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Barre Town
05678

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Rock of Ages quarry
Photo by Matt Wills

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About Barre Town, Vermont
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Click for Barre, Vermont Forecast

Washington County
Chartered: August 12, 1781 (Vermont Charter)
Area: 19,670 Acres = 30.73 Square Miles [ Size Rank: 197* ]
Coordinates (Geographic Center): N 44° 12' W 72°30'
Altitude: 760 feet ASL
Population (US Census, 2010): 7,924 [ Population Rank: 16* ]
Population Density (persons per square mile): 257.9 [ Density Rank: 15* ]
Full Census Info: Town
  County  State

*Area, Population and Density rankings refer to Barre Town's relative position among Vermont's 255 civic entities (9 cities, 242 towns, 4 gores and grants). Complete rankings are here.

Pronunciation: Rhymes with "carry."

Chartered as Wildersburg, the previous home in Massachusetts of some of the incorporators.

Those people left for one reason or another, or were just outnumbered by later settlers: by 1793 a move was afoot to change the name of the town, because "the name of the township has ever sounded uncouthly to the inhabitants and settlers and it is also disagreeable on account of its length."

The widely accepted story about the new name is that two Massachusetts men living in the Vermont town, Joseph Thompson of Holden and Jonathan Sherman of Barre, were equally determined to have the new name honor his former home. It was decided that the victor in a wrestling match would decide the new name. After considerable tussling (the Marquess of Queensbury Rules wouldn't be written for another 72 years) Sherman came out on top and said, "There, by God, the name is Barre. " Only one thing casts any doubt on the story: the minutes of a town meeting on September 3, 1793, state that it had been decided that the man who gave the most money to the construction of a new church would decide the name. Ezekial Dodge Wheeler was the high bidder at £62, but neither he nor his money have been mentioned since.

However the issue was decided, the name of the Massachusetts town honors Issac Barre, a staunch friend of the colonies in England. During army service in Canada, he developed "many friendships with American gentlemen," and later, as a member of the House of Commons, was a voice for equitable treatment for the colonies.

Generally speaking, the towns which grew the fastest are the ones with the largest number of place-names. By the beginning of the 19th century, Barre had a half-dozen distinct villages, some of which are now part of the city of Barre when it was split off in 1894. The outlying villages, most of which had sprung up because of the granite industry, remained in the town. With no particularly high peaks, Barre has several smaller hills, some of which turned out to be solid granite, resulting in an industry which has permeated the town ever since.

Material excerpted or adapted from Esther Munroe Swift's
Vermont Place-Names: Footprints of History
with the author's permission

Activities & Points of Interest
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Goings-on in and near Barre Town
Calendar of Events provided by the Vermont Department of Tourism & Marketing.

Covered Bridge (With Google Maps and satellite images):
Robbins Nest     
Click Here for a map of all bridges in Washington County.

Contact Info
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Emergency Services (Statewide): 911
Police (non-emergency): 802-479-0508
Hospital: Central Vermont Medical Center (Berlin) 802-229-9121
Town Clerk:  Donna Kelty PO Box 124 Websterville, VT 05678
 802-479-9391
 M-F 8-4:30

Churches, Ministries, Charitables
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Roman Catholic : St Frances Cabrini
Roman Catholic : St. Sylvester

Schools
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Barre Supervisory Union 802-476-5011
Barre Town Middle and Elementary School 802-476-6617

Neighboring Towns
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This is a basic geographic reference, intended to show relative location of adjacent towns. Directional accuracy is limited to 16 compass points. There isn't even the slightest suggestion that one can necessarily travel directly from one town to the next (as in "You can't get there from here").

Berlin East Montpelier Plainfield
Barre Barre Town
Berlin Orange
Williamstown Washington

Utilities
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Notes about utilities:

  • One electric or phone company indicates that company serves the entire town. More than one of either indicates each serves different areas of town.
  • A listed cable company MIGHT mean the entire town is covered, but not necessarily. More than one listed indicates each serves different areas of town.
  • Unless your area is one served by Vermont's only gas utility, your only option is bottled gas (any dealer).
    Cable Charter Communications 888-438-2427
    Electric Green Mountain Power 888-835-4672
    Electric Washington Electric Co-op 800-932-5245
    Telephone Fairpoint 866-984-2001

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    May 25, 2013