Serving Insurance in Richmond, VT
History and Geography
Richmond, Vermont is a small town in Chittenden County, east of Burlington. With just over 4,000 residents, it is a town steeped in tradition but with an eye towards the future. The town covers 32 square miles, and has a variety of businesses and landmarks. As a half-way point along Route 2 between Burlington and Montpelier, it became a common stopping point for travelers and traders as the state grew older.
As with many other towns in this part of Vermont, it was first used by the Native Americans as a prime hunting ground and transportation route along the Winooski River. In 1775, after the conclusion of the French and Indian War giving way for settlers, two men built homesteads in the area that would become Richmond. However, the oncoming Revolutionary War left settlers too vulnerable here, with a man and child killed by Native American raiders scaring off other potential settlers. After the war, in 1784, settlers returned to the area. Richmond was granted township in 1794, combining parts of the towns of Williston, Jericho, and New Huntington to form the new town.
Industry and Commerce
The Champlain Valley region of Vermont, including towns in Chittenden County, has rich soil and is a prime area for growing crops, raising cattle, and the dairy industry. Richmond, like other towns, found its commerce revolving around faming and agriculture. Starting with wool and grain, farmers soon moved onto dairy farming, with cheese and butter becoming popular products for trade and shipping. Lumber and potash were also lucrative products from this area.
As the turnpike and railroad access improved, more business came to town. Creameries and the Borden Company’s milk processing plant made this town the 2nd largest shipper of butter and cheese in Vermont. Carriage manufacturing, a sawmill, paper mill, woolen mill, cider mill, grist mill, and many other factories operated here as well. Though industry saw a decline after a devastating fire in the village, and later a flood, regional employers throughout Chittenden Country brought industry back to the area. Today, Richmond is once again a thriving community.
The Round Church
One of the most historic features in Richmond is the Round Church. Established at a town meeting in 1796, construction began in 1812. It was designed to be a meetinghouse and house of worship, and people from all denominations donated money and time towards building this unique structure. It has 16 sides, making it nearly round, and it is said this is so there are “no corners for Satan to hide in.” It became the first community church in the country and was used for services and meetings until 1973. At this time it underwent restoration and has since been declared a National Historic Landmark.
The Round Church is just one of the many examples of community spirit in Richmond. Each year there is a 4th of July parade and a pilgrimage to the Round Church. The town also hosted Vermont’s first Veteran’s Day parade in 1999, has a summer concert series, famer’s market, and a number of other events.
Richmond is a small town in Vermont with a lot of heart. Combining old and new traditions, the residents here embrace the community spirit upon which the town was founded.