Location in the United States
|Coordinates: 43°23′4″N 72°27′45″W|
|• Total||44.2 sq mi (114.5 km2)|
|• Land||43.6 sq mi (113.0 km2)|
|• Water||0.6 sq mi (1.5 km2)|
|Elevation||1,237 ft (377 m)|
|• Density||64/sq mi (25/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||1462247|
The town of Weathersfield was named for Wethersfield, Connecticut, the home of some of its earliest settlers. The Connecticut town had taken its name, in turn, from Wethersfield, a village in the English county of Essex, the name of which derived from "wether", or in Old English wither, meaning a castrated lamb. In England, wethers were trained to lead flocks of ewes to pasture. It was a supreme irony that the name of the Vermont town (with an 'a' inserted) would derive from a connection to sheep, the animal that would come to define Weathersfield's earliest antecedents and first put it on the map.
The man responsible for that feat was a native of Boston who had become a European trader. William Jarvis was appointed by President Thomas Jefferson as U.S. Consul General to Portugal, after founding a trading house in Lisbon. In 1811 Jarvis imported from Spain to his farm at Weathersfield Bow the first Merino sheep brought to America. Jarvis set aside eight of the 4,000 Merino sheep he imported as gifts to former President Jefferson and to President James Madison.
"I cannot forbear, Sir," Jarvis wrote to Jefferson, "making you an offer of a Ram & Ewes, both as a mark of my great esteem & well knowing that the experiment cannot be in better hands." Jarvis was a wealthy financier and gentleman farmer who had bought up most of the flood plain of Weathersfield. Jarvis was also one of the most prominent Republicans in the Connecticut River Valley. Thanks to his introduction of Merino sheep, he provided the underpinning for Vermont agriculture for the next century.
Jarvis married Mary Pepperell Sparhawk of Boston, a fellow descendant of Sir William Pepperrell of Massachusetts. (Jarvis' wife was the niece of his mother, the former Mary Pepperell Sparhawk Jarvis). Katherine L. Jarvis, daughter of Hon. William Jarvis, married Harvard-educated lawyer and photographer Col. Leavitt Hunt, brother of architect Richard Morris Hunt and Boston painter William Morris Hunt, and son of Vermont congressman Jonathan Hunt. Leavitt Hunt and his wife later lived in Weathersfield at their home, Elmsholme.
Rev. John Dudley, a sometime missionary to the Choctaw Indians, a graduate of Yale Seminary, the descendant of one of the earliest families of Connecticut (his ancestor William Dudley settled in Guilford in the early 17th century) and a widely reprinted Congregational preacher, made his home in Weathersfield, where his son William Wade Dudley was born.
On August 20, 2011, Weathersfield celebrated the 250th anniversary of its town charter.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 44.2 square miles (114.5 km2), of which 43.6 square miles (113.0 km2) is land and 0.58 square miles (1.5 km2), or 1.27%, is water. The town of Weathersfield includes the village of Perkinsville.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,788 people, 1,167 households, and 830 families residing in the town. The population density was 63.7 people per square mile (24.6/km2). There were 1,315 housing units at an average density of 30.0 per square mile (11.6/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 98.57% White, 0.07% African American, 0.29% Native American, 0.25% Asian, and 0.82% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.72% of the population.
There were 1,167 households out of which 26.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.6% were married couples living together, 5.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.8% were non-families. 22.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.77.
In the town, the population was spread out with 20.6% under the age of 18, 5.1% from 18 to 24, 26.9% from 25 to 44, 31.2% from 45 to 64, and 16.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females, there were 96.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.0 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $42,057, and the median income for a family was $46,282. Males had a median income of $33,226 versus $27,011 for females. The per capita income for the town was $21,647. About 4.8% of families and 6.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.2% of those under age 18 and 5.4% of those age 65 or over.
Arts and culture
Several historical buildings are located in Weathersfield, including the Reverend Dan Foster House, the Weathersfield Meeting House and the First Congregational Church. The Reverend Dan Foster House is now a museum operated by the Weathersfield Historical Society. The house was built during the Revolutionary War with some sections completed in 1825. The museum houses Civil War memorabilia, a children's school room and a library.
Primary and secondary schools
Weathersfield School District serves Weathersfield. There is one school in the district, Weathersfield School, located in Ascutney, Vermont.
A remarkable detailed history of the town is available for the years 1971 through 1986 in the form of a unique weekly newspaper, The Weathersfield Weekly, which covered the history and current events in the town in an intense and intelligent fashion. The newspaper was closed by its editors and publishers, Armstrong and Edith Hunter, in 1986, though they published a 5-year retrospective in 1991.
- Aretas Blood, steam locomotive manufacturer
- Clarissa Danforth, early female Christian minister
- William Wade Dudley, politician
- Barbara Galpin (1855–1922), journalist
- Jarvis Hunt, architect
- William Jarvis, consul to Portugal under president Thomas Jefferson
- Franklin S. Lawrence, member of the Wisconsin State Assembly
- Don A. J. Upham, mayor of Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
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- "Profile for Weathersfield, Vermont, VT". ePodunk. Retrieved May 12, 2014.
- "William Jarvis & the Merino Sheep Craze". Vermont Historical Society. Retrieved May 12, 2014.
- William Jarvis, Weatherfield history, Town of Weathersfield, Vermont
- Monticello Report: Sheep for the President, monticello.org
- U.S. Consul William Jarvis to Pres. Thomas Jefferson, Lisbon, Jan. 20, 1810, Thomas Jefferson's Farm Book, by Thomas Jefferson, ed. by Edwin Morris Betts, University of North Carolina Press, 2002
- William Jarvis's Merino Sheep, Vermont Historical Society
- Our Sheep and the Tariff, William Draper Lewis, Wharton School of Finance, University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, 1890
- Stone Walls and the Joys of Scholarly Connections, January 5, 2007, Dr. Ross, Groton School, groton.org
- William Jarvis Papers, Vermont Historical Society Library
- "The Life and Times of Hon. William Jarvis", The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, John Albion, 1869
- The Wentworth Genealogy: English and American, John Wentworth LL.D., Little, Brown and Company, Boston, 1878
- Social Register, New York, Social Register Association, 1896
- Annals of Brattleboro, 1681–1895, Mary Rogers Cabot, 1922
- "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Weathersfield town, Windsor County, Vermont". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
- "Village of Perkinsville, Vermont". Town of Weathersfield, Vermont. Retrieved 6 May 2012.
- "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
- "Weathersfield Historical Society". Town of Weathersfield, Vermont. Retrieved May 12, 2014.
- "Weathersfield School District Schools". Greatschools, Inc. Retrieved May 12, 2014.
- "Weathersfield School". Weathersfield School. Retrieved May 12, 2014.
- "Weathersfield Proctor Library". Town of Weathersfield, Vermont. Retrieved May 12, 2014.
- "Weathersfield Proctor Library". Weathersfield Proctor Library. Retrieved May 12, 2014.
- "Remembering the Weathersfield Weekly". Town of Weathersfield, Vermont.. Retrieved May 12, 2014.
- The Granite Monthly (1887). The Granite Monthly, Volume 1, Issue 1 - Volume 10, Issue 11. The Granite Monthly. p. 83.
- Perry, Elizabeth A. (1886). A Brief History of the Town of Glocester, Rhode Island: Preceded by a Sketch of the Territory While a Part of Providence. Providence Press Company, Printers. p. 70.
- Brown, John Howard (1900). Lamb's Biographical Dictionary of the United States: Chubb-Erich. James H. Lamb Company. p. 537.
- Galpin, William Freeman (1955). The Galpin family in America. Syracuse University. p. 75.
- "World's Columbian Exposition of 1893". Paul V. Galvin Library Illinois Institute of Technology. Retrieved May 12, 2014.
- THE BLUE BOOK OF THE STATE OF WISCONSIN. 1881. pp. 521–522.
- State Bar Association of Wisconsin (1905). Proceedings of the State Bar Association of Wisconsin. The Association. p. 236.
- The Democratic Dilemma: Religion, Reform and the Social Order in the Connecticut River Valley of Vermont, 1791–1850, Randolph A. Roth, 1987, Cambridge University Press, pp. 16, 103, 107, 113, 144, 145, 173-177, etc., on William Jarvis.
- The Weathersfield weekly: an annotated index of selected articles, items and photos, April 22, 1971 to April 4, 1986, E.F. Hunter, 1988.
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