Ryegate, Vermont

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Ryegate is a town in Caledonia County, Vermont, United States. The population was 1,150 at the 2000 census. The town contains the villages of South Ryegate, East Ryegate, and Ryegate Corner.



One of the New Hampshire grants, it was chartered by Governor Benning Wentworth on September 8, 1763. Granted to Richard Jenness and 93 others, it was named Ryegate, a variant spelling of Reigate in Surrey, England. The first settlers were Aaron Hosmer and his family. Sold to John Witherspoon and others, the southern half of town was purchased in 1773 by two agents for the Scotch American Company of Farmers from Renfrew and Lanark, Scotland, whose members began settlement in 1774.

The town had excellent soil for the cultivation of grains, vegetables and orchards. Streams teemed with salmon and trout. Hills and valleys provided pasturage for grazing sheep and cattle. Connected in 1847 to the Connecticut & Passumpsic Rivers Railroad, the town by 1859 was noted for producing butter and leather. Wells River supplied water power for one gristmill and five sawmills. In 1873, the Montpelier & Wells River Railroad was completed. In 1890, a big brickyard opened; then in 1906, the Ryegate Paper Company began operation. But the town's dominant industry was six granite quarries at Blue Mountain.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 36.8 square miles (95.3 km2), of which, 36.6 square miles (94.7 km2) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.6 km2) of it (0.60%) is water. Bounded on the east by the Connecticut River, Ryegate is drained by the Wells River. Blue Mountain has an elevation of 2,192 feet (668 meters) above sea level.

The town is crossed by I-91.svg Interstate 91, US 5.svg U.S. Route 5, and US 302.svg U.S. Route 302. It borders the towns of Newbury to the south, Groton to the west, and Barnet to the north. To the east across the Connecticut River lies Bath, New Hampshire.

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