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Waterbury is a town in Washington Countymarker in central Vermontmarker. It is also the name of a villagemarker within that town. The population was 4,915 at the 2000 census.



Waterbury is the location of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream, whose factory tours have become Vermont's most popular tourist attraction. Other local businesses include:

Several Vermont state government administrative offices are located in town. The Dale Woman's state prison and the Vermont State Hospital mental health facility are located here.


The location where Waterbury now lies was once the frontier between the Mahican and Pennacook people. European settlement of the area dates from 1763, when King George III granted a charter for land in the Winooski River Valley. James Marsh became the first permanent white settler in the region in 1783. Many of the early settlers came from Waterburymarker, Connecticutmarker and named their new town in honor of the hometown.

The Central Vermont Railroad came to Waterbury in 1849. The Green Mountain Seminarymarker was built in Waterbury Center in 1869.

The state opened the Vermont State Asylum for the Insane here in 1891.. The institution survives here to the present day, renamed the Vermont State Hospital.

The Village of Waterbury was incorporated in 1882 with a population of over 2000.

Like many New Englandmarker towns, Waterbury's economy was based around the local river mill industry and the surrounding agricultural producers. The mills produced products such as lumber and finished wood products, wicker products, leather, starch, and alcohol. The agriculture was based on sheep through the 19th century but switched over to dairy farming by the 20th Century. Waterbury had a ski factory in the 1940s, The Derby & Ball Company.

In 1927, Waterbury, like many other Vermont communities, was devastated by flooding. Inscriptions on the sides of some buildings in Waterbury village purport to show where the level of the water rose during the 1927 flood. The village recovered and in 1938 the Little River Dam was built by the Army Corps of Engineers to control future flooding.


As of the census of 2000, there were 4,915 people, 2,011 households, and 1,321 families residing in the town. The population density was 810.4 people per square mile (312.9/km²). There were 2,106 housing units at an average density of 347.2/sq mi (134.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 97.80% White, 0.26% African American, 0.12% Native American, 0.65% Asian, 0.26% from other races, and 0.89% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.67% of the population.

There were 2,011 households out of which 24.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.2% were married couples living together, 7.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.3% were non-families. 25.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 2.93.

In the town the population was spread out with 25.1% under the age of 18, 5.5% from 18 to 24, 32.8% from 25 to 44, 26.2% from 45 to 64, and 10.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37.7 years. For every 100 females there were 97.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.4 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $44,940, and the median income for a family was $60,547. Males had a median income of $35,566 versus $25,838 for females. The per capita income for the town was $25,858. About 3.3% of families and 6.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.0% of those under age 18 and 4.9% of those age 65 or over.


Waterbury belongs to the Washington West Supervisory Union. Students attend Thatcher Brook Primary School for grades preschool and Kindergarten through 4th grade, Crossett Brook Middle School for grades 5-8, and Harwood Union High School for grades 9-12.


Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, provides daily service to Waterbury, operating its Vermonter between St. Albans, VTmarker and Washington, DCmarker.

GMTA (Green Mountain Transit Agency) provides public transit bus services to Burlingtonmarker, Montpeliermarker, Morrisvillemarker and Stowe, VTmarker.


Radio stations WWMPmarker (MP103) - 103.3 FM (Rock, Pop & R&B) and WDEV -550 AM & 96.1 FM (News/Talk), are located in town.

Notable residents


  2. Brattleboro Retreat retrieved May 13, 2008
  3. retrieved on May 6, 2007

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