Chartered: August 18, 1763 (New Hampshire Grant)
Area: 27,948 Acres / 43.67 Square Miles [ 80* ]
Coordinates (Geographic Center): 73°14'W 44°23'N
Altitude ASL: 148 feet
Population (US Census, 2000): 6,944 [ 18* ]
Population Density (persons per square mile): 159.0 [ 25* ]
Tax Rate: $2.057 ('03)
Equalized Value: $841,865,203 ('03)
*Area, Population and Density rankings above refer to Shelburne's relative position among Vermont's 255 civic entities (9 cities, 242 towns, 4 gores and grants).
Located on the shores of Lake Champlain in southwest Chittenden County (just a few minutes south of Burlington), Shelburne is a treasure trove for everyone from history buff to SCUBA diver.
The name was chosen to honor a celebrated nobleman and member of the British Parliament, William Fitzmaurice Petty, Second Earl of Shelburne. The town was to have been a little over 36 square miles in area, but a blunder on the part of the surveyors (probably due to a lack of sobriety) deprived the town of over fourteen square miles to its current size.
Shelburne's economy has been based on farming from the beginning. The clearing of land and the burning of trees brought a short-lived potash boom to the area during early settlement.
In the 19th Century, a gristmill, a sawmill, a carding and fulling mill and a blacksmith shop sprang up along the rushing LaPlatte River at Shelburne Falls. Sheep raising and fruit orchards became popular methods of farming, with some 17,740 fruit-bearing trees by 1880. After the War of 1812, lake commerce surged. The Champlain Transportation Company established a shipyard at Shelburne Harbor and launched the "General Green," the first of ten proud steamships to call Lake Champlain home between 1825 and 1905, the last two of which can still be found in New England. The "Mount Washington" (still in service on New Hampshire's Lake Winnepesaukee) and the "Ticonderoga", the landlocked centerpiece of the Shelburne Museum, having been brought up from the lake on a specially constructed rail bed.
Shelburne today supports a wide variety of businesses, from manufacturers and retailers to Vermont's largest retirement community, including some of the more popular Vermont attractions: the Vermont Teddy Bear Company, Shelburne Farms and the best historical museum in New England, the Shelburne Museum.
Information courtesy of: www.virtualvermont.com