A Stitch In Time

A Stitch In Time book cover

A Stitch In Time, Townshend, VT 1753-2003

Hard-cover, full color book on this history of Townshend, Vermont. 288 pps. Hundreds of photographs.


Price includes shipping in continental US.

A Stitch In Time, Townshend, VT 1753-2003

A Stitch in Time (Townshend, Vermont 1753-2003) is the first full-length history of Townshend, Vermont. The book tells the story of the town from its beginnings on the New England colonial frontier to the celebration of the 250th year since its charter from King George II.

The title A Stitch in Time is inspired by old patchwork quilts, made up of a multitude of pieces of different colors, shapes, and styles; pieces from different sources-each piece with its own meaning, all carefully stitched together to make a coherent, useful, pleasing whole.

The book, like a patchwork quilt, stitches together a wealth of historical documentation to portray the life of the town over the 250 years of its existence. It presents more than 200 photographs to illuminate the historical research drawn from town reports, census data, memoirs, farm records, genealogies, interviews and other sources.

For a town whose population has never attained 2000, Townshend has been the home of a disproportionate number of remarkable persons who played roles in the larger history of this country. Notable among these are Alphonso Taft and his family and Clarina Howard Nichols, champion of women and children’s rights.

Book Excerpts

“At a meeting in Massachusetts of Townshend’s charter grantees in 1761, it was voted that the person who got to Townshend first would have the first choice of lots. Colonel John Hazeltine went home and passed the night. Early in the morning, he said to his wife, “Jane, put some bread and cheese into the saddle-bags”; and to his boy, “Peter, lead up the old switch-tailed mare, for I am going to Townshend.” And so begins the story: of settlers arriving on horseback and on sleds drawn by oxen; of farming and millworking; of marrying and soldiering.”

Click on a link below to view Table of Contents, Appendices and Index from the book A Stitch in Time:

APPENDIX TWO: Early Landowners Circa 1774

Pre-press reviews:

“A Stitch in Time: Townshend Vermont, 1753-2003 is a lively and fascinating history of the town. Famous personalities like Clarina Howard Nichols, one of America’s early suffragists, make good reading. This book will be of great interest, not only for the residents of Townshend, but to all its Vermont neighbors.”


“It is a major flaw of history that it deals most extensively with the large and the violent and too often passes by the small, intelligent, and gently civilized. This makes Townshend a fine, even precious example of the small, both interesting and important. It is thus that I recommend this lovely book. It is the needed and too often neglected history, to be read for information and pleasure. This I urge for readers along with my thanks for all who did the work.”


“Students of the history of secondary education in Vermont will benefit from this clear and concise review of Leland and Gray’s colorful and historic contributions to Vermont’s social history.”

CHARLES E. MARCHANT, teacher LGS/LGUHS, 1966-2002

“Townshend’s Civil War past was well known to me, but I now know there’s far more history in this Windham County town. Any place that produced Clarina Howard Nichols has a noble past, and this book admirably gives this abolitionist and women’s rights advocate her due. This book is published as farming in Vermont, so sadly, seems about to pass away. But A Stitch in Time should remind future generations that there was, there is, another way. Mankind can live from, and with, the land as Vermonters did for more than two centuries. This book is fine history.”


“What a wonderful book! Attractive, enlightening, and great fun to read. It reaches beyond simply retelling a small rural community’s past to use Townshend’s rich and evocative history as a springboard to paint a picture of the country as a whole, drawing relevant and fascinating connections between that larger picture and the village’s own. War, politics, the economy, and a coterie of social issues are all addressed here, clearly, insightfully, and with a wonderful touch of humor. To read A Stitch in Time is to read about the very culture we inhabit from the grassroots that gave it birth.”