The Morgan family and the Griswold family had ties in Massachsuetts. Isaac Morgan the father of Justin Morgan lived in West Springfield Massachustts and Joseph Griswold lived across the Connecticut River in Chicopee Massachustts. Joseph Griswold, while swimming in the river with a friend drowned and was pulled to shore. Griswold was nursed back to health by an indian medicine man and his daughter Marjorie who was also a medicine woman. They fell in love and married but white mans medicine became popular making the Indians medicine no longer in demand so Joseph Griswold and Marjorie made the difficult trip to Vermont. They aquired one hundred acres of free land in the original settlement of Randolph

Vermont agreeing to clear at least five acres of land. Joseph and Majorie Griswold had five children one of whom was named Frederick. He later became a judge and purchased land just below his parents in Brookfield Vermont. Griswold was not only Morgan's closest neighbor but also a great friend who leased horses to Morgan for his travels as a singing school teacher and it was the judge who Morgan asked to come see his colt when he first arrived home from Massachusetts with Figure in 1792. In looking for the Morgan home site the location of Judge Fredrick Griswold's home would be critical in my search. I will list highlights of my search that lead me to the Morgan home site.

    The Morgan Home Site and the Home of the Morgan Horse.

  • Justin Morgan and Judge Fredrick Griswold have Massachusetts connections.

  • An article in the January 23rd 1885 issue of The Middlebury Register news paper there is an article written by Alan Thompson that states that he is standing at the edge of the cellar hole foundation of where the Morgan home once stood. It is about forty rods from the home of Judge Fredrick Griswold.

  • An article by Alan Thompson in the Brattleboro New England Farmer dated November 7th 1908 on page four it states that Mr. Morgan's place in Randolph was near the line between Randolph and Brookfield. Judge Griswold lived in Brookfield just across the line from Mr. Morgan's place.

  • In mapping it out on Google Earth, taking the shortest route from Judge Fredrick Griswold's home toward Randolph forty three rods and just over Neighbor Road puts the Morgan Home in Randolph on land that was owned by Henry Walbridge. Like Joseph Griswold, Walbridge was given land if he settled it. Neighbor Road follows the Randolph Brookfield town line at this spot.

  • There is no direct connection between Walbridge and Morgan however Judge Fredrick Griswold who was a very good friend of Morgan married Martha Walbridge who was the daughter of Henry Walbridge who owned the land that had the cabin Morgan and his family settled in.

  • In short, Alan Thompson said that Morgan's home was about forty rods from Judge Griswolds home. This location I have found is forty three rods. Many articles say that the Morgan home was close to or just over the line in Randolph. This location I have found is just over the line in Randolph,


  • Update 10-6-2019
  • I have applied for and The Vermont Advisory Council on Historic Preservation unanimously approved the roadside historic site marker commemorating Justin Morgan and the Morgan Horse.The marker will be two sided and will read as follows.

    Justin Morgan
    Log Cabin Home Site
    In 1788 Justin Morgan and his family moved from Springfield, MA, to Vermont, living in a log cabin once located on the opposite side of Neighbor Road in the Town of Randolph. Most famous for the horse breed that bears his name, Morgan was a farmer, stallioneer, tavern keeper, town clerk, singing and writing teacher, and musical composer of notable talent. He composed sacred musical renditions of poetry and psalms known as fuguing tunes or psalmody. His work was published in The Federal Harmony (1790) and The Philadelphia Harmony (1791). Morgan's most frequently printed fuguing tune was Montgomery (1790), set to Psalm 63.
    Justin Morgan died in March 1798 and was interred in Randolph Center Cemetery next to his wife Martha.

    The back will read:

    The Morgan Horse
    Born in 1789 in Massachusetts, the founding sire for the Morgan horse breed was a compact bay colt named "Figure." In 1792 Justin Morgan acquired the stallion, moving him to Vermont. Figure was pastured in the neighboring field of Judge Fredrick Griswold on the north side of Neighbor Road in the Town of Brookfield.
    Figure possessed a legendary ability to walk, trot, run and pull better than other horses. Traded by Justin Morgan in exchange for land in Moretown, the horse spent a hard life working on farms, hauling freight, and as a parade mount at militia trainings. His stud services were offered throughout the Connecticut River Valley, with his most famous sons, Sherman, Bulrush, and Woodbury, carrying on his legacy. Figure died in 1821.

    The date for the unvieling of this historic marker is set for May 30th 2020.
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