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Newport, Vermont
—  City  —
Bird's-eye view in 1909

Coordinates: 44°56′39″N 72°12′16″W / 44.94417°N 72.20444°W / 44.94417; -72.20444Coordinates: 44°56′39″N 72°12′16″W / 44.94417°N 72.20444°W / 44.94417; -72.20444
Country United States
State Vermont
County Orleans
Organized 1918
 - Mayor Ellwood Guyette
 - Total 7.6 sq mi (19.7 km2)
 - Land 6.0 sq mi (15.6 km2)
 - Water 1.6 sq mi (4.1 km2)  20.87%
Elevation 722 ft (208 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 5,005
 Density 830.0/sq mi (320.5/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 05855
Area code(s) 802
FIPS code 50-48850[1]
GNIS feature ID 1461773[2]

Newport is a city in and the shire town[3] (county seat)[4] of Orleans County, Vermont, United States. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 5,005. The city contains the largest population of any government in the county, yet encompasses the smallest area.[5]



Main Street in 1908

In 1753, the Abenakis brought the ransomed John Stark down Lake Memphremagog and came ashore where Newport is now. They then traveled southeast to his home in New Hampshire.

Rogers' Rangers were forced to retreat through the county following their attack on Saint-Francis, Quebec in 1759. To confound their avenging pursuers, they split up on the east shore of Lake Memphremagog. One group followed the Clyde River east. Another followed the Barton River south.[6]

Newport as a settlement was began in 1793.[7] The village was first called Pickeral Point, but later renamed Lake Bridge for its location at the head of Lake Memphremagog. [8]

In the early 1800s, the women of pioneer Calvin Arnold's household, refused to live in the Arnold house near what is now Clyde Pond, because of depredations by the Indians.[9]

In 1816, part of the former town of Salem, was annexed to Newport town, and is now part of the city.[10]

In 1868, the Lake Bridge settlement was incorporated as the Village of Newport.

It became a busy lumber town. The firm of Prouty & Miller, a lumbering firm, was started in 1865. With the end of the lumbering concentration in Vermont, it went out of business in the 1980s.[11]

Railroad station and steamboat Lady of the Lake in 1908

The Lady of the Lake steam excursion/ferry boat started operating in 1867. It stopped operations in 1917. This is used as Newport's logo.

In 1868, a livery stable that would ultimately grow to 100 horses, started operating behind a hotel, several blocks from the railway station.[12]

The Newport Wharf Light was a tower built on Lake Memphremagog in 1879. It has since been demolished.[13]

The current county courthouse was built in 1886.[14] That was the year that the legislature moved the shire town here.[15]

By the late 1800s, the Boston & Maine and Central Vermont railroads were routed through Lake Bridge and the small village experienced a population boom.

Memphremagog House c. 1880s, built in 1838 and burned in 1907

The now-historic Goodrich Memorial Library was built in 1899.[16] In 1917, the city of Newport was formed from portions of the towns of Newport (former village of Newport) and Derby (former village of West Derby). It was organized on March 5, 1918.

The current federal courthouse was built in 1904. Then, it included the post office.[14]

In 1917, the city paved Main Street. By 1930, 4,000 motor vehicles a day, during the summer, traveled the street.[14]

In August 1942, a single-engined Royal Canadian Air Force training plane crashed into the lake near the west shore near the city, killing the only occupant, the pilot.[17]

Between 1936 and 1953, the International Club in Newport had the largest dance floor in New England, capable of holding 2,000 dancers. Various performers stopped to entertain while enroute between Boston and Montreal on the railroad. These included: Louis Armstrong, Charlie Barnet, Les Brown, Cab Calloway, Rosemary Clooney, the Dorsey Brothers, Jimmy and Tommy; Stan Kenton, Kay Kyser, Gene Krupa, Glenn Miller, Tony Pastor, and Louis Prima.[18][19]

From its founding, Newport's population plateaued around 5,000 people until 1950 when it started dropping. It reached bottom in 1990 at 4,434. In 2000 it still had not reached its 1950 high which was 5,217. In 2003, the Newport-headquartered Citizens Utility was sold and divided up among Great Bay Hydro and Vermont Electric Cooperative.[9]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.6 square miles (19.7 km2), of which, 6.0 square miles (15.6 km2) of it is land and 1.6 square miles (4.1 km2) of it (20.87%) is water. The city surrounds the southern shore of Lake Memphremagog. Three of the four major rivers in the county empty into the lake here: the Clyde, Barton, and the Black.

Newport borders the towns of Coventry to the south, Newport to the west, and Derby to the north and east.


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 5,005 people, 2,086 households, and 1,191 families residing in the city. The population density was 830.0 people per square mile (320.5/km2). There were 2,342 housing units at an average density of 388.4/sq mi (150.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.14% White, 0.76% Black or African American, 0.62% Native American, 0.62% Asian, 0.22% from other races, and 1.64% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.28% of the population.

There were 2,086 households out of which 26.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.0% were married couples living together, 12.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.9% were non-families. 35.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.20 and the average family size was 2.84.

In the city the population was spread out with 22.2% under the age of 18, 8.3% from 18 to 24, 27.1% from 25 to 44, 23.1% from 45 to 64, and 19.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 97.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.7 males.


Personal Income

The median income for a household in the city was $25,544, and the median income for a family was $34,922. Males had a median income of $33,810 versus $19,787 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,054. About 13.0% of families and 18.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.4% of those under age 18 and 5.4% of those age 65 or over.

The per capita income is the highest in Orleans County. The income ranks it 108 out of 282 census areas in Vermont.


Poulin Grain ships its farm feed products to customers in New England and upstate New York.[20] It employs about 50 workers. The plant is producing feed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.[21]

The Vermont Teddy Bear Company has a plant within the city.[22] A Columbia Forest Products plant employs about 100 workers.[23]

There is a call center employing 120 people.[24][25]

An local subsidiary of an international ski clothing manufacturer employs 30 workers.[26]


Orleans County courthouse in Newport

Municipal offices are located in the former National Guard Armory, 222 Main Street, Newport.

Elected government consists of 4 aldermen with staggered two years terms and a mayor.[27]

The city has a paid staff for tax assessment/zoning administrator, public works department, police, fire, recreation and parks, city attorney, and harbor master.

There are decision-making boards which are filled by unpaid appointees: planning commission (5 people, three year terms), harbor commission (5 people, two year terms),development review board (nine people, three year terms), and a recreation committee.

There are normal officers for Vermont cities and sometimes towns, except they are appointed for cities: Delinquent tax collector, town service officer, animal control, health officer, tree warden, weigher of coal, inspector of wood and shingles, representative to NVDA (Northeastern Vermont Development Association) board, representative to EDC board (Vermont Economic Development Authority), and Fence Viewers.

  • Budget (proposed 2007-2008) - $2,479,193[28]


The city is governed under the mayor-council system. Its mayor is Paul Monette, and the council is composed of Richard Baraw, Tim de la Bruere, Dennis Chenette, and John Wilson.[29] The city clerk/treasurer is James D. Johnson,[30] and the city manager is John O. Ward.[31]

Former mayors


Fifty-four percent of those registered, voted in the 2008 general election. This was the lowest turnout in the county. [32]

Newport hosts the Northern State Correctional Facility, the Newport Court and Reparative Services, and the Vermont Correctional Industries.


North Country Hospital is located in the city.

Orleans-Essex Visiting Nurses Association and Hospice employs 100 people locally.

The Northeast Kingdom Human Services aids mental health needs.

Social services are provided in part by the Northeast Kingdom Community Action located here and in other Northeast Kingdom sites.


A commercial ice fishing derby has been held in February since 2003.

The only Soap Box Derby in Vermont is held in the city annually. The winner represents the state in the nationals.[33]


Newport has two public schools: an elementary school, Newport City Elementary, and a high school, North Country Union High School. There is one private school, the United Christian Academy. It was formerly home to Sacred Heart School in the Burlington Roman Catholic Diocese School District[34], but closed in fall of 2007.

School districts

The city has a school board that governs the operation of Newport Elementary.

School Board directors include Lisa Kincaid, Leo Willey (chair), Deborah Cogan, Corinna Lancaster and Marcy Miller.

The budget for the Newport City Elementary School was $4,435,765 in 2007.

In addition, the city belongs to North Country Supervisory Union with members from nearby towns. They operate the North Country Union High School and the North Country Union Junior High School. The supervisor hired by this union board supervises the town school, as well as the union schools.

  • Member, North Country Union High School Board - Tim DelaBruere (2010), Richard Cartee (2008) and James Privee (2009)[28]

Higher education

Newport is home to a branch of the Community College of Vermont which enrolls nearly 300 students.[35] It awards an Associate's Degree for these undergraduate studies.



Major routes

  • US 5.svg U.S. Route 5 - connecting Coventry to the south, Derby to the north and east
  • Vermont 14.svg VT Route 14 - connecting the Town of Coventry
  • Vermont 100.svg VT Route 100 - connecting the Town of Newport
  • Vermont 105.svg VT Route 105 - connecting the Town of Newport (concurrent with route 100, and the town of Derby (concurrent with route 191)
  • Vermont 191.svg VT Route 191 - "Access Road", connects I-91, Exit 27, to the city of Newport

The city has six stoplights, which is most of the stoplights in the county. Five are on Route 5.

Local community public and private transportation

The RCT (Rural Community Transportation), a non-profit organization, runs out of Saint Johnsbury and services Caledonia and two other counties, including Orleans.[28] For general use, there are four buses north and south during the week from west Newport city to Derby, and two buses each way on Saturday. The fare is US 25 cents.[36]


Washington County Railroad (known by the reporting mark WACR) - In 2007 WACR was awarded a 30 year contract by the State of Vermont to operate the rail line between White River Junction and Newport. Today the only regular service on this line is freight traffic.

Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway (known by the reporting mark MMA) - The MMA operates the line running northwest through North Troy and eventually on to Farnham, Quebec. It interchanges freight traffic with the WACR at Newport yard, just south of town.

A rail line, which was part of the Quebec Central Railway, once ran east of Lake Memphremagog up to Lennoxville, Quebec, but it has been abandoned and the right-of-way has been converted into a mixed-use bicycle and walking path.


The city is served by the Newport State Airport. It contains two runways of 4,000 feet (1,200 m) each 05-23, and 18-36.


The city discharged an average of 908,917 US gallons (3,440,630 l; 756,832 imp gal) of treated wastewater daily into the Clyde River in 2003-04.[37]

Notable residents


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ Title 24, Part I, Chapter 1, §11, Vermont Statutes. Accessed 2007-11-01.
  4. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ Darrell Hoyt (1985). Sketches of Orleans, Vermont. Mempremagog Press. ISBN 0-9610860-2-5. , page 1
  7. ^ Columbia-Lippincott Gazeteer. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1952) p. 1314
  8. ^ Austin J. Coolidge & John B. Mansfield, A History and Description of New England; Boston, Massachusetts 1859
  9. ^ a b Wheeler, Scott (February 2008). The Man Who Helped Electify the Jay Peak Ski Lift. Northland Journal. 
  10. ^ [2]
  11. ^ Vermont Almanac accessed March 2, 2008
  12. ^ Gibson, Peggy Day (August 6, 2008). The voice of harness racing. the Chronicle. 
  13. ^ Lighthouses at Lighthouse Depot ... Lighthouse Explorer Database ... Newport Wharf Light
  14. ^ a b c Historic marker #9, Newport, Vermont
  15. ^ Young, Darlene (1998). A history of Barton Vermont. Crystal Lake Falls Historical Association. 
  16. ^ Goodrich Memorial Library website [3]
  17. ^ "Salvage Operations on Crashed Plane Now Underway". Derby, Vermont: the November 13, 1943 Newport Daily Express as quoted in the Northland Journal. September 2008. pp. 29–30. 
  18. ^ Old Stone House Museum (June 29, 2007). Big band dance to honor Korean War veterans. the Chronicle. 
  19. ^ Goyette, Ray (August 2006). Reader Reflects on the International Club. Vermont's Northland Journal. 
  20. ^ Poulin Grain - Dealer Locator
  21. ^ Vermont Business Magazine
  22. ^ Career Opportunities
  23. ^ The Associated Press (December 4, 2008). 54 workers laid off in Newport. Burlington Free Press. 
  24. ^ [4]
  25. ^ the Chronicle, September 3, 2008, page 11, "We're on a real growth path right now"
  26. ^ [5]
  27. ^ Newport, Vermont
  28. ^ a b c Annual City & School Report, City of Newport, Vermont. Memphremagog Press, Inc., Newport, Vermont. 2007. 
  29. ^ Newport City Council, Newport, 2007. Accessed 2009-03-26.
  30. ^ City Clerk/Treasurer, Newport, 2008. Accessed 2009-03-26.
  31. ^ City Manager, Newport, 2007. Accessed 2009-03-26.
  32. ^ Voter turnout. the Chronicle. November 5, 2008. 
  33. ^ The Chronicle, July 1, 2009, page 21, "Mosholder takes top spot in derby," Dr. Turcotte
  34. ^ [6]
  35. ^ Facts & Figures - Community College of Vermont
  36. ^ Rural Community Transportation Large Format Bus Schedule - The Highlander (Newport/Derby/Derby Line. 2008. 
  37. ^ "Basin 17:Lake Memphremagog Watershed Assessment Report". Vermont Agency of Natural Resources,Department of Environmental Conservation, Water Quality Division. 2006-03. pp. 34. 

External links

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