Craftsbury, Vermont

Craftsbury is a town in Orleans County, Vermont, United States. The population was 1,136 at the 2000 census. The town includes the four unincorporated villages of Craftsbury Common, Mill Village, North Craftsbury and East Craftsbury. Craftsbury Common is home to Sterling College, an accredited four year institution with 100 students.



  • Moderator - Anne Wilson
  • Selectman - Bruce Urie
  • Town Clerk - Yvette Brown
  • Agent - Tom Wells
  • Treasurer - Yvette Brown
  • Collector of Taxes - Yvette Brown
  • Auditor - Lisa Santamore
  • Lister - Tom Wells
  • Lister - William Ryan
  • Grand Juror - Tom Hadden
  • Cemetery Commissioner - Faye Waterhouse
  • Trustee of Public Funds - Rita Davis
  • Trustee of WWII Memorial Fund - Clyde Simmons Jr.
  • Supervisor, Lamoille Solid Waste District - Adrian Owens
  • Budget - $618,314

School district

Craftsbury runs the Craftsbury Schools System.

  • Superintendent - Dave Ford
  • Budget - $2,932,930


The state granted the town to Ebenezer Crafts, Timothy Newell, and sixty-two associates, on November 6,1780. They named it Minden. It was changed to Craftsbury, in honor of Ebenezer Crafts on October 27, 1790. Crafts was the first settler in the county. North Craftsbury was settled by the earliest pioneers, and was for many years the center of business and trade, not only for Craftsbury, but for Eden, Lowell, Albany, and portions of all the neighboring towns.

The militia was drilled here on the common while such training took place. All the public and religious meetings were held here. Along with Brownington, it was the county seat until 1815 when it switched to Irasburg. Orleans county courts were held alternately at Craftsbury and Brownington.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 102.9 km² (39.7 mi²). 101.7 km² (39.3 mi²) of it is land and 1.1 km² (0.4 mi²) of it (1.11%) is water.

Craftsbury is on a plateau on the Catamount Trail.

There are many hills and valleys. The soil varies from alluvial meadows to clay and gravel. There are more numerous grades and varieties of soil than is usual.

There are five ponds or lakes.
Lake Elligo is partially in Greensboro. It is about two miles long and half a mile wide. It has two outlets. One flows to the north and the other to the south. The northern outlet is one of the head branches of Black River. The southern flows through Little Elligo pond and on to the Lamoille River in Hardwick. The eastern shore rises to cliffs. The western shore rises gradually. Near the center of the pond are two small islands. The lake was formerly a hunting-ground of the St. Francis Indians, who named it Elligo Scoloon.
The others are Great Hosmer, lying partly in Albany, Little Hosmer, and two other small ponds. The Black River is the main river in town. It was called Elligo-sigo by the natives. Its current is slow. The drop from its source to Lake Memphremagog, including the falls at Irasburgh and Coventry is 190 feet. Wild branch, a tributary of the Lamoille, rises in Eden and flows through the western part of town. The valley of Black river in Craftsbury is a muck bed averaging a quarter of a mile in width.

Geologically, the town varies in its structure to an unusual degree. There is granite in the east part of town. This alternates with gneiss and mica slate. In the central portions of town, the previous rocks are replaced by dark argellaceous slate. This alternates with silicious limestone.

The rocks on the west side of the Black River also vary. Strata of mica slate, argellaceous, and chlorite slates, and limestones, alternate. An extensive deposit of gray granite is near Craftsbury village. It is broken on the surface. This rock is filled with nodules of black mica and quartz, in concentric layers. These are about one inch in diameter. In much of the area, the geodes are so numerous that a hundred may be counted within a circle two feet in diameter. In some parts of the ledge these nodules are flattened, as if subjected to an immense vertical pressure when the mass was in a semi-fluid state. These rocks are believed to be unique from any other found in America or Europe.


As of the census of 2000, there were 1,136 people, 427 households, and 301 families residing in the town. The population density was 11.2/km² (28.9/mi²). There were 572 housing units at an average density of 5.6/km² (14.6/mi²). The racial makeup of the town was 96.74% White, 0.35% African American, 0.09% Native American, 0.44% Asian, and 2.38% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.14% of the population.

There were 427 households out of which 31.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.8% were couples living together and joined in either marriage or civil union, 5.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.3% were non-families. 21.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 2.82.

In the town the population was spread out with 21.0% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 24.6% from 25 to 44, 25.3% from 45 to 64, and 19.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 91.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.3 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $34,453, and the median income for a family was $41,000. Males had a median income of $21,875 versus $24,375 for females. The per capita income for the town was $17,185. About 11.2% of families and 13.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.4% of those under age 18 and 15.2% of those age 65 or over.

Town population reached its peak in 1860 with 1,413 people. It reached a low of 632 in 1970.


The Craftsbury Chamber Players have offered summer performances since 1966.

Notable residents

Craftsbury in film

Alfred Hitchcock shot the scenery for his 1955 movie The Trouble with Harry in Craftsbury. Ostensibly, the movie takes place entirely in town. Exteriors of the parsonage beside the East Craftsbury Presbyterian Church are used as well as exterior shots of Craftsbury Common.

The 1976 IMAX film To Fly! a history of human flight, directed by Jim Freeman and Greg MacGillivray and produced for the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum opens with a hot air balloon passing over the Wee House and the United Church of Craftsbury on the Common.


Tourist industry

Craftsbury contains facilities for Nordic skiing, with many miles of trails in the area, supported by an active commercial organization. These same trails are used for running and biking in the warmer months of the year.

In 1981, the first annual Craftsbury (winter) Marathon was held. In 2008, 646 skiers from 20 states and 3 provinces attended along with 295 tourists.

Craftsbury's main lakes - Big and Little Hosmer Ponds - are home to a rowing community.


Craftsbury is served by Vermont Route 14 which passes near the villages of Craftsbury and Craftsbury Common.


Further reading

Metraux, Daniel A. Craftsbury: A Brief Social History. Writers Club Press: 2001. ISBN-10 0595193927.

External links

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