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Stephen Bates Historic Marker

Updated: Feb 20, 2023


St. Paul's Episcopal Church is the site of the Stephen Bates historic marker that was installed in October of 2021. Stephen Bates served as the first known black sheriff and chief of police and in Vergennes for almost 25 consecutive years between 1879 and his death in 1907in Vermont.

Please read his amazing story below and watch the informative documentary, “The Life of Stephen Bates,” by Chris Spencer, a Vergennes filmmaker.


“The Life of Stephen Bates” documentary Filmmaker: Chris Spencer Length: 8.5 minutes https://vimeo.com/641604952/24cfd0a471  


St. Paul’s Episcopal Church was the backdrop for the dedication and unveiling of the historic marker for Stephen Bates community event that took place on October 3rd , 2021. The story of Stephen Bates' incredible life and service to our community was recently rediscovered when Bates’s great-grandson, Larry Schuyler, and his wife Lynn, visited St. Paul’s during the late summer of 2019, as they were looking into Larry’s family history. Stephen Bates and his family were members of St. Paul’s during the 19th and 20th centuries and Larry’s grandparents, Rose Bates and Raymond Schuyler, were married at St. Paul’s in 1893.

Pictured below is a recently discovered postcard photo of St. Paul’s from the 19th century that Larry shared with us, showing his grandparents’ names and wedding date recorded.


To read and learn more, visit the following link:

https://www.saintpaulsvergennes.org/post/visitors-larry-and-lynn-schuyler-researching-family-history-at-st-paul-s

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