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Bradford
05033

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The Old Mill
Photo by Matt Wills

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About Bradford, Vermont
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Click for Bradford, Vermont Forecast

Orange County
Chartered: May 3, 1770 (New York Patent)
Area: 19,152 Acres = 29.93 Square Miles [ Size Rank: 199* ]
Coordinates (Geographic Center): N 43° 59' W 72°07'
Altitude: 425 feet ASL
Population (US Census, 2010): 2,797 [ Population Rank: 68* ]
Population Density (persons per square mile): 93.5 [ Density Rank: 47* ]
Full Census Info: Town
  County  State

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

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Referred to as Waitstown and Waits River Town before its original patent as Mooretown, Bradford is unique in Vermont (so far as has been determined to date) in that it was settled before any grant, charter or patent existed to cover the land.

This anomaly is likely due ultimately to the king's vacillations over which colony had the right to dispose of land in present-day Vermont, and entirely possible that the settlers went there believing they would receive a New Hampshire Grant just as Benning Wentworth stopped issuing them. Deciding they had a better chance of getting a New York Patent than a New Hampshire Grant, the settlers were either well advised or lucky in the man they choose to represent them, a New York lawyer by the name of William Smith. In any case, the patent was issued (and quickly, due to Smith's influence). The name Mooretown is after Sir Henry Moore, the Royal Governor of New York.

The Waitstown/Waits River Town names derive from Joseph Wait, whose brother Benjamin founded Waitsfield. Joseph had taken part in the 1759 Rogers' Rangers raid against the St. Francis Indians in Canada, and was with the group that returned, starving, by way of the Connecticut River. Wait is reputed to have shot a deer and marked the spot by carving his name in a tree beside the river which has since been known as Waits River.

After the Revolution, the residents of Mooretown decided they no longer wanted the name to remind them of a royal governor, so they petitioned the Vermont Legislature to rename it Bradford, oddly after another Colonial Governor. But, where Henry Moore's involvement had been a matter of political patronage, William Bradford's was one of trust: he had been elected governor of the Plymouth colony 31 times. Coincidentally, but with no discernible connection, just a year earlier, New Hampshire created a town named Bradford out of its Newbury, which Vermont town also abuts Bradford.

A rather inventive farmer by the name of James Wilson designed and manufactured the first practical world globes here.

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 Bradford
Calendar of Events provided by the Vermont Department of Tourism & Marketing.

Bradford Historical Society

Old Church Community Theater
...over 20 years of summer productions geared for family entertainment. The actors are local residents from various backgrounds; some have gone on to make a career in the theater world. The theater is open to anyone wishing to act, direct, work backstage, help with set design, ticket sales and more!

Contact Info
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Emergency Services (Statewide): 911
Hospital: Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (Hanover, NH) 603-650-5000
Town Clerk:  Marianne McClure PO Box 339 Bradford, VT 05033
 802 222-4727
 M-Th 8-4:30; F 9-12

Churches, Ministries, Charitables
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Roman Catholic : Our Lady of Perpetual Help
United Church of Christ : United Church of Christ
United Methodist : Grace UMC 802-222-9062

Schools
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Orange East Supervisory Union 802-222-5216
Bradford Elementary School 802-222-4077
Oxbow High School 802-222-5214
River Bend Career and Technical Center 802-222-5212

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").

Newbury
Bradford
Corinth New Hampshire
West Fairlee Fairlee

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).
    Electric Green Mountain Power 888-835-4672
    Electric Washington Electric Co-op 800-932-5245
    Telephone Fairpoint 866-984-2001
    Telephone Topsham Telephone 802-439-5325

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    May 25, 2013