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Newfane
05345

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Newfane Congregational Church
Photo by Rick Bersaw

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About Newfane, Vermont
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Click for Newfane, Vermont Forecast

Windham County
Chartered: June 19, 1753 (New Hampshire Grant)
Area: 25,615 Acres = 40.02 Square Miles [ Size Rank: 117* ]
Coordinates (Geographic Center): N 42° 59' W 72°39'
Altitude: 536 feet ASL
Population (US Census, 2010): 1,726 [ Population Rank: 99* ]
Population Density (persons per square mile): 43.1 [ Density Rank: 104* ]
Full Census Info: Town
  County  State

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

The town was granted as Fane (spelled both Faine and Fane in the Grant), but the French and Indian War prevented the first town meeting from taking place within the required five years. On November 3, 1761, Benning Wentworth issued an entirely new grant for the same town, this time calling it New Fane. Some of the grantees in the original charter are named in the second one, many are not. One notable named in the first grant but not in the second was none other than John Adams, who would become the second President of the United States.

An oft-repeated story attributes the name to one Thomas Fane (a player during the reign of Queen Mary two hundred years earlier) which is entirely incorrect. Rather, it was John Fane, one of Wentworth's English relatives whom he admired greatly: Earl of Westmorland and keeper of the Wentworth estates at Rockingham. Wentworth had also named Westmoreland, New Hampshire for his kinsman; by the time New Fane had been granted, Fane was commanding General of all British military forces and Chancellor of Oxford University.

Originally, the principal village of Newfane (the one word form came into use very early) was on Newfane Hill, a 1,600 cone rising from the center of the town. The town's first post office was opened there in 1811. But the hill was almost entirely inaccessible in winter, making it very difficult for anyone who had county business to conduct (Newfane having been named the Shire Town, or County Seat).

At the foot of the hill was a small village called Parks Flat (sometimes Parkville), after Jonathan Park, who had been one of the town's first settlers. When it was proposed that a new county courthouse be constructed in Parks Flat, the then eighty-two year old Park donated the land, the only stipulation being that the village not be named after him. So, in 1825, upon completion of the courthouse and removal of most of the original hilltop buildings to the new location, Parks Flat was renamed Fayetteville after the Marquis de Lafayette, who in fact visited Vermont that year (see also Barton). The village was renamed as Newfane in 1882.

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

Historical Society of Windham County

Covered Bridge (With Google Maps and satellite images):
Williamsville     
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:  Gloria Cristelli PO Box 36 Newfane, VT 05345
 802-365-7772
 M-Th 8-6; Sat. by appt.

Churches, Ministries, Charitables
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Congregational : Newfane Congregational Church 802-365-4079
United Church of Christ : United Church of Christ
United Methodist : Wardsboro Yoked (South Newfane)

Schools
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Windham Central Supervisory Union 802-348-6801
Newfane Elementary School 802-365-7536

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").

Windham Townshend
Jamaica Newfane Baltimore
Wardsboro
Marlboro Dummerston

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