1823 - West Hill
Coventry History

While the Harmon brothers were busy building the village of Coventry, more adventurous families were buying lots of land and settling in the hills north of the village above Stony Brook. Pliny White writing in 1869 chronicled the settling of the area around West Hill:

West Hill Settlers Map
West Hill Settlers 1823-1825

The first permanent settlement on West Hill was made in 1823 by Aretas Knight from Westmoreland, N H., who commenced on the farm now owned by Amos K. Cleveland. Calvin Walker had previously made a clearing and built a cabin on the summit West of Sylvester Cass's house, but he became discouraged and abandoned his improvements. When Mr. Knights first went to his farm the forest was so dense that he spent half a day in going from the village to the spot where he pitched. Calvin Harmon assured him that he' would by and by see the stage passing over the same route which he had traversed with so much difficulty, and this prediction was fulfilled.

Knights built a small house, which was for some time the only dwelling on the hill. It served as a house of entertainment for such as came to examine lands before purchasing, and, a boarding house for settlers till they could build for themselves. There was quite a rapid immigration into that part of the town, and his house was sometimes crowded to the utmost. It was inhabited several months by twenty-three individuals, eight of whom were married couples with fourteen children under seven years of age. The little building which contained so large a population is now one of Mr. Cleveland's out-houses. Tyler Knight commenced in 1823 on the farm now owned by Moody Soper [George W. True 1869]. In February, 1825 Sidney White began a clearing on the farm now owned by John Armington, and in the fall he built a house near the present site of Mr. Armington's house, of which house it now constitutes the back part.

Hollis Dorr moved on to lots No. 117 and 118, April 1, 1825, and built a cabin on No. 118 on the site of James Goodwin's [1869] present residence. The cabin was in the very heart of the woods, and so near that the branches of the hemlock trees could be reached from the windows. In 1825 John M. Fairbanks and John Mills, began on the farms still owned by them, - John H. on the farm now owned by Silas H. True [1869], and Walter Bowen on the farm now owned by William A. Peacock [Dexter Wood 1858].

Pliny White, History of Coventry, Vt.

- Pliny White, History of Coventry, Vt., 1858, Irasburgh, Vt.