Worcester, Vermont

Worcester, Vermont
EST. 1803
Town History
Records of the town has been kept in excellent condition since the two was first settled. The only mystery that still
remains is when the exact date that the town was first settled because a fire destroyed the Town’s early records.
Governor Ben Wentworth of New Hampshire charted Worcester, VT on June 8th 1763. sixty-four people originally owned
the seventy-one shares of land that they chose to give names to. The town at this time was six miles square and
consisted of twenty three thousand forty acres.
John Ridlan and George Martin were the first settlers in Worcester in 1797 and the town wasn’t immediately settled into
at first. By 1800 the population had increased from the two families that were living there to twenty-five people and
then again increased in 1810 to 41. The town didn’t increase in population until 1820 mostly because of the “Year
Without a Summer.” Year without a Summer was caused by a volcanic eruption that altered the summer weather
causing a frost.
Duncan Young was the first town clerk, he helped organize the town in 1803 and the town records were kept in
Worcester until the 1816 fire and then they were moved to Burlington. After 1816 the history is easier to connect events
because the records were clearly kept from there on out.
The first recorded town meeting occurred on March 14th, 1821 at Amasa Brown’s house. Many people were elected to
different committees and boards. The first recorded marriage was between Oliver Watson and Esther Brown in 1817.
Reverend Harvey Gurnsey built Worcester’s first Methodist Church in 1848 and then became the preacher two years
later. In 1888 a new church was constructed with seating for 250 people because the population kept growing. A few
months later he organized the churches Sunday School and forty students attended. This church occupied where the
current town hall is until it burned in 1907, which left the site to remain empty until 1912 when the town hall was
The town relied a lot on the agricultural business that supported the town folk. Out of all the dairy farms and hundreds
of other small agricultural operations, only one dairy farm and a handful of small agricultural businesses remain.
1763 – Worcester, Vermont was chartered by the governor of New Hampshire, Ben Wentworth.
1797- The first settlement was made by John Ridlan and George Martin
1800 – Population increased to 25 people.
1810 – Population increased again to 41 people.
1816 – “Year Without a Summer”
1820-1830 – Population increased to 400 people.
1803 – Duncan Young, the first town clerk, organized the Town
1816 – Earliest records of the town was lost in a fire.
1817 – First recorded marriage was recorded in the new records. The marriage of Oliver Watson
and Esther Brown.
1821 – The first recorded town meeting took place at Amasa Brown’s house.
1848 – Reverend Harvey Gurney built the first Methodist Church.
1888 – A new church was constructed and Sunday school began.
1893 – The school house was built
1907 – The new church burnt down.
1912 – The Town hall was built.
1915 – The new Methodist church was built
1925 – The Methodist Church was moved from where it originally sat to where it currently sits.
1952 – The steeple on the Church was struck by lightening.
1963 – The ranch style home was built by the family that occupied it until 1972.
1978 – LBJ’s Grocery was built.
Town Map
School House
Calais Road
Town Hall
20 Worcester Village Road
Methodist Church
35 Worcester Village Rd
Ranch Style Home
441 Elmore Rd
LBJ’s Grocery
44 Worcester Village Road
The Old School House
This is the old School house in Worcester, VT; it
was built in 1893. As you see here that there
are two entrances to the school. It has a very
symmetrical style about it. Everything appears
to come in twos. This style is similar to Queen
and Shingle style. You can see on the third
level that the siding become shingles which is
a stylistic feature of the shingle style. Then, it
has the clean look of the Queen Anne style
being that there is a varied use of wood and
as you’ll see in the next slide stone work
foundation. The Old School House sits exactly
in the place where it was built unlike, the
Methodist church that was moved.
Old School House Pictures
Original Stone Foundation
Porch Detail
Old School House Pictures
Porch lattice detail
Original Windows
Town Hall
The town hall was built in 1912. It held it’s
first town meeting in 1915 after the
construction was completed. It sits where
the second Methodist church would
have sat until it burnt down. The town hall
is no longer used for town meetings
because the population of the town
simply would not hold the amount of
people. Downstairs of the town hall
houses bathrooms, an open meeting
room, a coat room, storage closet, and a
full kitchen (because it is now used as a
soup kitchen on Wednesdays). The
upstairs however houses a stage and
plenty of floor space. This was the original
space that was used for the meetings,
town get together, festivities, and
dances. The town hall was recently
updated to bring the building up to code
so that it could be used in the future.
What was added was an elevator, new
set of steps and a handicap ramp which
also includes that the electrical wiring
that was all original until this past fall.
Town Hall Pictures
Meeting Room
Original Flooring
Town Hall Pictures
Upstairs gathering area
Original Staircase
Town Hall Pictures
Original Door Handles
Original Wallpaper,
Flooring, and Baseboard
Methodist Church
The Methodist church was built in a
different location originally than where it
sits today. It was built in 1915 a few years
after the town hall was built. It was
originally built next to Amasa’s farm on
Elmore Road. Moving the church in 1925
was a challenge the technology to move
something of this scale was just starting to
come out. Slowly they took the steeple
apart, separated the roof from the
building and soon moved the larger part
of the church by taking it down wall by
wall. It took a year to reconstruct it where
it currently sits. A new steeple since then
has been built because it was struck by
lightening. The church still uses a rock
foundation which is found at the old
school house too. The style of this building
is the same as the old school house being
that it’s a mixture of Queen Anne and
shingle. The two styles together made it
easier for the buildings to blend together.
The church also doesn’t have any
stained glass.
Methodist Church Pictures
Bell Pull
Looking towards the apse
Methodist Church Pictures
Original Hardware
The Original Organ
Methodist Church Pictures
Original Chandelier
Window Detail
Ranch Style Home
Someone in Worcester, Vermont
doesn’t need to acquire a zoning
permit and most of the houses were
built by the owners. This house was built
by a few members of our family. It’s a
ranch style house. It’s basically one level
on a full basement. It included a wood
furnace at the time, until this wasn’t
convent for my grandmother. It’s been
adapted for the occupants. Instead of
being in a city where the sewer and
water comes from the ground it is run on
an old well pump system which still to
this day works. The roof was modified so
that the snow and icicles wouldn’t be
an issue with weight. It was also built
with a two bay-garage (which is not in
any of the pictures). The big picture
windows and glass door were put in
place for the view of the mountains.
Ranch Style Home Pictures
Heated Hearth Fireplace
Entry way to the
living room
Ranch Style Home Pictures
Backside to the house
Notice the symmetry
Original Carpet
(ignore the pets)
Small Town Store
This small store was built based on a ranch style home so that it would blend better with the surrounding
homes. The store originally took a major role in selling the farms food, milk, etc. Recently as the economy
has changed and demands have changed the need for other supplies in the town has shaped the
building of the recent gas pumps and the additional space for the selling of plows for the winter. The
store even added a deli recently and delivery services for the town people of Worcester, Vermont.
Small Town Store
The Entry way into the store
Small Town Store
View Towards Deli
View from front entrance down
the aisles
Worcester Historical Society
Betty White
Judy Knapp
Town Clerk
Sandra Ferver
Ranch House
Betty Campbell
Worcester United Methodist Church
Pastor Jerry
LBJ’s Grocery
Worcester’s Early History
o Publication I – Early history of Worcester, Vermont by Charles C. Abbot
o Vermont Historical Gazetteer, vol. 4, part 2 by Carrie Elizabeth Hemenway

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