2016 Officers


President, Robert W Mays

1st VP, Shawn Harrington

2nd VP, Dwight DeCoster (not present)

3rd VP, Kevin Mullen

Secretary, John Buttolph

Assistant Secretary, Dwight Menard

Treasurer, Kevin Mays

Registrar, Robert Rodgers

Assistant Registrar, Randy Roberts

Chancellor, Richard Burstein (not present)

Chaplain, The Rev. David Hockensmith (not present)

Historian/Archivist, Herman (Charlie) Brown

Webmaster, Charles Willard

BOM members-at-large,  Geoff Colby, Seth Hopkins, and (not present) Don Bicknell


2016 VTSSAR Annual Meeting:

Date: Saturday, 23 April 2016
Time: 1100 – 1300 (11:00 am – 1:00 pm)
Place: Ethan Allen Room
Capitol Plaza
100 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05602

Meal: $30 per person, buffet style, pay at the door.
Menu: Honey Mustard Chicken topped with Maple Ham and Cheese;
Maple Ginger Glazed Salmon; – Potato Salad;
Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes; – Mashed Butter Squash;
Warm Bread Pudding topped with Vermont Maple Cream

Agenda: 1100-1200 Business/Elections
1200-1300 Lunch
1300-1330 Final Words

Dress Code: Business, with appropriate SAR credentials/awards

We would appreciate an RSVP to get an idea of how many might attend.
This invitation is also extended to our Vermont DAR.

Zachariah Fike
President, VTSSAR

John Lucius Buttolph, III
Secretary, VTSSAR


Council of Safety 1777

In Council of Safety Manchester 11th July 1777
By order, I forward to you two letters, which it is expected you will forward to the persons subscribed without delay. Our other letter directed to Col. Marsh. I am to beg the favor you forward in person or provide an express for that purpose that no time be lost on this way. This council are of opinion that our situation is safe for present, should they hereafter find an alteration in judgement from any new move, will endeavor to give you timely notice. You will take the trouble to read the letter to Col. Marsh & General St. Clair’s letter to our convention enclosed and carefully seal the while before you deliver them, as there is nothing to do it with here.
I am sir your
Humble servant
Jonas Fay
Capt. Utley

In a letter to the president of the Manchester Historical Society, George H. Thacher from the Honorable Loveland Munson of Manchester, dated September 13, 1919- he relayed his knowledge of the circumstances surrounding the letter enclosed dated July 11th, 1777:
The Windsor convention of July 1777 adjourned July 8th, on receiving from St. Clair information of the evacuation of Fort Ticonderoga. This information was conveyed in a letter to the president of the convention dated July 7th. Before adjourning the convention appointed a council of safety, consisting of 12 members of whom Jonas Fay was one. Jonas Fay was the secretary of this convention, and as such would naturally have, and probably did have, the custody of the St. Clair letter. On the day that Fay wrote Utley, Ira Allen the secretary of council of safety dating the letter “In Council of Safety, State of Vermont, Manchester 11th July 1777” and commencing “the enclosed is a copy of General St. Clair’s letter to the convention of this state” etc.

Col. William Marsh, of Manchester was prominent in the conventions of 1776, and was appointed by the Windsor convention of June 1777 chairman of a committee to wait on the commander of Ticonderoga with reference to the defense of the frontier. Sometime in July he went over to the enemy. Captain Utley was of Bromley (now Peru) and represented that town in the Windsor convention of June 1777 and was very likely a member of the convention of July- of the membership of which there is no complete list.

11th July 1777

Gen. John Stark Monument at Peru, VT

This granite monument erected in 1899 at Peru, VT by the Sons and Daughters of Vermont was crafted in nearby Manchester Depot at the marble and granite works of Hon. W.H. Fullerton. It marks the spot of Gen. John Stark’s encampment in August of 1777 which is detailed as follows:

In 1777, Ira Allen, secretary of a convention held at Manchester, wrote in pressing terms to Meshech Weare, president of the provincial council assembled at Exeter, N. H., to send troops or soldiers to Vermont. On the 9th day of July, 1777, President Weare sent a letter to Ira Allen, stating that “They have now determined that a quarter part of the militia of twelve regiments shall be immediately drafted, formed into three battalions under the [p. 21] command of Brigadier General John Stark, and forthwith sent into your State to oppose the ravages and coming forward of the enemy.” It was furthermore stated that the troops would depend for provisions upon Vermont. It was also requested that proper persons be sent to No.4 (Charlestown), to meet General Stark, and advise with him relative to the route and disposition of his troops. It is supposed that General Warner met Stark at No.4, perhaps others with him. In a history recently published by C. C. Coffin, it is said General Stark found a cannon at No.4, which he mounted on cart wheels and took along with him. It is pictured in Coffin’s history, the horses tugging to take the cannon along, the men lending a hand to get it over hard places. The route they traveled was through Springfield, Chester, Andover, Landgrove, Bromley (Peru), corner of Winhall into Manchester. The troops found a road cut through the wilderness to Captain Utley’s in Landgrove, but here the road ended. They dined with Captain Utley, and for a part of their rations he prepared a potash kettle of mush, or in Yankee terms, hasty pudding. From this place they followed the scarred trees, removing the impediments in the way or going around them. For six or eight miles there Was no road, and but one opening in the wilderness, that was on the farm where M. B. Lyon lives, where it is said a part of the troops camped, the rest going further on and camping near where Gen. Dudley built his house. He found two bayonets near the spring, and other indications of a camping place. Judge Munson, in his History of Manchester, says General Stark was on the mountain the 6th of August, 1777, and on the 7th came down to Manchester. This was the largest company of men that ever traveled through Peru. After this it is probable the delegates attending the early conventions of the State passed over the mountain on this route.

The VTSSAR website

We occasionally on blog posts here receive comments addressed to specific officers or members of the VTSSAR. The best method to contact Officers and Board Members  or to keep up to date on meetings is via the VTSSAR website. You can find it at:  http://www.vtssar.org/ . If you want to contact members of the VTSSAR Board go to the “Contact Us” at the right on the top menu bar.

Thank you for your support and interest in the Vermont Society of the Sons of the American  Revolution.

George Washington’s Birthday


VTSSAR President Zachariah Fike wishes to cordially invite all Members of the VTSSAR and VTSDAR and 1 guest each to attend the Joint SAR/DAR George Washington Birthday observance.

Date: Saturday, 20 FEB 2016; Time: 1200 (Noon)
Location: Fire and Ice Restaurant, Middlebury, VT (Library Room)

We ask for a RSVP. Please respond to either President Fike or Secretary Buttolph.

Dress: Business Attire
Meal: Restaurant Menu and Salad Bar at members own expense.

We hope to see you all there to pay our respects to our greatest Patriot and our first President.

Gideon Ormsby

Gideon Ormsby Manchester
Dellwood Cemetery

Gideon Ormsby, upon his original grave stone reads; “Thus departed a Supporter of our Federal Constitution, and a friend of the Right”

From the recorded places of birth of the children of Gideon, it would seem to that Gideon’s father, Jonathan, moved from Rehoboth, Mass. to the Town of Cumberland, Providence Co., R.I. where Gideon married and started his family, and then about 1750-55 they all moved to Great Nine Partners (now Amenia) Dutchess Co., N.Y. Here they became interested in the opening of the new territory, now called Vermont Witness the statement that Jonathan, the father, was one of the group who purchased 23,000 acres in 1764, and helped to survey it in 1766. The group of purchasers from Amenia moved to Manchester, Vt. about 1767. Gideon’s first child born at Manchester was born in April 1768.

Many who had settled in the area during the administration of the Royal Grants, and those who were sympathetic with the rule of New York State became “Tories”, while many from the old Eastern States who came seeking independence were “Whigs”. During the time leading up to the Revolution, there was continuous strife between these two parties. Gideon Ormsby and his family were Whigs.

Gideon Ormsby of Manchester, in 1777, was a member of the Committee of Safety here. This Committee met in July 1777. This Council was appointed by the Convention convened at Windsor, Vt. Gideon was appointed also to the Dorset Convention, which convened there in 1776; and also at Windsor, where the State of Vermont was declared a free and independent State. He was one of the first Representatives to the State Legislature in 1778, and again in 1802.

Town of Rupert, about 1777, many of the early settlers left their homes here and returned to Conn. because the depredations of the Tories and their Indian allies was so desperate, it was unsafe to remain; this incident illustrates the character of their hostility: Major Ormsby, who then resided in Manchester was the object of their especial hatred; accordingly 6 or 8 Tories proceeded in the night to the home of the Major, fortunately he was not at home – – they seized his son (a young man), Daniel, and carried him to the wilds of the forest in Rupert. The alarm was given in the morning, and a band sent out to rescue him. Fortunately they were able to follow him, as he had marked the trail by breaking twigs and plants whenever possible. They came to the Captor’s camp when they were eating on a mountain in the north part of Rupert.
The Tories had dressed Daniel in a red coat so he looked like a British soldier. John Nelson, a member of the rescue party, threw up his gun to shoot Daniel, when he made a sign that he was a friend. They rescued him and returned to Manchester. The Tories escaped.

A piece in the collection of the Manchester Vermont Historical Society that belonged to Gideon: The Ormsby fowler musket was manufactured in Goshen, CT between 1777 and 1779.
The gunsmith was John Doud (1739-1824) of Goshen, CT. Mr. Doud apprenticed under master gunsmith Benoi Hills of Durham, CT.  His wife’s name was Elisabeth Norton (1746-1814). In 1776 after his apprenticeship he partnered upwith his brother-in-law Ebenezer Norton, Jr. (1748-1795) and went into business for himself. He was in business from 1776 to 1783 when the War of Independence ended.

Gideon Ormsby Manchester 2
Courtesy Manchester Historical Society

he Ormsby musket, was manufactured by Doud after 1776.

The gun is known as a “smooth-bore Fowler”, (reference to waterfowl / bird hunting).
It was originally made as a flintlock action weapon, later converted to percussion type action with the removal of its powder pan and alteration of the hammer sometime in the 1830s or 1840s.

Appraiser Richard Littlefield recommends not restoring the gun to its original flint-lock type action.

The musket is made of iron, trimmed in brass, with an early one-piece curly maple stock.
The lock, lock plate and hammer are 1840s iron hardware in original condition. The trigger guard is also of solid brass, possibly of English origin.
A brass side plate sports the maker’s name: “John Doud”.
The curly maple stock is accented with a brass butt plate, engraved with the word “Independance” on the tang in English script lettering.

The iron barrel is mounted with brass barrel bands securing it to the stock.
The ramrod is original to the weapon, however the accompanying bayonet is not.
It appears that the bayonet tab in the underside of the barrel to lock the bayonet was added later for its use as a war weapon.
The gun was not made as a military issue weapon, although the word “Independance” engraved on the tang of the butt plate implies its intended use would be as a war weapon.
This means he acquired his musket after moving to Manchester, as it was not made until after 1776. He was likely around 42 years old when he acquired it. He may have acquired it for the purpose of fighting with the militia