History of the Settlement
Glover Pioneer Camp is located on the old Parker Settlement, which dates back to 1798. It is located on the east side of Lake Parker in West Glover, on the hillside just south of Lone Tree Hill, within the confines of the ancient lake bed of Glacial Lake Memphremegog, on the Hinman Settler Road.
The town of Glover was chartered in 1783, by General John Glover, who with a group of associates acquired 23,040 acres of land after the Revolutionary War, and sent Ralph Parker Esquire, lawyer, real estate agent and surveyor to settle the town and sell lots. Ralph came with his wife Hannah Hoyt Parker, who was born in 1776 in Lanesboro, Massachussetts, and removed with her family up Route 7 to New Haven, Vermont, where her father became a prominent merchant and town father. Ralph was born in 1772 in Connecticut and was said to have once resided in New Haven, Vermont as well. They were married on September 19, 1793.
The first house built in Glover was in 1798 on lot #141 by James Vance (now the home of Bob and Giselle Clark). Ralph and Hannah built their house in 1798 in the big field at the settlement on lot #116. In 1799, the Mooers brothers put up a lean to and Andrew Mooers became the first town clerk. Ralph Parker built the tavern and store in 1799 and that became the site of town meeting for the next fifteen years. Hannah ran the store and tavern, cultivated medicinal herbs and a garden, and was the lay healer, nurse/midwife, for the surrounding area.
There were few doctors in the wilderness in those days. Hannah was said to be a “superior woman, affable, generous, very kind to the sick, often going three to four miles to watch with them. Ralph and Hannah had six children of their own, four sons and two daughters. Donald Penfield Parker was the first child born in Glover. Ralph maintained an ashery for the production of raw potash, which was exported to England for use in the woolen mills. He also was the state legislator from Glover, a position which he held until 1814. He was town clerk from 1805-13, and was involved with Timothy Hinman, builder of the road through the wilderness from Greensboro to Derby Line passing through Glover at the settlement. He was also an associate of the Allen Brothers and in 1803 he built a sawmill for Ira Allen in Irasburg, at the site of the present Black River Sawmill.
In 1804, Timothy Lyman built the first brick kiln just below the Hinman Road beside the brook where a substantial clay deposit was left by Glacial Lake Memphremegog thousands of years before. In 1802, the first school was built at the settlement. It also later became the first meetinghouse of the original 17 members of the congregational church in 1817. In 1832, that congregation built a church at the settlement adjacent to the Hinman Road, which in 1850 was jacked up, put on logs and rolled with teams of oxen down the settler road to West Glover Village where it sits today on a new foundation at the top of Bean Hill Road.
The 1800 census for Glover lists 21 residents, all at or around the old settlement, which at that time was the working hub of the town. By 1810, the year of Runaway Pond, the town had grown dramatically and the residents had spread out over a wide range of farmland and village properties. Upon the building of a sawmill at the outlet of Lake Parker on Roaring Brook in 1804, the building became easier, and folks began moving into the hollow, then called Boardman Hollow, now the village of West Glover. Businesses sprang up, the creamery, the coopersmith, a blacksmith shop, other schools, the West Glover Store, a post office and lending library, overall factory, etc. After Runaway Pond, the foundation was laid for Route 16 and the village of Glover and schools and churches and businesses grew up there and the settlement began to fall into disrepair. Since then, the land has reverted back to dairy farm and sugaring.
The West Glover Cemetery lies approximately half a mile south of the settlement and many of the graves of the original settlers can be found within, including Hannah Parker, who died during an epidemic of spotted fever (the chicken pocks) in 1811, which killed 20 of “the most robust of Gloverites.” Hannah’s was the first eulogy to be printed in Orleans County, a copy of which now can be found in the vault at the Glover Town Clerk’s Office. Hannah’s grave is marked by a white, very unusual stone, 5 feet tall, 3 feet wide, 3 inches thick. It reads: “In testimony of that respect and esteem which is due to departed worth, this monument is raised by an affectionate husband. Mrs. Hannah Parker whose remains are here enclosed was the wife of Ralph Parker Esquire. She died at Glover on the 16th of August 1811, age 34 years, 11 months.” In 1815, Ralph and his children removed to Rochester, NY, where he remained until his death in 1852. After Ralph died, his sons returned to the old settlement to look for the old homestead. By then, there was no trace of it left, not even the stone at the front stoop. But we still feel the spirt of the old settlers all around us. The Parker Settlement remains one of the last pioneer settlements in New England untouched by development. We intend to keep it that way!