The town of Manchester includes 26,500 acres with 16,000 acres in forest and mountain land. Manchester is a little larger than the traditional six mile square dimensions of Vermont towns and contains 42.67 square miles.
Year round population of Manchester is approximately 3,622. In the Manchester and the Mountains area, approximately a 17 mile radius around Manchester, there is a population of 23,600. The area is a popular four season resort and attracts many visitors and second home owners, so that the population appears greater than it is.
Manchester is the largest of nine towns in the Northshire of Bennington County. Bennington County is the only county in Vermont with two county seats, (probate districts). There are, therefore, two courthouses, one in Manchester Village and one in Bennington, which is the largest town in the county. The population of Bennington County is 35,848. State population is 562,758 as of the 1990 census.
Almost a quarter of Manchester is above 2,000 feet in altitude, while a little less than half is below 1,000 feet above sea level. These are important factors influencing climate and precipitation. The elevation at Bennington County Court House, Manchester Village, is 700 feet above sea level. Mt. Equinox in the Taconic Range is at 3,816 feet, the highest mountain in the town and in Bennington County.
Summers are short and moderate with an average temperature of 61 degrees. Winters are long and cold, but not severe, with an average temperature of 28 degrees. Spring and Autumn feature cool nights and warm days. Monthly average temperatures range from a high of 30 degrees in Winter to a high of 80 degrees in Summer. The monthly low average temperatures range between 10 and 56 degrees. Precipitation is 3 inches plus per month with an average annual rainfall of 52 inches. A blanket of 15 inches of snow is normal with accumulation in the higher elevations of 60 to 70 inches. Topography variations make for a diversity of weather conditions in the area.
Dorset is found north of the town of Manchester, on Route 7, midway between Rutland and Bennington. Scenic water and mountains make up a surroundings of this Vermont village.
- Land Area-46.1sq. mi./29,504 acres
- Altitude-802 feet
- Chartered-August 20,1761
- 1994 Population-1,918
- Density-41.6 persons per sq. mi.
- 1995 Tax Rate-$0.92 (94)
- Grand List $2,942,792 (94)
Twice in 1765, New York patented land in the same area, the first called Princetown (for King George’s firstborn, the newly-named Prince of Wales), the second merely the Napier Tract (for James Napier, the King’s inspector and director general of military hospitals in North America). The New York patents and the claims of natives were later the source of considerable difficulty for those who settled under Benning Wentworth’s grant.Some suggest that the town is named for Arlington, Massachusetts, but that town was not so named until many years later. Rather, it is highly probable that Wentworth had a distinguished Englishman in mind, as he so often did when naming a town. The origin of the name derives from the Old English word for “the town of the people of the Earl”.
With the outbreak of the Revolutionary War soon after the town was settled, Arlington’s early years were turbulent. When the more northern settlements were abandoned because of danger from the British and Indians in Canada, several of the Green Mountain Boys, Thomas Chittenden (Vermont’s first Governor), Seth Warner and Remember Baker lived in Arlington, and many meetings of the Vermont Council of Safety were held there (as the Governor’s residence, it was the de facto first capital). Baker, later killed by Indians while on a scouting mission, built the first grist mill at what is now East Arlington.
In a year when exceptionally late frosts caused crop failures throughout most of the town, one section was spared by its sheltered location. Its residents shared their crops and grains with their less fortunate neighbors, who took to calling the hamlet “Egypt”, in memory of the Biblical story of Joseph providing grain for his starving family and others.
The BattenKill, offering world-famous trout fishing, flows through Arlington on its way west to the Hudson. Lore has it that the pine tree depicted in Vermont’s State Seal stood in Arlington.
- Chartered: July 28, 1761 (New Hampshire Grant)
- Land Area: 26,668 acres (42.4 square miles)
- Coordinates: 73° 09′ W 43° 05′ N
- Altitude ASL: 691 feet
- Population: 2,299 (94)
- Population Density: 54.2 per square mile
- Tax Rate: $1.66 (94)
- Grand List: $1,610,939 (94)
Peru is located in the area of the famous skiing “Golden Triangle”. Just minutes from area skiing, hiking and biking. Peru is on e of the smallest townships in Vermont.
- Land Area-39.2sq. mi./25,088 acres
- Altitude-1,660 feet
- Chartered-October 13,1761
- 1994 Population-324
- Density-8.2 persons per sq. mi.
- 1995 Tax Rate-$0.40 (94)
- Grand List $1,409,259 (94)
Londonderry and neighboring Windham were first established by New York Patent in 1770 as a single town, named Kent for a cousin of King George. James Rogers, one of the original petitioners, gained title to all of the land within a week of the patent. He returned to his native Londonderry, New Hampshire and sold some of the land to friends and neighbors.Despite what had appeared to be leanings in favor of the Colonists’ cause, he joined Burgoyne’s army and fought for the Crown during the Revolution. After the war, Vermont confiscated his property, an action which placed the validity of the earlier sales of Kent land in question.
The landowners petitioned to be allowed to keep their property: not only were they occupying and working the lands, but to a man had taken the Colonists’ side during the Revolution. The Vermont Legislature granted the petition, the one stipulation being that the name Kent be abandoned. They chose to rename it after their former New Hampshire home.
One odd event that seems to lack any documented explanation is that Londonderry, Vermont was split into the present-day towns of Londonderry and Windham, shortly after an identical occurrence in New Hampshire.
The use of the name “Londonderry” in the Colonies can be traced back to a group of Protestants who, in 1650, fled persecution in Scotland and settled in and near Londonderry, Ireland. In 1722, a group of their descendants brought to the Colonies three things: the potato, their considerable skill in raising, spinning and weaving flax into linen, and the name for their new home in southern New Hampshire.
- Chartered: April 20,1780
- Land Area: 23,168 acres (36.2 square miles)
- Altitude ASL: 1,100 feet
- Population: 1,506 (94)
- Population Density: 41.6 per square mile
- Tax Rate: $1.32 (94)
- Grand List: $1,830,117.00 (94)