"Old town charm, new town spirit"
|• Total||30.6 sq mi (79.2 km2)|
|• Land||30.1 sq mi (77.9 km2)|
|• Water||0.5 sq mi (1.3 km2)|
|Elevation||604 ft (184 m)|
|• Density||330/sq mi (130/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||1462263|
Williston is a town in Chittenden County, Vermont, United States. Originally rural and laid out with many farms, in recent decades it has developed into a thriving suburb of Burlington, the largest city in the state of Vermont. As of the 2020 census, the population of Williston was 10,103, an increase of over 1,000 people since the 2010 census. Williston is one of the fastest-growing towns in Vermont, and while becoming more populated, it has also developed as a major retail center for the Burlington area as well as much of central and northern Vermont. The town contains the village of Williston, which is unincorporated.
The town was chartered in the New Hampshire Grants in 1763 as a grant from Governor Benning Wentworth of the colony of New Hampshire. It was named for Samuel Willis, a New York merchant who was one of the original 65 grantees, though he never visited the town that was named in his honor.
A private, boarding high school, Pine Ridge, was founded in 1968 to serve learning-disabled students. It closed in June 2009.
The town is notable for its fine and well preserved central collection of brick nineteenth century civic and religious buildings including the "old Brick Church" of 1832, considered one of Vermont's finest country Gothic churches; the former Universalist Church, now the Town Hall, of 1860; the former Methodist Church of 1848, now the Town Annex; former Town Hall of approximately 1840. Also is the regal Federated Church of 1867, formerly the Methodist Episcopal Church, designed by noted Boston architect John Stevens. On the western side of the town, bordering South Burlington, is Vermont's largest mercantile development with numerous "big box" stores and other commercial activities, making it a destination from all over the region.
The town was also the home of several generations of the Chittenden family, for whom the surrounding county, Vermont's most populous, is named. A number of beautiful original Chittenden family homes still stand in the town. Thomas Chittenden, the President of the Vermont Republic, and first governor of the state had his home in Williston and is buried in the central cemetery, with a prominent memorial.
During the night of July 7, 1984, an Amtrak train with 287 people aboard hit a landslide and derailed, killing five people and injuring about two hundred. Although the accident triggered one of Vermont's most intensive emergency responses, the final victims were not rescued until the end of the day.
Williston is in central Chittenden County, bordered on the north by the Winooski River. The city of South Burlington is to the west. According to the United States Census Bureau, Williston has a total area of 30.6 square miles (79.2 km2), of which 30.1 square miles (77.9 km2) is land and 0.50 square miles (1.3 km2), or 1.65%, is water.
Allen Brook drains the center of the town. It begins and flows from Mud Pond north to the village of Williston, and then in a northwesterly direction where it meets the Winooski River. It has a length of 10 miles (16 km) and drains a watershed covering 6,900 acres (2,800 ha).
Muddy Brook flows on the western edge of Williston and marks the border between Williston and South Burlington.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2010, there were 8,698 people, 2,921 households, and 2,141 families residing in the town. The population density was 252.1 people per square mile (97.4/km2). There were 3,036 housing units at an average density of 100.1 per square mile (38.6/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 95.6% White, 1.0% African American, 0.2% Native American, 2.0% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.10% from other races, and 1.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.5% of the population.
There were 2,921 households, out of which 36.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.1% were married couples living together, 5.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.7% were non-families. 20.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.59 and the average family size was 3.02.
In the town, the population was spread out, with 27.5% under the age of 18, 4.1% from 18 to 24, 32.0% from 25 to 44, 24.6% from 45 to 64, and 11.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.6 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $61,467, and the median income for a family was $69,762. Males had a median income of $49,048, versus $31,740 for females. The per capita income for the town was $29,757. About 0.8% of families and 1.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 0.8% of those under age 18 and 4.9% of those age 65 or over.
One measure of economic activity is retail sales. Williston led the state in 2007 with US$434.8 million. The part of town known as Taft Corners has a number of big-box stores, including Walmart, Home Depot, Bed Bath and Beyond, Petsmart, Staples, Old Navy, and Best Buy, as well as chain restaurants not seen elsewhere in Vermont such as Friendly's, Texas Roadhouse, Longhorn Steakhouse, and Ninety-Nine. Additionally, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement operates a large law enforcement center in the town.
The town has two schools: Allen Brook School, Pre-K-2, and Williston Central School, 3–8.
The Williston school district is part of the Champlain Valley School District. It therefore sends its students of high school age to Champlain Valley Union High School, which it supports through taxation.
Bus service is provided by Chittenden County Transportation Authority. This transportation brings residents and workers to South Burlington and Burlington, the central locations of the bus system.
Interstate 89 passes through town from east to west, though it is signed north-south. There is an interchange just south of downtown.
U.S. Route 2, also known as Williston Road, passes through town from east to west. Williston's historic village is located along U.S. 2 in the center of town.
Vermont Route 2A provides a north-south route through town, connecting it to Hinesburg and Essex Junction. Much of the town's retail development, including nearly all of its big-box stores, is located along Route 2A, which runs through the western part of Williston and intersects I-89 and U.S. Route 2.
- Edwin Atwater, Canadian businessperson and politician
- James Edmund Burke, mayor of Burlington, Vermont
- Lucius E. Chittenden, attorney and author who served as Register of the U.S. Treasury during the American Civil War
- Martin Chittenden, U.S. congressman and governor of Vermont
- Thomas Chittenden, founder of the Republic of Vermont and first governor of Vermont
- Ben Cohen, entrepreneur and co-founder of Ben & Jerry's
- Bart Farley, professional soccer player and coach
- Jerry Greenfield, entrepreneur and co-founder of Ben & Jerry's
- Raul Hilberg, Austrian-born historian and leading scholar on the Holocaust
- Virginia V. Lyons, member of the Vermont Senate
- Ross Miner, figure skater and skating coach
- Haviland Smith, retired CIA officer and former station chief
- Russell S. Taft, chief justice of the Vermont Supreme Court
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- "online index of FEC reports for campaign donors, showing Cohen as living in Williston". newsmeat.com.
- "Final 1976 University of Vermont Soccer Statistics - Individual and Team" (PDF). UVM athletics.com/. Burlington, VT: University of Vermont. November 2, 1976. p. 1. Retrieved August 18, 2021.
- Vincent, Isabel (July 31, 2021). "How Ben & Jerry rose from Vermont hippies selling ice cream to Palestinian activists". New York Post. New York, NY.
- Martin, Douglas (August 7, 2007). "Raul Hilberg, 81, Historian Who Wrote of the Holocaust as a Bureaucracy, Dies". The New York Times. New York, NY.
- Board, Riley (June 22, 2020). "Meet the major party candidates seeking to represent the Chittenden district in the Vermont Senate". The Burlington Free Press. Burlington, VT.
- Starr, Jason (January 18, 2018). "Olympic dreams dashed for Williston native". Williston Observer. Williston, VT.
- McKeever, Andrew (January 23, 2012). "Former CIA official to give next 'First Wednesdays' talk". Manchester Journal. Manchester, VT.
- "Obituary, Russell Smith Taft". The Vermonter. St. Albans, VT: Charles S. Forbes. April 1902. p. 160 – via Google Books.
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