The award-winning Rutland Herald in Rutland, Vermont, has reached a milestone that few papers in America can claim – they are celebrating their 225th anniversary! We are pleased to announce that we’ve added this collection of papers dating back to 1794.
The Rutland Herald launched as a weekly in December 1794 when George Washington was president and just 11 years after the end of the Revolutionary War. The paper had the goal of providing a “useful and entertaining paper.” When searching early editions of the Herald, keep in mind that during this era printers often used Old English text and a letter called the ‘medial S’. The letter looks like an ‘f’ and is found throughout early editions. For example, this clipping from 1798 is an advertisement for the return of two apprentice boys that ran away from their keepers or subscribers. The text, however, appears to read “fubfcribers”.
In the mid-1790s, a yellow fever epidemic plagued the eastern United States. The Herald reported that scores of people were evacuating Manhattan and Philadelphia to avoid the disease. Cities along the eastern seaboard took measures to prevent the fever from spreading. About a hundred years later, in 1894, Rutland became ground zero for the first outbreak of polio in the United States. Dr. C. S. Caverly of Rutland carefully tracked the disease’s progression and published a paper to educate others.
Vermont’s marble industry dates back to 1784 and workers from countries including England and Ireland arrived in Rutland to work in the quarries. Master carvers and stone cutters came from Italy where Carrara was known as the center of the marble industry. Those immigrant communities brought their customs and traditions to Rutland and helped shape the community.
When the Civil War broke out in 1861, the Rutland Herald published a letter asking the women of Vermont to sew white linen cap covers meant to reflect harsh sun and heat and keep soldiers from the Vermont 1st, 2nd and 3rd Regiments cool. The paper also reported on 11-year-old Willie Johnston. He enlisted as a drummer boy in the 3rd Vermont Infantry. In 1863, the Rutland Herald reported that Johnston had become the youngest recipient of the Medal of Honor for heroic actions taken during the Seven Days Battles.
In November 1927, the worst natural disaster in Vermont history occurred when devastating floods claimed 84 lives including that of Vermont’s Lt. Governor. More than eight inches of rain fell between November 2-3, creating raging torrents that washed out roads, bridges, and destroyed buildings.
Do you have ancestors from Rutland? The Rutland Herald contains birth announcements, wedding news, and obituaries. You can search for news from other cities in Vermont, New York, and even Canada. Start searching the Rutland Herald today on Newspapers.com!