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Alburgh, Vermont

Alburgh (formerly Alburg) is a town in Grand Isle County, Vermont, United States, founded in 1781 by Ira Allen. The population was 1,952 at the 2000 census. Alburgh is on the Alburgh Tongue, a peninsula extending from Canada into Lake Champlain, and lies on the only road-based route across Lake Champlain to New York state north of Addison, Vermont.


Name spelling change

In April 2006, the Vermont Board of Libraries (in its capacity as the authority on Vermont place-names) approved Alburgh's request to change its name from Alburg to Alburgh after a majority vote on town meeting day. The name had been changed in the 19th century by the US Post Office against the town's wishes and finally reverted after years of requests.[1]

European settlement of Alburgh Tongue and founding of Alburgh

A two-league strip between Missiquoi Bay and Chambly River (now Richelieu River) north of the Alburgh tongue was granted by Lieutenant Governor of Quebec Charles de la Boische, Marquis de Beauharnois, and Intendant of New France Gilles Hocquart to Seigneur François Foucault on April 3, 1733 (ratified by the King of France April 6, 1734). Other seigniories (in particular the Seigniory de la Fontaine to the south) were granted but were not settled. Janvrin Dufresne surveyed the land for the government and submitted his report on June 14, 1737 that the seignories were not settled. Foucault thence resubmitted his application to the land in March 1739 (requesting an extension of one league to the south), having established Missiskouy (Missiquoi) Village with six inhabitants. On May 10, 1741, the seigniories were deemed forfeited for lack of settlement; on May 1, 1743, Foucault's application was accepted (ratified by the King March 25, 1745). In 1744, Foucault petitioned to extend his seigniory over the entire peninsula to a total length of five leagues and including the former seigniory de la Fontaine; the petition was granted November 1, 1744. By 1747, however, the peninsula was abandoned by any European settlers.

In 1763 at the end of the French and Indian War, New France was ceded to Great Britain. General James Murray purchased the lands including Foucault's seigniory, and his nephew Richard Murray granted a 99-year lease of the seigniory to Colonel Henry Caldwell in 1774.[2]

Alburgh was charted February 23, 1781 by Ira Allen and 64 others. Allen paid for the charting and the name of the town is probably derived from "Allensburgh".

In 1781 Allen was part of the commission that negotiated the Vermont-New York boundary, placing the Alburgh Tongue in Vermont. In 1783 the Canada – United States border was established at the 45th parallel north, making the Vermonter claims to the land undisputed.[3]

Notable residents


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 48.8 square miles (126.4 km²), of which, 29.3 square miles (75.9 km²) of it is land and 19.5 square miles (50.5 km²) of it (39.96%) is water. Like Alaska; Point Roberts, Washington; Elm Point, Minnesota; and the Northwest Angle, Alburgh can only be reached by crossing water by bridge or boat or by driving overland through Canada. There are bridges to Rouses Point, New York (U.S. Route 2) and Swanton, Vermont, as well as to North Hero island to the southeast; Isle La Motte lies to the southwest.


As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 1,952 people, 791 households, and 529 families residing in the town. The population density was 66.6 people per square mile (25.7/km²). There were 1,259 housing units at an average density of 43.0/sq mi (16.6/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 96.67% White, 1.95% Native American, 0.15% Asian, and 1.23% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.20% of the population.

There were 791 households out of which 31.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.4% were married couples living together, 7.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.1% were non-families. 26.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 2.97.

In the town the population was spread out with 25.4% under the age of 18, 7.2% from 18 to 24, 28.8% from 25 to 44, 24.6% from 45 to 64, and 14.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 100.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.0 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $33,148, and the median income for a family was $39,783. Males had a median income of $30,655 versus $23,750 for females. The per capita income for the town was $16,285. About 10.8% of families and 12.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.4% of those under age 18 and 13.9% of those age 65 or over.


  1. ^ Burlington Free Press article, June 19, 2006
  2. ^ Clarenceville, Quebec,
  3. ^ Allburgh, Vermont (from Esther Munroe Swift's Vermont Place-Names: Footprints of History)
  4. ^ Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607-1896. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who. 1963.  
  5. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  

Coordinates: 44°57′29″N 73°17′30″W / 44.95806°N 73.29167°W / 44.95806; -73.29167



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