Newport (city), Vermont

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Newport, Vermont
Newport from Lake Memphremagog
Newport from Lake Memphremagog
Official seal of Newport, Vermont
Location in Vermont
Location in Vermont
Newport, Vermont is located in the United States
Newport, Vermont
Newport, Vermont
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 44°56′39″N 72°12′16″W / 44.94417°N 72.20444°W / 44.94417; -72.20444Coordinates: 44°56′39″N 72°12′16″W / 44.94417°N 72.20444°W / 44.94417; -72.20444
CountryUnited States
 • MayorPaul Monette (I)
 • City ManagerLaura Dolgin (R)
 • Total7.6 sq mi (19.7 km2)
 • Land6.0 sq mi (15.6 km2)
 • Water1.6 sq mi (4.1 km2)  20.87%
722 ft (208 m)
 • Total4,589
 • Density745.5/sq mi (286.7/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)802
FIPS code50-48850[1]
GNIS feature ID1461773[2]

Newport is a city and the county seat[3][4] of Orleans County, Vermont, United States. As of the 2010 Census, the city population was 4,589. The city contains the second-largest population of any municipality in the county (only neighboring Derby is larger), and has the smallest geographic area. It is the second-smallest city by population in Vermont. Newport is also the name of a Town in Orleans County.



In 1753, during the French and Indian War, Abenaki took captive English John Stark by canoe down Lake Memphremagog and came ashore at the site where the city of Newport later developed. Allies of the French during this war, they had captured Stark in a raid and held him until his family and community raised a ransom. They returned him to his home in New Hampshire.

Newport as a settlement was founded in 1793, after the American Revolutionary War.[5] The village was first called Pickeral Point, but later renamed Lake Bridge for its location at the head of Lake Memphremagog.[6]

In 1816, part of the former town of Salem was annexed to Newport town; it was absorbed into the city.[7] 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.[8]

In 1932, during the Great Depression, the city had a poor farm for the indigent.[9]


In 1868, a livery stable started operating behind a hotel, several blocks from the railway station. At its peak, its owner kept 100 horses there[10]

The railroad reached the village in 1863.[11] By the late 19th century, the Boston & Maine and Central Vermont railroads were routed through Lake Bridge. The small village expanded because of increased connections to outside markets and ease of transportation; it attracted more residents. The last passenger train left Newport in 1965.[12]

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 1917, the city paved Main Street. By the summer of 1930, traffic on the street had increased to 4,000 motor vehicles a day.[13]

The city sold its airport to the state of Vermont in the 1970s.[14]


Rogers' Rangers, a militia of Vermont men, were forced to retreat through the county following their attack on Saint-Francis, Quebec in 1759, during the French and Indian War. To confound their pursuers, they split up on the east shore of Lake Memphremagog. One group followed the Clyde River east. Another followed the Barton River south.[15]

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.[16]

During the American Civil War.The city had a scare when they received news of the St. Albans Raid. 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.[11]

In 1891, the American Civil War Reunion Society of Vermont Officers held its annual reunion in Newport.[17]

In August 1942, a single-engine Royal Canadian Air Force training plane crashed into the lake near the west shore and the city, killing the pilot, the only occupant.[18]


Railroad station and steamboat Lady of the Lake in 1908

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.[19] The Memphremagog Hotel burned in 1907.[12]

The Newport Wharf Light was a tower built on Lake Memphremagog in 1879. It has since been demolished.[20]

The current county courthouse was built in 1886.[13] That was the year that the legislature moved the shire town here.[21] In 1879, the Field Opera House and Clock Tower was constructed. In 1896, it was destroyed by fire. The municipal building was later constructed at this site.[22]

Lane's Opera House was constructed in 1892. It burned in 1923.[23]

A postcard image of Newport and Lake Memphremagog around 1910

The Goodrich Memorial Library was built in 1899.[24] The parochial Sacred Heart School was opened in 1904 as part of the Burlington Roman Catholic Diocese School District.[25] It closed in the fall of 2007 because of falling enrollment.

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 four elementary schools were named after the section of the city they were in: East, West, and South schools. Newport High was across from the West School. There were 60 businesses downtown; east, west and south had an additional 40 businesses.[26]

The current federal courthouse was built in 1904. At the time, it included the United States post office, which has since relocated to a more modern facility.[13]

The city was once divided into at least five neighborhoods: Chief-O, Stove-Pipe City, Skunk Hollow, French Village, and Batesville. Most of these names are not used in the 21st century. Batesville was the section around Prouty Bay. Skunk Hollow was in the valley west of Western Avenue.[27]


St. Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church.
St. Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church, completed 1877.

The lumbering firm Prouty & Miller, started in 1865. It operated for more than 100 years, closing in the 1980s.[8]

The Frost Veneer Mill, located on Prouty Bay, was once a primary employer in the Batesville neighborhood.[27]

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).[28] It was capable of holding 2,000 dancers. Notable national performers stopped off to entertain here while en route between the larger cities of Boston and Montreal, traveling on the Boston & Maine trains. 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.[29][30]

In 2003, the Newport-headquartered Citizens Utility was sold. Its assets and operations were divided between Great Bay Hydro and Vermont Electric Cooperative.[16] The Vermont Teddy Bear Company once had a plant within the city.[31] A Columbia Forest Products plant once employed about 100 workers.[32] A local subsidiary of an international ski clothing manufacturer once employed 30 workers.[33] It closed in 2011.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.6 square miles (20 square kilometres), of which 6.0 square miles (16 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 [34]


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 20184,255[35]−7.3%
U.S. Decennial Census

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. 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. Thirty-three percent were of French Canadian and French ancestry, 16% English, and 14% Irish.

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.[36]


Personal income[edit]

In 2017, the median income for a household in the city was $34,000. The median income for the state was $53,700.[37] 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.[38] It employs about 50 workers. The plant is producing feed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.[39]

A Columbia Forest Products plant employs about 100 workers.[32]

There is a call center employing 120 people.[40][41]

MSA manufactures military combat helmets.[42]

Health industry[edit]

North Country Hospital is located in the city. The hospital is the city's largest employer, employing 605 people.[43]

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.[44]

The only Soap Box Derby in Vermont is held in the city annually. The winner represents the state in the nationals.[45]

The local Rotary has held an annual music festival involving county high schools since 1947.[46]

Non-local government[edit]

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[edit]

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

Elected government consists of four aldermen with staggered two-year terms and a mayor.[47]

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.[48]

In 2017, the Grand List (total of taxable property) was $399 million.[49] About 25% of this is non-taxable, belonging to government and religious entities.[50]


The city is governed under the mayor-council system. In 2015, its mayor was Paul Monette. The council was composed of John Wilson, Denis Chenette, Julie Raboin and James Merriam.[51] The city clerk/treasurer was James D. Johnson,[52] and the city manager was Laura Dolgin.[53]

Former mayors[edit]


Fifty-four percent of those registered voted in the 2008 general election. This was the lowest turnout in the county.[54]


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. In 1996 United Christian Academy was formed uniting Roman Catholic and Protestant churches in offering quality high school education. Elementary was later added following the closing of Sacred Heart School.

School districts[edit]

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)[55]

Higher education[edit]

Newport is home to a branch of the Community College of Vermont which enrolls nearly 300 students.[56] It awards an Associate's Degree for these undergraduate studies.



Major routes[edit]

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

U.S. Route 5 and VT Route 105 are concurrent through much of their routes through the city.

Interstate 91 is the nearest interstate highway, and runs through the town of Derby. Two exits (for VT Route 191 and for US 5/VT 105) provide access to Newport.

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

Major bridges[edit]

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.[57]

The final bridge is the trestle for the railway.

Local community public and private transportation[edit]

The RCT (Rural Community Transportation), a non-profit organization, runs out of Saint Johnsbury and services Caledonia and two other counties, including Orleans.[55] 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 25 cents.[58]


The city was once a junction for the Alouette and Red Wing trains splitting northwest to Montreal on the Canadian Pacific Railway and going north on Quebec Central Railway tracks to Sherbrooke, Quebec and Quebec City. Trains went south on Boston and Maine tracks towards New York City and on B&M tracks also towards Boston via Concord, New Hampshire. The last north south international train, the Connecticut Yankee stopped going north across the border in the mid-1950s.

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.

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.

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.


The city is served by the Northeast Kingdom International Airport.[59] It contains two runways of 4,000 feet (1,200 m) each 05-23, and 18-36.


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.[60]


  • The Newport Daily Express – published daily except Saturdays and Sundays in Newport. Owned by Horizon Publications out of Marion, Illinois. Printed in Canada.
  • Newport Dispatch – online-only news updated daily.[61]

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  3. ^ Title 24, Part I, Chapter 1, §11, Vermont Statutes. Accessed 2007-11-01.
  4. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  5. ^ Columbia-Lippincott Gazetteer. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1952) p. 1314
  6. ^ Austin J. Coolidge & John B. Mansfield, A History and Description of New England; Boston, Massachusetts 1859
  7. ^ "Derby, Vermont, New England, USA". 2013-05-25. Archived from the original on 2013-01-05. Retrieved 2014-01-19.
  8. ^ a b Vermont Almanac accessed March 2, 2008
  9. ^ Wheeler, Scott (May 2012). "Life Down on the Community Poor Farm - Part 2". Derby, Vermont: Northland Journal. p. 27.
  10. ^ Gibson, Peggy Day (August 6, 2008). The Voice of Harness Racing. the Chronicle.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ a b c Historic marker #9, Newport, Vermont
  14. ^ Wright, Duane (September 2009). "Up, Up and Away with Cecil Wright and His Flying Machines". vermont's Northland Journal. 8 (6): 8.
  15. ^ Darrell Hoyt (1985). Sketches of Orleans, Vermont. Mempremagog Press. ISBN 0-9610860-2-5., page 1
  16. ^ a b Wheeler, Scott (February 2008). The Man Who Helped Electrify the Jay Peak Ski Lift. Northland Journal.
  17. ^ Huguenin, Joan (July 18, 2018). "Reunion Society of Vermont Officers". Northeast Kingdom Civil War Round Table: 9.
  18. ^ "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.
  19. ^ Nelson, Emily M. (December 2009). "The History of the Newport House". Vermont's Northland Journal. 8 (9): 8, 9.
  20. ^ Lighthouses at Lighthouse Depot ... Lighthouse Explorer Database ... Newport Wharf Light Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ Young, Darlene (1998). A history of Barton Vermont. Crystal Lake Falls Historical Association.
  22. ^ Malloy, Barbara (November 11, 2013). "unk". The Newport Daily Express. Newport, Vermont.
  23. ^ "The Lane Opera House / Le " Lane Opera House " Historical Marker". Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  24. ^ Goodrich Memorial Library website Archived 2012-10-29 at the Wayback Machine
  25. ^ [1][dead link]
  26. ^ McNeal, Brian D. (December 16, 2015). "Remembering a Newport that was". The Chronicle. Barton, Vermont. pp. 4A.
  27. ^ a b Bessette, Norman (October 24, 2018). "Remembering Batesville". The Chronicle. Barton, Vermont. pp. 1B.
  28. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-09-27. Retrieved 2011-04-17.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  29. ^ Old Stone House Museum (June 29, 2007). Big band dance to honor Korean War veterans. the Chronicle.
  30. ^ Goyette, Ray (August 2006). Reader Reflects on the International Club. Vermont's Northland Journal.
  31. ^ Career Opportunities Archived 2007-02-21 at the Wayback Machine
  32. ^ a b The Associated Press (December 4, 2008). 54 workers laid off in Newport. Burlington Free Press.
  33. ^ "Bogner Of America Williston VT, –". Retrieved 2014-01-19.
  34. ^ "Climatography of the United States No. 20" (PDF). NOAA. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 21, 2014. Retrieved March 19, 2011.
  35. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved September 28, 2019.
  36. ^ Starr, Tena (September 18, 2013). "Three-fourths of region's adults are overweight". The Chronicle. Barton, Vermont. pp. 1A.
  37. ^ Gresser, Joseph (August 30, 2017). "A plan for reviving downtown Newport". The Chronicle. Barton, Vermont. pp. 1A, 22A, 23A.
  38. ^ Poulin Grain - Dealer Locator[permanent dead link]
  39. ^ Vermont Business Magazine Archived 2006-11-22 at the Wayback Machine
  40. ^ "Manta - Crmi Solutions, Inc". Archived from the original on 2009-03-31.
  41. ^ the Chronicle, September 3, 2008, page 11, "We're on a real growth path right now"
  42. ^ [2][dead link]
  43. ^ North Country Hospital information Archived 2011-04-26 at the Wayback Machine
  44. ^ Creaser, Richard (February 2, 2011). "Northeast Kingdom's lakes ripe for ice fishing". The Chronicle. Barton, Vermont. p. 12.
  45. ^ The Chronicle, July 1, 2009, page 21, "Mosholder takes top spot in derby," Dr. Turcotte
  46. ^ "Rotary holds sixty-ninth annual music festival". the Chronicle. Barton, Vermont. April 10, 2013. p. 3.
  47. ^ Newport, Vermont Archived 2007-07-07 at the Wayback Machine
  48. ^ Gresser, Joseph (January 15, 2014). "Aldermen reluctantly approve budget". The Chronicle. Barton, Vermont. pp. 1A, 25A.
  49. ^ Gresser, Joseph (June 21, 2017). "Reappraisal could lead to drop in tax rate". The Chronicle. Barton, Vermont. pp. 1A. Retrieved July 12, 2017.
  50. ^ Gresser, Joseph (September 13, 2017). "Tax rate set, water issues discussed". The Chronicle. Barton, Vermont. pp. 12A, 13A.
  51. ^ Newport City Council Archived 2009-07-18 at the Wayback Machine, Newport, 2015. Accessed 2015-04-25.
  52. ^ City Clerk/Treasurer Archived 2009-07-18 at the Wayback Machine, Newport, 2008. Accessed 2015-4-25.
  53. ^ City Manager Archived 2009-07-18 at the Wayback Machine, Newport, 2015. Accessed 2015-04-25.
  54. ^ Voter turnout. the Chronicle. November 5, 2008.
  55. ^ a b Annual City & School Report, City of Newport, Vermont. Memphremagog Press, Inc., Newport, Vermont. 2007.
  56. ^ "Learn About CCV - Community College of Vermont". Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  57. ^ Gresser, Joseph (21 July 2010). "Long Bridge to close for long time". Barton, Vermont: the Chronicle. p. 8.
  58. ^ Rural Community Transportation Large Format Bus Schedule - The Highlander (Newport/Derby/Derby Line. 2008.
  59. ^ "Newport (Vermont) State Airport (EFK)". Vimeo. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  60. ^ "Basin 17:Lake Memphremagog Watershed Assessment Report". Vermont Agency of Natural Resources,Department of Environmental Conservation, Water Quality Division. March 2006. p. 34. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-08-29.
  61. ^ Newport Dispatch
  62. ^ Proceedings of the Vermont Historical Society. Montpelier, VT: Vermont Historical Society. 1923. p. 270.
  63. ^ Romig, Walter (1947). The American Catholic Who's Who. 7. Grosse Point, MI: Walter Romig. p. 65.
  64. ^ "Obituary, Rudolph J. Daley". Burlington Free Press. Burlington, VT. September 27, 1990. pp. 2B, 9B – via maint: extra punctuation (link)
  65. ^ "Hon. William Weston". The Express and Standard. Newport, VT. March 30, 1875. p. 3 – via maint: extra punctuation (link)

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]