Rochester, Vermont

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Rochester is a town in Windsor County, Vermont, United States. The population was 1,171 at the 2000 census. Rochester is home to the Quarry Hill Creative Center. Set on the edge of the Green Mountain National Forest, the town is a picturesque tourist destination.



Rochester was granted in 1780, chartered in 1781 to Dudley Chase, Asa Whitcomb and 63 others, then organized in 1788. It was first settled in the winter of 1781-1782 by David Currier and his family.[3] Rochester's boundaries later expanded when the town of Philadelphia was divided up among its neighbors.[4]

The surface of the town is mountainous and broken, but the intervales along the White River provided good farmland for agriculture. There were sites supplying water power for mills. By 1859, when the population was 1,493, industries included one gristmill, several sawmills, one tub factory, and a variety of mechanic shops.[5] The White River Railroad from Bethel opened to Rochester in 1900, but was abandoned in 1933 during the Great Depression.

Main Street in 1912

Pierce residence c. 1915

Street scene c. 1915


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 56.2 square miles (145.6 km2), of which, 56.2 square miles (145.5 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.1 km2) of it (0.09%) is water. Rochester is drained by the White River.

The town is crossed by Vermont Route 73 and Vermont Route 100.


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 1,171 people, 511 households, and 330 families residing in the town. The population density was 20.8 people per square mile (8.0/km2). There were 768 housing units at an average density of 13.7/sq mi (5.3/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 98.46% White, 0.17% African American, 0.17% Asian, and 1.20% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.20% of the population.

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