About Shelburne, Vermont
Chartered: August 18, 1763 (New Hampshire Grant)
Area: 27,948 Acres = 43.67 Square Miles [ Size Rank: 80* ]
Coordinates (Geographic Center): N 44° 23′ W 73°14′
Altitude: 148 feet ASL
Population (US Census, 2010): 7,144 [ Population Rank: 18* ]
Population Density (persons per square mile): 163.6 [ Density Rank: 25* ]
Full Census Info: Town County State
*Area, Population and Density rankings refer to Shelburne’s relative position among Vermont’s 255 civic entities (9 cities, 242 towns, 4 gores and grants). Complete rankings are here.
Located on the shores of Lake Champlain in southwest Chittenden County (just a few minutes south of Burlington), Shelburne is a treasure trove for everyone from history buff to SCUBA diver.
The name was chosen to honor a celebrated nobleman and member of the British Parliament, William Fitzmaurice Petty, Second Earl of Shelburne. The town was to have been a little over 36 square miles in area, but a blunder on the part of the surveyors (probably due to a lack of sobriety) deprived the town of over fourteen square miles to its current size.
Shelburne’s economy has been based on farming from the beginning. The clearing of land and the burning of trees brought a short-lived potash boom to the area during early settlement.
In the 19th Century, a gristmill, a sawmill, a carding and fulling mill and a blacksmith shop sprang up along the rushing LaPlatte River at Shelburne Falls. Sheep raising and fruit orchards became popular methods of farming, with some 17,740 fruit-bearing trees by 1880. After the War of 1812, lake commerce surged. The Champlain Transportation Company established a shipyard at Shelburne Harbor and launched the “General Green,” the first of ten proud steamships to call Lake Champlain home between 1825 and 1905, the last two of which can still be found in New England. The “Mount Washington” (still in service on New Hampshire’s Lake Winnepesaukee) and the “Ticonderoga”, the landlocked centerpiece of the Shelburne Museum, having been brought up from the lake on a specially constructed rail bed.
Shelburne today supports a wide variety of businesses, from manufacturers and retailers to Vermont’s largest retirement community, including some of the more popular Vermont attractions: the Vermont Teddy Bear Company, Shelburne Farms and the best historical museum in New England, the Shelburne Museum.
Activities & Points of Interest
Goings-on in and near Shelburne
Calendar of Events provided by the Vermont Department of Tourism & Marketing.
The former estate of Dr. Seward Webb and his wife Lila (Vanderbilt). Built around the end of the nineteenth century on the shores of scenic Lake Champlain, this lavish estate features a 110-room summer “cottage,” a five story barn with a two acre courtyard and the coach barn, which once served as home for the Webb’s prized horses. Activities include hayrides and a walking trail. Tours available daily from Memorial Day through mid-October; closed holidays. Also to be experienced here are open-air theatrical productions and orchestral performances in summer and the Harvest Festival in Fall. Located on Harbor and Bay roads. 802-985-8686.
A living museum of Vermont’s rural and transportation heritage, the Shelburne is an active historical museum. Exhibits include full-scale lighthouse that once protected ships from running aground off Lake Champlain; the last vertical beam sidewheel steamboat intact in the US, the “Ticonderoga”; a round barn; a horseshoe-shaped barn; a railroad station with steam train static display of the last remaining Central Vermont Railway steam locomotive coupled to the last remaining Central Vermont Railway President’s car; a one room schoolhouse; a Vermont general store; the only two-lane covered bridge with footpath in the state of Vermont; free parking and much more. Daily activities include demonstrations of skills such as printing, blacksmithing and weaving. Open daily late May to late October; limited hours for the rest of the year. Moderate admission. Located in the village. 802-985-3346.
Emergency Services (Statewide): 911
Police (non-emergency): 802-985-8051
Hospital: University of Vermont Medical Center (Burlington) 802-847-0000
Town Clerk: Colleen Haag PO Box 88 Shelburne, VT 05482
Churches, Ministries, Charitables
Baptist : First Baptist 802-985-2848
Episcopal : Trinity 802-985-2269
Methodist : First United 802-985-3981
Roman Catholic : St. Catherine
United Methodist : Shelburne UMC 802-985-3981
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”).
Businesses & Services
Fast Friendly Service for Northwestern Vermon
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 Vermont Electric Co-op 800-832-2667
Natural Gas Vermont Gas Systems 802-863-4511
Telephone Fairpoint 866-984-2001