The History of Middlesex County 1635-1885
J. H. Beers & Co., 36 Vesey Street, New York
Pages 368 - 417

[transcribed by Janece Streig]


          This town lies upon the Connecticut River, and is the only township in the State that is bi-sected by that water. Salmon River forming a part of its eastern boundary, it includes what is known as Haddam Neck upon the east side of the Connecticut. The town is bounded on the north my Middletown and Chatham; on the east by East Haddam; on the south by Chester and Killingworth; and on the west by Killingworth and Durham. Its location is central in the county, and the county is central in the State.

          The town contains four railroad stations, on the Connecticut Valley Railroad, viz.: Higganum, Haddam, Arnold's and Goodspeeds; four post offices: Haddam, Higganum, Haddam Neck, and Tylerville; eight churches; and fourteen school districts.

          Extensive flats of natural meadow of apparently exhaustless fertility skirt the river at Haddam, on the west side, and opposite Shailerville and Higganum on the east side. The town contains about 30,000 acres. That part of it lying on the west side of the river was formerly called Haddam Society, that on the east side Haddam Neck, and a section in the northwest part, which has since been joined to Durham, Haddam Quarter.

          The surface of this town on both sides of the river rises into hills, which, with the intervening valleys, form a succession of varying undulations. The elevations reach from 200 to 300 feet in height, though their average is less. The "Strait Hills" run across the northwestern part, and another range runs nearly parallel with them. "Long Hill" lies back of the hills near the river, below Mill Creek, and stretches away toward "Turkey Hill," in the southern part of the town. These ranges of hills, in a general way, extend nearly north and south. The rocks of this town have yielded valuable specimens of the precious minerals. Among these are beryl, garnet, black tourmaline or schorl, pyrites, and quartz crystals. Many rich specimens from here have been secured for the museum of Yale College and private collections without number.

          The surface of the town is traversed by a number of small streams. The largest of these is Higganum River, called in the early days of the settlement "Tom Hegganumpos." It has three branches: the northern branch, called the Shopboard Brook, the middle or west branch, called also the Candlewood Hill Brook, and the south or Ponsett Stream. The first rises in Middletown, the second in the northeastern part of Killingworth, and the third in the western part of this town. Just below the junction of the three branches the water has a very abrupt descent of 30 feet, through a rocky gorge less than 30 rods in length.

          Mill River is another considerable stream, which rises in the southern part of the town and after receiving the waters of Beaver Brook flows eastward into the Connecticut. This stream takes its name from the fact that upon it was erected the first corn mill in the town.

          The soil of this town is generally good, but the surface is for the most part too hilly and rocky for cultivation. The southern part of the town is sandy, especially in the neighborhood of the river. In some of the intervals along the streams there are tracts of level and productive land.

          One of the most remarkable rocks in the town is that known by the singular name of Shopboard rock. It is about half a mile above the village of Higganum. The rock presents a bare, worn, and sloping surface about 60 feet high and 75 feet across. Tradition says that the name was derived from the circumstance that a tailor once cut a suit of clothes on it for a customer whom he met at the place, and the stream flowing by it was names Shopboard Brook.

          From the fact that the name appears on the records as early as 1713, the event in which it originated must have taken place at a very early date.

          Two islands lie in the middle of the river opposite this town. These are Lord's Island, called by the early settlers Twenty Mile Island, from the fact that it was supposed to be 20 miles from the river's mouth, and Haddam Island, in the same way called Thirty Mile Island. The first is on the line between this town and Chester, only the upper end of it being abreast of this town. The second lies between Haddam Centre and Higganum. The distances suggested by their names are considerably in excess of the truth, and they are not 10 miles apart. Haddam Island, which is entirely within the limits of this town, was for many years one of the most valuable fishing stations on the river. The water upon the east side of the island was deep and much frequented by fish, and being narrow, was easily swept with a seine. Two fishing companies, one at either end, occupy it for this purpose. Legends exist that some of KIDD's fabulous treasurer were deposited on this island, and many seekers after hidden wealth have dug for it here.

          The following turnpikes have been in operation in this town: The Middlesex Turnpike, along the river, chartered in 1802, and abandoned since the completion of the railroad; the Haddam and Durham Turnpike, running from Higganum to Durham, chartered in 1815, abandoned nearly 50 years ago; the Haddam & Killingworth Turnpike, chartered in 1813, from Higganum to Killingworth; and a branch of the latter, diverging from it in the Burr District, and running to Haddam Centre through Beaver Meadow, granted in 1815. All these have been abandoned for several years.

          The town is remarkably healthy, as shown by its mortuary records, though it has been visited by several severe and fatal epidemics.

          The latest grand levy shows the town to contain 480 houses; 21,890 acres of land; 31 mills, stores, etc.; 192 horses; 1,012 neat cattle; sheep valued at $557; 39 carriages and wagons subject to tax; clocks and watches valued at $840; musical instruments to the value of $2,825; bank, insurance, and manufacturing stock held to the amount of $81,917; railroad and other corporation bonds, $6,600, etc. During the previous year the amount expended on roads and bridges was $2,789.09.


          The first purchase or occupancy of any of the land within the limits of this town by Englishmen, of which there is any account, was about 1652, when Captain John CULLICK, who had for some time been secretary of the colony of Connecticut, having extinguished the Indian title, obtained a confirmatory grant for what was then called Twenty Mile Island, now LORD's Island, and a tract on the east side of the river near it, the dimensions of which are not given. CULLICK had probably made little or no improvement upon his land previous to the settlement of Haddam.

          The locality and afterward the newly organized town, took its name from Thirty Mile Island. Individuals contemplated making a settlement here as early as 1660, and in October of that year the Legislature accordingly appointed a committee to purchase the lands from the Indians. For some unknown reason the negotiation was not consummated until nearly two years later. The desired purchase was finally made on the 20th of May 1662, when the committee above referred to, consisting of Matthew ALLYN and Samuel WILLYS, obtained from four kings and two queens of the Indian tribes that occupied them a deed for these lands. The value of the articles given in payment would probably not exceed $100. The territory extended from "Mattabeseck mill river," a stream afterward called Miller's Brook or Sumner's Creek, substantially on the line between the subsequent towns of Chatham and Haddam on the north, down to "Pattaquounk" Meadow, which is now called the Cove Meadow, at Chester.

          Soon after this purchase, a company of 28 men from Hartford, Windsor, and Wethersfield, in whose behalf the purchase had been made, entered upon the land and commenced improvement. These men were: Nicholas ACKLEY, Joseph ARNOLD, Daniel BRAINERD, Thomas BROOKS, Daniel CONE, George GATES, Thomas SHAILER, Gerrard SPENCER, John SPENCER, William VENTRES, John BAILEY, William CLARKE, Simon SMITH, James WELLS, James BATES, Samuel BUTLER, William CORBEE, Abraham DIBBLE, Samuel GANES, John HANNISON, Richard JONES, Stephen LUXFORD, John PARENTS, Richard PIPER, Thomas SMITH, Joseph STANNARD, John WEBB, and John WYATT. The first 10 as here named are known to have come from Hartford, while the places whence the others severally came are not definitely known.

          They are supposed to have been mostly young men, many of whom were just married. They paid back the expense of the purchase of installments as they were able. Some part of the amount seems to have remained unpaid for several years. March 13th 1669, the town voted to pay to James INSIGNE, of Hartford, 38 shillings, 6 pence, which the record says was part of the purchase money of the plantation. The whole number of those whose names appear as the founders of the settlement did not come here at once, but remained at some other place, where, perhaps, business or some other attraction detained them for a greater or less period of time. Indeed, it is possible that a few of them never settled here at all, but sold out their interest to others; and of those who did settle there were some who remained but a short time. Some of them were so slow in improving their rights here that the action of the society appeared necessary to prompt them. Nicholas ACKLEY, for example, was so far delinquent that the little colony took such action in his case that resulted in obtaining the following covenant from him to assure them that he would in fact become one of them:

          "This writing made ye eight off november 1666 bindeth me niklis AKLEY of Hartford to come with fy ffamely to setle att thirte mille Iland by ye twenty ninth of october next inseuing date hereof, ealso to have my part of fence up yt belong to my home lot by he Last of --- nexst inseuing as of failing hereof to forfit ten pound to ye inhabitant of thirte mile Iland as wines my hand and Seall.

          "Nicholas ACKLY
          "witness James BATE."

          It is probable that the settlement progressed but slowly and no formal or systematic organization of the society was effected within three or four years from the date of the purchase. If anything was done in this direction no record of it remains. One of the earliest scraps of evidence extant in regard to organizing the settlement on a basis looking toward the establishment of permanent homes for individuals is the following"

          "may sixty-six --- whom it may consearne --- ---- ----- written was apyntted by the Gennarl Corte of Connecticut a Committee to Plant the Plantasion at thirty mile Island or to order the planting of the sayde Plantasion and accordingly we did Promote the planting of the sayd Place what in us lay, and in order thearto we did make a purchase of the Indians of such Lands as we thought convenient for the Peopell that should inhabit the said p'antasion and that land which we did intend for thirty mile Island Plantasion ----- that land from Midleton boundes to the sowth [towards] the end of the purchas which if we mistake not runnes to the brooke belowe Pattaquonch meadows we say all that Land we did grant ot he sayd Plantasion for we did not intent any of it for Saybrook or any other Plantasion, Judging it might be but a competency for that plantasion upon which purchas of the sayd Land for that place the peopell nowe inhabiting at thirty mile Island weare encouraged to setell themselves and ffammilyes at the sayd thirty mile Island Plantasion.

          "Samuel WILLIS. "Matthew ALLYN. "Wm. WADESWORTH. "Samuel CORMEN."

          Soon after the "settling of the plantation" others joined the settlers. Among the first of these were Richard WALKLEY from Hartford, John BATES, and William SCOVIL. In October 1668, the town was invested with privileges as such, and about that time the name Haddam was given to it, as it is supposed out of respect to Haddam or Hadham in England.

          Desirable persons were admitted by vote of the town to the privileges of inhabitants and were granted accordingly shares in the common proprietorship and allotments of land to their individual use. All lands held in individual fee were taxes on a fixed scale of valuations, which varied from 5 to 20 shillings per acre according to the availability and situation of the land. The character of those who proposed to join their society, or indeed who frequented it, was subject to rigid scrutiny, and a remarkable degree of candor was evinced in their expressions of disapproval when an undesirable person lingered in their society, as the following extracts will show. April 10th 1673, it was "agreed by voate that John SLED and his wife should not be entertained in the town as inhabitants or resedence and also Goodman CORBE was forwarned not to reseave him into his hows becose they weare not persones qualified according to Law." Again, January 1st 1683, the townsmen were ordered "to warne Frederick ELIES and his wife to departe the towne by the next march inseueing."

          On the 11th of February 1686, a patent was granted by the Assembly to the inhabitants for all the lands of their town that had previously been granted them and confirming those grants with all their appurtenances and privileges to them and their heirs and assigns forever. THE SETTLERS AND THEIR HOMES.

          At the first, or at the least as soon as some degree of order could be established, the settlers opened a highway running substantially where the old country road from the court house to the foot of Walkley Hill now does. Why they chose such a rough spot of ground it is hard to understand, but the evidences prove beyond a doubt that here they laid out the "town plot" and built their houses. Some of the cellars remained visible until within the memory of persons now living. Nineteen home lots were laid out here, and houses were probably built on the most of them. For the greater part the lots were nearly uniform, being about four acres each, and extended from the highway to the river, a distance of from 80 to 125 rods. Each man also had a lot of about three acres on the opposite side of the highway from his four acre lot. These lots must have been seven or eight rods in width on the highway. Those on the east side of the road are all bounded on the northeast by the "Great River." From data gleaned from the records, and carefully compared and verified, the writer has arranged a map of the original town plot. While it is impossible to assert anything in regard to the definite shapes of the lots, their relative position in regard to each other, and to other objects specified, is accurate and can be abundantly verified by the records. Some objects then existing remain to the present time, and help to locate the whole plot by fixing certain points. The burying ground, without a doubt, remains where it was then provided for, adjoining the lot of Joseph ARNOLD. The "highway that leads into the woods" is probably the road that starts back of the court house and runs westerly up the hill. The other "highway into the woods" is the road that runs from the old road up the hill past the residence of Mr. Zachariah BRAINERD and the Methodist church. Wells' Brook still runs through its primitive gorge. [transcribers note: Map on accompanying page lists the following names: J. BATES, A. J. HANNISON, J. PARENTS, A. DEIBLE, John WIATT, Richard JONES, Wm VENTROUS, Wm. CORBEE, Thos. RICHESON, James BATES, John HANNISON, John PARENTS, Abram DEIBLE; Nicholas ACKLY. N. ACKLEY, Tho's. SHALLER, John HENERSON, T. B., S. L., SMITH, MINISTER, Parsonage, G. S., T. S., J. B., D. B., D. C., J. S., S. S., W. C., G. G., J. ARNOLD, R. P., James WELLS, Samuel BUTLER, John SPENCER, James WELLS, Tho's. BROOKS, Stephen LUXFORD, Blacksmith sold to John ELDERKIN, First Minister, Parsonage forever, Gerrard SPENCER, Tho's. SMITH, John BALIE, Daniel BRAINERD, Daniel CONE, Joseph STANNARD, Simon SMITH, William CLARKE, Geo GATES, Reserved for Burying Ground and Meeting House, Joseph ARNOLD, Richard PIPER, R. PIPER's home meadow.]

          Besides the town plot another settlement was made about a mile southeast. This was called the Lower Plantation, or sometimes the Lower Town Plot. It extended along a highway from Mill River southward. A very early record, the date of which, however, has been lost, states that seven men were at first assigned to this settlement. Their names were James BATES, William VENTROUS, Abram DEIBLE, Richard JONES, John HANNISON, Samuel GAINES, and John PARENTS. If these all actually settled here, but a short time elapsed before changes were made. The accompanying map, carefully compiled from the earliest existing records, exhibits a few differences. Richard JONES' lot, for example, was soon in the possession of John CHAPELL, who sold it to Thomas SPENCER in 1671. The six acre lot of Thomas SHAILER was sold to John BATE in 1672. Samuel GAINES probably sold his lot at a very early date, to one of the others, whose name appears on the map, but not on the list. Of these, there are four: John WYATT, William CORBEE, Thomas RICHESON, and Nicholas ACKLY. A landing was early established at the mouth of Mill River, and a road was reserved to go to it across John WYATT's lot.

          Returning to the Town Plot, a few facts may be suggested. The home lot of Samuel BUTLER was soon afterward sold to Richard WALKLEY. The lot was first laid out for a blacksmith, was given to John ELDERKIN in consideration of his building a mill. The lot marked for the "First Minister" was probably given to the gospel messenger who answered to the terms of the reservation. The "Parsonage forever" lot has been held by the First Ecclesiastical Society, of Haddam, down to a recent date. The highway that goes to the meadow and to the river, runs between that lot and the first minister's lot. This parsonage lot, owning to the conditions of the reservation, could not be old outright, but was leased by the trustees of the society holding it, August 12th 1859, to William and James BRAINERD for a term of 999 years. The lot is now owned by Zachariah BRAINERD. Tradition says that the first blacksmith shop was on the opposite side from the residence of the late Blinn BRAINERD, and that the name of the blacksmith was BROOKS.

          It has already been seen that the first settlements were made on the river. The reasons for this are obvious. Some 30 or 40 years later, the people began to push inland. In the interior and western part of this town, the families of DICKINSON, HUBBARD, and RAY established themselves. They were followed by the founders of families bearing the names, LEWIS, HAZELTON, TYLER, HIGGINS, THOMAS, KNOWLES, BURR, and others. The plain at Cockaponsit presented attractive field for the settler, and about 1694. Nathaniel SPENCER, John BALY sen., and Ephraim BALY each had a house lot of eight acres there, besides other parcels of land. Stephen SMITH, and John, Nathaniel, and Joseph SUTLIFF settled in Haddam Quarter, which, in 1773, was joined to Durham.

          The following extract tells something of the conditions under which title to their houses were obtained.

          "Ordered that every inhabitant of this plantation shall personally inhabit here upon his land four years from the time of his first comeing hither before he shall have liberty to sell his land."


          The settlers made no extensive divisions of the land at first, but held their cultivated fields, their pastures, and their timber lands in common, and divided to each individual a home lot, and a few other small parcels of land, mostly meadows, that seemed most desirable to hold for individual use. The lots that were distributed in these small allotments were of nearly uniform size. There were seven of these small divisions, and nearly every settler had a lot in them all.

          The Home Lots in the Town Plot contained about four acres, and those in the Lower Plantation about eight acres each.

          Additional Lots in the Town Plot lay on the opposite side of the highway, and contained about three acres each.

          The Home Meadow lots varied in size from two to five acres, and lay between the river on the northeast and a common fence on the southwest. The Upper Division of the Upper Meadow was on the east side of the river, and lay between the "great rocke" on the northeast and the river on the southwest. The lots varied in size from three to seven acres.

          The Lower Division of the Upper Meadow lay on the east side of the river between the same bounds on the northeast and southwest as the division last mentioned. These lots contained two acres or a little more.

          The Cove Meadow lay on the east side of the river, between the "great rocke" on the northeast and the river on the southwest. The lots were about four acres each.

          The Equal Division lay on the east side of the river, between the "great rocke" on the northeast and the river on the southwest, the lots containing uniformly three acres each, from which circumstance doubtless it took its name.

          The "great rocke" so often mentioned in the boundaries of the meadows was the ledge or rock-ribbed hill that rises from the inner edge of the meadows. In these seven divisions the settlers participated, with perhaps an occasional exception in some of them. Other grants were soon after given for small parcels of land in Machimoodus and Heganumpos.

          Small parcels of the common land were granted to individuals from time to time as their needs and the favor of the town afforded occasion. Out of the numerous records of the kind a single example here will suffice to illustrate:

          "At a towne meeting February 7th 1667, it was Agreed the Joseph STANNARD shal have six acres of land given him out of ye Comon land abutting one the mil river southeast one his owne swamp northeast one ye Common highway southwest on ye Common land nor'-west, provided that the water passage w'thin the swamp shall be free for ye touns use."

          February 1669, it was ordered that whenever any land was to be given to any individual, every one should have notice of the proposed grant, and it should not issue unless every inhabitant assented to it. This resolution appears to have been too strong for practical application and it was repealed February 5th 1673.

          The division of the common land was under discussion at an early day, and this was resolved upon at a meeting December 11th 1670. Then it was decided that land should be laid out to individuals so as to make the distribution equal among the householders. At this time a tract of common land extending one and a half miles inland from the river was reserved to be held in common forever, but this reservation was relinquished by action of the town, March 13th 1671. The decision to lay out all undivided land was confirmed February 7th 1671. Allotments of land were made according to the valued property of householders.

          June 13th 1671, it was decided that a division should be made in which there should be twenty acres laid out to every hundred pounds valuation. In this division lots were chosen by individuals as their names were drawn by lot. Simon SMITH and George GATES were chosen to appraise all the buildings that had been erected since the first appraisement, and to make a new list of the estate of each individual as a basis upon which he was to take up land. The choice of location was drawn in order as follows: "Mr. BATE, George GATES, Thomas BROOKS, parsonage lot, Daniel BRAINERD, John BALY, WAITES lot, Garird SPENSER, Tho. SPENSER, Steven LUXFORD, John HENSSON, Joseph STANDRD, Samuell SPENSER, James WELLES, widow BLACHFORD, Thomas SHAILLER, William CORBE, Mr. NOYES, John BATE, William VENTROUS, Goodman ACKLEY, Thyme SPENSER, Thomas SMITH, Goodman DYBELL, Dainell CONE, William CLARK, John PARANES." This was the first general division of common land on the west side of the river, and it was probably not laid out in a body, but each man in the order in which his choice occurred was allowed to select twenty acres to every hundred pounds of his valued estate, wherever he desired to locate it upon land that was not already taken.

          In 1686, the town decided that no more land should be taken up by individuals on the west side of the river within two and a half miles of the river. This established a line which is afterward mentioned in records as the "two mile and a half line."

          The "Third Division of Outlands" was ordered by vote of the town January 27th 1707. It covered a tract of land one mile and sixty rods square, in the northwest corner of the town, adjoining Durham on the west and Middletown on the north. It was laid out in thirty lots with the dividing lines running north and south and a highway running across them from east to west. The lots were numbered beginning at the east corner. The number of proprietors had now reached thirty. The survey of this tract seems to have been so carelessly done that when about seven years later the lots were remeasured more accurately the whole tract was found to be two miles, 152 rods, two feet, five inches long instead of one mile and 60 rods.

          The "Fifth Division" was ordered by vote of the town, March 13th 1716. It was to include the land encompassed by the northern and southern bounds of the town and the "two mile and a half line" on the west and a line running parallel with it one mile from it to the east. The scale upon which this division was made was fifty acres to the hundred pounds. It was to be laid out in no regular order, but as the individual selections should determine. There were 36 drawers.

          January 14th 1719, the people in town meeting decided that in the future division of land every inhabitant, whether he had been a proprietor or not, should be entitled to a lot according to the appraisement of his estate on the public list. The list of the estates in this society for that year was as follows:

          Capt. James WELLS, 130, 7s.; Elijah BRAINERD, 77, 11; Benjamin BAILY, 43, 2; Joseph RAY, 3; Daniel HUBBARD, 79; Joseph CLARK, 42; Daniel SPENCER, 30; Benjamin TOWNER, 49; Gerrard SPENCER, 140, 10; John FISKE, 40, 10; Samuel INGRAM, 36; Thomas SELDEN, 69, 5; John BAILY jun'r, 47, 12; Mr. Simon SMITH, 101, 15; Ens. Moses VENTROUS, 118, 14; Timothy SHALER, 85; Daniel CLARK, 64, 5; John VENTROUS, 66, 10; James RAY, Sen'r, 43; John SPENCER, 19; Azariah DICKISON, 54, 18; James RAY Jun'r, 38; John CLARK, 50, 2, 6; Dea. Thomas BROOKS, 54, 13, 6; Hezekiah BRAINERD, 116, 15; Benjamin SMITH, 100, 15; John BAILY, 58, 10; Lt. James BRAINERD, 121, 5; Richard WALKLY, 54; Solomon BATE, 62; John BATE, 28, 5; Jonathan BATE, 19, 15; David ARNOLD, 29; Deacon Joseph ARNOLD, 116, 5; Nathaniel BAILY, 52; Ebenezer ARNOLD, 73, 7, 6; Isaac TYLER, 41, 2, 6; Nathaniel SPENCER, 41, 3; Lieut. Thomas CLARK, 115, 15; John COE, 42; Caleb CONE, 70, 13; Widow BATE, 49; Nathaniel SMITH, 22, 2, 6; William CLARK, 84, 15; Jonathan ARNOLD, 94; Timothy SPENCER, 60, 10; Caleb BRAINERD, 108, 16; Serg't Thomas SHALER, 105; Joshua ARNOLD, 45, 12; John ARNOLD, 39, 18, 6; Ephraim BAILY, 25, 17, 6; Joseph SMITH, 81, 1; William SMITH, 39, 16, 6; Isaac BARTLETT, 18; Timothy WALTERS, 39, 2; Simon SMITH jr., 38; Jonathan SMITH, 18; James BRAINERD jr., 24; Thomas BROOKS jr., 24; Mr. Phineas FISKE, 64, 11, 6.

          A division of land beyond the "two mile and a half line" was ordered February 29th 1720. This was distributed on the scale of 60 acres to the 100 pounds. There were 100 who drew lots in this division.

          Another division, based on the ratio of 10, 20, or 30 acres to the 100 pounds, according to location of lots, was determined on in 1723, to be laid out by the 1st of March of that year. There were 100 who drew lots in this distribution.


          The lands granted to the settlers of this town by the Indian deed were not all confirmed to them. It is overlapped on the north some of the land that had already been confirmed to Middletown, and this of course had to be relinquished. But the greatest conflict of claims was with Saybrook and Lyme on the south. The claim of these two towns was based upon a grant of the Legislature to the old town of Saybrook when it included the territory of the other to extend its borders four miles further north, making the north line of that town twelve miles from the sea. This encroached heavily upon the land that Haddam had bought of the Indians, by the authority of the Legislature. However, the claims of Thirty Mile Island appear to precede those of Saybrook yet the question caused much dispute and its final settlement looked more the decision of superior forces than of impartial justice. Committees were frequently appointed to meet the representatives of the other towns to negotiate a settlement, and the case was carried to the General Court, where it received its final decision. February 9th 1667, the town sent Abram DEIBLE "to goe to Sea-Brooke to treat with them for a meeting to agree about ye bounds betweene our townes." Some arrangement was undoubtedly made for on the 27th of the same month the town appointed Gerrard SPENCER, Abram DEIBLE, and Samuel BUTLER "to treat with Sea Brooke men about ye bounds." On the 10th of March following the townsmen were directed to send a letter to the committee to give them a hearing. A hearing was gained, and in May 1668 the General Court appointed a committee to labor with these plantations" to gayne a compliance betweene them" &c., before the October meeting of the court.

          June 3d, this town appointed Abram DEIBLE and Richard PIPER to go to Hartford to meet the committee in behalf of the town. The committee reported and the General Court accordingly recommended that the line be settled according to the proposition of Saybrook men, which was a compromise making the north line of Saybrook and Lyme ten miles from the sea instead of twelve miles as they claimed, or eight miles as Thirty Mile Island contended they were only entitled to. A committee was now, October 20th, appointed to join with Saybrook in conference, the result of which seems to have been an agreement, however reluctant the committee of this town may have been to consent to it. In the following May the matter was again before the General Court, the town having on the 5th appointed William CLARK, to represent them before that body, and if need be to employ counsel. The court now gave its decision in accordance with the plan already mentioned. At the same time it granted that the bounds of Haddam should run from the river on the west six miles in to the wilderness provided it did not interfere with any other grant previously made. November 31st 1669, the town appointed a committee of four men to measure the town lines according to the recent decision of the court. Several attempts were made before this could satisfactorily accomplished, and we find the town appointing committees at different times to lay out the bounds. Finally, April 5th 1671, the committees of the two towns, Haddam and Saybrook, met and ran the line from a point on the river two miles south of the marked tree that stood twelve miles from the sea, west into the woods. This point on the river was then near the lower end of Twenty Mile Island.

          The controversy with Lyme was nearly the same as that with Saybrook, and the decision of the General Court had an equal application to it. But a longer time seems to have been used in obtaining a full settlement of the line. Committees were appointed at different times in 1669, 1670, and 1673, to accomplish this, and they finally, May 7th 1673, agreed upon the boundary in the following language: "that the devident line betwixt our townes shall run from the Great river beginning in the midel way betwixt the lower point of Mr. CHAPMAN's meadow and the upper side of the mouth of the Cove above the major LEUERET's farme hows and so to run east the extent of the bounds of haddam and that the above sayd devident Line shall e and Continue notwithstanding grantes and Agreements whatever the diuiding line betwixt our boundes ffor euer."

          The line between this town and Killingworth had been an unsettled one until May 1669, when the General Court decreed that the north line of Killingworth as far as Haddam extended westward, should be a continuation of the line between Haddam and Saybrook. In December 1704, some disturbance appears to have arisen over this matter, which was placed in the hands of a committee, and thus, no doubt, satisfactorily disposed of. The bounds of Haddam, though by the circumstances narrated they were contracted on the south, were enlarged on the east by a grant of the General Court in May 1674, which made the east line of the town a north line from the southeast corner, which was six miles from the river. A condition that accompanied this extension, was that the town should grant Mr. Robert CHAPMAN, fifty acres of land by his house to the northward of his meadow abutting on the river, and 300 acres besides to be located by the discretion of a committee named in the grant, in consideration of which Mr. CHAPMAN was to relinquish whatever claim he had on any other land in the town limits.

          In 1675, the General Court appointed Mr. Nathaniel WHITE and Deacon John HALL to lay out the bounds of Haddam, both east and west, according to the grants.

          In 1705, September 12th, the bounds of Haddam were run by Caleb STANLY along the Middletown line six miles from the river westward, thence south 38 degrees easterly, being a course nearest parallel with the river, to a point on the south line of Haddam six miles from the river. This parallel line then formed the dividing line between this town and Durham. Its course was afterward changed for the northern part by the annexation of what was called the Haddam Quarter to Durham, which was done in October 1773.

          About the year 1685, a settlement was begun on the east side of the river, below Salmon River, which increased until it became strong enough to be made a separate town by the name of East Haddam.


          The history of the town under this caption is necessarily a history of the First Ecclesiastical Society of Haddam, now represented by the Congregational church at Haddam Centre. In preparing this sketch the works of Dr. FIELD and Rev. E. E. LEWIS have been drawn upon for a considerable part of the substance incorporated in it.

          The movements of the settlers for the first few years are enveloped in much obscurity, but there is evidence to show that the worship of God was one of the first matters to which they gave attention, and it is without doubt that the observance of public worship began with this settlement. A private house was used for this purpose for 10 or 12 years. As has already been seen the proprietors in all their divisions of land set apart one share for the benefit of the parsonage, and another share for whoever should be their first minister. It appears that the Rev. Jonathan WILLOWBY was employed here for a time, but though the first minister of whom there is any account, he was probably not fully settled, and therefore did not receive the share that had been set apart for the first minister. The Rev. Nicholas NOYES succeeded him, and answered the conditions sufficiently to receive the share referred to. This share, including all the additions that were from time to time made to it, amounted to over 500 acres, though it is not probable that Mr. NOYES received all this. Parts of it were held and afterward given to other ministers.

          There is a tradition that the first meeting house was built on a site about thirty rods below the present county jail, and on the opposite side of the street.

          In February 1667, Joseph ARNOLD gave a part of his home lot for the site of a house for Mr. WILLOWBY. Documentary evidence uniformly associates the home lot of Joseph ARNOLD with the burying ground and church site. Before or soon after completion of his house, Mr. WILLOWBY left, and the house naturally fell into the possession of the town. Having no other use for it, and having no meeting house, they used it for that purpose. December 7th 1667, the town arrived at the following decision, and this is the first record that has been found touching the subject of building a meeting house:

          At the same metting it was a Greed and notted by the in habytantes that the settled plas whear the meting houes shall be bilt is at the frunt of the minestryes Lote in the Litell mdowe Lying a gainest the eand o the hom lote of Joseph ARNULD, that now he swelles in."

          The minister's lot here spoken of was probably that whereon Mr. WILLOWBY's house had been begun, which, as it has been seen, was taken from the home lot of Joseph ARNOLD. This house was used for the meetings of the tow, and without doubt for meetings for worship. November 11th 1669, the town voted that Mr. NOYES should have liberty to take the parsonage for his own use, but before he did so he should give the town sufficient notice to allow them time to secure another place to meet in. February 7th 1670, Mr. NOYES accordingly gave the town "warning to provid themselves a place fit to meet in by this time come two yeare." The town, November 21st 1670, voted to build a meeting house, and appointed a committee to attend to it with power to call out the inhabitants to work upon it in proportion to their several estates as should be decided by the discretion of the committee. But little if anything was done until February 1673, when a rate of forty pounds was ordered to be paid in labor or money for the building of the meeting house, and in March the town contracted with John CLARKE to frame the building. It was to be 28 feet long, 24 feet wide, and 13 feet between joints, and in its sides were to be eight windows. May 15th 1674, the townsmen were ordered to go forward with the work of building, and buy shingles, clapboards and nails to finish the building.

          It was probably completed sufficiently to admit being used during that year, though it remained in an unfinished condition for several years longer.

          Rev. Nicholas NOYES came here in 1668, on a salary of 40, an the use of the minister's lot, the salary to be paid, "one half in wheat and Pease, and the other half in Porke and Indian Corne." Several years later this salary was increased somewhat. By remaining for a term of four years he became entitled to the lot that had been set apart for the first minister, and afterward received other parcels of ground. He appears to have been held in high esteem by the people, who made efforts to retain him longer in this field, but he withdrew about the year 1682.

          About this time the town paid Goodman HENERSON ten shillings for sweeping the meeting house, and Joseph ARNOLD eight shillings for drumming. This was for the year 1682.

          In January 1683, a committee was sent to New London to solicit Mr. John JAMES to become minister here. Though but little is known regarding his ministry here, it is supposed that he came soon after that time and remained several years, perhaps till 1691.

          In the summer of 1691, Rev. Jeremiah HOBART, from Hempstead, Long island, came here and entered upon the work of the ministry. The town offered him salary, and firewood, besides the parsonage lands on both sides of the river, and a lot of four and a half acres, on which they agreed to build a house for him. This house was to be 40 feet in length by 18 feet in breadth, and 10 feet in height of posts. The town went forward with the work of building, and as they progressed, the item of nails was provided for by selling 20 acres of land at Moodus to Thomas HUNGERFORD. Mr. HOBART thus became settled as pastor of this people, though not formally installed. Some difficulties afterward arose, by which the people became dissatisfied, and in April 1695 they refused to acknowledge him as their pastor, and applied to the Assembly to be organized into a church according to the accepted form, which was done in 1796 [transcribers note: This seems to be an error; date probably should read 1696.]

          Their relations with Mr. HOBART, however, were not settled by this action, and after the mater had occasioned considerable trouble, the Assembly, in 1698, appointed a committee to investigate and determine the controversy. That committee met in November, and after deliberating for some time upon the matter, declared that the agreement that had at first been entered into was still binding upon each party. This decision was accepted and acted upon, and Mr. HOBART was accordingly installed as pastor of the newly organized church, in November 1700, he being then 70 years of age. From that time forward, neither he nor the people seem to have been fully satisfied. His salary remained at 40 a year and firewood, which was to be cut by the people, every male person in the town between the ages of 16 and 60 years being required to cut wood one day in the year for him. In 1705, the quantity allowed him for the year was 80 loads, and it was to be brought in by the 10th of November. In 1709, he was allowed 40 cords for the year. There was probably a large faction in the society that was opposed to Mr. HOBART, and in consequence his salary and the other obligations of the people to him were not promptly fulfilled; and this annoyed and irritated the aged minister, whose manner was probably not as conciliatory as might have been expedient under the circumstances.

          In connection with this subject, a glimpse of the records of the town affords an interesting illustration. In the last end of the first book of town records, a leaf has been torn out, and the pages that precede it contain a long account of a difficulty between Mr. HOBART and the town with reference to his engagement here, in which the decision of a committee of the General Court of Connecticut was required to adjust the matter. Following the torn leaf is this curious record, which explains itself:

          "Haddam, March ye 6th 1706/7."

          "At a meeting of the Towne in Generall both west & east side inhabitants; Convened together to consider that may be thought adviseable to be done in order to the unuseall & unthought difficulty which arises in s'd Town Respecting the Reverend Mr. Jerimiah HOBBARTS tearing out a part of a leaf out of the ancient Towne book, and for the repairing of the foresaid breach wee doe unanimously make choice of Cap'tn John CHAPOMAN, Deacon Thomas GATES, deacon Daniell CONE, Lieut. James WELLS and deacon Thomas BROOKS: who are hereby Impowered and desired to take all moderate & reliable Methods that the fore s'd Town book may be made valid and Sufficient to all persons that now are or ever after Shall be Concerned withs'd Town book. The fore said Inhabitants do oblige themselves to defray all necessary Charges that the fore s'd Committee shall be att in prosecuting the above said designe."

          The committee report that if the copy of what was torn out can be found and duly recorded again it shall be valid, or if Mr. HOBART would deliver up all papers having reference to the record torn out, and would agree not to give any further trouble to the town or any one in regard to the matters therein contained, then with Mr. HOBART's acquiescence the town book was to be valid to all intents and purposes. Mr. HOBART, in his answer, dated March 12th 1706/7, complies with the arrangement of the committee "in real delf-deniall for peace & loues sake," and agrees to suppress and destroy all papers that he has that might give him any advantage over the town to make them any trouble for the lack of the missing record.

          After a period of 24 years' labor with this people Mr. HOBART died at the age of 85 years, having been assisted for a little more than a year by a colleague. He attended public worship in the forenoon of Sunday, November 6th 1815, and partook of the sacrament, and during the intermission between services died suddenly while sitting in his chair.

          The ecclesiastical society comprehended the whole people of the town, on both sides of the river. But toward the close of the century the people of East Haddam were incorporated as a separate society.

          But little is known of the positions occupied in church sittings by different individuals, nor what difference was paid to wealth, age, or rank, but that the matter of orderly seating was not ignored may be seen from the following paragraph, from the minutes of a town meeting in December 1714:

          "Capt. James WELLS, Lft, Thomas CLARK, Simon SMITH, Thomas BROOKS, and Joseph ARNOLD were Chosen a Committee to order where persons should sett in the meeting hous for the future."

          The Rev. Phineas FISK, a graduate of Yale College, was ordained as colleague of Mr. HOBART, January 27th 1714. The people, in their call to him, which was acted upon in town meeting, November 15th 1712, enumerated the following inducements in case he would be their minister until "providentially and inevitably removed or prevented:" a home lot of six acres; 40 acres on the neck; 20 acres of timber land; 30 acres from the commons; a hone-hundred-and fifty-pound (?) right in all the common land; a new house to be built for him, 42 by 19 feet and 16 feet between joints, with a lean-to 10 feet wide the whole length of the house, a stone cellar and a "stack of chimneys with three smoakes below and two above in the chamber."-Mr. FISK however to find nails and glass;--the use of the parsonage lands; one day's work annually from all the hands and teams in town within a distance of two and a half miles of him; and in addition to all this a salary of 35 pounds the first year, 45 the second year and so on to increase until it amounted to 70 pounds a year. The pastorate of Mr. FISK was a long and pleasant one, harmony prevailing between him and his people. This salary was increased until in 1736 it reached as high as 110 pounds.

          In 1718, the town decided to build a new meeting house. A period of prosperity seemed to be smiling upon the society, and a house of larger dimensions was needed. This was to be 36 by 44 feet on the ground and 20 feet between joints, and it was to be located at "the most convenient place adjoining to the burying lot." A building committee was appointed in 1819, and a tax of four pence on the pound was laid upon the list to provide funds for the work. The house was completed about September 1721. The roof was covered with shingles two feet long and averaging five inches wide which cost 25 shillings a thousand; the clap-boards for the sides were four and one-half feet long and six inches wide, and for them was paid seven shillings a hundred. That the inside was plastered is probable from the fact that 300 bushels of shells and 4,000 cedar lath were ordered, the shells doubtless being burned into lime. The church was seated with pews, and had galleries. Additional pews were afterward put in at different times to accommodate the wants of an increasing congregation.

          The ministry of Mr. FISK closed suddenly by his death, October 17th 1738, when at the age of 55 and in the midst of a career of usefulness and successful labor.

          It was during his pastorate that we find one of the earliest suggestions of that custom that prevailed in many New England towns, the observance of an "Election Sermon." It was considered by the town ecclesiastical as a very proper thing to have religious services and a sermon connected with the annual election of officer and transaction of important town business. The election sermon was preached in 1726 by Mr. FISK.

          The town very soon appointed a committee to secure the services of another minister. The Rev. Aaron CLEVELAND was chosen, and negotiations having terminated satisfactory, he was ordained as pastor of this society on the second Wednesday of July 1739. He was to receive for settlement, 500 and a yearly salary of 150, which should be increased 10 every year until it reached 200. Through the depreciation of currency the salary of Mr. CLEVELAND a few year later became so small that he could barely subsist upon it, and on his own motion he was dismissed in 1746.

          The house in which Mr. CLEVELAND lived stood at the top of "Jail Hill" in the corner field on the north side of the Beaver Meadow road and west side of the road from the school house that intersects the other here. The remains of a cellar, beneath an apple tree a few rods from the bars, mark the site of the house.

          At the time Mr. CLEVELAND became pastor a change seems to have been made in the organization of the society. It became more distinct as such, and perhaps less an integral part of the town political. The society was organized more perfectly according to law, and its records ere kept subsequently more distinct from those of the town generally, though still the body politic maintained its guardianship over the interests of the body ecclesiastic.

          The Rev. Joshua ELDERKIN, after having served a while on probation, was installed as pastor of this society in the latter part (probably September) of 1749. Bring of a feeble constitution, he was not able long to bear up under the duties of the position, and after a few years was obliged to give up preaching altogether. He had received at his settlement the value of about 1,600, on the supposition that he was to spend his life with them. At his own request he was dismissed April 18, 1753. The town then petitioned the Assembly to direct him to refund a part of the settlement money, he having served them only about three and a half years. The Assembly accordingly decided that Mr. ELDERKIN should reimburse the parish to the amount of 550, "old tenor," he being allowed, at his request, time to sell his "mansion house" at such appraisement as Jabez HAMLIN, of Middletown, and Elihu CHAUNCEY, of Durham, should set upon it, and either Mr. ELDERKIN or the parish should be liberty to sell it at the appraised value.

          He was followed by Rev. ELEAZER MAY, a native of Wethersfield, and a graduate of Yale College in 1752. He was ordained and installed here June 30th 1756. His salary was, for some of the time at least, raised by the rate of two pence on the pound annually levied on the lists, but was not to fall below 70, nor to exceed 100. The parsonage occupied by him stood on the west side of the road, just north of what is now Meeting House Park. At the ordination of Mr. MAY, the church consisted of 100 members, 38 males and 62 females. The pastorate of Mr. MAY continued through all the trying years that intervened between that time and the year 1803, when his term of service, covering nearly half a century, was closed by his death, which occurred April 14th of that year. During his time 239 persons were admitted to the church, and during 42 years of time he administered baptism to 977.

          The question of building a new meeting house began to be agitated as early as 1758, but for several years the site could not be agreed on. Twice a committee from the County Court at Hartford was sent down to settle it, but their reports were not satisfactory and were not acted upon. The Assembly was petitioned to help them out of the difficulty, and a committee was sent down to decide the matter. Even after this was done the people were slow to accept it, but finally it was determined that the house should be built on the site indicated by the Assembly committee, which was at the northwest corner of what is now laid out as Meeting House Park. A contract for its erection was entered into between James HAZELTON, jr., Eliakim BRAINERD and Daniel VENTRES, for the society, and John COACH and Joseph SHAILER. The society was to erect the foundation of stone and raise the frame when it was ready. Beyond this Messrs. COACH & SHAILER were to complete the building for 800. Its size was 45 by 65 feet "and a proportionable height, and without a steeple. The frame was raised by September following the last date, and the house so far completed as to receive the seats by a year from that time. The church was dedicated October 24 1771. This house was the Sabbath home of this society during its most prosperous years. It was then that the number of the congregation reached its maximum. It was the principal church, and for many years the only one in the town on the west side of the river.

          At the beginning of the occupancy of the new church, the music received additional attention. In July 1759, "Stephen SMITH Jun., and Jeremiah SPENCER were chosen choristers or to tune the psalm, as occasion shall require." In October 1773, the society voted that Dr. WATTS' hymns should be used in public worship. It was soon after granted that the "singing men and women" should have the front seat in the gallery on the women's side of the house. Thus early was the choir organized, and then rehearsals were provided for by a vote that they should have "liberty tossing a psalm or two in the meeting-house in the time of intermission." The liberal disposition of the society was still further evidenced in a vote "that they be indulged in singing without reading line by line, the psalm being first read." Afterward still further efforts were made to improve the singing. In 1800, a tax of $50 was voted "to revive singing" though it is not specified how it was to be done. A few years later, the clarionet and bass viol were introduced, and in 1806 the society, by its express vote, approved of the use of instrumental music in their worship.

          Mr. MAY was followed by the Rev. David Dudley FIELD, D. D., whose name is the most conspicuous of any of the minister of this parish. He was the six pastor of the church. He was a native of Madison, then East Guilford, and graduated at Yale College in 1802. A call was given him form this society February 14th 1804, at a salary of $500 a year. It was accepted, and he was accordingly ordained on the 11th of the following April. He entered on his work with the enthusiasm and ardor of a young man, and during his pastorate made a deep impression of himself upon the hearts and character of the people. The church numbered 107 members when he cane, and 188 were added during his ministry. At its close, the church numbered 165. He was dismissed, at his own request, at the end of his 14th year, April 11th 1818. While here he occupied two parsonages; fir the old house that now stands on the east side of the village street, nearly opposite from the school house, and second, the house now owned and occupied by Mr. Zachariah BRAINERD, opposite from the Methodist church.

          The Rev. John March, a native of Wethersfield and a graduate of Yale, began preaching here on the first Sabbath in June 1818, and having received a call on a salary of $700, was installed on the 13th of December. About this time the church enjoyed a revival of remarkable power and fruitfulness. Seventy-four of the converts united with the church at one time, January 17th 1819, and during the year 41 more were received, making an accession of 115 during the first year of Mr. MARSH's pastorate. Several other revivals followed during the next ten years, and in 1828, 70 members were received at one time. At that time the influence of the awakening spread throughout the town, and was felt by the other denominations that had been established. Altogether the number of converts in the whole town was estimated to be from 200 to 300.

          Besides the revival work, which seems to have taken hold of so earnestly by Dr. MARSH, the temperance reformation found in him an indefatigable and outspoken advocate. He preached abstinence from the use of intoxicants, from his pulpit, by his practice, in social intercourse, by printed tracts, and by organized association. Probably through his efforts, the Middlesex Association for the promotion of temperance was formed at a meeting in the old church, September 16th 1828, to which delegations from all pats of the county had been called. Among those who became initial members of that society from this town were: Jonathan and Selden HUNTINGTON, Benjamin H. CATLIN, Ira HUTCHINSON, and Davis BRAINERD. Owing to the active part he took in this matter he was made secretary and general agent of the Connecticut Temperance Society at its formation in 1829, and in 1833 received a call from the American Temperance Society of Boston, to become their agent at Philadelphia. To accept this call required his dismission from this church, which was effected April 1st 1833.

          This church has an honorable record in the active part it has for many years taken in the support of missionary enterprise, both home and foreign.

          In 1822, the frame of a house which was needed by the Sandwich Islands Mission was hewed and fitted, and sent as a gift to that mission, the captain of the vessel that carried generously refusing any pay for its transportation.

          Before the introduction of a stove into the old church, the conveniences for making the congregation comfortable in cold weather were few and quite imperfect. The old foot stove was brought, with its supply of coals from the hearth, in the morning, and at the intermission it was refilled from the hearth of some indulgent neighbor who lived near the church. But the congregation was large, and their comfort called for more accommodations than the generosity of the few houses, each one of which was probably erected by the united efforts of a number of families living distant from the church, and in them fires were made for the accommodation of the people during intermission between the forenoon and afternoon sermons. Here lunch was eaten, social conversation enjoyed, and the foot stoves filled for the afternoon. Permission to build them was granted by the following vote of the town:

          "January 13th 1735: Voted to grant liberty to any of the inhabitants of Haddam to build and set up small houses on the common or town land anywhere within the half mile for their conveniency and comfort on the Lord's Day provided they in no ways damnife any highway." These buildings were set up around the second and third meeting houses, and it is said that the corner stone of one of them remains in the past a little north of Mr. Cephas BRAINERD's residence.

          The next minister of this church was the Rev. T. S. CLARK, who commenced preaching here in the latter part of 1833, and was installed April 14th 1834. After a short pastorate, he resigned August 25th 1836.

          Dr. David Dudley FIELD was again settled as pastor of this church April 11th 1837. During his second pastorate BRAINERD Academy, perhaps the offspring of his influence, was built in 1839; a revival which added 40 members to the church occurred in 1841; and the church at Higganum was formed, withdrawing 135 members from this church. The old church was now left with a membership of only 127. The dismission of Dr. FIELD occurred April 11th 1844, after which the church remained without a settled pastor for about two years and a half. During this time the pulpit was filed for longer or shorter terms by Revs. D. C. TYLER, T. M. DWIGHT, W. H. GILBERT, and I. P. WARREN.

          Rev. Elisha W. COOK began preaching here the first Sabbath in July 1846, and was installed on the 18th of the following November. His labors closed here April 1st 1852.

          At the separation of the Higganum church a division of the real estate that had fallen to the ecclesiastical society was made, and each of the two societies was at liberty to manage its own affairs without any interference or patronage from the town.

          In November 1845, the old society decided to build a meeting house, and appointed a building committee and a committee for raising funds by subscription. A site was secured by a lease for 999 years, from George S. BRAINERD, and the corner stone was laid June 21st 1847. The house was completed at a cost of about $4,000 and was dedicated on the 3d of November 1846. In the new house was placed a communion service of silver, the tankard of which had been presented in 1836 by Mr. Stephen TIBBALS, and the plates and chalices in 1847 by a contribution of the widows of the church. The former gift was valued at $100 and the latter at $80.

          Rev. Erastus COLTON was the acting pastor of the church, though not installed, from October 1852 to August 1854.

          In the early part of 1855 the Rev. James L. WRIGHT began preaching here, and, proving acceptable to the congregation, he was called to the pastorate, and duly installed on the 16th of May. He remained until his death, which took place, after a short illness, January 18th 1871. He was deeply mourned by the congregation whose respect and affection he had gained by his winning qualities. In numerical order he was the tenth pastor, and the fourth who had died on the field.

          The present pastor, Rev. Everett E. Lewis, preached his first sermon here, September 17th 1871, and receiving a call, began his labors on the first Sabbath in December. His installation took place January 17th 1872. January 1st 1872, the membership of the church was 120.

          A conference room was built in the rear of the church in 1866, at a cost of $650. The society had been without a parsonage for more than 20 years when the present house was purchased in 1868. Its cost was about $1,800. In 1871-2, repairs and improvements were made on the church and parsonage at an expense of $800, and a few years later a debt of $700 was cleared from the society by their vigorous effort. The conference room was enlarged and a church parlor added during the summer of 1884.

          The following were some of the early deacons of the church, elected previous to the present century: Daniel BRAINERD, Esquire, died 1715; Thomas BROOKS, died 1734; Joseph ARNOLD, died 1752, at the age of 86; James BRAINERD, died 1742; Thomas BROOKS, elected about 1742; Eisha CONE, elected about the same time; Elijah BRAINERD, elected 1759; Col. Hezekiah BRAINERD Esq., elected 1764; Joseph SMITH, elected 1771; Nehemiah BRAINERD Esq., elected about 1784; Eliakim BRAINERD, elected about the same time.

          The "half-way covenant" was one introduced into the Haddam church, but was soon rejected.

          This church has raised up the following persons to enter the ministry, all of whom it is supposed have found their work in Congregational churches: David, John, Elijah, Eleazer, Chiliab, Nehemiah, Israel, Israel second, James, and Davis S. BRAINERD, Aaron CLEVELAND, Hezekiah MAY, Jonathan HUBBARD, Israel SHAILER, Daniel Clark TYLER, and David B. HUBBARD. Others from Haddam who have entered the ministry in other denominations have been: Simon, William H. David T., Nathan E., and Julius S. SHAILER, and Andrew M. SMITH, in the Baptist Church; and Charles DICKINSON, Phineas DOANE, William R. BRAINERD, and H. M. SMITH in the Methodist Church.

          Although attention may have been given to the instruction of children in the catechism, there is no record of a Sunday school in connection with this church previous to 1819. Under the energetic influence of Mr. MARSH a school was organized that year. It was opened on the second Sabbath of May, and continued until the last of August. Sixty boys and 100 girls were in attendance with considerable regularity. Their ages ranged from seven to 16 years. The school was divided into five classes, had five teachers, one to each class, and five superintendents, who rotated in their official action.

          From that beginning the Sabbath school has gone on to the present time.


          There are some acts of the town and items of historic record that do not come under any topic of connected narrative, but still are of interest, inasmuch as they throw light upon the conditions under which our ancestors lived, and help to a clear understanding of them and their times.

          Among the first matters which the existing records show that the town acted on were orders regulating the laying out of highways, erection of bridges over the numerous streams which they found everywhere crossing their path, providing for fencing the common fields, grating parcels of land to individuals, regulating the time for turning swine and cattle upon the pasture commons, and providing pounds for the imprisonment of stray cattle, swine, or other animals.

          A landing was probably made upon the river bank near the town plot, though no record of it can be found. April 9th 1667, a landing was agreed on, to be located at the southeast side of the creek then called "Beaver brooke." It was to be for the use of the lower end of the town, and a convenient highway was to be made from it to the common highway through the land of John Wyatt. This was probably the second landing established by the settlers of this town.

          Ear marks were in use here as early as 1688. These were certain cuts and nicks upon the ears of cattle and sheep, which by their kind, combination, and position distinguished the animals belonging to one man from those of another. The various kinds of marks were the "crop," "slope," "half-penny," "swallow-fork," "ell," "square crop," "hole," "nick," "slit," "hollow crop," "latch," "flower-de-luce," and perhaps some others, and they might be on the upper or under side of the ear, and on the right or the left ear. A register of each man's mark was kept by the town clerk.

          In its primitive condition the town acted directly on matters that in later years make of the details of business that is left to the discretion of representative officers. The following is a curious and interesting example of the kind, as well as a reminder of the tedious process by which nails were produced in those days, and their consequent value.

          "At a toune meting at hadom october 20th, 1668, it was ordered and agreed by the toune that the tounesmen shall Proquer ffouer thousand of nailes: thre thousand and a halef of sixpeni nailes and haluef a thousand of eaight peni nailes and the toune doth in Gage to paye them in wheat for themand also to satisfy them for thear trobell in Getting of them."

          Regulations in regard to the extermination of wild animals were not very common in this town. In 1669, the town agreed to pay 12 shillings each for every wolf that should be killed in it.

          Some consideration appears to have been exercised for widow in straitened circumstances, as is shown by this extract from the records: "At the same meting it was agreed that the town will forgive the widow JONES her towne rate that is be hind of last yeare." Burying grounds were provided for by order of the town, and land for them was set apart from the common land of the town. The town also made choice sometimes of those who should dig their graves, as the following entry will show:

          "Jan. 27, 1714-15.

          "Ebenezer FRISBEY is chose to dig graves for the year ensuing and shall be allowed five shillings pr. Grave for grown persons and equivalent for lesser persons."

          The bloody and destructive war known as King Phillip's war, seems to have troubled this town some. Weak and unable to offer much resistance as it must have been at that time, the town made what preparation it could for self defense, and probably sent a petition to the Council at Hartford for some manner of protection or assistance. What equipments they had were put in order, and the inhabitants presented to the Council the name of Jarrad SPENCER, asking his appointment as ensign, and also that of William VENTRES as sergeant of the "Trayn Band." Their further action in regard to Haddam is expressed in the following paragraph from their records:

          "Upon intelligence and occasion of some parties sculking ennimies that are come downe to lye about and amongst these plantations to annoy and destroy as they can catch, the Councill doe advise and order that the people of Haddum doe forthwith agree and come together into the two uppermost best garrisoned places in their towne to assist and defend each other, or agree to remove to some other plantation upon the River, as they may best for themselves and families."

          Some trouble appears to have been occasioned by wildcats, as the subjoined entry suggests.

          "Jan 13, 1722/3,

          "At said meeting it was by vote agreed that what person or persons shall within the precincts of this west society Kill any wild Cat or wild Cats and do to the satisfaction of the constable make it evident that he or they have so done shall for each Cat so killed shall be allowed for each Cat four shillings per Cat."

          The small-pox caused considerable alarm about here soon after the Revolution. January 11th 1787, the town granted to Dr. Hezekiah BRAINERD the exclusive privilege of inoculating persons to prevent small-pox, for a term of four years, provided he should erect a building in which to receive for attendance such persons as should be infected with that disease, and he should himself have the care of such persons as should be placed in it. A location was given and a hospital was erected upon it, in the southwestern suburbs of the town center neighborhood. A few years later, the people were assured that no further danger of the dreaded disease was imminent, and the house was removed, but the field in which it stood is still known as the "Pox House lot."


          Haddam was originally included in the county of Hartford, and on the formation of Middlesex in 1785, became a part of the latter county. It was the central town of new county and was made a half-shire town.

          The Indians who remained in the town, exercising the rights of hunting and fishing wherever they pleased, which rights they had reserved in their deed to the white settlers, it is said were troublesome for many years. For half a century the people were in the habit of carrying arms with them whenever they left their homes, and what now appears as a strangely discordant custom, that of carrying the instruments of war into the church on the Sabbath, was a regular practice with them. But though the settlers seem to have suffered more or less alarm, yet there is no record that the Indians ever committed any serious depredations or acts of violence.

          Highways were laid out through the town, or to different points in it from the earliest settlement. Perhaps the first one was the common highway through the town plot and to the lower plantation. The record of this is not dated, and as some changes were made either before or after, it does not agree with the impressions gathered from other parts of the records in all particulars. The record recites the establishment of a highway through the town, that from James WELLS' four acre home lot to Daniel CONE's home lot should be four rods wide and thence to the lower end of the town it should be five rods wide. This was probably the first road that the settlers laid out. The first record of the laying out of highways other than the above is as follows:

          "Whereas Mr. PIPER, Daniell BRAINRD and John CHAPELL were ordered and appointed by the towne to laye out high wayes for townes use they having dunne them as heire thay stand entred.

          "One high waye at the reare of the thre acre Lots twelve rods wide.

          "One high way that goeth from the high way this is between will CLARKE and George GATES runeing by Richard PIPERS fence so over muddy brooke and through the land of Mr. James BATE and from thence southwest to the ende of the boundes eaight rods wide.

          "One high way lying by muddy brooke Lying by John BEAILYES Lote up the hille to the high way that goeth by Garrird SPENSERs lote ten rods wide."

          "One high way by the south side of George GATESES lote and by Mr. BATESIS lote neare James WELLESIS Lote so south and be west tordes the Lote of the widow BLANCHFORDES to the end of the boundes ten rods wide.

          "One high waye from the reare of thre acre lotes by tho. BROOKES lote west thirty rods wide and runes west and be south by Garrard SPENSERES lote twelve rods wide to the end of the boundes.

          "One high way by the northwestern side of Garrard SPENSERS lote tille it comes into the high way that lyeth by tho. BROOKESIS lote twelve rods wide.

          "One highway from Garrird SPENSERS bound tree south and by James WELLES lote to the end of the bounds ten rods wide.

          "One high way that comes from James WELLES lote comes over the hill and swampe by mr. BATESIS Lote, so into the high way that is over mudy brooke ten rods wide.

          "One high waye at the east side of Jarrird SPENSERES lote runeing west ten rods wide.

          "One high way lying by the side of Richard POPERES lote running to the reare of mr. Noyesis HOWS lote and ouer the Great hille wheare persones dige stones sixteen rods wide.

          "One high way lying between James WELLES and Peter BLANCHFORD and runes to the mille brooke neare the Dame and ouer the brooke by the side of the hille to the ende of the boundes ten rods wide.

          "One high waye lying one the southeast side of Mr. NOYESIS lote up the hill: and comes into that high way that goeth ouer neare the dame and then tournes east ward tordes the mille land and then comes downe into the contry road against wiates lote twelue rods wide.

          "One high way frm the reare of the thre acr lotes and runes north west to Tom HEGANUMPS first branch and then tornes southward to the end of the boundes and from this high way another highway goeth ouer HEGANUMPES by BALYES lote northwest to the eand of the boundes ten rodes wide."

          The division of the town into road districts did not take place until the year 1828. In April of that year, it was divided into 17 such districts.

          Some idea of the growth of the town is given by Dr. FIELD, in his pamphlet on Haddam, published in 1814. He thinks there may have been 30 families in the town at its incorporation in 1668; and perhaps 60 families in 1700. In 1718, 62 names are mentioned on a tax list, and in 1739, there were 71 voters, and it is probable that in either instance the number of families was somewhat n excess of the numbers mentioned. It is supposed that about 1750 there were 150 families within the town, of which number 20 were on Haddam Neck.

          The following is a list of the freemen in Haddam Society in 1730; Rev. Mr. Phineas FISKE, Capt. James WELLS, Capt. James BRAINERD, Capt. Thomas SHAILER, Capt. Caleb CONE, Ensign Simon SMITH, Deacon Thomas BROOKS, Lieut. Thomas CLARK, Lieut. Joseph SMITH, Serg't Jarrard SPENCER, Samuel INGRAM, Ensign Moses VENTROUS, Josiah ARNOLD, Deacon Joseph ARNOLD, James HAZELTON, Nathaniel BAILY, Richard WALKLY, William CLARK, Nathaniel SPENCER, Caleb BRAINERD, Hezekiah BRAINERD, Elijah BRAINERD, Thomas BROOKS jr., Joshua ARNOLD, James BRAINERD jr., Isaac BARTLET, Nathaniel SUTLIFF, John COE, Lieut. William BRAINERD, John BAILY jr., Ephraim BAILY, Daniel CLARK, Gideon ARNOLD, Serg't Daniel HUBBARD, William PORTER, Azariah DICKENSON.

          In 1814, there were in that part of the town on the west side of the river 340 dwelling houses, 390 families, and 1,951 inhabitants, of whom 967 were male and 984 were female. On Haddam Neck there were then 47 dwelling houses, 62 families and 349 inhabitants, of whom 174 were male, and 175 were female. The "list" of Haddam in 1718 showed a valuation of 3,607, 14s., and 8d.; that in 1813 showed for Haddam Society, $32,107.73; and for Haddam Neck, $5,422.33. The expense of supporting the poor of this town in 1813 was $320.


          There is little evidence of the participation of the people of this town in the French war. There is, nevertheless, existing evidence to show that some interest was taken by the people, and that a few at least offered their services to their country. At the annual town meeting in 1758, Capt. Jabez BRAINERD was appointed to receive the produce of the country "mentioned in the act of the General Assembly of the Colony Entitled an act to supply the Treasury in the present Extraordinary Emergency of government and for creating and Issuing Bills of Credit, and Dispose of such produce according to such act." From a private letter written some years afterward is gathered the information that James SMITH, Samuel TYLER, Col. Abraham TYLER, Lieut. HIGGINS, Lieut. N. DICKERSON, "any many more in Haddam," served in that war.


          The regulations governing the organization of the militia in this town were similar to those of other towns, and in later years uniform with the prescribed rules holding throughout the State. A militia company was formed at a very early date. George GATES, one of the proprietors, was probably its first captain. He was succeeded by another of the first settlers, James WELLS Esq., in May 1714.

          Following these the successive captains of this company up to 1814 were: Dea. James BRAINERD, Caleb CONE, Thomas SHAILER, John FISK, Gideon BRAINERD, James WELLS, Thomas SHAILER, Joseph SELDEN, James HAZELTON, Dea. Eliakim BRAINERD, John VENTRES, Oliver WELLS Esq., Joshua SMITH, David DICKINSON, Samuel SHAILER, Major Huntington MAY, Arnold TYLER, Col. John BRAINERD, Stephen DICKINSON, and Gideon HIGGINS.

          A new company was formed at Higganum about 1730. The successive captains of this company were: Nathaniel SUTLIFF, Abraham BROOKS, Jabez BRAINERD Esq., Charles SEETS, John SMITH, David BRAINERD, Col. David BRAINERD Esq., Heman BRAINERD, John BRAINERD, Noadiah CONE, John CLARKE, Curtis SMITH, Daniel BRAINERD, James WALKLEY, and Amos SMITH.

          A company was formed at Ponsett, from the Higganum company, in May 1771, and its successive commanders were: Stephen SMITH, Abner SMITH, Samuel HUBBARD, Edmund PORTER, Jeremiah HUBBARD, Jonathan BURR, Samuel BURR, Samuel STANNARD, James THOMAS, David SPENCER, Samuel HUBBARD, Abraham HUBBARD, and Sylvester BRAINERD.

          These companies were parts of a regiment that had been under the command of Hezekiah BRAINERD Esq., and Abraham TYLER.

          In 1740, a company was formed at Middle Haddam, when the people of Haddam Neck were transferred from the Haddam company to that. The honors of the captaincy at different times feel to the following members from Haddam Neck: Deacon Ebenezer SMITH, Thomas SELDEN, Ansel BRAINERD, Elias SELDEN, and Daniel BROOKS.

          In 1773, the militia of "Haddam Quarter" were transferred from the Higganum company to that of Durham, when that section was united to the latter town.


          The data from which to make up a narrative of the particular doings of the people of this town while that great struggle was in progress are meager and fragmentary. The militia were in constant drill, and prepared in a rude way to enter the service of their country at short notice, though the defense of their own immediate territory was to them of the first importance, and they seem with reluctance to have left their firesides when occasion called them to go into the service on distant fields. The equipments of the militia were put in more perfect order as the prospect of being called upon to defend themselves by resort to arms grew imminent. February 6th 1776, it was voted that all who had powder, balls, or flint from the town treasury should return them or pay for the same at the rat of six shillings a pound for powder, eight shillings a pound for ball, and twelve pence a dozen for flints. The first intimation of a call for men appears on the records under date of March 27th 1777, when the town appointed a committee to confer with the governor respecting the quota of men to be raised, and also the sudden rise in cattle which had been occasioned by some speculative action of under commissaries, much to the discomfiture of the people and the embarrassment of the government.

          March 31st 1777, the town voted unanimously that they would join with, and to the utmost in their power support the civil authority, selectmen, committee of inspection, and all informing officers in carrying out the laws made for regulating and fixing the prices of certain articles, as recommended by the governor and council of safety in their proclamation of March 18th 1777. At the same time they voted that the families of all soldiers who had enlisted or should do so, to fill up the battalion of this State, should be supplied, in the absence of such heads, with necessaries at the prices affixed by law, and if the committee appointed to superintend this business could not obtain such supplies at the prices affixed, the town should be drawn upon to make up the deficiency.

          At a meeting held on the 22d of April following, an effort was made to raise the quota of men for the Continental army. Accordingly a bounty of 5 was offered to every able bodied volunteer who should enlist for three years or ding the war, from this town in any of the nine and a half battalions to be raised in the State. All non-commissioned officers and soldiers were also to be supplied with two shirts, two pairs of stockings, and one pair of shoes annually. The time for which this offer held good closed in ten days following the meeting. At another meetings, held on the 2d of May following, a bounty of 4 was offered for enlistments that should be made up to the 5th of the next January. September 24th 1777, the town voted that the selectmen should hire some person to bring the salt that belonged to the town, which was then at Boston, to this place, where the selectmen should sell it out at cost, including expenses.

          The following is "A rool of the Persons who took the oath of allegiance & fremans Oath Sept. 1777:"-Capt. Abraham BROOKS, Capt. Cornelius HIGGINS, Ens. Jeremiah HUBBARD, Capt. Stephen SMITH, Major Abraham TYLER, Dr. BRAINERD, Joel ARNOLD, Hezekiah CLARK, Gideon BRAINERD, Joseph CONE, Deacon CONE, Capt. Samuel HUBBARD, Capt. John SMITH, John WILLCOCKS, Jedediah BRAINERD, Josiah BRAINERD, Increase BRAINERD, Samuel BRAINERD, allegiance, Daniel VENTRES, James CONE, Joel HUBBARD, Elijah BRAINERD, William BRAINERD Ebenezer THOMAS, Capt. John VENTRES, James PELTON, Elisha BRAINERD, Dudley BRAINERD, John SEWARD, Edmund PORTER, Lieut. Josiah BRAINERD, Daniel SMITH, Waken BROOKS, Gideon BAILERY, Nathaniel TYLER, Aaron THOMAS, Charles SMITH, Josiah BROOKS, David HUBBARD, William BAILEY, Lieut. Phineas BRAINERD, Capt. James HAZELTON, Jonathan BRAINERD, James HUBBARD, Captain SEARS, John CLARK, Eber TIBBALS, Thomas SHAILER jr., Baz. SHAILER, Lieut. James CLARK, Capt. Eliakim BRAINERD, Lieut. William SMITH, Simon TYLER, Jonathan SMITH, Lieut. James ARNOLD, Lieut. William WILLCOX, Augustus LEWIS, Samuel SCOVIL, Abijah BRAINERD, David BRAINERD, Phineas BRAINERD, jr., William SMITH, Stephen BAILEY, Lieut. Samuel BROOKS, Evan THOMAS, Nehemiah BRAINERD, Ens. Joseph BROOKS, Deacon EZRA BRAINERD, Samuel PRATT, Prosper BRAINERD, Samuel STANNARD, Lieut. Arnold HAZELTON, Asa SHAILER, Samuel LEWIS, Jeptha BRAINERD. "These four took the Oath of Allegiance."

          On the 10th of the following December, committees were appointed by the town, to procure clothing for the soldiers in the army, and to provide for their families at home. For several years afterward, similar committees and committees of inspection were annually appointed.

          On the 9th of July 1779, an alarm at Saybrook called for help from this town, Captain John VENTRES, with his company, responded, and repaired to the defense of that place. Nothing serious appears to have resulted, however, and the company were retained in the service only two days. This company was then attached to Colonel WORTHINGTON's regiment. The pay roll for that expedition shows that the following wages-remarkably high, on account of a depleted currency-were paid, per day, for service: To the captain, 2 8s., lieutenant, 1, 12s., ensign, 1, 4s.; sergeants, , 9s. 2d.; corporals, 1 7s. 3d.; privates, 10s. 6d. The company was then composed of: Captain John VENTRES; Lieutenant James ARNOLD; Ensign Oliver WELLS; Sergeants Thomas SHAILER, Charles SMITH, Reuben SMITH, and Jonathan SMITH; Corporals Samuel ARNOLD, Samuel LEWIS, David ARNOLD, and Augustus LEWIS; Drummer Daniel SMITH, and Privates Frederick SMITH, Obadiah DICKERSON, Elihu BATES, James ARNOLD, Roger THOMAS, James MERWIN, David HIGGINS, George KELSEY, William ELY, Samuel RAY jr., Josiah SCOVEL, Nathan BROOKS, Hawes HIGGINS, Jesse BRAINERD, Noah CLARK, EZRA SHAILER, Jesse TINKER, Jeffrey SMITH, John PORTER, Samuel BATES, Samuel SHAILER, Jethro SMITH, Oliver BRAINERD, James SMITH, Peter RAY, David DICKERSON, Jonathan SMITH, Hezekiah SHAILER, John SMITH, Zachariah BRAINERD, John CHURCH, Abraham TYLER jr., and Daniel RAY.

          In 1780, another quota of men was due for the Continental army, and June 26th a bounty of 3, and a monthly allowance of 25 shillings in addition to their wages, was offered to all volunteers who should enlist before the 5th of the following July. This additional allowance was to be paid in wheat, at five shillings a bushel. On the following day, a premium of five bushels of wheat per month was offered, in addition to wages, to every volunteer before July 5th, who should represent the town in the quota of 2,500 called for from this State.

          Recruits were, however, required to relinquish to the town the benefit of any grants that the General Assembly might thereafter make. The town decided to receive taxes in provisions, and fixed the following schedule of prices: Beef, best quality, per pound, 5 pence; beef, interior, but good, per pound, 4 pence; pork, from hogs weighing five score or less, per pound, 5 pence; pork, five to eight score, per pound, 5 pence; port, over eight score, per pound, 6 pence; wheat flour, per cwt., 24 shillings.

          On the 18th of December, the town offered a bounty of 20 for recruits for three years or 30 for those who would enlist for the term of the war, and an additional bounty of 10 yearly and 40 shillings monthly while in the service. These bounties were to be paid either in money or provisions, and the offer held good till the 7th of February following.

          Early in 1781, a quota of five men was due from the town for the defense of the State at Horse Neck. On the 17th of January, a town meeting offered a bounty of 6 and a guarantee of 40 shillings a month for men to fill this quota. Other calls followed, and Marcy 26th the men of the town were divided into nine classes, according to their assessments. On the 22d of June, two of these classes had furnished a man each, and the town voted that they should each furnish another man, and that the seven delinquent classes should furnish two men each, to fill the town's quota under a late call of the General Assembly.

          In September of this year another alarm appeared at Saybrook, and Capt. John VENTRES and his company again entered the service. They were under the regimental command of Col. TYLER, and used six days-from the 7th to the 12th, inclusive-in the expedition.

          February 25th 1782, the town voted to raise the six men required of it for the defense of Horse Neck, and a committee was authorized to obtain the men at whatever the committee was authorized to obtain the men at whatever price they might cost. On the 18th of March following, it was voted to raise two men from each of the nine classes in the town, to fill the quota in the Continental army. The committee on recruits, which had previously been appointed, was now instructed to look up deserters from the Continental army.

          In respect to illicit trade, the town, August 8th 1782, passed the following resolutions:

          "1. We will to our utmost bring to justice all who have been or may be concerned in this pernicious Traffic & use every lawful means to prevent and suppress it.

          "2. to which end we will to the utmost of our power & influence strengthen the hands of all officers, civil & military in the discharge of their duty & support the full & vigorous Execution of the laws of this State.

          "3. we will give every assistance to those that are vested with authority to Restrain & punish all suspicious persons traveling without proper passes or carrying British goods or other property made Siezable by law.

          "4. We will avoid as far as possible all intercourse, communication & dealings with such as have been or may be concerned in trading with the Enemy or who have been or may be justly suspected of being so concerned.

          "5. we will give every support and assistance in our power to those that shall Exert themselves to detect & bring to Justice persons concerned directly or indirectly in trading with the Enemy & treat as mean false and designing Every insinuation that such Endeavour are in the least degree inconsistent with the honour of good Inhabitants of these United States or that they are not Becoming and praiseworthy.

          "6. in the prosecution of these objects we will Endeavour to conform to the laws of this State being determined not to resort to force unless the circumstances of the case make it absolutely necessary.

          It was resolved that these resolutions should be published in the public prints.

          A quota of State soldiers was due August 20th 1782, when a committee was appointed to hire them, the number required being six men. The town struggled hard to do its part in the great effort of the new-born nation, and when the sheriff stood ready to serve an execution upon the selectmen the town voted authority to borrow money on the credit of the town to satisfy the execution, and also "that Ens. SCOVIL proceed with vigour and Resolution to a Speedy collection of the arrearages of the Taxes in his hands." But the dawn of peace gave the town a chance to recuperate its exhausted energies. January 11th 1787, a committee was appointed to look up the fire arms, tents, and all articles of camp equipage belonging to the town and deliver them into the hands of the town treasurer.

          The following papers, which have been preserved since the Revolutionary period afford interesting glimpses of the customs and condition of that time.

          "Haddam may 21st 1777.
          "This may Certify that I have Inlisted my Self as Soldier in the Continental army for three year under john SMITH Lieut for James CLARK Junr.
          "H. & Sylvanus CLARK.
          "Hezekiah CLARK Jur."

          "this may Certify that Samer NEGRO hath Inlisted himself a Soldier in the continental army in behalf of aron HUBBARD and Daniel SPENCER Junr, in a Regiment of foot to be Commanded by William DOUGLASS Esqur for the term of three years according to the act of the General assembly Passed in this State may 1777. Enlisted by me.
          "Gideon BAIULY lieut."

          "Theese may Certify that the following List contains the names of Sundry Souldiers Inlested in Coll. John ELY's Regiment before the 29th Instant and the Dates of their Inlistment.
          "Jesse BRAINARD 16th June 1777.
          "Sam'l Cone 16th
          "Amos BRAINARD 16th
          Jonathan SMITH 16th
          Felix AUGER 16th
          Beniah WHEELER 20th
          Jonathan CHURCH 20th
          Bushnell DUDLEY 17th
          Jeptha BRAINERD 29th
          "Certified pr John SHIPMAN.

          The following is addressed on the back "To the Clark of the County Court."
          "Haddam, August the 16th 1777.
          "A Returne of Sarjt Charles SMITH, Nathan BROOKS & Peter RAY in the third Company in the Seaventh Rigiment of Militia Who Were Ordered To March pursuant to Orders Rec'd" from Maj'r TYLER the Eighth of August to the Peeks kills for the Difence of the united States of America have intirely Refused and Neglected to march for that Purpose.
          "John VENTRES Capt."

          A regimental return of Capt. John VENTRES' company dated August 30th 1777, shows the company to contain a captain, lieutenant and ensign, three sergeants, a clerk, a drummer, two corporals, and 27 privates fit for duty. There were in service a sergeant, corporal, a fifer, and fifteen privates, while five were cleared by the late act, two were at sea, and four unfit for duty. An endorsement, acknowledging the receipt of money for public service in the company, is dated October 30th 1777, and bears the signatures of John CLARK, Increase BRAINERD, Oliver BAILEY, Samuel RAY, and Jonathan SMITH.

          "Haddam December the 1st 1777, pursuant to Orders from Lieut. Col. GRAVES to detach two Able Bodied men well armed and equipt to served under Capt. John HOPSON of Gilford which men are as follows viz David DICKENSON and Moses ELY, which orders I have obayed.
          "John VENTRES Capt."

          "Pursuant to Orders Receiv'd you are hereby command to warn all the Soldiers under my Command to Appear at the usual Place of Parade on Monday the 8th Day of Instant June at five o'Clock afternoon with their Arms Compleat in Order for mustering.
          John VENTRES Capt."

          "Dated Haddam June 6th 1778."
          "To Joshua SMITH, Clerk
          "Hereof make Return & fail not."
          This bears the following endorsement:
          "Haddam June 8th 1778.
          "then warning was Left at the usual place of abode of all the Soldiers under your Command.
          "Left By me Joshua SMITH, Clark."

          "This certyfys that Daniel Ray Jun'r Inlisted himself a Soldier in Behalf of the First Class in the town of Haddam to servie Six months from the Date of his inlistment.
          "Certifyd pr me
          Araham TYLER,
          "Lt Colo & muster master of 17 Regt."

          "To mr. Jeams RAY and Samuel RAY and Hasa SHAILER and Bazl DUDLEY and Nathan BROOKS and Solomon BATES and Joseph BATES and Elihew BATES and Timothy SHAILER and Jacob MILLER and Andrew SOUTHWORTH Jonathan BATES, Sarah WILLIAMS all of Haddam, Greating you are hereby Notified to apeair if you can see cause at the Dweling house of Capt. Arnold HAZELTON on Thursday next at three O'Clock in the afternoon to shew Reasons If any you have why you should not pay your Proposonebel part for the purpus of hireing a solder in the first Class for twelve mounths to any Indiferent person to Sarve and Return.
          "Haddam may 6 A. D. 1782.
          "Joseph BROOKS
          "Eliakim BRAINERD Selectmen."
          This paper is endorsed as follows:
          "Haddam May the 8th A. D. 1782.
          "then Read the within Notification in the hearing of all the within Named Persons Excepting Asa SHAILER, Joseph RAY, Jacob MILLER, Jonathan BATES, Sarah WILLIAMS, Nathan BROOKS, all these Persons whose Names are mentioned haves warning left at their houses.
          "Pr. Joshua SMITH Jr."

          The following named persons also served in the war of the Revolution:

          Christopher BAILERY, died April 18th 1840, aged 85; Eliakim BAILEY, died October 30th 1838, aged 80; John BAILEY, died June 1st 1815, aged 62; Jacob BAILEY, Killed at Stony Point, July 16th 1779, aged 32; Sergt. Reuben BAILEY, died June 1826, aged 72; Lieut. Gideon BAILEY, died May 10th 1806, aged 54; Samuel BURR; Stephen BURR; Benanawel BONFOEY, died August 14th 1825, aged 70; Lieut. Elijah BRAINERD, died May 23d 1828, aged 72; Aaron CLARK, died April 18th 1812, aged 70; Noadiah CONE; Thomas Church; James Kelly CHILD, died March 23d 1839, aged 73; Thomas CHILD, died at the age of nearly 90; William CLARK, died June 1830, aged 74; Lieut. Cornelius HIGGINS; Francis LEWIS; John Smith, died May 8th 1834, aged 78; Joseph SCOVIL, died March 1st, 1839, aged 82; Lieut. John SMITH, died January 1811, aged 72; Col. Abraham TYLER, died November 12th 1805, aged 71; Abishai SMITH; Capt. John BRAINERD, died 1820, aged 67.

WAR OF 1812.

          In the war of 1812-14, this town took but little part, though its people were affected by the restrictions upon commerce, yet not to such an extent as some other town were. A company of volunteers was raised in this town and commanded by Samuel BROOKS and Deacon Nehemiah BRAINERD. The following men were in the service during that war, nearly or quite all of them belonging to the company mentioned above: Charles ARNOLD, Noah CLARK, John VENTRES, Samuel CHURCH, Simon KNOWLES, Linus PARMELEE, John BRAINERD, George KELSEY, Samuel KELSEY (?), Dudley CLARK, George CLARK, Azra DICKINSON, John NORTHAM, Eleazer LEWIS, Elijah WILLIAMS, Timothy TYLER, Arnold H. HAYDEN, Stephen BROOKS James (?) BROOKS, Horace SMITH, George S. BRAINERD, Matthew HUBBARD, Thomas CHURCH, Captain Abraham HUBBARD, Sergeant Selden HUNTINGTON, Orren CROOK, Ezekiel BAILEY, Warren ELY, Nathaniel STOCKING, Joseph STANNARD, Joseph SHAILER, John SHAILER, Simon SHAILER, Hezekiah BRAINERD, ---HOUSE, Daniel BRAINERD, David CHURCH, and ---GOFF. This list has been kindly furnished by Mr. A. S. CLARK, a native of this town, but now a resident of Chicago.


          Haddam acquitted itself nobly in the great civil war of 1861-5. The following is a synopsis of the action of the town during that period.

          At a special town meeting, held on the 5th of August 1862, a bounty of $100 was offered for recruits to fill the quota of the town in the recent call for 300,000 men. A committee appointed to procure recruits consisted of Luther N. ARNOLD, Smith VENTRES, Isaac ARNOLD, Cornelius BRAINERD, and Philander BURR. On the 22d of the same month $100 bounty was offered for recruits in the Connecticut militia for nine months' service.

          At a special meeting, August 12, 1863, the town decided to pay each drafted man who should be held to service $150 as a bounty or to assist him in obtaining a substitute. The selectmen at this as well as at other meetings, were directed to borrow money on the credit of the town to meet the present needs, and immediately following the execution of the order the town voted a tax to be raised to meet the expense incurred.

          At a special meeting, August 25th 1864, it was directed that the selectmen should give an order on the town treasurer for $225 in favor of any man who should enlist or obtain a substitute to count to the credit of the town in making up its quota under the recent call for 500,000 men.

          December 31st 1864, the town voted a bounty of $150 to any recruit or drafted man who should count on the quota of the town under the call for 300,000 men, which quota for this town numbered 20. Isaac ARNOLD and A. J. SHERMAN were appointed a committee to procure volunteers or substitutes.

          The names of men who represented this town in the service of the United States during the Civil war appear in the general history of the county.


          The questions of subscribing to the capital stock of this railroad was brought before a special town meeting, February 15th 1869, and the proposition to take 300 shares was lost by a vote of 116 against 3. Another vote on the question was reached on the 2d of the following March, the conditions of the proposition now being that all the avails of such subscription should be applied to the construction of the road south of the city of Middletown, and that it should not be made binding until at least 10,000 shares of the stock should be taken by responsible individuals or corporations. The proposition was adopted by a vote of 231 against 183. Daniel SCOVIL was appointed the agent for the town, to subscribe in its name and behalf for the stock and vote upon the same in stockholders' meeting for one year. At a third meeting, held on the 30th of the following August, the numbers of shares was increased from 300 to 400. The growing popularity of the movement is shown by the vote which now stood 208 in favor against 84 opposed to it. The payment of the first installment of 5 percent was ordered January 10th 1870. The issue of bonds to the amount of $40,000, to meet the expense of this stock, was decided upon at a meeting March 7th 1870. The bonds were dated April 1st 1870, to bear six per cent interest, to be redeemable in ten years and due in 20 years. March 20th 1880, the town authorized the issue of new bonds, bearing four and a half per cent interest, with which to replace the first issue at the expiration of the first ten years. The bonds were bought by C. T. HILLYER of Hartford, and are still running, no part of them having been paid.


          The first record in relation to schools is in 1705, when Nathaniel SPENCER, John VENTROUS, and Thomas BROOKS were chosen by the town a committee for the school on the west side of the river.

          November 8th 1708, the town decided to procure a "sufficient schoolmaster" to be employed 10 months in the year, from the middle of February. The master was obliged to teach all the children sent by their parents to the school, "both for reading and writing." The inhabitants agreed to pay such "schoolmaster for his services" as the law directs concerning schools," and to give the offer some definiteness in regard to results, they agreed to pay for all male children between the age of five and 12 years, and all female from five to seven years, whether they were sent to school or not. On the 10th of the following March, the town voted to employ William SCOVILL as the school master according to that plan.

          The school was at first accommodated in a private house. The question of building a school house began to be agitated in 1709, and a vote to build one near the house of Capt. Samuel CLARK was passed that year. Whether the house was built according to that vote or not does not appear. Another attempt to build a school house was made in 1716, when on the 13th of December the town voted to build one 16 by 18 feet in size, "near the Sign Post." The building was also to be used for those who "dwell remote," in attending church. Whether this building was erected at that time or not the documentary evidence does not show; but in 1728, a school house was in question, and a subscription was raised for that purpose. This subscription contains the names of 59 persons, and the sums subscribed amounted to 24, 3s, 6d. In 1730, the town paid for school 8, 10s. In 1732, the town voted to keep the school at the school house three months, and to move it from place to place during the remainder of the year. The time that the school should be kept was regularly voted upon every year by the town. The following vote was passed March 16th 1735-5:

          "At said meeting it was voted and agreed upon that the school for the teaching Children to Read or knot or otherwise shall for the first six months ensuing of this present year be kept in divers parts of this town by School Dames only and as for the number of school Dames and the places where said school shall be kept it is wholly left to the discretion of the school committee to order.

          "Also further by vote it was fully agreed that after the above six months are Expired that then for the next five months ensuing the School shall by a School master be kept all the term of s'd five months at our present school house."

          In 1814, there were 13 school districts in the town, 12 of which were on the west side of the river. Their location and the number of scholars who attended school in each were as follows: No. 1 Haddam Centre, 94; No. 2, Higganum, 83; No. 3, Ponsett, 40; No. 4, Shailerville, 75; No. 5, Turkey Hill, 38; No. 6, Candlewood Hill, 35; No. 7. Tylerville, 67; No. 8, Walkley Hill, 19; No. 9, Brainerd District, 27; No. 10, Little City, 30; No. 11, Beaver Meadow, 26; No. 12, Burr District, 41; and Haddam Neck, 72; making a total in the town of 647 scholars in the schools. The most of these schools were taught by men in the winter and by women in the summer.


          The scraps of information concerning the early establishment of mills for sawing and grinding, and fulling cloth, are so scattering that it is difficult to make a satisfactory statement concerning them, or to give a certain and definite account of their founding. Means for reducing their grain to meal were among the first needs of the colonists, and the manufacture of boards for protecting themselves and their stock from the rigors of the weather was begun as soon as it was possible to establish the facilities. Special inducements were offered those who would engage in these enterprises, and the fulling mill soon found its place when the settlers became so well established as to begin the manufacture of cloth for their garments.

          The following is the earliest record concerning these matters. It is without date, but was passed at some time between 1662 and 1669:

          "Whereas the towne are in Great nasesity of a Corne mille and are hot abell to bild one have sould the above said lands that were laid out for a smith to John ELDERKIN of Norwich to billd a mill for them and have ingaged to accommodate a smith with land any wheare in the towne that shall come wheare he shall like and to make it equivilent as near as they can to what was laid out for a smith."

          What Mr. Elderkin did in the matter is not known, but somewhere he failed in making good his agreement with the town, and March 26th 1669 the townsmen were instructed to bring suit against him for that delinquency, but with what result is not known.

          It was not permitted for the people to go to mill at any time. Probably the business did not require running the mill but a part of the time. The town voted, November 11th 1669, that "euary monday shall be the day for euary one to cary his Corne to mille to Grinde." It is probable that the mill established by Mr. ELDERKIN was on the stream known as Mill River. March 13th 1670-71, it was voted that ten acres of land should be laid out on the east side of that river at the south end of John HENERSON's six-acre lot, to belong to the mill forever.

          The send enterprise of the kind was probably established upon Higganum River. A grant or contract having been previously made, the following action in regard to it was taken February 19th 1678.

          "At the same meeting it was voated that the time of the goeing of the sawe mille at Heganumpos is deferred to the first of may next issueing.

          "At the same meeting it was uoated the streame one heganumpes riuer shall belonge to the aboue sayd mille during the time of saweing and the mille be kept in good repaire for that worke except their be a desertion by the owners of the mille for one years; prouided that noe extraordinary prouedence fall out to hiner them."

          The owners of the mill were granted, at the same meeting, 10 acres where it was most convenient for them, and in additional tract of sixty acres, provided they would build a dwelling house and place an inhabitant in it for four years.

          In 1695, the town covenanted with Joseph ROGERS, granting him the privilege of putting up a saw mill at the end of his grist mill. Some of the conditions were that he should furnish the townspeople with timber or lumber for their own use, for 12 pence less per 100 feet than they could purchase the same at any other place on the river, and he should have hone half for sawing logs of any kind except oak, for which he was to be paid 12 pence a 100 feet.

          The mill on Mill River probably belonged to the town for several years after this time. February 28th 1704, a committee was appointed to take action "concerning our mill to bring her into order and equipage to do the town's work." During the same year, probably after the mill had been put in good repair, it was determined by the vote of the town that Moses VENTRES should tend "the corne mill," and grind only on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of each week.

          A grant was afterward made-at what time it not definitely known, though it was probably not many years-to Joseph and Simon SMITH and Benjamin TOWNER, to set up a saw mill on the brook where Ensign Moses VENTRES had formerly erected a dam. This grant was probably made in complement of a general offer which the town had made in 1706. That offer was to the effect that any one who would set up a saw mill on the stream upon which the corn mill already stood, should have liberty to cut from the common forests of the town, wherever they might choose, as much timber as they wanted to saw.

          December 25th 1718, Gerard SPENCER and others had a saw mill on Higganum River. The town granted them, at the above date, 16 rods wide from the saw mill to the highway, as long as they should keep the mill running. At this time Daniel CLARK had a fulling mill on the common highway on Mill Brook.

          These examples are not given as an attempt to make a detailed history of the establishment or progress of these mills. They are the earliest of which anything is known, and the records of them show their importance in the eyes of the people at that time.


          Various kinds of stone abound in this town, but the mass of rock formation consists of a bluish granite or sandstone, varying in hardness, and a mixture of shaley substances too soft for any practical purpose. Some of these veins have been worked to a considerable extent.

          The quarry on Haddam Neck began to be worked in 1762, and work in it was continued till the difficulties of 1812 restricted the movements of commerce.

          About the year 1794, the quarry below the village of Haddam was opened. This quarry begins about 100 rods from the river, in a stratum of blue stone which stands nearly on its edge and runs in a direction nearly north and south, appearing on both sides of the river and extending in its course for many miles, even beyond the limits of the town. In the early years of the century 80 or 90 hands were frequently employed in these quarries. Half a mile south of this place SHALER's quarry was opened about 1810. But little has been done there of late. Stone from these quarries is used for building, curbing, and paving purposes. Prices in the early years of the century ranged from 10 to 14 cents a square foot for slabs two inches thick, and 17 to 21 cents for curbing four inches thick. Markets were found in the cities of this State and Rhode Island, and in Boston, New York, Albany, and Baltimore.

          The quarries known as the HAZELTON and the General BRAINERD quarries are still being worked, though the forces are much smaller than formerly. The latter was purchased, July 19th 1884, by the Haddam Granite Company of New York.


          This industry has received but a moderate degree of attention. In recent years, however, a single locality, Higganum, has been rapidly growing by the increase of manufacturing. One of the earliest items in this line is the record that shows a grant as given to Thomas BROOKS jr., December 14th 1725, to set up a shop and a trip hammer upon Wells' Brook. A scythe factory was in operation a few years in the early part of the century. It was located on Pine Brook. A gin distillery was set up in 1813, and about that time the manufacture of gun barrels was begun by Hezekiah SCOVIL, at Candlewood Hill. USHER's Mills stood one-fourth of a mile west from Higganum Landing. A clothier's works and carding machine were here in 1814, the former fulling and dressing 4,500 years of woolen cloth and dressing 1,000 yards of women's wear per annum, while the latter carded 3,000 pounds of wool. One spinning machine was connected with them. There were also in 1814, besides the above, one clothier's works, two carding machines, five grist mills, nine saw mills, seven tanneries, two cider distilleries, and one brick yard.


          Shipbuilding was begun in this town during the early years of the last century, though no considerable progress was made for many years, and at no time has the business been carried on as extensively as at some other points on the river. One of the earliest instances recorded is the item that Nathaniel TYLER, in the summer of 1734, built a brig on the river at the foot of a lot belonging to Joseph ARNOLD at the town center. About that time, or perhaps before, something was done in that line on the bank of the river west of Haddam Island. Still later the work was carried on in the lower part of the town. A sloop was built at Higganum in 1754, and from that time on for a century, the business was carried on there more or less.

          In 1815, there were launched from yards in this town, four brigs aggregating 745 tons, and one schooner of 110 tons. The last vessel was built about twenty years ago.


          This town began some participation in the West India trade about the middle of the last century. It was, however, more extensively engaged in the coasting trade. There were, in 1814, belonging to Haddam, one ship, three brigs, five schooners, and three sloops, aggregating 1,597 tons. In the following year, Haddam owned one ship, 318 62/95 tons; four brigs 737 48/95 tons; three schooners, 288 65/95 tons; and five sloops, 394 15/95 tons.

          In the early part of this century, the exportation of cord-wood from this town was an important item of industry. Higganum Landing was the point most frequented in this business. From there, 2,000 cords were carried in 1807. Hickory then brought $5 to $6 a cord, while oak brought from $3 to $4. These prices, in view of the comparative value of money at that time, were much higher than the prices obtained for wood in later years.


          Fishing was doubtless pursued from the beginning of the settlement, but little was done for the market, outside of local needs, until about the year 1760. The river, and its tributary streams, at that time abounded with shad, salmon, and various other kinds of fish. Salmon, now so rate in all our rivers occupied by commerce, were so numerous in the stream that flows into the river from the east, and forms the boundary between this town and East Haddam, as to give it a name. But this fish long ago became a stranger in these waters. The shad have held their place in these waters, and the shad fishing has continued to be an industry of much profit and importance. Dr. FIELD says: "These used to be considered as hardly eatable;" but that erroneous impression had, even in his time, faded out from the popular mind. There were, in 1814, 16 or 17 places in this town where they were caught, and about 200,000 fish were annually taken here. The largest single draught at that time had been made in 1802, and numbered about 2,300 fish.


          Several ferries, operating within the limits of this town or between it and East Haddam, were granted to the town or to individuals at an early date. One of these was established at an early period at a place called BRAINERD's Wharf, where the road or highway leads eastward by Cedar Hill. A grant was made for it from the Colonial Assembly to the people of Haddam. The rates to be charged were: for a man, horse and load, two pence; for a foot man, three farthings; for an ox or other neat cattle, three pence; and for a sheep, hog, or goat, one farthing.

          There were in 1814 four ferries, two between Haddam and East Haddam, and two between Haddam and the Neck. CHAPMAN's Ferry was the oldest, and from the first had been held as private proverty. This connected Haddam and East Haddam, and had been established under a grant made in 1694. It had been abandoned for many years, when the East Haddam Ferry, between the same points was granted in 1811 to George LORD and Eber RUTTY. A fatty between Higganum and the Neck, known as Higganum Ferry, was granted to Haddam town in May 1763. Haddam Ferry, plying between Haddam and the Neck, was granted to Calvin and Roswel BRAINERD in 1814.


          The following is a copy of one of the earliest records of a town meeting for the election of officers. It bears date February 7th 1666:

          "At a towen mettinge whear of it was a Greed-by the in habytantes that William VENTROUS and John BALY and George GATTES were chosen towens men to order the a ffears of the towen for the yeare insuing es may be for the bennifit of the towen.

          "Also that Joseph ARNALL and Richard JONES eare chosen seruaers for the yeare in suing.

          "Also that James WELLES and John HENDERSON eare chosen fenes ueuer for the yeare in suing.

          "Also that Abraham DYBELL is chosen by the towen to goee with a petichon to the General corte conserning the boundes and the Island."

          Officers were at first chosen by vive voce vote in town meeting, but October 7th 1668 it was voted that townsmen and constable should be "chosen by papers." The number of officers was at first small. Three men "to manage town affaires," were annually chosen, and these, with the town measurers or surveyors, and a constable, and fence viewers, were the principal officers chosen for several years. Collectors of town and minister's rates were afterward added to the list, and still others, as occasion seemed to develop the necessity, were placed upon that list. The men "to manage town affaires" were afterward called townsmen, and still later selectmen, which title first appears in 1682.

          Representatives.-The Representatives for the town of Haddam from 1670 to 1884, are given in chorological order below:

          George GATES, 1670 M.-1673 O., 1674 O.-1677 M., 1678 M., 1678 O., 1679 O., 1680 M., 1681 M.-1683 O., 1685 M., 1686 M., 1686 O., 1687 O.-1689 O., 1690 O., 1691 M., 1694 O., 1698 M., 1699 M.-1701 M., 1702 M.; Peter BLACHFORD, 1670 M; James BATES, 1670 O., 1671 M., 1672 M.-1673 M., 1674 M., 1684 M., 1684 O., 1685 O; John GILBERT, 1673 O.; Richard PYPER, 1674 M; Jarrad SPENCER, 1674 O.-1677 M., 1678 M.-1680 M., 1683 M., 1683 O; Joseph ARNOLD, 1689 M.-1690 M., 1691 M., 1691 O; Daniel BRAINERD, 1692 M.-1693 O., 1695 M., 1695 O., 1696 O.-1698 O., 1701 M.-1706 M., 1710 M., 1711 O., 1712 O., 1715 O; John CHAPMAN 1696 M., 1697 O., 1698 O., 1701 O., 1703 O.,--1705 M., 1706 M., 1807 O; William SPENCER, 1699 M.-1700 O; Thomas GATES, 1703 M., 1707 M., 1707 O., 1708 O.-1709 O., 1711 M., 1712 M., 1715 M.; James WELLS, 1706 O.-1708 M., 1709 O.-1711 M., 1712 M., 1712 O., 1713 O., 1714 M., 1723 O.-1725 O.; Simon SMITH, 1709 M., 1714 O; James BRAINERD, 1711 O., 1726 M.-1729 O., 1733 O., 1734 M., 1736 M., 1737 M; Hezekiah BRAINERD, 1713 M., 1715 M.-1723 M., 1736 O., 1737 O.-1738 O., 1740 M., 1741 M., 1741 O., 1742 O.-1744 O., 1745 O.-1747 M., 1748 O.-1753 M., 1754 O., 1755 M., 1756 M., 1757 M., 1758 M., 1759 M.-1761 M., 1762 M.-1764 M., 1765 M., 1766 M., 1767 O., 1768 O., 1769 M., 1770 M., 1770 O., 1771 O.-1772 O., 1774 O., 1776 O., 1778 M., 1779 M., 1781 O., 1785 M., 1785 O; John Bogue, 1716 O; Caleb CONE, 1730 M., 1731 M., 1732 O., 1733 M., 1734 O., 1735 O., 1739 O., 1740 O; Gerrard SPENCER, 1730 O., 1732 M; Jared SPENCER 1731 O; Isaac SPENCER 1735 M; John FISK, 1842 M; Thomas BROOKS, 1742 O., 1743 M.; Joseph WELLS, 1745 M., 1751 O., 1754 M., 1755 O., 1758 O., 1761 O., 1764 O; Nathaniel SUTLIEF, 1747 O., 1748 M; Joseph BRAINERD, 1753 O.; Abraham BROOKS, 1756 O., 1757 O.; Thomas SELDEN, 1765 O., 1766 O., 1768 M., 1769 M., 1769 O., 1772 O., 1773 M; Daniel BRAINERD, 1767 M.; Jabez BRAINERD, 1769 O., 1770 M., 1771 M.-1772 M., 1773 O., 1774 M.; Joseph BROOKS, 1770 O., 1771 M., 1773 M., 1774 O.-1777 M., 1778 M., 1778 O., 1779 O., 1780 M.; John BROOKS, 1773 O., 1774 M.; Joseph SMITH, 1775 M., 1775 O.; Phineas BRAINERD, 1776 M.; Ezra BRAINERD, 1777 M., 1777 O., 1780 O., 1782 M., 1785 M.-1787 M., 1788 O., 1790 M., 1791 O., 1792 O.-1793 O., 1795 M., 1796 O., 1797 M., 1801 M., 1802 M., 1813 M.-1816 O., 1818 O.; Nehemiah BRAINERD, 1777 O., 1781 O., 1789 M., 1789 O., 1790 O.--1792 M.; Cornelius HIGGINS, 1778 O., 1779 M., 1780 M.-1781 M., 1782 M.-1784 O., 1786 M.-1787 M., 1792 O.-1793 O.; James HAZLETON, 1779 O.; Josiah BRAINERD, 1782 O.; Abraham TYLER, 1783 M.; Hezekiah SMITH, 1783 O., 1794 M.; Oliver WELLS, 1784 M.; Edmund PORTER, 1784 O.; David BRAINERD, 1787 O., 1788 O.-1789 O., 1790 O., 1797 O., 1798 M.; Edward SELDEN, 1787 O., 1788 M., 1790 M., 1791 M., 1792 M., 1794 M.-1796 M., 1797 O., 1804 M.-1805 M.; Daniel BRAINERD, 1794 O., 1795 O.-1796 O., 1799 M.-1802 M., 1806 O., 1807 M., 1809 M.; John MAY, 1797 M., 1798 M., 1798 O.; Oliver WELLS, 1798 O., 1803 M., 1803 O.; Smith CLARK, 1799 M.-1900 O., 1801 O., 1803 M., 1803 O., 1827; Jonathan SMITH, 1802 O.; David SPENCER, 1802 O; J. HUNTINGTON jr., 1804 M.-1805 M; David HUBBARD, 1805 O.; Luther BOARDMAN, 1805 O.-1807 M.; Stephen TIBBALS, 1806 M., 1810 O., 1817 M., 1819 M; Elijah HUBBARD, 1807 O.; John PRATT, 1807 O.; Jonathan HUNTINGTON, 1808 M., 1808 O., 1809 O.-1813 M.; Elias SELDEN, 1808 M., 1808 O., Elesas SELDEN, 1809 M.-1810 M.; Reuben R. CHAPMAN, 1811 M.-1812 M.; Ansel BRAINERD, 1812 O., Timothy CHAPMAN, 1813 O.-1814 O., 1816 M.; James K. CHILDS, 1815 M., 1815 O.; John BRAINERD 2d, 1817 M., 1818 M.-1820; Joseph SCOVIL, 1817 O., 1823; Simon SHALER, 1817 O., 1821, 1822, 1825, 1827, 1829, 1830, 1832, 1833, 1847; George W. SMITH, 1818 M., 1820-22, 1826; Jonathan USHER, 1823; John BRAINERD, 1824; Jared ARNOLD, 1824, 1828, 1831; Ely WARNER, 1825, 1831; Charles ARNOLD, 1826, 1828-1830, 1832-34, 1841; Nehemiah DICKINSON, 1834, 1835, 1838; Lyman E. BURR, 1835, 1836; Warren TYLER, 1836, 1837; Gideon BRAINERD, 1837, 1838; Samuel ARNOLD 2d 1839, 1842, 1851; Russell SHALER 2d, 1839, 1840; Ephraim PIERSON, 1840, 1841, 1849 1862; Diodate BRAINERD 1842, 1843; Ansel SPENCER, 1843, 1848; Samuel ARNOLD, 1844; William B. DICKINSON, 1844, 1875, 1876; Hezekiah S. SCOVILL, 1845, 1847, 1857, 1861, 1869; Daniel M. TYLER, 1845; Isaac Arnold, 1846, 1860, 1863, 1874-76; Henry M. BRAINERD, 1846; Harvey E. BRAINERD, 1848, 1849; Russell SHALER, 1850, 1860; Coleman CLARK, 1850; Joseph R. SHALER, 1851; Asa SHALER, 1852, 1754 [should be 1854]; Jonathan ARNOLD, 1852; Charles RUSSELL, 1853; D. P. LANE, 1853; Philander BURR, 1854; Smith VENTRES, 1855; James S. SELDEN, 1855; Warren S. WILLIAMS, 1856; George S. CLARK, 1856, 1862; David CHURCH, 1857, 1858; Jared H. SHALER, 1858, 1859; Orrin SHALER, 1859, 1882, 1883; Chauncey ARNOLD, 1861; Charles S. RUSSELL, 1863; George L. DICKINSON, 1864; Stephen H. BURR, 1864; Noah BURR, 1865, 1866; William J. SMITH, 1865, 1966; Daniel SCOVILLE, 1867, 1873; Charles A. T. DICKINSON, 1867, 1868; Warren TAYLOR, 1868, 1871; James C. WALKLEY, 1869; Henry H. CLARK, 1870; W. K. SMITH, 1870; George W. ARNOLD, 1871; Jonathan W. CLARK, 1872; Leroy A. SMITH, 1872, 1879; Alpheus W. TYLER, 1873, 1874; James W. CONE, 1877, 1878; Ephraim P. ARNOLD 1877, 1879; William F. BRAINERD, 1878; Giles TAYLOR, 1880; Francis A. HOUSE, 1880, 1881; John RUSSELL, 1881; Henry H. BRAINERD, 1882, 1884; Clinton B. DAVIS, 1883, 1884.

          Town Clerks.-The following have been elected town clerks for this town successively as the dated show:

          Capt. George GATES, 1698; Joseph ARNOLD, 1703-1715; 1720, 1717-39, 1741-43; Hezekiah BRAINERD, 1716-1719, 1721-26, 1740, 1744-72; Nehemiah BRAINERD, 1773-1802; Smith CLARK, 1803-13; John BRAINERD, 1813-1837; Ezekiel S. CLARK, 1838-55; John H. RUSSELL, 1856-84.


          This is the oldest settlement of the town. The village is pleasantly situated on the hill overlooking the river. The village street is nearly level for a mile or more, running parallel with the river at an elevation of about 50 feet above it. Greenwood Cemetery occupies a bluff near the south end of the village. It belongs to a private company, who purchase the ground of David B. VENTRES. The first grave made in it was that of Nehemiah BRAINERD, who died December 15th 1846. The oldest burying ground in the town is that just east of the court house in the upper part of the village. It was dedicated to that use during the very early years of the settlement. The oldest headstone now to be found bearing a date is that at the grave of Daniel BRAINERD, the progenitor of that numerous and prominent family in this town, who died April 1st 1715.

          The old parsonage, once occupied by Dr. David Dudley FIELD, stands on the east side of the village street, nearly opposite but a little above the school house. This was the birthplace of the eminent counselor, Hon. David Dudley FIELD. Dr. FIELD afterward built the house now occupied by Mr. Zachariah BRAINERD, opposite the Methodist church, and in that house the now eminent jurist, Hon. Stephen J. FIELD, associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, was born.

          In the year 1878, the four sons of Dr. FIELD, viz., David Dudley, Steven J., Cyrus W., and Henry M., purchased several parcels of land in this village, and subsequently had the land laid out and improved as two parks, one of which was called Meeting House Park, and the other FIELD Park. The former contains about two acres, and the latter a little more than 12 acres. By a deed bearing date November 1st 1880, these grounds were placed in the hands of the Haddam Park Association, to be kept as a memorial of the Rev. David D. FIELD, and Submit DICKINSON, his wife, parents of the grantors, and to be maintained as a public pleasure ground for the people of Haddam forever.

          BRAINERD Academy, a large three story stone building, was erected in 1839. It adjoins FIELD Park. Its founders were Nehemiah and John BRAINERD. A deed, bearing date January 15th 1840, placed the property in the hands of a board of 12 trustees, who were invested with liberal discretionary powers in regard to the system of instruction to be followed in the institution. Vacancies in the board of trustees were to be filled by election by the board, which must always consist of eight members of the First Ecclesiastical Society, of Haddam, and four members of some other Congregational society or societies, of Middlesex county. Further grants of land were afterward made to the institution by its generous founders. A flourishing and successful school was maintained for sever years, but it has been falling away of late, until it has but a comparatively feeble support. The Superior Court is held alternately at Middletown and Haddam. It sits here on the third Tuesday in April, and the fourth Tuesday of September. The removal of the county buildings from this town has been repeatedly under discussion for many years. The first court house was built in 1786. Its site had been occupied by a town house or hall, and the town held the right to use the lower floor of the court house for its meetings. This building was 28 by 44 feet on the ground, and two stories high. The court room was above, and the town hall below. The building stood on nearly the identical site of the present court house. It was a wooden building, and had entrance doors on the east, south, and west sides. A flight of stairs led up in the northwest corner, and the judge's bench was on the east side of the court room. The jury sat on the north side of the bar, which was immediately in front of the judge, and a narrow room was partitioned off across the north end of the building, just behind the jury, for that body to retire in. The present court house was built in 1829. A jail was built at the same time as the first court house. It became untenable, and was condemned about 1812. Another was soon afterward erected on a site a few rods southeast of the site of the present workhouse. It was a wooden building. The present handsome stone building was erected in 1845, at a cost of about $6,500, of which sum the town of Haddam gave $1,000 and the people of the town by individual subscriptions gave $3,000, one-half of the latter amount being contributed by the Hon. Samuel ARNOLD. Additions have since been made to the building.

          From the church history published by Rev. E. E. LEWIS, is taken the following paragraph in relation to the Methodist church of this village, which has been silent now for many years, the last preacher in charge having been the Rev. T. P. MARSH, who closed his service here in 1869, or about that time:

          "The earliest class that was afterward connected with the Haddam Street Methodist Church was formed at Chapman's Ferry about 1815. Probably in 1829, Haddam Street Class was formed, and the next year, 1830, the place was made a station, and Robert TRAVIS was appointed to it by conference. After two years Nathaniel KELLOGG succeeded him, and in 1834 S. C. Davis became the preacher. In 1835, in connection with a religious quickening of the previous winter, a class was formed in Higganum, and the Maromas and Candlewood Hill classes were reorganized and transferred to Haddam station. Services were held in the court house till the meeting house was erected in 1837, at the dedication of which Rev. Dr. FISKE, of Wesleyan University, preached. This same year the first trustees of the church, Ephraim PIERSON, Alva KELSEY, and D. M. TYLER, were elected. The church reported its largest membership, 80 , in 1851, just previous to the formation of the church at Higganum. Regular services have not been kept up for several years."

          Columbia Lodge of Free Masons, which had been organized at East Haddam, was moved here about 1825 to 1830, and remained here, meeting in the ball room on the second floor of the house then occupied by John BRAINERD, now occupied by Albert DICKINSON, next below the "stone store." The lodge remained here between five and ten years, during which time William COOK and David VENTRES were masters of it. White here it received a number of members, and was afterward moved back to East Haddam several years before a lodge was instituted here.

          Granite Lodge, No. 199, F. & A. M., was chartered January 5th 1879, with 26 charter members. Its worshipful masters have been: Albert H. WEST, Charles A. DICKINSON, Richard E. MAY, and Ezra F. BRAINERD. Its first officers were: A. H. WEST, W. M.; William E. ODBER, S. W.; T. J. CLARK, J. W.; E. P. ARNOLD, treasurer, and J. M. INGERSOLL, secretary. HIGGANUM.

          A store was opened at the landing here in 1752, and about that time the locality began to build up and business increased until it became the most lively part of the town. Large Quantities of cord-wood were shipped from here in the early years of the present century. In 1814, a clothier's works, a grist mill, and an oakum factory stood on the stream that flows into the Connecticut River here. A brick yard was in operation about half a mile north of the landing. This was started in 1809 or 1810. It was formerly owned by Luther FREEMAN, and lastly by George A. and Orrin FREEMAN, until about 1850 when work on it was suspended. The clothier's works above referred to were run by Jonathan USHER, afterward by Roswell REED, and probably closed about 1850. Wool was carded in the same shop until about 10 years since. The shop stood on the ground now occupied by the western end of the Higganum Hardware Company's shop. The oakum factory was run by Selden USHER, Ebenezer COOK, Elijah HUBBARD, and David ALLEN. It stood just above the bridge, on the site afterward occupied by the webbing mill which was carried away by the great October flood.

          A grist mill once stood on the left bank of the stream, just above the present site of RUSSELL Manufacturing Company's cotton mill, near the foot of the rocky falls. It was established in the early part of the last century, or perhaps earlier. Benjamin BAILEY, in 1733, deeded one-half of it to his son Benjamin. A later mill stood on the same site, and was burned about the year 1835 or 1836. A saw mill stood on the right bank of the stream at about the same point. Benjamin BAILEY settled in the western part of the village probably as early as the year 1700. Jabez BRAINERD settled here somewhat later. John and Ephraim BAILEY were also living here about 1712 to 1716. Of the two last mentioned, John lived where Hezekiah SCOVIL now does, and Ephraim lived where the Methodist church stands.

          James CHILD came from Warren, Rhode Island, and commenced shipbuilding at Higganum in 1762 or 1763. He carried on the business until his death, in 1788, when he was succeeded by his son, James Kelly CHILD. By the latter it was continued until 1837, his sons, Chauncey and Hezekiah, being associated with him during the latter years of that period. The sons kept up the business until 1854, since which time but little has been done here in shipbuilding. During the ware of 1812, James Kelly CHILD built two gun boats for the Government, after a model furnished by the department. Matthew HUBBARD built vessels here for a while during the early years of the century. Jonathan and Selden HUNTINGTON built vessels here as early as 1805, and for about 20 years after that date. John MAY, before 1832, commenced the business here, and continued it until 1835. George M. CLARK built a schooner here in 1865, since which time nothing has been done in the line.

          The birthplace of David BRAINERD, the celebrated missionary, stood in a field sloping toward the river about two-thirds of a mile below the Congregational church in Higganum. The hole left by the cellar of the house marks it former site.

          Higganum Cemetery occupies an elevated site near the busy portion of the village. The ground was opened for burial in 1741. The oldest stone in the ground is that which stands at the grave of Thomas BEVINS, who died May 17th 1742. The ground covers about three acres, and contains among the numerous tablets some handsome and even elegant monuments.

          The following men from the neighborhood of Higganum served in the French and Indian wars of the middle of the last century. Ezekiel BAILEY, Simon CONE, ---BONFOEY, Samuel BRAINERD, Martin MCNARY, Richard BLAKE and Jonathan ARNOLD. In the American Revolution this vicinity was represented in the service by the following: Christopher BAILEY, Eliakim BAILEY, Jacob BAILEY, (Killed at Stony Point, July 16th 1779) John BAILEY, Lieut. Gideon BAILEY, Sergt. Reuben BAILEY, Benanuel BONFOEY, Lieut. Elijah BRAINERD, Aaron CLARK, Thomas CHURCH, Noadiah CONE, Zachariah BRAINERD, John SMITH, Joseph SCOVIL, Lieut. John SMITH, James Kelly CHILD, Thomas CHILD, William CLARK, Jonathan SMITH, Ezra SMITH, and Col. Nehemiah TYLER, Jonathan and EZRA SMITH died in the prison ship.

          The Higganum Savings Bank was chartered in 1874. Its first officers were: E. P. ARNOLD, president; E. D. GILBERT, secretary; Cornelius BRAINERD, treasurer; and Isaac ARNOLD, Cornelius BRAINERD, James C. WALKLEY, George M. CLARK and E. P. ARNOLD, directors. Its present officers are, George M. CLARK, president; E. D. GILBERT, secretary and treasurer. Its present capital is $30,000.


          One of the most memorable and destructive events known to the annals of this town was the great flood of October 4th 1869. At this season of the year it is common for the usual rains to swell the streams to a considerable degree, and sometimes so much so as to cause some damage. But on the occasion referred to the damage was unusually great. A heavy rain fell during Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, the 2d, 3d, and 4th of October. The three streams that unite her to form Higganum River were greatly swollen, and at about noon on Monday a reservoir on one of the streams gave way, and its contents being precipitated upon the already violent flood, its force suddenly became irresistible and terrific. The whole valley occupied now by stores and shops was inundated, and the roaring torrent, as it swept down the Candlewood Hill Brook tore out deep gullies in the earth carried large boulders down to the village center. The water rose nearly to the crown of the stone bridge at the foot of the hill that rises to the eastern part of the village. The webbing mill, a building 45 feet square and two stories high, with its machinery, valued at about $30,000, was lifted from its foundation and carried down over the falls by the cotton mill, where it tore away the corner of that building, and then went crashing to fragments at the foot of the falls. Barns and store houses went with it, and the debris was borne on the flood and scattered along the banks of the "Cove" and out upon the river. The mill had employed from 50 to 100 hands, but fortunately, owing to the fact that it had been closed for repairs that day, there was no one in the building when it went down.

          In the valley of the Candlewood Hill Brook lived Mrs. Hannah MCINTOSH, a widow, in a small house, alone. The neighbors, expecting to find the house swept away, as soon as the waters subsided repaired thither, but found that the house had been moved only 12 or 15 feet, and that its interior was undisturbed. Further search, however, revealed it unfortunate occupant a lifeless corpse, lodged upon a little ridge about 25 rods below. She had evidently attempted to flee, and in doing so had been overwhelmed by the rushing wave.

          The road that ran along by the side of this stream was undermined and cut down, so that for months it was impassible, and finally a new road was made on higher ground adjoining. The damage to roads and bridges was $10,000.


          About a mile up the Candlewood Hill Brook from the junction, there is a water privilege which was utilized first by Hiram WOODRUFF and Giles BRAINERD for the manufacture of edged tools. They started this enterprise in 1826. This was the first manufactory of this class of goods ever set up in this town. These men mailed about 1837, and gave up the business. Friend DICKINSON then established in the same place the manufacture of axes, chisels, and drawing knives. He continued the business here until 1848, when he built a shop on the stream below, where now the polishing shop of H. SCOVIL stands. He carried on the business until the autumn of 1851, when he died. For the following five years his son, Lyman BRAINERD, and Orren FREEMAN carried n the work, and afterward Noble DICKINSON and T. D. HAYES continued it for two or three years. It afterward passed into the hands of Mr. SCOVIL, by whom it now occupied.

          A saw mill on the Shopboard Brook, one and a half miles north-northwest of the village, was owned by five brothers, sons of Ephraim BAILEY, from some time before 1780 to about 1812 or 1815.

          A saw mill was built by Braddock STRONG, on the opposite side of the brook from the "Spar mill." The dam is 25 rods above, and water was led down through a canal. It was built in 1826, and kept in operation till about 1865.

          The shop known as the "Spar mill" was built by Alfred BRAINERD and Harris COOK, about the year 1866, for grinding feldspar and flint for making crockery. The rock was brought from a quarry about four miles above here, and after being reduced to a powder was shipped to potteries in New Jersey and elsewhere. The business was carried on about 12 years, after which the shop was sold to D. & H. SCOVIL, and has since been used in the manufacture of hoes.

          A gin distillery was established inn 1813, about a half mile below the village, on the east side of the turnpike. Water for the condenser was led through wooden pipes laid underground from a cool spring on the west side of the road near by. The establishment had a capacity for producing 250 hogsheads of gin annually. It was once burned and afterward rebuilt. For a time it was operated by Willard SMITH, who gave it up about the year 1835.

          The SCOVIL brothers, Hezekiah and Daniel, established the manufacture of plantation hoes in several shops on the Candlewood Hill stream. What are own as the "brick shops" are located about half a mile above the village. The first was built about the year 1861. About 60 rods further up a dam was built in 1848, and a shop in the following year. An addition was afterward built, and in them the principal part of the extensive business of their owner is carried on. The other shops, in which parts of the business are accommodated, have been already mentioned.

          Hezekiah SCOVIL, the ancestor of the proprietor of the last mentioned works, was the son of Joseph SCOVIL, and grandson of William SCOVIL, one of the first settlers of Candlewood Hill. He was born January 29th 1788, and in his early manhood, having learned the trade of a blacksmith, set up a shop where he carried on that business. He afterward learned of Eli WHITNEY the art of welding gun barrels, and being employed by him in the exercise of that art he established a shop on the stream that ran near his blacksmith shop, and carried on the work. This was done previous to 1814, and the manufacture of gun barrels increased to such an extent that his time was afterward given exclusively to it. He continued the business until his death, which took place October 9th 1849. A saw mill now occupies the site of the gun barrel shop at Candlewood Hill.

          The Higganum Manufacturing Company was organized in 1867, under the joint stock law of the State. Its capital stock was at first $13,00. The property was purchased in 1877 by the Higganum Manufacturing Corporation which was at that time organized with a capital of $200,000, which was the amount paid for the plant. The new company was composed largely of the members of the former one. George M. CLARK has been president of both companies from the organization of the first; Thomas J. CLARK was vice-president, secretary, and treasurer of the first company during the first fie years of its existence; and Clinton B. DAVIS was secretary and treasurer during the remaining years of its existence, and has held the same position in the present company since its organization.

          The business, which comprehends the manufacture of a great variety of agricultural implements, occupies extensive buildings in the heart of the village, at the confluence of the three branches of Higganum River. Abundant water power is supplies by these streams. About $200,000 worth of goods are annually manufactured, two-thirds of which find market in foreign countries. Among other implements, over 400 kinds and sizes of plows are made here. A fire destroyed the foundry of this company March 13, 1869, causing a loss of about $10,000, and the flood of 1868 damaged them to the amount of $1,000. The great flood of 1869, however, passed them with but slight injury. A pattern house was burned March 9th 1883, by which the company sustained a loss of $74,000, mostly in patterns. Another fire destroyed a store house full of manufactured goods and lumber, June 1st 1884. By this fire, a loss of $150,000 was sustained.

          The STEVENS & HUBBARD Manufacturing Company, some of the member of which had established the business in 1878, was organized in 1880. A grist mill and saw mill were converted to the present use at the date first mentioned, and after passing through several changes of name, fell into the hands of Higganum Hardware Company, in January 1884. About $40,000 worth of goods are annually manufactured, the goods consisting of chandeliers, brackets, cutting nippers, pliers, wire cutters, etc.

          A manufactory of wrenches and blind fastenings was started near the railroad station by Reed & Company, in June 1880. Steam power was employed, and about 20 hands were engaged in the business. The building took fire December 25, 1883, and burned to the ground.

          A large cotton mill, owned and operated by the Russell Manufacturing Company, of Middletown, is situated on the Higganum River, below all the other mills.


          After several unsuccessful attempts had been made to secure a Congregational church organization distinct from that at Haddam, an effort in that direction succeeded in 1844. The church was formed here May 14th of that year; 135 members withdrew from the Haddam church to constitute this; and Dr. David Dudley FIELD was made acting pastor of the new church. Services were held in a school house until the completion of the church building, which was dedicated July 23d 1845. An addition was made to the rear of the church, which included a chapel, a church parlor, and a kitchen, in 1870. A new parsonage on the lot north of the church, was completed in August 1883, and was dedicated November 15th following. The pastors of the this church have been:

          Rev. David Dudley FIELD, May 14th 1844 to spring of 1850; Rev. Stephen A. LOPER, July 7th 1850 to July 7th 1856; Rev. Charles NICHOLS, November 1856 to November 1864; Rev. John E. ELLIOT, May 1st 1865 to July 21st 1867; Rev. Sylvester HINE, July 12th 1868 to January 9th 1878; Rev. George STERLING, April 1878 to March 28th 1880; Rev. Dwight M. PRATT, December 16th 1880 to the present time.


          A Methodist church was organized here in 1853, with a membership of 18. A station had been occupied here as a branch of the old Ponset church, for some time previous to that date. A revival, which occurred in February 1850, gave a large number of conversions in this locality and no doubt prepared the way for the establishment of the church. A class had existed here from 1835. A church edifice was erected about 1862, which enterprise was largely due to the efforts of Rev. Mr. ALLEN, a supply at that time. Mr. Malvin TYLER, a local preacher from Tylerville, was for many years a valuable helper in the work of this church, supplying the pulpit when occasion called him with generous promptness and earnestness. The following ministers have served this church since 1860: A. W. ALLEN, 1860-62; W. H. ADAMS, 1863; B. A. GILMAN, 1864; --- BURNS, 1865; A. B. SMART, 1866; --- BAILEY, 1867; MARCH and SMITH, 1868; SMITH and BLAKE, 1869; W. J. SMITH, 1870; J. H. PILLSBURY, 1871-2; W. A. LUCE, 1873; W. A. LUCE and H. D. LATHAM, 1874; H. D. LATHAM, 1875; D. J. CLARK, 1876; J. P. GORDY, 1877; C. W. MCCORMICK, 1878; Charles L. MAN, 1879; N. EDWARDS, 1880; J. F. COOPER and A. S. KAVANAGH, 1881; A. S. KAVANAGH, 1882; THOMPSON and TALMADGE, 1883; C. H. TALMADGE, 1884. The present membership is nearly 100. The Sunday school connected with the church numbers 104.


          The Methodist Episcopal Church of Ponset, or the western part of the town, was organized in the spring of 1793. A meeting house was erected in 1795. This was 30 feet by 40 feet in size and had galleries on three sides. It stood about one-fourth of a mile north of the present one, just above where the road turns to Little City, the site lying between the lands now owned by Oliver SMITH and Sylvester BURR. A new church, the present one, was built in 1842. At that time the Killingworth branch which had belonged to this society, withdrew, and on its reorganization this church had 52 members. Its present membership is 101. The following preachers have been in charge at the dates given: John E. SEARLES, 1844; E. P. ACKERMAN, 1846; A. B. Pulling, 1848; George L. FULLER, 1852; D. NASH, 1854; R. D. KIRBY, 1857; H. SCOFIELD, 1860; I. SANFORD, 1865; A. B. SMART, 1865; B. REDFORD, 1868; W. W. ELDER, 1872-74; Edward C. HOAG, 1877; D. N. GRIFFIN, 1880; Edward CURTIS, 1881; Samuel O. CURTICE, 1882, present time.


          This church is the outgrowth of a Sunday school started by William C. KNOWLES, at his own house, in the summer of 1861. He has since been ordained and is now pastor of the church. The membership is small. The chapel, which was begun in the latter part of 1871, was consecrated as St. James Chapel, by Bishop WILLIAMS, November 10th 1877. Clerical services were rendered by neighboring ministers till the present incumbent was ordained in February 1875. Mr. KNOWLES also has charge of Emmanuel Church, Killingworth, where he resides.


          This church is located in the lower part of the town, in the locality known as Shailerville. A few Baptist families resided here previous to the organization of a church. As early as 1792 some members of these families joined the Baptist church at Chatham. Meetings were held here in private houses for several years. In 1793, a sect called "Separatists," erected a meeting house here and conducted worship in it until 1800, when their minister, Mr. Charles SMITH, died, and their meetings were suspended. In 1803, the Baptists obtained the use of it and ever afterward occupied it. A distinct church organization was effected by a council in 1822, and in 1833 a new church, the present building, was erected on a site but a few rods north and on the opposite side of the road from the old one. Previous to the organization the pulpit had been supplied since 1806 by Elders Simeon DICKINSON, Amasa SMITH, Simon SHAILER, Samuel WEST, and William PALMER. Since 1822, the pastorate has been filled by Elders Simon SHAILER, 15 years; David T. SHAILER, 1 year; William DENISON, 1 year; Samuel WEST, 1 year; Alfred GATES, 2 years; Ebenezer LOOMIS, 2 years; A. D. WATROUS, 5 months; and Albert BALDWIN, 2 years. The present membership is about 90. The Sunday school numbers 75. Elder JENNINGS gave the church a parsonage April 26th 1878. He also donated the church a fund of $4,000, for the support of the gospel ministry in 1883.


          BRAINERD District.-This is the northwest district of the town. Samuel BRAINERD, Richard BONFOEY, and Shubael CROOK were among the first settlers here. Samuel BRAINERD and his family owned a large tract of land here. He settled bout the year 1734. Elisha SPENCER settled about the year 1750, a mile west of the present school house. A saw mill located about half a mile northwest of the hold homestead of Samuel BRAINERD was owned and occupied by his descendants previous to 1840.

          Candlewood Hill.-Elijah BRAINERD and Stephen SMITH settled here about the year 1734. William SCOVIL, Daniel SPENCER, and other settled about the same time or soon after. A saw mill, the ruins of which still stand upon the land of Andrew PECK, was established as early as 1835. The site was occupied by a previous saw mill, which tradition says was burned.

          Little City.-The first settler here was Pelatiah CLARK, who came here about the year 1740. Didimus JOHNSON, Joseph BURR, and a Mr. DEWARD settled at a later date. A saw mill in the southwest part, now owned by Philander BURR, was built in 1840. An old one had occupied the same site more than 100 years ago. The cemetery in this locality was laid out December 30th 1822.

          Ponset.-Jared SPENCER and Daniel HUBBARD, who came from Middletown, were among the first settlers here. The old burying ground here was opened in 1761; the new one was laid out January 16th 1828. Ashel and Anson BONFOEY established a clothier's works here about 1814. It was abandoned before 1840. A grist mill once occupied a site on a small brook that empties into the Ponset Brook. It stood on the Haddam and Killingworth Turnpike, and was formerly owned by Samuel HUBBARD and afterward by Ebenezer WILCOX. Burr District.-This occupies the southwest part of the town. Nathaniel BURR, Stephen SMITH, and John WILCOX were among the first settlers in this locality. The burying ground was laid out January 10th 1828.

          Turkey Hill.-Cornelius HIGGINS and Azariah DICKINSON were early settlers here. The house where Chauncey DICKINSON lives was kept as a tavern by OBADIAH DICKINSON nearly one hundred years ago. The burying ground was laid out in 1815. Tylerville.-A grist mill and saw mill once stood on Roaring Brook, a stream that flows into Clark's Creek. The mill stood between the old country road and the turnpike. The grist mill was built soon after the Revolution, and was probably abandoned about 1825. The saw mill, having been in operation many years, was given up about 1850. The burying ground was opened in 1782, though one grave at least had been made on the spot many years earlier. This was the grave of Mr. Solomon BATES, who died of small pox July 13th 1759.

          Beaver Meadow.-A saw mill, established about one hundred year ago, is now in operation here. A carding mill which stood on the stream about one fourth of a mile above, was operated about forty years ago by Warren PARDEE, who afterward made buttons there. Another ancient saw-mill site is marked by some of its ruins about one-fourth of a mile further up the stream. This has been abandoned 40 or 50 years.


          The portion of Haddam early called Haddam Neck, is a triangular point of land between the Connecticut and Salmon Rivers, four miles long and four miles broad across its northern line. From its geographical position it should have been called Middle Haddam-a name it afterward gave to the ecclesiastical society composed of it and the western half of the adjoining town of Chatham; a name continuing to the ecclesiastical society, and now also applied to the latter, though inappropriately.

          The surface is quite hilly and rocky, the ranges running generally north and south. The scenery viewed from their summits-of the Connecticut River and valley, and the hills and villages on the opposite shore, and of East Haddam to the eastward, with its village of Moodus-is varied and very beautiful. A large valuable meadow, enriched by the annual freshets of the river, extends along the shore from the northern line southward about one and a half miles with a width of from 80 to 100 rods. This was early known as the Great Meadow, and so described for many years in deeds of the lots.

          Another large meadow extends from the foot of the hills southward across from the Connecticut to Salmon River Cove, and terminated at the junction of the two rivers just above the Upper Landing of East Haddam. This tract is called the Cove Meadow, and most of it is excellent land. Several smaller meadows lie between the two mentioned. These meadows are divided into narrow and long lots of varying width, and generally front on the river.

          The land, generally meadow and upland, was originally surveyed into comparatively narrow and long lots of from 80 to 160 rods long, and early described as the 1st, 2d, 3d, etc., tier of lots. The best land is meadow and intervale near the Connecticut River, although much good land is found on and among the hills.

          Wild animals were numerous for many years after the settlement among which were bears and wolves. The latter were seen as late as 1770, and tradition says were successfully hunted by the men turning out en-masse (probably assisted by others, from the adjoining settlements) who formed a long line across the hills and ravines with diminishing intervals as they advanced, and drove the wolves before them to the Cove Meadow, where they were shot.

          The hills and valleys were heavily timbered, and the former generally underlaid with a system of ledges, or one continuous ledge extending from the north part of Chatham through the Neck and across and under the Connecticut River, and cropping out at frequent intervals. There are veins, however, some of them large, of gneiss stone of an iron gray color, excellent for building, curbing, and paving stone, which have been used quite extensively and as far south as New Orleans.

          There is a vein of fine dark blue stone occasionally found running through the principal range of rocks underlying the more elevated portions. This vein, from its early discoverer and worker, David ALLEN, is called the ALLEN Vein. It is of a free rift, with close seams and easily splits with a smooth surface.

          The principal quarry of gneiss stone on the Neck was opened by Deacon Ezra BRAINERD in 1762, and was successfully worked by him many years, and a numerous force employed, until, through the competition resulting from the opening of other quarries elsewhere, it and the other quarries in the place are not now worked. The principal openings were from 50 to 70 rods from the river, on a hill of considerable height and quite extensive, from which the descent is difficult, known as Quarry Hill. This and other quarries have been worked by Ansel, Capt. Roswell, Alfred, Deacon Cyprian S., Henry S. and Hezekiah BRAINERD, the SHAILERs, and ELYs, of Haddam, and others. Feldspar is abundant, and of good quality. The first quarried in the United States was in this place about 40 years ago, by Alfred BRAINERD jr., and was sent to England. He, years after, in company with Diodate BRAINERD and Harris COOK, opened several quarries, and built a large mill in Higganum for burning, grinding, and preparing it for use. They also shipped much in its native condition, and carried on quite an extensive business. Quarries of trap rock, mica, and graphite have been worked.

          Among the different minerals found here are: Albite, anthophyllite, allanite, beryl, chrysoberyl, chlorophyllite, feldspar, feldspar crystallized, garnet, graphite, hornblende, iolite, iron pyrites, kyanite, lepidolite, mica, magnetic iron, crystals, ferruginous, rose, and smoky quartz, black, green and red tourmaline. It is probable that several of the minerals credited to Haddam by DANA are to be found here, viz.: Automolite, adularia, columbite, edpdote, molybdenite, spinel, sulpuret of bismuth, and zircon.

          On the hill rising from and extending back from Rock Landing, is a singular depression in the plain-like surface. It is apparently about eight rods long and six rods wide, and from 20 to 30 feet deep. The shape is oval with the outline and slopes regular and unbroken. Years ago this was a favorite place for base-ball playing. It was probably caused by the action of water when submerged during the glacial period, and later may have been used as a place of resort and place of defense by the Indians for which it was well adapted.

          There is a similar but large depression, of circular form, on Little Neck, between the junction of Pine Brook and Salmon River; and another in Leesville, on Basin Hill, to which it gives the name. Several small ravines, near the Connecticut River, were, according to tradition, caused by great water spouts occurring since the settlement. There is a small cave in the rocks near the southern extremity of the high ground of the Neck, with an entrance of about four feet in height, opening into a room several feet in diameter and height.

          The Indians remained on their reservations in the town for many years. They had a place of resort, in a deep hollow on Haddam Neck, called Indian Hollow, on the land of William C. and Henry M. SELDEN, where a number of their wigwams remained standing several years after 1740. The brook rising at Chatham line and passing through it bears the name of Indian Hollow Brook.


          The principal stream of water on the Neck, is Pine Brook, having its source in Lake Pocotopaug, in the parish of East Hampton, town of Chatham, and running in a southerly direction empties into Salmon River Cove. It is a large and durable stream, excellent for power purposes.

          Near its mouth a company saw mill was early built, owned by Reuben R. CHAPMAN and several of the name of BRAINERD.

          Years after this, another saw mill was built still nearer the mouth, by Dudley BRAINERD. This was afterward enlarged and improved by Henry Williams.

          Still further up the stream than the first saw mill, House & Co. built, in 1847, a large paper mill, which was burnt April 18th 1871. Above the site of the paper mill of HOUSE & Co. was early a sword factory, built by STARR & SAGE, of Middletown. This was in use in the time of the war of 1812, and the swords were used in that war. It was afterward changed into a scythe factory by Oliver GREEN. This in time was abandoned, and three oakum mills were built (as one after another were burnt), by R. & D. RAND & Co., of Middletown, James TIBBALS, manufacturing agent.

          Oakum mill No. 3 was afterward managed by Deacon Edward ROOT till 1849, when he moved to Middletown, and R. & D. RAND Co. sold to the Pine Brook Duck Co., who enlarged the mill and manufactured cotton ducking. This was burnt, and the property was purchased by Daniel WETHERELL, who built a new mill and manufactured cotton batting until 1882, when HOUSE & Bro. Purchased and greatly enlarged the mill, using it for the manufacture of paper.

          On a stream in the western part of the Neck, Lieutenant Simon BRAINERD built a saw and grist mill. On the same stream, further up, and in the limits of Chatham, was early a company saw mill, built by Robert CLARK, Captain Thomas SELDEN, several of the name of SMITH, and others.

          There were, early, several small tanneries and a bark mill in the upper part of the Neck, and saltpeter works at the time of the war of 1812.

          Ezra S. GILLETTE commenced the manufacture of baskets in 1852, and has continued to the present time, assisted by his sons, Charles O. and Merit P. GILLETTE. They have two factories and manufacture 1,200 baskets per year. Several others do a smaller business in the same line.

          Under an appropriation by the government, Salmon River Cove was dredged in the autumn of 1883, to admit larger steamboats, a small one having run regularly, in the summer of 1883, from SCOVILL's Landing to Middletown. Sloops and scows formerly ascended as far as Leesville.


          The cemetery for the use of the people of Haddam Neck was laid out in 1734, on the east side of the road leading to an near Rock Landing, on a sandy knoll 12 rods square, and overlooking the river. It has connected with it a hearse and hearse house. There are several fine marble and granite monuments. On the opposite side of the highway, another yard has been laid out by Jarvis A. MORGAN, and a few fine monuments already erected.


          The town early set apart a tract of land, below and adjoining the present lower wharf at Rock Landing, for the use of the people in ship building, and for depositing timber and wood. The lower wharf, built by individuals, is 96 feet long, and the upper wharf is 80 feet long.

          Robert CLARK built a sloop at Rock Landing, and afterward built another at Ben CLARK Landing.

          Elias SELDEN, Esq., and Colonel Theodore H. ARNOLD, built, at Rock Landing, the sloop Coret, of which Asa GOFF was the captain. Simeon SELDEN, Calvin BRAINERD, and Jacob TUCKER built, at Rock Landing, the sloop Lark, of which Horace CHAPMAN was the captain.

          Edgar and Caleb SMITH built the schooner Thomas H. Seymour, near the old SELDEN house, in 1848.

          Captain Chauncey BRAINERD built the schooner Mary Ann, in 1815, at Town Rock, near the house of Edgar Smith, and he was her captain. The keel was laid on Friday, and every important part was commenced on Friday, launched on Friday, sailed from New York on Friday, and it is supposed, was lost on Friday, with Captain BRAINERD an all his crew.

          For many years after the settlement a large amount of wood, timber, rails, and posts were shipped to different places but mainly to New York, and goods in part received therefore, which, being divided among those interested, easily supplied the lack of a store.


          The pioneer merchant was Robert CLARK. The next was Dudley BRAINERD, who built the house now occupied by Captain Charles S. Russell, in the basement of which he had his store. This store was next managed by Selden HUNTINGTON one year, succeeded by Elias SELDEN and Colonel Theodore H. ARNOLD, under the firm name of SELDEN, & ARNOLD, then by a Mr. L'HOMMEDIEU, and in rotation by Lavater R. SELDEN, James S. SELDEN, Lucius E. GOFF, Captain Charles S. RUSSELL, Albert S. RUSSELL, George E. RUSSELL & Co., and Joseph GRIFFIN. Chauncey ARNOLD built a store near his house which was managed by his family. It is now used as a place for voting.

          Robert CLARK being the last surviving member of the Episcopal church in the eastern part of the ecclesiastical society, took it down and removed it to the Neck for his own use.


          The date of the early settlement of Haddam Neck is involved in obscurity, but it is supposed to be about 1710 or '12, by the following persons, some of them settling later than others: William BRAINERD, his wife Sarah BIDWELL, and their children; James BRAINERD, jr., his wife Anne; Thomas SELDEN, his wife Sarah, and their children; Sylvester DUDLEY; Gideon GOFF jr., and perhaps his father; Jabez BROOKS Esq., and perhaps Thomas BROOKS; Dr. Joshua and Deacon Gideon ARNOLD, their sisters, and possibly their father, John; --- CONE; Robert CHAPMAN; Benajah CLARK, and perhaps Deacon Ebenezer SMITH and William MARKHAM; --- STOCKING.

          Of these, William BRAINERD, the fifth child of Daniel and Hannah (SPENCER) BRAINERD, one of the original proprietors of Haddam, married Sarah BIDWELL, December 13th 1698, and built his house between the foot of Quarry Hill and the house of the late Deacon Cyprian S. BRAINERD. Their children were:
          1. Sarah, married Deacon Gideon ARNOLD, one of the settlers.
          2. Sergt. William J., married Esther ----.
          3. Hannah, married William SMITH.
          4. Samuel, married Esther BRAINERD, daughter of Jabez and Hannah (CLARK) BRAINERD, and settled in BRAINERD District in Haddam.
          5. (Rev.) Chiliab, graduated at Yale, minister in Eastbury, town of Glastonbury.
          6. Lieut. Josiah sen., twice married. He built his house on Quarry Hill in 1737. The house was torn down in 1883. He served in two expeditions to Canada; was with Gen. Wolfe, at the capture of Quebec; and also served in the Revolutionary war.
          7. Nathan, twice married. He built his house where the house of Oliver B. ARNOLD now stands.

          Serg't James BRAINERD jr., son of Deacon James and Deborah BRAINERD, of Haddam, who was the fourth child of Daniel and Hannah (SPENCER) Brainerd, a Haddam proprietor. It is not know known where his house stood. He died October 2d 1776. His children were:
          1. Benjamin, whose house was across the road from, and nearly opposite, the house of Henry L. BRAINERD.
          2. Jedediah, who served in at least one expedition to Canada in the French and Indian war, and was father of Jedediah jr., Amos, Candace, and others. He built where the house of Hamlin F. JOHNSON now stands, which last was built by Jedediah jr., His son, Amos, built the one story house on the corner near, lately occupied by Daniel WETHERELL.
          3. Rebecca.
          4. James.
          5. Hannah.
          6. Dudley.
          7. Ozias.
          8. Jonathan, who built the house now owned by Mrs. N. B. NORTHAM. He is mentioned in account of Revolutionary war. He died about 1825, aged 88.

          Thomas SELDEN sen., from Lyme, son of Joseph and Rebecca (CHURCH) Selden, of Lyme, and grandson of Thomas and Esther SELDEN, an English settler of Hartford in 1636, was born in Deerfield, Mass. He built his house at the western head of Cover Meadow near the river and about opposite the new cemetery in Haddam. This was burnt, and his younger son, Capt. Joseph, built a smaller one near the old site, the ruins of which still remain. His eldest son, Capt. Thomas, built on the central ridge, across the road from the house of William C. and Henry M. SELDEN, where the post office is now kept. Capt. Thomas was father of Rev. David.

          Sylvester DUDLEY built, first, where Timothy ANDREWS lived; second, near the southern extremity of the high ground on the Neck and dear DIBBLE's Creek, now known as the Ackley place.

          Gideon GOFF jr. built his house one-eighth of a mile north from the house of Justin E. ARNOLD. It is now standing, but unoccupied. His father, Gideon sen., may also have lived there.

          Jabez Brooks, or his supposed father, Thomas, built a little southwest of the house of the late Abial J. BROOKS. He was an eccentric man, of whose ready wit anecdotes are told, and the first justice of the peace on the Neck. It is related of him that a customer employed him to draw a deed, which he prefaced with "Know one woman" etc., and on an objection being made, re replied, "It is all right. If one woman knows it, all men will!"

          Dr. Joshua ARNOLD, son of John and grandson of Joseph, one of the original settlers of Haddam, a petitioner for the ecclesiastical society, and a constituent member of the church, is supposed to have built on the south side of the road leading to Higganum, as also Deacon Daniel, a son of Deacon Gideon.

          Dr. Joshua is said to have introduced the common red hearted white cedar. A son, Jacob, built the Justin R. ARNOLD house. Deacon Gideon ARNOLD, a brother of Dr. Joshua, and son of John, was also among the early settlers, a petitioner for the ecclesiastical society, and a constituent member of the church, in which we was elected a deacon November 8th 1740, was father of Deacon Daniel, of the Middle Haddam church, and of Deacon Gideon, of the East Hampton church. His house was in the fields west of the Rock Landing road, and of the house of Martin B. BRAINERD.

          One of the settlers, named CONE, built his house near the present one of William H. GRAHAM. He afterward, in 1751, exchanged farms with Benajah CLARK, of Walkley Hill, a great grandson of William, an original settler of Haddam. Benajah immediately built his house (now standing and owned by Alexander M. CLARK), at the foot of the hill since known as the "Ben CLARK Hill." Benajah was a brother of Peletiah, the ancestor of the Little City CLARKS.

          Robert CHAPMAN of the fifth generation, and also fifth in name from Robert, one of the settlers of Saybrook, was settled just east of Pine Brook, and built a gambrel roofed one story house close by where his only son, Reuben Rowley, afterward built and where his grandson, Martin, now resides. He was a teamster in two expeditions to Canada, during the French and Indian wars.

          Josiah BRAINERD jr., son of Josiah sen. And Hannah (SPENCER) BRAINERD, built a house (afterward burnt) where Samuel HOUSE built later. He next built the house near the river where his grandson, the late deacon Cyprian S. BRAINERD, lived.

          A Mr. Norton built his house near and just south of the barn of Luther ARNOLD.

          Jonathan COOK built his house on the north side of the road to Higganum.

          Two families of the name of STOCKING early lived on the opposite side of the road, and a little south of the Methodist Episcopal church, one of whom probably was John, and the other Nathaniel STOCKING. The house on the west side is now owned and occupied by Warren S. WILLIAMS.

          Chiliab BRAINERD, son of Josiah and Hannah (SPENCER) Brainerd, built his house on the east side of the road, near the house of Enos B. YOUNG.


          The settlers were generally religious, and, retaining their membership or interest in the church on the west side, continued to attend public worship there, but it was very inconvenient, and they often found it difficult to cross the river. Those, also living across the line in the western portion of the adjoining town of Chatham, then Middletown, were similarly situated with regard to the church in Middletown.

          At length, with increasing numbers, "it being more convenient for them to meet together than for each section to worship where they had done, they united, in October 1738, in a petition to the Legislature for incorporation as a parish, and their request was granted in May 1740." The new parish, or ecclesiastical society, was named Middle Haddam which it still retains.

          The history of this church from its organization to 1874 is given in the history of the town of Chatham.

          After the departure of Mr. HOPKINSON in 1868, temporary supplies only were procured while the old church continued to be occupied as the place of worship. Mr. BENTLEY, a former pastor, preached several Sabbaths, coming from his home in Berlin. Occasionally a neighboring minister would hold a late-in-the-day service to obtain a letter fro some member to unite with his own church, so gathering the spoils which were thought to be destined to an inevitable distribution. Lay services were sometimes held, to the acceptance of those who assembled, by Deacon Samuel SKINNER, of East Hampton.

          For a long time no services were held in the church, the members attending other churches or remaining at home, and it became evident that the church which had existed for 130 years must either dwindle away and dissolve or locate its sanctuary more centrally to that portion of the original parish which still remained to it.

          Edward Davis CLARK, a native and resident of the Neck, who died November 11th 1869, in his will, after the disposal of various legacies, set apart the remainder of his property, about $2,500, to accumulate until it amounted to the sum of $5,000, then to be paid to the Ecclesiastical Society of Middle Haddam, provided it at that time should have a church located on the Neck and near the school house. The influence of this bequest not only hastened the building of the church, but decided its location.

          The place selected for the new house of worship was the summit of the hill directly in front of the school house, on Haddam Neck, a beautiful lot of one and a half acres, which was purchased for $225. Ground was broken for the house early in the spring of 1873.

          The building committee consisted at first of David BRAINERD, Hezekiah BRAINERD, and Job E. BROOKS, to which was afterward added William F. BRAINERD. The contractor was A. H. ALLEN, of Portland.

          Work on this building was commenced late in the autumn of 1873, and progressed through the following winter. It was finished on the outside, with a small ell in front for a porch, which was not satisfactory. In the spring of 1874, H. M. SELDEN, having drawn a design of a tower and spire in harmony with the house, as appointed a special committee to construct the same and finish the interior.

          It was dedicated September 23d 1874. Thus the ancient church of Middle Haddam, just 134 years, lacking one day, from its organization on the 24th of September 1740, took up its abode here in this its later home.

          It is a steep roofed one story wooden building, facing eastward, 34 by 48 feet in size, the sides 16 feet high, with a tower in front projecting 8 by 12 feet, forming a porch, and surmounted with a belfry and spire.

          A hexagonal addition at the rear, 8 by 17 feet, gives space for the choir and pipe organ, back of the desk.

          It was at the outset felt that this feeble church could not build a house of worship unassisted, therefore an appeal was made to other churches for aid, and Henry M. SELDEN and Henry L. BRAINERD were chosen solicitors by the ecclesiastical society. They were very successful in this work.

          The entire cost of the church, including the site, was about $6,000. Of this $3,500 was raised abroad, partly from non-resident natives of the place.

          A bell weighing 800 pounds was purchased in 1877, from subscriptions, avails of a lecture by Rev. Mr. Bell, the singing preacher, then boarding in the place, and a donation of $100 from Mrs. Martha M. ROGERS, of Middletown, whose name it bears.

          David BRAINERD was elected a deacon April 21st 1878, and died in office April 26th 1879, aged 67.

          Henry M. SELDEN was elected a deacon for three years in 1878, and re-elected in 1881.

          Henry L. CLARK was elected a deacon, May 9th 1881.

          Hezekiah BRAINERD, a member of the church, who died February 3d 1880, gave to the ecclesiastical society (before his death), certain notes to the amount of $7,448, and also devised real estate to the same. An expensive suit at law with the executor of an alleged later will followed and finally resulted in a compromise.

          Miss Lucy SELDEN, a member of the church who died December 31st 1882, bequeathed to the ecclesiastical society $250; $200 of which was to be a fund for the support of the gospel, and $50 to aid in building a parsonage for the society.

          A two story parsonage, 24 by 35 feet in extent, and about one fourth of a mile from the church, was built in 1883. The 13th pastor of the Congregational church, Rev. Frederick MUNSON, commenced his labors here the first Sunday in January 1875, and continued until January 1884. He, early in that period, received a call to settle as a pastor of the church, but declined. During his ministry here 23 were added to the church.

          Mrs. Mary (BROOKS) CLARK, widow of Edward R., and mother of Edward D. CLARK, a member of the church, died Marcy 1st 1878, and bequeathed to the ecclesiastical society $500 as a fund for the support of preaching.

          In 1884, the church was variously supplied until October, when the present pastor, Rev. Francis Singleton WILLISTON, commenced his pastorate.

          Since its organization, September 24th 1740, 837 persons have been members of the church. The present number of members is 46, of which 14 are male, and 32 female.

          The Sunday school was reorganized October 11th 1874. The superintendents since that time, with tern of service, have been:

          William H. GRAHAM, 1874-1876; Daniel P. SMITH, 1876-1880; Luther N. ARNOLD, 1880, 1881; Deacon Henry M. SELDEN, 1881, 1882; Daniel P. SMITH, 1882-1885. The number of the school, in 1883, was 50. The library numbers 350 volumes.


          The date of the organization of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Haddam Neck, and the establishment of their house of worship is obscure, but supposed to be not far from the commencement of the present century.

          The first meeting house was in the chamber of Elisha DAY;s house, now owned by Warren S. WILLIAMS, and was conducted by a presiding elder named ROBERTS, from Baltimore.

          Their first house of worship was a gambrel roofed wooden building, 23 by 24 feet, and previously used for a dwelling house on Bald Hill, in Chatham, but moved whole to the southeast corner of the second meeting of four roads on the town line.

          As rearranged it had galleries on three sides. In front of the pulpit was the alter, a square enclosed space, with a door and a bench around the inside.

          This was used until 1845, when a new church edifice, 30 by 40 feet, and surmounted by a tower, was erected on the same site, and dedicated June 10th 1846. This has an end gallery over the porch for the choir, and two aisles.

          The building committee were Diodate BRAINERD, Justin SEXTON, and John BRAINERD. The church was supplied by circuit preachers, a new one almost every Sabbath, until 1844 or 1845, since which time they have had a resident minister, whose term has varied from one to three years. Their records, under the circuit arrangement, were kept in East Hampton, with those of the Methodist Episcopal church there, and were burnt in 1835. A parsonage, 22 by 30 feet, was built in 1858, between the houses of Henry L. BRAINERD and Alexander DALLAS jr., and midway between the Methodist Episcopal church and school house. The superintendents of the Sunday school connected with the Methodist Episcopal church since 1876, have been: Warren S. WILLIAMS, 1876-78; M. Gertie WILLIAMS, 1879, 1880; Rev. Herbert M. SMITH, 1881; John B. MORGAN, 1881; Charles O. GILLETTE, 1882, 1883. The library of the school consists of 225 volumes.

          The resident minister of the church, since 1844, have been: Revs. Andres J. ROBINSON, 1845, 1846; Albert PARK, 1847; Charles DIXON, 1848; Emerson ETHEREDGE, 1849; John W. HORN, 1849; Thomas G. BROWN, 1850; David BRADBURY, 1851; Ziba LOVELAND, 1852; Sewell LUMBERTON, 1853, 1854; Jesse E. HEALD, 1855; ---SMITH, 1856; Thomas G. BROWN, 1857; Francis H. BROWN, 1858, 1859; Jabez PACK, 1860, 1861; Joel E. HAWKINS, 1862, 1863; James H. COOLER, 1864; John W. CASE, 1865; Theodore M. HOUSE, 1866; Abraham S. HOLWAY, 1867; Nelson GOODRICH, 1868; Sanford AMIDON, 1869-71; Theodore W. DOUGLAS, 1872; Henry H. ARNOLD, 1873; E. Learned LATHAM, 1874; William O. CADY, 1875, 1876; James TREGASKIS, 1877; John COOPER, 1878; William O. CADY, 1879; Walter P. STODDARD, 1880; Charles E. STENSHOUSE, 1881; Benjamin F. ELLIOTT, 1882; Frank L. HAYWARD, 1883; no appointment 1884.


          It appears that for some time after the settlement of the Neck, the children were educated generally at their homes. The ecclesiastical society of Middle Haddam, not long after its organization, established three schools; one at Knowles' Landing, one at the Center, and one at the Neck. The one at the Center was built on the rocks, just east of, and near the house of Walter CLARK, now owned by Joseph HULBERG, and a short distance west of the old first church.

          This, tradition says, was raised somewhat, and the space beneath afforded a convenient place of refuge for the wilder young men when liable to arrest. After it was abandoned, a store and shop was erected on or near the site by Walter CLARK. The successor, school house No. 2, was built about one half of a mile west of the first meeting house, at the junction of the roads where meeting house No. 2 was afterward built. This, on the erection of the former, in 1812, was moved a short distance eastward, and became the Henry DINGWELL house. Deacon Jesse HURD gave the site for the new and present school house on the west road, a short distance south of the old one, and built on its removal.

          The first school house on the Neck was built on the northeast corner of the present houses of Oliver B. ARNOLD and Justin M. SMITH. This had two chimnies, one in the northwest and one in the southeast corner, with a stout post in the center, called the Whipping Post. The door was on the south side near the southwest corner. This in time became dilapidated, and was abandoned. Its successor, school house No. 2, size 16 by 20 feet, was built across the road from the former, and on the northwest corner, and had also two chimnies. This is now used for a barn, near its original site. School house No. 3, the present one, was built n 1822, on the southeast corner, where four roads met, a mile south and half a mile west from the former location. This is 24 by 30 feet, surmounted with a tower and is in excellent condition. The ancient seats have given place to those of the most approved modern construction. A school library of 50 volumes belongs to the district. The building of the new house so far away from the old site caused a division, and the people of the northern portion of the district continued to use the old house until 1825, when, by a union with a portion of Chatham and the establishment of a new school district, by the name of Pine Brook, they built a school house in Chatham, one half of a mile from the town line between Haddam and Chatham. Middle Haddam Center District was and is composed of a portion of Chatham and the northwest part of Haddam Neck. The northeast part of Haddam Neck was finally set off to Leesville school district in East Haddam. The southern portion of the Cold Meadow on the Neck is set to the Shailerville school in Haddam. The ecclesiastical society continued the supervision of the schools in the parish until by organization of school societies their charge was superseded.

          The school district situated wholly on the Neck continued to be called Middle Haddam South, until by a more recent change the towns were given the supervision of the schools, when it was called the Haddam Neck District, or No. 14 in the town.


          The names of the college graduates, natives of this place, with dates, etc., are:
          Rev. Chiliab BRAINERD, Yale, 1731, a settled minister in Eastbury, Conn; died in 1739.
          Rev. David SELDEN, Yale, 1782, third pastor of the Congregational church in Middle Haddam; died January 15th 1825.
          Edward SELDEN, Esq., Yale, 1783, a justice of the peace in Haddam, and moved to Windsor where he died.
          Rev. Israel BRAINERD, Yale, 1797, pastor in Guilford and Derby, Conn., and Verona, N. Y.
          Rev. David Almeron STRONG, Williams, 1845, pastor in South Deerfield and Coleraine, Mass.
          Austin ARNOLD, Yale, 1848, died.
          Cyprian Strong BRAINERD, Yale, 1850, lawyer in New York. Rev. Jacob Hurd STRONG, Williams, 1854, pastor in New Preston, Oxford, and Torrington, Conn., and Soquel, Ferndale, Oakland, and Pescadero, Cal.
          Emerson Gilbert CLARK, A. M., C. E., Union, 1876.
          Adelbert Thomas Golden CLARK, A. M., C. E., Union, 1876.
          Evelyn Marcelon ANDREWS, B. P., Yale, 1876.


          The first bridge over Salmon River, at Leesville, was built of wood, by Jonathan KILBOURN. This was in use many years, and was carried away by a flood. Previous to its construction, the crossing was by fording, some distance below. The second bridge was constructed of long and large spars of pine laid horizontally and spliced together, with iron bands around the splicing, which supported the floor. It was afterward strengthened by piers under the center, and it lasted many years. This was succeeded by a stone arch bridge, built by Col. Elijah BINGHAM and Silas BRAINERD, for $2,100. This fell when the temporary supports beneath were removed from the arch being too crowning. The contractors put up on the same site another stone arch bridge, which stood two years and then fell in a great flood, before the time guaranty expired. They then built another stone arch bridge, which stood three years, and then fell. These different bridges were built at the expense of the towns of Haddam and East Haddam, Salmon River being the dividing line. As this juncture there was a disagreement between the towns, and the sheriff of the county was ordered by the Superior Court to build a wooden bridge on the same site at the expense of the two towns.

          This was a beautiful structure, and stood many years. The frame and floor were arched, and the sides were protected by open work railing. This was in time succeeded by a heavy horizontal wooden bridge with high sides, constructed of a double series of plank placed at intervals, crossing each other diagonally, pinned together at each crossing, and boarded on the outside. The whole was covered by a shingle roof. It at length became weak, and was strengthened by the insertion of heavy arches, one at each side, from which suitable iron bolts at intervals extended downward and were fastened to the floor timbers.

          The bridge, partly by its weight and the force of wind, had sagged down stream considerably, and to prevent this increasing long iron rods connected it with rocks and trees above. The eastern abutments was washed away in the great flood of March 1876, and the bridge fell and was carried down stream and broken up. That abutment had always been insecure from its not resting on a rock. A strong and beautiful iron bridge was built several rods below, in the summer of 1876, from plans by George M. CLARK, of Higganum, with heavy stone abutments laid solid in cement, and resting upon a rock foundation on each side. The highway approaches on each side were changed and graded.


          The post office at Haddam Neck was established in 1853, by the appointment, as postmaster, of Samuel HOUSE, who kept the office in his dwelling house, on the corner near the Methodist Episcopal church. The mail was received on alternate days, and the mail route extended from Middletown to Moodus, 16 miles. Mr. HOUSE resigned in 1860, and Henry M. SELDEN, the present incumbent, was appointed December 30th 1860. He also keeps the office in his house, and one-fourth of a mile south from its former location. The mail is received every day. The present mail route extends from Cobalt, on the Air Line Railroad, to Moodus, 11 miles.

          The mail for the place was formerly received from the adjoining post offices.


          The members of the Connecticut Legislature from Haddam, residing on the Neck, since 1776, have been:

          Deacon Ezra BRAINERD, Esq., Lieut. Josiah BRAINERD, Edward SELDEN Esq., Capt. Elias SELDEN, Reuben R. CHAPMAN, Esq., Ansel BRAINERD, Diodate BRAINERD, Capt. Charles S. RUSSELL, Capt. James S. SELDEN, Capt. Warren S. Williams, Chauncey ARNOLD, Washington K. SMITH, William F. BRAINERD, Francis A. HOUSE.


          In the spring of 1775, stirring news invaded these quiet regions.

          One Sabbath morning, signal guns were heard announcing the beginning of the contest. Blood had been shed at Lexington and Concord, and there was a prompt response of pastor and people. He (Rev. Benjamin BOARDMAN) and others immediately left for the camp. Seventeen men are said to have gone from the Hill, where the old church stood, and from both the Haddam Neck and Chatham portions of the society young men and old went forth into the conflict to such an extent that scarcely enough were left to assist the women in securing the crops. Only a few of their names can now be recalled.

          Of those from the Neck, serving in the army or engaged in privateering, were: FREEMAN, Sargts. Jabez JOSEPH, and Master Gunner Samuel Brown Prince ARNOLD; Asa, Lieut. Josiah, Dr. and Deacon THOMAS, Cornelius, Jonathan jr., Lieut. SHUBAEL, and Lieut. Simon BRAINERD; Capts. David and Samuel BROOKS; Reuben Rowley CHAPMAN, Esq., Nathaniel and probably Elihu and Jonathan COOK jr., Leveus EDDY, Isaac LOOMIS, Captain Elias SELDEN, James and Nathaniel STOCKING, and probably John SMITH. Of these, FREEMAN, baptized August 26th 1764; Sergt. Jabez, baptized September 12th 1762, died at East Haven August 9th 1779, and Master Gunner Samuel B. F. ARNOLD, were brothers and sons of Jabez and Martha (FREEMAN) ARNOLD, of the Neck. Joseph was a son of Dr. Joshua and Elizabeth ARNOLD, of the Neck. Asa, and it is believed Sergt. Simon jr., who was born November 9th 1752, and afterward became a captain, were sons of Simon and Hepzibah (SPENCER) BRAINERD. Lieut. Simon lived awhile in Chatham, but moved to the Neck, where he built a house. Cornelius, born June 26th 1756, and Lieut. Shubael BRAINERD, born January 12th 1752, were sons of Abijah and Esther (SMITH) BRAINERD, of the Neck. Lieut. Shubael married Ruth, daughter of Capt. Abner STOCKING, of Middle Haddam, December 7th 1775, and moved to Higganum, probably to assist in the building of the Samson. He was first lieutenant on the Samson, and died in the Jersey prison ship at New York, June 4th 1782. Lieut. Josiah BRAINERD, born May 11th 1711, a son of William and Sarah (BIDWELL) BRAINERD, of the Neck, served also in the two preceding French and Indian wars, and was with Gen. WOLFE at the capture of QUEBEC. He married (1) Sarah and (2) Hannah SPENCER. Among his children were Deacon Ezra and Deacon Israel BRAINERD. He died July 8th 1792. Dr. and Deacon Thomas BRAINERD, born February 9th 1751, son of Nathan and Sarah (GATES) BRAINERD, of the Neck, was a surgeon in the army and a deacon in the Middle Haddam Congregational Church. He moved to Ludlow, Mass., in 1814, where he died. Jonathan BRAINERD jr., baptized August 1st 1762, was a son of Jonathan and Elizabeth (STOCKING) BRAINERD, of the Neck. He died about June 4th 1785, in the Jersey prison ship in New York. Capt. David BROOKS, commander for the United States sloop of war Sampson, lived in Higganum until his marriage with Jemima STOCKING, of the Neck. He died in the Jersey prison ship at New York about June 4th 1782. Capt. Samuel BROOKS, born January 20th 1745, was a son of Jabez and Eunice BROOKS, of the Neck. He commanded the privateer Harlequin, and went on many sea voyages, and was beloved by his men, who always fared as well as he did. He was a pleasant and genial man in peace, but in war a strong and determined fighter.

          Reuben R. CHAPMAN, Esq., born October 15th 1758, only child of Robert and Mehetable (ROWLEY) CHAPMAN, of the Neck (who was a soldier in the French war, and served in one or more expeditions to Canada), Cornelius BRAINERD, Leveus EDDY, and Lieut. Simon BRAINERD, afterward a captain, were in the battle of Long Island. They, also, with perhaps the exception of Cornelius BRAINERD, but with the addition of Thamar ROWLEY, probably Ithamar, and a number from Middle Haddam, went on a privateering expedition to Long Island, to capture some goods stored by the British, of which they had been appraised by spies, who represented a probably easy capture. Arriving in the vicinity at night, they passed up a small creek and concealed their boat in the bordering bushes. After a careful reconnaissance, they found the goods had been removed and a strong guard stationed around the house in wait for the expected invaders. The enemy had been informed of their intention. They were discovered and with difficulty eluded their pursuers n the darkness. They ran to the woods, where they hid several days, and all finally escaped, but without booty. CHAPMAN afterward enlisted for the war as a trumpeter, but being an only child his parents procured a substitute in the person of John WEST, of East Hampton. He afterward served in the commissary department, during which he took a drove of fat beeves, for Gen Henry CHAMPION, deputy commissary general, to Newport, for the supply of Count ROCHAMBEAU's forces. When a detachment of the latter passed through Lebanon and encamped on Taylor's Plains, in Portland, he visited them there. Me married Mary DOANE, of Middle Haddam, December 19th 1781; served many years as justice of the peace; three half year terms in the Legislature, and died August 3d 1846.

          Jonathan COOK jr., son of Jonathan and Deborah COOK, was baptized April 26th 1752. Isaac LOOMIS was wounded in the war, and said he should carry British lead in him to his grave. He resided on the rocks west of and near Leesville Bridge. "LOOMIS Rocks" are named from him. Captain Elias SELDEN, born August 22d 1758, a son of Captain Thomas and Rebecca (WALKLEY) SELDEN, was discharged for disability at White Plains, then a private, afterward of captain of militia. He married, May 23d 1781, Ruth KIRBY, daughter of Deacon Joseph and Esther (WILCOX) Kirby, of Cromwell, and died July 1st 1781. He was a brother of the celebrated Rev. David SELDEN, of Middle Haddam.

          From the Chatham portion of the society as far as the data at hand shows were: Rev. Benjamin BOARDMAN, pastor of the Congregational church; Elijah and Abel ABELL, Thomas AIKENS jr., Major Jonathan BOWERS, Sergt. Othniel and Seba BRAINERD, Capt. Joseph DART, George CAREY, Timothy CLARK, Seth DOANE sen., Timothy and Seth DOANE r., Robert DINGWELL, Dolphin, a slave of Capt. Joseph DART; Leveus EDDY, William EXTON, Abijah FULLER sen., Richard FLOOD, a man by the name of GILBERT, Elijah GREEN, Capt. Joshua GRIFFITH, Heman, Moses, Seth HIGGINS sen., and Seth HIGGINS jr., Elihu and SERGT. Thomas HUBBARD, Capts. Joseph, Benjamin, and Jacob HURD (brothers), Seth KNOWLES, Richard MAYO jr., Daniel MORGAN, Elisha and John NILES, Rowland PERCIVAL, Nathaniel ROBERTS, Amos jr. and Nathaniel RICH, Capt. David and Michael SMITH, John SNOW, Lieut. John Harris STRONG, Capt. Abner STOCKING, Jesse SWADDLE, Elisha TAYLOR jr., Sergt Beriah WHEELER, Samuel Young jr., and John WRIGHT.

          Of these, Thomas AIKENS jr., son of Thomas and Hannah (BRAINERD) AIKENS, was baptized June 2d 1754. Major Jonathan Bowers, was a son of Rev. Benjamin and Sarah (NEWELL) BOWERS, the first pastor of the church, baptized April 28th 1754, and wounded in the battle of Bennington. Elijah and Abel ABELL were brothers, and the former was wounded at Point Judith. Sergt Othneil and Seba BRAINERD were sons of Othneil and Lucy (SWADDLE) BRAINERD, of Middle Haddam. The former was born September 19th 1755, and served seven years in the war, and died May 27th 1832. Seba was born April 14th 1763, and served some time during the latter part of the war, and became a colonel of militia, and died about 1845, aged 82. Capt. Joseph DART was probably a son of Cyrus. He served in the commissary department, and became a captain after the war.

          Seth DOANE jr. and Timothy DOANE were brothers, and sons of Seth and Marcey DOANE, of Middle Haddam, and both baptized December 30th 1759. Seth DOANE jr. died at his father's in Middle Haddam, January 30th 1777, after he had returned from captivity. Elijah GREEN was a son of John and Rachel GREEN. Capt. Joshua GRIFFITH was father of Capt. Stephen Timothy CLARK, son of Jonathan and Zilpah (BRAINERD) CLARK, of Middle Haddam, was baptized May 4th 1760, an officer on the Samson, was wounded and died in consequence.

          Deacon Jesse and Captains Joseph, Benjamin, and Jacob HURD were brothers, and sons of Jacob and Thankful (HURLBUT) HURD.

          Leveus EDDY, son of John and Elizabeth (BRAINERD) EDDY, was baptized June 14th 1759, resided at the time in Young street, in Chatham, but afterward moved to the Neck.

          Capt. David SMITH was probably a son of Benjamin and Hannah SMITH, and born about 1738. Michael SMITH lost a limb in the service. He married and settled in East Hampton after the war, and could never speak of the British with any degree of complacency. Lieut. John Harris STRONG was a son of Joseph STRONG. He was one of the men engaged in the action at Stony Point, and endeavored to be the first who should pull down the ensign of St. George, that floated over the fortress. In this he was unsuccessful, but always affirmed that he aided the successful aspirant. He married Elizabeth CAREY after the war, and in 1811, removed to EUCLID, Ohio, where in 1817, he was chosen judge of the Court of Common Pleas, an office he held until his death, April 28th 1823. Jesse SWADDLE was a son of John and Susanna SWADDLE. Sergt. Beriah WHEELER, son of Moses and Rebecca WHEELER, was baptized May 6th 1759. Samuel YOUNG jr., son of Samuel and Rebecca YOUNG, was baptized July 7th 1745. Amos RICH jr., a son of Amos RICH (deceased at the time of the record) and Mary, his wife, was baptized February 4th 1754.

          In the latter part of the year 1776, a number of men from this society, who had been kept as prisoners in the Jersey prison ship at New York, were released by exchange. They were told that their last meal before they went should be a good one. Savoury soup was set before them, and they all partook of it except one of two brothers named DOANE, from Middle Haddam Landing, who did not like onions, with which it was flavored, and who returned comparatively well. Of those who ate, all died, either on the way home, or soon after arrival, evidently the result of some slow poison introduced with their food. Jesse SWADDLE died in December, on the journey home. John SMITH and John SNOW, having crawled as far as Milford, there died in January 1777. Joseph ARNOLD also expired before reaching home, January 3d 1777. Seth DOANE jr., and Elisha TAYLOR jr., only reached their home to lie down and die.

          Many of the people engaged in privateering in some degree, incited thereto both by their patriotism and the hope of better providing for their families. Among the masters of privateers residing in the Chatham portion of the society were: Capts. Joseph, Benjamin, and Jacob HURD, brothers; Joshua GRIFFITH, Seth DOANE, and Abner STOCKING. Their vessels hailed from New York.

          Capts. Joseph and Benjamin HURD, with their brother, Deacon Jesse, were captured, and all confined in New York at the same time. Their other brother, Capt. Jacob HURD, was also captured and confined, but at another time.

          Capt. Stephen GRIFFITH, a son of Capt. Joshua, was captured and confined in the Jersey prison ship, where he enjoyed some favor. His servant, by the name of Rich, while engaged in cooking for him, carefully extinguished the unconsumed fuel to use again, and was reproved for saving it by a petty officer on board. Rich replied with spirit claiming a right to do as he pleased with what he had gathered on the dock, and added, "I will attend to my business if you will to yours!" In the altercation, the officer struck Rich with his rapier, and in turn the latter emptied a dish of hot food onto the bosom of the officer, burning him severely, and from the effects of which he died 12 days later. Rich was promptly placed under arrest, but on investigation the homicide was justified by the commanding officer. Capts. J. GRIFFITH, DOANE, and STOCKING were leaders in the Point Judith engagement.

          In the general alarm felt throughout New England over the news of the approach of BURGOYNE's army from Canada to unite with CLINTON's forces in New York-Colonel SAGE, of Middletown, raised a body of troops, or militia, to march to West Point; among whom was a company from Middle Haddam Society, under the command of Captain David SMITH, of Chestnut Hill, in Chatham. He was a fiery, impetuous man, who cared little for red tape, a man of great force of character, and proud of his talent as swordsman. As they approached their destination, hungry and fatigued after their long march, they encamped without rations. Captain SMITH called on the commanding officer to learn the reason why they were not supplied, and was informed that the supply train had not arrived, and it was uncertain when it would. SMITH replied with much asperity, and said to Sage: "I can pick a pin from your coat collar;" accused him of incompetency, and added: "My men came to fight, not to starve!" If the supplies are not here to-morrow morning I shall then march my men back to their homes" The morning came, but not the supplies, and true to his word, SMITH marched his men home. His spirit is well illustrated by the following incident of another soldier:

          Samuel Pierson, a Revolutionary soldier, born in Wallingford, August 2d 1759, father of the late Ephraim PIERSON, of Haddam, and Mrs. Susan HOUSE, of Haddam Neck, now living at the age of 84-was, at the breaking out of the war, an impressed seaman on board of a British man-of-war, from which he escaped and joined the American army. During the latter service, while marching barefoot over the frozen ground, with his head inclined forward, the better to pick his way, he was reproved by an officer behind him, for not marching in an erect, soldier-like manner, and who at the same time struck him with his sword. PIERSON suddenly brought his musket back with such force, that the butt, striking the officer in the breast, knocked him down. He then wheeled and was about to pin him to the ground with his bayonet, and was only prevented by the efforts of his fellow soldiers.

          He was arrested, tried by court martial, and sentenced to be shot. General WASHINGTON, hearing of the affair, had the prisoner brought before him, and on learning the particulars, asked him if he did not know it was death for a private to strike an officer. PIERSON replied with spirit: "I know it is death for an officer to strike me!" WASHINGTON immediately ordered his release, and a pair of shoes from his chest to be given him, and told him never to be without shoes again. He then reproved his officers, and charged them to be more careful and considerate for their men, adding, that such a soldier was too valuable to lose, and if he had a body of men like him he could pierce the enemy's center at any time. PIERSON at length fell into the enemy's hand, and as he was being marched away, unarmed, in charge of two of his captors, he managed under some pretext, to take off his shoes, and on approaching water he threw them away saying, "Catch me, if you can!" rushed for the water, swan away and escaped.

          Aside from the regular sea voyages of the privateers, there were suddenly planned and executed, sortie-like adventures along the coast; prominent among which were several to Long Island for the capture of goods stored by the enemy, or persons high in rank for exchange; and, also, in watching the approach of the enemy's ships into the Sound, by the eastern route, with the intention of capturing such as they could. Among the latter was the affair off Point Judith, in the State of Rhode Island, and near the Connecticut line, not heretofore in print, and in which many of the men of Middle Haddam Society were engaged. They organized into six boat crews, consisting of from eight to ten men each. The boats were of the whale boat pattern, the stern constructed like the bow. A swivel was mounted in the bow of each and the crews were properly officered.

          Among the several boat commanders, were: Capt. Samuel BROOKS, of Haddam Neck; Capts. Joshua GRIFFITH, Seth DOANE, and Abner STOCKING, of the Chatham part of the society; and Capt. SAGE, of Middletown. Arriving at Point Judith they hauled up their boats in a sheltered bay near by, where they encamped. A constant watch was kept from the eminence for the approach of the enemy's ships. One morning soon after their arrival, the camp was excited over the news of a strange sail seen in the offing, whose appearance was soon generally discussed.

          The rigging, some said, was like a man-of-war, others that he hull was like a merchantman. The conclusion being in favor of the latter, and to risk an attack, they were soon ready. As the ship drew near the boards put out from around the Point, advanced in succession to the rear, and fired their swivels in rapid rotation into the stern of the supposed merchantman, and retired to load and again take their turns in the attack. When the last had fired the ship wore around, raised a tarpauling covering from her sides, and greatly to their surprise disclosed a man-of-war with two rows of port-holes from which issued a broadside, harmless in effect, as the sea was high and they were so near the balls passed over their heads.

          The attacking board hastily withdrew, passed around the Point into the bay and out of range with such speed that the boar commanded by Captain BROOKS on striking the shore ended over and permanently lames Elijah ABELL, one of its crew, and brother of Abel ABELL, who built ABELL's mill in Chatham. The other boars, coming in on top of a wave, were landed high on the shore. Unsatisfied, they mounted two of the swivels on the rocks and replied with vigor to the continued broadsides of the enemy. An artillery company happening in the neighborhood and, hearing the melee, hastened down and took a part in the engagement while the ship proceeded on her way. Although no prize was taken, no lives were lost. A prisoner on board of the ship at the time told them, after his release, that a ball from one of the boats passed through a closet in the captain's cabin and broke every dish there, and another ball struck the mizzen mast and passed half through it; that the captain was highly enraged, and said: "It was the most audacious proceeding he ever heard of, and if he could catch those fellows he would hang every one of them from his yardarm."

          Capt. David BROOKS, a native of Higganum, and some of the time a resident of the Neck, where he married, was commander of the sloop-of-war, Samson, of which Shubael BRAINERD was first lieutenant., and Samuel B. P. ARNOLD was master gunner. Of the crew, Jonathan BRAINERD jr., Elihu COOK, James and Nathaniel STOCKING (supposed brothers-in-law of Capt. BROOKS), it is believed belonged to the Neck; and Timothy CLARK, Elijah GREEN, and William AIKENS, to Chatham. Timothy CLARK had some position on board. The Samson, built in Higganum, with a sharp bow for fast sailing, and carrying six or eight guns of from nine to twelve pounders, took several prizes and gained quite a reputation among friends and foes as a strong fighter. Among the different engagements of the Samson with the enemy was her battle by night with the Swallow, a British sloop-of-war of 20 guns, in the Sound and near New York. As the two vessels approached each other, the Samson was hailed for her name. The reply was "The Hornet!" The latter, a noted privateer from Philadelphia, had taken many prizes and was a terror to the enemy, who feared to contend with her unless with superior force. The engagement began and continued with great severity until the guns of each became unserviceable, and both vessels were leaking badly and in such a dangerous condition as to necessitate a mutual withdrawal for repairs. The Swallow retired into Cow Bay where she repaired. Spies informed the Samson when her late antagonist was ready to sail, and she was off her port ready to meet her. In despair, the Swallow was scuttled and sunk by her escaping crew. One of the officers of the Swallow remarked that he had rather content with two Hornets than with one Samson.

          The Samson, after important service in many an action with the enemy's ships, was captured in the English Channel, and her officers and crew confined in the Jersey prison ship, where Captain BROOKS, Lieutenant BRAINERD, William AIKENS, Jonathan BRAINERD jr., Elihu COOK, Elijah GREEN, James and Nathaniel STOCKING (and how many more of the crew is unknown) all died in June 1782, as appears by the Middle Haddam church records, under well grounded suspicion of having been poisoned; all partaking of food which the master-gunner refused on account of the flavoring he disliked, and in consequence he alone survived.

          How many prisoners there were, from other ships and places, who had like experience and fate is unknown. It is said that CUNNINGHAM, the steward of the prison ship, boasted that he had destroyed more rebels that the king's arms. Dr FIELD, in his BRAINERD Genealogy, page 106, mentions the suspicion of the administering of the poison in liquor to the officers and crew of the Samson. This, written so much nearer the time, may appear more authentic than the above version given from tradition. The fact of the poisoning is of more importance than the method.

          Timothy CLARK, who had some position on the Samson, was severely wounded in an engagement, and taken to the hospital in New London, for treatment, just before the attack on that place by the British. His father (Jonathan) on learning of his condition, hastened with Capt. Samuel BROOKS, down the river in a whale boat to bring him home. Arriving at New London, Col. LEDYARD, the commander of Fort GRISWOLD, urged them to remain and assist in the defense of the fort, as he had not men enough-to which they consented, as soon as they had taken their wounded charge to a place of safety. They placed him on a litter, carried him to their boat, and rowed up the river several miles and left him with a Mr. AVERY, where they armed and returned.

          As they neared the fort, they climbed a tree to learn the condition there, and aw the British flag waving over it; there they remained until they saw the enemy leaving the fort for their shipping. They then hastened onward and assisted in caring for the wounded, and burying the dead of the inhumanly massacred garrison. They then returned to their wounded charge and conveyed him home, where he finally died of his wounds.

          The privateer Harlequin, commanded by Capt. Samuel BROOKS, of the Neck, and built later than the Samson, won also a high reputation and several prized. Master Gunner Samuel B. P. ARNOLD, served successively on board of both vessels. While in this service he was severely wounded by copper shot fired by the enemy. On one occasion, when pursued by a ship of superior force, which carried more canvas then the Harlequin, the prospect of her capture was evidently only a question of time, unless stratagem prevented. Night was fast approaching, as the distance between pursuer and pursued constantly lessened. In the meantime Captain BROOKS had ordered an empty cask from the hold, which was then sawed in two, and a whip rigged across the bilge, supporting a mast in the center, all to the perplexity of the wondering crew. When it became sufficiently dark, a light was fastened to the mast of the tub, and it was lowered into the sea and cast adrift. Every light on the Harlequin was suddenly extinguished as she tacked on a new course. Not long after they heard with satisfaction the guns of the enemy firing on the decoy tub.

          This incident, often related with great gusto by the master gunner, has since been used by the story writer in tales of sea prowess. It is related of Captain BROOKS that while in a certain port with the Harlequin, another American vessel arrived and reported having seen two British vessels headed apparently for another port. Upon being asked why he did not attach them, the Captain replied: "That he was glad to escape, for either of them were larger and carried more guns then he did." Captain BROOKS sailed immediately for that port, and found the two vessels there, anchored side by side, a little distance apart, either of whom carried more guns that the Harlequin. With an audacity worthy of the celebrated Paul JONES, he ran his Bessel between them, and opened a rapid fire on each. They, fearful of injuring each other, replied with little effect, and he soon captured both.

          As officers for drafting entered the old first meeting house on Hog Hill, one Sabbath, Jonathan BRAINERD sen., of the Neck, to avoid the draft, leaped from a second story window of the church to the ground, and striking on his feet, ran and escaped.

          He took the death of his eldest son, Jonathan jr., who died in the prison ship, so sorely to hear, that he had a younger son, Jeremiah, an eccentric youth, recorded on the records of Haddam as a fool, to prevent his being drafted. He, smarting under the indignity, took his father down, as soon as he was able, and gave him a severe pounding. Jonathan BRAINERD sen., was born December 16th 1737, and married, first, Elizabeth STOCKING, May 1st 1760. She died June 5th 1782, and he married, second, Hope STRONG, of Middle Haddam, November 24th 1782. She was killed from being thrown from a frightened horse, and he married, third Jerusha (CLARK) FIELDING, a daughter of Benajah CLARK, and widow of Timothy FIELDING, and died in 1825 or 1826, aged 88.

          It appears that on the morning of the 10th of August 1779, an aged father appeared before the council and related his simple story. He stated that he had given five sons to the service of his country; that three of them had fallen in battle; that two were still in the army, and he came now before the council to ask that his sixth, and only remaining son --- "the Benjamin of his old age"-who had recently been drafted, might be permitted to remain at home with him. The following is a copy of the record:

          "Tuesday, August 10th 1779. "On representation of Cornelius RICH, of Chatham that he has had five sons in the Continental Army; three of which are dead; killed in the service; one lately at Norwalk; that he has two more in ye army; one son only remaining with him, whom is lately detached in the Militia service for one month, or five weeks, on he sea coast; that his circumstances are such that he cannot part with, and has been detained till this time, praying this board that he may be excused from said service. This Board, in consideration of the particular, and almost singular circumstances of Mr. RICH's case, release his son from considered for the future."

          The son mentioned as being killed at Norwalk, was the Nathaniel RICH mentioned in the church record as being killed in the action at that place, July 11th 1779. He was wounded in the knee, and his comrades endeavored to carry him from the field during the retreat. As the British soldiers were near, and crowding our men fast, he begged of them to leave him and save themselves, as they could not take him without the greatest hazard. In the course of two hours the enemy retreated, and our men, returning, found RICH dead, with the top of his skull torn off, supposed to be blown off by a musket used to dispatch him. He was, in fact, brutally murdered. The names of the other two sons that were killed in the service have not been recovered, but it is thought that the name of one was John. Mr. RICH is remembered to have had sons by the name of Nathaniel, John, Samuel, and Cornelius jr.

          The following story was current for many years after the war: It was said that Gen. Henry CHAMPION stationed a guard at some distance from Fort Stanwix (now Rome, N. Y.), probably during the advance of BURGOYNE's army, with Lieut. John Harris STRONG, of Middle Haddam, son of Josiah, as commander. They were to be relieved in 24 hours. That time had long passed and they in their hunger felt obliged to detail several of their number to seek supplies. While these were away relief came; the absentees were reported and ordered by CHAMPION to be whipped. The commanding general on hearing of the affair sent a reprieve in order to learn the particulars more fully. This was said to have been in the pocket of CHAMPION while the punishment was inflicted. Henry GOSLEE, one of the victims, on learning the facts, swore vengeance, and declared he would kill CHAMPION on opportunity. After the war was over they met in one of the stores in Colchester. They instantly recognized each other, but CHAMPION was shy of the wronged man, and quickly withdrew. GOSLEE followed him into the year and struck him a violent blow across the abdomen with a sharpened end of a hoop-pole-a stick about two feet long-cutting a long gash from which his bowels protruded. CHAMPION, clasping his hands around himself, mounted his horse, rode to his home in Westchester, had the wound sewed up and finally recovered. GOSLEE in the meantime escaped and was not arrested.

WAR OF 1812.

          Among the soldiers from the Neck engages in the war of 1812-14 were: Captain Roswell BRAINERD, Ansel BRAINERD, Lester BRAINERD, Porter SMITH, David YOUNG, Elijah YOUNG. It was during the war of 1812-14, that several young men and boys, among whom was Oliver B. ARNOLD, of the Neck, went early one Sunday morning to the river to bathe, near a fish place, at Middle Haddam Landing. They saw in the distance a fleet of small fishing vessels coming up the river. It was a time when a rumor was current that spies occasionally passed up the river in vessels, the better to avoid observation, in their endeavor to gain information. Perhaps influenced by this consideration in some degree, but more by a desire for fun, they quickly mounted on the capstan of the fish place several ell pots lying around, which from their size and shape resembled cannon. A dense fog coming on helped the illusion. A fire was kindled, and a long handled torch prepared and lighted. As the vessels came near, Neil GOFF, the captain of the party, waved his wooden sword over his head, and hailed them without effect.

          He then, in a loud voice, ordered, "Prepare to Fire !" The blazing torch was waved, and at his second hail the vessels came to and answered every question promptly, gave their number, freight, port, and destination. One of the questions was: "If they had seen any suspicious vessels?" Captain GOFF, apparently satisfied, told them they might proceed. One of them, as if in apology, remarked: "We didn't know that you fortified up here." Oliver Brooks ARNOLD, one of the party, born November 25th 1797, a grandson of Captain Samuel BROOKS, of privateer fame, and now residing on the Neck, and in his 87th year, contributed this and several incidents of the Revolutionary war included in the sketch of Haddam Neck, and the ecclesiastical society of Middle Haddam.


          Among those from Haddam Neck who served in the Union army during the great Rebellion were: Sergeant Luther N. ARNOLD, David ANDREWS, Evelyn M. ANDREWS, --- ATTWELL, Morris B. BRAINERD, George W. BRAINERD, John L. BRAINERD, Smith B. GILLETTE, Phineas L. HYDE, Sergeant Newton MORGAN, Ellsworth RUSSELL, Stephen M. RUSSELL, Henry M. SELDEN, Henry M. SMITH.

          Of these, Sergeant MORGAN died at home from wounds received at Port Hudson. Evelyn M. ANDREWS and Sergeant J. H. SELDEN were wounded, on account of which they are pensioners, and latter losing an eye.

          Phineas L. HYDE and Henry M. SELDEN are pensioners for injuries received in the service.


          The young people of Middle Haddam and Haddam Neck organized a society for mutual improvement, October 1st 1861, called the "Literary Circle." This was popular and successful and accomplished much good. It continued nearly eight years.

          Its meetings were held semi-monthly, and varied with music and literary exercises. A manuscript paper, composed of original articles b the members, was read by an editor at each meeting.


          A remarkable Negro formerly lived here, named Venture SMITH. Several editions of his autobiography-a pamphlet of 24 pages-have been published, from which it appears he was born at Dukandara, in Guinea, about 1729, and was a son of Saungm FURRO, king of the tribe of Dukandara, and named by him Broteer.

          The king was six feet and six or seven inches in height, two feet across the shoulders, and well proportioned. He was a man of remarkable strength and resolution, affable, kind, and gentle, ruling with equity and moderation. He descended from a large, tall, and strong race, exceeding the average of men.

          When Broteer, or Venture, as he was afterward called, was in his seventh year, the territory of his father was invaded by a warlike tribe from a distance of upward of 140 miles, and beyond an intervening desert. The enemy were supplied with musical instruments, guns, and other arms of modern use, and instigated, supplied, and equipped by some white nation to subdue the adjacent countries (probably in the interest of slavery). Their army consisted of about 6,000 men, who leader was called Baukurre. The old king, unable to resist the invaders, retreated, and was captured and tortured to death.

          They immediately marched towards the sea with their captives, among whom was the subject of this sketch, who was made waiter to the leader, and had to carry his gun.

          On the march he had to carry on his head a large flat stone, used for grinding corn, which weighed about 25 pounds, besides carrying victuals and cooking utensils.

          After a series of adventures in capturing other tribes on their way, as described in the biography, they in turn were overcome and captured by a tribe on the sea coast, who appropriated all the accumulated booty to their own use, and retained the captives for market as slaves.

          Young Broteer, with other prisoners, was taken to a ship, then in port from Rhode Island, commanded by Capt. COLLINGWOOD, whose mate was Thomas MUMFORD, and he was sold to Robertson MUMFORD, the steward, for four gallons of rum and piece of calico, and called Venture on account of the transaction being a private venture on the part of the steward.

          The number of slaves purchased for the cargo was 260. Venture was taken to Fisher's Island, where he remained about 14 years, subjected to many trials and oppressions, where he married a fellow slave. He had in the meantime developed into a tall, broad shouldered man of gigantic strength. His height, without shoes, was six feet and one-half inches, and his breadth was such that tradition says his custom was to turn sidewise in passing through an ordinary door. He was soon after sold to Thomas STANTON, of Stonington Point, who sent him two miles after a barrel of molasses, and ordered him to bring it home on his shoulders. He managed to carry it the entire distance.

          To test his strength he took upon his knees a tierce of salt containing seven bushels, and carried it two or three rods, in the presence of several witnesses. He was next sold to Hempstead MINER, of Stonington, who soon after sold him to Col. Oliver SMITH, who, more generous than the former owners, gave Venture the opportunity of gaining his freedom by working for others and paying him for the privilege. Here, out of respect to this master, he added SMITH to his name.

          Venture was then 31 years of age, and by his great industry and frugality he earned his freedom in the succeeding five years, for which he paid Col SMITH 71 and 2 shillings, besides paying for the privilege of working away. In this period he worked awhile on Long Island, where in six months, he cut and corded 400 cords of wood, and threshed 75 bushels of grain.

          His next ambition was to purchase the freedom of his wife and his three children, which he eventually accomplished, besides buying the freedom of three other men. In about 1778, when 49 years of age, he disposed of his property on Long Island and moved to East Haddam, where he worked for several persons, among whom were Timothy CHAPMAN and Abel BINGHAM. Anecdotes of his renown here as a wood-chopper are still current. While here he purchased land on Haddam Neck, near Salmon River cove, and just below and opposite the mouth of Moodus River, to which he soon removed, and made subsequent purchases of land adjoining, until he owned over one hundred acres of excellent land and three dwelling houses.

          During his residence at Haddam Neck, he owned, at different times, of boats, canoes, and sail vessels, twenty or more. These he employed mostly in fishing and trafficking, often cheated by those with whom he traded taking advantage of his ignorance of numbers. Notwithstanding he was often wronged, he maintained his own integrity, and left a name for truth and uprightness that was never tarnished, and of which he was ever proud.

          In his later years he became almost blind, and was led about by a grandchild. His autobiography, as relate by himself, and clothed in appropriate language by a citizen of East Haddam, was first published in 1798, when he was 69 years of age, appended to which was a certificate of his high character, dated November 3d 1798, and signed by Nathaniel MINOR Esq., Elijah PAMMER Esq., Captain Amos PALMER, Acors SHEFFIELD, and Edward SMITH, citizens of Stonington, Conn.

          This was reprinted in 1835, copies of which are now so scarce it is hoped that some of his descendants will publish another edition. Venture died a few years after the publishing of his narrative.

          Venture died September 19th 1805, in the 77th year of his age, and was buried in the cemetery by the Congregational church. The following inscription is copied from his tombstone:

          "Sacred to the memory of Venture SMITH, African, though the son of a King, he was kidnapped and sold as a slave, but by his industry he acquired money to purchase his freedom who died Sep. 19th 1805 in ye 77th year of his age."
          "Sacred to the memory of Marget SMITH relict of Venture SMITH who died Dec. the 17th A. D. 1809, in the 79th year of her age."

          It is said that as the pallbearers were carrying the body of Venture to his burial, a distance of some three miles from his late home on the Neck, to the cemetery at the Congregational church in East Haddam, they felt the heaviness of their load so much (Venture was a very large and heavy man) as to cause one of them to remark, "We ought to have gone twice for our load."



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