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Vermont shares borders with Canada, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and New York.

The state's motto is, "Freedom & Unity" and it's nickname is, "The Green Mountain State."

The total area of the state is 9,615 square miles. It has 14 counties, 42 towns and 7 cities (depending upon population. Towns here are smaller than are those in most other states.)

VERMONT HISTORY AND HISTORICAL FIRSTS

Samuel de Champlain was the first European to venture deeply into the territory now called Vermont, in 1609. He had sailed south from Quebec with a Huron Indian war party where he discovered a beautiful, huge inland lake, which he named Lake Champlain. Despite being the first nationality in the region, the French didn't build any permanent settlements in the area until 1666. During that year, they built a fort and a shrine to Saint Anne on Isle La Motte, an island in Lake Champlain.

It wasn't until circa 1724, settlements began to appear, first near what is now Brattleboro, where the British built Fort Dummer. In 1741, Benning Wentworth, royal governor of New Hampshire was commissioned by the crown to govern an area westward across the Merrimack River until it reached the crown's other governments. Difficulties arose because the eastern border of New York had not been clearly defined.

Wentworth believed that the borders between New York and Connecticut and Massachusetts would continue northward to the west of the Hudson River. His first New Hampshire Grant was bestowed upon Wentworth's cronies and family, establishing the township of Bennignton. Governor George Clinton of New York saw the grant as an incursion into New York. He argued that New York's borders extended eastward to the Connecticut River. That meant that the area that is Vermont today would have belonged to New York in its entirety. To resolve the dispute, Wentworth recommended that he and Clinton put the matter before the king. While the matter was being debated, the French and Indian Wars of 1754 erupted, diverting the crown's attention elsewhere.

In 1759, the British captured Ticonderoga and Crown Point. After the wars, Wentworth again assigned land grants in the Vermont area. However, in 1762, the British found for New York and its claims to the area. New York moved aggressively in attempts to nullify Wentworth's grants and issue their own. That didn't sit well with the New Hampshire population and what had a simmering issue exploded into something far greater. The dispute gave birth to the rebelliousness of Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys. Allen and his men disrupted New York court hearings and engaged in considerable armed resistance against New Yorkers. That continued until the American Revolution, during which Allen and the Green Mountain Boys captured Fort Ticonderoga.

In 1777, natives of the region, and weary of the dispute between New Hampshire and New York, carved the territory that is Vermont into an independent nation. They chose the combination of two French words to name the land they possessed. The shortened combination of "verre" and "mont" gave the state its name. It remained an independent nation until 1791, at which time it gained statehood. The dispute with New York was resolved with the payment of $30,000.

Often mistakenly considered one of the 13 colonies, Vermont became the first state of the union after the U.S. Constitution was ratified by the true 13 colonies.

After its admission into the union, it's population surged, as did its politics. Vermonters were not at all happy with the Embargo Act of 1807 because it hobbled the state's ability to continue its lucrative trade with Canada. During the War of 1812, smuggling goods between Canada and Vermont became so prevalent that the British threatened to invade. The Battle of Lake Champlain, won by American Thomas Macdonough in 1814, ended that threat.

Politically, Vermont has been very definite in its points of view. For instance, it was the only state in the union won by William Wirt, candidate of the Anti-Masonic party, during the presidential election of 1832. The state also disliked slavery to the point that it voted for Lincoln rather than native Stephen O. Douglas and was very pro Civil War. It was in Vermont that one of the most unusual Civil War incursions took place.

On October 19, 1864, approximately 25 rebel soldiers rode from Canada into St. Albans, Vermont. There they killed one man and robbed all three of the town's banks, escaping with approximately $200,000. A posse was quickly formed and gave chase. They captured several of the Confederates, but because they were in Canada, they had to turn them over to Canadian officials. While the money was returned, Canada also freed the captured men. So fierce was the anger of Americans at Canada and Britain that there was talk of war. To avoid the potential for war, the Canadians quickly recaptured five of the Confederates and charged them with breaking Canadian neutrality. It was a long time before talk of war subsided. During the first part of 1865, 2000 Canadian militiamen were deployed along the border with Vermont.

Vermont is well known for its independent spirit, its resourcefulness and willing to fight for what's right. The dates listed below give only a hint of the rich history of the Green Mountain state.

VERMONT HISTORICAL FIRSTS

7000 - 1000 B.C. - Archaic Period; Native Americans move seasonally around Vermont to live, hunt, gather and fish

1000 B.C. - 1600 A.D. - Woodland Period; Native Americans establish villages and develop trade networks, and ceramic and bow and arrow technology

1535 - French explorer Jacques Cartier is first European to see what is now Vermont

1609 - Samuel de Champlain discovers Lake Champlain

1666 - Fort Ste. Anne constructed on Isle LaMotte, site of first white settlement and first Catholic Mass

1690 - Small British fort built at Chimney Point

1724 - British build Fort Dummer at Dummerston

1731 - French build fort and begin settlement, under Seigneur Gilles Hocquart, at Chimney Point

1749 - Gov. Benning Wentworth makes first New Hampshire grant-for town of Bennington

1759 - French abandon settlement at Chimney Point

1760 - Crown Point Military Road, from Springfield, VT to Chimney Point, VT, completed east-west across Vermont

1761 - Gov. Wentworth resumes New Hampshire Grants

1770 - Green Mountain Boys organized to protect New Hampshire Grants

1774 - The Scottish-American Land Company brings Scottish settlers to Ryegate & Barnet

1775 - Ethan Allen captures Fort Ticonderoga

1776 - Construction of American fort, Mount Independence in Orwell

1777 - Vermont declares itself a republic in Windsor; adopts 1st constitution with universal male suffrage public schools, abolishing slavery; battles of Hubbardton and Bennington

1779 - Bayley-Hazen Military Road blazed from Peacham to Lowell; VT establishes property rights for women

1780 - Last major Indian raid, led by the British, in Royalton

1783 - Hyde Log Cabin constructed in Grand Isle

1785 - Eureka Schoolhouse constructed in Springfield; first marble quarry opened in Dorset;

1787 - Castleton, Vermont's first college, established and chartered by the VT General Assembly;

1791 - Vermont becomes 14th state; University of Vermont chartered; Thomas Jefferson and James Madison visit Vermont; 85,341 people in Vermont

1801 - Brigham Young born in Whitingham, later led the Mormons from Illinois to Utah & founded Salt Lake City; George Perkins Marsh, America's first conservationist, born in Woodstock

1805 - Montpelier chosen as capital; Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon Church, born in Royalton

1810 - Justin Smith Morrill of Strafford born; 217,895 people in Vermont

1823 - Alexander Twilight first African American to earn college degree in US at Middlebury

1826 - Martin Henry Freeman, born in Rutland, becomes, in 1856, first black college president in U.S.; Horace Greeley of West Haven begins first newspaper apprenticeship at Northern Spectator in Poultney

1829 - Chester Alan Arthur born in Fairfield

1837 - John Deere patents steel plow; Thomas Davenport patents first electric motor

1855 - First Republican governor elected; Republicans control that office until 1962

1859 - John Dewey, philosopher and pioneer in modern education born in Burlington; State House constructed

1864 - St. Albans Raid, northern most Civil War 1865 - State Agricultural College set up at University of Vermont as a Land Grant College

1872 - Calvin Coolidge born on the Fourth of July in Plymouth Notch

1881 - Chester A. Arthur of Fairfield becomes U.S. President

1891 - Bennington Battle Monument completed in Old Bennington

1900 - 343,641 people in Vermont

1918 - Women vote in town elections

1919 - Poet Robert Frost moves to Vermont

1920 - Vermont Cooperative Creameries, Inc., organized; 352,428 people in Vermont

1921 - Women's Suffrage adopted

1922 - Grandstand constructed at UVM's ballpark, Centennial Field (one of the oldest still in use)

1923 - Calvin Coolidge of Plymouth becomes U.S. President; gasoline tax adopted; airplanes regulated

1930 - Cattle in state outnumber people; 359,611 people in Vermont

1950 - Marlboro Music Festival established; 377,747 people in Vermont; Pearl Buck moves to Winhall, VT

1953 - S.S. Ticonderoga makes last steamboat trip on Lake Champlain

1954 - Consuelo Northrup Bailey elected first woman lieutenant governor in U.S.

1962 - First Democratic governor in over 100 years elected

1964 - Victory, Granby, & Jamaica last towns in VT to receive electricity

1968 - Billboards banned

Source: Vermont State Historic Sites © 2002, 2014 State of Vermont.

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VERMONT EMBLEMS

The emblems of the State are:

Animal: Morgan Horse

Beverage: Milk

Bird: Hermit Thrush

Butterfly: Monarch Butterfly

Fish: Brook Trout & Walleye Pike

Flower: Red Clover

Fossil: White Whale

Fruit: Apple

Gem: Grossular Garnet

Insect: Honeybee

Mineral: Talc

Pie: Apple

Rock(s): Granite, Marble & Slate

Soil: Tunbridge Soil Series

Song: These Green Mountains, as of May 22, 2000. Old State Song: Hail, Vermont! by Josephine Hovey Perry of Barre

Tree: Sugar Maple

Hero: Ethan Allen, Stephen Douglas

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VERMONT HOLIDAYS

January 1: New Year's Day

Third Monday in January on or after January 15: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

February 12: Lincoln Day

Third Monday in February: President's Day

First Tuesday in March: Town Meeting Day

The Friday before Easter Sunday: Good Friday

May 30: Memorial Day

July 4: Independence Day

August 16: Bennington Battle Day

First Monday in September: Labor Day

Second Monday in October: Columbus Day

November 11: Veterans' Day

The Fourth Thursday in November: Thanksgiving Day

The Fourth Friday in November: Day after Thanksgiving

December 25: Christmas

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VERMONT AGRICULTURE

Source: U.S. Census of Agriculture

Number of Farms, 1997 5,828

Number of Farms, 1992:5,436

Number of Farms, 1987 5,877

Land in farms, 1997:1,262,155 acres

Land in farms, 1992: 1,278,525 acres

Land in farms, 1987: 1,407,868 acres

Total cropland, 1997 617,263 acres

Total cropland, 1992:658,765 acres

Total cropland, 1987: 707,970 acres

Harvested cropland, 1997 :465,489 acres

Harvested cropland, 1992: 477,020 acres

Harvested cropland, 1987:488,253 acres

Irrigated land, 1997: 2,570 acres

Irrigated land, 1992:2,123 acres

Irrigated land, 1987: 1,823 acres

Market value of Ag. products sold, 1997: $ 476,343,000

Market value of Ag. products sold, 1992: $ 415,253,000

Market value of Ag. products sold, 1987 :$ 375,537,000

Total farm production expenses, 1997: $ 371,207,000

Total farm production expenses, 1992: $ 340,482,000

Total farm production expenses, 1987: $ 289,945,000

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