Charleston, Vermont

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Charleston is a town in Orleans County, Vermont, United States. The population was 895 at the 2000 census. The town contains three unincorporated villages: Charleston, East Charleston and West Charleston.


Local government


  • Selectman - Tom Jensen[3]
  • Town Clerk - Jeanine Bennett
  • Town Budget - $413,221

The proposed budget of $435,000, $345,040 of which was allocated to road maintenance, was rejected at the town meeting March 4, 2008.

School District

  • Member, North Country Union High School Board - Peter Moscovites
  • School Board Chair - Nancy Tessier
  • Member, School Board - Jason Brueck, East Charleston; Bill McMaster (2009)
  • Number of students - 100 (current and projected)
  • Number of students in 2004 - 128
  • School Budget for 2008 - $1,502,600


Native Abenakis told of how a large pond "ran away" similar to Runaway Pond in the 1780s before the area was explored by the descendants of Europeans.[4]

Commodore Abraham Whipple was given a grant to the town, along with 50-60 of his shipmates. He called it "Navy." Abner Allen, from Barton, Vermont, was the first settler in 1803.

In 1825, the town changed its name to Charleston, presumably after a naval battle that had occurred off Charleston, South Carolina.

During the Civil War Charleston furnished 121 enlisted men, thirty-five of whom were killed in action or died from the effects of wounds or disease contracted while in the service.[5]

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the town had a number of mills. The population hit a high of 1700.

A round barn (not uncommon for the time and place) was erected in Charleston in 1908. It was and still is possibly the largest such structure in New England.[6] By 2008, it was the only round barn left in town.

A series of fires destroyed East Charleston May 18, 1921, and West Charleston on the following day.[7]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 38.6 square miles (100.0 km2), of which, 37.5 square miles (97.1 km2) of it is land and 1.1 square miles (2.9 km2) of it (2.93%) is water.

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