Before driving down the winding dirt roads of Landgrove, Vermont, I had never even heard of the town, let alone what I would find. It is always a treat to explore a rural Vermont town, not knowing what lies beyond each hill and bend in the road. Landgrove was chartered in 1780 and is one of the least-populated towns in New England at just 177. The town’s founding occured in the spring of 1767, when Captain William Utley (1724-1790) and his 16-year-old son Asa, traveled from Connecticut to what is now Springfield VT, across a newly created road to the frontier town of Chester. Upon arriving, they spent the rest of the year cutting a road from Chester to the West River. He thought that he arrived in the Town of Bromley, one of the New Hampshire Land Grants. After building his cabin, settling here with his family, he realized he was in unincorporated land between other grants. He petitioned for a new town and it was accepted after the Revolution. The town grew slowly with farms sprouting up along the countryside, never expanding beyond 355 people. This old schoolhouse was constructed, likely around the turn of the 20th century at the geographic center of town after the town consolidated their school districts. When the town’s population shrunk further, Landgrove’s school district merged with nearby Londonderry and Weston. This former school was converted to town offices.
So much of Vermont has its roots in Connecticut — people who moved north up the Connecticut River Valley after the Revolutionary War, naming new towns after the towns they came from — Hartford, Windsor, Wethersfield to name just 3.
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So true! Its fun to learn how Vermont was contested land between NH and NY and the forests were slowly claimed and settled. It retains much of its rural charm to this day!