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Orleans County, Vermont
Map of Vermont highlighting Orleans County
Location in the state of Vermont
Map of the U.S. highlighting Vermont
Vermont's location in the U.S.
Seat Newport
Largest city Newport
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

721 sq mi (1,867 km²)
698 sq mi (1,808 km²)
23 sq mi (60 km²), 3.25%
Population
 - (2000)
 - Density

26,277
39/sq mi (15/km²)
Founded 1792
Orleans County Courthouse

Orleans County is one of the four northernmost counties in the U.S. state of Vermont. It borders Canada. As of 2000, the population was 26,277. Its county seat is Newport.[1] As in the rest of New England, few governmental powers have been granted to the county. The county is an expedient way of grouping and distributing state-controlled governmental services.

Contents

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 721 square miles (1,868 km²).It is the fifth largest county in Vermont. It is larger than the nation of Guadeloupe and smaller than the country of Mauritius.[2]

There are 37.7 persons per square mile. 698 square miles (1,807 km²) of it is land and 23 square miles (61 km²) of it (3.25%) is water.

The county lies between the eastern and western ranges of the Green Mountains.

It has the largest area of the three counties comprising the Northeast Kingdom.

The highest point in the county is Jay Peak in the town of Jay, at 3,858 feet (1,176 m). The lowest is the surface of Lake Memphremagog at 682 feet (208 m).[3]

The county is mainly drained by four river systems: the Barton, the Black, the Clyde and the Missisquoi River. The first three run north.[4] The last meanders west through Canada and the U.S. Two exceptions are Greensboro and the southern part of Glover which drain south into the Passumpsic River, a tiny stretch of which is also in Orleans County, and Craftsbury which drains west into the Lamoille.

The county is unique in eastern Vermont for mostly draining north as a part of the St. Lawrence River basin. All Vermont counties directly to the south (and east of the Green Mountains) drain into the Connecticut River, as does much of Essex county, to the east.

The Barton River drains Crystal Lake, runs north through Barton, Brownington, Coventry and drains through Newport into Lake Memphremagog. The Barton River watershed also includes the towns of Derby, Irasburg, Westmore, and the water bodies of Lake Willoughby, Crystal Lake, and Shadow and Parker ponds.[5]

The Black River is about 30 miles (48 km) in length. It rises in some ponds in Craftsbury, and passes through Albany, Irasburg, and Coventry. It reaches Lake Memphremagog at Salem. The watershed also includes Albany, Lake Eligo and the Hosmer Ponds.[5]

The Clyde River has four hydroelectric dams before reaching Lake Memphremagog. The watershed includes Brighton (Essex County), Charleston, Morgan (Essex County), Derby, Seymour Pond, Echo Lakes, and Island, Clyde and Pensioner ponds.[5]

Additionally, the Canadian rivers of Coaticook and Tomifobia watersheds include Derby, Holland, and Norton Pond, Holland Pond, and Great and Little Averill Ponds.[5]

The county contains more ponds than any other in the state.[6]

The county contains three state forests: Hazen's Notch, Jay, and Willoughby.

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Climate

The average growing season is about 130 frost-free days in the Newport area.[7] As this is the lowest point in the county, the growing season for other places in the county which are more elevated, should be less.

Tornadoes have struck the county four times from 1950-1995, all F1s. One caused an injury.[8] This level is 2.7 times below than the national average.[9]

Adjacent counties

Government

As in all Vermont counties, there is a small executive function which is mostly consolidated at the state level. Remaining county government is judicial. There are no "county taxes."

In 2007, median property taxes in the county were $1,940, placing it 265 out of 1,817 counties in the nation with populations over 20,000.[10]

The budget for 2006 was $428,612.51. Town taxes accounted for over 65% of this money. The budget was all fulfilled by the state. There are no "county taxes" in Vermont. Almost 32% of the money was spent on courthouse personnel. Over 22% of the money was spent on the Sheriff Department's expenses.[11]

Executive

The Assistant, or "Side," Judges, Superior Court, approve the budget for county expenses.

  • Assistant Judge (elected) - Robert Goodby
  • Assistant Judge (elected) - Benjamin M. Batchelder
  • Road commissioners (appointed for one-year terms by the Superior Court)[12] Citizens may appeal to this commission when they believe that a town has failed to properly maintain a road or a bridge.
    • Shawn Austin
    • Thomas Berrier
    • Dale Carpenter, Jr.

Judicial

The Superior, Family and Probate courts are all located at 247 Main Street, Newport Vermont.

Superior Court presiding judge (appointed by the state) - Christina Reiss

  • Court clerk - Laura Dolgin

Family court presiding judge - Christina Reiss[13]

The District Court is located at 217 Main Street, Newport, Vermont, as is the State Attorney.[15] The District court presiding judge is Walter Morris[16]. The Court Manager is Tina de la Bruere. The State's Attorney (elected) is Keith Flynn.

The sheriff's office and jail facilities are located at 255 Main Street, Newport, Vermont, next to the Superior Court building. The sheriff, who is normally elected, is Kirk Martin. He was appointed by the governor to fill the remaining two years for Lance Bowen, who resigned for health reasons.[17]

Legislators

The Essex-Orleans Senate district includes all of Orleans County, as well as parts or all of Essex County, Franklin County and Lamoille County. It is represented in the Vermont Senate by Vincent Illuzzi (R) and Robert A. Starr (D).

Politics

Normally voting among the most conservative counties in Vermont, the county overwhelmingly supported the Democratic presidential candidate in 2008 with 64% of the vote. No town supported the Republican opponent. Nevertheless, the county elected only Republicans to the state senate and legislature and voted overwhelmingly for a Republican governor and lieutenant governor, yet Democratic for all other state offices.[18] With one exception in the legislature for one district, the vote was not close for any office.

A record seventy-three percent of the voters turned out for the general election in 2000.[19]

History

The county shares the same pre-Columbian history with the Northeast Kingdom.

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. Another followed the Barton River south to the falls at the outlet of Crystal Lake where they were able to catch fish. From there, they continued south over the summit into the Passumpsic River Valley.[20]

In 1779 or 1780, General Moses Hazen constructed the Bayley-Hazen Military Road from Newbury, Vermont through Hardwick, Greensboro, Craftsbury, and Albany to Hazen's Notch in northern Vermont. This purpose of this road was to invade Canada. It was never used for that purpose, but was instrumental in the settlement of this area.[21] However, it was five or more years before the wilderness was inhabited by other than a few Abenaki Indians, and that during the summer.

Vermont was divided into two counties in March, 1778. In 1781 the legislature divided the northernmost county, Cumberland, into three counties: Windham and Windsor, located about where they are now. The northern remainder was called Orange county. This latter tract nearly corresponded with the old New York county of Gloucester, organized by that province March 16, 1770, with Newbury as the shire town.[22]

The state granted a town to Ebenezer Crafts, and sixty-three associates, on November 6, 1780. The town name was changed to Craftsbury, in honor of Ebenezer Crafts on October 27, 1790. Crafts was the first settler in the county.[23]

On September 3, 1783, as a result of the signing of the Treaty of Paris the Revolutionary War ended with Great Britain recognizing the independence of the United States. Vermont's border with Quebec was established at 45 degrees north latitude.[24][25]

From 1791 to 1793 Timothy Hinman built what is now called the "Hinman Settler Road" linking Greensboro north to Derby and Canada.[26]

On November 5, 1792, the legislature divided Chittenden and Orange counties into six separate counties, as follows: Chittenden, Orange, Franklin, Caledonia, Essex, and Orleans.[22]

Orleans lost territory when the new Jefferson county[27] was created in 1797.[22]

In 1810 Runaway Pond suddenly flooded the Barton River Valley with millions of gallons water in the greatest natural catastrophe in Orleans County post-Columbian history. Incredibly, no lives were lost.

On December 27, 1813, the county was invaded by British militia from nearby Stanstead, Quebec, during the War of 1812 in order to destroy an undefended barracks at Derby and to forage for supplies. No one was injured. Until the invasion, local inhabitants, like most New Englanders, opposed the war. A number had smuggled supplies to the British. After the invasion, their enthusiasm for their neighbors diminished substantially.[28][29]

June 1816 brought a foot of snow to the county and following along with it, agricultural devastation. The year became known as the Year without a summer.[30]

When Lamoille county was formed in October 1835, Orleans lost the towns of Eden, Hyde Park, Morristown, and Wolcott.[22]

In 1858, Barton (and Orleans County) obtained a triangular piece of land from Sheffield (and Caledonia County) which included all of May Pond, the entire area south of Crystal Lake, and the village of South Barton.[31]

French immigration into the county started before the Civil War.[32] It continued afterwards. Like the rest of the state, Orleans County sent up to one-quarter of its eligible men to the Civil War. Ten percent of these died. Others came back too maimed to continue working their farms, which most volunteers had left.[33] The sudden offering of many farms for sale in the mid-1860s resulted in a precipitous drop in farm prices. Nearby French-Canadians took advantage of this.[34] As a result of this and loss of native farm labor to other states, Vermont, particularly the northern part, saw many migrants then and through the turn of the twentieth century.

After increasing in population since its founding, the county began losing population starting in 1900. It reached a twentieth century low in population in 1960 at 20,143. The population has risen ever since.

In 1903, a state law allowed each town to decide whether to permit the sale of liquor within their boundaries. By 1905, no town in the county allowed the sale of alcoholic beverages. The change was not that dramatic since state law had theoretically forbidden alcohol prior to 1903, but this law was unevenly enforced.[31]

In 1967 researcher and scientist Gerald Bull constructed a laboratory for hisSpace Research Corporation in Highwater, just north of the county's Canadian border. The property overlapped into the county in North Troy. His intent was to fire research packages into orbit using heavy artillery.

In 2004, what was then billed as the final concert of the band Phish was held in Coventry on August 14-15. The concert was the single largest gathering of people in the town's history. With 70,000 tickets sold, Coventry's augmented population was one of the largest in the state's history.

The county has twenty-three places on the National Register of Historic Places.

In 2008, the state notified residents of Albany, Craftsbury, Irasburg, Lowell, Newport Town, Troy, Westfield and six towns in the adjacent counties of Lamoille and Franklin, that a review of health records from 1995 to 2006 had revealed that residents within ten miles of the former asbestos mine on Belividere Mountain had higher than normal rates of contracting asbestosis. The state and federal government continues to study this problem.[35][36] A critic replied that the entire basis of the study were three unidentified people who died from asbestosis 1995-2005 out of a total population of 16,700.[37] In April 2009 the Vermont Department of health released a revised study which found that all of deaths related to the asbestos mine were caused by occupational exposure. The report also concluded that people living near the mines had no increased risk of asbestos related illness than people living anywhere else in Vermont.[38] However, the site will still need to be cleaned up. In 2009, the expected cost of cleanup was $300 million.[39]

Demographics

See Historical U.S. Census Totals for Orleans County, Vermont.

Population

Of the four Vermont counties bordering Canada, Orleans County is the largest. That said, all four counties have the lowest population in Vermont.

As of the census[40] of 2000

  • People - 26,277
  • Households - 10,446
  • Families - 7,155
  • Population density - 15/km² (38/sq mi)
  • Housing units - 14,673
  • Density of housing units - 8/km² (21/sq mi)

The racial makeup of the county

94.5% were born in the United States. 90.58% spoke English at home, while 7.72% spoke French.[10]

Population distribution by age

In the county, the population was distributed by age as follows:

  • Under the age of 18 (18 year spread) - 25.10%
  • From 18 to 24 (7 year spread) - 7.10%
  • From 25 to 44 (20 year spread) - 26.80%
  • From 45 to 64 (20 year spread) - 25.90%
  • 65 years of age or older - 15.00%

The median age was 39 years.

For every 100 females there were 98.60 males.

For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.10 males.

Ancestry

  • French/French Canadian - 30%[41]
  • English - 17%
  • Irish - 11%
  • German - 5%
  • Scottish - 4%
  • Italian - 3%
  • Scots-Irish - 2%
  • Polish - 2%
  • Canadian - 2%
  • American Indian - 2%
  • Swedish - 1%
  • Dutch - 1%
  • Welsh - 1%
  • Russian - 1%

Religion

In 2000, the following were counted by denomination:[42]

  • Catholics 7,775
  • Mainline Protestant 2,064
  • Evangelical Protestant 838
  • Other 304
  • Unclaimed 15,296

Other

An estimated 2,500 military veterans reside in the county.[43]

Economy

Orleans County has the fifth lowest average household spending in the country.[44]

Households and housing

  • Households - 10,446
  • Children under the age of 18 living in household - 32.10%
  • married couples living together - 54.40%
  • Female householder with no husband present - 9.60%
  • Non-families - 31.50%
  • Individuals - 25.20%
  • Someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older - 10.90%
  • Average household size - 2.45
  • Average family size - 2.91
  • Owned their own homes - 74.1%
  • Lived in multi-unit dwellings - 14.9%
  • Average value of owner occupied homes - $78,800.

In 2004, Orleans County had the least expensive rental housing in Vermont.[45] In 2008, one-third of residential housing were used as second homes.[46]

Personal income

Median incomes

  • Family = $36,630
  • Household = $31,084
  • Males = $27,964
  • Females = $20,779

Poverty statistics

The following were below the poverty line:

  • Under age 18 = 17.90%
  • Population = 14.10%
  • Age 65 or over = 10.90%
  • Families = 10.60%

The poverty rate for Orleans County was highest in Vermont for 2003.[47] Median wages were the second lowest in the state.[48]

See also Vermont locations by per capita income

Unemployment

In March 2008, the unemployment rate was 9.1% seasonally uncorrected, the highest in the state, which averaged 5.3%.[49]

Business and industry

There were 838 private non-farm establishments, employing 7,392 people. In 2002, there was $238 million manufacturer's shipments. That year, the county had $240 million in retail sales. Retail sales per capita were $9,000. 24% of firms were owned by women.

In 2003, there were 194 dairy farms in the county.[50] This is the third largest number in the state. In March 2007, the number of dairy farms had declined to 155. That month they produced 29,585,000 pounds of milk.[51]

For forest products, from 1988 to 2004, Orleans County showed the greatest employment increase in the state.[52]

Retail

There are five pharmacies in the county, three are regional chains. When the Rite Aid drugstores bought the Brooks pharmacies in 2007, this would have reduced competition by one in the area. The Vermont Attorney General intervened and one of the two drugstores will be sold to a competitor.[53]

There are four national chain fast food restaurants in the county, one in Orleans, one in Derby and two in the city of Newport.

There are two regional chain supermarkets in the county, both in Derby. There are local groceries as well.

There is one cinema, a tri-plex, in Newport.

Education

78.2% had at least a high school education. 16.1% had at least an undergraduate degree.

There are three public high schools in the county: North Country Union High School (1063 students), Lake Region Union High School (396), and Craftsbury Academy (59).[54] Wheeler Mountain Academy, grades 7-12, aids students who have emotional, behavioral or learning challenges. 15 are enrolled.[55] United Christian Academy is a private religious school K-12, enrolling 108 students.[56]

In 2007, the juniors in three public secondary schools in three different schools districts, North Country, Lake Region, and Craftsbury, scored lower than the state averages on standardized tests with one exception. North Country scored better than average in reading.[57] Areas tested were math, reading and writing.

In 2008, there was no correlation between the performance of students on the standardized New England Common Assessment Program tests and poverty (free lunch). The five wealthiest schools were among the ten worst performers; of the five poorest schools, three were among the top ten performers in the county. Schools in the Orleans Central Supervisory Union(the top four) appeared to outperform the North Country Supervisory Union (eight out of ten worst performing).[58]

There are about 85 home schooled students in the county, grades 1-12.

The Northeast Kingdom Learning Services is a non-profit agency that provides a central clearing house for learning services. It is located in the village of Orleans.[59][60]

The Central Orleans Family Education Center was establishined in 2002 to offer childcare, pre-K programs, after-school programs, and migrant education classes in the village of Orleans.[59]

Higher education

Craftsbury Common is home to Sterling College, an accredited four year institution with nearly 100 students.[61]

The city of Newport is home to a branch of the Community College of Vermont which enrolls nearly 300 students.[62] It awards an Associate's Degree for these undergraduate studies.

Cultural

There are thirteen libraries in the county, all of them 501(c) corporations. This includes two full time libraries in Derby Line and the city of Newport. The rest often have one part-time paid librarian. Much of the staff are volunteers. One is endowed. The rest depend upon fundraising and municipal contributions.

Cities, towns, and villages

[63]

There are eighteen towns and one city in the county.

Most towns contract with the County Sheriff for policing.[64]

Health and public safety

Media

Newspapers

Radio

  • W243AE - 96.5 FM; Orleans
  • WIKE - 1490 AM; 1 kW; Newport
  • WMOO - 92.1 FM; Derby Center

Television

  • W14CK - Channel 14; Newport
  • NEK-TV - Channels 14 and 15;[65] Northeast Kingdom Television, Newport.[66]

Utilities and communication

Communication

Fairpoint Communications supplies hard line telephone coverage for the entire county. [67]

Cell phones

In 2007, AT&T bought out Unicel in Orleans County, and in the next year replaced Unicel. [68]

Verizon Wireless covers Newport city and the south Derby-I-91 area. Owl's Head in Canada may provide "roaming" service in the North part of the county.

Broadband

  • Broadband coverage as of 2006[69]
    • Total Coverage = 86%[70]
    • Cable = 52%
    • DSL = 44%
    • Wireless Internet Service Provider = 69%

Transportation

Major routes

The opening of Interstate 91 north from Barton on November 9, 1972 and opening south from the county in 1978 had an impact on the county comparable to the opening of the railway a century earlier. In 1980, the county registered its first population gain in a century.[31]

The interstate has five exits in the county. Two are in the town of Barton, servicing the villages of Barton and Orleans; three are in the town of Derby: the southernmost one, exit 27, actually services Newport city a mile away, 28 services village of Derby Center and the shopping areas, 29, the village of Derby Line.

The county has 1,041 miles (1,675 km) of state highway and class 1, 2 and 3 roads. 606 miles (975 km) of these are dirt roads (class 3). 141 miles (227 km) are unused roads (Class 4). As in most of New England, the county government does not build nor maintain any roads.

Derby has the most road mileage, 102; Westfield the least with 31.[71]

The county has seven stoplights, six in the city of Newport and one in Derby. Five are on Route 5.

  • I-91.svg Interstate 91 - Barton to Derby
  • US 5.svg U.S. Route 5 - Barton to Derby
  • Vermont 5A.svg VT 5A - Westmore to Derby
  • Vermont 14.svg VT Route 14 - Irasburg to Coventry and Newport
  • Vermont 16.svg Vermont Route 16 - Greensboro to Westmore
  • Vermont 58.svg Vermont Route 58 - Lowell to Westmore
  • Vermont 100.svg VT Route 100 - Newport through Eden. One of the few good roads west/southwest from the county.
  • Vermont 101.svg VT Route 101 - Connects North Troy and Route 105 with Troy Village
  • Vermont 105.svg VT Route 105 - Troy to Charleston
  • Vermont 111.svg VT Route 111 - Derby to Morgan
  • Vermont 122.svg VT 122 - Glover southeast to Sheffield
  • Vermont 191.svg VT Route 191 - "Access Road", connects I-91, Exit 27, to the city of Newport
  • Vermont 242.svg VT Route 242 - connects route 101 in Jay, with Jay Peak Village
  • Vermont 243.svg VT Route 243 - Connects North Troy to Mansonville, apparently retaining the same number on the Canadian side of the border

Local community public and private transportation

The RCT (Rural Community Transportation), a non-profit organization, runs out of Saint Johnsbury and services Caledonia, Essex, Lamoille and Orleans Counties. For general use, there are four buses north and south during the week from west Newport city to Derby Center, and two buses each way on Saturday. The fare is US 25 cents.[72]

Railroads

Washington County Railroad (The Vermont Railway System) - WACR has just recently been awarded a 30 year contract to operate the track running from White River Junction North through St. Johnsbury and Newport. Users ship freight on this route.

There are no stops in the county. A line once ran up the east side of Lake Memphremagog, but this line has been abandoned and in some cases, torn up for use as hiking trails. This crossed the line near Beebe. The line still in operation goes northwest to Canada through North Troy.

Airport

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

Notable residents

Footnotes

  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. http://www.naco.org/Template.cfm?Section=Find_a_County&Template=/cffiles/counties/usamap.cfm. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  2. ^ http://www.mongabay.com/igapo/world_statistics_by_area.htm retrieved on May 22, 2007
  3. ^ Lake Memphremagog Fishing in Orleans County
  4. ^ Author Howard Frank Mosher has written a number of books about the area including Where the Rivers Flow North.
  5. ^ a b c d Public invited to meetins about Memphremagog watershed. the Chronicle. August 8, 2007.  
  6. ^ Gazetteer of Vermont by John Hayward, 1849
  7. ^ Draft Environmental Assessment retrieved May 28, 2008
  8. ^ Vermont Tornadoes
  9. ^ Orleans County, Vermont detailed profile - houses, real estate, agriculture, wages, work, ancestries, and more
  10. ^ McLean, Dan (December 17, 2008). Property tax bills among highest. Burlington Free Press.  
  11. ^ 2006 Financial Report of Orleans County General Fund, The Chronicle, March 7, 2007, page 26
  12. ^ The Vermont Statutes Online
  13. ^ [1]
  14. ^ [2]
  15. ^ and the state offices of Human Services
  16. ^ [3]
  17. ^ Creaser, Richard (October 22, 2008). There's a new sheriff in town. the Chronicle.  
  18. ^ An Obama sweep, and a conservative upset. Burlington Free Press. November 7, 2008.  
  19. ^ Pollina easily outdistances Symington in county. the Chronicle. November 5, 2008.  
  20. ^ Darrell Hoyt (1985). Sketches of Orleans, Vermont. Mempremagog Press. ISBN 0-9610860-2-5.  , page 1
  21. ^ "RootsWeb". The Hazen Military Road. http://www.rootsweb.com/~vermont/HistoryHazenMilitaryRoad.html. Retrieved 2007-01-03.  
  22. ^ a b c d Child, Hamilton. (May 1887). Gazetteer of Lamoille and Orleans Counties, VT.; 1883-1884. Hamilton Child.  
  23. ^ Gazetteer of Lamoille and Orleans Counties, VT.; 1883-1884, Compiled and Published by Hamilton Child; May 1887
  24. ^ Van Zandt, Franklin K. Boundaries of the United States and the Several States. Geological Survey Professional Paper 909. Washington, DC; Government Printing Office, 1976. The Standard Compilation for its subject. P. 12.
  25. ^ Parry, Clive, ed. Consolidated Treaty Series. 231 Volumes. Dobbs Ferry, New York; Oceana Publications, 1969-1981. Volume 48; pp. 481; 487; 491-492.
  26. ^ "Vermont History". The Checkered Career of Timothy Hinman. http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:9PyVwK4aF2QJ:www.vermonthistory.org/journal/70/vt703_403.pdf+hinman+settler+road+built+timothy&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=2. Retrieved 2006-12-27.  
  27. ^ later called Washington county November 8, 1814
  28. ^ Derby Attacked! The War of 1812 Comes to Vermont. Kingdom Historical. July 2003.  
  29. ^ [4]
  30. ^ [5]
  31. ^ a b c Young, Darlene (1998). A history of Barton Vermont. Crystal Lake Falls Historical Association.  
  32. ^ The French Settlement Of Vermont: 1609-1929
  33. ^ vermont
  34. ^ French Canadian Emigration to the United States, 1840-1930 - Readings - Quebec History
  35. ^ Rathke, Lisa (December 12, 2008). Neighbors worry about mine's impact on health. Burlington Free Press.  
  36. ^ [6]
  37. ^ Avery, Don (January 7, 2009). Letter to the editor:The Vermont Department of Health has done a great disservice to the people of Eden and Lowell. the Chronicle.  
  38. ^ http://healthvermont.gov/enviro/asbestos/vagm-healthstudy.aspx
  39. ^ Braithwaite, Chris (8 July 2009). "Feds to recover a fraction of mine cleanup costs". Barton, Vermont: the Chronicle. pp. 22.  
  40. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  41. ^ Orleans County, VT - Orleans County, Vermont - Ancestry & family history - ePodunk
  42. ^ [7]
  43. ^ The Chronicle, July 1, 2009, page 14, "Veterans ask for clinic closer to home," Joseph Gresser
  44. ^ Best Places to Live in Rural America. Progressive Farmer's 2007 Annual Report. 2007.  
  45. ^ "Vermont Housing & Conservation Board" (PDF). Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Housing and Wages in Vermont. http://www.vhcb.org/pdfs/housing-wages-2004.pdf. Retrieved 2007-01-05.  
  46. ^ [8] retrieved September 14, 2008
  47. ^ "Rural Policy and Research Institute" (PDF). Demographic and Economic Profile - Vermont. http://www.rupri.org/resources/rnumbers/states/Vermont.pdf. Retrieved 2007-01-05.  
  48. ^ "Vermont Department of Housing and Community Affairs" (PDF). Vermont Statewide Trends. http://www.dhca.state.vt.us/Housing/ConPlan/Volume%20I/Statewide%20Trends.pdf. Retrieved 2007-01-05.  
  49. ^ Jobless rate dropped in April. the Chronicle. May 21, 2008.  
  50. ^ http://www.vermontdairy.com/files/downloads/vermont-dairy-stats.xls
  51. ^ Dunbar, Bethany (August 29, 2007). Higher milk prices help farmers catch up. the Chronicle.  
  52. ^ "Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund" (PDF). Forest and Forest Products Trends. http://www.vsjf.org/sd-projects/documents/Forest_Trends_001.pdf. Retrieved 2007-01-05.  
  53. ^ Braithwaite, Chris (May 30, 2007). Deal will preserve two drugstores in Newport Derby market. the Chronicle.  
  54. ^ http://www.nvda.net/pdf/regionalplan/Volume%20II%20-%20Chapter%203%20-%20Utilities%20&%20Facilities.pdf
  55. ^ http://education.vermont.gov/new/pdfdoc/pgm_independent/directory_020807.pdf retrieved on June 13, 2007
  56. ^ http://www.ucaonline.org/uca/profile.html retrieved on June 13, 2007
  57. ^ Braithwaite, Chris (March 12, 2008). High schools get disappointing test results. the Chronicle.  
  58. ^ Braithwaite, Chris (February 4, 2009). Local schools fare well in NECAP tests. the Chronicle.  
  59. ^ a b Creaser, Richard (December 10, 2008). School district office move is under fire. the Chronicle.  
  60. ^ [9]
  61. ^ Sterling College
  62. ^ Facts & Figures - Community College of Vermont
  63. ^ While incorporated villages may be separate census divisions, they are still part of the towns they are in
  64. ^ various articles,The Chronicle,March 7, 2007
  65. ^ http://www.nektv.com/contact.htm
  66. ^ VAN Roster | Vermont Access Network
  67. ^ http://www.boston.com/business/technology/articles/2007/01/17/verizon_to_sell_lines_in_nh_vt_and_maine/
  68. ^ http://www.rutlandherald.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071205/NEWS04/712050397/1011/BUSINESS
  69. ^ Rural Vt. wants it's broadband,Burlington Free Press,February 8, 2007, page 1A
  70. ^ Statewide average is 87%
  71. ^ Microsoft Word - 2004 Miles by County-Town.rtf
  72. ^ Rural Community Transportation Large Format Bus Schedule - The Highlander (Newport/Derby/Derby Line. 2008.  

See also

External links

Coordinates: 44°50′N 72°15′W / 44.83°N 72.25°W / 44.83; -72.25


Genealogy

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Orleans County, Vermont
Map
File:Map of Vermont highlighting Orleans County.png
Location in the state of Vermont
Map of the USA highlighting Vermont
Vermont's location in the USA
Statistics
Founded 1792
Seat Newport
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

 sq mikm²)
 sq mi ( km²)
 sq mi ( km²), 3.25%
wikipedia:Population
 - (2000)
 - Density

26277

Orleans County is one of the four northernmost counties in the U.S. state of Vermont. It borders Canada. As of 2000, the population was 26,277. Its county seat is Newport6. As in the rest of New England, few governmental powers have been granted to the county. The county is an expedient way of grouping and distributing state-controlled governmental services.

Contents

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,868 km² (721 sq mi). It is the fifth largest county in Vermont. It is larger than the nation of Guadeloupe and smaller than the country of Mauritius.[1]

There are 37.7 persons per square mile. 1,807 km² (698 sq mi) of it is land and 61 km² (23 sq mi) of it (3.25%) is water.

The county lies between the eastern and western ranges of the Green Mountains.

It has the largest area of the three counties comprising the Northeast Kingdom.

The highest point in the county is Jay Peak in the town of Jay, at 3858 feet.

The county is drained by four river systems: the Barton, Black, Clyde and Missisquoi. The first three run north.[2] The last meanders west through Canada and the U.S.

In fact the county is unique in eastern Vermont for mostly draining north as a part of the St. Lawrence River Basin. All Vermont counties directly to the south (and east of the Green Mountains) drain into the Connecticut River, as does much of Essex county, to the east.

The Barton River drains Crystal Lake, runs north through Barton, Brownington, Coventry and drains through Newport into Lake Memphremagog.

The Black is about 30 miles in length. It rises in some ponds in Craftsbury, and passes through Albany, Irasburg, and Coventry. It reaches Lake Memphremagog at Salem.

The Clyde River has four hydroelectric dams before reaching Lake Memphremagog.

The county contains more ponds than any other in the State.[3]

The county contains three state forests: Hazen's Notch, Jay, and Willoughby.

Adjacent counties

Government

The Assistant, or "Side," Judges, Superior Court, approve the budget for county expenses.

  • Assistant Judge (elected) - Robert Goodby
  • Assistant Judge (elected) - Benjamin M. Batchelder
  • Superior Court presiding judge (appointed) - Robert Bent
  • Court clerk - Laura Dolgin

Annette Pike, Deputy Court Clerk

The budget for 2006 was $428,612.51. Town taxes accounted for over 65% of this money. Almost 32% of the money was spent on courthouse personnel. Over 22% of the money was spent on the Sheriff Department's expenses.[4]

  • Sheriff (elected) - Lance A. Bowen
  • County Clerk - Constance Daigle
  • Probate Judge (elected) - John P. Monette
  • Road commissioners (appointed for one-year terms by the Superior Court)[5] Citizens may appeal to this commission when they believe that a town has failed to properly maintain a road or a bridge.
    • Shawn Austin
    • Thomas Berrier
    • Dale Carpenter, Jr.

Legislators

The Essex-Orleans District includes all of Essex County, all of Orleans County, the Franklin County towns of Montgomery and Richford, and the Lamoille County towns of Eden and Wolcott. Senators are Vincent Illuzzi, Republican and Robert A. Starr, Democrat.

History

The county shares the same pre-Columbian history with the Northeast Kingdom.

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. Another followed the Barton River south to the falls at the outlet of Crystal Lake where they were able to catch fish. From there, they continued south over the summit into the Passumpsic River Valley.[6]

In 1779 or 1780, General Moses Hazen constructed the Bayley-Hazen Military Road from Newbury, Vermont through Hardwick, Greensboro, Craftsbury, and Albany to Hazen's Notch in northern Vermont. This purpose of this road was to invade Canada. It was never used for that purpose, but was instrumental in the settlement of this area.[7] However, it was five or more years before the wilderness was inhabited by other than a few Abenaki Indians, and that during the summer.

Vermont was divided into two counties in March, 1778. In 1781 the legislature divided the northernmost county, Cumberland, into three counties: Windham and Windsor, located about where they are now. The northern remainder was called Orange county. This latter tract nearly corresponded with the old New York county of Gloucester, organized by that province March 16,1770, with Newbury as the shire town.[8]

The state granted a town to Ebenezer Crafts, and sixty-three associates, on November 6,1780. The town name was changed to Craftsbury, in honor of Ebenezer Crafts on October 27, 1790. Crafts was the first settler in the county.[8]

From 1791 to 1793 Timothy Hinman built what is now called the "Hinman Settler Road" linking Greensboro north to Derby and Canada.[9]

On November 5, 1792, the legislature divided Chittenden and Orange counties into six separate counties, as follows: Chittenden, Orange, Franklin, Caledonia, Essex, and Orleans.[8]

Orleans lost territory when the new Jefferson county[10]was created in 1797.[8]

In 1810 Runaway Pond suddenly flooded the Barton River Valley with millions of gallons water in the greatest natural catastrophe in Orleans County post-Columbian history. Incredibly, no lives were lost.

When Lamoille county was formed in October 1835, Orleans lost the towns of Eden, Hyde Park, Morristown, and Wolcott.[8]

In 1858, Barton (and Orleans County) obtained a triangular piece of land from Sheffield (and Caledonia County) which included all of May Pond, the entire area south of Crystal Lake, and the village of South Barton.[11]

French immigration into the county started before the Civil War.[12] It continued afterwards. Like the rest of the state, Orleans County sent up to one-quarter of it's eligible men to the Civil War. Ten percent of these died. Others came back too maimed to continue working their farms, which most volunteers had left.[13] The sudden offering of many farms for sale in the mid-1860s resulted in a precipitous drop in farm prices. Nearby French-Canadians took advantage of this.[14] As a result of this and loss of native farm labor to other states, Vermont, particularly the northern part, saw many migrants then and through the turn of the twentieth century.

After increasing in population since its founding, the county began losing population starting in 1900. It reached a twentieth century low in population in 1960 at 20,143. The population has risen ever since.

In 1903, a state law allowed each town to decide whether to permit the sale of liquor within their boundaries. By 1905, no town in the county allowed the sale of alcoholic beverages. The change was not that dramatic since state law had theoretically forbidden alcohol prior to 1903, but this law was unevenly enforced.[11]

In 1967 researcher and scientist Gerald Bull constructed a laboratory for hisSpace Research Corporation in Highwater, just north of the county's Canadian border. The property overlapped into the county in North Troy. His intent was to fire research packages into orbit using heavy artillery.

In 2004, the final concert of the band Phish was held in Coventry on August 14-15. The concert was the single largest gathering of people in the town's history. With 70,000 tickets sold, Coventry's augmented population was the largest in the state's history.

The county has seen much history as evidenced by its twenty-three places on the National Registry of Historic Places.

Demographics

See Historical U.S. Census Totals for Orleans County

Population

Of the four Vermont counties bordering Canada, Orleans County is the largest. That said, all four counties have the lowest population in Vermont.

As of the census² of 2000

  • People - 26,277
  • Households - 10,446
  • Families - 7,155
  • Population density - 15/km² (38/sq mi)
  • Housing units - 14,673
  • Density of housing units - 8/km² (21/sq mi)

The racial makeup of the county

94.5% were born in the United States. 90.58% spoke English at home, while 7.72% spoke French.[1]

Population Distribution by Age

In the county, the population was distributed by age as follows:

  • Under the age of 18 (18 year spread) - 25.10%
  • From 18 to 24 (7 year spread) - 7.10%
  • From 25 to 44 (20 year spread) - 26.80%
  • From 45 to 64 (20 year spread) - 25.90%
  • 65 years of age or older - 15.00%

The median age was 39 years.

For every 100 females there were 98.60 males.

For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.10 males.

Ancestry

  • French/French Canadian - 30%[15]
  • English - 17%
  • Irish - 11%
  • German - 5%
  • Scottish - 4%
  • Italian - 3%
  • Scots-Irish - 2%
  • Polish - 2%
  • Canadian - 2%
  • American Indian - 2%
  • Swedish - 1%
  • Dutch - 1%
  • Welsh - 1%
  • Russian - 1%

Economy

Orleans County has the fifth lowest average household spending in the country.[16]

Households and Housing

  • Households - 10,446
  • Children under the age of 18 living in household - 32.10%
  • married couples living together - 54.40%
  • Female householder with no husband present - 9.60%
  • Non-families - 31.50%
  • Individuals - 25.20%
  • Someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older - 10.90%
  • Average household size - 2.45
  • Average family size - 2.91
  • Owned their own homes - 74.1%
  • Lived in multi-unit dwellings - 14.9%
  • Average value of owner occupied homes - $78,800.

Orleans County has the least expensive rental housing in Vermont.[17]

Personal Income

Median Incomes

  • Family = $36,630
  • Household = $31,084
  • Males = $27,964
  • Females = $20,779

Poverty Statistics

The following were below the poverty line

  • Under age 18 = 17.90%
  • Population = 14.10%
  • Age 65 or over = 10.90%
  • Families = 10.60%

The poverty rate for Orleans County was highest in Vermont for 2003.[18] Median wages were the second lowest in the state.[19]

See also Vermont locations by per capita income

Unemployment

In January 2007, the unemployment rate was 7.6% seasonally uncorrected, the highest in the state, which averaged 4.7%.[20]

Business and Industry

There were 838 Private non-farm establishments, employing 7,392 people. In 2002, there was $238 million Manufacturer's Shipments. That year, the county saw $240 million in retail sales. Retail sales per capita was $9,000. 24% of firms were owned by women.

In 2003, there were 194 dairy farms in the county.[21] This is the third largest number in the state. In March 2007, the number of dairy farms had declined to 155. That month they produced 29,585,000 pounds of milk.[22]

For forest products, from 1988 to 2004, Orleans County showed the greatest employment increase in the state.[23]

Retail

There are five pharmacies in the county, three are regional chains. When the Rite Aid drugstores buys the Brooks pharmacies in 2007, this would have reduced competition by one in the area. The Vermont Attorney General intervened and one of the two drugstores will be sold to a competitor.[24]

There are four national chain fast food restaurants in the county, one in Orleans, one in Derby and two in the city of Newport.

There are two regional chain supermarkets in the county, both in Derby. There are local groceries as well.

Education

78.2% had at least a high school education. 16.1% had at least an undergraduate degree.

There are three public high schools in the county: North Country Union High School (1063 students), Lake Region Union High School (396), and Craftsbury Academy (59).[25] Wheeler Mountain Academy, grades 7-12, aids students who have emotional, behavioral or learning challenges. 15 are enrolled.[26] United Christian Academy is a private religious school K-12, enrolling 108 students.[27]

There are about 85 home schooled students in the county, grades 1-12.

Higher Education

Craftsbury Common is home to Sterling College, an accredited four year institution with nearly 100 students.[28]

The City of Newport is home to a branch of the Community College of Vermont which enrolls nearly 300 students.[29] It awards an Associate's Degree for these undergraduate studies.

Cities, towns, and villages

[30]

There are eighteen towns and one city in the county.

Most towns contract with the County Sheriff for policing.[31]

Media

Newspapers

Radio

  • W243AE - 96.5 FM; Orleans
  • WIKE - 1490 AM; 1 kW; Newport
  • WMOO - 92.1 FM; Derby Center

Television

  • W14CK - Channel 14; Newport
  • NEK-TV - Channels 14 and 15;[32] Northeast Kingdom Television, Newport.[33]

Utilities and Communication

Communication

Verizon Communications supplies hard line telephone coverage for the entire county.

Cell phones

Unicel works best in the county with good reception in the village of Barton and the city of Newport, among others.

Verizon Wireless covers western Newport city and the Derby-north I-91 area. Owl's Head in Canada may provide "roaming" service in the North part of the county including the eastern side of the city of Newport. Better coverage is now available with new towers

Broadband

  • Broadband coverage as of 2006[34]
    • Total Coverage = 86%[35]
    • Cable = 52%
    • DSL = 44%
    • Wireless Internet Service Provider = 69%

Transportation

Major Routes

The opening of the Interstate north from Barton on November 9, 1972 and opening south from the county in 1978 had an impact on the county comparable to the opening of the railway a century earlier. In 1980, the county registered its first population gain in a century.[11]

The interstate has five exits in the county. Two are in the town of Barton, servicing the villages of Barton and Orleans; three are in the town of Derby: the southernmost one, exit 27, actually services Newport city a mile away, 28 services village of Derby Center and the shopping areas, 29, the village of Derby Line.

The county has 1,041 miles of State highway and class 1, 2 and 3 roads. 606 miles of these are dirt roads (class 3). 141 miles are unused roads (Class 4). As in most of New England, the county government does not build nor maintain any roads.

Derby has the most road mileage, 102; Westfield the least with 31.[36]

The county has seven stoplights, six in the city of Newport and one in Derby. Five are on Route 5.

Local community public and private transportation

The RCT (Rural Community Transportation) runs out of Saint Johnsbury and services Caledonia, Essex, Lamoille and Orleans Counties.

Railroads

Washington County Railroad (The Vermont Railway System) - WACR has just recently been awarded a 30 year contract to operate the track running from White River Junction North through St. Johnsbury and Newport. Users ship freight on this route.

Airport

The county is served by the Newport State Airport. It contains two runways of 4000 feet each 05-23, and 18-36.

Notable Residents

Footnotes

  1. ^ http://www.mongabay.com/igapo/world_statistics_by_area.htm retrieved on May 22, 2007
  2. ^ Author {{subst:#ifexist:Howard Mosher|[[Howard Mosher|]]|[[Wikipedia:Howard Mosher|]]}} has written a number of books about the area including Where the Rivers Flow North.
  3. ^ Gazetteer of Vermont by John Hayward, 1849
  4. ^ 2006 Financial Report of Orleans County General Fund, The Chronicle, March 7, 2007, page 26
  5. ^ http://www.leg.state.vt.us/statutes/fullsection.cfm?Title=19&Chapter=009&Section=00970
  6. ^ Darrell Hoyt (1985). Sketches of Orleans, Vermont. Mempremagog Press. ISBN 0-9610860-2-5. , page 1
  7. ^ RootsWeb. The Hazen Military Road. Retrieved on 2007-01-03.
  8. ^ a b c d e Child, Hamilton. (May 1887). Gazetteer of Lamoille and Orleans Counties, VT.; 1883-1884. Hamilton Child. 
  9. ^ Vermont History. The Checkered Career of Timothy Hinman. Retrieved on 2006-12-27.
  10. ^ later called Washington county November 8, 1814
  11. ^ a b c Young, Darlene (1998). A history of Barton Vermont. Crystal Lake Falls Historical Association. 
  12. ^ http://www.flowofhistory.org/themes/movement_settlement/french.php
  13. ^ http://vermont.50ustates.net/
  14. ^ http://faculty.marianopolis.edu/c.belanger/quebechistory/readings/leaving.htm
  15. ^ http://www.epodunk.com/cgi-bin/genealogyInfo.php?locIndex=22868
  16. ^ (2007) Best Places to Live in Rural America. Progressive Farmer's 2007 Annual Report. 
  17. ^ [http://www.vhcb.org/pdfs/housing-wages-2004.pdf Vermont Housing & Conservation Board]. Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Housing and Wages in Vermont. Retrieved on 2007-01-05.
  18. ^ Rural Policy and Research Institute. Demographic and Economic Profile - Vermont. Retrieved on 2007-01-05.
  19. ^ Vermont Department of Housing and Community Affairs. Vermont Statewide Trends. Retrieved on 2007-01-05.
  20. ^ Jobless rate sees sharp increase,The Chronicle, March 7, 2007, page 34
  21. ^ http://www.vermontdairy.com/files/downloads/vermont-dairy-stats.xls
  22. ^ Dunbar, Bethany (August 29, 2007). Higher milk prices help farmers catch up. the Chronicle. 
  23. ^ Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund. Forest and Forest Products Trends. Retrieved on 2007-01-05.
  24. ^ Braithwaite, Chris (May 30, 2007). Deal will preserve two drugstores in Newport Derby market. the Chronicle. 
  25. ^ http://www.nvda.net/pdf/regionalplan/Volume%20II%20-%20Chapter%203%20-%20Utilities%20&%20Facilities.pdf
  26. ^ http://education.vermont.gov/new/pdfdoc/pgm_independent/directory_020807.pdf retrieved on June 13, 2007
  27. ^ http://www.ucaonline.org/uca/profile.html retrieved on June 13, 2007
  28. ^ [http://www.sterlingcollege.edu/index.html
  29. ^ http://www.ccv.edu/about/facts/index.html
  30. ^ While incorporated villages may be separate census divisions, they are still part of the towns they are in
  31. ^ various articles,The Chronicle,March 7, 2007
  32. ^ http://www.nektv.com/contact.htm
  33. ^ http://www.vermontaccess.net/roster
  34. ^ Rural Vt. wants it's broadband,Burlington Free Press,February 8, 2007, page 1A
  35. ^ Statewide average is 87%
  36. ^ http://www.aot.state.vt.us/planning/documents/highresearch/publications/2004hwymiles%5Ftown.pdf

See also

External links

  • RootsWeb. Child's 1887 Gazetteer Orleans County Vermont. Retrieved on 2006-12-27., historical excerpt

Coordinates: 44°50′N 72°15′W / 44.83, -72.25

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Orleans County, Vermont. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.
Facts about Orleans County, VermontRDF feed
County names Orleans County, Vermont  +
County of country United States  +
County of subdivision1 Vermont  +
Short name Orleans County  +

This article uses material from the "Orleans County, Vermont" article on the Genealogy wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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