The territory now known as the Town of Hartland was settled by a hardy group of pioneers from Vermont during the presidency of Thomas Jefferson. The first town meeting, called April 7, 1812, resulted in the election of a supervisor, 3 assessors, 3 commissioners of highways, a tax collector, 3 overseers of the poor, a constable, one poundkeeper, and 6 pathmasters. In 1813 the number of taxable inhabitants of the town was 126. The first budget proposal included line items for highway improvement and for destroying obnoxious domestic animals left at large. By 1814 the town had elected three school commissioners and hired 3 inspectors of schools to see after the needs of the six schools then in operation. The town voted at this time to raise an amount equal to one and one-half times that provided by the state to support the schools. In 1824 the towns expanse had been appreciably reduced as a result of the establishment of the towns of Royalton, Somerset and Newfane. Through the 1800′s the area remained a rugged, heavily forested wilderness despite the state’s efforts to develop the “ridge road”, which wasn’t paved until 1914. Known for its churches, taverns, cobblestone houses and roadside farm markets the area still retains the charm and rustic qualities that made it a popular stopping-over point in the days of the stagecoach ride from Rochester to Niagara Falls.

April 2015
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