The banner photograph on this page was captured on North Street in 2009
The Wells Historical Society was created by a group of people who knew the importance of preserving the past of our special town; people such as Iris Hopson Read, Stuart Parks, Levi Pratt and Barbara Goodspeed. They all had the interest and took the initiative to make this happen.

Over time, the organization has changed faces but not the mission, which is to continue to collect, preserve, and to present to the public Wells’ history in a variety of formats such as letters, artifacts and life and family stories of the people and their pasts in Wells.

Current President Joe Capron with help from his wife Trish and other members have created a photo collection that continually grows as a visual history of our town.
The Wells Historical Society welcomes donations of photos, personal histories and artifacts of Wells. Items on loan are welcome as well.
History of Wells
Elders’ Interview
Photo Collection


The name, “Joe Capron” pictured with his wife, Trish, is synonymous with the word, History, in the Town of Wells. Joe has been a collector and protector of precious historical documents for quite some time.  It was appropriate to have Joe pictured here with Trish, because we rarely see one without the other, even more in love now than the day they were married.  If you’re curious about the clocks, they’re all hand crafted by Joe, widely known as his signature pieces.
The group currently has over 30 members and meet four times a year on the first Wednesday of April, June, August and October. At these dinner meetings, everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend. After breaking bread together and getting caught up conversationally, programs primarily of historical interest are presented to the group.  For information, call Joe at (802) 645-0200

Officers of the Historical Society are: Joe Capron-President, Edgar Corey-Vice President, Trish Capron-Corresponding Secretary, Judy Dreher-Treasurer, Stephanie Andrew Smith-Recording Secretary.

The Wells Historical Society’s dream is to one day caretake a “place” where all collections of historical significance may be viewed and enjoyed by town residents and visitors alike.
Information in this article, provided by Joe Capron, President of the Wells Historical Society

On September 15, 1761, the Town of Wells was granted a Charter by New Hampshire Governor Benning Wentworth. The original 23,000 acres diminished to 13,000 by 1798 due to map changes involving Middletown and Poultney.  Some of the early maps show the lake as Lake Austin or Lake St. Austin. Since the time of the first white settlement, it has been known as Lake St. Catherine with a southern part called the Little Pond. Before the first dam was built, Little Pond was very shallow.  At one time it was sold during the winter by Able Merriman as an elegant tract of land with no stumps on it!  Native Americans camped on it’s shores and many relics have been found by it’s banks.

The town was organized on March 9, 1773, with Ogden Mallory as moderator and John Ward as Town Clerk. The first dam at the south end of the lake was built about 1800. Shortly after, a sawmill was erected there through the period when industry was dependent on water power. The lake and it’s dam were important to the growth of Wells. A wagon shop, tannery, cheese factory and gristmill flourished nearby.

Wildlife were abundant in the early days.  Residents sold otter and mink pelts for twenty to forty cents each. Bears, wolves and deer were numerous and helped to supply food. Sheep had to be penned at night to protect them from the wolves.

Nathaniel Lewis founded a country store in 1832.  It was operated as a General Mercantile. The Lewis family maintained the facility passing ownership from generation to generation until the early 1960s.

Since 1773, Wells never owned their own building to house the offices of the town and its records. With the dedication of the new town office building on May 27, 2006, Wells started a new direction in history. The new office build contains a fire proof vault to store and protect its records and historical documents for generations to come.    
After moving to Wells, Vermont, in 2005, an inspiration to share its ambiance with others
and to fill a need for fellow town residents gave birth to this website.
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by Susan©2010 all rights reserved

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