Waterville (05492)
THE TOWN OF WATERVILLE, VERMONT (05492)

DEMOGRAPHIC PROFILE

  • Chartered: November 15, 1824 (Vermont Act of Incorporation)
  • Area: 10,120 Acres = 15.81 Square Miles [Size Rank: 235*]
  • Coordinates (Geographic Center): N 44° 42′ W 72°46′
  • Altitude: 394 feet ASL
  • Population (US Census, 2010): 700 [Population Rank: 195*]
  • Population Density (persons per square mile): 44.1 [Density Rank: 97*]
  • Government: Select Board & Town Meeting
  • Public Schools: Orleans Southwest Supervisory Union & Wolcott Elementary School

*Area, Population and Density rankings refer to Waterville’s relative position among Vermont’s 255 civic entities (9 cities, 242 towns, 4 gores and grants).

ABOUT WATERVILLE, VERMONT “ Estimated 2010 Population is – 700:

There are Vermont Towns, then there are small Vermont Towns, then there are smaller Vermont Towns.  Waterville is one of the “smaller Vermont Towns! With a population of 697 at the 2000 census, Waterville ranks 97th in Vermont for population density.  And yet, it is close to culture, history, and action.  Stowe being only 23 miles away, Burlington is 34 miles, and Montreal is less than 100 miles away.  Mountains rise to 2,797 feet and 2,620 feet respectively.  To the west, Kings Hill is 2,000 Feet and Fletcher Mountain is 2,140 feet.

Waterville is home to five covered bridges, all crossing the Lamoille River: The Village Bridge, The Montgomery Bridge, Jaynes Bridge, The Lumber Mill Bridge, and The Morgan Bridge.  This fact is due to the Lamoille River meandering through the valley of the town, making it impossible to travel without a bridge here and there. Waterville was created out of three parcels: Coits Gore, Belvidere Leg and part of Bakersfield. The town contains a little more than 10,000 acres, being essentially the valley through which the North Branch of the Lamoille River flows. Probably the town was given its name because the river was the most important feature, in the same way that Brookline was named in 1794.

OF HISTORIC INTEREST

The legislative records give the reason for the establishment of Waterville as a separate town: “It appears to this assembly that it is inconvenient for the inhabitants of the southeast corner of Bakersfield, and that part of Belvidere called the ‘Leg’ to attend town meetings and transact town business in their respective towns, and that Coits Gore ought to be incorporated and form a part of a new town….” The inconvenience was the hills and mountains that effectively blocked communication from east to west, as it has been elsewhere in Vermont, be it within a town, a county or the state as a hole. The records of the Governor and Council show that Coits Gore was also called Williamsburgh, part of a grant that had been made to Vermont’s second Surveyor General, James Whitelaw, James Savage and William Coit. It was the latter’s first name that inspired the Williamsburgh name. Another part of the grant was first known as St. Andrews Gore, and then became Plainfield.  James Savage and William Coit were surveyors who worked with General Whitelaw for the state; and their grant was given to them in lieu of back salary, as were grants to Tom Chittenden, Ira Allen, and some of the other founding fathers of the Vermont republic. Material excerpted or adapted from Esther Munroe Swift’s  ~ Vermont Place-Names: Footprints of History