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Swanton
05488

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Rail Station, Restored
Photo by Matt Wills

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About Swanton, Vermont
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Click for Swanton, Vermont Forecast

Franklin County
Chartered: August 17, 1763 (New Hampshire Grant)
Area: 39,478 Acres = 61.68 Square Miles [ Size Rank: 7* ]
Coordinates (Geographic Center): N 44° 56' W 73°07'
Altitude: 155 feet ASL
Population (US Census, 2010): 6,427 [ Population Rank: 20* ]
Population Density (persons per square mile): 104.2 [ Density Rank: 37* ]
Full Census Info: Town
  County  State

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

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It has become popular to ascribe New England place names to English sources, and Swanton is no exception. Some writers have suggested that the Vermont town is named for Swanton, Kent, and some enthusiasts have gone on to say that the name means "a swan's town". Queen Elizabeth II did send a pair of Royal swans to Vermont's Swanton in honor of the bicentennial of the town's granting, but the fact is that the Kentish name actually derives from "town of the swineherds".

The source of the name can more likely be found in William Swanton, a British naval officer who commanded a squadron at the time of the capture of Louisbourg in 1760; it was his timely arrival that dealt the final coup de grâce to the already almost overwhelmed French fleet. After the war, Swanton (then a captain) retired from the navy and settled in Bath, Maine, where he established a shipyard that was already famous for its custom-built ships when Benning Wentworth named this town in 1763.

Swanton is one of the few places in Vermont where Natives are known to have had a permanent settlement. From about 1700 to 1758, the important Abnaki village of Missisiasuk was on the Missisquoi River. The village's name, meaning "people of the great grassy meadows", helps to bear out the translation of Missiquoi itself as "great grassy meadows". The Abnaki name for the mouth of the river was Maskwenozakek, literally "the place where muskelunge abound", which would have been a good enough reason in itself for establishing a village nearby.

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

Misissquoi Valley Rail Trail
A 26-mile all-season recreation path which largely parallels Route 105 and the Missisquoi River between Richford and St. Albans. The packed gravel surface is suitable for walking or biking (wide tires are recommended) and XC skiing in winter. Closed to motorized vehicles except in winter. Easy access to refreshments at several points. As of the Fall of 2002, the trail is complete for its entire length, with the replacement of the collapsed segment of the former rail bridge at Sheldon Junction.

Swanton Historical Society

Contact Info
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Emergency Services (Statewide): 911
Hospital: Northwestern Medical Center (St. Albans) 802-524-5911
Town Clerk:  Cathy Fournier PO Box 711 Swanton, VT 05488
 802-868-4421
 M-F 7-5

Churches, Ministries, Charitables
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Episcopal : Holy Trinity 802-868-7185
Roman Catholic : Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Roman Catholic : Virgin Mary
United Methodist : Memorial UMC 802-868-2650
United Methodist : Rice Hill UMC 802-868-2650
United Methodist : West Swanton UMC 802-868-7097

Schools
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Franklin Northwest Supervisory Union 802-868-4967
Swanton Elementary School 802-868-4920

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").

Highgate Highgate
Alburgh Swanton
Sheldon
North Hero St. Albans Town Fairfield

Businesses & Services
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Rocheleau Appraisal
Fast Friendly Service for Northwestern Vermont

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 Swanton Village Electric Department 802-868-3397
    Electric Vermont Electric Co-op 800-832-2667
    Natural Gas Vermont Gas Systems 802-863-4511
    Telephone Fairpoint 866-984-2001

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    June 6, 2013