Virtual Vermont Masthead

Derby
05829

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The Haskell Opera House and Library in Derby Line
Astride the US-Canada border
Photo by Matt Wills

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About Derby, Vermont
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Click for Derby, Vermont Forecast

Orleans County
Chartered: October 29, 1779 (Vermont Charter)
Area: 36,556 Acres = 57.12 Square Miles [ Size Rank: 15* ]
Coordinates (Geographic Center): N 44° 57' W 72°08'
Altitude: 1,011 feet ASL
Population (US Census, 2010): 4,621 [ Population Rank: 30* ]
Population Density (persons per square mile): 80.9 [ Density Rank: 52* ]
Full Census Info: Town
  County  State

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

New for Spring from Orvis

It was not until 1788 that Derby was actually chartered, the document back-dated to when the grant was made by the Legislature to Timothy Andrews (sometimes Andrus in early records) and 59 others.

Himself a carpenter by trade and a land speculator on a big scale in both Vermont and Connecticut, Andrews came from a prominent Connecticut family which produced a number of clergymen, educators and statesmen. He was involved in the charters for a half-dozen towns near the Canadian border, including East Haven, which was named for his home in Connecticut. He died in Vermont 1789, never having taken any advantage from his Vermont holdings.

Some of the earliest proprietors' meetings took place in Derby, Connecticut, so it is quite certain that town provided the name for the new Vermont venture. In turn, Derbyshire, England provided the name for the Connecticut town. An authority on English place-names says Derby originally meant "homestead frequented by wild animals."

Just south of Derby, Gatesborough had been granted to Josiah Gates and associates, but the fees were never paid, so the town was sold and chartered as Salem. The Legislature eventually agreed with Andrews' complaint that some 6,000 acres of Salem overlapped Derby, in addition to which part of Salem was under the waters of Lake Memphremagog. Salem's proprietors were refunded a portion of the purchase price, but the town never developed into a viable entity. Part of it was annexed to Newport in 1816 (now part of Newport city); the remainder went to Derby in 1880, resulting in Derby's unusual size and shape.

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

Orleans County Historical Society

The Haskell Opera House
in Derby Line (pictured above) sits astride the international border. The audience, seated in the US, watches a perfomance taking place in Canada.

Contact Info
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Emergency Services (Statewide): 911
Hospital: North Country Hospital & Health Care (Newport) 802-334-7331
Town Clerk:  Nicole Daigle PO Box 25 Derby, VT 05829
 802-766-4906
 M-Th 7-5

Churches, Ministries, Charitables
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United Methodist : Holland UMC (Derby Line) 802-895-4491

Schools
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North Country Supervisory Union 802-334-5847
Derby Elementary School 802-873-3162
North Country Junior Union High School 802-766-2276

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").

Quebec, Canada
Newport Town Derby Holland
Newport Morgan
Coventry Brownington Charleston

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 Comcast 800-266-2278
    Electric Vermont Electric Co-op 800-832-2667
    Telephone Fairpoint 866-984-2001

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    May 25, 2013