vermont historical society link HISTORY PROJECT LINK INFORMATION LINK

Jay/Westfield PROJECT
Westfield Town History
Farming in the Past
Life as a farmer
Maple Sugaring
The Jay Population
Jay Peak's History
The Old Bobbin Mill
History of Schools
An Organic Farm
Henry Bedell, A
Civil War Hero
The Civil War

Westfield Town History

Missisquoi River photoHave you ever heard of the place where the "Mississiquoi River flows creating fertile and beautiful meadows nearly the entire length of the town?" Well, that town just so happens to be our town of Westfield. Our town of Westfield all began in1780, when a young man named Daniel Owen received a grant from the state of Rhode Island for our town. I would like to show you how our town of Westfield changed through generations. Now you will hear how the trickling water flows from past to present.

House photoSince our town began, differences have been made involving the houses they lived in. In fact, in the late 1930's there were 102 buildings in the town, and now there are 339 in the 2000 years! That is an increase of 237 buildings, which shows how the population has increased! Houses have been around for a while, yet they have been changing since day one. The houses in the 30's looked basically like a farmhouse and were a medium size. These shelters had a quality most houses don't today. These shelters were very busy. Many houses had a library or an office hitched right on to them! There were also families who had a telephone office, an insurance office, and a post office connected! Now if you ask me that is a lot of jobs to juggle! The adults in the family usually ran the jobs. When the children in that family grew older and the parents died the children took over the house holds jobs. Shelters were a place that kept people happy and safe.

Jobs photoWhile, maintaining their houses these settlers had to get a job, and let me tell you it was not easy. Jobs in the late 30's were another thing that kept our town mutating. There were many jobs located right in the town of Westfield, yet they were run in different ways. One of the biggest jobs people had was farming! There were 53 farms in the town of Westfield! Now there are only 6! That was because farming was most popular and was considered a great job. Their pay wasn't very high for a hired hand though, they only got paid $.75 per day! After a long day of farming and milking cows, the cow's milk would be shipped to the creamery in Troy, not far from the firehouse on Pleasant Street. There the milk would be cooled and made into cream. The cream would then be shipped to the nearby store. Over all, there were not many jobs, but the townspeople made it through and worked with what they had.

fun photoHazel Davis says, "In Westfield there was also a time to relax and have fun!" Every once in awhile there was a movie shown above the schoolhouse and sometimes there was a place to go dancing. These times were also important to the community people to unwind after a hard day. As a community the town's people went to church together to practice their religion, children went to school together to learn, and they celebrated town meeting together to make decisions upon the town.

Therefore, through thick and thin, through hot and cold, through rough and easy our town made it to here. Discovering new ways to live. Teaching one another. The Mississquoi River still flows many miles to the other side. We don't know where our future lies for the town of Westfield, but we do know how it all began.