Market History

Serving Cambridge for Over 150 Years!

The Cambridge Village Market was originally built in the 1850's and has always served as a grocery store. In the 1900's, it was known as The Willey Brothers Store. However, fifty years later, the store became The Cambridge Community Lockers, where the locals would rent refrigerator and freezer space to store food. Eventually, in the late 1960's the food lockers were removed.

Bruce MacMillan purchased the store in 1990 and has made many improvements as well as a recent addition that makes the store twice its original size. The Cambridge Village Market continues to grow and serve the community in the tradition of a true Vermont Country Store.

Cambridge Village History

Cambridge was chartered on August 13, 1781 to Samuel Robinson, John Fassett, Jr., Jonathan Frost and 64 others. It was first settled in 1783 by John Safford from Piermont, New Hampshire. The intervales proved good but rough, best for grazing livestock. By 1839, the town had about 7,000 sheep. The Lamoille River offered water power for watermills. Industries included one woolen factory, one tannery, one gristmill, plus several sawmills and cabinet shops.

Cambridge and neighboring Johnson were together known as the King's College Tract, being created by Lieutenant Governor Cadwallader Colden by authority of British King George III in 1764. The King's College Tract was reserved for the eventual establishment of a university on the site. The place name Cambridge suggests Cambridge University in England. Johnson, the other town in the King's College Grant was named for William Samuel Johnson.

Source: Cambridge, VT information page on Wikipedia

Early Settlers of Cambridge

John Spafford, the first settler in the town, came here from Piermont, NH in May, 1783, cleared two acres of land which he planted with corn, and built a log house. In the autumn he harvested his corn, which was a poor crop, as most of it had been destroyed by an overflow of the Lamoille river, and returned to Piermont in November for his family, consisting of wife and two children. During the next summer, Amos Fassett, Stephen Kinsley, John Fassett, and Samuel Montague, all from Bennington, and Noah Chittenden from Arlington, located upon farms adjoining that of Mr. Fassett. These settlers were joined by others from time to time, so that in 1791, the town had a population of 359.

Other Notable Dates in Early Cambridge History

  • The first birth recorded is that of Samantha, daughter of Amos and Anna Fassett, November 14, 1784. She died at the age of twenty-two years.
  • The first deed on record is, under the date of April 2, 1785, Cambridge being then a part of Rutland county.
  • In 1785, the first saw-mill was built, giving the settlers a chance for the first time to have regular floors and doors for their dwellings.
  • In 1786, the first school was opened, in a log house, by John Safford, who had a class of twenty-four scholars.
  • The first grist-mill was built on Seymour brook, and owned by a Mr. Poor in 1791.
  • In 1791, the town was set to Chittenden county, and in 1796, to Franklin county, and finally, in December, 1836, is the date of the first deed on record in the town since it was a part of Lamoille county.
  • During the war of 1812, Cambridge did her full share in furnishing soldiers to defend our country, and were it available to us, we should like to print, a full list of those who served in the war. When the late Rebellion broke out, also, the town was prompt in filling the quota required of her, the first to enlist being Eli Ellenwood. The highest bounty paid by the town was $500.00. There were 45 enlisted men furnished, thirty-eight of whom were killed or died from wounds received, or from disease contracted while in the service.
  • The first arched bridge in town was built by Enoch Carleton and Joseph P. Hawley, in 1832.

Source: Vermont Geneaology