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Chelsea Town

Chelsea Town Hall is located at 296 Route 296, Chelsea, VT 05038; phone: 802-685-4460.

Chelsea as described in 1937 [1]

Chelsea, the shire town of Orange County, sits in the valley of the first branch of the White River, sheltered by green mountain walls. An attractive village park, shaded by spreading elms and old maples, makes a pleasing setting for the County Courthouse and Congregational Church. The Chelsea Shop was at one time occupied by Charles I. Hood, capitalist and manufacturer of Hood's Sarsaparilla. Beyond the shop is an old type grist mill, one of the few still in operation. Many years ago this grist mill supplied power to the Tinker Chair Shop, which was directly across the street, by means of a leather belt suspended over the roadway. The flapping of the belt frightened passing horses, and that method of transmitting power had to be abandoned. The National Bank of Chelsea is one of the oldest in the State. Among the prominent sons Chelsea has sent out to the world are William F. Vilas, Postmaster-General (1885-1888) and Secretary of Interior (1888-1889), and Brigadier-General Napoleon B. McLaughlin (Civil War). While the general exodus of population from the rural to urban centers has impaired the growth of Chelsea, the village remains active as a trading center for the surrounding farm district.

The town was first chartered as Turnersburgh and settled in 1784. The earliest settlers packed furniture and provisions on their backs from Tunbridge, approximately 8 miles away, exemplifying the pioneer spirit of ever pushing on to new frontiers.

  1. Works Progress Administration, Federal Writers' Project, Vermont: A Guide to the Green Mountain State, American Guide Series, Vermont State Planning Board, 1937.
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