Braintree was likely named by its founders, many of whom came from Braintree Massachusetts. The Braintree Hill Meetinghouse on Braintree Hill Road, was originally used as a church in the early 1800’s. Today it serves school functions and Old Home Day festivities, and is home to the Braintree Historical Society’s museum (in the basement).
In 1991 local sculptor Jim Sardonis installed “Mother Panther with Cubs” on the green in front of the Meetinghouse. The granite he carved came from an abandoned quarry in Braintree. The sculpture is a great place to photograph children, climbing and sitting on the piece, as it was designed to be enjoyed.
The village of East Braintree was called Snowsville for a time, after Jeremiah Snow, who arrived there around 1812. Local tradition has it that he was a sailor, that experienced a religious epiphany and converted. Jeremiah gave up the sea and became a preacher in Braintree. He never accepted money for preaching and always dressed in his sailor clothes when he preached, because it’s what he had on when his life changed.
Snow and his wife were certain the main stage line from Boston to Burlington would come through the town so they built a gristmill and sawmill in East Braintree. Other businesses followed suit and the village grew. The stage went elsewhere, but the village’s former name lives on in the general store in the center of the village.
The Snowsville General Store carries groceries, beer, candy, native clothing, a wide assortment of firearms, worms for fishing, a scale for weighing deer and bear during hunting season, and a display of taxidermied animals that is a sight to behold. No visit to the area is complete without visiting Kris and Gene in the Snowsville General Store. If you have any questions about Braintree, it’s the best place to ask them.