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Williston
05495

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The Brick Church
Photo courtesy Town of Williston

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About Williston, Vermont
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Click for Williston, Vermont Forecast

Chittenden County
Chartered: June 7, 1763 (New Hampshire Grant)
Area: 19,903 Acres = 31.1 Square Miles [ Size Rank: 194* ]
Coordinates (Geographic Center): N 44° 26' W 73°04'
Altitude: 501 feet ASL
Population (US Census, 2010): 8,698 [ Population Rank: 15* ]
Population Density (persons per square mile): 279.7 [ Density Rank: 16* ]
Full Census Info: Town
  County  State

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

Williston was one of ten towns granted on the same day to many of the same people, named for Samuel Willis, a wealthy Quaker from Long Island and the first grantee named. While Willis was named on several of the other town grants, this one was clearly the best of the group: it offered acres upon acres of already clear, tillable farmland along the Winooski River.

Thomas Chittenden, Vermont's first governor and for whom the county is named, is credited with being the first to settle in Williston, though he submerged the family's heavier belongings in the duck pond and headed for Arlington during the Revolution.

With the coming of the Central Vermont Railroad, the smaller village of North Williston became a focal point, in 1876 the site of the first cold storage plant in New England. Tons of meat, poultry, butter and eggs could be stored here before being shipped to the New York and Boston markets.

In the 1970s, Williston was the center of controversy in the county, as the proposed site of a large shopping mall near the junction of Routes 2 and 2A; "Don't Mall Williston" was the bumper sticker seen on opponents' cars. After years of legal wrangling, the project was eventually squashed.

Today, in its place, an even larger sprawl of separate "big box" superstores is just across the road from where the mall was to have gone. A modified version of the original mall, with a much more attractive "town center" feel to it now occupies the original site. Despite past and present opposition focused on the effect such development would have on local businesses, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Best Buy, Toys "R" Us and the like can be found all huddled together just off I-89 at Exit 12. Of course, what is easily the busiest retail district in the state requires additional infrastructure maintenance: Williston is one of four municipalities in the state with a 1% local option sales tax (the others being Burlington, Manchester and Stratton).

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

Chittenden County Historical Society

Williston Historical Society

Contact Info
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Emergency Services (Statewide): 911
Police (non-emergency): 802-878-6611
Hospital: Fletcher-Allen Health Care (Burlington) 802-847-0000
Town Clerk:  Deb Beckett 7900 Williston Road Williston, VT 05495
 802-878-5121
 M-F 8:30-5

Churches, Ministries, Charitables
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Nazarene : Church of the Nazarene 802-878-8591
Nondenominational : Maranatha Christian Church 802-862-2108
Roman Catholic : Immaculate Heart of Mary
United Church of Christ : United Church of Christ
United Methodist : Williston Federated Church 802-878-5792

Schools
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Chittenden South Supervisory Union 802-383-1234
Williston School 802-979-5807

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").

Essex
Williston Jericho
South Burlington
Richmond
St. George Hinesburg

Businesses & Services
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Champlain Valley Auto
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 Vermont Electric Co-op 800-832-2667
    Natural Gas Vermont Gas Systems 802-863-4511
    Telephone Fairpoint 866-984-2001

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    May 25, 2013