Billheads

A collection of billhead receipts showing changing styles throughout the years. The 1898 “locomotive” version is the most ornate and impressive, so I have added a detail view that has been enhanced. The original was difficult to scan because it apparently used a stipple printing technique.

Disastrous Fire at Passumpsic 1883

Disastrous Fire at Passumpsic, The Business of the Village Wiped Out

On Sabbath morning, about three o’clock, fire broke out in the Cushman pulp-mill at Passumpsic, and in about two hours that mill, a saw-mill connected, the rake-factory of Smith & Galbraith, and the flouring mill of E. T. & H. K. Ide, were all totally destroyed. The included all the manufacturing of the village. After fighting the fire for about one hour, a messenger was dispatched to St. Johnsbury, where an alarm was sounded and a portion of the fire department responded with Torrent engine, but before the engine had gone far, a telephonic message announced that the fire had spent itself and help of that nature would be no avail.

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Passumpsic Mill c. 1850

Passumpsic Mill c. 1850
Passumpsic Mill c. 1850

This sailboat in a circle stampbox on the back of this postcard dates it to 1905-1908, but the image itself is known to be older because this mill was destroyed by fire in 1883. The fire started in an adjoining pulp mill which is not visible in this photo; it’s possible that it’s hidden due to the angle, but it’s a large building and that leads me to conclude that this photo pre-dates the construction of the pulp mill. It certainly appears more rustic than the 1865 photo, but that may be due to its condition. Another version can be seen on a Northeast Kingdom Genealogy page.

Millers for a Century

Timothy, Jacob and Elmore T. Ide, Three Generations, Have Conducted Milling Business For 100 Years.


Timothy Ide Purchased Small Mill at Passumpsic, Dec. 22, 1813. — Business Taken up by Son and Developed from Small Custom Mill to a Large Grinding and Distributing Industry — Three Mills Destroyed By Fire — Business Removed to St. Johnsbury where Large Tract of Land was Developed for Manufacturing and Building Purposes — After 53 Years Connection with the Business E. T. Ide Still Actively Connected with Conduct of the Business.


One hundred years ago next Monday Timothy Ide purchased the grist mill at Passumpsic, conducted the business until his death when it was purchased by his son, Jacob Ide, and later purchased by his son, Elmore T. Ide. who for 53 years has been the manager of the business. The close of a century’s ownership finds Elmore T. Ide 74 years old but still at his desk giving the business the benefit of his long and successful experience. The thoroughly modern mill of E. T. & H. K. Ide is a. creditable monument for a century’s effort but Mr. Ide has still wider success to his credit. He has built up a large coal business, has developed a tract of three acres of apparently worthless land into an important manufacturing and building center. He is also president of the Merchants National Bank, one of the village’s strong financial institutions  Not only can Mr. Ide look back upon the accomplishments of over half a century but he has associated with him a son and son-in-law which assures a much longer term of successful business in the name of the Ide family.

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Letter from Florida, February 7, 1876

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series Letters from Florida

Woodland, Fla., Feb. 7, 1876.

To the Editor of the Caledonian:

Dear Sir: — Last Thursday we made a trip to Georgetown, Fla., to see Hier’s groves. Palmer was down there digging sour orange stumps, and we decided to go down and stay over night with him, and just as we arrived at that conclusion, Calvin (a mulatto who works for Mr. Smith) came along with a team on his way to get the stumps that Palmer was digging. The distance was ten miles, and a chance to ride was not to be lost, so we packed up some blankets, a pail of grub, locked up the house and jumped on board. We went across the country for a mile, regardless of roads, and the struck the trail that led directly south to our destination, which place we reached about 5 o’clock, P.M. Just before arriving there we had to put our team into a run in order to pass a point on the road before the fire reached it. It was coming quite fast, being driven by a furious wind.

Mr. Hier had evidently been imbibing some of the fluid that invigorates and also intoxicates.

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Letters from Florida Introduction

This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series Letters from Florida

Horace Ide began spending winters in Florida in 1871 or earlier for his health, although any Vermonter knows that you don’t need a reason to take a break from winter. Spending winter in Vermont in the 19th century must have been a test of will, with poorly insulated houses, unreliable heat sources and cold temperatures at the end of the little ice age. By 1872, he had purchased a farm near Jacksonville and started an orange grove. In 1876, he began writing letters to the St. Johnsbury Caledonian that they published for the interest of their readers, and possibly to increase their readers interest in purchasing Florida real estate.

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Letter from Florida, January 1876

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series Letters from Florida

WOODLAND, FLA., JAN. 1876.

To the Editor of the Caledonian:

One day last week Richardson and myself started off for a trip to Dunn’s Lake and some orange groves situated thereon. Teams are very scarce here and we used the means of locomotion furnished by nature. We first passed by Mr. Jarvis’s, whose homestead adjoins mine, and called in to see his place, and the “Floating Island.” He has quite a little grove stared, besides some peach trees; and quite a lot of grape vines. Immediately north of his house is Lake Bernard, a fine sheet of water two mile long and one half mile wide, surrounded by pine woods, that reach to the water’s edge.

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