“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
East Barre in Washington County, Vermont — The American Northeast (New England)

Historic Millstone Hill

East Barre

Historic Millstone Hill Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Steve Stoessel, September 18, 2020
1. Historic Millstone Hill Marker
Inscription.  When Barre was first established the primary settlement and town center was located in South Barre, at that time called the Upper Village, where the town's two primary roads intersected. Eventually, as water power sites were discovered and developed, additional villages built up in what is now Barre City, known as the Lower Village, and East Barre. One of the first to settle in East Barre was Winthrop Jackman who built the first mill, the village being then known as Jackman's Mills. In the 1860's Nathaniel Carnes established himself as East Barre's dominant economic force and the village became known as Carnes Mills. In addition to his mills, Mr. Carnes along with his son William, was involved in a number of other businesses and became a major player in the granite industry gradually establishing itself at Millstone Hill. He opened and purchased a number of quarries and started a teamster operation to move the stone off The Hill. In 1896 the Carnes family built the lovely Victorian home located on the corner of Church and Mill St.

East Barre experienced a boom in the late 1800's, when the number of new houses being built was doubling
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the size of the village every year. The primary reason for this was the arrival of The Barre and Chelsea railroad in 1893, putting the village in an excellent position to take advantage of the phenomenal growth in the granite business occurring at Millstone Hill, just a half mile away. This railroad, which once passed over the pathway you are presently standing on, was intended to connect Barre City to Chelsea, but never made it beyond the village and the businesses located in East Barre. Also in 1893, during the first of several granite strikes to occur in unionized Barre City shops over the next decades, William Carnes invited idle granite workers to work in his non-unionized sheds. This resulted in the building of several other finishing sheds in East Barre, which until that time had been mostly located in Barre City. At that same time many new businesses were opened in East Barre, including several grocers, a feed store, a furniture store, a hardware store, a blacksmith shop, a jeweler, a drug store, restaurants, a movie house and other successful retail businesses.

The major Flood of 1927 caused considerable damage to the businesses located along the Jail Branch River as well as to the roads leading to them. The Granite industry in East Barre never fully recovered from this blow and with the discontinuance of rail service to the village in the 1920's and the
Millstone Hill Trail image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Steve Stoessel, September 18, 2020
2. Millstone Hill Trail
loss of other sheds to fire, the granite finishing business disappeared from East Barre, migrating back to Barre City. The other businesses that had flourished as a result of this growth likewise gradually disappeared.

Photo Captions (top to bottom):
View of East Barre, VT. and quarries, 5
Main Street, E. Barre
Carnes Granite Works c. 1900
Erected by Millstone Trails Association.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1896.
Location. 44° 9.612′ N, 72° 27.283′ W. Marker is in East Barre, Vermont, in Washington County. Marker is at the intersection of Websterville Road and Church Street, on the left when traveling east on Websterville Road. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 449 Websterville Rd, Barre VT 05641, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. In the late 1950’s Rock of Ages experimented with making lanes out of granite... (approx. 1.9 miles away); Town of Orange War Memorial (approx. 2.7 miles away); Currier Park (approx. 3.3 miles away); First Boy Scout Troop in America (approx. 3.6 miles away); Washington Vermont War Memorial
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(approx. 3.8 miles away); Washington Civil War Memorial (approx. 3.8 miles away); Thomas Davenport (approx. 5 miles away); Davenport Birthplace (approx. 5 miles away).
Credits. This page was last revised on February 16, 2023. It was originally submitted on September 18, 2020, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York. This page has been viewed 220 times since then and 79 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 18, 2020, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Sep. 26, 2023