<%@LANGUAGE="VBSCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> Rutland History - Urbanization

Urbanization (1893-1920) continued

Politically Vermont was a Republican state but within the state, and in Rutland, in particular, there were two principal factions in the Republican Party. One was led by Redfield Proctor, who was governor of Vermont from 1878-1880, Secretary of War in the Harrison cabinet and later Senator from Vermont. The other was led by Percival Clement who had headed the Rutland Railroad in the 1890s and became owner of the Rutland Herald. After numerous political contests with the Proctor wing of the Republican Party, Clement was elected Governor in 1918.

On the Rutland economic scene the Vermont Marble company organized by Redfield Proctor combined the various Rutland marble interests into the world's largest marble industry with complexes located in Proctor and West Rutland.

In February 1906 the downtown of Rutland was threatened by Rutland's single greatest fire. The Bates House, with retail outlets on the street level, was totally demolished as were adjoining buildings to the north on Merchants Row and east halfway up Center Street. Throughout the battle against the fire there were fears that all of downtown Rutland might burn.

In 1894 the horse-drawn trolley was replaced by the electric trolley. In the early 20th Century the trolley system expanded its reach to Lake Bomoseen, Castleton and Fair Haven. In 1913 the system carried over 3 million passengers. But competition was coming in the form of the auto. By 1923 the trolley system was abandoned and the auto was king of transportation.

During World War I Rutland's energies were concentrated on the home front in its industries and war bond drives. Its wives and mothers increasingly became involved as their young men marched off to Europe.