About Swanton Vermont
The Town of Swanton is one of the most attractive communities in Vermont. It is located in the northwestern corner of the state bordering Lake Champlain on its west and Quebec Province in Canada on its north. Interstate 89, Vermont Route 78, and U.S. Route 7 are the major transportation routes through the town. These routes meet in the village center to form a foundation for the town’s vibrant commercial hub, which is made up of a mixture of family-owned businesses, national stores, and a variety of residential housing types, as well as the municipal offices, village police & fire departments, and the Swanton Elementary School. Numerous industries surround the Village Center and the outlying areas of town are residential and agricultural in nature. The scenic Missisquoi River meanders through Swanton and over the Village Dam before flowing gently into Lake Champlain via the Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge. The river and lake are important segments of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail that stretches from northcentral New York to the far reaches of northern Maine.
The earliest inhabitants of this region dating back about 10,000 years were the Abenaki whose tribal headquarters and museum are located in Swanton. The town was chartered on August 17, 1763 by New Hampshire Governor Benning Wentworth when this territory was claimed as part of that state. Swanton’s rich history can be explored at the Swanton Historical Museum.
The Town of Swanton is a separate governmental entity from the Village of Swanton which was chartered within the Town in 1888. The Village has a fire department and a police department. It also operates an electric department and provides water and sewer services to the Village as well as part of the Town. A link to the Village website is located down below on the right. Links to the different Village departments can be found by clicking the USEFUL LINKS button at the bottom of the lower left column on this page.
Today, approximately 6,500 people make the Town of Swanton (including the Village area) their home. It is a safe, healthy, pleasant place in which to live and work and an exciting place to visit.
We hope you enjoyed your stay here & will visit again. Merci beaucoup. Revenez!
It has become popular to ascribe New England place names to English sources, and Swanton is no exception. Some writers have suggested that the Vermont town is named for Swanton, Kent, and some enthusiasts have gone on to say that the name means “a swan’s town”. Queen Elizabeth II did send a pair of Royal swans to Vermont’s Swanton in honor of the bicentennial of the town’s granting, but the fact is that the Kentish name actually derives from “town of the swineherds”.
The source of the name can more likely be found in William Swanton, a British naval officer who commanded a squadron at the time of the capture of Louisbourg in 1760; it was his timely arrival that dealt the final coup de grâce to the already almost overwhelmed French fleet. After the war, Swanton (then a captain) retired from the navy and settled in Bath, Maine, where he established a shipyard that was already famous for its custom-built ships when Benning Wentworth named this town in 1763.
Swanton is one of the few places in Vermont where Natives are known to have had a permanent settlement. From about 1700 to 1758, the important Abnaki village of Missisiasuk was on the Missisquoi River. The village’s name, meaning “people of the great grassy meadows”, helps to bear out the translation of Missiquoi itself as “great grassy meadows”. The Abnaki name for the mouth of the river was Maskwenozakek, literally “the place where muskelunge abound”, which would have been a good enough reason in itself for establishing a village nearby.
St Albans, VT, 05478
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