Danby and Mt. Tabor


Danby, Vt., which is located at the extreme southern part of Rutland county and on the Bennington and Rutland Railroad, is not by any, means the least among her sister towns in the county. The town was granted a charter in 1761, and therefore takes its place among the earliest town organizations in this part of the State. The boundaries have never been changed since its organization as a town. The land has a diversified surface on account of its numerous hills and valleys, lending a charm to the scenery that is rarely found in other parts of the county. The land is adapted to agricultural and pastoral pursuits. In the summer season one can see well cultivated farms with waving gm in and the hill slopes affording excellent pasturage to many flocks. The farmers are an industrious class of people, besides being patriotic Americans worthy in every way of their forefathers. The government of the town is good as any in the State, and, withal, the citizens are independent in their political life—the humble citizen being the royal sovereign of all that surveys alike in his social, religious and political domain. The only thing that the writer wonders at is that the Danby people, being surrounded with so many privileges and blessings that come to a free people, are not more prosperous and progressive. But this is not to be wondered at after all when we compare their situation with that of other people in the State. The system from which other towns are suffering has, of course, its effect here. Still, the citizens of Danby are far from being wide awake. The business institutions in the town are flourishing as well as those of a similar character in any other town in the State. The people are conservative and careful in their business dealings. The business part of the town is in Danby Borough, in which are a number of stores and shops, halls for public gatherings and a church. It is blessed with having no saloon where liquor is sold, nor even an agency. The people, as a whole, are sober, industrious, and lovers of peace as well as of law and order. Taking into consideration the size of the community, it affords, both as to character and numbers, as fine a lot of young people of both sexes as can be found anywhere in the State. Their social amusements are, of course, limited, but are entirely of an innocent character.

…moral principles, to which each faction, if they can be so called, tenaciously adheres. Here can he found the remnant of the old Quaker, which exemplifies a character that is always commendable. The Methodists and Congregationalists are found here in small numbers, while Spiritualists and people of no particular faith can be found in large numbers. While there are a few strictly religious people in the town, yet it lacks much in this respect. The Methodist Church at Danby Corners has by far the strongest hold and is doing a great deal of good in that particular section. The Congregationalist Church, which is located in the Borough, is a struggling organization at present, and has always been for that matter. What it needs is more religion of the right kind—that which transforms the whole life of the person or persons that make up its membership. In other words, it needs the truth as laid down by the great Founder of the Christian Church together with being built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ being the chief Corner Stone. There are such people in the church; still they are in great danger of being swallowed up by the world, which seems to be anxious at present to control matters. In a prophetic sense, it is all right to believe that the lamb and the lion will lie down together, the former preserving its identity; but should the lamb lie down inside of the lion, it is quite another thing. Herein lies the danger of the church, and nothing but a Christ-like independence can save its life and usefulness. To be of any use to the town and to itself it must occupy a position of a city set on a hill—being strictly Christian in season and out of season. At all events, there is an opportunity for a new church organization to go in there and do a great deal of good, an organization that has no creed but the Bible truth which has Christian character the only test of fellowship. The time is ripe for such an organization, for the people are hungry for the unadulterated truth. Of course the hypocrites and the world would not meddle with such a church, and therefore, that is what is needed. Righteousness comes by faith in Christ and conduct is strengthened by right doing.

The town has a number of Roman Catholics.

Besides the church organizations there is a lodge of Masons, a Grand Army post and camp of Sons of Veterans. All these organizations are doing well.

Immediately connected with Danby is the town of Mt. Tabor. This town is located in the eastern part of the county. It was chartered under the name of Harwick in 1761 and contains 23,043 acres. The township was organized in 1788, but its name was changed to Mt. Tabor in 1803. Its surface is very broken and mountainous, it being almost entirely situated upon the Green Mountain range. It has, nevertheless, good farming land on which the farmers can grow wheat, rye, oats, barley, potatoes and corn. Its population is somewhat uncertain, as the town is noted for its lumber districts. Its lumber interests are large. It has several large mills and a thriving business is done there. S. L. Griffith, who is one of the largest lumber dealers in the State, owns the business and is running it on a large scale. He has just completed an expensive road which runs on to the mountain, over which, in the next few years, he expects to haul between 50,000,000 and 60,000,000 feet of lumber. He is operating several large mills in the town, and has recently built up a large mill at the south end, conveniently located to the railroad, where he expects to saw this lumber. Already quite a community has sprung up in this section and it promises to be larger as the years go by. The industry promises to make business lively both in town of Mt. Tabor and Danby. Besides this, Mr. Griffith owns a large track of timberland in Danby mountain, where E. N. Kelley, an enterprising young man, has established a large lumber camp, having taken the contract to get out for Mr. Griffith over 2,000,000 feet of lumber. The mill where this lumber is being sawed is located about four miles west of Danby borough.

Aside from his business Mr. Griffith takes great pleasure in setting off fish ponds and hatcheries for his own enjoyment and that of his friends. The fishing ground on top of Mt. Tabor is an ideal place for a couple of months pleasure in the summer, and his hatchery at the south end would delight any member of the Fish and Game Association of Vermont. Besides this his home in Danby is an elegant affair and he takes great pleasure in entertaining his many friends there. The grounds surrounding his spacious residence are splendidly arranged, and the greenhouse connected therewith, where can be seen almost all the rarest kinds of flowers and plants, would afford in itself a pleasure to anyone, who is a lover of such things, that, with one or two exceptions, cannot be found in the county.

About 1400 people are living in the midst of all these privileges, enjoyments and prosperous surroundings; 400 or more in Mt. Tabor and 1000 or more in Danby.

Rutland, Vt., Jan. 12, 1897.