Research Source & Summary of Chapters 

Waldo Glover used multiple primary sources when writing his history of Groton.  In fact, copies of many of these primary sources are in the GHS collection at the Peter Paul House or the Groton Free Library.

It is startling at times to discover how deeply he researched and how completely he told the story of Groton’s beginnings–the families who were pioneers and the work they did. Where they lived, how they got their land and what they learned in school and church are all part of the story. 

Waldo Glover wrote several books and articles. The Sleeping Sentinel, another of Waldo Glover’s books, is a testament to his devotion to recording and sharing the truest accounts of Groton’s story, unclouded by family mythology that sometimes seeks to glorify the past and its members. 

Books by Waldo Glover: Mr. Glover’s Groton, Mr. Glover’s Childhood, The Sleeping Sentinel

Mr. Glover’s Groton Chapter descriptions:

PART ONE: 18th century

Chapter 1 Geography and Topography, pp. 9-13

  • Lakes, river, streams, forests, granite

Chapter 2 The Early Indians, pp.14-17

  • Coosucks, waterways, trails

Chapter 3 The First White  Visitors, pp.18-25

  • 1704 – 1759: Trails from Deerfield, other southern frontier towns, lead captured English settlers through this area; Journal of Capt. Benjamin Wright

Chapter 4 A New Town in the Wilderness, pp. 26-37

  • 1780: Grant of Groton; “Indian Joe” of Coos, Aaron Hosmer; lots in three divisions sold; origin of name Groton

Chapter 5 The Settlers to 1801, pp. 38-44

  • Census 1790, Census 1800

Chapter 6 Groton is Organized, pp. 45-54

  • 1797: First Town Meetings, pound created for stray animals, discussion of stocks for punishment

PART TWO 19th century

Chapter 7 Groton in 1800, pp. 56-59

  • Memories of first decade of 19th century; the grand list: houses, acreage, a clock, five watches

Chapter 8 Agriculture, pp. 60-87

  • Crops, mills, orchards, sugaring; clearing, farm equipment, dairying, sheep, hogs, poultry, fences

Chapter 9 Industry, pp. 88-129

  • Lumbering, sawmills, rail shipping; charcoal; gristmills; carding and fulling mills; tanneries; axes; potash works; silk
  • Craftsmen: woodworkers, coopers, painters, leather workers, blacksmiths 
  • Inns and innkeepers; stores and merchants; barter 

Chapter 10 Transportation, pp. 130-156

  • Early roads: Witherspoon, Old West Road, the Great Road, County Road (Chelsea to Danville), Upper Mill Road, Southerly Mill Road (now Route 302), Main Street, Westville, Plummer Road    

Chapter 11 Groton Churches, pp. 157-183

  • Advent Christian Church, Congregational Church, First Baptist Church, (Town House/Church 1824; Meeting House 1866), Freewill Baptist Church, Methodist Episcopal Church (Meeting House 1837); “On Slavery” and “On Temperance;” the women of the Church

Chapter 12 Groton Schools, pp. 184-222

  • Early Districts: First District 1801; 12 district schools by 1876. Consolidation to town system 1893.  
  • Schoolhouses: Many stories about school houses being built and rebuilt all over Groton; meant for multiple uses 
  • Finances: Early forms of taxation; education taxes mandated by the state for local school; state school tax in 1890. Minutes from early meetings show money raised for shingles, firewood, etc.
  • Supervision: 1828–District Committees ran each district school; 1845-1893–Town Superintendent elected at annual Town Meeting; 1888 office of County Examiner of Teachers responsible for standardizing teacher certification
  • Secondary Education: Peacham Academy 1797; Newbury Seminary 1834; “Select Schools.” 1869 Village school building first used; 1897 secondary school (“third room”)  opened in Village school. 
  • The District School: Structure, desks, heating, “blackboards;” curriculum, textbooks, teachers   

Chapter 13 Military History, pp. 223-239

  • The Revolution – War of 1812 – War with Mexico
  • Revolutionary War: List of men who fought and later settled in Groton; where some are buried
  • War of 1812: No men from Groton were regularly enrolled.
  • War with Mexico: Records indicate six men from Groton served (listed).
  • Old Militia: Equipment (supplied by each man);location of annual training; Keeper of the Magazine. June Training Day (pre-1844): Holiday picnic, spirits, list of Groton Captains
  • Civil War:
    • 1850: 40th Company of Riflemen, Green Mountain Rangers
    • 1861: Third Regiment–27 men mustered into service; first Groton men to serve in the Civil War. 19 additional men later enlisted as recruits.
    • Town Meetings–funds appropriated for bounties for enlistments throughout the war; tax on Grand List.
    • News of the war-Boston Journal
    • William Scott
    • List of non-commissioned officers
    • List of casualties
    • Memorial Day, yearly reunions of the Fifteenth Regiment
    • William Scott Memorial Highway (1945)
  • Spanish-American War: List of Groton volunteers

Chapter 14 Social Problems, pp. 240-250

  • Preserving the Health: Common diseases, country doctors, folk medicine, root and herb doctors, “Dr. Downs’ Elixir,” Lizzie Hatch, doctors of Groton, 1825-1897
  • Relieving Poverty: “Warning Out,” aid to those in need, role of Town Overseer of the Poor, list of Overseers

Chapter 15 Groton Village, pp. 251-278

  • Beginnings and Growth: Early settlement, business along the Great Road and the Wells River; Dominicus Gray’s Inn at the Four Corners, Fenton’s store (opened 1819); the importance of Samuel G. Clark; early names for Groton
  • The Town House: History 1821-1863 
  • The Town Pound: Pounds for stray animals built and tended 1798-1858. 
  • The Administration of Justice: First Justice of the Peace 1798; other early justices listed. Sabbath-breaking, profane swearing, trespass and land disputes common. Court held at Gray’s Tavern. 1836 trial justices listed; Groton lawyers listed. 
  • “Bristol Bill”: 1849 counterfeiting gang
  • The Postal Service: 1833 Groton mail delivered only to Ryegate and Peacham; postage rates from Fenton’s store in Peacham. Stage routes to Groton established mid-century; used until railroad came through in 1873 
  • 1831-1905 Postmasters listed; locations of successive Post Offices described.  
  • Cemeteries and Burial Customs: First death in Groton 1784; beginning of Groton-Peacham Burial Ground; Darling Burial Ground; West Groton Burial Ground; family plots; Village Cemetery. *See appendix for names and locations of Groton graves.
  • Town hearses, coffins, undertakers 

PART THREE: The Twentieth Century

Chapter 16 The Turn of the Century, pp. 280-297 

  • 1901 Industrial Groton: granite, lumber, local trade; inventory of Groton businesses, farmers. 1059 inhabitants. Village of Groton chartered 1907; first Selectmen
  • The Groton Times (1897-1920’s)
  • Decline of the granite industry
  • The New Agriculture: modern barns, dairying, poultry, sugaring, creameries; federal regulations, decline of dairy industry in Groton  
  • The Lumbering Industry: Miller & Ayer mill on Lake Groton 1910; later, large timber tracts become part of Groton State Forest. Bobbin factories, various businesses 
  • Groton as a Summer Resort: Lake Groton, Groton State Forest development 1933 by Civilian Conservation Corps; history of Seyon Pond
  • Twentieth Century Schools: consolidation, closure of rural schools (Westville-1948). “Groton High School” offers classes 1897; first class graduates 1923. Blue Mountain Union School District; list of “veteran” teachers 
  • The Library: history, librarians.  
  • Public Services: transportation, evolution–Montpelier and Wells River Railroad shuts down 1957. Telephone; street lamps; Groton Post Office, list of Postmasters; firehouse, firemen, equipment Groton Business in 1978: list
  • Fall Foliage Day: description 
  • Social Life 
  • Looking Backward and Ahead: Architecture, old families, newcomers; buildings that burned during the twentieth century

Chapter 17 Twentieth Century Groton: This section elaborates on the previous one, as the Historical Society works to fill in the details; pp. 298-328 

  • First Decade 1900 – 1909: Business; Groton High School graduates; development; churches, service organizations  
  • Second Decade 1910 – 1919: Lumber industry, granite; the Town Clock, automobiles, electric lights and sidewalks; World War I; list of farms
  • Third Decade 1920 – 1929: Census; influenza; town officers; roads; Groton High School graduates; a flood and several fires; results of the first Community Fair (1927); list of ministers, list of teachers  
  • Fourth Decade 1930 – 1939: The Great Depression, CCC; McLure’s Student Band, Fairs and Dances; Schools; William Scott; Town Officers; Business; Groton High School graduates 
  • Fifth Decade 1940 – 1949: Schools; World War II; Businesses; Town Officers; Vermont Sesquicentennial; Groton High School graduates

Pictorial Portfolio pp. 330-346

Appendices pp. 347-443

Mr. Glover’s Groton includes the following information in its appendices:

Groton Veterans 

  • War of 1812, p. 348
  • The Civil War, pp. 349-353
  • The Spanish-American War, p. 353
  • WWI, pp. 353-354
  • WWII, pp. 354-355
  • Korean Conflict, pp. 355-356
  • Vietnam War, pp. 356-357

Cemetery Listings 

  • The “old” Cemetery on Rt 302, pp. 358-425
  • The Groton Peacham Cemetery on The Great Road, pp. 425-427
  • The West Groton Cemetery, pp. 428-430
  • The Batchelder Cemetery, p. 430
  • The Darling Glover Road Cemetery, pp. 430-433
  • The Frost Family Cemetery, p. 433 
  • The Gray Cemetery at the Glover Road 4 corners, p. 434
  • The Heath Family Cemetery near Plummers 5 corners, p. 434
  • The McLachlin Family Cemetery, p. 434
  • The Renfrew Family Cemetery, p. 435
  • The Whitcher Family Cemetery, p. 436

Family Names: The first time family names appear in the census 1790 – 1930: These are the official Groton Census records for the first 10 censuses combined, pp. 437-441

Child’s 1887 Gazeteer: Because the census records for 1890 were destroyed in a fire the Gazeteer contains the family names new to Groton between 1880 – 1887,  pp. 442 – 443

Subject Index pp. 446-451

Index of Names as they appear in the body of Mr. Glover’s Groton, pp. 452-468