Bradford, Vermont

Bradford is a town in Orange County, Vermont, United States. The population was 2,797 at the 2010 census. Bradford is located on the county's eastern border, bordering both the Connecticut River and New Hampshire, and is a commercial center for some of its surrounding towns.

Bradford, Vermont
Main Street
Main Street
Located in Orange County, Vermont
Located in Orange County, Vermont
Location of Vermont with the U.S.A.
Location of Vermont with the U.S.A.
Bradford, Vermont is located in Vermont
Bradford, Vermont
Bradford, Vermont
Located in Orange County, Vermont
Coordinates: 43°59′41″N 72°7′58″W / 43.99472°N 72.13278°WCoordinates: 43°59′41″N 72°7′58″W / 43.99472°N 72.13278°W
CountryUnited States
Bradford Center
 • Total29.9 sq mi (77.4 km2)
 • Land29.8 sq mi (77.2 km2)
 • Water0.1 sq mi (0.2 km2)
425 ft (263 m)
 • Total2,619
 • Density87.8/sq mi (33.9/km2)
 • Households
 • Families
Time zoneUTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)802
FIPS code50-07375[1]
GNIS feature ID1462046[2]


Woods Library and Hotel Low, Bradford, VT
View of library in c. 1915

The earliest name of the settlement was Wait's River Town or Waitstown,[3] in honor of Joseph Wait, a member of Rogers' Rangers.[4] The town was originally part of Gloucester County in the Province of New York before becoming part of Vermont.[3] In 1770, the town was established by New York patent: 3,000 acres (1200 hectares) were granted on May 3, 1770, and the town was named Mooretown after Sir Henry Moore, 1st Baronet, then the royal governor of New York.[3][4] On October 23, 1788, at the request of town's residents, the town was renamed Bradford by the Vermont General Assembly,[3] likely after Bradford, Massachusetts.[4] According to the Vermont Encyclopedia, Bradford "has always been an industrial and commercial center for the surrounding rural towns and villages."[4]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 29.9 square miles (77.4 km2), of which 29.8 square miles (77.2 km2) is land and 0.1 square mile (0.2 km2) (0.20%) is water. The Waits River flows through Bradford in a southeasterly direction to its confluence with the Connecticut River, which forms the eastern boundary of the town.[3][5] The town rises from the river's meadows through low hills and river valleys and finally Wright's Mountain (at an elevation of 1,822 feet) close to the border with Newbury to the north.[3]

Bradford is bordered by the towns of Newbury to the north, West Fairlee and Fairlee to the south, and Corinth to the west.[6]

Piermont, New Hampshire lies across the Connecticut River to the east. The Piermont Bridge, a Pennsylvania truss bridge erected in 1928, connects Bradford and Piermont.[7]


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 20142,765[8]−1.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[9]

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 2,619 people, 1,028 households, and 692 families residing in the town. The population density was 87.8 people per square mile (33.9/km2). There were 1,217 housing units at an average density of 40.8 per square mile (15.8/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 97.71% White, 0.46% Black or African American, 0.46% Native American, 0.23% Asian, 0.15% Pacific Islander, and 0.99% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.61% of the population.

There were 1,028 households out of which 33.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them. 51.8% were married couples living together, 12.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.6% were non-families. 25.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 2.98.

In the town, the population was spread out with 26.2% under the age of 18, 7.6% from 18 to 24, 25.5% from 25 to 44, 25.1% from 45 to 64, and 15.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.3 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $37,270, and the median income for a family was $42,128. Males had a median income of $30,865 versus $28,857 for females. The per capita income for the town was $18,452. About 7.9% of families and 11.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.5% of those under age 18 and 8.1% of those age 65 or over.


Bradford has two public schools: Bradford Elementary School for kindergarten through grade 6 and Oxbow High School for grades 7-12. Attached to Oxford High School is the Riverbend Career and Technical Center for adults, a vocational center. Total school enrollment for fiscal year 2017-2018 was 242 at Bradford Elementary[10] and approximately 373 at Oxbow/Riverbend.[11] While Bradford Elementary serves only the Town of Bradford, Oxbow/Riverbend is part of a supervisory union, and so has students from the surrounding area as well.[12]

A private school, the Connecticut River Academy, is also located in the town.[13]


The town is crossed by Interstate 91 (6.42 miles (10.33 km) in the town), U.S. Route 5 (5.85 miles (9.41 km)) and Vermont Routes 25 and 25B (8.01 miles (12.89 km)).[14]

Sites of interest

Wrights Mountain View Bradford VT
View from Wright's Mountain

The town has a number of scenic views, including of the Connecticut River Valley, Waits River Valley, and White Mountains. Also of note is the view from Wright's Mountain.[15]

  • Bradford Village Historic District – added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.[15]
  • Bradford Academy/Woods School Building at 172 North Main Street – an 1893 building (with a 1935 addition) that has been held by the town under a 99-year lease. The building houses the town government offices, town police department, and Bradford Historical Society.[16]
  • Bradford Public Library – designed by architect Lambert Packard and constructed in 1895.[17]
  • Old Church Theater – Permanently located in a 1793 building behind the Congregational Church on Main Street, the Old Church Theater has presented over 28 years of summer productions geared for family entertainment. The organization moved to temporary quarters adjacent to the Orange East Senior Center in November 2017, while the permanent building undergoes restoration. The actors are local residents from various backgrounds and some have gone on to make a career in the theater world. The theater is open to anyone wishing to act, direct, work backstage, help with set design, ticket sales and more.[18][19]

Notable people

Frozen waterfall in Waits River


  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. ^ a b c d e f Silas McKeen, A History of Bradford, Vermont (J.D. Clark & Son: Montpelier, Vermont: 1875), pp. 29-30.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Bradford" in The Vermont Encyclopedia (eds. John J. Duffy, Samuel B. Hand & Ralph H. Orth: University of Vermont Press, 2003), p. 61.
  5. ^ DeLorme (1996). Vermont Atlas & Gazetteer. Yarmouth, Maine: DeLorme. ISBN 0-89933-016-9
  6. ^ Vermont Town and County Boundaries, Vermont Center for Geographic Information, Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development (accessed March 19, 2017).
  7. ^ Tim Camerato, Repairs to Piermont-Bradford Bridge Raise Concerns, Valley News (November 14, 2016).
  8. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Archived from the original on 2015-05-23. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  9. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
  10. ^ 2016-2017 BAGSD Annual Report
  11. ^ Oxbow High School Profile 2015–2016 CEEB 460045
  12. ^ Bradford Town Plan, pp. 19-21.
  13. ^ Bradford Town Plan, p. 19.
  14. ^ Bradford Town Plan, p. 73.
  15. ^ a b Bradford Town Plan, p. 70.
  16. ^ Bradford Town Plan, p. 23.
  17. ^ Bradford Town Plan, p. 30.
  18. ^ Bradford Town Plan, p.29.
  19. ^ Journal Opinion (newspaper) 01 November 2017
  20. ^ Chaim M. Rosenberg, Yankee Colonies across America: Cities upon the Hills (Lexington Books, 2015), p. 74.
  21. ^ Spencer C. Tucker, ""Clark, Charles Edgar" in The Encyclopedia of the Spanish–American and Philippine–American Wars: A Political, Social, and Military History, Vol. 1 (A-L) (ed. Spencer C. Tucker).
  22. ^ Douglas Martin, Ned O'Gorman, 84, Dies; Poet Founded Innovative Harlem School, New York Times (March 7, 2014).
  23. ^ Caryn Hannan, Michigan Biographical Dictionary (2008-09 ed., Vol. 1: Somerset Publishers: 1998), p. 253.
  24. ^ Underwood, Lucien Marcus (1913). The Underwood Families of America. 1. Lancaster, PA: New Era Printing Company. p. 1.
  25. ^ Bigelow, Walter J. (1919). Vermont, Its Government. Montpelier, VT: Historical Publishing Company. p. 12.
  26. ^ Jay Wright (1935-), Library of Congress.

Works cited

Further reading

External links

Abel Underwood

Abel Underwood (April 8, 1799-April 22, 1879) was a Vermont lawyer, judge, and politician. A Whig and later a Republican, he was most notable for his service as United States Attorney for the District of Vermont (1849-1853) and a judge of the Vermont Circuit Court (1854-1857).

A native of Bradford, Vermont, Underwood attended the academy in Royalton, Vermont to prepare for a university education, and graduated from Dartmouth College in 1824. He read law with Isaac Fletcher, attained admission to the bar in 1827, and practiced in Wells River, Vermont. A Whig, he served as State's Attorney of Orange County (1838-1839, 1840-1841), U.S. Attorney during the presidencies of Zachary Taylor and Millard Fillmore (1849-1853), and a judge of the Vermont Circuit Court from 1854 until the court was abolished in 1857. He became a Republican when the party was founded in the 1850s, and served in the Vermont House of Representatives from 1861 to 1862. Underwood died in Wells River in 1879.

Albert Sleeper

Albert Edson Sleeper (December 31, 1862 – May 13, 1934) was an American politician and served as the 29th Governor of Michigan from 1917 to 1921.

Amos Henry Worthen

Amos Henry Worthen (1813–1888) was an American geologist and paleontologist from Illinois. He was the second state geologist of Illinois and the first curator of the Illinois State Museum. He was a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Bradford (CDP), Vermont

Bradford is a census-designated places in the town of Bradford, Orange County, Vermont, United States. The population was 815 at the 2000 census, at which time it was an incorporated village. The village disincorporated on December 1, 2004. The village became a census-designated place in 2008. The central commercial and residential portion of the village is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Bradford Village Historic District.

Bridge 22

Bridge 22, also known as the Creamery Bridge is a historic pony truss bridge, carrying Old Creamery Road across the Waits River in Bradford, Vermont. Built in 1934, it is well-preserved late example of a bridge style then passing out of fashion. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2010.

Charles Edgar Clark

Rear Admiral Charles Edgar Clark (August 10, 1843 – October 1, 1922) was an officer in the United States Navy during the American Civil War and the Spanish–American War.

Emily Rebecca Page

Emily Rebecca Page (May 5, 1834 - February 14, 1862) was a 19th-century American poet and editor.

Born in Vermont in 1834, she began contributing poems to the Portland, Maine Transcript in 1846. She wrote prose and poetry for the Carpet-Bag, Ladies' Repository, and the Rose-Bud. For several years, she was a contributor to the publications of Maturin Murray Ballou. Some of her poetry, including "The Old Canoe", was occasionally attributed to other authors. That and "Haunted" were printed in Poets and Poetry of Vermont (Boston, 1860). "The Old Bridge," "Mabel," "My Angels," and "Watching" were also well known. "Lily of the Valley" was issued in book-form (Boston, 1859). Page died in Massachusetts in 1862.

Goshen Church

Goshen Church is a historic church on Goshen Road in Bradford, Vermont. Built in 1834, it is a fine and little-altered example of vernacular Greek Revival architecture in a rural setting. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

Herbert Thomas Johnson

Brigadier General Herbert Thomas Johnson (January 27, 1872 – November 4, 1942) was a military officer who served as Adjutant General of the Vermont National Guard.

James Wilson (globe maker)

James Wilson (March 15, 1763 – March 26, 1855) was the first maker of globes in the United States.

Born in Londonderry, New Hampshire, Wilson farmed with his father and trained as a blacksmith, though he had little other formal education. He moved to Bradford, Vermont in 1796, became interested in cartography, and taught himself map making. He invested in an encyclopedia and taught himself engraving and map making with the intention of producing maps for schoolchildren.

When he visited Dartmouth College's European globe collection, he was inspired by a pair of terrestrial and celestial globes. He left determined to create his own, and produced a heavy wooden sphere covered with ink drawings on paper. Though this first attempt was too heavy and took too long to produce for it to be commercially feasible, Wilson continued look for ways to improve his product. He sought out an expert in copper engraving and studied with Amos Doolittle in order to master the art of engraving.

In 1813, he opened the first geographic globe factory in the US and sold his initial 13 inch globe for $50. The Wilson globes were widely successful, and Wilson expanded to production of sets of celestial and terrestrial globes in various sizes, materials and prices, including printed Papier-mâché, enabling them to be purchased inexpensively for use in schools and homes. Wilson increased his production to meet demand, and in partnership with his sons he opened a second factory in Albany, New York.

Wilson remained active until he was over eighty, when he created a planetarium for the Thetford Academy. The planetarium was well received, and he began offering them for sale.

Wilson died in Bradford on March 26, 1855, and was buried at Upper Plain Cemetery in Bradford.His surviving globes are highly prized and can be found in libraries, museums and private collections. The Bradford rest area on Interstate 91 contains a historical marker indicating where his home and workshop stood and commemorating his accomplishments.

Jay Wright (poet)

Jay Wright (born May 25, 1935) is an African-American poet, playwright, and essayist. Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, he currently lives in Bradford, Vermont. Although his work is not as widely known as other American poets of his generation, it has received considerable critical acclaim. Wright's work is emblematic of what the Guyanese-British writer Wilson Harris has termed the "cross-cultural imagination." Following his receiving the Bollingen Prize in Poetry in 2005, Wright is recognized as one of the principal contributors to poetry in the early 21st century.

John Putnam Chapin

John Putnam Chapin (April 21, 1810 – July 27, 1864; buried in Graceland Cemetery) served as Mayor of Chicago, Illinois (1846–1847) for the Whig Party.

Chapin left his hometown to enter the mercantile business in Haverhill, New Hampshire before moving to Chicago in 1832. In Chicago he became a member of the wholesale and retail merchants firm Wadsworth, Dyer & Chapin until it was dissolved in 1843. Following the dissolution of the firm, Chapin joined the Canal Boat Transportation Company. He was a founding member of the Chicago Board of Trade.

In 1846, Chapin ran for mayor of Chicago as a Whig against Democratic nominee Charles Follansbee and Liberty Party nominee Philo Carpenter, winning the office with just over 55% of the vote.Following his term as Mayor, Chapin was elected to the city council in 1859. In 1861, he was nominated by the Union ticket for the office of Commissioner of Public Works. As Chapin was a Republican, he declined the nomination as he felt it was a mischievous move on the part of the Democrats.

Orange-2 Vermont Representative District, 2002–12

The Orange-2 Representative District is a one-member state Representative district in the U.S. state of Vermont. It is one of the 108 one or two member districts into which the state was divided by the redistricting and reapportionment plan developed by the Vermont General Assembly following the 2000 U.S. Census. The plan applies to legislatures elected in 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, and 2010. A new plan will be developed in 2012 following the 2010 U.S. Census.

The Orange-2 District includes all of the Orange County towns of Bradford, Fairlee, and West Fairlee.

As of the 2000 census, the state as a whole had a population of 608,827. As there are a total of 150 representatives, there were 4,059 residents per representative (or 8,118 residents per two representatives). The one member Orange-2 District had a population of 4,312 in that same census, 6.23% above the state average.

Piermont, New Hampshire

Piermont is a town in Grafton County, New Hampshire, United States. The population of Piermont was 790 at the 2010 census. It is home to Camp Walt Whitman and Kingswood Camp for Boys.

Piermont Bridge

The Piermont Bridge carries New Hampshire Route 25 over the Connecticut River between Piermont, New Hampshire and Bradford, Vermont. It is a Pennsylvania steel through truss bridge, built by the Boston Bridge Works in 1928. The bridge consists of a single span with a clear span of 352' and an overall length of 354'10". The roadbed is 20'7" wide, with a vertical clearance of 14'7". The bridge is approximately 25' above the river. The western (Vermont) abutment is made of split granite quarried from nearby Fairlee Mountain, while the eastern abutment is an early concrete construction built in 1908 by John Storrs for an earlier bridge. The bridge underwent a major renovation in 1993 which included the addition of a sidewalk (under which utilities were laid) and replacement of much of the bridge decking.The bridge was built in the aftermath of major rain and flooding in 1927 along the Connecticut River, which washed away several bridges and caused significant damage in Vermont. The Piermont Bridge was the longest bridge built after this flooding, replacing a c. 1875 two-span Town lattice truss bridge. The center pier of the older bridge was knocked down to the water line and is still visible. The eastern abutment, built in 1908 in a relatively early use of structural concrete, needed to be strengthened to accommodate the increased weight of the new steel bridge. This was accomplished by adding new concrete to the land side of the abutment, preserving the earlier work.The bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2001. It is owned by the states of New Hampshire (90%) and Vermont (10%).

Ursula Marvin

Ursula Bailey Marvin (August 20, 1921 – February 12, 2018) was an American planetary geologist and author who worked for the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory.She won the 1997 Lifetime Achievement Award from Women in Science and Engineering. In 1986, the Geological Society of America awarded her their History of Geology Award. She also won the 2005 Sue Tyler Friedman Medal, and Antarctica's Marvin Nunatak is named in her honor. In 2012, the Meteoritical Society awarded her the Service Award in part for her work recording the oral history of meteoriticists. Asteroid (4309) Marvin is named in her honour.

Vermont Route 25

Vermont Route 25 is a state highway in Orange County, Vermont, United States. It begins at the New Hampshire state line in Bradford, continuing across the Connecticut River as New Hampshire Route 25, and ends in Orange at U.S. Route 302.

Waits River

The Waits River is a 24.5-mile-long (39.4 km) river in eastern Vermont in the United States. It is a tributary of the Connecticut River, which flows to Long Island Sound. According to the Geographic Names Information System, it has also been known historically as "Wait's River" and as "Ma-houn-quam-mas-see."The Waits River rises in southwestern Caledonia County in the town of Groton and shortly enters Orange County, where it flows generally southeastwardly through the towns of Orange, Topsham, Corinth and Bradford, to the village of Bradford where it joins the Connecticut River.In the town of Bradford, it collects a short stream known as the South Branch Waits River, which flows eastwardly from Corinth. Further upstream, just south of the village of East Corinth, the Waits collects another tributary known as the Tabor Branch Waits River. The Tabor rises in the northwestern section of the Town of Topsham in an area known as "The Territory" as two smaller branches and flows southeasterly to the village of East Topsham, then southerly toward and through East Corinth.

William H. Gilmore

William Harrison Gilmore (October 17, 1839 – April 18, 1910) was a Vermont political and military figure. He served in the Vermont House of Representatives, the Vermont State Senate and as Adjutant General of the Vermont Militia.

Places adjacent to Bradford, Vermont
Municipalities and communities of Orange County, Vermont, United States

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