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Fairlee
05045

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Lake Morey
Photo by Matt Wills

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About Fairlee, Vermont
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Click for Fairlee, Vermont Forecast

Orange County
Chartered: September 5, 1761 (New Hampshire Grant)
Area: 13,439 Acres = 21 Square Miles [ Size Rank: 224* ]
Coordinates (Geographic Center): N 43° 55' W 72°09'
Altitude: 430 feet ASL
Population (US Census, 2010): 977 [ Population Rank: 165* ]
Population Density (persons per square mile): 46.5 [ Density Rank: 95* ]
Full Census Info: Town
  County  State

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

Fairlee originally included what is now the town of West Fairlee, which was split off as a separate town in 1797.

The spelling is unusual: most so-named places are spelled Fairlea. The only other in the US spelled Fairlee is in Maryland, and believed to be after Fairlee on the Isle of Wight, where it means, literally, "a beautiful open or cleared land or meadow"; this is exactly what would have been seen by Rogers' Rangers, among the first Europeans known to have travelled in what is now Vermont (heading north to fight in the French and Indian Wars). Some of the Rangers were quoted as having been able to push the full length of a bayonet into the soil, and many of these same men later applied for Wentworth grants. Some of the farms along the Connecticut River are still among the most productive in the state.

The largest body of water entirely within the town was known as Fairlee Pond until the 1880's. To avoid confusion with Lake Fairlee (which lies in Fairlee, Thetford and West Fairlee), the name was changed to Lake Morey, in honor of Samuel Morey, now considered by many to be the true inventor of the steamboat, rather than Robert Fulton. A New Hampshire resident, Morey experimented with a steamboat on the Connecticut River. He patented his engine and sold it to Fulton for $100,000 in worthless stock some twelve years before Fulton built his Clermont; according to local legend, Morey disgustedly sank his steamboat in the lake that now bears his name. Morey also patented an internal combustion engine which ran on kerosene.

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

Fairlee Historical Society

Contact Info
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Emergency Services (Statewide): 911
Hospital: Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (Hanover, NH) 603-650-5000
Town Clerk:  Georgette Wolf-Ludwig PO Box 95 Fairlee, VT 05045
 802-333-4363
 M-Th 8:30-3:30; and by appt.

Churches, Ministries, Charitables
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Episcopal : St. Martin
United Church of Christ : United Church of Christ

Schools
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Rivendell Interstate Supervisory District 603-353-2170
Samuel Morey Elementary School 802-333-9755

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").

Bradford
Fairlee
West Fairlee New Hampshire
Thetford

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
    Telephone Fairpoint 866-984-2001

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    May 25, 2013