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Craftsbury
05826

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Craftsbury Common
Photo by Jacquelyn Lingelbach

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About Craftsbury, Vermont
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Orleans County
Chartered: August 23, 1781 (Vermont Charter)
Area: 25,316 Acres = 39.56 Square Miles [ Size Rank: 130* ]
Coordinates (Geographic Center): N 44° 38' W 72°22'
Altitude: 904 feet ASL
Population (US Census, 2010): 1,206 [ Population Rank: 144* ]
Population Density (persons per square mile): 30.5 [ Density Rank: 147* ]
Full Census Info: Town
  County  State

*Area, Population and Density rankings refer to Craftsbury'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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Chartered to Timothy Newell, Colonel Ebenezer Crafts and 61 associates, most of whom were members of a Massachusetts line regiment that had been organized early in the Revolution by Colonel Crafts. In the charter the town was named Minden, thought to honor the 1759 defeat by the English and Germans of the French at the Prussian city of Minden, an event which helped to conclude the Seven Years War (the North American aspect of which was known as the last of the French and Indian wars).

There is no record that Timothy Newell ever took any active part in settling the Vermont town, but Colonel Crafts did. The latter was born in Pomfret, Connecticut, in 1740, graduated from Yale in 1759, and for some time lived in Woodstock, Connecticut. His son, Samuel Chandler Crafts, later to become a Vermont statesman and governor, was born there in 1768. At the time Minden was chartered, the Crafts lived in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, and Colonel Crafts was one of that community's most respected members.

Like many other prominent citizens, Crafts was caught up in the post-Revolutionary depression, and apparently the Vermont town was one of the few pieces of property he was able to salvage. In 1788 he went north, built a road eighteen miles long from Cabot to Minden, then cleared about a dozen acres at the site of the present Mill Village, built a house, a sawmill and the beginnings of a gristmill. In the winter of 1790-91, he brought his wife and several other families from Sturbridge. They arrived at Cabot in February to find four-foot-deep snow that obliged them to leave their horses behind. The men of the party, walking on snowshoes, pulled the women on hand sleds the eighteen miles to their new home.

According to the legislative journals the town's name was changed from Minden to Craftsbury in November, 1790 because "from a similarity of sound the names of Lyndon and Mindon are often mistaken one for the other"; the Craftsbury name was chosen to honor the town's chief grantee and first settler. The first town meeting was held at the Colonel's home in 1792; he was elected selectman at that meeting, and a little later he was elected as the town's first representative to the Legislature. At that first town meeting his son, Samuel, was elected town clerk, an office which he held for thirty-seven years. In subsequent years Samuel held almost every office in Vermont government, including the governorship and a seat in the US Senate. The father died in 1810, aged seventy, and the son died in 1853, aged eighty-five.

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

Craftsbury Historical Society

Orleans County Historical Society

Contact Info
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Emergency Services (Statewide): 911
Hospital: Copley Hospital (Morrisville) 802-888-4231
Town Clerk:  Yvette Brown PO Box 55 Craftsbury, VT 05826
 802-586-2823
 T-F 8:30-4; and by appt.

Churches, Ministries, Charitables
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Presbyterian : East Craftsbury Presbyterian (East Craftsbury) 802-586-7707
Roman Catholic : Our Lady of Fatima
United Church of Christ : United Church of Christ

Schools
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Orleans Southwest Supervisory Union 802-472-6531
Craftsbury Schools 802-586-2541
Sterling College 802-586-7711

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").

Eden Albany
Craftsbury
Hyde Park Glover
Wolcott Walden Greensboro

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 Hardwick Electric Department 802-472-5201
    Electric Vermont Electric Co-op 800-832-2667
    Telephone Fairpoint 866-984-2001

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    May 25, 2013