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The Panton Road (former Adams Ferry-to-Vergennes turnpike)
The turnpike from Panton, built in 1818, connected the Lake Champlain transportation corridor to the industrial center at Vergennes. The wetland, halfway to Arnold Bay, often proved an impediment to travel. Today, the open vistas of the wetlands continue to provide one of the best landscape panoramas of the Champlain Valley where farming is still practiced. The entire valley was open space and the funeral cortege would not have to transit a backwoods area until they were beyond Elizabethtown, NY.
With the completion of the Champlain Canal in 1823, the Adams Ferry operations at Panton and Westport served as an early transportation link between the farms in the Adirondacks and the cattle and sheep markets located in Vermont. Panton became a hub of activity and prosperity reaching its height in population around 1840. Panton Village is on the Vermont Register of Historic Places. Many of the structures seen by the funeral cortege exist today, including the prominent 1854 Greek Revival style church and the 1818 stone schoolhouse.
At the intersection approaching the Arnold Bay ferry landing site stands the c.1790, gambrel roof, former home of Friend Adams. He ran the ferry, first operated by Peter Ferris in 1799, built a nearby store and warehouse, ran a large farm, and provided lodging to travelers. He died in 1839 but the Adams family remained prominent in the area.
On the day the cortege arrived at the old sail ferry, there was a strong wind and sleet storm blowing over the lake. The small bay was protected, but the lake was open to strong winds from the north and south. According to the Town of Panton historical records, Daniel Adams transported the party across Lake Champlain to Westport, New York. The Reverend Joshua Young of Burlington, who was asked to speak at the burial ceremony, missed the ferry's departure and had to cross the next day.