Caledonia County is a
county located in the U.S. state of Vermont.
of 2000, the population was 29,702. Its shire town
was given the Latin name for Scotland, in honor of
the many settlers who claimed ancestry there.
According to the U.S.
county has a total area of 658 square miles (1,703 km²),
of which, 651 square miles (1,685 km²) of it is land and
7 square miles (18 km²) of it (1.06%) is water.
Caledonia is the most populated county of the three in the Northeast Kingdom
. However, it is the
smallest of the three.
The county has a number of brooks and rivers. The Connecticut River
runs along the southeast
and forms one of the eastern boundaries of the county. The northern
towns are drained by the head branches of the Passumpsic River
, which is the largest in
the county. It flows south and empties into the Connecticut River
in Barnet. There are the Wells, Stevens and Joe's Rivers in the
south. In the west the head waters of the Winooski
and Lamoille Rivers
. There are about twenty lakes
and ponds in the county. The largest are Harvey's Lake, in Barnet;
Wells River and Lund's Ponds, in Groton; Cole's Pond, in Walden;
Clark's and Center Ponds, in Newark; and Stile's Pond, in
Waterford. There are falls at different places on the Connecticut,
Passumpsic, Wells and Joe's Rivers. Stevens River, near its mouth,
falls in a distance of . Some of the water power has been harnessed
There are sulphur springs in Wheelock, Haynesville, in Hardwick;
and in St. Johnsbury, near the Moose River.
Underlying the county is mostly in calciferous mica schist
district. There is argillaceous slate
running through Waterford and Kirby, which
narrows in Burke.
Waterford had a lot of talc
. This belongs to
the gold bearing formations. Specimens of gold were found in town,
and iron and copper pyrites in veins. But none in commercial
quality. In Waterford there was an outcrop of slate that was
quarried for roofing. Kirby Mountain, in Kirby, was largely granite
of commercial quality.
Ryegate had granite on the south and west sides of Blue Mountain.
The granite was created by volcanic action. This was a medium
colored granite of commercial grain and texture. It was quarried in
the 19th century. It lay in sheets to or .
Perhaps the most widely known monument locally using this granite
was the soldiers monument at Peacham, Vt. Monuments from this
granite exist all over the country. This was one of the best
quality quarries in the country in the 19th century.
The presence of Kame terraces
in the country
are of interest in connection with the drift
that gave the Northeast Kingdom its
soil, and its surface stones and boulders. These terraces have beds
of sand and clay from which bricks were once manufactured.
Based on research by Edward
two or three basins can be identified based on a
larger number of interconnected terraces in the Passumpsic River
The first extends from the mouth of the Passumpsic River in Barnet,
to the northwest corner of the town of Waterford, on the railroad.
It is about long. The river runs through a narrow valley in Barnet,
a gorge with no terraces. Narrow terraces in the Town of Passumpsic
expand and form a basin. The fourth terrace on the west side of the
river is part of the next basin, which is in St. Johnsbury and
Lyndon. St. Johnsbury Village is on this high terrace which is
called "St. Johnsbury Plain". The base of the terraces at St.
Johnsbury is composed of clay. The same terrace occurs on both
sides of the river valley beyond Lyndon. There are lower terraces
Lyndonville has a high terrace. This may have once extended across
the valley to form the end of a basin. Its lower strata are clayey,
and are folded and curved. West of this terrace the level is lower.
There is the course of a former river bed which ran towards the
east. At the upper village of Lyndon the first terrace is about
wide. There is a lot of sand and fine gravel adjoining.
Every stream from either side of the valley has its large terraces
to correspond with those of the Passumpsic River. It is a
characteristic of these terraces that they are large while their
quantity is small. The count never exceeds five which is
The third basin includes the east branch of the Passumpsic River
which runs through the Town of Burke. In East Burke there are
several terraces. Near the village there are four on the west side,
and two on the east side. Above East Burke the valley rises so that
its bottom appears like a terrace. Its steep slope crosses the
valley at right angles. There are indistinct terraces on its sides.
Since the valley seems to be too wide to correspond with the size
of the river, the valley may have been formed by water from unknown
sources in prehistoric times.
Caledonia has more muck
any other county in the state. This was once thought to be
profitable for farmers.
The county shares the same pre-Columbian history with the Northeast Kingdom
Rogers' Rangers were forced to retreat
through the county following their attack on Saint-Francis, Quebec in 1759.
To confound their avenging
pursuers, they had split up. One group came south over the summit
into the Passumpsic River
In 2008, the county was declared a federal disaster area as the
result of storms and flooding which occurred on July 18.
As in all Vermont counties, there is a small executive function
which is mostly consolidated at the state level. Remaining county
government is judicial. There are no "county taxes."
In 2007, median property taxes in the county were $2,278, placing
it 265 out of 1,817 counties in the nation with populations over
As of the census
of 2000, there were 29,702
people, 11,663 households, and 7,895 families residing in the
county. The population density
was 46 people per square mile (18/km²). There were 14,504 housing
units at an average density of 22 per square mile (9/km²). The
racial makeup of the county was 97.48% White
, 0.29% Black
or African American
, 0.55% Native American
, 0.37% Asian
, 0.01% Pacific Islander
, 0.23% from
, and 1.07%
from two or more races. 0.68% of the population were Hispanic
of any race. 19.0% were of
English, 15.1% French, 12.3% American, 11.7% Irish, 9.0%
French Canadian, 5.7% Scottish and 5.1% German ancestry according to Census 2000.
96.0% spoke English
and 2.3% French
as their first language.
There were 11,663 households out of which 32.40% had children under
the age of 18 living with them, 53.60% were married couples
living together, 10.40% had a
female householder with no husband present, and 32.30% were
non-families. 25.60% of all households were made up of individuals
and 11.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or
older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family
size was 2.95.
In the county, the population was spread out with 25.30% under the
age of 18, 8.80% from 18 to 24, 26.30% from 25 to 44, 25.30% from
45 to 64, and 14.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median
age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 97.50 males. For
every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.50 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $34,800, and
the median income for a family was $42,215. Males had a median
income of $30,438 versus $21,973 for females. The per capita income
for the county was
$16,976. About 9.00% of families and 12.30% of the population were
below the poverty line
16.60% of those under age 18 and 10.00% of those age 65 or
An estimated 3,100 military veterans reside in the county.
Cities, towns, and villages*
There are seventeen towns in the county:
*'Incorporated villages are census divisions and provide additional
services. They remain part of the towns they are in.
- , page 1
- The Chronicle, July 1, 2009, page 14, "Veterans ask for clinic
closer to home," Joseph Gresser