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Vermont
The Search Begins October 15th 2005
On a cold fall day, Nancy Plimpton, Laura Tatro and myself made a day trip looking for the home of Joseph Griswold. Griswold was the only tip I had in finding the homesite of Justin Morgan because he had a connection to the Morgan family in Massachusetts. The home which was built just as Randolph Vermont was being settled lasted well over two hundred years until it burnt to the ground in the 1960's. Joseph Griswolds son Frederick would become a good friend to Morgan.
Randolph Vermont
Mim Herwig, Randolph VT Historian
Mim Herwig was one of many people who claimed she knew where Justin Morgan had settled. Mim and her husband Wes Herwig, went for a picnic lunch one Sunday afternoon some forty years before and sat by an apple tree to eat. Wes told of the story of Justin Morgan and how the place he settled was right where they were eating. Mim claims that there was a small cellar hole but extensive digging and metal detecting came up with nothing but nails bullet shells and wire.
Justin Morgan
Laura V. Trieschmann, VT Preservation
The Morgan homesite was discovered in the fall of 2019, Laura V. Trieschmann, Vermont State Historic Preservation Officer became instrumental in getting the historical marker approved. The marker is on the Brookfield side of Neighbor road, next to the field that Morgan turned his horse "Figure" out into when he brought him home from Massachusttes. Morgan's cabin is on the other side of the road in Randolph on land that was owned by Henry Walbridge.

More about the book!

I was troubled that with all of the stories about Justin Morgan and his horse Figure, that there was no beginning. I had to know where Justin Morgan had settled when he came to Vermont and my search began. Was Morgan in fact Livng On The Town Line?

Vermont was not a nice place to live in 1788 when Morgan arrived. He did have two brothers and several friends from Massachusetts that had moved earlier but Indians had attacked several towns just two years earlier during the Royalton Raid. Snow was deep in the winter and mud was deep in the spring making travel difficult. Hygiene was poor and manners were worse. Coming from a civilized city like Springfield Mass. to the undeveloped town of Randolph Vermont in the month of March was a challenge. Especially for anyone with a wife and kids in a sled pulled by ox one hundred and fifty miles.

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Morgan Horse

Justin Morgan

When Morgan arrived to Randolph, it is said that the was a fire already going in the fireplace. The cabin was on land that was owned by Henry Walbridge which was land that was across the road from Judge Frederick Griswold son of Joseph. Morgan also had friends named the Edgerton and the Carpenter. When Morgan's wife died, the children were dispersed between those two families. Morgan actually died in the Carpenter home and Ezia Edgerton handles the estate of what little Morgan had.

Testimonials

Every year we have a celebration that marks the date when a Vermont Historical Marker was installed on the site. This should preserve this location for years.
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You can join our Facebook page and become part of the conversation. There is a lot of history to read and enjoy as well a photos of many of the locations mentione in my book.
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