Derby Line, Vermont

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Derby Line is an incorporated village in the town of Derby in Orleans County, Vermont, United States. The population was 776 at the 2000 census.

The village is located on the Canada-United States border and is contiguous with the district of Rock Island in the town of Stanstead, Quebec.[citation needed]

Notable buildings include the Haskell Free Library and Opera House.



The village was incorporated in 1791. [3] It lies on an elevation at the far north of Derby, which was chartered on October 29, 1779 and first settled in 1795. By 1859, the area was noted for the beauty of its farmhouses and luxuriant farmland, set before the distant vista of Lake Memphremagog and the Green Mountains. [4]

Because of an erratic survey, the border separating Canada from the United States was drawn incorrectly by the surveyors in the 18th century, above the 45th parallel which was the agreed boundary. Derby Line was founded based on that line, above the 45th parallel. The boundary was confirmed by the Webster-Ashburton Treaty in 1842.

Derby Line is known for the Haskell Free Library and Opera House, deliberately constructed on the international border and opened in 1904. The donors were a binational couple: Carlos F. Haskell was a local American businessman who owned a number of sawmills, while Martha Stewart Haskell was Canadian. The intent was that people on both sides of the border would have use of the facility, which is now a designated historic site. Patrons of the library from either side of the border may use the facility without going through border security.[5]

In some places, the international border runs through individual homes, so that meals prepared in one country are eaten in the other. An entire tool-and-die factory, once operated by the Butterfield division of Litton Industries, is also divided in two by the border.[6] The factory in Canada closed in 1982 after a lengthy strike by Canadian workers.[7] The factory in Derby Line is still open, but was bought in 1988 by Group Tivoly, a cutting tools company based in France. [8]

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