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Milton

Chartered: June 8, 1763 (New Hampshire Grant)
Area: 39,028 Acres / 60.98 Square Miles [ 10* ]
Coordinates (Geographic Center): 72°06'W 44°38'N
Altitude ASL: 320 feet
Population (US Census, 2000): 9,479 [ 9* ]
Population Density (persons per square mile): 155.4 [ 26* ]
Tax Rate: $2.057 ('03)
Equalized Value: $632,808,380 ('03)
*Area, Population and Density rankings above refer to Milton's relative position among Vermont's 255 civic entities (9 cities, 242 towns, 4 gores and grants). Complete rankings are here.

 

Utility Type Website Phone
Green Mountain Power Electric http://www.gmpvt.com 835-4672
VT Electric Co-op Electric http://www.vtcoop.com 635-2231
Vermont Gas Gas http://www.vermontgas.com 863-4511
Adelphia TV/Internet http://www.adelphia.net 658-3050
Verizon Telephone/Wireless http://www.verizon.com  (800) 870-9999 
All-Cycle Waste Garbage N/A 864-3615
Clean Green Sanitation Garbage N/A 654-7736

 

The popular claim that Milton is named for the blind English poet does not fit Benning Wentworth's frame of reference very well. He was much more impressed with the wealth and political power of the peerage than with literary figures. In this case, the connection is more likely to one of his own distant relatives by marriage: William Fitzwilliam, First Earl Fitzwilliam and Viscount Milton, husband of Lady Anne Wentworth. Though the Earl had died young, one of his sons was expected to have enormous political power. As usual, Wentworth lost out in his efforts to gain title: he was already dead by the time young Fitzwilliam graduated Oxford.

For the most part, Milton is one of Burlington's bedroom communities, though an effort is underway to attract businesses to an industrial park on the site of the former Catamount Stadium, for many years the only place to be on a Saturday night if you were a stock car racing fan.

In 1890 a Post Office was opened at what had always been known locally as Checkerberry Village, named for an evergreen plant and its spicy red berries which grew abundantly in the area. Postal authorities, however, in a classic example of knowing what's best over the objections of the locals, insisted on calling it Milton Center. Six years later, the office closed for lack of business and the locals went right back to being called Checkerberry.

Old maps depict Snake or Rattlesnake Mountain on the town's northern line, names long since dropped in favor of the more pleasing Arrowhead Mountain, appropriate due to the presence in the town of an ancient Native flint quarry.


Information courtesy of: www.virtualvermont.com

 

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Winooski

City Incorporated: April 1, 1921
Area: 8,887 Acres / 1.39 Square Miles [ 254* ]
Coordinates (Geographic Center): 73°11'W 44°29'N
Altitude ASL: 200 feet
Population (US Census, 2000): 6,561 [ 19* ]
Population Density (persons per square mile): 4,720.1 [ 1* ]
Tax Rate: $2.057 ('03)
Equalized Value: $323,946,291 ('03)
*Area, Population and Density rankings above refer to Winooski's relative position among Vermont's 255 civic entities (9 cities, 242 towns, 4 gores and grants).

 

Utility Type Website Phone
Green Mountain Power Electric http://www.gmpvt.com 835-4672
VT Electric Co-op Electric http://www.vtcoop.com 635-2231
Vermont Gas Gas http://www.vermontgas.com 863-4511
Adelphia TV/Internet http://www.adelphia.net 658-3050
Verizon Telephone/Wireless http://www.verizon.com (800) 870-9999
All-Cycle Waste Garbage N/A 864-3615
Clean Green Sanitation Garbage N/A 654-7736
Winooski Public Works Water/Sewer N/A 655-6422

 

The name comes from the Abenaki for "wild onions", plentiful along the river. The earliest European documentation offering a written approximation of the native word are French-made maps, which identify the river as "Ouinousqui".

In the southeast corner of Colchester was a fine natural falls in the Winooski (then Onion or French) River (more River info here) where Ira Allen, one of the grantees of Colchester, built grain and lumber mills in about 1772. To protect their interests from marauding French and Indians, he and his cousin Remember Baker built a two-story palisaded enclosure which they called Fort Frederick. Good land nearby attracted settlers, and the community which grew up around the mills and the fort became known as Allen's Settlement, later as Winooski Falls, then simply Winooski when it was incorporated as a civil entity separate from Colchester.

The large number of French Canadians who came to work in the textile mills in later years resulted in a portion of the city being referred to as French Village. Even today, there is a large enough French-speaking population in the area that the local cable TV system absolutely must carry two French stations out of Montreal.


Information courtesy of: www.virtualvermont.com

 

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Jericho

Chartered: June 7, 1763 (New Hampshire Grant)
Area: 22,760 Acres / 35.56 Square Miles [ 178* ]
Coordinates (Geographic Center): 73°00'W 44°30'N
Altitude ASL: 560 feet
Population (US Census, 2000): 5,015 [ 26* ]
Population Density (persons per square mile): 141.0 [ 28* ]
Tax Rate: $2.057 ('03)
Equalized Value: $274,206,739 ('03)
*Area, Population and Density rankings above refer to Jericho's relative position among Vermont's 255 civic entities (9 cities, 242 towns, 4 gores and grants).

 

Utility Type Website Phone
Green Mountain Power Electric http://www.gmpvt.com 835-4672
VT Electric Co-op Electric http://www.vtcoop.com 635-2231
Vermont Gas Gas http://www.vermontgas.com 863-4511
Adelphia TV/Internet http://www.adelphia.net 658-3050
Verizon Telephone/Wireless http://www.verizon.com (800) 870-9999
All-Cycle Waste Garbage N/A 864-3615
Clean Green Sanitation Garbage N/A 654-7736

 

Jericho and Corinth are the only towns in the New Hampshire Grants not to succumb to Benning Wentworth's relentless efforts to impress the wealthy and politically powerful. While classical and Biblical names were popular in other colonies, Wentworth opted to name towns for the peerage and the English towns in which they lived (or, at the very least, one of the town's principal grantees). It would appear that Tom Chittenden, one such principal grantee of this town, prevailed upon Wentworth to depart from habit: an impressive name from antiquity would surely attract buyers.

On the Underhill-Jericho town line is Underhill Flats, one of the few villages in the state which lie in two towns.

In what could be called an early variant of gerrymandering, the story is told of Jedediah Lane, who moved here from Connecticut, eventually to become the town's representative in the Legislature. When a land survey was completed, it was discovered that Lane actually lived in Underhill. Not wanting to lose his job, Lane had his house moved a few feet west, over the line into Jericho.

Jericho was home to "Snowflake" Bentley.


Information courtesy of: www.virtualvermont.com

 

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Williston

Chartered: June 7, 1763 (New Hampshire Grant)
Area: 19,903 Acres / 31.1 Square Miles [ 194* ]
Coordinates (Geographic Center): 73°04'W 44°26'N
Altitude ASL: 501 feet
Population (US Census, 2000): 7,650 [ 15* ]
Population Density (persons per square mile): 246.0 [ 16* ]
Tax Rate: $2.057 ('03)
Equalized Value: $1,136,742,910 ('03)
*Area, Population and Density rankings above refer to Williston's relative position among Vermont's 255 civic entities (9 cities, 242 towns, 4 gores and grants).

 

Utility Type Website Phone
Green Mountain Power Electric http://www.gmpvt.com 835-4672
VT Electric Co-op Electric http://www.vtcoop.com 635-2231
Vermont Gas Gas http://www.vermontgas.com 863-4511
Adelphia TV/Internet http://www.adelphia.net 658-3050
Verizon Telephone/Wireless http://www.verizon.com (800) 870-9999
All-Cycle Waste Garbage N/A 864-3615
Clean Green Sanitation Garbage N/A 654-7736
Williston Public Works Water/Sewer N/A 878-1239

 

Williston was one of ten towns granted on the same day to many of the same people, named for Samuel Willis, a wealthy Quaker from Long Island and the first grantee named. While Willis was named on several of the other town grants, this one was clearly the best of the group: it offered acres upon acres of already clear, tillable farmland along the Winooski River.

Thomas Chittenden, Vermont's first governor and for whom the county is named, is credited with being the first to settle in Williston, though he submerged the family's heavier belongings in the duck pond and headed for Arlington during the Revolution.

With the coming of the Central Vermont Railroad, the smaller village of North Williston became a focal point, in 1876 the site of the first cold storage plant in New England. Tons of meat, poultry, butter and eggs could be stored here before being shopped to the New York and Boston markets.

In the 1970s, Williston was the center of controversy in the county, as the proposed site of a large shopping mall near the junction of Routes 2 and 2A; "Don't Mall Williston" was the bumper sticker seen on opponents' cars. After years of legal wrangling, the project was eventually squashed (for a time).

Today, an even larger sprawl of separate "big box" superstores is just across the road from where the mall was to have gone. A modified version of the original mall, with a much more attractive feel to it is under development on the original site. Despite past and present opposition focused on the effect such development would have on local businesses, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Circuit City, Toys "R" Us and the like can be found all huddled together just off I-89 at Exit 12. Of course, what is easily the busiest retail district in the state requires additional infrastructure maintenance: Williston is one of only two municipalities in Vermont with a local (1%) sales tax (the other being Manchester}.


Information courtesy of: www.virtualvermont.com

 

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Huntington

Chartered: June 7, 1763 (New Hampshire Grant)
Area: 24,539 Acres / 38.34 Square Miles [ 160* ]
Coordinates (Geographic Center): 72°59'W 44°19'N
Altitude ASL: 623 feet
Population (US Census, 2000): 1,861 [ 91* ]
Population Density (persons per square mile): 48.5 [ 89* ]
Tax Rate: $2.057 ('03)
Equalized Value: $119,990,616 ('03)
*Area, Population and Density rankings above refer to Huntington's relative position among Vermont's 255 civic entities (9 cities, 242 towns, 4 gores and grants). Complete rankings are here.

 

Utility Type Website Phone
Green Mountain Power Electric http://www.gmpvt.com 835-4672
VT Electric Co-op Electric http://www.vtcoop.com 635-2231
Vermont Gas Gas http://www.vermontgas.com 863-4511
Adelphia TV/Internet http://www.adelphia.net 658-3050
Verizon Telephone/Wireless http://www.verizon.com (800) 870-9999
All-Cycle Waste Garbage N/A 864-3615
Clean Green Sanitation Garbage N/A 654-7736

 

Named New Huntington in the grant, which listed Edward Burling and 65 others, including a number of Ferrises, for whom Ferrisburgh is named. The town is named for three members of the Hunt family among the grantees: Josiah, Charles and Marmaduke. The "New" was dropped by Legislative action in 1795.

The first town's Post Office was established in 1827 as Huntingdon, and it took fifteen years of protests from townspeople to get the spelling corrected.

It's actually unusual that it got corrected at all: a number of locations in Vermont are named as they are because of arbitrary decisions on the part of the Post Office and its practice of ignoring the advice and desires of the local populace. Folks in Charlotte and Milton, among others, had similar experiences.

So much of Huntington's land is mountainous that most of the peaks have not been officially named. Camel's Hump State Forest takes up much of the eastern portion of the town.

Though many would argue in favor of Mount Mansfield, "The Hump" (pictured above) is easily the most recognizable peak in the state (such that it was used on the Vermont Quarter issued in 2001). Samuel de Champlain called it Le Lion Couchant (The Couching Lion). Natives were somewhat more descriptive, using a term meaning "prudently, we make a campfire in a circle near water and rest at this mountain." Whatever its name, generations of hikers will attest to the fact that a rest is indeed needed while climbing it.


Information courtesy of: www.virtualvermont.com

 

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Westford

Chartered: June 8, 1763 (New Hampshire Grant)
Area: 25,033 Acres / 39.11 Square Miles [ 139* ]
Coordinates (Geographic Center): 73°01'W 44°37'N
Altitude ASL: 464 feet
Population (US Census, 2000): 2,086 [ 80* ]
Population Density (persons per square mile): 53.3 [ 81* ]
Tax Rate: $2.057 ('03)
Equalized Value: $133,265,557 ('03)
*Area, Population and Density rankings above refer to Westford's relative position among Vermont's 255 civic entities (9 cities, 242 towns, 4 gores and grants).

 

Utility Type Website Phone
Green Mountain Power Electric http://www.gmpvt.com 835-4672
VT Electric Co-op Electric http://www.vtcoop.com 635-2231
Vermont Gas Gas http://www.vermontgas.com 863-4511
Adelphia TV/Internet http://www.adelphia.net 658-3050
Verizon Telephone/Wireless http://www.verizon.com (800) 870-9999
All-Cycle Waste Garbage N/A 864-3615
Clean Green Sanitation Garbage N/A 654-7736

 

Absent any evidence otherwise, the name appears to derive from being the most westerly of four granted the same day. For whatever reason, in 1781 the young Republic of Vermont granted another Westford, in Orleans County. That town was subsequently renamed Westmore.

Westford and adjacent Underhill listed many of the same grantees, which accounts for the fact that the names of families residing in one contributed to places names in the other. Mount Macomber in Underhill, for instance, derives from the Macomber family of Westford.

Where family names and descriptive terms were usually the basis for place names, Westford has a distinction in Number Eleven Hill. Nowhere else in the state is anything named by a number. When the town was being laid out, land was distributed in rounds, somewhat like modern sports drafts. The best land (suitable for dwellings and tillage) went in Round One to the most prominent grantee. Pasture land was Round Two; Round Three was frequently woodlot. Round Eleven would have been pretty far down the list in terms of usefulness.


Information courtesy of: www.virtualvermont.com

 

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Hinesburg

Chartered: June 24, 1762 (New Hampshire Grant)
Area: 25,505 Acres / 39.85 Square Miles [ 121* ]
Coordinates (Geographic Center): 73°06'W 44°20'N
Altitude ASL: 241 feet
Population (US Census, 2000): 4,340 [ 33* ]
Population Density (persons per square mile): 108.9 [ 33* ]
Tax Rate: $2.057 ('03)
Equalized Value: $331,608,372 ('03)
*Area, Population and Density rankings above refer to Hinesburg's relative position among Vermont's 255 civic entities (9 cities, 242 towns, 4 gores and grants).

 

Utility Type Website Phone
Green Mountain Power Electric http://www.gmpvt.com 835-4672
VT Electric Co-op Electric http://www.vtcoop.com 635-2231
Vermont Gas Gas http://www.vermontgas.com 863-4511
Adelphia TV/Internet http://www.adelphia.net 658-3050
Verizon Telephone/Wireless http://www.verizon.com (800) 870-9999
All-Cycle Waste Garbage N/A 864-3615
Clean Green Sanitation Garbage N/A 654-7736

 

One of the earliest Wentworth grants in this area of the state, named for the first Town Clerk, Abel Hine. It was nearly twenty years before significant settlement took place; in 1785, the first child born in the town was named for it (Hine Meacham). One of the largest woolen mills in the area made cashmeres, flannel and stocking yarn here in the 1880's.

As the county's population has grown and spread out from Burlington, Hinesburg has experienced a significant growth spurt over the past twenty-odd years (condos, housing developments and associated businesses). Despite this, the town retains its primarily agricultural character.


Information courtesy of: www.virtualvermont.com

 

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Underhill

Chartered: June 8, 1763 (New Hampshire Grant)
Area: 32,828 Acres / 51.29 Square Miles [ 23* ]
Coordinates (Geographic Center): 72°57'W 44°32'N
Altitude ASL: 706 feet
Population (US Census, 2000): 2,980 [ 57* ]
Population Density (persons per square mile): 58.1 [ 74* ]
Tax Rate: $2.057 ('03)
Equalized Value: $202,442,904 ('03)
*Area, Population and Density rankings above refer to Underhill's relative position among Vermont's 255 civic entities (9 cities, 242 towns, 4 gores and grants).

 

Utility Type Website Phone
Green Mountain Power Electric http://www.gmpvt.com 835-4672
VT Electric Co-op Electric http://www.vtcoop.com 635-2231
Vermont Gas Gas http://www.vermontgas.com 863-4511
Adelphia TV/Internet http://www.adelphia.net 658-3050
Verizon Telephone/Wireless http://www.verizon.com (800) 870-9999
All-Cycle Waste Garbage N/A 864-3615
Clean Green Sanitation Garbage N/A 654-7736

 

While Underhill is so situated as to suggest that the name is derived from its physical proximity to Mount Mansfield ("under the hill"), it is actually named for Benjamin Underhill or Underhill Horton or both (relationship unknown). Various members of the Underhill family are listed in several of the Onion River Company grants, but it would seem that these two were somewhat low in the pecking order: the land they received has more hills and mountains per square mile than any of the others.

It is the kind of town that would prompt a Vermonter to say this state would be as large as Texas, if it were flattened out.

It is obvious in a number of the New Hampshire Grants that neither Benning Wentworth nor the grantees knew anything of the terrain with which they were dealing. The town of Mansfield was granted on the same day as Underhill, nobody having a clue that the town was bisected by the state's highest mountain. In 1839 the Legislature annexed the western section of Mansfield to Underhill, forming the present day town (it was impossible to get from one side of Mansfield town to the other). Despite the objections of residents of the eastern portion of Mansfield, who wanted to remain a separate civil entity, the Legislature saw fit to blend them with Stowe.

Like most of the county, Underhill is a bedroom community to Burlington, but near the fringe of this distinction (the number of people wanting the rural atmosphere and willing to commute being inversely proportional to the distance).


Information courtesy of: www.virtualvermont.com

 

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Essex

Chartered: June 7, 1763 (New Hampshire Grant)
Area: 25,214 Acres / 39.4 Square Miles [ 134* ]
Coordinates (Geographic Center): 73°04'W 44°31'N
Altitude ASL: 492 feet
Population (US Census, 2000): 18,626 [ 2* ]
Population Density (persons per square mile): 472.7 [ 10* ]
Tax Rate: $2.057 ('03)
Equalized Value: $ ('03)
*Area, Population and Density rankings above refer to Essex's relative position among Vermont's 255 civic entities (9 cities, 242 towns, 4 gores and grants).

 

Utility Type Website Phone
Green Mountain Power Electric http://www.gmpvt.com 835-4672
VT Electric Co-op Electric http://www.vtcoop.com 635-2231
Vermont Gas Gas http://www.vermontgas.com 863-4511
Adelphia TV/Internet http://www.adelphia.net 658-3050
Verizon Telephone/Wireless http://www.verizon.com (800) 870-9999
All-Cycle Waste Garbage N/A 864-3615
Clean Green Sanitation Garbage N/A 654-7736
Essex Junction Pubic Works Water/Sewer N/A 878-1239
Essex Public Works Water/Sewer N/A 878-1344

 

Essex can be a bit confusing in the same way as the town of Chittenden and Washington: neither is in the county of the same name.

The name could derive from any of a number of sources, back to Essex, England; Benning Wentworth's specific intent is not known. The Earl of Essex at the time was William Anne Holles Capel, Lord of the Bedchamber and Master of the Royal Staghounds, not exactly highly placed in the peerage. Nor was he a friend of the Colonies: he voted against repeal of the Stamp Act in 1766.

Well watered by several streams and not too hilly, the land attracted settlers early.


Information courtesy of: www.virtualvermont.com

 

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So. Burlington

Chartered: November 22, 1864 (Vermont Act of Incorporation)
City Incorporated: February 1, 1971
Area: 19,788 Acres / 30.92 Square Miles [ 196* ]
Coordinates (Geographic Center): 73°10'W 44°28'N
Altitude ASL: 310 feet
Population (US Census, 2000): 15,814 [ 5* ]
Population Density (persons per square mile): 511.4 [ 9* ]
Tax Rate: $2.057 ('03)
Equalized Value: $1,837,451,326 ('03)
*Area, Population and Density rankings above refer to South Burlington's relative position among Vermont's 255 civic entities (9 cities, 242 towns, 4 gores and grants).

 

Utility Type Website Phone
Green Mountain Power Electric http://www.gmpvt.com 835-4672
VT Electric Co-op Electric http://www.vtcoop.com 635-2231
Vermont Gas Gas http://www.vermontgas.com 863-4511
Adelphia TV/Internet http://www.adelphia.net 658-3050
Verizon Telephone/Wireless http://www.verizon.com (800) 870-9999
All-Cycle Waste Garbage N/A 864-3615
Clean Green Sanitation Garbage N/A 654-7736
S. Burlington Water Department Water/Sewer N/A 864-4361

 

In 1864, the Legislature incorporated the City of Burlington from what was then the village of Burlington and about 10,000 acres of the original New Hampshire Grant town of Burlington. Concurrently, the remainder of the original town was designated the Town of South Burlington, which, in turn, became Vermont's newest city by Act of Incorporation in 1971. Despite the name, the city is as much east of Burlington as south, curving around Burlington in a rough crescent from east to south.

Two major state highways enter South Burlington (US 7 from the south and US 2 from the east), historically and still primarily carrying traffic into and out of Burlington. Because of the high traffic volume, both have been highly susceptible to major strip development. As a result, the city has two distinct and widely separated business districts (with the largest mall in the state leaning things towards a third), but nothing that can be identified as a "downtown" city center. What is considered the busiest intersection in the state is the corner of Williston Road (Route 2) and Dorset Street.


Information courtesy of: www.virtualvermont.com

 

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