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Newport (city), Vermont

Newport, Vermont
Official seal of Newport, Vermont
Newport, Vermont is located in USA
Newport, Vermont
Location in the United States
Country United States
State Vermont
County Orleans
Organized 1918
 • Mayor Paul Monette
 • Total 7.6 sq mi (19.7 km2)
 • Land 6.0 sq mi (15.6 km2)
 • Water 1.6 sq mi (4.1 km2)  20.87%
Elevation 722 ft (208 m)
Population (2014)
 • Total 4,473
 • Density 745.5/sq mi (286.7/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 05855
Area code(s) 802
FIPS code 50-48850[1]
GNIS feature ID 1461773[2]

Newport is a city in and the shire town[3] (county seat)[4] of Orleans County, Vermont, United States. As of the 2010 Census, the city population was 4,589. The city contains the largest population of any municipality in the county, yet encompasses the smallest area.


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
    • Climate 2.1
  • Demographics 3
  • Economy 4
    • Personal income 4.1
    • Industry 4.2
    • Health industry 4.3
    • Tourism 4.4
    • Non-local government 4.5
  • City government 5
    • Officials 5.1
    • Former mayors 5.2
    • Elections 5.3
  • Education 6
    • School districts 6.1
    • Higher education 6.2
  • Infrastructure 7
    • Transportation 7.1
      • Major routes 7.1.1
      • Major bridges 7.1.2
      • Local community public and private transportation 7.1.3
      • Railroads 7.1.4
      • Airport 7.1.5
    • Sewage 7.2
    • Media 7.3
  • Notable people 8
  • References 9
  • Further reading 10
  • External links 11


In 1753, the Abenakis brought the ransomed John Stark down Lake Memphremagog and came ashore where Newport is now situated. They then traveled southeast to his home in New Hampshire.

Rogers' Rangers were forced to retreat through the county following their attack on Saint-Francis, Quebec in 1759. To confound their avenging pursuers, they split up on the east shore of Lake Memphremagog. One group followed the Clyde River east. Another followed the Barton River south.[5]

Newport as a settlement began in 1793.[6] The village was first called Pickeral Point, but later renamed Lake Bridge for its location at the head of Lake Memphremagog.[7]

In the early 19th century, the women of pioneer Calvin Arnold's household, refused to live in the Arnold house near what is now Clyde Pond, because of depredations by the Indians.[8]

In 1816, part of the former town of Salem, was annexed to Newport town, and is now part of the city.[9]

The railroad reached the village in 1863.[10]

The city had a scare when they received news of the St. Albans Raid during the American Civil War. They thought these raids might repeat throughout the state but particularly at the south end of the lake. The militia was turned out. The ferry from Magog was met with determined looking armed men, much to the captain's surprise, who had heard nothing about the raid. Armed Norwich University students were shipped in by train. Nothing happened and everyone was sent home in a few days.[10]

In 1868, the Lake Bridge settlement was incorporated as the Village of Newport.

It became a busy lumber town. The firm of Prouty & Miller, a lumbering firm, was started in 1865. With the end of the lumbering concentration in Vermont, it went out of business in the 1980s.[11]

Railroad station and steamboat Lady of the Lake in 1908

The Lady of the Lake steam excursion/ferry boat started operating in 1867. It stopped operations in 1917. This is used as Newport's logo.

In 1868, a livery stable that would ultimately grow to 100 horses, started operating behind a hotel, several blocks from the railway station.[12]

In 1873, the Bellevue Hotel was built to accommodate 75, and later, 100 guests. It was renamed the Newport House by 1891. It was demolished in 1973.[13]

The Newport Wharf Light was a tower built on Lake Memphremagog in 1879. It has since been demolished.[14]

The current county courthouse was built in 1886.[15] That was the year that the legislature moved the shire town here.[16]

In 1879, the Field Opera House and Clock Tower was constructed. In 1896, it was destroyed by fire. The municipal building is now at this site.[17]

By the late 19th century, the Boston & Maine and Central Vermont railroads were routed through Lake Bridge and the small village experienced a population boom.

Memphremagog House c. 1880s, built in 1838 and burned in 1907

The now-historic Goodrich Memorial Library was built in 1899.[18]

The Memphremagog Hotel burned in 1907.[19]

Main Street in 1908

In 1917, the city of Newport was formed from portions of the towns of Newport (former village of Newport) and Derby (former village of West Derby). It was organized on March 5, 1918.

The current federal courthouse was built in 1904. Then, it included the post office.[15]

In 1917, the city paved Main Street. By 1930, 4,000 motor vehicles a day, during the summer, traveled the street.[15]

In 1932, the city had a poor farm for the indigent.[20]

In August 1942, a single-engined Royal Canadian Air Force training plane crashed into the lake near the west shore near the city, killing the only occupant, the pilot.[21]

Between 1936 and 1953, the International Club in Newport had the largest dance floor in New England, 220 by 60 feet (67 by 18 m).[22] It was capable of holding 2,000 dancers. Various performers stopped to entertain while en route between Boston and Montreal on the railroad. These included: Louis Armstrong, Charlie Barnet, Les Brown, Cab Calloway, Rosemary Clooney, the Dorsey Brothers, Jimmy and Tommy; Stan Kenton, Kay Kyser, Gene Krupa, Glenn Miller, Tony Pastor, and Louis Prima.[23][24]

From its founding, Newport's population plateaued around 5,000 people until 1950 when it started dropping. It reached bottom in 1990 at 4,434. In 2010 the population dropped from the 2000 census, and it still had not reached its 1950 high which was 5,217. In 2003, the Newport-headquartered Citizens Utility was sold and divided up among Great Bay Hydro and Vermont Electric Cooperative.[8]

The last passenger train left Newport in 1965.[19]

The city sold its airport to the state of Vermont in the 1970s.[25]

The Vermont Teddy Bear Company once had a plant within the city.[26] A Columbia Forest Products plant once employed about 100 workers.[27]

A local subsidiary of an international ski clothing manufacturer once employed 30 workers.[28] It closed in 2011.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.6 square miles (19.7 km2), of which 6.0 square miles (15.6 km2) is land and 1.6 square miles (4.1 km2) (20.87%) is water. The city surrounds the southern shore of Lake Memphremagog. Three of the four major rivers in the county empty into the lake here: the Clyde, Barton, and the Black.

Newport borders the towns of Coventry to the south, Newport to the west, and Derby to the north and east.


Climate data for Newport, Vermont
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 64
Average high °F (°C) 26.3
Average low °F (°C) 5.5
Record low °F (°C) −38
Average precipitation inches (mm) 2.96
Average snowfall inches (cm) 24.7
trace 1.1
Source: NOAA [29]


As of the census[1] of 2010, there were 4,589 people, 2,086 households, and 1,191 families residing in the city. The population density was 830.0 people per square mile (320.5/km2). There were 2,342 housing units at an average density of 388.4 per square mile (150.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.14% White, 0.76% Black or African American, 0.62% Native American, 0.62% Asian, 0.22% from other races, and 1.64% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.28% of the population. 33% were of French Canadian and French ancestry, 16% English, and 14% Irish.[31]

There were 2,086 households out of which 26.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.0% were married couples living together, 12.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.9% were non-families. 35.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.20 and the average family size was 2.84.

In the city the population was distributed by age with 22.2% under 18, 8.3% from 18 to 24, 27.1% from 25 to 44, 23.1% from 45 to 64, and 19.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 97.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.7 males.

In 2013, about 31% of adults in the area were obese. This was the highest in the state.[32]


Personal income

The median income for a household in the city was $25,544, and the median income for a family was $34,922. Males had a median income of $33,810 versus $19,787 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,054. About 13.0% of families and 18.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.4% of those under age 18 and 5.4% of those age 65 or over.

The per capita income is the highest in Orleans County. The income ranks it 108 out of 282 census areas in Vermont.


Poulin Grain ships its farm feed products to customers in New England and upstate New York.[33] It employs about 50 workers. The plant is producing feed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.[34]

A Columbia Forest Products plant employs about 100 workers.[27]

There is a call center employing 120 people.[35][36]

MSA manufactures military combat helmets.[37]

Health industry

North Country Hospital is located in the city. The hospital is the city's largest employer, employing 605 people.[38]

Orleans-Essex Visiting Nurses Association and Hospice employs 100 people locally.

The Northeast Kingdom Human Services aids mental health needs.

Social services are provided in part by the Northeast Kingdom Community Action located here and in other Northeast Kingdom sites.


A commercial ice fishing derby has been held in February since 2004. In 2010, there were 920 participants.[39]

The only Soap Box Derby in Vermont is held in the city annually. The winner represents the state in the nationals.[40]

The local Rotary has held an annual music festival involving county high schools since 1947.[41]

Non-local government

Orleans County courthouse in Newport

Located in the city is the Northern State Correctional Facility, the Newport Court, Reparative Services, and the Vermont Correctional Industries.

City government

Municipal offices are located in the former National Guard Armory, 222 Main Street, Newport.

Elected government consists of 4 aldermen with staggered two years terms and a mayor.[42]

The city has a paid staff for tax assessment/zoning administrator, public works department, police, fire, recreation and parks, city attorney, and harbor master.

There are decision-making boards which are filled by unpaid appointees: planning commission (5 people, three year terms), harbor commission (5 people, two year terms),development review board (nine people, three year terms), and a recreation committee.

There are normal officers for Vermont cities and sometimes towns, except they are appointed for cities: Delinquent tax collector, town service officer, animal control, health officer, tree warden, weigher of coal, inspector of wood and shingles, representative to NVDA (Northeastern Vermont Development Association) board, representative to EDC board (Vermont Economic Development Authority), and Fence Viewers.

Budget (proposed 2014-2015) - $2.99 million. About $1 million is for the police force.[43]


The city is governed under the mayor-council system. Its mayor is Paul Monette, and the council is composed of John Wilson, Neil Morrissette, Jacques Roberge and Steve Vincent.[44] The city clerk/treasurer is James D. Johnson,[45] and the city manager is John O. Ward.[46]

Former mayors


Fifty-four percent of those registered voted in the 2008 general election. This was the lowest turnout in the county. [47]


Newport has two public schools: an elementary school, Newport City Elementary, and a high school, North Country Union High School. There is one private school, the United Christian Academy. It was formerly home to Sacred Heart School in the Burlington Roman Catholic Diocese School District,[48] but closed in fall of 2007.

School districts

The city has a school board that governs the operation of Newport Elementary.

School Board directors include Leo Willey (chair), Corinna Lancaster (vice chair), Marcy Miller, Patrick Haugwitz, and Phil Laramie.

The budget for the Newport City Elementary School was $4,435,765 in 2007.

In addition, the city belongs to North Country Supervisory Union with members from nearby towns. They operate the North Country Union High School and the North Country Union Junior High School. The supervisor hired by this union board supervises the town school, as well as the union schools.

  • Member, North Country Union High School Board - Tim DelaBruere (2010), Richard Cartee (2008) and James Privee (2009)[49]

Higher education

Newport is home to a branch of the Community College of Vermont which enrolls nearly 300 students.[50] It awards an Associate's Degree for these undergraduate studies.



Major routes

U.S. Route 5 in Newport at the junction of Vermont Route 191 heading toward Interstate 91.
  • U.S. Route 5 - connecting Coventry to the south, Derby to the north and east
  • VT Route 14 - connecting the Town of Coventry
  • VT Route 100 - connecting the Town of Newport
  • VT Route 105 - connecting the Town of Newport (concurrent with route 100), and the town of Derby (concurrent with route 5)
  • VT Route 191 - "Access Road", connects I-91, Exit 27, to the city of Newport

The city has six stoplights, which is most of the stoplights in the county. Five are on Route 5.

Major bridges

There are three major bridges over the South Bay of Lake Memphremagog, two of which connect two parts of the city, the former village of Newport with the former village of West Derby. Those two are the bridge on Route 5, and the "Long Bridge" connecting Route 5 to Mt. Vernon Street. Plans are underway to replace this latter bridge starting in 2012. It will cost about $5.26 million. The state will pay 90%, the city, the remainder.[51]

The final bridge is the trestle for the railway.

Local community public and private transportation

The RCT (

  • City of Newport, Vermont - Official website

External links

  • "Northern Vermont" (PDF).  

Further reading

  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder".  
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names".  
  3. ^ Title 24, Part I, Chapter 1, §11, Vermont Statutes. Accessed 2007-11-01.
  4. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  5. ^ Darrell Hoyt (1985). Sketches of Orleans, Vermont. Mempremagog Press.  , page 1
  6. ^ Columbia-Lippincott Gazeteer. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1952) p. 1314
  7. ^ Boston, Massachusetts 1859A History and Description of New England;Austin J. Coolidge & John B. Mansfield,
  8. ^ a b Wheeler, Scott (February 2008). The Man Who Helped Electrify the Jay Peak Ski Lift. Northland Journal. 
  9. ^ "Derby, Vermont, New England, USA". 2013-05-25. Retrieved 2014-01-19. 
  10. ^ a b Robinson, C. D. (June 2010). "The Memphremagog House and ST. Albans Raid". Newport Express and Standard, 1929 (Newport, Vermont: Northland Journal). p. 10. 
  11. ^ Vermont Almanac accessed March 2, 2008
  12. ^ Gibson, Peggy Day (August 6, 2008). The voice of harness racing. the Chronicle. 
  13. ^ Nelson, Emily M. (December 2009). "The History of the Newport House". Vermont's Northland Journal 8 (9): 8, 9. 
  14. ^ Lighthouses at Lighthouse Depot ... Lighthouse Explorer Database ... Newport Wharf Light
  15. ^ a b c Historic marker #9, Newport, Vermont
  16. ^ Young, Darlene (1998). A history of Barton Vermont. Crystal Lake Falls Historical Association. 
  17. ^ Malloy, Barbara (November 11, 2013). "unk". The Newport Daily Express (Newport, Vermont). 
  18. ^ Goodrich Memorial Library website
  19. ^ a b Wheeler, Scott (January 2009). "Boxing, Singing, and Riding the Rails into the Page of Newport's History". Vermont's Northland Journal 7 (10): 10. 
  20. ^ Wheeler, Scott (May 2012). "Life Down on the Community Poor Farm - Part 2". Derby, Vermont: Northland Journal. p. 27. 
  21. ^ "Salvage Operations on Crashed Plane Now Underway". Derby, Vermont: the November 13, 1943 Newport Daily Express as quoted in the Northland Journal. September 2008. pp. 29–30. 
  22. ^
  23. ^ Old Stone House Museum (June 29, 2007). Big band dance to honor Korean War veterans. the Chronicle. 
  24. ^ Goyette, Ray (August 2006). Reader Reflects on the International Club. Vermont's Northland Journal. 
  25. ^ Wright, Duane (September 2009). "Up, Up and Away with Cecil Wright and His Flying Machines". vermont's Northland Journal 8 (6): 8. 
  26. ^ Career Opportunities
  27. ^ a b The Associated Press (December 4, 2008). 54 workers laid off in Newport. Burlington Free Press. 
  28. ^ "Bogner Of America Williston VT, –". Retrieved 2014-01-19. 
  29. ^ "Climatography of the United States No. 20" (PDF).  
  30. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  31. ^ . Retrieved 2014-01-19. 
  32. ^ Starr, Tena (September 18, 2013). "Three-fourths of region's adults are overweight". The Chronicle (Barton, Vermont). pp. 1A. 
  33. ^ Poulin Grain - Dealer Locator
  34. ^ Vermont Business Magazine
  35. ^
  36. ^ the Chronicle, September 3, 2008, page 11, "We're on a real growth path right now"
  37. ^ [3]
  38. ^ North Country Hospital information
  39. ^ Creaser, Richard (February 2, 2011). "Northeast Kingdom's lakes ripe for ice fishing".  
  40. ^ The Chronicle, July 1, 2009, page 21, "Mosholder takes top spot in derby," Dr. Turcotte
  41. ^ "Rotary holds sixty-ninth annual music festival". the Chronicle (Barton, Vermont). April 10, 2013. p. 3. 
  42. ^ Newport, Vermont
  43. ^ Gresser, Joseph (January 15, 2014). "Aldermen reluctantly approve budget". The Chronicle (Barton, Vermont). pp. 1A,25A. 
  44. ^ Newport City Council, Newport, 2015. Accessed 2015-04-25.
  45. ^ City Clerk/Treasurer, Newport, 2008. Accessed 2015-4-25.
  46. ^ City Manager, Newport, 2015. Accessed 2015-04-25.
  47. ^ Voter turnout. the Chronicle. November 5, 2008. 
  48. ^ [4]
  49. ^ a b Annual City & School Report, City of Newport, Vermont. Memphremagog Press, Inc., Newport, Vermont. 2007. 
  50. ^ Facts & Figures - Community College of Vermont
  51. ^ Gresser, Joseph (21 July 2010). "Long Bridge to close for long time". Barton, Vermont: the Chronicle. p. 8. 
  52. ^ Rural Community Transportation Large Format Bus Schedule - The Highlander (Newport/Derby/Derby Line. 2008. 
  53. ^ Newport State Airport
  54. ^ "Basin 17:Lake Memphremagog Watershed Assessment Report" (PDF). Vermont Agency of Natural Resources,Department of Environmental Conservation, Water Quality Division. March 2006. p. 34. 


Notable people

  • The Newport Daily Express - published daily except Saturdays and Sundays in Newport. Owned by Horizon Publications out of Marion, IL. Printed in Canada
  • Newport Dispatch - online-only news updated daily.


The city discharged an average of 908,917 US gallons (3,440,630 l; 756,832 imp gal) of treated wastewater daily into the Clyde River in 2003-04.[54]


The city is served by the Newport State Airport.[53] It contains two runways of 4,000 feet (1,200 m) each 05-23, and 18-36.


The Massawippi Valley Railway line, which was part of the Quebec Central Railway, once ran east of Lake Memphremagog up to Lennoxville, Quebec, but it has been abandoned and the right-of-way has been converted into a mixed-use bicycle and walking path.

Central Maine and Quebec Railway (known by the reporting mark CMQ) - The CMQ operates the line running northwest through North Troy and eventually on to Farnham, Quebec. It interchanges freight traffic with the WACR at Newport yard, just south of town.

Washington County Railroad (known by the reporting mark WACR) - In 2007 WACR was awarded a 30-year contract by the State of Vermont to operate the rail line between White River Junction and Newport. Today the only regular service on this line is freight traffic.


[52] For general use, there are four buses north and south during the week from west Newport city to Derby, and two buses each way on Saturday. The fare is US 25 cents.[49]

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