Vermont


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Vermont was initially settled in the early 18th century by both the British and French,and conflicts between the two nations continued until the French defeat in the French and Indian War, after which the land was ceded to England. During the American Revolution, Vermont declared independence separately from the original 13 colonies, although the Continental Congress refused to recognize it. Vermont was finally admitted to the union as the 14th state in 1790, after 14 years as an independentrepublic. The name of the state is derived from”montagne verte,” French forgreen mountain, giving rise to the state’s “Green Mountain State” nickname. Today, Vermont’s mountains are a popular destination for skiers and snowboarders. It is the country’s leading producer of maple syrup and is the home of the popular Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

Date of Statehood: March 4, 1791

Capital: Montpelier

Population: 625,741 (2010)

Size: 9,616 square miles

Nickname(s): Green Mountain State

Motto: Freedom and Unity

Tree: Sugar Maple

Flower: Red Clover

Bird: Hermit Thrush

Interesting Facts

  • On October 5, 1798, congressman Matthew Lyon was indicted under the Sedition Act for criticizing President John Adams in a letter he had written to Spooner’s Vermont Journal. Fined $1,000 and sentenced to four months in jail, Lyon was reelected to Congress while incarcerated.
  • In 1814, Emma Willard began teaching scientific and classical subjects to women out of her home in Middlebury after noticing the large discrepancy in the quality of education between women and men. After her ideas on improving women’s education gained the attention of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams in 1819, she was invited to open a school in New York and later taught at the Troy Female Seminary, which opened in 1821.
  • One of the first ski lifts in the U.S. was developed on a farm in Woodstock in 1934. Designed by Wallace “Bunny” Bertram and powered by an antique Model-T Ford engine, the tow pulled people up a hill while holding onto a moving rope.
  • The first monthly Social Security benefit check was issued to Ludlow, Vermont, resident Ida May Fuller on January 31, 1940. After retiring from her job as a legal secretary, Fuller received her first check in the amount of $22.54—$2.21 less than the total taxes withdrawn from her salary during the three years that she worked under the Social Security program.
  • On May 5, 1978, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield opened their first Ben & Jerry’s Homemade ice cream shop in a refurbished gas station in Burlington. In 2000, the infamous brand was acquired by Unilever for roughly $326 million in cash.
  • Vermont became the first state to legally recognize civil unions between partners of the same sex in April 2000. Nine years later, the state legislature granted full marriage rights to same-sex couples.
  • Montpelier, with fewer than 9,000 people, is the smallest state capital in the United States.

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Vermont

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Vermont, constituent state of the United States of America. One of the six New England states lying in the northeastern corner of the country, it was admitted to the union on March 4, 1791, as the 14th state. It is sparsely populated, and its capital, Montpelier, is one of the least-populous U.S. state capitals. Vermont is bordered to the north by Quebec, Canada, to the east by New Hampshire, to the south by Massachusetts, and to the west by New York. From the Canadian to the Massachusetts border, the Connecticut River separates Vermont from New Hampshire. The river, from the mean low-water line on the western bank, is entirely within New Hampshire’s borders.

In many ways Vermont is a vigorous survivor of an earlier, simpler time in the United States. Millions of people visit the state each year, and many thousands of out-of-state residents maintain second homes in Vermont. These people primarily seek the beauty and tranquility of Vermont’s mountains and narrow valleys and the sense of the country’s past that pervades the entire state. The steeples of white wooden churches rising above mountain-bound small towns with trim village greens, the herds of dairy cattle on sloping mountain pastures, and the red-gold leaves of tree-lined autumnal lanes are aspects of scenic Vermont that, in painting and photography, have become symbols of the rural United States.

Many people left their birthplaces in Vermont to pursue opportunities in the opening West or in urban centres of the Northeast. In turn, many creative personalities have sought the spiritual refuge offered by the state. Vermont has never stood in the mainstream of the country’s history, but its people and land have poured into their country a strength and a sense of continuity that joins the achievements of the nation’s past with the purposes of its present. Area 9,616 square miles (24,906 square km). Population (2010) 625,741 (2019 est.) 623,989.

The land of Vermont does not have great variety, but in place of this it substitutes an intensity and pervasiveness of those features it does possess.


Vermont’s Beginnings

Vermont&rsquos story began in 1791, when it joined the original 13 colonies to become the 14th state. Its name comes from &ldquoLes Monts Verts,&rdquo French for Green Mountains, in homage to the 67 mountains and states that give our landscape its topography and striking views. The Green Mountain State is bordered by Canada, New York, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. It is 157.4 miles in length, 90.3 miles wide at the Canadian border*, and 41.6 miles along the Massachusetts border. The Connecticut River forms the eastern boundary, while the western boundary with New York runs down the middle of Lake Champlain for more than half of its length.

Vermont was the first state whose Constitution banned slavery, and many of its homes were stops on the Underground Railroad, a path slaves used to get to freedom in the North. The African American Heritage Trail explores Vermont&rsquos civil rights roots and Black history. Vermont was also the first state to pass marriage equality laws for same-sex couples through the Legislature. Vermont is the top producer of maple syrup in the country, and is home to about 1,000 dairy farms. Our state forests boast the highest concentration of sugar maples in the U.S., which gives our fall foliage plenty of pop. About 630,000 people call Vermont home and enjoy more than 1,000 hiking trails, more than 50 state parks, 19 downhill ski areas and more than 100 historic covered bridges. Vermont&rsquos historic sites and museums take visitors through the history of life in Vermont, from early settlement to the state&rsquos role in the Revolutionary War to the many notable figures who&rsquove called it home.


Early Vermont Settlers to 1784


Ralph Earl's "Townscape of Bennington," 1798

Members: View a list of sketches in our database by browsing the database. Use the "Volume" menu to view and select a specific sketch.

View high resolution maps for Volume 1.

View high resolution maps for Volume 2.

The focus of much New England research has always been on the pre-1700 families, mostly in southern New England. The logic of it affecting more people’s ancestry makes perfect sense. NEHGS has now embarked on projects to get those researchers who are stuck outside of New England to get through the migration brick wall of western New England.

NEHGS started the Western Massachusetts Families in 1790 project with Helen Schatvet Ullmann several years ago and it has produced great results. She is identifying families moving across the Berkshires using the snapshot of the 1790 census to develop an understanding of the migration through this region. Today we announce a sister project with the same purpose covering those who traveled north of the Massachusetts border on their migration out of southern New England.

Vermont is unique in its migration history. The initial settlers laid down the political and religious fabric of the state. The end of the Revolutionary War in 1783 unlocked a floodgate of settlers to this new, open land which at the time was thought would become one of the most populated areas of the country. By 1808, settlers determined that the land was not that good for farming as they thought and flatter land with rich soil started opening up in New York and Ohio which slowed down the number of immigrants to Vermont. By 1830, the mass exodus west began. As fast as the settlers arrived in the 1780s and 1790s, they seemed to leave even faster. The vast majority of Vermont towns still have not exceeded their peak pre-1850 population.

With this project, we hope to learn who the players were on the political and religious fronts, uncover the migration patterns for this period in the region, and identify all those just looking to better their lives on the new frontier. Those included in this study project are heads of households identified in Donald Alan Smith’s thesis “Legacy of Dissent: Religion and Politics in Revolutionary Vermont 1749 to 1784” (Clark U., Ph.D., 1980), a copy can be found in the NEHGS library.

Family sketches will be based on the heads of households included in Donald Alan Smith’s work and any others that might be identified through this research as a head of household by 1784. Each sketch will be in Register format, fully and concisely documented. Sketches will include the ancestry of the head from secondary sources (if found) all vital records of the head, spouses, spouse’s spouses (if applicable), all children, all children’s spouses citations to all published gravestones (online and printed) identifying the head in his pre-Vermont setting finding any occupations, religious affiliation, political affiliation, military record, education, offices held in Vermont, and proprietorships (if possible) all probate records and a survey of the Vermont State Papers, local histories, and genealogies.

Sketches will be published monthly as stand-alone articles on the NEHGS website with a detailed, searchable index. A table of contents will show the heads of household covered in the online sketches which will grow over time. Being such a massive undertaking, NEHGS members are urged to write the Society with copies of any additional primary material as the possibilities to revise and update sketches is possible. The thesis suggests that this project can include upwards of 2,500 sketches. The hope is to produce a minimum of 50 sketches per year, but likely between 100 and 120 sketches is anticipated.

The plan is to cover the earlier settlers first since their older children will likely be candidates for the later part of the project. We will use the 1771 census of Cumberland County as our first guide and add more from that base. The author is in contact with the Vermont and New York state archivists to help identify collections of records that will cover these early citizens of Vermont.


Contents

Samuel de Champlain claimed the area around what is now Lake Champlain, giving the name Verd Mont (Green Mountain) to the region he found, on a 1647 map. [11] Evidence suggests that this name came into use among English settlers, before it morphed to "Vermont", ca. 1760. [12] [13] In 1777, Thomas Young introduced the name in writing with a broadside "To the Inhabitants of Vermont, a Free and Independent State". [12]

Native American Edit

Between 8500 and 7000 BCE, at the time of the Champlain Sea, Native Americans inhabited and hunted in present-day Vermont. During the Archaic period, from the 8th millennium BCE to 1000 BCE, Native Americans migrated year-round. During the Woodland period, from 1000 BCE to 1600 CE, they established villages and trade networks, and developed ceramic and bow and arrow technology. Their population in 1500 CE was estimated to be around 10,000 people. [14]

During colonial times, where encounters and settlement were initiated by French colonists, the territory was occupied mainly by an Abenaki tribe known as the Sokoki, or Missisquois. The eastern part of the state may have also been occupied by the Androscoggin and Pennacook peoples. [14]

To the west, the Missisquois competed with the Iroquoian Mohawk, based in the Mohawk valley but with a large territory, and the Algonquin Mohican peoples. [14] Many of the tribes later formed the Wabanaki Confederacy during King Philip's War. The warfare by English colonists defeated and scattered most of the surviving Abenaki tribes. [15]

Colonial Edit

The first European to see Vermont is thought to have been French explorer Jacques Cartier in 1535. On July 30, 1609, French explorer Samuel de Champlain claimed this territory as part of New France. In 1666, French settlers erected Fort Sainte Anne on Isle La Motte, [16] the first European settlement in Vermont.

The "violent" 1638 New Hampshire earthquake was centered in the St. Lawrence Valley and reported throughout New England. This was the first seismic event noted in Vermont. [17] In 1690, a group of Dutch-British settlers from Albany established a settlement and trading post at Chimney Point, 8 miles (13 km) west of present-day Addison. [ citation needed ] During Dummer's War, the first permanent English settlement was established in 1724 with the construction of Fort Dummer. It was intended to protect the nearby settlements of Dummerston and Brattleboro. [18]

From 1731 to 1734, the French constructed Fort St. Frédéric, which gave them control of the New France–Vermont frontier region in the Lake Champlain Valley. With the outbreak of the French and Indian War in 1754, the North American front of the Seven Years' War between the French and British, the French began construction in 1755 of Fort Carillon at present-day Ticonderoga, New York. The British failed to take either fort between 1755 and 1758. In 1759 a combined force of 12,000 British regular and provincial troops under Sir Jeffery Amherst captured Carillon, after which the French abandoned Fort St. Frédéric. Amherst constructed Fort Crown Point next to the remains of the Fort St. Frédéric, securing British control over the area. [ citation needed ]

Following France's loss in the French and Indian War, through the 1763 Treaty of Paris, it ceded control of land east of the Mississippi River to the British. The Crown attempted to limit colonial settlement to lands east of the Appalachians, in order to prohibit encroachment on Native American lands. The territory of Vermont was divided nearly in half in a jagged line running from Fort William Henry in Lake George diagonally north-eastward to Lake Memphremagog. [ citation needed ] With the end of the war, new settlers arrived in Vermont. Ultimately, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and New York all claimed this frontier area. [ citation needed ]

On July 20, 1764, King George III established the boundary between New Hampshire and New York along the west bank of the Connecticut River, north of Massachusetts, and south of 45 degrees north latitude. [19] New York refused to recognize the land titles known as the New Hampshire Grants (towns created by land grants sold by New Hampshire Governor Benning Wentworth) and dissatisfied New Hampshire settlers organized in opposition. In 1770 Ethan Allen, his brothers Ira and Levi, and the Allens' cousins Seth Warner and Remember Baker, recruited an informal militia known as the Green Mountain Boys to protect the interests of the original New Hampshire settlers against newcomers from New York. [ citation needed ]

In 1775, after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War, the Green Mountain Boys assisted a force from Connecticut, led by Benedict Arnold, in capturing the British fort at Ticonderoga. Thereafter, the Continental Congress in Philadelphia directed the New York colony's revolutionary congress to fund and equip Allen's militia as a ranger regiment of the Continental Army, which it did. Seth Warner was chosen by the men of the regiment to lead, while Ethan Allen later served as a colonel in Schuyler's Army of Northern New York. [20]

Sovereignty Edit

On January 15, 1777, representatives of the New Hampshire Grants declared the independence of Vermont. [21] For the first six months of its existence, it was called the Republic of New Connecticut. [22]

On June 2, 1777, a second convention of 72 delegates met and adopted the name "Vermont." This was on the advice of a friendly Pennsylvanian, Dr. Thomas Young, friend and mentor of Ethan Allen. He was advising them on how to achieve admission into the newly independent United States of America as the 14th state. [22] On July 4, they completed the drafting of the Constitution of Vermont at the Windsor Tavern, and adopted it on July 8. This was the first written constitution in North America to ban adult slavery, [23] saying male slaves become free at the age of 21 and females at 18. It provided for universal adult male suffrage and required support of public schools. It was in effect from 1777 to 1786. [24]

Revolutionary War Edit

The Battle of Bennington, fought on August 16, 1777, was a seminal event in the history of the state of Vermont and the United States. A combined American force, under General John Stark's command, attacked the Hessian column at Hoosick, New York, just across the border from Bennington. It killed or captured virtually the entire Hessian detachment. General Burgoyne never recovered from this loss and eventually surrendered the remainder of his 6,000-man force at Saratoga, New York, on October 17 that year. [25]

The battles of Bennington and Saratoga together are recognized as the turning point in the Revolutionary War because they were the first major defeat of a British army. The anniversary of the battle is still celebrated in Vermont as a legal holiday.

The Battle of Hubbardton (July 7, 1777) was the only Revolutionary battle within the present boundaries of Vermont. Although the Continental forces were technically defeated, the British forces were damaged to the point that they did not pursue the Americans (retreating from Fort Ticonderoga) any further.

Admission to the Union Edit

Vermont continued to govern itself as a sovereign entity based in the eastern town of Windsor for 14 years. The independent state of Vermont issued its own coinage from 1785 to 1788 [26] and operated a national postal service. Thomas Chittenden was the Governor in 1778–89 and in 1790–91.

Because the state of New York continued to assert a disputed claim that Vermont was a part of New York, Vermont could not be admitted to the Union under Article IV, Section 3 of the Constitution until the legislature of New York consented. On March 6, 1790, the legislature made its consent contingent upon a negotiated agreement on the precise boundary between the two states. When commissioners from New York and Vermont met to decide on the boundary, Vermont's negotiators insisted on also settling the property ownership disputes with New Yorkers, rather than leaving that to be decided later in a federal court. [27] The negotiations were successfully concluded in October 1790 with an agreement that Vermont would pay $30,000 to New York to be distributed among New Yorkers who claimed land in Vermont under New York land patents. [28] In January 1791, a convention in Vermont voted 105–4 [29] to petition Congress to become a state in the federal union. Congress acted on February 18, 1791, to admit Vermont to the Union as the 14th state as of March 4, 1791. [30] Vermont became the first to enter the Union after the original 13 states.

The revised constitution of 1786, which established a greater separation of powers, continued in effect until 1793, two years after Vermont's admission to the Union.

Under the Act "To Secure Freedom to All Persons Within This State," [31] slavery was officially banned by state law on November 25, 1858, less than three years before the American Civil War. [32] [33] [34] Vermonters provided refuge in several sites for escaped slaves, fleeing to Canada, as part of what was called the Underground Railroad. [35]

Civil War Edit

From the mid-1850s on, some Vermonters became activists opposing slavery, which they had previously worked to contain in the South. Abolitionist Thaddeus Stevens was born in Vermont and later represented a district in Pennsylvania in Congress. He developed as a national leader and later promoted Radical Republican goals after the American Civil War. While the Whig Party shriveled, and the Republican Party emerged, Vermont supported Republican candidates. In 1860 it voted for Abraham Lincoln, giving him the largest margin of victory of any state. [36]

During the American Civil War, Vermont sent 33,288 men into United States service. 5,224 Vermonters (more than 15 percent) were killed. [37]

The northernmost land action of the war was the St. Albans Raid—the robbery of three St. Albans banks, perpetrated in October 1864 by 21 Confederate agents. A posse pursued the Confederate raiders into Canada and captured several of them. They had to turn their captives over to Canadian officials. Canada reimbursed the banks, released, and later re-arrested some of the perpetrators. [38] [39]

Postbellum era to present Edit

Demographic changes and rise of eugenics in 20th century Edit

As English speakers came to dominate the population in Vermont, they anglicized the names of many ethnic French residents and often discriminated against them. In the mid-20th century, descendants began to reclaim their French names, especially surnames.

Beginning in the mid-19th century, Vermont industries attracted numerous Irish, Scots-Irish and Italian immigrants, adding to its residents of mostly English and some French-Canadian ancestry. Many of the immigrants migrated to Barre, where the men worked as stonecutters of granite, for which there was a national market. Vermont granite was used in major public buildings in many states.

In this period, many Italian and Scottish women operated boarding houses to support their families. Such facilities also helped absorb new residents and help them learn the new culture European immigrants peaked in number between 1890 and 1900. Typically immigrants boarded with people of their own language and ethnicity, but sometimes they boarded with others. [40]

Gradually the new immigrants were absorbed into the state. Times of tension aroused divisions. In the early 20th century, some people in Vermont became alarmed about what they considered to be a decline in rural areas people left farming to move to cities and others seemed unable to fit within society. In addition, there was a wave of immigration by French Canadians, and those of Protestant Yankee stock feared being overtaken by the new people, who added to the Catholic population of Irish and Italians. Based on the colonial past, some Yankee residents considered the French Canadians to have intermarried too frequently with Native Americans. [41]

In an era influenced by ideas of Social Darwinism, some Vermont leaders promoted eugenics, an idea that the population could be managed and improved by limiting marriage and reproduction by certain members classified as unfit or defective. It passed a marriage law, to limit marriage by people considered unfit. In 1915 the Brandon State School opened, the beginning of a related effort to segregate and control those judged unfit to reproduce. [41]

The state followed efforts to improve children's welfare by establishing other institutions to house the mentally ill or disabled. From 1925 to 1928 the Eugenics Survey of Vermont conducted research and recorded the histories of families it determined were degenerate or dependent. It also attempted to educate the public about why restrictive measures, including voluntary sterilization, were desirable. Review by current historians reveals the results were socially prejudiced, as the surveys tended to target the poor and disenfranchised minorities, including French Canadians, Abenaki, and disabled. [41]

In 1931 Vermont was the 29th state to pass a eugenics law. Vermont like other states, sterilized some patients in institutions and persons it had identified through surveys as degenerate or unfit. It nominally had permission from the patients or their guardians, but abuses have been documented. Two-thirds of the sterilizations were done on women, and poor, unwed mothers were targeted, among others. The surgery was performed at institutions and hospitals in the state supposedly devoted to care of people in need. There is disagreement about how many sterilizations were performed most were completed from 1931 to 1941, but such procedures were recorded as late as 1970. [41]

Natural disasters Edit

In addition to the increased intensity and flooding caused by climate change, [42] the state has suffered several extreme natural disasters in the 20th and 21st centuries related to hurricanes, and extensive rain and flooding.

Large-scale flooding occurred in early November 1927. During this incident, 84 people died, including the state's lieutenant governor. [43]

The 1938 New England hurricane in the fall of that year blew down 15,000,000 acres (61,000 km 2 ) of trees, one-third of the total forest at the time in New England. Three billion board feet were salvaged. Today many of the older trees in Vermont are about 75 years old, dating from after this storm. [44]

A major flood occurred in 1973, causing the deaths of two people and millions of dollars in property damage. [45]

The state suffered severe flooding in late August 2011 caused by Tropical Storm Irene. Heavy rains caused flooding in many towns built along narrow river valleys. The governor described it as one of the worst natural disasters of the 20th and 21st centuries, second only to the flood of 1927. The state was classified as a federal disaster area. [46]

Political changes Edit

Vermont approved women's suffrage decades before it became part of the national constitution. Women were first allowed to vote in the elections of December 18, 1880, when women were granted limited suffrage. They were first allowed to vote in town elections, and later in state legislative races.

In 1964, the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Reynolds v. Sims required "one man, one vote" redistricting in all states. It had found that many state legislatures had not redistricted and were unjustly dominated by rural interests, years after the development of densely populated and industrial urban areas. In addition, it found that many states had an upper house based on geographical jurisdictions, such as counties. This gave disproportionate power to rural and lightly populated counties. The court ruled there was no basis for such a structure. Major changes in political apportionment took place in Vermont and other affected states.

This ruling required districts to be reassessed after every census and to be based on roughly equal population, rather than geography (such as counties). Under redistricting, residents in urban areas were to gain an equitable share of apportionment in both houses in every state. Vermont and some other northern states had long been dominated by rural districts, as were several Southern states in those years, who had not redistricted since the turn of the century. [47] Until that time, apportionment of upper houses was often based on county jurisdictions, which had given more power to rural counties and failed to acknowledge the increased population in urban areas. This arrangement had meant that urban areas did not have proportionate political power and often suffered from underinvestment in needed infrastructure other urban issues were also neglected by rural-dominated legislatures. [47]

In July 2000, Vermont became the first state to introduce civil unions. In 2009, Vermont became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage, unforced by court challenge or ruling. [48]

Since the late 20th century, Abenaki peoples in Vermont lobbied for recognition. In 2011 the state officially recognized their continued presence in the region by recognizing the Elnu Tribe of the Abenaki and the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation in 2012 it recognized the Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi and the Koasek Traditional Band of the Koos Abenaki Nation. In 2016 the state governor proclaimed Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples Day. [49]

On January 22, 2018, Vermont became the first of the United States to legalize cannabis for recreational use by legislative action, and the ninth state in the United States to legalize marijuana for medical purposes. This law was signed by Republican Governor Phil Scott. [50]

Vermont is located in the New England region of the northeastern United States and comprises 9,614 square miles (24,900 km 2 ), making it the 45th-largest state. It is the only state that does not have any buildings taller than 124 feet (38 m). [51] Land comprises 9,250 square miles (24,000 km 2 ) and water comprises 365 square miles (950 km 2 ), making it the 43rd-largest in land area and the 47th in water area. In total area, it is larger than El Salvador and smaller than Haiti. It is the only landlocked state in New England, and it is the easternmost and the smallest in area of all landlocked states.

The Green Mountains in Vermont form a north–south spine running most of the length of the state, slightly west of its center. In the southwest portion of the state are located the Taconic Mountains. [52] In the northwest, near Lake Champlain, is the fertile Champlain Valley. In the south of the valley is Lake Bomoseen.

The west bank of the Connecticut River marks the state's eastern border with New Hampshire, though much of the river flows within New Hampshire's territory. [53] 41% of Vermont's land area is part of the Connecticut River's watershed. [54]

Lake Champlain, the sixth-largest body of fresh water in the United States, separates Vermont from New York in the northwest portion of the state. From north to south, Vermont is 159 miles (256 km) long. Its greatest width, from east to west, is 89 miles (143 km) at the Canada–U.S. border the narrowest width is 37 miles (60 km) near the Massachusetts border. The width averages 60.5 miles (97.4 km). The state's geographic center is approximately three miles (5 km) east of Roxbury, in Washington County. There are fifteen U.S. federal border crossings between Vermont and Canada.

Several mountains have timberlines with delicate year-round alpine ecosystems, including Mount Mansfield, the highest mountain in the state Killington Peak, the second-highest Camel's Hump, the state's third-highest and Mount Abraham, the fifth-highest peak. [55] Areas in Vermont administered by the National Park Service include the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park (in Woodstock) and the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. [56]

Cities Edit

Vermont has nine incorporated cities.

The most populous city in Vermont is Burlington. Its metropolitan area is also the most populous in the state, with an estimate of 218,395 as of 2017.

Largest towns Edit

Although these towns are large enough to be considered cities, they are not incorporated as such.

Climate Edit

The annual mean temperature for the state is 43 °F (6 °C). [57] Vermont has a humid continental climate, with muddy springs, in general a mild early summer, hot Augusts it has colorful autumns: Vermont's hills reveal red, orange, and (on sugar maples) gold foliage as cold weather approaches. [58] Winters are colder at higher elevations. [59] It has a Köppen climate classification of Dfb, a warm humid continental climate. [60]

The rural northeastern section known as the "Northeast Kingdom" often averages 10 °F (5.6 °C) colder than the southern areas of the state during winter. The annual snowfall averages between 60 and 100 inches (1,500 and 2,500 mm) depending on elevation. Vermont is the seventh coldest state in the country. [61]

The highest recorded temperature was 105 °F (41 °C), at Vernon, on July 4, 1911. The lowest recorded temperature was −50 °F (−46 °C), at Bloomfield, on December 30, 1933 this is the lowest temperature recorded in New England alongside Big Black River, which recorded a verified −50 °F (−46 °C) in 2009. [62] [63] The agricultural growing season ranges from 120 to 180 days. [64] The United States Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones for the state range between zone 3b, no colder than −35 °F (−37 °C), in the Northeast Kingdom and northern part of the state and zone 5b, no colder than −15 °F (−26 °C), in the southern part of the state. [65] The state receives between 2,200 and 2,400 hours of sunshine annually. New England as a whole receives a range of less than 2,000 hours of sunshine in part of New Hampshire to as much as 2,600 hours of sunshine per year in Connecticut and Rhode Island. [66]

Climate change Edit

Climate change in Vermont encompasses the effects of climate change, attributed to man-made increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide, in the U.S. state of Vermont.

The state is already seeing effects of climate change that affect its ecosystems, economy and public health. According to the Vermont state government, rainfall has significantly increased in the last 50 years, storms and flooding have increased, and winters have become warmer and shorter. [67] These changes have led to significant impacts on both the winter tourism industry, [68] and a decline in critical agricultural and woodland industries like maple sugaring. [69]

The state openly acknowledges and is developing programs that respond to global warming. [70] Vermont was one of the first states in the United States to adopt greenhouse gas emissions goals in 2006.

Geology Edit

There are five distinct physiographic regions of Vermont. [72] Categorized by geological and physical attributes, they are the Northeastern Highlands, the Green Mountains, the Taconic Mountains, the Champlain Lowlands, and the Vermont Piedmont. [73]

About 500 million years ago, Vermont was part of Laurentia and located in the tropics. [74] The central and southern Green Mountain range include the oldest rocks in Vermont, formed about one billion years ago during the first mountain building period (or orogeny). Subsequently, about 400 million years ago, the second mountain building period created Green Mountain peaks that were 15,000–20,000 feet (4,600–6,100 m) tall, three to four times their current height and comparable to the Himalayas. The geological pressures that created those peaks remain evident as the Champlain Thrust, running north–south to the west of the mountains (now the eastern shore of Lake Champlain). It is an example of geological fault thrusting where bedrock is pushed over the newer rock formation.

As a result of tectonic formation, Vermont east of the Green Mountains tends to be formed from rocks produced in the Silurian and Devonian periods, and western Vermont mainly from the older Pre-Cambrian and Cambrian material. [75] Several large deposits within the state contain granite. [76] The remains of the Chazy Formation can be observed in Isle La Motte. It was one of the first tropical reefs. It is the site of the limestone Fisk Quarry, which contains a collection of ancient marine fossils, such as stromatoporoids, that date to 200 million years ago. At one point, Vermont is believed to have been connected to Africa (Pangaea) the fossils found and the rock formations found on the coasts in both Africa and America are evidence affirming the Pangaea theory. [77] [78] [79]

In the past four centuries, Vermont has experienced a few earthquakes, rarely centered under the state. The highest ranked, in 1952, had a Richter magnitude scale 6.0 and was based in Canada. [17]

Fauna Edit

The state contains 41 species of reptiles and amphibians, 89 species of fish, of which 12 are non native [80] 193 species of breeding birds, 58 species of mammals, more than 15,000 insect species, and 2,000 higher plant species, plus fungi, algae, and 75 different types of natural communities. [81] Vermont contains one species of venomous snake, the timber rattlesnake, which is confined to a few acres in western Rutland County. [82]

Wildlife has suffered because of human development of the state. By the mid-19th century, wild turkeys were exterminated in the state through overhunting and destruction of habitat. Sixteen were re-introduced in 1969, and had grown to a flock estimated to number 45,000 in 2009. [83] In 2013, hunters killed 6,968 of these. [84] Since 1970, reduction of farmland has resulted in reduced environment for, and resulted in a decline in numbers of various shrubland birds, including the American woodcock, brown thrasher, eastern towhee, willow flycatcher, golden-winged warbler, blue-winged warbler, field sparrow, and Baltimore oriole. [85]

The use of DDT for insect control resulted in ospreys laying eggs that were too thin to support the development of young. This species disappeared from the state. It began to reappear in 1998, when ospreys were observed again locally. As of 2010, they were no longer endangered in the state. [86]

From 2008 to 2010, White-nose syndrome killed an estimated two-thirds of all cave-wintering bats in the state. [87]

The New England cottontail disappeared from the state in the early 1970s, out-competed by the eastern cottontail rabbit, imported in the 1800s for hunting. It is better able to detect and avoid predators. [88]

Out of a total of 33 species of bumblebee, by 2013 the number declined to 19 or 20 species in the state. Bombus terricola (the yellow-banded bumblebee), although once common in Vermont, has not been seen in most of its range since 1999 and is now absent from the state. [89] For honey bees, colony collapse disorder has affected bee population in the state, as elsewhere. [90]

Invasive species included the Asian spotted-wing drosophila, which started damaging berry crops in 2012. Vermont was the initial point of invasion in New England. [91]

Since 2010, the Vermont Department of Health has worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct blood serum surveys of the state's deer and moose populations. Tests for eastern equine encephalitis virus antibodies were positive in moose or deer in each of Vermont's counties. In 2012, 12% of deer and 2.4% of moose tested positive. [92]

Flora Edit

Vermont is in the temperate broadleaf and mixed forests biome. Much of the state, in particular the Green Mountains, is covered by the conifers and northern hardwoods of the New England-Acadian forests. The western border with New York and the area around Lake Champlain lies within the Eastern Great Lakes lowland forests. The southwest corner of the state and parts of the Connecticut River are covered by northeastern coastal forests of mixed oak. [93]

Invasive wild honeysuckle has been deemed a threat to the state's forests, native species of plants, and wildlife. [94] Many of Vermont's rivers, including the Winooski River, have been subjected to man-made barriers to prevent flooding. [ citation needed ]

Climate change appears to be affecting the maple sugar industry. Sugar maples have been subject to stress by acid rain, asian longhorn beetles, and pear thrips. In 2011 the deer herd had grown too large for habitat, and many resorted to eating bark to survive the winter, destroying trees in the process. In addition, the sugar maples need a certain period of cold to produce sap for maple syrup. The time to tap these trees has shrunk to one week in some years. The tree may be replaced by the more aggressive Norway maples, in effect forcing the sugar maples to "migrate" north to Canada. [95]

Historical population
Census Pop.
179085,425
1800154,465 80.8%
1810217,895 41.1%
1820235,981 8.3%
1830280,652 18.9%
1840291,948 4.0%
1850314,120 7.6%
1860315,098 0.3%
1870330,551 4.9%
1880332,286 0.5%
1890332,422 0.0%
1900343,641 3.4%
1910355,956 3.6%
1920352,428 −1.0%
1930359,611 2.0%
1940359,231 −0.1%
1950377,747 5.2%
1960389,881 3.2%
1970444,330 14.0%
1980511,456 15.1%
1990562,758 10.0%
2000608,827 8.2%
2010625,741 2.8%
2020643,077 2.8%
Source: 1910–2020 [96]

Population Edit

According to the United States Census Bureau, the state of Vermont had a population of 643,503 in the 2020 U.S. census. [5] At the of July 1, 2019 Population Estimates Program, Vermont had an estimated population of 623,989. [97] This included a natural increase of 3,178 (31,716 births minus 28,538 deaths) and a decrease due to net migration of 2,432 people out of the state. [98] In 2006 it had the second lowest birthrate in the nation, 42/1000 women. [99] The center of population of Vermont is located in Washington County, in the town of Warren. [100]

As of 2014, 51.3% of Vermont's population was born in the state (compared with 58.7% for the United States). [101] The changing demographics between those with multi-generational ties to the state and those who are newcomers, bringing different values with them, has resulted in a degree of tension between the two perspectives. This tension is expressed in the terms, "Woodchuck", being applied to those established in the state, and "Flatlander", applied to the newcomers. [102] Vermont is the least populous New England state. As of 2012, Vermont was one of only two states in the U.S. with fewer people than the District of Columbia (Wyoming was the other). [103]

From 2010 to 2013, 16 out of Vermont's 251 towns experienced an increase in population. All towns in Chittenden increased with the exception of Burlington. More than 180 towns experienced a decrease, which hadn't happened since the mid-19th century. [104]

Birth data Edit

Note: Births in table do not add up, because Hispanics are counted both by their ethnicity and by their race, giving a higher overall number.

  • Since 2016, data for births of White Hispanic origin are not collected, but included in one Hispanic group persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race.

Of the population, 94.3% of the state identified as white not of Hispanic or Latino origin in a 2013 U.S. census estimate. [112] As of the 2010 census, Vermont was the second-whitest state in the U.S. after Maine. [113] It has the smallest number of Hispanics of any state in the country but not the lowest percentage of Hispanics, which is found in West Virginia. [114]

In 2009, 12.6% of people over 15 were divorced. This was the fifth highest percentage in the nation. [115] As of 2008, the median age of Vermonters was 40.6 and that of the work force was 43.7, compared with the national average of 41.1 years. [116]

Vermont leads U.S. states with the highest rates of LGBT identification, at 5.3%. [117] Its LGBT population density is second in the U.S. only to the District of Columbia. [117]

Following national trends for opioid use, people seeking treatment for opioid addiction in Vermont increased from 650 in 2011 to 7,500 in 2016. [118]

Dialect Edit

Linguists have identified speech patterns found among Vermonters as belonging to Western New England English, a dialect of New England English, which features full pronunciation of all r sounds, pronouncing horse and hoarse the same, and pronouncing vowels in father and bother the same, none of which are features traditionally shared in neighboring Eastern New England English. [119] Some rural speakers realize the t as a glottal stop (mitten sounds like "mi'in" and Vermont like "Vermon' " [a] ). [120] A dwindling segment of the Vermont population, generally both rural and male, pronounces certain vowels in a distinctive manner (e.g. cows with a raised vowel as [kʰɛʊz] and ride with a backed, somewhat rounded vowel as [ɹɒɪd] ). [121]

Eastern New England English—also found in New Hampshire, Maine and eastern Massachusetts—was common in eastern Vermont in the mid-twentieth century and before, but has become rare. [122] This accent drops the r sound in words ending in r (farmer sounds like "farm-uh") and adds an r sound to some words ending in a vowel (idea sounds like "idee-er") was common. [123] [122] Those characteristics in eastern Vermont appear to have been inherited from West Country [124] and Scots-Irish ancestors. [125]

Religion Edit

According to the Pew Research Center in 2014, 37% reported no religion, the highest rate of irreligion of all U.S. states. [127] The Pew Research Center also determined the largest religion was Christianity [128] Catholics made 22% of the population and Protestants were 30%. In contrast with Southern U.S. trends, the majority of Protestants are Mainline Protestant dominated by Methodism. The United Methodist Church was the largest Mainline Protestant denomination in Vermont, followed by the American Baptist Churches USA and United Church of Christ. Evangelical Protestants were dominated by independent Baptist churches. Major non-Christian religions were Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and other faiths. The largest non-Christian religious group outside of irreligion were Unitarians. An estimated 3.1% of the irreligious were atheist. [128]

In 2016, Vermont had a total employment of 262,705, and the total employer establishments were 21,174. [129] In 2019, VermontBiz reported a WalletHub ranking of Vermont 43rd as place to start a business, citing Vermont as 49th in average growth of small businesses and 50th in the availability of human capital. [130] CNBC ranked Vermont 32nd as a place to do business in 2018, citing access to capital as the largest impediment. [131] While U.S. News ranked Vermont 37th for "business environment", it ranked it 18th for employment in 2019. [132] Forbes magazine as the 42nd best state in which to do business in 2015, [133] 32nd in 2007, and 30th in 2006. [134]

As of 2017, Vermont's gross regional domestic product (GDP) was $19.3 billion , making it the second smallest among the 50 states. Its per capita GDP was $51,600, ranking it 34th among the states. [135]

  • Government $3 billion (13.4%)
  • Real estate, rental, and leasing $2.6 billion (11.6%)
  • Durable goods manufacturing $2.2 billion (9.6%)
  • Health care and social assistance $2.1 billion (9.4%) trade $1.9 billion (8.4%) and insurance $1.3 billion (5.9%)
  • Construction $1.2 billion (5.5%)
  • Professional and technical services $1.2 billion (5.5%)
  • Wholesale trade $1.1 billion (5.1%)
  • Accommodations and food services $1 billion (4.5%)
  • Information $958 million (4.2%)
  • Non-durable goods manufacturing $711 million (3.1%)
  • Other services $563 million (2.4%) $553 million (2.4%)
  • Educational services $478 million (2.1%)
  • Transportation and warehousing $484 million (2.1%)
  • Administrative and waste services $436 million (1.9%)
  • Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting $375 million (1.6%)
  • Arts, entertainment, and recreation $194 million (.8%) $100 million (.4%)
  • Management of companies $35 million (.2%)

Canada was Vermont's largest foreign trade partner in 2007. The state's second-largest foreign trade partner was Taiwan. [138] The state had $4 billion worth of commerce with Quebec. [139] One measure of economic activity in Vermont is retail sales. The state had $5.2 billion in 2007. [140] In 2008, 8,631 new businesses were registered in Vermont, a decline of 500 from 2007. [141]

Personal income Edit

In 2019, the state had a median household income of $61,973. Approximately 10.2% of the population lived at or below the poverty line. [142] The median household income from 2002 to 2004 was $45,692. This was 15th nationally. [143] The median wage in the state in 2008 was $15.31 hourly or $31,845 annually. [144] In 2007 about 80% of the 68,000 Vermonters who qualify for food stamps received them. [145] 40% of seniors 75 years or older live on annual incomes of $21,660 or less. [146] In 2011, 15.2% of Vermonters received food stamps. This compares to 14.8% nationally. [147]

In 2011, 91,000 seniors received an annual average of $14,000 from Social Security. This was 59% of the average senior's income. This contributed $1.7 billion to the state's economy. [148]

Agriculture Edit

Agriculture contributed 2.2% of the state's domestic product in 2000. [149] In 2000 about 3% of the state's working population engaged in agriculture. [150] As of 2014, the Pew Research Center estimated that farms in the state employed fewer than 5,000 illegal immigrants. [151] In 2017, Vermont Governor Phil Scott announce that the state was "exploring a legal challenge" to the executive order signed by President Donald Trump for Vermont law enforcement authorities to cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and "perform the functions of immigration officers in relation to the investigation, apprehension, or detention of aliens". [152]

Dairy farming Edit

Dairy farming is the primary source of agricultural income. In the second half of the 20th century, developers had plans to build condos and houses on what was relatively inexpensive, open land. Vermont's government responded with a series of laws controlling development and with some pioneering initiatives to prevent the loss of Vermont's dairy industry. Still, the number of Vermont dairy farms has declined more than 85% from the 11,206 dairy farms operating in 1947. In 2003 there were fewer than 1,500 dairy farms in the state in 2006 there were 1,138 in 2019 there were 658. [153] The number of dairy farms has been diminishing by 10% annually. [154] 80% of open land is controlled by dairy farms. [153]

The number of cattle in Vermont had declined by 40% however, milk production has doubled in the same period due to tripling the production per cow. [155] While milk production rose, Vermont's market share declined. Within a group of states supplying the Boston and New York City markets (called "Federal order Class I"), [156] Vermont was third in market share, with 10.6% New York has 44.9% and Pennsylvania has 32.9%. [157] In 2007 dairy farmers received a record $23.60 for 100 pounds (45 kg) (11.63 gallons at $2.03/gallon) of milk. This dropped in 2008 to $17 ($1.46/gallon). [158] The average dairy farm produced 1.3 million pounds of milk annually in 2008. [159]

The dairy barn remains an iconic image of Vermont, but the 87% decrease in active dairy farms between 1947 and 2003 [160] means that preservation of the dairy barns has increasingly become dependent upon a commitment to maintaining a legacy rather than basic need in the agricultural economy. The Vermont Barn Census, organized by a collaboration of educational and nonprofit state and local historic preservation programs, has developed educational and administrative systems for recording the number, condition, and features of barns throughout Vermont. [161]

In 2009, there were 543 organic farms. Twenty percent of the dairy farms were organic and 23% (128) vegetable farms were organic. Organic farming increased in 2006–07, but leveled off in 2008–09. [162]

A significant amount of milk is shipped into the Boston market. Therefore the Commonwealth of Massachusetts certifies that Vermont farms meet Massachusetts sanitary standards. Without this certification, a farmer may not sell milk for distribution into the bulk market. [163] In 2019, two-thirds of all milk in New England was produced by Vermont dairies. [153]

Forestry Edit

Forest products have always been a staple to the economy, comprising 1% of the total gross state output and 9% of total manufacturing as of 2013. [164] In 2007, Windham County contained the largest concentration of kilns for drying lumber east of the Mississippi River. The decline of farms has resulted in a regrowth of Vermont's forests due to ecological succession. Today, most of Vermont's forests are secondary. The state and non-profit organizations are actively encouraging regrowth and careful forest management. Over 78% of the land area of the state is forested compared to only 37% in the 1880s, when sheep farming was at its peak and large amounts of acreage were cleared for grazing. [165] Over 85% of that area is non-industrial, private forestland owned by individuals or families. In 2013, 73,054 million cubic feet (2,068.7 million cubic meters) of wood was harvested in Vermont. [166] A large amount of Vermont forest products are exports with 21,504 million feet (6.554 × 10 9 meters) being shipped overseas plus an additional 16,384 million cubic feet (463.9 million cubic meters) to Canada. [166] Most of it was processed within the state. In this century the manufacture of wood products has fallen by almost half. The annual net growth has been estimated at 172,810 million cubic feet (4,893 million cubic meters). [166] The USDA estimates that 8,584 billion cubic feet (243.1 billion cubic meters) remain in the state. [166] Forest products also add to carbon sequestration since lumber and timber used in houses and furniture hold carbon for long periods of time while the trees that were removed are replaced overtime with new growing stock. [167]

In 2017, the price of wood products had either plummeted or remained the same when compared to previous decades, which meant there was cause for concern with jobs in the industry. For example, in 1994, the price of a thousand board feet was $300, the same as it was in 2017. The price of wood chips has halved in the same time frame. In 1980, the price for a cord of wood was $50 in 2017, $25. For lack of demand, Vermont's forests are growing twice as fast as they are being cut. [168]

Other Edit

An important and growing part of Vermont's economy is the manufacture and sale of artisan foods, fancy foods, and novelty items trading in part upon the Vermont "brand," which the state manages and defends. Examples of these specialty exports include Cabot Cheese, the Vermont Teddy Bear Company, Fine Paints of Europe, Vermont Butter and Cheese Company, several microbreweries, ginseng growers, Burton Snowboards, King Arthur Flour, and Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream.

As of 2019, Vermont was the leading producer of maple syrup in the United States. [169] There were about 2,000 maple products producers in 2010. [170] Production rose to 920,000 US gallons (3,500,000 l 770,000 imp gal) in 2009. [171] The state's share of the nation's production rose to 42% in 2013. It had the second lowest price at $33.40/gallon. [172]

The wine industry in Vermont started in 1985. As of 2007, there were 14 wineries. [173]

Manufacturing Edit

As of 2015, GlobalFoundries was the largest private employer in the state and provides jobs to 3,000 employees at its plant in the village of Essex Junction within Chittenden County. [174]

A 2010 University of Connecticut study reported that Vermont, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire tied as the most costly states in the U.S. for manufacturers. [175]

Energy Edit

Vermont has no fossil-fuel reserves, however its forest products industry provides fuel for electricity generation and home heating. Electricity consumption per capita ranks it among the lowest 20% of states, and total electricity consumption was the lowest in the United States. Vermont consumed three times more electricity than it generated in-state in 2019, and imported its largest share of electricity from Canada. Vermont's 99.9% share of in-state electricity generation from renewable sources was the highest among all 50 states. [176]

Health Edit

An increasingly aging population is expected to improve the position of aging services and health care in the state economy. The University of Vermont Medical Center, with approximately 6,400 employees, is the largest employer in the state. [177]

In 2010, all of Vermont's hospitals billed patients $3.76 billion, and collected $2 billion. [178] 92,000 people are enrolled in Medicare. In 2011, Medicare spent $740 million on health care in the state. [148]

Housing Edit

In 2007, Vermont was the 17th highest state in the nation for mortgage affordability. However, in 41 other states, inhabitants contributed within plus or minus 4% of Vermont's 18.4% of household income to a mortgage. [179]

Because housing prices did not rise much during the early 2000s, the collapse in real estate values was not that precipitous either. While foreclosure rose significantly in 2007, the state stood 50th—the most favorable—in ratio of foreclosure filings to households. [180] While housing sales dropped annually from 2004 to 2008, prices continued to rise. [181]

In 2007, Vermont was best in the country for construction of new energy efficient homes as evaluated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency under the Energy Star program. [182] However, about 60% of Vermont homes were heated with oil in 2008. [183] In August 2008, the cost in Vermont of various heating sources per 1 million BTU ranged from $14.39 for cord wood to $43.50 for kerosene.

While the number of houses sold in the state has dropped from 8,318 in 2004 to 8,120 in 2005, 6,919 in 2006, and 5,820 in 2007, the average price has continued to rise to $202,500 in 2008 ($200,000 in 2007). [184]

In 2009, the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment was $920 per month. Rental vacancy was 5.4%, the lowest in the nation. 2,800 people were counted as homeless in January 2010, 22% more than in 2008. [185]

In 2011, Vermont was fifth among the states with the greatest backlog of foreclosures needing court processing, taking an estimated 18 years. The national average was eight years. [186]

Labor Edit

In 2009, the state attained a high of 361,290 workers. [187]

As of 2006, there were 305,000 workers in Vermont. Eleven percent of these are unionized. [188] [189] Out of a workforce of 299,200 workers, 52,000 were government jobs, federal, state, and local. [190]

A modern high unemployment rate of 9% was reached in June 1976. A modern low of 2.4% was measured in February 2000. [191] As of October 2019, the unemployment rate was 2.2%. [192]

Employment grew 7.5% from 2000 to 2006. From 1980 to 2000, employment grew by 3.4% nationally it was up 4.6%. Real wages were $33,385 in 2006 constant dollars and remained there in 2010 the nation, $36,871. [193]

Insurance Edit

Captive insurance plays an increasingly large role in Vermont's economy. With this form of alternative insurance, large corporations or industry associations form standalone insurance companies to insure their own risks, thereby substantially reducing their insurance premiums and gaining a significant measure of control over types of risks to be covered. There are also significant tax advantages to be gained from the formation and operation of captive insurance companies. According to the Insurance Information Institute, Vermont in 2009 was the world's third-largest domicile for captive insurance companies, following Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. [194] In 2009, there were 560 such companies. [195] In 2010, the state had 900 such companies. [196]

Tourism Edit

Summer camps such as Camp Abenaki, Camp Billings, Camp Dudley, and Camp Hochelaga contribute to Vermont's tourist economy.

In 2005, visitors made an estimated 13.4 million trips to the state, spending $1.57 billion . [197] In 2012, fall accounted for $460 million of income, about one-quarter of all tourism. [198]

In 2011, the state government earned $274 million in taxes and fees from tourism. 89% of the money came from out-of-state visitors. Tourism supported over 26,000 jobs, 7.2% of total employment. [199]

According to the 2000 Census, almost 15% of all housing units in Vermont were vacant and classified "for seasonal, recreational, or occasional use". [200] [ clarification needed ] This was the second highest percentage nationwide, after Maine. In some Vermont cities, vacation homes owned by wealthy residents of New England and New York constitute the bulk of all housing stock. According to one estimate, as of 2009, 84% of all houses in Ludlow were owned by out-of-state residents. [201] Other notable vacation-home resorts include Manchester and Stowe.

Autumn Edit

Hunting is controlled for black bear, wild turkeys, deer, and moose. [202] There are 5,500 bears in the state. The goal is to keep the numbers between 4,500 and 6,000. [203] In 2010, there were about 141,000 deer in the state, which is in range of government goals. However, these are distributed unevenly and when in excess of 10–15 per square mile (4–6/km 2 ), negatively impact timber growth. [204]

In 2012, hunting of migratory birds was limited to October 13 to December 16. Waterfowl hunting is also controlled by federal law. [205]

Winter Edit

Some of the largest ski areas in New England are located in Vermont. Skiers and snowboarders visit Burke Mountain Ski Area, Bolton Valley, Smugglers' Notch, Killington Ski Resort, Mad River Glen, Stowe Mountain Resort, Cochrans Ski Area, Sugarbush, Stratton, Jay Peak, Okemo, Suicide Six, Mount Snow, Bromley, and Magic Mountain Ski Area. Summer visitors tour resort towns like Stowe, Manchester, Quechee, Wilmington and Woodstock. The effects of global warming have been predicted to shorten the length of the ski season across Vermont, which would continue the contraction and consolidation of the ski industry in Vermont and threaten individual ski businesses and communities that rely on ski tourism. [206]

In winter, Nordic and backcountry skiers visit to travel the length of the state on the Catamount Trail. Several horse shows are annual events. Vermont's state parks, historic sites, museums, golf courses, and new boutique hotels with spas were designed to attract tourists.

In 2000–01, there were 4,579,719 skier and snowboarder visits to the state. There were 4,125,082 visits in 2009–2010, a rise from recent years. [207]

In 2008, there were 35,000 members of 138 snowmobiling clubs in Vermont. The combined association of clubs maintains 6,000 miles (9,700 km) of trail often over private lands. The industry is said to generate "hundreds of millions of dollars worth of business." [208]

Quarrying Edit

The towns of Rutland and Barre are the traditional centers of marble and granite quarrying and carving in the U.S. For many years Vermont was also the headquarters of the smallest union in the U.S., the Stonecutters Association, of about 500 members. The first marble quarry in America was on Mount Aeolus overlooking East Dorset. [209] The granite industry attracted numerous skilled stonecutters in the late 19th century from Italy, Scotland, and Ireland. Barre is the location of the Rock of Ages quarry, the largest dimension stone granite quarry in the United States. Vermont is the largest producer of slate in the country. The highest quarrying revenues result from the production of dimension stone. [ citation needed ] The Rock of Ages quarry in Barre is one of the leading exporters of granite in the country. The work of the sculptors of this corporation can be seen 3 miles (4.8 km) down the road at the Hope Cemetery, where there are gravestones and mausoleums. [ citation needed ]

Non-profits and volunteerism Edit

There were 2,682 non-profit organizations in Vermont in 2008, with $2.8 billion in revenue. [210] The state ranked ninth in the country for volunteerism for the period 2005–08. 35.6% of the population volunteered during this period. The national average was 26.4%. [211]

Vermont was named the nation's smartest state in 2005 and 2006. [212] In 2006, there was a gap between state testing standards and national, which is biased in favor of the state standards by 30%, on average. This puts Vermont 11th-best in the nation. Most states have a higher bias. [213] However, when allowance for race is considered, a 2007 U.S. Government list of test scores shows Vermont white fourth graders performed 25th in the nation for reading (229) and 26th for math (247). [214] White eighth graders scored 18th for math (292) and 12th for reading (273). The first three scores were not considered statistically different from average. White eighth graders scored significantly above average in reading. Statistics for black students were not reliable because of their small representation in the testing.

In 2017, spending $1.6 billion on education for 76,000 public school children, represents more than $21,000 per student. [215]

Education Week ranked the state second [216] in high school graduation rates for 2007. [217]

In 2011, 91% of the population had graduated from high school compared with 85% nationally. Almost 34% have at least an undergraduate degree compared with 28% nationally. [218]

In 2013, the ratio of pupils to teachers was the lowest in the country. [219]

Higher education Edit

Experimentation at the University of Vermont by George Perkins Marsh, and later the influence of Vermont-born philosopher and educator John Dewey brought about the concepts of electives and learning by doing.

In 2016, the University of Vermont charged the second highest tuition in the nation for four years, $61,000 for in-state students, to $147,000 for out-of-state students. This compares with an average of 34,800 nationally for in-state students. [220]

Vermont's main mode of travel is by automobile. 5.7% of Vermont households did not own a car in 2008. [221] In 2012, there were 605,000 motor vehicles registered, nearly one car for every person in the state. This is similar to average car ownership nationwide. [222] In 2012, about half the carbon emissions in the state resulted from vehicles. [223]

In 2007, Vermont was ranked the third safest state for highway fatalities. [224] One third of these fatal crashes involved a drunken driver. [225] On average, 20–25 people die each year from drunk driving incidents, and 70–80 people are in fatal car crashes in the state. [226] In northern Vermont particularly, moose are not uncommon, including in urban areas. [227] They constitute a traffic threat since they are unaware of vehicles. There are several deaths each year from automobiles striking moose.

In 2009, 93% of Vermont motorists were insured, tying the state with Pennsylvania for the highest percentage. [228] In 2008, Vermont was the fifth best state for fewest uninsured motorists—6%. [229]

In 2010, Vermont owned 2,840 miles (4,570 km) of highway. This was the third smallest quantity among the 50 states. 2.5% of the highways were listed as "congested," the 5th lowest in the country. The highway fatality rate was one per 100,000,000 miles (160,000,000 km), tenth lowest in the nation. The highways cost $28,669 per mile ($17,814/km) to maintain, the 17th highest in the states. 34.4% of its bridges were rated deficient or obsolete, the 8th worst in the nation. [230]

Individual communities and counties have public transit, but their breadth of coverage is frequently limited. Greyhound Lines services a number of small towns. Two Amtrak trains serve Vermont, the Vermonter [231] and the Ethan Allen Express. [232] In early 2011, Amtrak evaluated the track used by the Ethan Allen Express between Rutland and Whitehall as the worst in the nation, [233] but subsequent improvements to the track later in 2011 vastly improved its performance going forward. [234]

Trucks weighing less than 80,000 pounds (36,000 kg) can use Vermont's interstate highways. The limit for state roads is 99,000 pounds (45,000 kg). This means that vehicles too heavy for the interstates can legally use only secondary roads. [235] [236]

In 1968, Vermont outlawed the use of billboards for advertisement along its roads. It is one of four states in the U.S. to have done this, along with Hawaii, Maine, and Alaska. [237] [238]

Major routes Edit

The state has 2,843 miles (4,575 km) of highways under its control. [239] Three Interstate highways and five U.S. highways enter Vermont, in addition to its own state highway network.

North–south routes Edit

    Interstate 89 runs a northwest–southeast path through Vermont, beginning in White River Junction and heading northwest to serve the cities of Montpelier, Burlington, and St. Albans en route to the Canada–U.S. border. I-89 intersects I-91 in White River Junction and has a short spur route, Interstate 189, just outside of Burlington. Interstate 91 runs a north–south path from the Massachusetts state line to the Canada–U.S. border, connecting the towns of Brattleboro, White River Junction, St. Johnsbury, and the city of Newport. I-91 intersects I-89 in White River Junction, and I-93 in St. Johnsbury. Interstate 93 runs a short, 11-mile (18 km) distance from the New Hampshire state line to its northern terminus in St. Johnsbury, where it intersects I-91. I-93 connects the Northeast Kingdom region of Vermont with the White Mountains region of New Hampshire, and points south. U.S. Route 5 runs a north–south path in eastern Vermont from the Massachusetts state line to the Canada-U.S. border. U.S. Route 5 is a surface road that runs parallel to I-91 for its entire length in the state, and serves nearly all the same towns. The two routes also parallel the New Hampshire state line between Brattleboro and St. Johnsbury. U.S. Route 7 runs a north–south path in western Vermont from the Massachusetts state line to the Canada-U.S. border. U.S. Route 7 connects the cities and towns of Bennington, Rutland, Middlebury, Burlington, and St. Albans. Between Bennington and Dorset, U.S. Route 7 runs as a Super 2 freeway. It also parallels I-89 between Burlington and the Canada–U.S. border. Vermont Route 100 runs a north–south path directly through the center of the state, along the length of the Green Mountains. VT Route 100 generally parallels both U.S. Route 5 (which runs to its east) and U.S. Route 7 (which runs to its west). Many of the state's major ski areas are located either directly on, or very close to, VT Route 100. The largest town by population along VT Route 100 is Morristown. is a 111.870-mile-long north–south road that runs from Brattleboro to Middlebury. Vermont Route 30 runs through the state's historic West River Valley, where it passes through the colonial towns of Newfane, Townshend, West Townshend, East Jamaica, Jamaica, Rawsonville and Bondville.

East–west routes Edit

    U.S. Route 2 runs a generally east–west path across central and northern Vermont, from Alburgh (on the New York state line) to Guildhall (on the New Hampshire state line). U.S. Route 2 connects the Lake Champlain Islands and the Northeast Kingdom to the population centers of Burlington, Montpelier, and St. Johnsbury. U.S. Route 2 runs parallel to I-89 between Colchester and Montpelier. Although the portion of the road from Alburgh to Burlington follows a north–south orientation, U.S. Route 2 in Vermont is entirely signed as east–west. U.S. Route 4 runs east–west across south-central Vermont from Fair Haven (on the New York state line) to White River Junction (on the New Hampshire state line). U.S. Route 4 also connects the city of Rutland and the towns of Killington and Woodstock. Between Fair Haven and Rutland, U.S. Route 4 runs as a four-lane freeway that is mostly up to Interstate design standards. U.S. Route 302 runs an east–west path from its western terminus in Montpelier to the village of Wells River, where it intersects both I-91 and U.S. Route 5, and then crosses into New Hampshire. U.S. Route 302 is one of the main roads connecting Montpelier and Barre in central Vermont. Vermont Route 9 runs an east–west path across the southern part of the state. VT Route 9 connects the towns of Bennington, Wilmington, and Brattleboro. Vermont Route 105 runs a generally east–west path across the northernmost parts of Vermont (sometimes within a few miles of the Canada–U.S. border) from St. Albans to Bloomfield (on the New Hampshire state line). VT Route 105 ultimately connects the cities of St. Albans and Newport.

A 2005–06 study ranked Vermont 37th out of the states for "cost-effective road maintenance", a decline of thirteen places since 2004–05. [240]

Federal data indicates that 16% of Vermont's 2,691 bridges had been rated structurally deficient by the state in 2006. [241] In 2007 Vermont had the sixth worst percentage of structurally deficient bridges in the country. [242]

Rail Edit

Bus Edit

Intercity Edit

Greyhound Lines stops at Bellows Falls, Brattleboro, Burlington, Montpelier, and White River Junction. [243] Megabus, as of November 2014, stops in Burlington and Montpelier. [244] Vermont Translines, an intercity bus company started by Premier Coach in 2013 partnering with Greyhound and starting service on June 9, 2014, serves Milton, Colchester, Burlington, Middlebury, Brandon, Rutland, Wallingford, Manchester and Bennington on its Burlington to Albany line, and Rutland, Killington, Bridgewater, Woodstock, Queechee and White River Junction along the U.S. Route 4 corridor. [245] The town of Bennington also has the weekday-operating Albany-Bennington Shuttle, an intercity bus operated by Yankee Trails World Travel. [246]

Local Edit

Other transportation includes: [247]

    (ACTR) services Addison County, including the college town of Middlebury, Bristol, and Vergennes. has the Green Mountain Community Network (GMCN) out of Bennington. in Windham County is served by the BeeLine (Brattleboro Town Bus), which is part of Connecticut River Transit ("the Current"). Southern Windham County and southern Bennington County is served, out of West Dover, by the MOOver (Southeast Vermont Transit or SEVT, formerly the Deerfield Valley Transit Association or DVTA).
  • Burlington has Chittenden County Transportation Authority (CCTA) and CATS (University of Vermont Campus Area Transportation System).
  • Colchester in Chittenden County is serviced by the SSTA (Special Services Transportation Agency).
  • Rutland County has "the Bus" (Marble Valley Regional Transit District, MVRTD) out of Rutland.
  • Windsor County:
    • Ludlow (in Windsor County) is served by the LMTS (Ludlow Municipal Transit System). (CRT) division of Southeast Vermont Transit (SEVT), out of Rockingham, serves parts of Windham and Windsor County.
    • In parts of Windsor County, including Norwich and Hartford, as well as in White River Junction and in parts of New Hampshire there is a free public transportation service called Advance Transit. [248] It has routes and many different lines all throughout the Upper Valley region.

    Ferry Edit

    There is a year-round ferry service to and from New York State across Lake Champlain from Burlington, Charlotte, Grand Isle, and Shoreham. All but the Shoreham ferry are operated by the LCTC (Lake Champlain Transportation Company).

    Airports Edit

      is the largest in the state, with regular flights to Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Washington Dulles, JFK, LaGuardia, Newark, Orlando, and Philadelphia. Airlines serving the airport include: American, Delta, Frontier, JetBlue, and United. [250] This is also the airport where the 134th fighter squadron of the 158th fighter wing is located. Known as the "Green Mountain Boys," this squadron is armed with the Block 30 F-16C/D Fighting Falcon and is tasked with protecting the Northeastern United States from the air. has regular flights to Boston via Cape Air. [251]

    Newspapers of record Edit

    Vermont statute [252] requires the Vermont Secretary of State to designate newspapers that provide general coverage across the state as the "Newspapers of Record." This is the list, as of 2019: [253]

    • Addison Independent
    • Bennington Banner
    • Brattleboro Reformer
    • Burlington Free Press
    • Caledonian Record
    • The Chronicle
    • Islander
    • Newport Daily Express
    • News & Citizen / The Transcript
    • Rutland Herald
    • Seven Days
    • St. Albans Messenger
    • Times Argus
    • Valley News
    • Vermont Lawyer
    • White River Valley Herald (a.k.a. Herald of Randolph)

    Broadcast media Edit

    Vermont hosts 93 radio broadcast stations. The top categories are talk/information (11), country (9) and classic rock (9). The top owner of radio broadcast stations is Vermont Public Radio (11 broadcast frequencies and 13 low-power, local transmitters). [254] Other companies had five or fewer stations. The state has 15 online radio stations. [255]

    Vermont hosts 10 high-power television broadcast stations, three of which are satellites of a primary station. Represented are the following networks and number of high-power transmitters, ABC (1), CBS (1), Fox (1), NBC (2), PBS (4), and RTV (1). In addition, it has 17 low-power television broadcast stations, which in several cases are satellites of the high-power stations.

    Electricity Edit

    2008 peak demand in the state was 1,100 megawatts (MW). [256]

    In May 2009, Vermont created the first state-wide renewable energy feed-in law. [257] In 2010, there were about 150 methane digesters in the nation, Vermont led the nation with six online. [258]

    While Vermont paid the lowest rates in New England for power in 2007, it is still ranked among the highest eleven states in the nation that is, about 16% higher than the national average. [259]

    In 2009, the state paid the highest rates for energy (including heating) in the U.S. and had the worst affordability gap nationwide. [146]

    In 2009, the state received one-third (400 MW) [256] of its power from Hydro-Québec and one-third from Vermont Yankee. [260] In total, the state got half its power from Canada and other states. It received 75% of the power it generated in the state from Vermont Yankee. [261] The state is part of the Northeast Power Coordinating Council for the distribution of electricity.

    The state's largest electric utility, Green Mountain Power Corporation, serves 80% of Vermont households. [146]

    The state has 78 hydropower dams. They generate 143 MW, about 12% of the state's total requirement. [256] Vermont experts estimate that the state has the capacity to ultimately generate from 134 to 175 megawatts of electricity from hydro power. [262]

    In 2006, the total summer generating capacity of Vermont was 1,117 megawatts. [263] In 2005, the inhabitants of the state used an average of 5,883 kilowatt-hours (21,180 MJ) of electricity per capita. [264] Another source says that each household consumed 7,100 kilowatt-hours (26,000 MJ) annually in 2008. [265]

    Until the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant was shut down in 2014, Vermont had the highest rate of nuclear-generated power in the nation, 73.7%. [266] Vermont is one of two states with no coal-fired power plants. [267]

    All Vermont utilities get their power from lines run by ISO New England. Each utility pays a share of transmitting power over these lines. Vermont's share is about 4.5%. [268]

    Communication Edit

    A 2013 survey found that of 18,790 miles (30,240 km) of roads surveyed, all but 3,118 mi had cellular coverage by at least one carrier. The roads surveyed are concentrated in the more heavily populated areas. [269]

    A June 2013 survey found that of nearly 249,976 addresses surveyed, 84.7% had fixed (as opposed to mobile) broadband available. It was projected that all but 29 addresses would have fixed broadband available by the end of 2013. [270]

    In 2010, Vermont was the sixth highest ranked state for Well-Being in a study by Gallup and Healthways. [271] In 2010, the state stood third in physical well-being of children. [272]

    In 2010, Vermont was ranked the highest in the country for health outcomes. [273]

    In 2000, the state implemented the Vermont Child Health Improvement Program to improve preventive services and management of chronic conditions. In 2011, the state ranked third in the nation in child health system performance. [274] In 2011, the March of Dimes gave Vermont an "A," ranking it number one in the country on its Prematurity Report Card. [275]

    In 2008, Vermont was ranked number one in the nation as the healthiest place to live for the seventh time in eight years. Criteria included low teenage birth rate, strong health coverage, the lowest AIDS rate in the country, and 18 other factors. [276] The state scored well in cessation of smoking, obesity, fewer occupational fatalities, prevalence of health insurance, and low infant mortality. A problem area was a high prevalence of binge drinking. [277] While ranking sixth from best for adults in obesity in 2009, the state still had 22% obese with a rate of 27% for children 10–17. The ranking for children was ninth best in the nation. [278] In 1993, the obesity rate for adults was 12%. Vermonters spend $141 million annually in medical costs related to obesity. [279] The combined figures for overweight and obese adults rose from 40.7% in 1990 to 58.4% in 2010. This is better than most other states. [280]

    In 2011, Vermont led the nation in the rate of young people who had consumed alcohol in the past month one-third of people aged 11 through 20. One-fifth of that group had binged during that time. The state was second for the use of marijuana by young people 30% of adults 18 to 25 in the past month. [281]

    In 2009, Vermont was ranked second in the nation for safety. Crime statistics on violence were used for the criteria. [282]

    In 2007, Vermont was ranked among the best five states in the country for preventing "premature death" in people under 75 years of age. The rate of survival was twice that of the five lowest performing states. [283]

    Parts of the state have been declared federal disaster areas on 28 occasions from 1963 to 2008. [284]

    In 2007, the Environmental Protection Agency cited Chittenden and Bennington as counties with 70 parts per billion of smog which is undesirable. [285]

    In 2008, about 100,000 Vermonters got their health care through the federal government, Medicare, Tri-Care, and the Veteran's Administration. An additional 10,000 Vermonters work for employers who provide insurance under federal law under ERISA. About 20% of Vermonters receive health care outside of Vermont 20% of the care provided within the state is to non-Vermonters. [286] In 2008, the state had an estimated 7.6% with no medical insurance, down from 9.8% in 2005. [287] In 2008, the Vermont Health Access Program for low-income, uninsured adults cost from $7 to $49 per month. [288] A "Catamount Health" premium assistance program was available for Vermonters who do not qualify for other programs. Total monthly premiums ranged from $60 to $393 for an individual. There was a $250 deductible. Insured paid $10 toward each generic prescription. 16.9% of residents 18 to 35 were uninsured, the highest group. [289]

    Health care spending increased from $2.3 billion in 2000 to $4.8 billion in 2009. [290] In 2009, adult day care services cost more in Vermont than any other state—$150 daily. [291]

    The state started air drops of rabies bait for raccoons in 1997. Known rabies cases in raccoons peaked in 2007 at 165. The program is in cooperation with neighboring states and Canada. [292]

    Vermont is federally represented in the United States Congress by two senators and one representative.

    The state is governed by a constitution which divides governmental duties into legislative, executive and judicial branches: the Vermont General Assembly, the governor of Vermont and the Vermont Supreme Court. The governorship and the General Assembly serve two-year terms including the governor and 30 senators. There are no term limits for any office. The state capital is in Montpelier.

    There are three types of incorporated municipalities in Vermont: towns, cities, and villages. Like most of New England, there is slight provision for autonomous county government. Counties and county seats are merely convenient repositories for various government services such as state courts, with several elected officers such as a state's Attorney and sheriff. All county services are directly funded by the state of Vermont. The next effective governmental level below state government are municipalities. Most of these are towns. [293]

    Finances and taxation Edit

    Vermont is the only state in the union not to have a balanced-budget requirement, yet it has had a balanced budget every year since 1991. [294] In 2007 Moody's gave its top bond credit rating (Aaa) to the state. [295]

    The state uses enterprise funds for operations that are similar to private business enterprises. The Vermont Lottery Commission, the Liquor Control Fund, and the Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund, are the largest of the State's enterprise funds. [296]

    In 2007, Vermont was the 14th highest out of 50 states and the District of Columbia for state and local taxation, with a per capita load of $3,681. The national average was $3,447. [297] However, CNNMoney ranked Vermont highest in the nation based on the percentage of per capita income. The rankings showed Vermont had a per capita tax load of $5,387, 14.1% of the per capita income of $38,306. [298]

    Vermont collects a state personal income tax in a progressive structure of five different income brackets, with marginal tax rates ranging from 3.6% to 9.5%. In 2008, the top 1% of Vermont residents provided 30% of the income tax revenue around 2,000 people had sufficient income to be taxed at the highest marginal rate of 9.5%. [299]

    Vermont's general state sales tax rate is 6%, which is imposed on sales of tangible personal property, amusement charges, fabrication charges, some public utility charges and some service contracts. Some towns and cities impose an additional 1% Local Option Tax. There are 46 exemptions from the sales tax, including exemptions for food, medical items, manufacturing machinery, equipment and fuel, residential fuel and electricity, clothing, and shoes. A use tax is imposed on the buyer at the same rate as the sales tax. The buyer pays the use tax when the seller fails to collect the sales tax or the items are purchased from a source where no tax is collected. The use tax applies to items taxable under the sales tax.

    Vermont does not collect inheritance taxes, but does impose a state estate tax a Vermont estate tax return must be filed if the estate must file a federal estate tax return (the requirement for which depends on federal law). [300]

    Vermont does not collect a state gift tax. [300]

    Property taxes are levied by municipalities for the support of education and municipal services. Vermont does not assess tax on personal property. [301] Property taxes are based on appraisal of the fair market value of real property. [301] Rates vary from 0.97% on homesteaded property in Ferdinand, Essex County, to 2.72% on nonresidents' property in Barre City. [302] Statewide, towns average 1.77% to 1.82% tax rate. In 2007, Vermont counties were among the highest in the country for property taxes. Chittenden ($3,809 median), Windham ($3,412), Addison ($3,352), and Windsor ($3,327) ranked in the top 100, out of 1,817 counties in the nation with populations greater than 20,000. Twelve of the state's 14 counties stood in the top 20%. [303] Median annual property taxes as a percentage of median homeowners income, 5.4%, was rated as the third highest in the nation in 2011. [304] [305]

    To equitably support education, some towns are required by Act 60 to send some of their collected taxes to be redistributed to school districts lacking adequate support. [306]

    Politics Edit

    Vermont is one of four states that were once independent nations (Texas, California, and Hawaii are the others). Notably, Vermont is the only state to have voted for a presidential candidate from the Anti-Masonic Party, and Vermont was one of only two states to vote against Franklin D. Roosevelt in all four of his presidential campaigns (the other was Maine).

    Vermont's history of independent political thought has led to movements for the establishment of the Second Vermont Republic and other plans advocating secession.

    Vermont is the only state in the United States that requires voters to be sworn in, [307] having established the voter's oath or affirmation in 1777.

    State politics Edit

    Republicans dominated local Vermont politics from the party's founding in 1854 until the mid-1970s. Before the 1960s, rural interests dominated the legislature. As a result, cities, particularly the older sections of Burlington and Winooski, were neglected and fell into decay, and people began to move out to newer suburbs.

    Vermont was for many years a stronghold of the Republican Party. Ethno-political culture of the last century has seen a dramatic shift in voter turnout in the Green Mountain State. Since 1992, Vermont has voted for the Democrat in every Presidential election. Before 1992, Vermont voted for the Republican in every single Presidential election with the exception of 1964. [308] [309] [310] [311]

    A series of one man, one vote decisions made by the United States Supreme Court in the 1960s required states to redraw their legislative districts to accurately reflect population. As a result, urban areas in Vermont gained political power.

    The legislature was redistricted under one-person, one-vote in the 1960s. It passed the Land Use and Development Law (Act 250) in 1970 to discourage suburban sprawl and to limit major growth to already developed areas. The law, the first of its kind in the nation, created nine District Environmental Commissions appointed by the Governor, who judged land development and subdivision plans that would have a significant impact on the state's environment and many small communities. As a result of Act 250, Vermont was the last state to get a Wal-Mart (there are now six Wal-Marts in the state, as of November 2017, but only three—in Williston, St. Albans, and Derby—were newly built from the ground up). Because of the successful attempts to dilute what is perceived as the original intent of Act 250, [312] and other development pressures, Vermont has been designated one of America's most "endangered historic places" by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. [313]

    In 1995, the state banned the spreading of manure from December 15 to April 1, to prevent runoff and protect the water. Therefore farms must have environmentally approved facilities to store manure during this time frame. [314]

    While the state voted largely Democratic, Republican Governor Douglas won all counties but Windham in the 2006 election.

    A controversy dating from 1999 has been over the adoption of civil unions, an institution which grants same-sex couples nearly all the rights and privileges of marriage at the state, but not federal, level. In Baker v. Vermont (1999), the Vermont Supreme Court ruled that, under the Constitution of Vermont, the state must either allow same-sex marriage or provide a separate but equal status for them. The state legislature chose the second option by creating the institution of civil union the bill was passed by the legislature and signed into law by Governor Howard Dean. In April 2009, the state legislature overrode governor Jim Douglas's veto to allow same-sex marriage, becoming the first state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage through legislation. [315] In September 2009, Vermont became the fourth state in which same-sex couples could marry. The previous three were Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa.

    In 2007, the state's House of Representatives rejected a measure which would have legalized assisted suicide for the terminally ill, by a vote of 82–63. With the governor's signature on May 20, 2013, Vermont became the fourth state to pass a "death with dignity" law—the first to be passed through legislation rather than by ballot initiative. [316]

    Minor parties and independents flourish. Rules which eliminate smaller parties from the ballot in most states do not exist in Vermont. As a result, voters often have extensive choices for general elections. Among others, this more open policy enabled independents like Bernie Sanders to win election as mayor of Burlington, as a U.S. Congressman, and as a U.S. Senator.

    A political issue has been Act 60, which balances taxation for education funding. This has resulted in the town of Killington trying to secede from Vermont and join New Hampshire due to what the locals say is an unfair tax burden. [317] [318]

    The Vermont constitution and the courts supports the right of a person to walk (fish and hunt) on any unposted, unfenced land. That is, trespass must be proven by the owner it is not automatically assumed. [319]

    Vermont has some of the least restrictive gun control laws in the country. A permit or license is not required for purchasing or carrying firearms. Concealed carry and open carry of a firearm is legal over the age of 16, with those below 16 requiring parental permission. [320] [321] [322] [323]

    The state is an alcoholic beverage control state. In 2007, through the Vermont Department of Liquor Control, it took in over $14 million from the sale and distribution of liquor. [325]

    In 2013, Vermont became the 17th state to decriminalize marijuana. The statute makes possession of less than an ounce of the drug punishable by a small fine rather than arrest and possible jail time. [326]

    In 2014, Vermont became the first state to call for a constitutional convention to overturn the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United v. FEC. [327]

    In 2014, Vermont became the first state to mandate labeling of genetically modified organisms in the retail food supply.

    In January 2018, Governor Phil Scott opted to sign H.511, the Vermont marijuana legalization bill, which allows adults 21 and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and grow up to two mature plants starting July 1, 2018. [328]

    Federal politics Edit

    Historically, Vermont was considered one of the most reliably Republican states in the country in terms of national elections. From 1856 to 1988, Vermont voted Democratic only once, in Lyndon B. Johnson's landslide victory of 1964 against Barry M. Goldwater. It was also one of only two states—Maine is the other—where Franklin D. Roosevelt was completely shut out in all four of his presidential bids. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Republican presidential candidates frequently won the state with over 70% of the vote.

    In the 1980s and 1990s, many people moved in from out of state. [102] [329] [330] Much of this immigration included the arrival of more liberal political influences of the urban areas of New York and the rest of New England in Vermont. [329] The brand of Republicanism in Vermont has historically been a moderate one, and combined with the newcomers from out of state, this made Vermont friendlier to Democrats as the national GOP moved to the right. As evidence of this, in 1990 Bernie Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, was elected to Vermont's lone seat in the House as an independent. Sanders became the state's junior Senator in 2007. However, for his entire career in the House and Senate, Sanders has caucused with the Democrats and is counted as a Democrat for the purposes of committee assignments and voting for party leadership. [331]

    After narrowly supporting George H. W. Bush in 1988, it gave Democrat Bill Clinton a 16-point margin in 1992—the first time the state had gone Democratic since 1964. Vermont has voted Democratic in every presidential election since.

    Since 2004, Vermont has been one of the Democrats' most loyal states. It gave John Kerry his fourth-largest margin of victory in the presidential campaign against George W. Bush he won the state's popular vote by 20 percentage points, taking almost 59% of the vote. (Kerry, from neighboring Massachusetts, also became the first Northern Democrat ever to carry Vermont Johnson was from Texas, Clinton from Arkansas and Al Gore, triumphant in the Green Mountain State in 2000, from Tennessee.) Essex County in the state's northeastern section was the only county to vote for Bush. Vermont is the only state that did not receive a visit from George W. Bush during his tenure as President of the United States. [332] Indeed, George W. Bush and Donald Trump are the only Republicans to win the White House without carrying Vermont. In 2008, Vermont gave Barack Obama his third-largest margin of victory (37 percentage points) and third-largest vote share in the nation by his winning the state 68% to 31%. Only Obama's birth state of Hawaii and Washington, D.C. were stronger Democratic victories. The same held true in 2012, when Obama carried Vermont 67% of the vote to 31% for Romney, and in 2016, when Hillary Clinton won with 57% of the vote to 30% for Donald Trump.

    Vermont's two Senators are Democrat Patrick Leahy, the longest-serving member of the Senate, and independent Bernie Sanders. [333] The state is represented by an at-large member of the House, Democrat Peter Welch, who succeeded Sanders in 2007.

    Vermont festivals include the Vermont Maple Festival, Festival on the Green, [334] The Vermont Dairy Festival in Enosburg Falls, [335] the Apple Festival (held each Columbus Day Weekend), the Marlboro Music Festival, and the Vermont Brewers Festival. [336] The Vermont Symphony Orchestra is supported by the state and performs throughout the area.

    Since 1973 the Sage City Symphony, formed by composer Louis Calabro, has performed in the Bennington area. In 1988 a number of Vermont-based composers including Gwyneth Walker formed the Vermont Composers Consortium, [337] [338] which was recognized by the governor proclaiming 2011 as The Year of the Composer. [339]

    Burlington, Vermont's largest city, hosts the annual Vermont International Film Festival, which presents ten days in October of independent films. [340] The Brattleboro-based Vermont Theatre Company presents an annual summer Shakespeare festival. Brattleboro also hosts the summertime Strolling of the Heifers parade which celebrates Vermont's dairy culture. The annual Green Mountain Film Festival is held in Montpelier. [341]

    In the Northeast Kingdom, the Bread and Puppet Theatre holds weekly shows in Glover in a natural outdoor amphitheater. [342]

    One of Vermont's best known musical acts is the rock band Phish, whose members met while attending school in Vermont and spent much of their early years playing at venues across the state. [343] [344]

    The Vermont-based House of LeMay [345] performs several shows a year, hosts the annual "Winter is a Drag Ball," [346] and performs for fundraisers. Amber LeMay, founder of the House of LeMay, hosts the Vermont based drag queen comedy talk show, Amber Live!. [347]

    The rate of volunteerism in Vermont was eighth in the nation with 37% in 2007. The state stood first in New England. [349] In 2011 Vermont residents were ranked as the healthiest in the country. [350] Also in 2011, Vermont was ranked as the fourth most peaceful state in the United States. [351] In 2011 Vermont residents were ranked as the sixth most fit/leanest in the country. [352] Vermonters were the second most active citizens of state with 55.9% meeting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's physical activity requirements. [353] Vermont was ranked as the 12th happiest state in the country. [354]

    Winter sports Edit

    Winter sports are popular in New England, and Vermont's winter sports attractions are a big part of Vermont tourism. Some well known attractions include Burke Mountain ski area, Jay Peak Resort, Killington Ski Resort, Stowe Mountain Resort, the Quechee Club Ski Area, and Smugglers' Notch Resort.

    Vermont natives in the snowboarding profession include Kevin Pearce, Ross Powers, Hannah Teter, and Kelly Clark. Others learned snowboarding in the state, such as Louie Vito and Ellery Hollingsworth.

    Baseball Edit

    The largest professional franchise is the Vermont Lake Monsters, a single-A minor league baseball affiliate of the Oakland Athletics, based in Burlington. They were named the Vermont Expos before 2006. [360] Up until the 2011 season, they were the affiliate of the Washington Nationals (formerly the Montreal Expos).

    Basketball Edit

    Currently the highest-ranked teams in basketball representing Vermont are the NCAA's Vermont Catamounts—male and female. [361]

    The Vermont Frost Heaves, the 2007 and 2008 American Basketball Association national champions, were a franchise of the Premier Basketball League, and were based in Barre and Burlington from the fall of 2006 through the winter of 2011.

    Football Edit

    The Vermont Bucks, an indoor football team, were based in Burlington and began play in 2017 as the founding team in the Can-Am Indoor Football League. [362] For 2018, the Bucks joined the American Arena League, but folded prior to playing in the new league. [363]

    Hockey Edit

    Vermont is home to the University of Vermont Men's and Women's hockey teams. Vermont's only professional hockey team was the Vermont Wild who played in the Federal Hockey League during the 2011–12 season, but the team folded before the season ended.

    Soccer Edit

    Annually since 2002, high school statewide all stars compete against New Hampshire in ten sports during "Twin State" playoffs. [364]

    Motorsport Edit

    Vermont also has a few auto racing venues. The most popular of them is Thunder Road International Speedbowl in Barre, Vermont. It is well known for its tight racing and has become well known in short track stock car racing. Other racing circuits include the USC sanctioned Bear Ridge Speedway, and the NASCAR sanctioned Devil's Bowl Speedway. Some NASCAR Cup drivers have come to Vermont circuits to compete against local weekly drivers such as Tony Stewart, Clint Bowyer, Kyle Busch, Kenny Wallace, Ken Schrader, [365] and Christopher Bell. [366] Kevin Lepage from Shelburne, Vermont is one of a few professional drivers from Vermont. Racing series in Vermont include NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, American Canadian Tour, and Vermont's own Tiger Sportsman Series.

    The following were either born in Vermont or resided there for a substantial period during their lives and whose names are widely known.

      , author , inventor of the snowboard , 30th President of the United States , founder of Deere & Company , the only Admiral of the Navy in U.S. history , philosopher, psychologist, and educator , 19th-century politician , Baseball Hall of Fame catcher , financier , poet , architect , author , environmentalist , inventor of the steam-powered paddle wheel boat , painter, author, and illustrator , politician and legislator , founder of the Latter Day Saint movement , Russian author and Soviet dissident , singer and actor , prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

    In fiction Edit

    • Vermont was also the home of Dick Loudon, Bob Newhart's character on the 1980s sitcom Newhart. All action supposedly took place in Vermont.
    • Vermont was the home of Pollyanna and her Aunt Polly in the novel Pollyanna, later made into the 1960 Disneyfilm starring Hayley Mills and Jane Wyman. [367]
    • In H. P. Lovecraft's The Whisperer in Darkness, Vermont is the home of folklorist Henry Akeley (and the uninhabited hills of Vermont serve as one of the earth bases of the extraterrestrial Mi-Go). novel The Secret History is a story set mostly in a fictitious town of Hampden, Vermont, and college of the same name, where several students conspire to murder a classmate. [368] ' 1935 anti-fascist novel It Can't Happen Here is largely set in Vermont, as local newspaper editor Doremus Jessup opposes a newly elected dictatorial government.
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    Vermont - HISTORY

    Commercial shipping ports developed along Lake Champlain, connecting with the Champlain Canal and the Hudson River on the western side of the State. The Connecticut River, Vermont's eastern boundary, was also a major water route. Though never built, there was serious discussion of a canal route, connecting Lake Champlain with the St. Lawrence River to the north, which leads out to sea. Washington County was able to connect to these major shipping routes by the Winooski, Mad and Dog Rivers. While shipping remains an important element of Vermont's transportation infrastructure even today, it has almost always been supplemented by other means. During the first half of the 19th century, the stagecoach was the primary overland method for exchange of information, smaller goods, and frequently personal travel. Sites such as Kent's Corner and the Warren House Hotel, former stagecoach stops, reflect this era of Vermont's transportation history.

    In the mid-19th century change was on the horizon. The coming of the railroad and telegraph lines to Vermont vastly improved the exchange of information and the transportation system. The railroad quickly became the preferred method for transport of passengers, raw materials, and manufactured goods. Like communities all around the country, rail transit resulted in the vast expansion of trade. Ground was broken in 1846 for the Vermont Central, the State's first railroad, at its headquarters in Northfield. Northfield was a small village which had previously relied on the nearby Dog River for transportation. The State's first line was actually a portion of the main route from Boston to the Great Lakes, and extended through the center of Vermont, and Washington County. Passenger train service started in 1848, and Northfield prospered until 1860, when the company moved its headquarter to St. Albans. However, the Central Vermont Rail Depot remained and became the lifeline of the town once again at the end of the 19th century, when Northfield's booming granite industry relied on the rails to ship their products.

    In Vermont, like many other States, the arrival of the railroad directly influenced the transition of small villages to thriving towns and cities with expanded industries, populations, commercial cores, and cultural institutions. The town of Barre is a typical example. Rail lines were connected there in 1875 and 1888, resulting in a major expansion of the local granite industry. Barre's quarries were finally able to transport large amounts of stone to distant markets, fostering the greatest population and economic boom in the city's history. Thousands of skilled and unskilled European immigrants arrived in Barre by rail, where their craftsmanship and labor were in demand. Barre's downtown commercial core expanded, as did the variety of cultural activities, typified in the Barre Opera House, and in the Socialist Labor Party Hall which served the working class Italian community.

    In the 20th century, Vermont's greatest natural disaster, the Flood of 1927 destroyed many bridges and miles of roadways throughout the State. In response to the damage, a major building program ensued, which vastly improved the general condition of the State's highways. Great improvements were made in American standardized bridge design as a result of the numerous bridges constructed in Vermont after the flood. The Middlesex-Winooski River Bridge is a typical example of a post-flood metal truss bridge that affected this type of bridge construction throughout the county.


    History

    Early History: Public Trust and the Filled Lands of the Waterfront

    In the mid-1800’s, Burlington was the third largest lumber port in the country. The 1800’s waterfront was an incredibly active and lively place, and the economic driver of the City. Engravings from the period show a waterfront where every available space was used for lumber storage, rail siding, and other commercial activities.

    To support these activities, the shoreline of the Burlington waterfront (once a long, sandy crescent) was repeatedly filled and expanded: a process that would go on into the 1950’s. Thousands of yards of fill from the City’s hillside, railway construction, and other unknown locations, were placed into the lake behind timber and rock cribbings to create new acreage. This expansion of Burlington's waterfront was allowed for through the state-mandated “Public Trust Doctrine”: a determination that these new lands would become a direct public benefit. At that time, the expansion of waterfront land was critical to the livelihood of most Burlingtonians, and was accepted as justifiable under Public Trust. Under the Public Trust Doctrine, over 60 acres of new land area were created (roughly from the current bikepath west), on which millions of board feet of lumber were processed and shipped, thousands of trainloads and barge shipments processed, and hundreds of people worked and lived.

    Early 20th Century

    The lumber industry began to decline in the early 1900's, and profound changes began to occur on the waterfront. Early 20th century drawings show a large increase in rail tracks and infrastructure during the expansion of rail’s dominance in freight and travel. The rail yard was beginning to subsume the filled “Public Trust” lands, changing the landscape and use patterns significantly.

    In the early and mid-20th century, with rail in decline, the waterfront moved with the times again, evolving into a bulk petroleum facility. Gasoline, diesel, JP4 jet fuel, and fuel oil was shipped to the local market in large transport barges through the Hudson River/Champlain Canal system. Millions of gallons of fuel were being shipped by water annually until the early 1990’s when trucking and rail became a more cost-efficient means of transport. At its peak, huge above ground storage tanks lined most of the shoreline from Oakledge to North Beach. At one time, there were 83 above ground bulk storage tanks on the Burlington waterfront.

    In recent years, barge traffic has ceased on the lake, a result of navigational difficulties (siltation in the south lake) and a shift in petroleum to transport to rail and truck. While most of the bulk tanks are gone, the vestiges of the barge era (oil bollards in the harbor, residual soil and groundwater contamination, subsurface equipment and piping) still remain.

    Late 20th Century: A New Era for Public Trust

    By the end of the 1980’s, the filled lands of the waterfront had fallen into decay. Petroleum shipments by barge were being phased out, rail was in decline, and conditions of remaining equipment and buildings were poor. The Moran Generating Plant was decommissioned in 1986, leaving additional impacted acreage and a vacant industrial building. By the mid-1980’s, the majority of the north waterfront was completely inaccessible: locked gates and barbed wire surrounded bulk petroleum tanks, scrap metal, old rail siding, abandoned rail cars, and rubble.

    Vermont Railway, then the owner of the Urban Reserve and Waterfront Park, was managing a series of leases for petroleum storage, many of which were being canceled. Conditions in the north waterfront were worsening, soils were stained with petroleum, equipment was beginning to rust away, and there were no apparent solutions being offered for cleanup and re-use.

    The City Takes Leadership

    The City of Burlington took action in the late 1980’s. With the leadership of then-Mayor Bernie Sanders and CEDO Director Peter Clavelle, the City used the Public Trust Doctrine in court as a means to re-claim the filled lands of the waterfront for public use. In an historic Supreme Court ruling, the lands were all deemed to be “impressed by the Public Trust Doctrine”, further ruling that the petroleum storage and rail siding were no longer uses beneficial to the general public. The Court directed the Vermont Legislature to create a list of acceptable uses of Public Trust Lands based on the findings of the ruling. The State legislature then defined Public Trust Lands as those reserved for "indoor or outdoor parks and recreation uses and facilities including parks and open space, marinas open to the public on a non-discriminatory basis, water dependent uses, boating and related services." The filled lands of the waterfront were to be transformed forever, with a focus on public access and enjoyment.

    Subsequent to the Supreme Court ruling, the City was able to acquire over 60 acres of waterfront lands from Vermont Railway, but in turn took on the responsibility for cleanup of the properties. A conservation easement was placed on the land for 50% of the acreage, along with restrictions for use within a 100-foot shoreline buffer strip. A rare species was identified on the eastern hillside, now protected by the easement. This was the beginning of the current effort to “re-naturalize” lands that were all man-made and impacted by a series of industrial uses over a 150-year period.

    Planning for the future, the City divided the Public Trust acquisition into segments, after first receiving permission from the State Legislature which has continuing authority over the Public Trust Doctrine. The area south of the Coast Guard would be developed into Waterfront Park, completed in 1991. The Moran Plant, Depot Street, and Water Department complex were designated as an “Interim Development Area” allowing for development of public amenities allowed under Public Trust.

    Most compelling was the decision to leave the remaining 40-acre Urban Reserve (also known as the "North 40," from Moran to North Beach) for "future generations" to decide on its use. This intentional delay in planning for the Urban Reserve has had a profound effect. In the past few years, the site has undergone significant cleanup and has rebounded with natural vegetative cover. Thousands have "discovered" the property, are using it regularly, and are adopting their own ideas about the future of the site.

    Waterfront Cleanup and Redevelopment

    In 1988, the City constructed the Burlington Community Boathouse. At the time, it was the only true waterside public access on the north waterfront. Meanwhile, the last of the large, above ground bulk petroleum tanks were being removed north of the Moran Plant. The City then constructed Waterfront Park and Promenade at the bottom of College Street in 1991, after placing a cover of clean earthen fill over soils impacted by past petroleum-related uses, creating a new shoreline and raised boardwalk to protect the riparian strip.

    In 1999, the City removed 800 yards of macadam from under Lake Street, which was being rebuilt. Macadam is a combination of oil and gravel, which were combined in the past to make roadways. The macadam was stockpiled, then placed into “windrows,” naturally remediated until the petroleum compounds were benign, and placed into the subsurface with a clean fill cover.

    In 1998 and 1999, the City placed clean fill at what is now the Waterfront Dog Park, with Vermont DEC pre-approval. The fill provides separation between petroleum hydrocarbons in the soils and people using the site. It allows for the compounds to naturally break down over time, additionally aided by the roots of plants now growing in the soils. The dog park now provides a location where owners clean up after their animals, and has been a success at significantly reducing the amount of dog waste on the waterfront, a major contributor to water quality degradation.

    In 1999 and 2000, the City focused on the so-called “Astroline Site”, a 3-acre site on the Urban Reserve which was the main distribution point for petroleum. Using a combination of capital and Waterfront Bond monies, the City demolished three buildings, decommissioned the pump house, removed a subsurface oil-water separator, and disposed of asbestos, lead, and other hazardous wastes left in the buildings.

    From 2000-2003, the City worked with the Senator Leahy’s office, the US Army Corps of Engineers and Coast Guard to rebuild the Burlington breakwater and create historic replica lighthouses. These projects were staged at the Astroline site, which offers both landside and waterside access. Using lease income (for staging the breakwater and lighthouse projects), services donated by contractors, and an equipment barter with the City of South Burlington, the City was able to conduct additional cleanup activities, remove significant amounts of concrete and asphalt, repair the seawall, remove a large steel walkway, and place 18’ of clean fill over the Astroline site at no cost to the taxpayers.

    Contractors also located an old car and other large objects on the harbor floor and removed them for disposal. The lease income was also used to remove the old Pease Grain Tower foundation and re-grade the site. Seeding of the Astroline site was scheduled for 2005, but the site rebounded with natural cover, as did the dog park area several years earlier.

    From the outset of the Urban Reserve cleanup process, it became clear that a study of the harbor bottom should be completed, both from an environmental standpoint and to locate cultural resources (shipwrecks, old pilings, etc.) to document and assess their condition. The City worked with Senator Leahy's office to secure funding through the US Army Corps, and the Underwater Cultural Resources Survey was completed in 2006. A team from the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum used sidescan sonar, underwater photography, and GPS techniques to create a comprehensive inventory and map of the harbor bottom, locate rubble, submerged cribs, siltation and stormwater problems. They also performed historic preservation "clearances" for work on removing oil bollards, ensuring that the removal of these structures does not have a negative impact on cultural resources.

    In 2000, the City constructed a Skate Park in an area formerly used for scrap metal storage. Data from the Urban Reserve Phase II ESA was crucial in helping Vermont DEC provide clearance for construction, specifying how the top layer of soils were to be managed, and ensuring that there were no public health or safety issues. Planning is currently underway for resiting the Skate Park in connection with the redevelopment of the Moran Plant.

    In 2003, ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center, at the Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, opened at the site of the former Naval Reserve building next to the Boathouse. Significant asbestos and lead paint issues were abated during demolition, and a completely new, LEED-rated building was constructed. ECHO, a hybrid museum of history, environment, and culture, has emerged as a huge community resource and internationally known destination point.

    In 2004, the Burlington Community Land Trust in partnership with other housing organizations constructed Waterfront Housing, an LEED-rated affordable housing project. Using data from the Phase II ESA, developers ensured that there was no migration of contaminants, and constructed a foundation that avoids any contact with impacted soils. Significant stormwater improvements were made on Depot Street and at the housing site, and significant geotechnical issues were resolved on the hillside.

    In 2006, the Lake Champlain Basin Program/US Army Corps of Engineers Partnership Program selected the College Street Stormdrain project for support, with fall 2007 construction. This work mitigated the water quality issues created during storm events when stormwater from catch basins located as far away as upper Pine Street emptied directly into the harbor.

    More recently, transportation improvements have been undertaken and the redevelopment of the Moran Plant is underway.


    Vermont — History and Culture


    Only four American states have ever had the audacity to declare themselves independent republics. Vermont’s unwavering defense of its land, its ideologies, and its way of life has shaped it into the marvelous place we know today. This is rural New England at its finest a state where tiny 18th-century villages pop up around the bend in the road and no one seems much concerned about the trivialities of the rest of the country. There’s simply nothing quite like Vermont, whether you love it or are bewildered by it.

    History

    Like the rest of New England, Vermont was one of the original areas to be settled by European colonists in the 1600s. The French were first on the scene, founding Fort Lamotte in 1666 as part of their New France territory. The British soon set up their own settlement at Fort Dummer in 1724 to protect their towns of Brattleboro and Dummerston.

    The French and British tensions confronted each other around Lake Champlain. But the French ceded the land to Britain after their heavy defeat in the 1763 French and Indian War (Seven Years’ War). The war’s end saw New York, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts all lay claim to half of Vermont. This created major problems for the original settlers.

    As a result of the unresolved territory dispute between the American colonies, Ethan Allen and his brothers founded the Green Mountain Boys in 1770. This informal militia served to protect local Vermont settlers’ lands. In January 1777, Vermont declared itself an independent republic. Only four American states have ever had a period of autonomy like this.

    During the Revolutionary War, the Battle of Bennington on August 16, 1777, was a major event in Vermont’s history. It was the first real American victory over British troops, and today it is marked by a state holiday in Vermont. After the war, Vermont continued to govern itself as an independent state. But in 1791, it decided to join the Union as the 14th state (the first outside of the original 13 colonies).

    Vermont was the first American state to ban slavery and sided overwhelmingly with the Union north during the Civil War. Women gained the right to vote here in 1888, another trend-setting event. In modern times, Vermont was the first US state to legalize same-sex marriage in 2009. It has always been at the forefront of progressive social ideas and politics, a source of great pride among its residents.

    Culture

    Vermont has a well-established penchant for doing its own thing despite what the federal government thinks. It has America’s second-smallest population but always seems to be setting the trends in terms of progressive social politics. This fighting spirit goes all the way back to the original 13 colonies who gave New York part of Vermont’s territory. The residents have never really gotten over that, especially considering their militia group managed to protect their land holdings.

    The entire state is rural, being covered in pretty farms and picturesque historic villages. The largest city in the state (Burlington) only has 40,000 residents. But this is exactly what makes Vermont so attractive. It’s like stepping into another era, where families have been rooted since the 1700s and folk vehemently defend their locally-made products. Vermonters may not come across as the friendliest folk at first meeting, but they are solid and honest at heart.


    Vermont Genealogy Trails History

    The first discovery of Vermont was made in 1609 by Samuel Champlain , who after establishing a colony in Quebec, proceeded up the rivers St. Lawrence and Sorrel, explored and gave his own name to the lake which washes the western part of the state.

    This early discovery of the interior of North America was attended with no European settlement until 1725, when the government of Massachusetts erected Fort Dummer, in the town of Brattleboro, on Connecticut river. The first settlement in the western part of the Sate was commenced by the French in the town of Addison, and at the same time they erected a fort at Crowapoint. The Government of New Hampshire began to make grants of townships within the present limits of Vermont in 1749, at which time the settlement of Bennington was commenced, and at the same time a violent controversy ensued between the New Hampshire grants and the province of New York, which continued until 1764, when the jurisdiction of the former was declared by the king and council to extend to the western boundaries of North Hampton.

    Owing to the war between Great Britain and France and their Indian allies, the progress of the State to a settlement and population was extremely slow, but by the surrender of Canada to the power of Great Britain in 1760, the settlement of the State progressed rapidly. One hundred and thirty-eight towns, which had been granted by the Governor of New Hampshire, for thirteen years ending with 1764, were declared void by the government of New York, and the settlers were called upon to surrender their charters and purchase new titles. Upon this instigation, the controversy between the New Hampshire grants and New York, was renewed for twenty six years.

    In 1778, several of the towns belonging to the state of New Hampshire were desirous of uniting with Vermont, which occasioned a severe controversy and threatened a severance of these grants between New Hampshire and New York. This difficulty continued until 1781. Massachusetts at this period had a claim also to the southern part of these grants, but without any success. The internal affairs of Vermont were still very fluctuating, without any regularly organized government, she was controlled by the arbitrary measures of the Council of Safety, and that from the commencement of the revolutionary war until she declared herself a free and independent State. This was done by a general convention of Delegates from both sides of the mountain, held at Westminster in 1777.

    The first convention of the State met at Dorset in 1776m and the first constitution was adopted by a convention assembled at Windsor in July 1777, but the organization of the government didn't take place until March 1778.

    The inhabitants of Vermont have always manifested an unshaken attachment for the cause of freedom and rights of man. Their first warlike enterprise took place under the command of Col. Ethan Allen who surprised and captured a Fort at Ticonderoga without the loss of a man. On the same day Crownpoint was captured by the troops under the command of Col. Seth Warne r. An attack was made upon Montreal, in which Col. Allen was taken prisoner and sent to England. During the same year, 1775, Col. Warner, with three hundred Vermont soldiers attacked and defeated General Carlton with 800 regulars and Canadians. On the 13th of August 1777, the New-Hampshire and Vermont militia, under the command of Gen. Stark, defeated the British troops under the command of Col. Brown.


    Vermont - HISTORY

    People have lived in the area that is today the state of Vermont for thousands of years. Prior to the Europeans arriving, the land was inhabited by the Abinaki people. The Abinaki spoke the Algonquian language and included the Micmac and the Pennacook Native American tribes.


    Sugar Maple Trees by Tim McCabe

    In 1609, French explorer Samuel de Champlain arrived in Vermont and claimed the land for France. Champlain helped the local Abinaki Indians fight off the Iroquois by giving them guns. French settlers arrived mostly to trade for beaver furs which were popular in France.

    The first European settlement in Vermont was Fort St. Anne, which was built by the French in 1666 to protect the fur trading routes.

    French and Indian War

    The British arrived in 1724 and established their own settlement in Vermont called Fort Dummer. The fort was mostly built to protect Massachusetts from raiding Indians and French. Eventually, the British and the French went to war in 1754. This war was called the French and Indian War. Both sides allied with different Indian tribes throughout the East Coast of North America. The war ended with the British winning in 1763. Britain now had control of Vermont.

    When the American Revolution began, the people in Vermont joined because they wanted their independence. In 1775, Ethan Allen led a group of Vermont settlers called the Green Mountain Boys in capturing the British Fort Ticonderoga. This was an important early victory for the colonists.

    During the war, in 1777, Vermont declared itself an independent republic. At first it was called New Connecticut, but they later changed the name to Vermont. They created their own constitution, postal service, money, and government.


    Ethan Allen capturing Fort Ticonderoga
    by Heppenheimer & Maurer