The village of Harrisville began to grow substantially in about 1816 when Bethuel Harris went into partnership with his father-in-law, Abel Twitchell, and started building his house at E-1-2. More mills and other Harris family homes followed. But the family identified with Nelson. Bethuel declared his residence as Nelson even though his home was half in Dublin. The Harrises joined the Nelson Church in 1817.

The change to a primary focus on their own village was signaled by the building of the Vestry for religious services (1840), the Harrisville Congregational Church in 1842 and the Island Cemetery in 1840. Bethuel and Deborah’s daughter, Lydia, (d. 1841) was likely the first burial — tying the family to Harrisville forever.