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Middlesex
05602

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About Middlesex, Vermont
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Click for Middlesex, Vermont Forecast

Washington County
Chartered: June 8, 1763 (New Hampshire Grant)
Area: 25,466 Acres = 39.79 Square Miles [ Size Rank: 123* ]
Coordinates (Geographic Center): N 44° 17' W 72°41'
Altitude: 560 feet ASL
Population (US Census, 2010): 1,731 [ Population Rank: 94* ]
Population Density (persons per square mile): 43.5 [ Density Rank: 98* ]
Full Census Info: Town
  County  State

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

Middlesex took its boundaries from Waterbury, which had been granted the day before. Worcester, which was granted on the same day as Middlesex, took its boundaries from Middlesex. For that reason it has always been assumed this town was named for its location between the other two. However, if one keeps in mind Benning Wentworth's propensity for touching as many bases as he could, it seems that he may have had one, two or even three other sources in mind.

First, many colonial settlers had come from the county of Middlesex in England. Second, towns of Middlesex in Massachusetts and Connecticut already were well known and prosperous. Third, an English nobleman had Middlesex as one of his titles: Charles Sackville was styled Lord Middlesex until 1765, when he succeeded his father as the second Duke of Dorset. He was married to a daughter of Richard Boyle, the third Earl of Burlington. Lord Middlesex seems to have been a pretty poor sort. Lord Shelburne said he was "a man who had little good sense and less stability." This would not have deterred Wentworth, who was more concerned with potential political support than with character. Middlesex (having become the Duke of Dorset) was in the House of Lords when Wentworth granted the town of Middlesex. In any case, as Shelburne also went on to say, Middlesex had some redeeming features: he loved music and poetry.

In 1770 acting governor Cadwallader Colden of New York also tried to use the Middlesex name. He issued a patent for a town which was to have been called Middlesex, located in the area of present-day Bethel and Randolph. Like most New York patents, that one never progressed beyond the status of a paper town.

The town's history relates that in the late 1800's Middlesex still had a large bear population, as attested to by the story of a farmer and his wife who went out to find what had killed one of their sheep. The farmer spotted a bear and killed it; then his wife called out that she could see another. The farmer killed that bear, too, and they started back home, only to find the one they had been looking for, a third bear eating a sheep. If that was a sample of the bear population in Middlesex it is easy to see why one section of town was for years known as Beartown. It is claimed that another section was such a miserable place to live that it was called merely Skunks Misery.

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

Middlesex Historical Society

Contact Info
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Emergency Services (Statewide): 911
Hospital: Central Vermont Medical Center (Berlin) 802-229-9121
Town Clerk:  Cindy Carlson 5 Church Street Middlesex, VT 05602
 802-223-5915
 M-Th 8:30-12 and 1-4:30; F 8:30-12:30

Schools
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Washington Central Supervisory Union 802-229-0553
Rumney Memorial School 802-223-5429

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").

Waterbury Stowe
Middlesex
East Montpelier
Moretown Berlin Montpelier

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 Green Mountain Power 888-835-4672
    Electric Washington Electric Co-op 800-932-5245
    Telephone Fairpoint 866-984-2001

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    May 25, 2013