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St. Francis Xavier Church
Photo by Jim Sweeney

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About Winooski, Vermont

Click for Winooski, Vermont Forecast

Chittenden County

City Incorporated: April 1, 1921
Area: 887 Acres = 1.39 Square Miles [ Size Rank: 254* ]
Coordinates (Geographic Center): N 44° 29' W 73°11'
Altitude: 200 feet ASL
Population (US Census, 2010): 7,267 [ Population Rank: 19* ]
Population Density (persons per square mile): 5,228.1 [ Density Rank: 1* ]
Full Census Info: City
  County  State

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

The name comes from the Abenaki for "wild onions", plentiful along the river. The earliest European documentation offering a written approximation of the native word are French-made maps, which identify the river as "Ouinousqui".

In the southeast corner of Colchester was a fine natural falls in the Winooski (then Onion or French) River (more River info here) where Ira Allen, one of the grantees of Colchester, built grain and lumber mills in about 1772. To protect their interests from marauding French and Indians, he and his cousin Remember Baker built a two-story palisaded enclosure which they called Fort Frederick. Good land nearby attracted settlers, and the community which grew up around the mills and the fort became known as Allen's Settlement, later as Winooski Falls, then simply Winooski when it was incorporated as a civil entity separate from Colchester.

The large number of French Canadians who came to work in the textile mills in later years resulted in a portion of the city being referred to as French Village.

In the late Seventies, it was suggested that Winooski be covered with a dome as a means of saving energy, snow removal and other municpal costs. The suggestion was especially interesting to Community Development Director Mark Tigan, who vigorously investigated the possibility, making national (and apparently, worldwide) news in the process. More than one aaplication to the US Department of Energy, asking for funds to study the idea, were turned down, and the enthusiam went away. But that's not the end of it...

In July of 2008, Virtual Vermont Internet Magazine received an inquiry from Chen Bai of Shanghai, asking for information on Winooski's "giant umbrella." Seems that Bai's daughter's 6th grade textbook contains a writeup about a clear plastic umbrella covering the city (supported by an 11-story central tube) which can be opened and closed at will. The story is apparently quite popular in mainland China. Bai sent pictures of the textbook cover and the article itself, along with a translation (all available here). The texbook even contains an artist's concept of what Winooski looks like, complete with hot air balloons, under its umbrella (there's no resemblance that we can discern). We provided Bai with the real story. See this article from the Burlington Free Press.

Material excerpted or adapted from Esther Munroe Swift's
Vermont Place-Names: Footprints of History
with the author's permission

Activities & Points of Interest

Goings-on in and near Winooski
Calendar of Events provided by the Vermont Department of Tourism & Marketing.

Chittenden County Historical Society

Winooski Historical Society

Contact Info

Emergency Services (Statewide): 911
Police (non-emergency): 802-655-0221
Hospital: University of Vermont Medical Center (Burlington) 802-847-0000
City Clerk:  Carol Barrett 27 West Allen St Winooski, VT 05404
 M-F 7:30-5:30

Churches, Ministries, Charitables

Baptist : Faith Baptist 802-655-3046
Roman Catholic : St. Francis Xavier
Roman Catholic : St. Stephen
United Methodist : Winooski UMC 802-863-2139


Winooski School District 802-655-0485
John F. Kennedy Elementary School 802-655-0411
St. Francis Xavier 802-655-2600
Winooski High School 802-655-3530
Winooski Middle School 802-655-3530

Neighboring Towns

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").

Colchester Colchester Colchester
Burlington Colchester
Burlington South Burlington

Businesses & Services

Rocheleau Appraisal
Fast Friendly Service for Northwestern Vermont


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
    Natural Gas Vermont Gas Systems 802-863-4511
    Telephone Fairpoint 866-984-2001

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    October 28, 2015