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Windows on St Albans, Vermont
A Walking Tour and Very Brief History1

      The fertile area verging on Lake Champlain and near the Canadian border was named St Albans and its first land granted in 1763. Settlers probably named area after the village of St Albans in Herfortshire, England. It is one of only Vermont has only three locations known by a "saint name" (the others are St George and St Johnsbury; there are none in New Hampshire, Massachussetts, or Connecticut because Puritan objections to the "taint" of Catholicism was strong in the earlier colonies.)
      European immigrants flowed into the region after the Revolutionary War to join French homesteaders from the North. By 1800, Vermont was the fastest growing state in the Union; Franklin County is currently one of the fastest growing Counties in Vermont. Around 1860, St Albans began to grow as a railroad hub. At the turn of this century, 23 parallel rail lines crossed Lake Street in the largest rail freight center East of Chicago. The railroad kindled manufacturing, farming, and tourism throughout northwestern Vermont. Franklin County is now a leading Vermont producer of dairy and maple products.
      This international border region has a history of smuggling, armed conflict, and intrigue. Confederate soldiers staged a daring raid on St Albans from Canada. It succeded. An Irish invasion of Canada was launched from St Albans. It failed. The route Ira Allen surveyed between Burlington and Montreal in 1792 stopped in St Albans.
      St Albans is the name of both the City and the larger Town which surrounds it. Its present population center was incorporated as a village in 1859, and then a city in 1896. In 1990, the Town was home to 5,000 residents, while 7,340 lived in the City. Some 43,000 people live in the 15 Towns of rural Franklin County which was incorporated in 1792 and named for Benjamin Franklin who had died two years earlier.


1 Much of the material in this article was taken from:
Richard Ewald. Windows on St Albans. St Albans Chamber of Commerce and St Albans Historical Society.

ArTrain Rides the Rails of Vermont

All Arts Council of Franklin County

Dick Harper, Chair
P.O. Box 1
Highgate Springs, VT 05460
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