18th Century Rutland (1770 - 1800) continued
From 1770 to 1775 the Rutland settlers who had received their land grants
from Governor Wentworth of New Hampshire, were in almost constant conflict
with New Yorkers who laid claim to the same territory. In 1775 the American
Revolution brought this conflict to an uneasy truce as both faced the
challenges of an outside enemy.
In 1778 the Americans built Fort
Ranger near Center Rutland Falls on property of James Mead. This became
the Vermont Military Headquarters for the rest of the Revolution.
From 1777 to 1791 Vermont was an independent Republic. From 1784 Rutland
was the county seat of Rutland County. In 1792, shortly after statehood,
Rutland built a new Courthouse
which became the county court and the U.S. Federal District Court of Vermont.
For the decade of the 1790s, Rutland alternated with Windsor to host the
meetings of the state legislature.
Rutland was religiously divided into an east and a west parish. The Reverend
Samuel Williams was minister to the east and the brilliant and talented
Reverend Lemuel Haynes,
a mulatto, was minister to the west.
Rutland became home to the Herald of Vermont, a short-lived newspaper
published by Anthony Haswell. In 1793 James Lyon published the Farmers
Library in Rutland. In December 1794 Judge Samuel Williams of Rutland
bought the paper and established the Rutland Herald with the aforementioned
Reverend Samuel Williams (no relation) as editor.
The center of town in
the 1790s was on the high plateau at the intersection of Main and West
Streets where residents had the benefit of a water system which delivered
running water from the hills of Mendon through hollowed wooden logs that
served as water pipes.