Castleton, Vermont

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Castleton is a town in Rutland County, Vermont, United States. Castleton is about 15 miles (24 km) to the west of Rutland, and about 7 miles (11 km) east of the New York/Vermont state border. With a population of 4,367 at the 2000 census, the town is home to Castleton State College, the oldest college in Vermont, and 18th oldest college in the United States.[3] Fort Warren was located in Castleton.[4]

Contents

History

The town of Castleton comprises three distinct areas. One is the Village, where the post office, town offices, a bank, a general store, a 1940s style diner and a few other commercial enterprises make it relatively busy, with the College on a side street nearby. Lake Bomoseen is the second area, a five-mile (8 km) long resort and fishing spot, with its post office in Castleton Corners. The third post office is in Hydeville, an extension of Main Street at the end of Lake Bomoseen.

Castleton was chartered in 1761. The charter for 36 square miles (93 km2) of land was granted by Gov. Benning Wentworth of New Hampshire and divided the land into 70 "rights" or "shares". Governor Wentworth retained ownership of two shares and several others were given for churches and a school. In the spring of 1767, the town’s first settlers, Amos Bird and Noah Lee arrived in Castleton from Salisbury, Connecticut. Castleton's favorite landmark, Birdseye Mountain, is named for Col. Bird. He had acquired 40 shares of land when the town was chartered and built a permanent residence there in the summer of 1769. Three families had settled in Castleton by 1770. More settlers followed and by 1777 the town consisted of 17 families.

In May of 1775 Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys met in Castleton with Benedict Arnold to plan their next day's attack on Fort Ticonderoga, 30 miles (48 km) west, on the New York side of Lake Champlain. Their successful capture of the Fort was a holding action that lasted two years until the British launched a powerful sweep southward on Lake Champlain. The battle at nearby Hubbardton, followed by battles at Bennington and Saratoga, marked the turning point of the Revolutionary War in the north. Although German soldiers were stationed in Castleton for a time in 1777, they left as the fortunes of the war changed, and Tory sympathizers were treated with scorn by Castleton settlers.

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