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United States Gotoarrow.png Vermont Gotoarrow.png Rutland Gotoarrow.png Castleton

Contents

Brief History

Castleton was chartered in 1761. The charter for 36 square miles of land was granted by Gov. Benning Wentworth of New Hampshire and divided the land into 70 "rights" or "shares". Governor Wentworth retained ownership of two shares and several others were given for churches and a school. In the spring of 1767 Col. Amos Bird and Col. Noah Lee arrived in Castleton from Salisbury, Connecticut. They were its first settlers. Castleton's favorite landmark, Bird Mountain, is named for Col. Bird. He had acquired 40 shares of land when the town was chartered and built a permanent home here in the summer of 1769. Three families had settled in Castleton by 1770. More settlers followed and by 1777 the town consisted of 17 families.

Castleton played an eventful part in the American Revolution. In May of 1775 Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys met here with Benedict Arnold to plan their next day's attack on Fort Ticonderoga, 30 miles west, on the New York side of Lake Champlain. 

Vermont attained statehood in 1791 and Castleton continued to grow as an agricultural community. Farmers raised cattle, then turned for a while to sheep. Apple orchards abounded. Saw mills and gristmills were the first industries to be established in town. During the middle of the nineteenth century the slate and marble industries began to thrive in and around Castleton. The railroad came in 1854, and the last half of the century saw the development of tourism around Lake Bomoseen. Several luxury hotels were built around the west end of the lake.

Education has been important in Castleton from its earliest days. The Rutland County Grammar School was established in 1787, and later became the Castleton Seminary. The Castleton Normal School evolved from the Seminary, and became part of the state college system in 1912. It is now Castleton State College. 

The town prospered during the nineteenth century. Residents built more elaborate homes to replace their log cabins and primitive frame houses. Many of the beautiful homes that stand along Castleton's wide Main Street today were built between 1805 and 1840. Among the most remarkable are several built by renowned architect and builder, Thomas Royal Dake. Fires devastated much of the town's center in the early twentieth century, destroying several large hotels, and Castleton declined as a business center, but with its wide Main Street, it remains one of the loveliest villages in the state.1

Historical Data

Town Histories

Historical Photos

Vital Records

FamilySearch Historical Records Collection has Vermont birth, death, and marriage records online

Probate Records

The probate district for Castleton is Fair Haven.

Fair Haven Probate Court
3 North Park Place
Fair Haven, VT 05743
(802) 265-3380

City Directories

The Library of Congress (Washington, D.C.) has one of the largest collections of city directories in the country. Their collection is in microfiche, microfilm, and books, but there is no online inventory of their holdings except for microfilm. See their guide online.


Other holdings:

FamilySearch Library Catalog

New England Genealogical Historical Society ($)

Maps

1854 Rutland County, Castleton map

Cemeteries

The following is a list of cemeteries in present-day Castleton. For location of cemeteries, see Cemeteries of Vermont, Rutland County, website at this link

  • Blissville Cemetery, located on Blissville Road, southwest of Castleton Corners
  • Culver Cemetery, located on Blissville Road, southwest of Castleton Corners
  • Crystal Beach-Town Farm Cemetery, located on Hwy. 30 at Crystal Beach, north of Castleton
  • Federated Church Cemetery, located beside the Federated Church, Castleton Village
  • Gates Cemetery, 2592 South St Ext, south of Castleton Corners
  • Hillside Cemetery, located on Cemetery Drive, north side of Castleton
  • Lincoln Cemetery, located on East Hubbardton Road, east of Castleton

Churches

1. Faith Community Church
    PO Box 512
    Castleton, Vermont 05735
    (802) 468-2521

2. Federated Church of Castleton
    PO Box 57
    Castleton, Vermont 05735
    (802) 468-5725

3. Fellowship Bible Church
    RR 30
    Castleton, Vermont 05735
    (802) 468-5122

4. St. John the Baptist
    786 Main St.
    Castleton, Vermont 05735
    (802) 468-5706

5. St Marks & St Lukes Mission
    Main St
    Castleton, Vermont 05735
    (802) 287-4189

Town Records

Town Clerk Vital and Town Records, 1732-2005, can be found on FamilySerach (browse only images) at this link.

The Family History Library has microfilm of original records from the Castleton Town Hall for the years 1767-1861.

Newspapers

Rutland Herald online at this link.

Libraries and Historical Societies

Castleton Free Library
638 Main St.
P.O. Box 296
Castleton, VT 05735
Phone: 802-468-5574
Email: castletonfreelibrary@gmail.com
Website link 

Castleton Historical Society
P.O. Box 219
Castleton, VT 05735
Email: Hydeville@adelphia.net
Website link 

References

1. 1. Castleton Historical Society, P.O. Box 219, Castleton, VT 05735, http://www.bsi-vt.com/castleton/chs/


Adjacent towns:


 

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  • This page was last modified on 5 August 2013, at 18:11.
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