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Hartford Town


Hartford Town Hall is located at 171 Bridge Street, White River Junction, VT 05001; 802-295-9353.

After the French and Indian War, settlers flocked to the open territory west of the Connecticut River. Responding to this influx, Benning Wentworth, the Royal Governor of New Hampshire, chartered Hartford and neighboring towns in 1761. According to the charter, grantees were obligated to till five acres of land for every fifty they owned. In this way, the governor hoped to stimulate settlement rather than land speculation and owner absenteeism. Boundary disputes between New Hampshire and New York jeopardized settlers claims until 1777, when Vermont became an independent colony. In 1791, Vermont entered the Union as the fourteenth state. [1]

Traditionally, the Town of Hartford has been divided into distinct villages or hamlets, each of which contributed to the unique character and economic well being of the Town. Today, the Town recognizes five villages. White River Junction, the largest village in Hartford, has been an attractive commercial and industrial site since the mid-nineteenth century. Its location at the confluence of the Connecticut and White Rivers made White River Junction a natural center for river, rail and highway transportation, and commerce. With the construction of the Connecticut River Railroad, and the Connecticut and Passumpsic Rivers Railroad in 1848, the Northern New Hampshire Railroad in 1849 and the Woodstock Railroad in 1863, White River Junction became the most important railroad junction in northern New England. Colonel Samuel Nutt, a renowned river boat captain, responded to this industrial expansion brought by the railroad by opening the Junction House in White River Junction, a hotel and public house on the site of the present Hotel Coolidge. Lured by efficient rail transportation and abundant water power, mills and factories flourished along the White River in Hartford Village, the Ottauquechee River in Quechee, and the Connecticut River in Wilder.

  1. Hartford Planning Commission, Town of Hartford Master Plan,, 2007, www.hartford-vt.org, accessed January, 2011.
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