This is Our Town
Washington, Vermont, is located on Route 110 in Orange County. This small town was twice chartered, the first time in 1761 by New York’s royal governor, and was named Kingsland. Despite having no residents, Kingsland was one of two country seats, and also hosted a log jailhouse.
Washington later received its current name while Vermont was still an independent nation. Most historians concur that this was in 1781. 1785 brought Daniel Morse as our first resident, receiving title to 100 acres.
By 1794, after having been organized as a town for two years, Washington boasted 32 ‘freemen’ on the checklist.
The peak population was 1400 in 1840. There were many small farms, with wool being the primary cash crop. At that time, there were 7500 sheep and 840 cows in town. The peak for the sheep business was 1830, with it steadily declining due to cheaper competition and high tariffs.
In the farthest background behind the churches and old schoolhouse, are the fields which were part of the old fair. Looking closely, you can see some buildings, probably horse and cattle stalls. Also, behind the school, you can see part of the still existing 1/2 mile trotting track.
Dairying took over Washington’s farms. Washington had its own creamery by 1895. The stockholders, which included former Vermont Governor Stanley Wilson, voted to sell the creamery in 1946.
Governor Stanley Calef Wilson, term 1931-1935.
However, as with the arrival of most new technology, Washington’s farms began to decline, and at this time, there are only four left in town, with three of those having gone into Organic Dairying.
The 5th generation of Deberville farmers.
The 2000 census recorded 1047 residents in Washington.