Charleston, Vermont

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Charleston, Vermont
The Plymouth Congregational Church on VT Rte 105 in East Charleston
The Plymouth Congregational Church on VT Rte 105 in East Charleston
Located in Orleans County, Vermont
Located in Orleans County, Vermont
Location of Vermont with the U.S.A.
Location of Vermont with the U.S.A.
Coordinates: 44°50′30″N 72°0′47″W / 44.84167°N 72.01306°W / 44.84167; -72.01306Coordinates: 44°50′30″N 72°0′47″W / 44.84167°N 72.01306°W / 44.84167; -72.01306
Country United States
State Vermont
County Orleans
Chartered November 10, 1780
 • Total 38.6 sq mi (100.0 km2)
 • Land 37.5 sq mi (97.1 km2)
 • Water 1.1 sq mi (2.9 km2)
Elevation 1,196 ft (358 m)
Population (2000)
 • Total 895
 • Density 23.9/sq mi (9.2/km2)
 • Households 362
 • Families 26,123.9
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 05833, 05872
Area code(s) 802
FIPS code 50-13150[1]
GNIS feature ID 1462067[2]

Charleston is a town in Orleans County, Vermont, United States. The population was 895 at the 2000 census. The town contains three unincorporated villages: Charleston, East Charleston and West Charleston.

Local government[edit]


  • Selectman - Tom Jensen[3]
  • Town Clerk - Teri Gray
  • Town Budget - $413,221

The proposed budget of $435,000, $345,040 of which was allocated to road maintenance, was rejected at the town meeting March 4, 2008.

School District[edit]

  • Member, North Country Union High School Board - Peter Moscovites
  • School Board Chair - Nancy Tessier
  • Member, School Board - Jason Brueck, East Charleston; Bill McMaster (2009)
  • Number of students - 100 (current and projected)
  • Number of students in 2004 - 128
  • School Budget for 2008 - $1,502,600

The Elementary school had 70% of the students qualified for free or reduced lunches. This was the highest percentage in the county in 2011.[4]


Native Abenakis told of how a large pond "ran away" similar to Runaway Pond in the 1780s before the area was explored by the descendants of Europeans.[5]

Commodore Abraham Whipple was given a grant to the town, along with 50-60 of his shipmates. He called it "Navy." Abner Allen, from Barton, Vermont, was the first settler in 1803.[6]

In 1825, the town of Navy changed its name to Charleston, presumably after a naval battle that had occurred off Charleston, South Carolina.

During the Civil War Charleston furnished 121 enlisted men, thirty-five of whom were killed in action or died from the effects of wounds or disease contracted while in the service.[7]

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the town had a number of mills. The population hit a high of 1700.

A round barn (not uncommon for the time and place) was erected in Charleston in 1908. It was possibly the largest such structure in New England.[8] The barn burned to the ground in 1918, though the large stone foundation can still be seen along the Ten Mile Square Road.[9]

A series of fires destroyed East Charleston May 18, 1921, and West Charleston on the following day.[10]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 38.6 square miles (100.0 km2), of which 37.5 square miles (97.1 km2) is land and 1.1 square miles (2.9 km2) (2.93%) is water.

The surface of the town is somewhat uneven, some portions being very low.

The Clyde River is the largest stream in the town. It flows into Charleston, in a northwesterly direction nearly through its center. Falls are found on the river, especially in the western part of town, where it drops more than 100 feet (30 m) in 660 feet (201 m), but its current is generally slow.

Echo Lake, situated in the easterly part of the town, receives the waters of Lake Seymour in Morgan, and through that the waters of Holland Pond. Echo Lake is one mile (1.6 km) from East Charleston. It is one mile (1.6 km) and a half long and one mile (1.6 km) wide. General Whitelaw gave it the name of Echo Pond because when any sound was produced in its vicinity, it reverberated in various directions, producing a series of echoes.

Pensioners Pond is the next in size, and was so named because of the pension of a revolutionary soldier who employed its water power.

Toad Pond is above Pensioners Pond, near the great swamp on the Brownington line. Broadway Pond is near the Morgan line.[11]

The southwest part of town is delimited from its neighbor, the town of Brownington, by Chilafoux Road, which runs northwest-southeast, for about half its length.[12]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1810 56
1820 90 60.7%
1830 564 526.7%
1840 731 29.6%
1850 1,008 37.9%
1860 1,160 15.1%
1870 1,278 10.2%
1880 1,204 −5.8%
1890 1,058 −12.1%
1900 1,025 −3.1%
1910 993 −3.1%
1920 921 −7.3%
1930 895 −2.8%
1940 834 −6.8%
1950 764 −8.4%
1960 668 −12.6%
1970 654 −2.1%
1980 851 30.1%
1990 844 −0.8%
2000 895 6.0%
2010 1,023 14.3%
Est. 2014 1,001 [13] −2.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[14]

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 895 people, 362 households, and 261 families residing in the town. The population density was 23.9 people per square mile (9.2/km2). There were 587 housing units at an average density of 15.7 per square mile (6.0/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 96.42% White, 1.34% Native American, 0.34% Asian, and 1.90% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.45% of the population.

There were 362 households out of which 30.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.7% were married couples living together, 9.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.9% were non-families. 19.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 2.80.

In the town, the population was spread out with 24.4% under the age of 18, 7.9% from 18 to 24, 24.8% from 25 to 44, 31.2% from 45 to 64, and 11.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.1 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $28,083, and the median income for a family was $31,250. Males had a median income of $25,938 versus $19,911 for females. The per capita income for the town was $15,278. About 16.4% of families and 20.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.6% of those under age 18 and 23.9% of those age 65 or over.

Notable people[edit]

  • Benjamin Hunkins, pioneer and Wisconsin territorial and state legislator, was born in Charleston,[15]


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ Charleston voters cut teachers, approve roof The Chronicle, March 7, 2007, Page 1A
  4. ^ Starr, Tina (February 16, 2011). "Student test scores released by state". The Chronicle. Barton, Vermont. p. 14. 
  5. ^ Charleston History on accessed March 14, 2008
  6. ^
  7. ^ Gazetteer of Lamoille and Orleans Counties, VT.; 1883-1884, Compiled and Published by Hamilton Child; May 1887
  8. ^ Northwoods Stewardship Center (October 8, 2008). Land use, sense of place, are topics of programs. the Chronicle. 
  9. ^ (unpublished- NorthWoods Stewardship Center)- "On the Banks of the Clyde: A Land Use and Cultural History of the NorthWoods Stewardship Center"
  10. ^ Creaser, Richard (June 20, 2007). Up in flames is new exhibit at Old Stone House. the Chronicle. 
  11. ^ Source: Gazetteer of Lamoille and Orleans Counties, VT.; 1883-1884, Compiled and Published by Hamilton Child; May 1887
  12. ^ Northeast Kingdom Civil War Roundtable: 2. July 2014.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  13. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  14. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved June 19, 2015. 
  15. ^ 'Memorials and Biographical Record and Illustrated Compendium Biography,' G.A. Orge and Company: 1899, Biographical Sketch of Benjamin Hunkins, pg. 1101