Community & History



In the Media

 

Hardwick Historical Society & Depot Museum

The restored Hardwick Depot, home to the Hardwick Historical Society, houses artifacts of Hardwick’s past. Items relating to the granite industry, the railroad, Hardwick Academy, and the Civil War are displayed.

Location: Hardwick Depot, Depot Street (off Church Street behind Town House)

Hours and Admission: Summer hours: Tuesday & Thursday, 1:00 – 3:00 pm, or by appointment.

 

Hardwick’s History

The Town of Hardwick had its beginning in the part of town known as Hardwick Street. The land was granted to Danforth Keyes and his associates in 1780 and chartered in1781. Settlements were attempted but it was not until 1792 that Mark Norris and his wife arrived from New Hampshire to become the first permanent settlers. In 1793 and 1794 the settlement grew to a sizeable community.

The building of the Bayley-Hazen Road facilitated growth of this area. General Bayley began this road in 1776 for the purposes of conveying troops and provisions into Canada. The project was abandoned but begun again in 1779.

The first town meeting was held at the home of Mark Norris in 1794. The Town was organized in 1795. In that year, fifteen votes were cast for the Governor of the state.

In 1798 Samuel Stevens came to the area. He chose for his location what is now East Hardwick and built what is now known as “the Brick House”. He named this village Stevensville. By 1885 Stevensville was a thriving community, boasting two general stores, two churches, a carriage factory, a saw mill, a grist mill and several dwellings. In 1846, the first post office was established at the village, by then called North Hardwick.

The first settlement in South Hardwick or Lamoille, now Hardwick village, was made by Captain John Bridgman in 1795. The town grew rapidly from 1790 to 1860. The St. Johnsbury and Lamoille County Railroad was officially opened in 1877. Hardwick was dependent on agriculture and its location as a trade center until the opening of the quarries nearby.

Henry Mack pioneered the granite industry in 1868. With the completion of the railroad Hardwick came prominently into the field as a shipping point. The Village of Hardwick was chartered in 1890. In 1897 the Hardwick and Woodbury railroad was completed, connecting the quarries with the town.

The granite industry reached its peak in 1911. The decline was slow. Operations continued through the 1920s and until 1934 on a small scale. The tracks of the Hardwick to Woodbury railroad were taken up for scrap metal during World War II.

Recent history has seen the Village of Hardwick merge with the town in July 1988 creating a single municipal governance system again. In 1992 a fire destroyed two buildings and damaged a third altering Hardwick‟s Historic Main Street. The buildings were reconstructed and the downtown area continued as the economic and historic center of Hardwick. In 2006, Main Street suffered another setback as the Bemis block burned, gutting the structure. At this time the Bemis block is under redevelopment along with many other projects and developments throughout the town.