Historical Society

Williamstown, chartered on August 9, 1781, was named for Williamstown, Massachusetts.

Early settlers built the first dwellings on West Hill in 1784. Among these early landowners was Elijah Paine who served as Williamstown’s first moderator and Representative to the General Assembly, eventually becoming a Vermont Supreme Court Justice, a U.S. Senator from Vermont and a Judge of the U.S. District Court.

The inventor Thomas Davenport, born here in 1802, trained as a blacksmith’s apprentice before moving to Brandon. He there developed the world’s first electric motor which he patented in 1837.

One of the greatest attractions in Williamstown is its scenic Gulf, once the site of medicinal springs that drew travelers form many states to “take the waters”. This natural area, unsettled and unspoiled, now offers a peaceful home to native flora and fauna and presents wonderful opportunities for naturalists, birders and photographers.


The Williamstown Historical Society
Main Street
P.O. Box 338 – Route 14
Williamstown, VT 05679

The Williamstown Historical Society is the only organization devoted to preserving the history of the entire Williamstown community. We have a museum, of many pictures and artifacts pertaining to Williamstown’s past, which is open primarily by appointment, May through October, by calling Becky Watson at 802-433-5451.

We rely on your support to continue our activities, which include:

  • Cataloging and archival preservation of items historically significant to Williamstown
  • Exhibitions
  • Public programs on historical topics
  • Assistance to researchers
  • Consultation to teachers, town groups and other historical societies
  • Support Your Historical Society

Become a member! Annual Membership categories include:

  • Individual: $10
  • Family: $20
  • Friend: $35
  • Patron: $50
  • Benefactor: $100 or more

Payments of dues entitles you to participate in the direction of the historical society’s future. Meetings are held on the first Tuesday of each month, May through October.


Copies of “A History of Williamstown, Vermont: 1781-1991″ are still available (limited quantity) for $30 each, plus $4.50 shipping and handling.

We now have reprints for sale of the 1877 F.W.Beers Atlas of Williamstown, size 11″x14”, for $10 each, shipping included.