Hopkinsville was charted by the Vermont legislature on October 27, 1790 to Dr. Roswell Hopkins. For many years Dr. Hopkins was the Clerk to the Governor and of the Council, serving without pay. In lieu of salary, Hopkins was granted the charter, but there is no indication that he benefited from the grant. When first chartered, Burke contained more acres than most Vermont towns and had a strangely shaped point of land on the southern border called Burke=s Tongue. On October 28, 1807 Burke=s Tongue was added to Hopkinsville (also called Hopkins Gore, Hopkins Grant, and Hopkintonia) and incorporated as Kirby.
The closest thing to a village in Kirby is an area in the extreme southern part of town where two roads coming from Concord meet at a kind of double four corners. In the mid-1800s, this hamlet had a church, a school, a cemetery and a few houses. The cemetery is still there as well as the empty schoolhouse. In the northern part of town there is another cemetery and the Town Office Building. At one time, where two or more roads converged, the road signs indicated whose house was in which direction, rather than the location of villages. There are several named places in Kirby: Sugerhill, Mud Hollow, North and South Kirby. The residents receive their mail from the Lyndonville, Concord or the East Burke Post Offices. Telephone service is from Lyndonville, Concord, or St. Johnsbury. Electricity is from Central Vermont Public Service Co., or the Lyndonville Electric Company.
WHAT=S IN A NAME?
The origin of the name Kirby most likely came from a surname. There were several Kirbys that served in the Revolutionary War from Litchfield, CT.; the same area that was home to Ira and Ethan Allen. In the early 1800's, Seth and John Kirby submitted petitions to the Vermont legislature. Although there is no evidence that they received a charter, they may have been involved with the Hopkins Grant. On the other hand, it could have been named for one of several Kirby place names in England. There the name means Aa village with a church@.
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