Vergennes, Vermont: Wikis

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Vergennes, Vermont
—  City  —
Vergennes
Vergennes, Vermont
Coordinates: 44°9′56″N 73°15′8″W / 44.16556°N 73.25222°W / 44.16556; -73.25222Coordinates: 44°9′56″N 73°15′8″W / 44.16556°N 73.25222°W / 44.16556; -73.25222
Country United States
State Vermont
County Addison
Area
 - Total 2.5 sq mi (6.5 km2)
 - Land 2.4 sq mi (6.2 km2)
 - Water 0.1 sq mi (0.3 km2)
Elevation 194 ft (59 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 2,741
 - Density 1,141.1/sq mi (440.6/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 05491
Area code(s) 802
FIPS code 50-74650[1]
GNIS feature ID 1460018[2]

Vergennes (/vɚˈdʒɛnz/) is a city located in the northwest quadrant of Addison County, Vermont, in the United States. Bordered by the towns of Ferrisburgh, Panton and Waltham, as of the 2000 census the city population was 2,741. It is the smallest of Vermont's nine cities in terms of population (though the city of Winooski covers a smaller area).

Contents

History

Vergennes was established in 1788, the only one of Vermont's cities not to have been first chartered as a town or independent village. Instead, portions of the pre-existing towns of New Haven, Panton and Ferrisburg where they came together at the Otter Creek Falls were drawn off to create Vergennes. It is the smallest city (by population) in Vermont.

The city is named for Charles Gravier, Comte de Vergennes.[3] Reluctant to openly do anything that might involve her in another war with England, France agreed to aid the colonists in their revolution behind the scenes, thanks mainly to the efforts of Benjamin Franklin. As directed by Louis XVI, Gravier established a fictional company through which the Americans received nearly 80% of their military supplies. It was also Gravier who negotiated the 1783 Treaty of Paris which formally brought the Revolutionary War to a close.

Here, Thomas MacDonough built and armed the fleet that would defeat the British on Lake Champlain. The Monkton Iron Company (which was at the time the largest iron works in the colonies) manufactured the fittings for MacDonough's fleet, as well as most of the cannon shot used by the army in the north. The ore used was mined in nearby Monkton.

The motive for a city form of municipal government is said to have been to provide a vision for building the area as an industrial center. The Otter Creek Falls and close access to the Lake Champlain waterway was thought to be a fertile place for commercial growth.

Industry boomed in the late nineteenth century, in particular a shipping industry connected to the Champlain Canal and wood-finishing related to lumber imported from Canada. As railways supplanted the canal system, manufacturing declined. An ill-fated railroad spur from Ferrisburgh to the base of the falls proved a failure, with grades too steep for practical operations.

Commercial decline continued in the twentieth century, narrowing down to a few surviving companies; as the twenty-first opened, a group of civic boosters and merchants shined up the downtown area along Main street. The resultant 'boutique Vergennes', catering to tourists and transients, is hampered by centralization of land ownership and resultant escalation of commercial rents.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.5 square miles (6.5 km2), of which, 2.4 square miles (6.2 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.3 km2) of it (4.00%) is water.

The city's borders form a rectangle, nearly a square. The Otter Creek river travels north through the town. In the middle of town is a tall falls, at 37 feet, with a large, infrequently flooding basin.

Demographics

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 2,741 people, 979 households, and 632 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,141.1 people per square mile (441.0/km2). There were 1,032 housing units at an average density of 429.6/sq mi (166.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 93.43% White, 2.01% African American, 0.22% Native American, 0.36% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 1.06% from other races, and 2.88% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.92% of the population.

There were 979 households out of which 34.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.8% were married couples living together, 11.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.4% were non-families. 28.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.5% 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 3.02.

In the city the population was spread out with 28.4% under the age of 18, 13.1% from 18 to 24, 27.8% from 25 to 44, 19.3% from 45 to 64, and 11.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 100.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $37,763, and the median income for a family was $48,155. Males had a median income of $33,669 versus $20,527 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,465. About 8.1% of families and 17.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.5% of those under age 18 and 16.0% of those age 65 or over.

Schools

Vergennes has four schools: Vergennes Union Elementary School, Vergennes Union High School, Champlain Valley Christian School, and Northlands Job Corps Center, which has no affiliation with the former Weeks School [formerly an orphanage and juvenile delinquent home until the late 1970s, in the same facility.]

Vergennes Union High School also offers an alternative public program, the Walden Project, available to area students.

Culture

The city features the Vergennes Opera House, which has weekly events involving the community and special guests, bands, singers, politicians and theater groups.

Notable residents

References

  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. http://geonames.usgs.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  3. ^ City of Vergennes. (n.d.). City of Vergennes. Retrieved January 2, 2010.

External links

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