Vermont State House, seat of the legislative branch of the state government
Location in Washington County and the state of Vermont
Location in the United States
|Coordinates: 44°15′35″N 72°34′30″W / 44.25972°N 72.57500°WCoordinates: 44°15′35″N 72°34′30″W / 44.25972°N 72.57500°W|
|• Mayor||John Hollar|
|• City Manager||William J. Fraser|
|• Total||10.3 sq mi (26.6 km2)|
|• Land||10.2 sq mi (26.5 km2)|
|• Water||0.1 sq mi (0.0 km2)|
|Elevation||600 ft (182 m)|
|• Total||7,855 (city proper)|
|• Density||739.9/sq mi (302.7/km2)|
|Time zone||EST (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|ZIP codes||05601-05604, 05609, 05620, 05633|
|GNIS feature ID||1461834|
Montpelier // is the capital city of the U.S. state of Vermont and the county seat of Washington County. As the site of Vermont's state government, it is the least populous state capital in the United States. The population was 7,855 at the 2010 census. However, the daytime population swells to about 21,000, due to the large number of jobs within city limits. The Vermont College of Fine Arts and New England Culinary Institute are located in the municipality. It was named for Montpellier, in southern France.
The first permanent settlement began in May 1787, when Colonel Jacob Davis and General Parley Davis arrived from Charlton, Massachusetts. General Davis surveyed the land, while Colonel Davis cleared forest and erected a large log house on the west side of the North Branch of the Winooski River. His family moved in the following winter.
Colonel Davis selected the name "Montpelier" after the French city of Montpellier. There was a general enthusiasm for things French as a result of the country's aid to the American colonies during the Revolutionary War. The settlement grew quickly, and by 1791 the population reached 117.
In 1825, the Marquis de Lafayette visited Montpelier on a triumphal tour of America, 50 years after the Revolutionary War.
The town developed into a center for manufacturing, especially after the Central Vermont Railway opened in Montpelier on June 20, 1849—the same year East Montpelier was set off as a separate town. Falls on the Winooski River provided water power for mills. There was an iron foundry.
Ten thousand people turned out to greet Major General Philip Sheridan when he visited to address the fourth annual meeting of Vermont former Union officers. He particularly thanked Vermont veterans of the Civil War for their performance at the Battle of Cedar Creek.
The state proclaimed October 12, 1899, as "Dewey Day" to honor native son George Dewey, the hero of Battle of Manila Bay and the Spanish–American War. Thousands turned out from the state to his hometown of Montpelier for the celebration.
Montpelier is located at 44°15′N 72°34′W / 44.250°N 72.567°W (44.2500, −72.5667) in the north-central area of Vermont. The city center is a flat clay zone (elevation 520 ft/158 m), surrounded by hills and granite ledges. Towne Hill runs in a 2-mile (3.2 km) ridge (~900 ft/275 m) along the northern edge of the city.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.3 square miles (27 km2), of which 10.2 square miles (26 km2) is land and 0.10% is water. The Winooski River flows west along the south edge of downtown village and is fed by several smaller tributaries that cut through residential districts. Montpelier is subject to periodic flooding in the flat city center, with two major floods occurring in 1927 and 1992.
Montpelier features a humid continental climate (Köppen Dfb), with long, cold, and snowy winters, short springs and autumns, and warm summers. From January to July, daily means range from 16.4 to 67.3 °F (−8.7 to 19.6 °C). In winter, lows fall below 0 °F (−18 °C) on 24 nights and daytime highs stay below freezing for the majority of days from December to February. Snow is also frequent and remains on the ground for long stretches throughout the winter, though thaws are by no means infrequent. Average annual snowfall is 94.2 inches (2,390 mm). Summers are warm and often humid, with 2 or 3 days above 90 °F (32 °C), but rarely reaching 95 °F (35 °C).
Extremes have ranged from −34 °F (−37 °C) in January 1981 to 97 °F (36 °C), most recently recorded in July 1977.
|Climate data for Montpelier, Vermont|
|Record high °F (°C)|| 66
|Average high °F (°C)|| 26.4
|Average low °F (°C)|| 7.0
|Record low °F (°C)|| −34
|Average precipitation inches (mm)|| 2.45
|Average snowfall inches (cm)|| 22.6
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)||13.0||11.2||11.3||12.6||12.9||12.4||12.4||11.7||10.4||12.3||14.0||14.4||148.6|
|Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in)||12.0||9.1||7.5||3.3||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.9||5.7||11.7||50.2|
|Source: NOAA (normals 1981–2010, extremes 1948–present)|
As of the census of 2010, there were 7,855 people, 3,739 households, and 1,940 families residing in the city. The population density was 784.0 people per square mile (302.7/km²). There were 3,899 housing units at an average density of 380.4 per square mile (146.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 93.7% White, 1.0% African American, 0.3% Native American, 2.2% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.39% from other races, and 2.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.1% of the population.
There were 3,739 households out of which 26.0% had children under the age of 18 years living with them, 38.5% were married couples living together, 10.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 48.1% were non-families. 39.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.1% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.09 and the average family size was 2.84.
In the city the population was spread out with 21.3% under the age of 18, 8.6% from 18 to 24, 28.2% from 25 to 44, 27.1% from 45 to 64, and 14.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 84.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.0 males.
Montpelier's government maintains a city council, city manager, and mayor. The city council consists of a mayor and six members each elected from districts with each district electing two members for two year terms. The mayor is elected in a citywide vote to a two-year term. The council appoints the city manager who is the chief administrative officer of the city.
The city provides municipal services for its residents and businesses. These include local law enforcement, firefighting, planning and zoning regulation, and provision for potable drinking water and wastewater.
The median income for a household in the city was $37,513, and the median income for a family was $51,818. Males had a median income of $35,957 versus $29,442 for females. The per capita income for the city was $22,599. About 7.2% of families and 9.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.9% of those under age 18 and 5.7% of those age 65 or over.
Since the city's establishment as capital in 1805, the primary business in Montpelier has been government, and by the mid-19th century government and life and fire insurance. Companies based in Montpelier include the National Life Group.
Located in Montpelier are the New England Culinary Institute, the annual Green Mountain Film Festival and the headquarters of several insurance companies. The majority of businesses in the downtown area, mostly retail, are locally owned.
- Public schools include:
- Montpelier High School
- Main Street Middle School
- Union Elementary School
- River Rock School is a private school serving kindergarten through 8th grade students.
- A campus of the Community College of Vermont
- New England Culinary Institute, a for-profit career college
- Union Institute & University Vermont campus, offers a Master of Education program through a low-residency (online) program
- Vermont College of Fine Arts is a low-residency graduate school offering Masters of Fine Arts degrees in visual arts, writing, and writing for children and young adults
The city is located along Interstate 89. East-west U.S. Route 2 and north-south Vermont Route 12 are two other principal routes that intersect in Montpelier. Both I-89 and U.S. 2 provide a direct link to Burlington and the populous Lake Champlain Valley in the northwestern corner of the state. U.S. Route 302 has its western terminus in Montpelier, connecting it with the nearby city of Barre and points east.
Amtrak, the national rail passenger system, provides daily service from its station at Montpelier Junction in the neighboring town of Berlin, on the route known as the "Vermonter", operating between St. Albans, Vermont and Washington, D.C.
Greyhound and Megabus operate buses that serve Montpelier. The Green Mountain Transit Authority (GMTA) operates a local bus network throughout the micropolitan area, with stops in Montpelier and Barre, including nearby Waterbury, the Vermont State House, Ben & Jerry's factory, and the local Berlin Mall. GMTA and its sister bus company in Burlington, the Chittenden County Transportation Authority (CCTA), operate a series of LINK commuter buses with stops in Montpelier, Burlington, Richmond, and Waterbury.
A few small taxi companies serve the area.
Air travelers in private planes can use the Edward F. Knapp State Airport in Berlin to access Montpelier. The Burlington International Airport in Chittenden County is the closest commercial air service, located 35 miles (56 km) northwest of Montpelier.
Two shared-use paths for walking and bicycling connect to Montpelier: the Cross Vermont Trail and the Central Vermont Regional Path. Montpelier's downtown is relatively compact and pedestrian-friendly, with sidewalks and crosswalks throughout the downtown area.
Arts and culture
- Kellogg-Hubbard Library—with a copy of the Parthenon Frieze
- Lost Nation Theater
- Montpelier Theatre Guild
- Vermont History Museum—in The Pavilion
- Vermont State House
- T. W. Wood Gallery & Arts Center
- Capital City Concerts
- An annual local vernacular culture phenomenon, the Valentine Phantom, a tradition of covering downtown storefronts and public buildings with red hearts each February 14, began in Montpelier in the 1990s.
Parks and natural areas
The city has three city nature centers. Hubbard Park rises behind the state capitol building and extends along the ridge line towards the north past the pool to the stump dump. Accessible from Cummings Street off State Route 12, the North Branch River Park is the second-largest park in the city. The Mill Pond Park is located along State Route 12 approximately a 0.25 miles (0.40 km) from the cemetery and features boat access to the North Branch river, as well as benches and short-term parking. The North Branch Nature Center is located at the northern end of town and includes 17 acres (6.9 ha) of protected land as well as a community nature center. A bridge from the North Branch Nature Center connects the land to the North Branch River Park on the opposite side of the North Branch River.
- Athenwood and the Thomas W. Wood Studio
- Christ Episcopal Church
- Montpelier City Hall
- Montpelier Recreation Field
- Saint Augustine's Church
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Montpelier – Definitions from Dictionary.com
- Smallest capital city plans big MLK celebration. Retrieved 2010-04-23.
- A Study and Analysis of the Fiscal Impacts of Growth in the City of Montpelier
- Federal Writers' Project of the Works Progress Administration for the State of Vermont (1996). Vermont: A guide to the Green Mountain State. The Stephen Greene Press. p. 117.
- Swift, Esther Munroe (1977). Vermont Place Names: Footprints of History. Houghton Mifflin. pp. 451–454. ISBN 0-8289-0291-7.
- Huegenin, Joan (May 18, 2016). "Reunion Society of Vermont Officers". Journal of the Northeast Kingdom Civil War Roundtable: 7–8.
- Barg, Lori (9 August 2009). "Power from the plumbing". =Burlington Free Press. Burlington, Vermont. pp. 5D.
- "George Dewey (1837–1917) Family Papers, 1844–1901 MS 125" (PDF). Retrieved April 14, 2013.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- C. B. Hall (March 7, 2014). "The Rivers and Montpelier". The Bridge. Retrieved November 27, 2015.
- "Montpelier". Virtual Vermont. Retrieved November 27, 2015.
Montpelier's proximity to the geographic center of the state was a principal deciding factor.
- NWS Burlington Forecast Office
- "NOWData – NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved June 10, 2013.
- "VT Barre Montpelier AP". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 18 December 2014.
- "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016.
- "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- "Vermont History Explorer". Retrieved August 7, 2015.
- "Montpelier: Economy-Major Industries". City.com. Retrieved 1 April 2011.
- Union Elementary School
- River Rock School
- Union Institute and University of Vermont Center M.Ed. Program
- Vermont College of Fine Arts
- Vermont geography
- Vermont capitol
- Kellogg-Hubbard Library – with a copy of the Parthenon frieze
- Lost Nation Theater
- Montpelier Theatre Guild
- Vermont History Museum – in The Pavilion
- T. W. Wood Gallery & Arts Center
- "Capital City Concerts – Montpelier Vermont's Premiere Classical Concert Series". Retrieved April 14, 2013.
- Hubbard Park
- North Branch River Park
- Mill Pond Park
- North Branch Nature Center
- Coolidge, A. J. & Mansfield, J. B. (1859). A History and Description of New England. Boston, Massachusetts.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Montpelier, Vermont.|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Montpelier.|
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Montpelier.|
- City of Montpelier, Vermont
- Kellogg-Hubbard Library
- Voice of Montpelier
- Times Argus
- Montpelier Bridge
- Central Vermont Chamber of Commerce