Town of Shelburne – Brief History

The Town of Shelburne began on August 18, 1763 when Governor Bennington Wentworth of New Hampshire signed the Charter establishing the town.

It wasn’t until 1768 that two men, John Potter (sometimes spelled Pottier) and Thomas Logan settled on two different points extending into the lake which became known as Potter (Pottier’s) Point and Logan’s Point.  In 1769 Moses Pierson purchased 1000 acres of land from Thomas Logan in the southwest part of Shelburne along the lake where Shelburne Beach is today.

Prior to the American Revolution, about 10 families lived in Shelburne including the Moses Pierson family but all left to move to fortified towns in the southern part of Vermont until the war was over.

In 1783, families from Connecticut, western Massachusetts and southern Vermont moved to Shelburne.  They came on horseback or ox cart carrying their meager possessions with them following trails marked only by blazed trees along the way.  Others came up the lake during the winter.

The first Town Meeting was held March 29, 1787.  At that meeting the town organized by election the following officers:  Caleb Smith (no relation to William Smith who later moved to Williston), town clerk and also representative of his townsmen in the legislature; Aaron   Rowley, constable; and Moses Pierson, Timothy Holabird and Dudley Hamilton selectmen.  They established the first Tuesday in March as the day for the annual town meeting and “that selectmen should cause proper notification be posted twelve days previous at the several public houses in town.