Vermont History Timeline

Important Dates, Events, and Milestones in Vermont History


Offers a chronological timeline of important dates, events, and milestones in Vermont history.

From 7000-1000 BCE, Native Americans reside in Vermont, moving around the region seasonally to hunt, gather, and fish. And from 1000 -1600 CE, the Woodland period, Native Americans establish villages and develop trade networks and ceramic and bow-and-arrow technology. The earliest known Native American farm site in Vermont is an Abenaki settlement in Springfield, dating from around 1100 CE. The Algonquian and the Iroquois also inhabit the region that becomes Vermont. The Native population in Vermont is nearly wiped out over the next two centuries due to European diseases and a desire for land among European settlers.

Vermont was initially settled in the early 18th century by both the British and French, and conflicts between the two nations continued until the French defeat in the French and Indian War, after which the land was ceded to England. During the American Revolution, Vermont declared independence separately from the original 13 colonies, although the Continental Congress refused to recognize it. Vermont was finally admitted to the union as the 14th state in 1790.

16th Century Vermont History Timeline

1535 - French explorer Jacques Cartier is first European to see what is now Vermont

17th Century Vermont Timeline

1609 - Samuel de Champlain discovers Lake Champlain

1666 - Fort Ste. Anne constructed on Isle LaMotte, site of first white settlement and first Catholic Mass

1690 - Small British fort built at Chimney Point

18th Century Vermont History Timeline

1724 - British build Fort Dummer at Dummerston

1731 - French build fort and begin settlement, under Seigneur Gilles Hocquart, at Chimney Point

1749 - Gov. Benning Wentworth makes first New Hampshire grant-for town of Bennington

1759 - French abandon settlement at Chimney Point

1760 - Crown Point Military Road, from Springfield, VT to Chimney Point, VT, completed east-west across Vermont

1761 - Gov. Wentworth resumes New Hampshire Grants

1770 - Green Mountain Boys organized to protect New Hampshire Grants

1774 - The Scottish-American Land Company brings Scottish settlers to Ryegate & Barnet

1775 - Ethan Allen captures Fort Ticonderoga

1776 - Construction of American fort, Mount Independence in Orwell

1777 -

  • Vermont declares itself a republic in Windsor - adopts 1st constitution with universal male suffrage, public schools, abolishing slavery
  • Battles of Hubbardton & Bennington

1779 -

  • Bayley-Hazen Military Road blazed from Peacham to Lowell
  • VT establishes property rights for women

1780 - Last major Indian raid, led by the British, in Royalton

1783 - Hyde Log Cabin constructed in Grand Isle

1785 -

  • Eureka Schoolhouse constructed in Springfield
  • First marble quarry opened in Dorset;

1786 - The Vermont Legislature passes "An Act to Prevent the Sale and Transportation of Negroes and Malattoes Out of This State."

1787 - Castleton, Vermont's first college, established and chartered by the VT General Assembly;

1791 -

  • Vermont becomes 14th state; University of Vermont chartered
  • Thomas Jefferson and James Madison visit Vermont
  • 85,341 people in Vermont

19th Century Vermont History Timeline

1801 -

  • Brigham Young born in Whitingham, later led the Mormons from Illinois to Utah & founded Salt Lake City
  • George Perkins Marsh, America's first conservationist, born in Woodstock

1805 -

  • Montpelier chosen as capital
  • Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon Church, born in Royalton

1810 -

  • Justin Smith Morrill of Strafford born
  • 217,895 people in Vermont

1819 - Vermont Colonization Society formed

1820 - Every Vermont Congressman (except one whose vote was not recorded) voted against the proslavery amendments in the bill. The state legislature passed the following resolution:

"Slavery is incompatible with the vital principles of all free governments and tends to their ruin. It paralyzes industry, the greatest source of national wealth, stifles the love of freedom, and endangers the safety of the nation. It is prohibited by the laws of nature which are equally binding on governments and individuals. The right to introduce and establish slavery in a free government does not exist."

1823 - Alexander Twilight first African American to earn college degree in US at Middlebury

1826 -

  • Martin Henry Freeman, born in Rutland, becomes, in 1856, first black college president in the US
  • Horace Greeley of West Haven begins first newspaper apprenticeship at Northern Spectator in Poultney

1829 - Chester Alan Arthur born in Fairfield

1834 - Vermont Anti-Slavery Society formed

1835 - Abolitionist Samuel J. May mobbed while lecturing in Montpelier

1837 -

  • John Deere patents steel plow
  • Thomas Davenport patents first electric motor

1840 - The Liberty Party is formed in Vermont

1850 -

  • No Vermont Congressman voted for the Compromise of 1850
  • The Vermont Legislature passed an act to impede the carrying out of the Fugitive Slave Act
  • The Vermont Legislature sends protests to other state legislatures. Virginia responded:

    "The legislature of Virginia declines to consider the resolutions of the state of Vermont, relative to the peace of the world until that body shall show itself careful of the peace of the Union by conforming to the enactments of the Constitution of the United States and laws passed

1855 -

  • First Republican governor elected
  • Republicans control that office until 1962

1859 -

  • John Dewey, philosopher and pioneer in modern education born in Burlington
  • Present State House constructed

1864 -

  • St. Albans Raid, northern most Civil War 1865
  • State Agricultural College set up at the University of Vermont as a Land Grant College

1872 - Calvin Coolidge born on the Fourth of July in Plymouth Notch

1881 - Chester A. Arthur of Fairfield becomes US President

1891 - Bennington Battle Monument completed in Old Bennington

20th Century Vermont History Timeline

1900 - 343,641 people in Vermont

1918 - Women vote in town elections

1919 - Poet Robert Frost moves to Vermont

1920 -

  • Vermont Cooperative Creameries, Inc.organized
  • 352,428 people in Vermont

1921 - Women's Suffrage adopted

1922 - Grandstand constructed at UVM's ballpark, Centennial Field (one of the oldest still in use)

1923 -

  • Calvin Coolidge of Plymouth becomes US President
  • Gasoline tax adopted
  • Airplanes regulated

1930 -

  • Cattle in state outnumber people
  • 359,611 people in Vermont

1950 -

  • Marlboro Music Festival established
  • 377,747 people in Vermont
  • Pearl Buck moves to Winhall, VT

1953 - S.S. Ticonderoga makes last steamboat trip on Lake Champlain

1954 - Consuelo Northrup Bailey elected first woman lieutenant governor in US

1962 - First Democratic governor in over 100 years elected

1964 - Victory, Granby, & Jamaica last towns in VT to receive electricity

1967 - Public broadcasting established (television)

1968 - Billboards banned

1977 - Public broadcasting established (radio)

21st Century Vermont History Timeline

2000 -

  • 608,827 people in Vermont
  •  Vermont's assembly approved same-sex marriages

2001 -

  • Vermont produced 275,000 US gallons of maple syrup;
  • Sen. James Jeffords left Republican Party to become an independent, Democratic Party gained control of Senate for first time since 1994 (2004 - Former governor, Howard Dean, dropped candidacy for Democratic president

2010 - Human rights activists interrupted performance of Israel Ballet in Burlington, calling attention to the dance company's complicity in Israeli war crimes

2011 - Tropical Storm Irene caused major floods, washed away bridges, three deaths

US History Overview
US History Guide
America's history is not static. It's fluid. It changes, grows, becomes richer, and more complex when any individual interacts with it.