St. Johnsbury (known locally as "St. J") is the shire town (county seat) of Caledonia County, Vermont, United States. The population was 7,603 at the 2010 census. St. Johnsbury is located approximately 10 miles (16 km) northwest of the Connecticut River and 48 miles (77 km) south of the Canada-U.S. border.
St. Johnsbury is the largest town by population in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont and has long served as a commercial center for the region. In 2006, the town was named "Best Small Town" in National Geographic Adventure's "Where to live and play" feature. The more densely settled southern half of the town is defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as a census-designated place, where over 81% of the population resides.
St. Johnsbury, Vermont
St. Johnsbury Welcome sign
St. Johnsbury, Vermont
St. Johnsbury, Vermont
Location in the United States
St. Johnsbury Center
East St. Johnsbury
|• Total||36.8 sq mi (95.2 km2)|
|• Land||36.4 sq mi (94.3 km2)|
|• Water||0.3 sq mi (0.9 km2)|
|Elevation||614 ft (187 m)|
|• Density||209/sq mi (80.6/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
05819, 05838, 05863
|GNIS feature ID||1462199|
The town was originally granted in 1760 as part of the New Hampshire Grants and named Bessborough. It was regranted by Vermont in 1786 as Dunmore, and settled the same year. An early settler was Jonathan Arnold, a member of the Continental Congress and author of Rhode Island's act of secession from the United Kingdom in May 1776. Arnold left Rhode Island in 1787 and, with six other families, built homes at what is now the town center.
By 1790, the village had grown to 143 inhabitants, and the first town meeting took place in Arnold's home that year, where the name St. Johnsbury was adopted. According to local lore, Vermont founder Ethan Allen himself proposed naming the town St. John in honor of his friend Jean de Crèvecœur, a French-born author and agriculturist and a friend of Benjamin Franklin. (He was known in the United States as J. Hector St. John.) According to this account, de Crèvecœur suggested instead the unusual St. Johnsbury to differentiate it from Saint John, New Brunswick. In 1916, F.B. Sanborn of Concord, Massachusetts gave a talk to the Old Planters Society of Salem in Boston titled "Hector St. John, An Old Evasive Planter." This talk was published in The Massachusetts Magazine (20th century publication). In his talk, Sanborn provided details about the life of the friend of Ethan Allen, namely J. Hector St. John de Crèvecœur.
In the mid-19th century, St. Johnsbury became a minor manufacturing center, with the main products being scales — the platform scale was invented there by Thaddeus Fairbanks in 1830 — and maple syrup and related products. With the arrival of the railroad line from Boston to Montreal in the 1850s, St. Johnsbury grew quickly and was named the shire town (county seat) in 1856, replacing Danville. The oldest occupied residence in St. Johnsbury was built in 1798 and located on the corner of Summer and Central streets, attached to the J. J. Palmer house.
The former St. Johnsbury Fairground was located where Interstates 91 and 93 converge, south of the town. The Third Vermont Regiment drilled there prior to joining the Union Army during the Civil War.
The first air flight in Vermont occurred at the fair on April 19, 1910.
In the 1940s the town contained three major industries, each then the largest in the world. One was Fairbanks Scales, another was a maple sugar candy company, while a third made candlepins for bowling. The rest of the economy was mostly rural.
St. Johnsbury is located at  According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 36.8 square miles (95.2 km2), of which 36.4 square miles (94.3 km2) is land and 0.35 square miles (0.9 km2), or 0.96%, is water. Situated at the confluence of the Passumpsic, Moose and Sleepers rivers, the town lies at the heart of the Passumpsic River basin, one of the largest of the upper Connecticut River watershed. St. Johnsbury is on the site of the northernmost boundary of Lake Hitchcock, the post-glacial predecessor to the Connecticut River., elevation 212.4 m (697 ft).
The town includes the unincorporated villages of St. Johnsbury, East St. Johnsbury, Goss Hollow, and St. Johnsbury Center. The town center, which is defined as a census-designated place (CDP), encompasses the villages of St. Johnsbury and St. Johnsbury Center and covers an area of 13.1 square miles (33.9 km2), about 36% of the area of the town.
The highest point in St. Johnsbury is an unnamed hill in the northwest part of town east of Libby Road. The twin summits of the hill each rise above 1,594 feet (486 m) above sea level.
On February 25, 1969, St. Johnsbury received 33 inches (84 cm) of snow, the greatest daily snowfall for any location in Vermont.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2010, there were 7,604 people, 3,236 households, and 1,917 families residing in the town. The population density was 209 people per square mile (79.7/km2). There were 3,482 housing units at an average density of 94.49/sq mi (36.5/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 94.5% White, 0.8% African American, 0.7% Native American, 1.2% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.2% from other races, and 1.4% from two or more races. 1.5% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 3,197 households out of which 28.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.5% were married couples living together, 11.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.0% were non-families. 32.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.25 and the average family size was 2.85.
In the town, the population was spread out with 12.8% under the age of 18, 19.1% from 18 to 24, 26.0% from 25 to 44, 23.6% from 45 to 64, and 18.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39.5 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.5 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $20,269, and the median income for a family was $41,961. Males had a median income of $30,846 versus $22,131 for females. The per capita income for the town was $16,807. 14.7% of the population and 12.0% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 37.8% are under the age of 18 and 11.1% are 65 or older.
The U.S. Census Bureau refers to the most developed portion of the town as a census-designated place (CDP).
As of the census of 2000, there were 6,319 people, 2,726 households, and 1,561 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 486.8 people per square mile (188.0/km2). There were 2,985 housing units at an average density of 230.0 per square mile (88.8/km2). The racial makeup of the CDP was 96.23% White, 0.47% Black or African American, 0.74% Native American, 0.65% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.27% from other races, and 1.60% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.35% of the population.
There were 2,726 households out of which 27.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.6% were married couples living together, 12.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.7% were non-families. 35.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.18 and the average family size was 2.83.
In the CDP, the population was spread out with 22.3% under the age of 18, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 25.6% from 25 to 44, 23.2% from 45 to 64, and 19.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.4 males.
The median income for a household in the CDP was $26,702, and the median income for a family was $39,890. Males had a median income of $31,454 versus $21,283 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $16,561. About 12.8% of families and 15.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.3% of those under age 18 and 9.1% of those age 65 or over.
In 2010, the town employed ten firefighters. The department had an annual budget of $945,920. It has had a professional department since about 1910.
Social services are provided in part by Northeast Kingdom Community Action located here and in other Northeast Kingdom sites.
St. Johnsbury is the home of the Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium which opened in 1891 as a gift of Franklin Fairbanks, a businessman, naturalist and philanthropist, to the community. His donated collections remain northern New England’s most extensive natural history display, and the National Register-listed building is a splendid example of the Richardsonian Romanesque style. The Fairbanks Museum is well known in Vermont for producing the "Eye on the Sky" weather forecast which is broadcast on Vermont Public Radio.
The town contains the only National Historic Landmark in the county, as well as the only one in the Northeast Kingdom - the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum. The town also contains 12 other places on the list of National Register of Historic Places, the most in Caledonia County or the Northeast Kingdom:
The following roads facilitate traffic: Interstate 91, Interstate 93, U.S. Route 2, U.S. Route 5 and Vermont Route 2B. Three exits from Interstate 91 serve the town. The northern terminus of Interstate 93 is at I-91 at the southern border of the town, and I-93 Exit 1, while just over the line in the town of Waterford, serves the eastern side of St. Johnsbury.
The Community College of Vermont (CCV) is a community college in Vermont. It is Vermont's second largest college, serving 7,000 students each semester. The college has 12 locations throughout Vermont as well as extensive online learning options. CCV is the most expensive community college in the United States.Dog Mountain (dog park)
Dog Mountain is a property in St. Johnsbury, Vermont with 150 acres of trails, trout ponds, dog sculptures, an art gallery, and a Dog Chapel. It was run by Vermont artists Stephen Huneck and Gwen Huneck until their deaths. Gwen's brother, Jonathan Ide of Fitchburg, Wisconsin, is directing the business.Erastus Fairbanks
Erastus Fairbanks (October 28, 1792 – November 20, 1864) was an American manufacturer, Whig politician, a founder of the Republican Party, and the 21st and 26th Governor of Vermont.Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium
The Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium is a combination museum and planetarium located in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. It was founded in 1891, by Franklin Fairbanks. The museum and its building are on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
There is also a planetarium and weather forecasting department entitled Eye on the Sky weather station. Meteorologists broadcast their unique weather forecasts for Vermont (and the areas immediately around the state) on Vermont Public Radio and Magic 97.7 daily. The museum also produces daily weather forecasts for three newspapers: The Caledonian Record, the Times Argus, and the Rutland Herald.
The Museum's exhibits include natural history specimens, a seasonal wildflower table, a native butterfly house (summer), an observation beehive (summer), bug art, dioramas (moose, bison, flamingos, birds of paradise, snakes, woodchucks and opossums), and ethnographic displays from around the world. An audio tour of the exhibits is available to visitors.Francis G. Parks
Francis G. Parks (June 1, 1824 – February 18, 1902) was an American educator, newspaper editor, businessman, and politician.
Born in Goshen, Addison County, Vermont, Parks went to Brandon Academy in Brandon, Vermont. He then went to a Latin school in Leicester, Vermont. Parks taught school in Rutland and Addison Counties, Vermont In 1845, he moved to St. Johnsbury, Vermont and worked at E & T Fairbanks & Company, which manufactured platform scales. In 1854, Parks served in the Vermont House of Representatives. During his term in the Vermont General Assembly, he helped moved the county seat of Caledonia County, Vermont from Danville, Vermont to St. Johnsbury, Vermont. In 1855, Parks moved to Wisconsin and eventually settled in Eagle, Waukesha County, Wisconsin. From 1888 to 1891, Parks of the editor of a weekly newspaper. He was also in the real estate and insurance business. Parks served as postmaster of Eagle, Wisconsin. He also served as chairman of the Eagle Town Board and on the school board. In 1873, Parks served in the Wisconsin State Assembly and was a Republican. Parks died at his home in Eagle, Wisconsin.Horace Fairbanks
Horace Fairbanks (March 21, 1820 – March 17, 1888) was an American politician and the 36th Governor of Vermont from 1876 to 1878.Jacob Gates
Jacob Gates (Mar 9, 1811 – April 14, 1892) was an early Mormon leader and member of the First Seven Presidents of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Gates was born in St. Johnsbury, Vermont and married Mary Snow in 1833. That same year, Orson Pratt baptized him. In 1834, the couple moved near Liberty, Missouri. In late 1836, they moved to Caldwell County, Missouri. He served six separate missions over the course of his life:
First Midwestern mission (January 1836 – June 1836)
Mission to Canada (May 1839 – Oct 1839)
Second Midwestern mission (July 1841 – October 1841)
Mission to New England (June 1843 – May 1844)
First mission to England (February 1850 – March 1853)
Second mission to England (September 1859 – August 1861) In October 1844, he was made president of the fourth quorum of Seventy.In 1849, Gates met with Oliver Cowdery shortly before Cowdery died. During their conversation, Cowdery said,
Jacob, I want you to remember what I say to you. I am a dying man, and what would it profit me to tell you a lie? I know,' said he, 'that this Book of Mormon was translated by the gift and power of God. My eyes saw, my ears heard, and my understanding was touched, and I know that whereof I testified is true. It was no dream, no vain imagination of the mind-it was real.
While in Liverpool, England, on a mission in 1859, Brigham Young wrote Gates to inform him he'd been called as one of the seven presidents of the Seventy. He was ordained in 1862, though he was sustained by the church on April 6, 1860. Following the death of Henry Harriman, Gates was the senior president of the Seventy from May 1891 until his own death in April 1892.
Gates served in the Utah Territorial Legislature, representing Washington and Kane counties, from 1864 to 1867. Gates practiced plural marriage and fathered 11 children. He died in Provo, Utah Territory.Jane Kitchel
Martha Jane Beattie Kitchel (born August 23, 1945) is a Democratic member of the Vermont State Senate, representing the Caledonia senate district since January 2005.Khonnor
Connor Kirby-Long (born July 24, 1986) is an American electronic musician from Saint Johnsbury, Vermont who releases music under the name Khonnor. He has published works under several other names, including Grandma, and I, Cactus.
He used low-tech instruments such as a cheap microphone and an old computer, an amp, a guitar, and experimental electronics in his recording Handwriting.Lambert Packard
Lambert Packard (1832-1906) was an American architect from St. Johnsbury, Vermont.Lemuel H. Arnold
Lemuel Hastings Arnold (January 29, 1792 – June 27, 1852) was an American politician from the U.S. state of Rhode Island. A Whig, he served as the 12th Governor of the State of Rhode Island and a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.List of people from St. Johnsbury, Vermont
The following list includes notable people who were born or have lived in St. Johnsbury, Vermont.Matthew Choate
Matthew Choate was a legislator in the Vermont Senate. He was elected in 2008. He was one of two senators in the Caledonia Vermont Senate District, 2002–2012. He resides in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. He is a Democrat.Special routes of U.S. Route 2
There are a number of special routes of U.S. Route 2. These special routes connect U.S. Route 2 to downtown areas, bypass city centers or provide alternate routes around an area.St. Johnsbury Athenaeum
The St. Johnsbury Athenaeum, in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, is a combined library and art gallery. The building in which it is housed is architecturally and historically significant because of its construction. The Athenaeum is also noted for the American landscape paintings and books in its collection and its having been funded by Horace Fairbanks, manufacturer of the world's first platform scale. The art collection contains a number of Hudson River School paintings. This building retains a strong Victorian (French Second Empire) flavor of the 19th century.Thaddeus Fairbanks
Thaddeus Fairbanks (January 17, 1796 – April 12, 1886) was an American inventor. He was an inventor of heating and cook stoves, cast iron plows, and other items. His greatest success was the invention and manufacture of the platform scale, which allowed the weighing of large objects accurately. He was a co-founder of St. Johnsbury Academy.The Caledonian-Record
The Caledonian-Record is a daily newspaper published in St. Johnsbury, Vermont and primarily circulates throughout Caledonia County. It was established in 1837. It employs a total staff of 36.WKXH
WKXH (105.5 FM) is a radio station broadcasting a New Country format. Licensed to St. Johnsbury, Vermont, United States, the station is owned by Vermont Broadcast Associates, Inc.WVPA
WVPA (88.5 FM) is a radio station licensed to St. Johnsbury, Vermont. The station is owned by Vermont Public Radio, and is an affiliate of their News and Information network.
|Climate data for St. Johnsbury, Vermont|
|Record high °F (°C)||63
|Average high °F (°C)||27.6
|Average low °F (°C)||6.4
|Record low °F (°C)||−35
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||2.88
|Average snowfall inches (cm)||22.7
Municipalities and communities of Caledonia County, Vermont, United States
Shire town: St. Johnsbury
|Towns (pop. >5000)|