stretch from West Pawlet to Rupert has been converted to a recreational path for four-season enjoyment[1]

Historical Data.[edit | edit source]

Town Histories[edit | edit source]

  • Pawlet (Vermont) for One Hundred Years, Hiel Hollister, 1867, printed by J. Munsell, Albany, New York.  Full text online at this link.
  • Historical photos

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

FamilySearch Historical Records Collection has Vermont birth, death, and marriage records online.

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

The probate district for Pawlet is Fair Haven.

Fair Haven Probate Court
3 North Park Place
Fair Haven, VT 05743
(802) 265-3380

City Directories[edit | edit source]

Maps[edit | edit source]

1854 Rutland County, Pawlet map

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

The following is a list of cemeteries in present-day Pawlet. For location of cemeteries, see Cemeteries of Vermont, Rutland County, website at this link.

Churches[edit | edit source]

1.  Pawlet Community Church
     PO Box 116
     Pawlet, VT 05761
     (802) 325-3022

2.  Mettawee Valley Church
     2946 VT Route 153
     West Pawlet, VT 05775
     (802) 645-9052

Town Records[edit | edit source]

Town Clerk Vital and Town Records, 1732-2005, can be found on FamilySerach (searchable and browse only records) at this link.

The Family History Library has microfilm of original records from the Pawlet Town Hall.

Pawlet Town Clerk
122 School St
Pawlet, VT 05761
Phone: (802) 325-3309, extension 1
Fax: (802) 325-6109

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Rutland Herald online at this link.

Libraries and Historical Societies[edit | edit source]

Pawlet Public Library
141 School St,
Pawlet, VT 05761
Phone:(802) 325-3123

Pawlet Historical Society
79 School St
Pawlet, VT 05761‎
Phone: (802) 325-2406

[edit | edit source]

  1. Pawlet - At home in the Mettawee Valley, Don Wickman, Rutland Herald Newspaper, Sep.15, 2006

Adjacent towns: