Westmore, Vermont

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Westmore, Vermont
Westmore, Vermont (Mount Pisgah, Lake Willoughby, Mount Hor)
Westmore, Vermont (Mount Pisgah, Lake Willoughby, Mount Hor)
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°45′25″N 72°1′34″W / 44.75694°N 72.02611°W / 44.75694; -72.02611Coordinates: 44°45′25″N 72°1′34″W / 44.75694°N 72.02611°W / 44.75694; -72.02611
Country United States
State Vermont
County Orleans
Chartered August 17, 1781
 • Total 37.5 sq mi (97.0 km2)
 • Land 34.5 sq mi (89.4 km2)
 • Water 2.9 sq mi (7.6 km2)
Elevation 1,170 ft (554 m)
Population (2000)
 • Total 306
 • Density 15.4/sq mi (3.4/km2)
 • Households 133
 • Families 90
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 05822, 05860
Area code(s) 802
FIPS code 50-81700[1]
GNIS feature ID 1462254[2]

Westmore is a town in Orleans County, Vermont, United States. The population was 306 at the 2000 census, making it the least populated town in the county. The town contains one unincorporated village clustered around Lake Willoughby.[3]


Originally named Westford, the town was chartered on August 17, 1781. Since Chittenden County had a town named Westford, in 1787 the name was changed to Westmore.

The first vacation house was built on the lake in 1860. It is known as the Cheney House, after an owner in the late 19th century.[4]

Westmore never attracted many settlers. The town's peak population was in the census year of 1880 with 485 people.

Before he became famous, Robert Frost camped here in the summer of 1909 with his family.[5]

Songadeewin Camp for girls was located here in the 1920s-1940s.[6]

Electricity became available at the south end of the lake, from West Burke, circa 1934.[7]

In 1970, the state of Vermont acquired 7,600 acres (3,100 ha) as part of Willoughby State Forest, which included the Cheney House.[4]

Nudity is legal throughout Vermont,[8][9] though in 2007-8, the town discussed whether to ban nudity, aimed at sunbathers on the south beach of Lake Willoughby.[10]

Having closely approximated the state's voting percentages for governor, in 2006, and president in 2004, Westmore was considered one of six "bellwether" towns for the 2008 general election.[11]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 37.5 square miles (97.0 km2), of which 34.5 square miles (89.4 km2) is land and 2.9 square miles (7.6 km2) (7.85%) is water.

One of the town's most prominent features is Lake Willoughby. The lake has a maximum depth of 312 feet, making it the deepest lake totally contained within Vermont, and one of the deepest lakes in all of New England.[citation needed] The relatively young 12,000-year-old glacier-carved lake is flanked on the east by Mount Pisgah 2,752 feet (839 m) and the west by Mount Hor 2,654 feet (809 m). The mountains, which have hundreds of feet of rock cliffs, are located in the Willoughby State Forest and the cliffs have been designated a National Natural Landmark. In recent decades, several peregrine falcons have been found there.

Local mountains also include Goodwin 2,936 feet (895 m), Bald 3,316 feet (1,011 m), Hedgehog 2,201 feet (671 m), Haystack 2,713 feet (827 m), and Bartlett 2,047 feet (624 m).

The town has a local weather recording and reporting station.[12]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1810 126
1830 132
1840 122 −7.6%
1850 152 24.6%
1860 324 113.2%
1870 412 27.2%
1880 480 16.5%
1890 395 −17.7%
1900 390 −1.3%
1910 331 −15.1%
1920 287 −13.3%
1930 224 −22.0%
1940 224 0.0%
1950 210 −6.2%
1960 179 −14.8%
1970 195 8.9%
1980 257 31.8%
1990 305 18.7%
2000 306 0.3%
2010 350 14.4%
Est. 2014 342 [13] −2.3%
U.S. Decennial Census[14]

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 306 people, 133 households, and 90 families residing in the town. The population density was 8.9 people per square mile (3.4/km2). There were 530 housing units at an average density of 15.4 per square mile (5.9/km2).

There were 133 households out of which 20.3% had children under the age of 18 living in them, 58.6% were married couples living together, 6.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.3% were non-families. 26.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.74.

In the town the population was spread out with 16.7% under the age of 18, 7.8% from 18 to 24, 22.5% from 25 to 44, 36.3% from 45 to 64, and 16.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 46 years. For every 100 females there were 100.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 112.5 males.


Personal income[edit]

The median income for a household in the town was $27,375, and the median income for a family was $38,333. Males had a median income of $26,875 versus $18,958 for females. The per capita income for the town was $14,522. About 7.8% of families and 14.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.8% of those under the age of eighteen and 3.8% of those sixty five or over.


The town is first in the county with the highest percentage of second home ownership. The county is tied for first in the state.[16][17]

Most of the tourism is around the lake and mountains, which have hiking and biking trails, some of which are associated with the Kingdom Trails, and campgrounds. There is hiking, biking, fishing, ice fishing, camping, rock and ice climbing, canoeing and other boating forms, parasailing. Visitors dive from Devils Rock on the east shore of the lake.[citation needed]



School district[edit]

High school students are sent to Lake Region Union High School. The town pays an assessment for this and elects a board member to the Orleans Central Supervisory Union.


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ Vermont Villages, Towns, Counties
  4. ^ a b Gresser, Joseph (September 17, 2008). Cheney House for sale to highest bidder. the Chronicle. 
  5. ^ "Celebrating Robert Frost". The Old Stone House Bulletin (Brownington, Vermont: Orleans County Historical Society). Spring 2009. p. 1. 
  6. ^ Not to be confused with a camp of the same name operating on Lake Dunmore in 2007.
  7. ^ Rybecky, Eleanor Badenberger (August 2008). "Pisgah Lodge at Willoughby Lake". Vermont's Northland Journal 7 (5): 6. 
  8. ^ though public disrobing is not
  9. ^ MacQuarrie, Brian (August 23, 2006). "Law of nature prevails in Vermont". The Boston Globe. 
  10. ^ aol news retrieved June 17, 2008
  11. ^ Remsen, Nancy (November 2, 2008). Towns to watch. Burlington Free Press. 
  12. ^ Westmore Weather Station Data
  13. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  14. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  15. ^ "Vermont History Explorer". Retrieved August 7, 2015. 
  16. ^ The other county is Windham County
  17. ^ Starr, Tena (7 July 2010). "Glover to study summer people's spending habits". Barton, Vermont: the Chronicle. pp. 10A. 

External links[edit]