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Dummerston
05301

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West Dummerston Bridge
Longest covered bridge in Vermont.
Photo © Dave MacKenzie
For more of Dave's work, visit our Covered Bridges feature.

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About Dummerston, Vermont
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Click for Dummerston, Vermont Forecast

Windham County
Chartered: December 26, 1753 (New Hampshire Grant)
Area: 19,797 Acres = 30.93 Square Miles [ Size Rank: 195* ]
Coordinates (Geographic Center): N 42° 56' W 72°34'
Altitude: 756 feet ASL
Population (US Census, 2010): 1,864 [ Population Rank: 88* ]
Population Density (persons per square mile): 60.3 [ Density Rank: 70* ]
Full Census Info: Town
  County  State

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

08-07-10 Platinum Elite 468x60

Dummerston was granted for the first time on the same day as Brattleboro and Putney. It also was part of the Equivalent Lands, which Massachusetts gave to Connecticut early in the 18th Century to make up for Connecticut land which Massachusetts had sold by mistake.

In its charter the town was named Fullum, and it is thought that Benning Wentworth intended the name to have been Fulham, for the town of that name in Middlesex, England. "Fullum""and "Fulham" would have been pronounced alike, and the spellings used in the Wentworth charters are noted for having been more phonetic than precise. Fighting with the French and Indians made it impossible for the grantees to establish a settlement within five years, as was stipulated in the original grant, so Wentworth renewed the grant three times: in 1760, 1781 and 1764.

The name Dummerston was adopted very early, and used almost exclusively for the town. However, it had apparently never been changed officially, so the 1937 Vermont legislature made legal confirmation of the fact that the town's name was, and had been, Dummerston for over 150 years.

The town was named for William Dummer of Massachusetts, who was one of three sons of Jeremiah Dummer, a wealthy and politically prominent 17th Century Boston silversmith, artist and magistrate. In the early 1720'S William Dummer became chief magistrate of Massachusetts, and one of his many accomplishments in that office was a treaty with the Indians which kept peace in the colony for almost twenty years.

When Connecticut sold the Equivalent Lands at auction in 1716, William Dummer and William Brattle, whose name was given to Brattleboro, bought part of the area that now makes up Dummerston, as well as some of the adjoining towns. In 1723 the Massachusetts General Court voted to build a fort north of Northfield, Massachusetts, to protect the frontier settlements. A fortified blockhouse was built the following year at a cost of £256 and named Fort Dummer in honor of William Dummer, who was then lieutenant governor of Massachusetts, and in fact was acting governor at the time. The site of the fort, which was demolished in 1763, is well over the line in Brattleboro, and now under the waters behind the Vernon Dam.

Today philatelists cherish covers that bear the postmark of Waite, Vermont, because Waite was the only post office ever established in Vermont for the sole convenience of one person. In 1892 Rudyard Kipling married Caroline Balestier and moved to Dummerston, where he built his famed house, Naulakha. Kipling very much disliked the curiosity that was evidenced every time he went to the village, so he took to getting his mail and doing business at Brattleboro. This meant a long carriage trip, and when it was brought to the attention of Postmaster General Wilson that the Kiplings got more mail than Brattleboro's biggest business firm, the Estey Organ Company, he authorized the establishment of a special post office. Located at the home of Kipling's neighbors in Dummerston, the post office of Waite was opened in June of 1895, and Mrs. Anna F. Waite was appointed postmistress. In 1896 the Kiplings left Vermont, and in July, 1897 the post office of Waite was closed. Since the Kiplings never returned to Vermont, the office was never reopened.

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

Dummerston Historical Society

Historical Society of Windham County

Naulakha
Rudyard Kiping's "Jewel Beyond Price" where he lived while writing The Jungle Book and Captains Courageous.

Covered Bridge (With Google Maps and satellite images):
West Dummerston     
Click Here for a map of all bridges in Windham County.

Contact Info
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Emergency Services (Statewide): 911
Hospital: Brattleboro Memorial Hospital (Brattleboro) 802-257-0341
Town Clerk:  Pamela McFadden 1523 Middle Road E. Dummerston, VT 05346
 802-257-1496
 M T Th F 9-3; W 11-5

Churches, Ministries, Charitables
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Nondenominational : Victory Christian Fellowship 802-365-4960
United Church of Christ : United Church of Christ

Schools
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Windham Southeast Supervisory Union 802-254-3731
Dummerston School 802-254-2733

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").

Brookline Putney
Dummerston
Newfane New Hampshire
Marlboro Brattleboro

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 Southern Vermont Cable 800-544-5931
    Electric Green Mountain Power 888-835-4672
    Telephone Fairpoint 866-984-2001

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    May 25, 2013