“The chain of memory stretches far,
Links days that were with days that are.”
(From Myron Dutton’s diary, 1917, Dummerston.)
When the Charter for the Town of Fullum[which would become Dummerston] was granted in December 1753, John Kathan had already been in residence almost two years, having arrived on January 2, 1752.
In the beginning each family was a self-contained unit, raising by the labor of every member of the family, everything that was needed for survival and growth. Practically every homestead was a farm.
Gradually, neighbors became interdependent, taking advantage of the special abilities of each other, such as carpenters, cord-wainers, chandlers, blacksmiths, brickmakers, surveyors, coopers and later, glaziers.
Very early, by 1770, small stores were established to provide sugar, molasses, rum, and some hardware. As imported items became available, Dummerstonians availed themselves of silks and other fabrics, fine china, furniture, kitchen equipment and the latest inventions. Farms grew and became specialized. As land was cleared the population increased and schools flourished.
Changes took place so gradually that the steps from 1773, living surrounded by bears, wolves, and mountain lions, to 1986 traffic, nearby shopping centers, modern machinery, unlimited commodities and entertainments, were hardly noticed. In delving into histories of our early settlers we have developed a neighborly affection for those sturdy pioneers who began our town two-hundred and fifty short years ago.
–Dummerston Historical Society, Alice Crosby Loomis and Frances Walker Manix, 1986
Edited and condensed by Madeline Conley, 2017