Vermont Counties
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Vermont Counties

There are fourteen counties in Vermont. Each county has a county seat, known in Vermont as shire town. In 1777, Vermont had two counties. The western side of the state was called Bennington County and the eastern was called Cumberland County. In 1781 Cumberland County was broken up into three counties in Vermont, plus Washington County, which eventually became part of New Hampshire. Today's Washington County was known as Jefferson County until 1814. Essex County, Orleans County, and Caledonia County are commonly referred to as the Northeast Kingdom.

Addison County, Vermont

Addison County Education, Geography, and History

Addison County, Vermont Courthouse

Addison County is a county located in the state of Vermont. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 36,821. Its shire town is Middlebury.

Etymology - Origin of Addison County Name

The History of Addison County by H.P. Smith, 1886, D. Mason and Co. states that Addison County "...was named in honor of Joseph Addison, the English author..." The Addison family continues to thrive in England and has written us with the information that Joseph lived from 1672 to 1719 and left these words for us: Happiness is something to do, something to love, something to hope for! Addison is buried in Westminster Abby.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Addison County History

Addison County was organized 18 Oct 1785 from Rutland County.
County Seat: Middlebury

In 1609, the French explorer Samuel de Champlain entered the 136-mile lake that would bear his name. Before the end of 17th century, a small stone fort was built at Chimney Point near what is now West Addison on Lake Champlain. It was the first settlement in Vermont. The fort was occupied by the French and then the British. During the Revolutionary War, Lake Champlain was the scene of bitter battles and those living in the area were captured or driven away. One such event happened in May of 1775; Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys, along with Benedict Arnold rowed across the Lake to captured Fort Ticonderoga from the British.

Iroquois settled in the county before European arrived in 1609. French settlers in Crown Point, New York extended their settlements across Lake Champlain. A few individuals or families came up the lake from Canada and established themselves at Chimney Point in 1730. In 1731, at Cross Point Fort Frederic was erected. In the year 1759, General Amherst occupied Cross Point and British settler's settlers came in. The Battle of Bennington in Bennington, fought on August 16, 1777, brought a turning point for the American independence against British.

Finally, in 1783, peace was declared, settlers began to return and new communities were formed. Addison County was established on October 18, 1795 and encompassed most of the lands in northwestern Vermont bounded by Lake Champlain.

This county was established by act of the Legislature October 18, 1785 at the period of Vermont Republic. In 1791, Vermont joined the federal union after the original thirteen colonies. When Vermont was admitted to the Union in 1791, the size of the County was reduced to its present area with a population of about 6,400 settlers.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 808 square miles (2,093 km2), of which, 770 square miles (1,995 km2) of it is land and 38 square miles (99 km2) of it (4.72%) is water. The primary stream of the county is Otter Creek, which runs through the county from the south to the north.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Chittenden County, Vermont - north
  • Washington County, Vermont - northeast
  • Orange County, Vermont - east
  • Windsor County, Vermont - southeast
  • Rutland County, Vermont - south
  • Washington County, New York - southwest
  • Essex County, New York - west


Addison County has the following high schools:

Vergennes Union High School in Vergennes
Mt. Abe Union High School in Bristol
Middlebury Union High School in Middlebury
Middlebury Union Middle School in Middlebury

Addison County is also home to two institutions of higher learning, Middlebury College and the Community College of Vermont, both located in Middlebury

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