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Town Page - Charlotte

Serving Insurance in Charlotte, VT

History and Geography

Charlotte, Vermont is a town of 3,500 residents located in southwestern Chittenden County. About 10 miles south of Burlington, the state’s largest city, it sits upon the shores of Lake Champlain with views of the Green Mountains of Vermont and the Adirondacks in New York. Charlotte was chartered in 1762, and the town was named after the Queen of England.Charlotte Insurance

Charlotte has a strong history in farming. The Champlain Valley has fertile soil and a climate and terrain suitable for a wide range of farming industry. From the earliest days, farmers found a home here, and even today there is a large network of working farms providing a variety of products. Sugar bushes, dairies, orchards, berry farms, wineries, honey, grains, and livestock are some of the thriving farming industries you will find here.

The town is home to two growing villages, on the east and west sides of town. Here you will find corner stores, libraries, and other services. The Lake Champlain Transportation Company has one of the oldest and longest running ferry services in the U.S. between here and Essex, NY. You will also find Vermont’s first state park, Mount Philo State Park.

Mount Philo State Park

Mount Philo State Park is 237 acres of protected lands surrounding the 968 foot elevation of Mt. Philo. It began as a popular tourist destination in the late 1800s, where visitors would stay at the Mt. Philo Inn. With a wooden observation tower at the summit, guests could see the panoramic views of Lake Champlain, the Green Mountains, and the Adirondacks in New York State.

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In 1924, the owner of the inn, Francies Humphreys, donated the land surrounding Mt. Philo to the state of Vermont. It was established as the first State Park, with a road to the peak with picnic and camping areas. Today there are 10 camping sites, hiking trails, and the Summit Lodge.

In addition to the variety of wildlife you can find in the area, Mt. Philo is known as a prime viewing location for migrating raptors in the fall. Amidst the stunning fall foliage, you can see several types of falcons and hawks in their natural habitat.

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The Charlotte Whale

One fascinating piece of Vermont history was discovered in Charlotte in 1849. As railroad crews were excavating to place tracks between Rutland and Burlington, they came across a collection of bones. Thinking it was a horse or other farm animal, they simply continued digging, setting the bones aside. However, it soon became clear that this was no ordinary creature.

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Upon further investigation by a local scientists, Zadock Thompson, and Harvard University, it was discovered that these bones belonged to a 14-foot beluga whale. It was dated as being 11,000 years old. Charlotte, situated on the freshwater Lake Champlain and about 100 miles from the ocean is an unusual location to find whale fossils. Geologists believe it was left here during a period when glacial melt allowed the ocean waters to cover Vermont. Today the Charlotte Whale, as it has become to be known, is on display at the Perkins Geology Museum at the University of Vermont. In 1993, it became Vermont’s state fossil.

Charlotte, Vermont is a picturesque farming community on the banks of Lake Champlain. With a fascinating history, thriving villages, and a popular state park, this town has much to offer residents and visitors alike. 

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