Our Famous Faces

Famous Faces around Arlington, VT

Famous & Historic

Ethan Allen (1738-89). Leader of the Green Mountain Boys. He, along with his brothers and cousins, became ardent protectors of the New Hampshire grants and opposed “Yorkers” who also claimed the lands where the Allens settled. In 1775, Ethan changed the principal mission of the Green Mountain Boys to an independent patriot organization which captured Fort Ticonderoga on May 10, 1775. While part of General Schuyler’s invasion force into Canada, Allen was captured. Exchanged after a year and a half as a British prisoner, he came back to Vermont which was now independent.

Ira Allen (1751-1814). More business minded than his brother and cousins, Ira organized the Onion River Land Company and worked to secure lands around the Winooski River and Lake Champlain for the Allen family. By the 1780’s he was considered the “Ambassador” of Vermont due to his negotiating skills with the British and his settling land grant disputes between New York and New Hampshire. During the early years of the Vermont Republic, Ira served as Secretary of the Vermont Council of Safety, State Treasurer, and Surveyor General. He attained the military rank of Major-General. He also worked to establish the University of Vermont in 1798. Ira suffered financially due to a series of sour business deals and mismanagement of assets and was jailed for debts. He eventually ran away to Philadelphia where he died penniless in 1814.

Remember Baker (1740-1775). Born in Woodbury, CT, Baker was a cousin and young playmate of both Ethan Allen and Seth Warner. He moved to Arlington in 1764 via a New Hampshire grant and built a grist mill in East Arlington. Baker enticed his cousins Allen and Warner to settle in the area. When New York attempted to dispossess the settlers of their land, the three cousins formed The Green Mountain Boys who drove off “Yorker” surveyors and claimants. Baker, the most outspoken of the clan, was often targeted by New York officials. Eventually, he became a scout for General Schuyler and, in 1775, was killed by a group of Native Americans.

Thomas Chittenden (1730 – 1797). Born in East Guilford, CT. Chittenden moved to Salisbury, CT and then to Williston, VT in 1774. He was a farmer who took an active role in the contest between the New York and New Hampshire land grants and was a member of the Convention of Delegates which declared Vermont an independent state in 1777. Chittenden was elected governor of the independent state of VT for all but one year from 1778-1791. He was a resident of Arlington during the Revolution and from 1779-1787, when his home was considered “The Governor’s Mansion.” He led VT through a difficult period due to contentions for independence, lack of acknowledgment by the new nation, and conflicting land claims with New York. His son, Martin, was also elected governor of VT and devoted his life to public service.

Daniel Shays (1747-1825). Shays was an American Revolutionary War officer and later became a political activist. He was a farmer from western Massachusetts. After the war ended Shays settled at Pelham Massachutts, and became a leader of the revolt that came to be known as Shays’s Rebellion. After the defeat of the Rebellion in Feb., 1787, Shays fled to Sandgate, Vermont with a number of his fellow demonstrators. In June of 1788 Shays was pardoned by Massachusetts and later moved to New York State.

Seth Warner (1743-84). Born in Connecticut and later a resident of Vermont. Warner was a hero of the American Revolution and cousin of Ethan and Ira Allen. Seth joined the Green Mt. Boys, and under the direction of Ethan Allen, resisted the New York claims on the lands of the New Hampshire Land Grants. In 1775 he was elected the leader of the Green Mt. Boys. Warner participated in the expedition against Canada that failed at Quebec, as well as the fighting in the area of Ticonderoga in 1777 at Hubbardton. He was also with John Stark at The Battle of Bennington in 1777.

Famous & Artistic

John Atherton (1900-1952). A resident of West Arlington, as well as an artist, illustrator, designer & writer. He wrote The Fly and the Fish. His work is represented in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art.

Charles Cagle – One time resident of Arlington, as well as New York City and Paris. Cagle was a gifted painter.

Dorothy Canfield Fisher (1879-1958). Long time resident of Arlington, Fisher was the author of more than forty books, including best-selling novels and short story collections, as well as non-fiction books on a wide variety of subjects. Through her works she illustrated traditional American values, and showcased the rich history of Vermont. She also played an important part in shaping America’s popular literary taste through her position on the Book-of-the-Month Club Selection Committee from its beginning in 1926 until 1951.The DCF Award, in her honor, is given to the author of the most popular book by vote of school children, grades 4-8.

George Hughes A resident of Arlington, George Hughes was an illustrator for The Saturday Evening Post starting in 1948. He, along with Norman Rockwell, Mead Schaeffer, Gene Pelham and John Atherton all contributed cover illustrations.

Rockwell Kent (1882-1971). One-time resident of Arlington, he was an artist, author, and political activist with a long and diversified career. Kent both wrote and illustrated a number of books such as Wilderness: A Journal of Quiet Adventure in Alaska which was published in 1920. Also to his credit were, Voyaging Southward from the Strait of Magellan (1924) and Salamina (1934).

Gene Pelham – Resident of Arlington. Pelham was a photographer & artist. He contributed cover illustrations to The Saturday Evening Post.

Norman Rockwell (1894-1978). A resident of West Arlington, Rockwell was a mainstay in America for more than 40 years seen through the covers of The Saturday Evening Post. Through this medium he depicted a unique collection of Americana images such as “The Four Freedoms.” With his deep warmth and humor he showed America the beauty of itself, as seen in the everyday. Today Norman Rockwell has come to symbolize the purity and beauty of traditional America, which is captured in his works.

Carl Ruggles (1876-1971). A long time resident in Arlington, Ruggles was a composer of such famous atonal classic works as The Sun-Treader and Men and Mountains. He was also a painter & storyteller.

Mead Schaeffer – A one time resident of the Arlington area and contributor of illustrations to The Saturday Evening Post.

Mary Wolfe Thompson –  Born in 1886 and one time resident of Arlington, she was an American author of children’s books and later in her career, books for young girls. She was the recipient of the DCF Award in 1969.

Donald Trachte –  A resident of Sandgate, Trachte is a painter & creator of the “Henry” cartoon.

Philip Zeller –  A resident of Arlington and master wood carver.

Famous & Scientific

William Farnum – One time resident of Arlington and the inventor of the reel lawn mower.