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provide access to primary historical records, such as letters, maps, and deeds. These include the Colchester Town Clerk’s Office, the University of Vermont Special Collections, St. Michael’s College’s archives, and the Vermont Historical Society. Known archaeological and historic sites are further detailed on Appendices Map 5. Colchester’s location has made it a desirable place for settlement since prehistoric times. Colchester was chartered in 1763 and was previously inhabited by native peoples. At the time the US Census was first taken in 1791, the Town’s population numbered 137. Historic records lack information on demographics; however, it can be gleaned from the records that Colchester was a rural farming community, primarily settled by families of European descent born in southern New England. Agricultural censuses performed during the mid-nineteenth century provide historical information on farming operations in Colchester, which includes family possessions, farm yields and acreage. These historic censuses can be found at the University of Vermont’s Bailey-Howe

20th & 21st Century Population 18000 16000 14000 12000 10000 Population

8000 6000 4000 2000 0

1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010

Source: U.S. Census Bureau - Census of Population & Housing, 2010 Summary File

Library in Burlington and are online: http://www.uvm.edu/~hp206/2010/ Colchester/Colchester/census.html. For the majority of the nineteenth century, Colchester’s population saw a steady increase that mirrored statewide trends with the exception that Colchester did not see a significant decrease in population during the Civil War. Colchester’s population began to blossom in the late nineteenth century, as industrialization along the Winooski River brought mills and workers to Town. When the

urban center of Colchester, now known as the City of Winooski, separated from the rest of Colchester in 1922, it removed two-thirds of the community’s population and its industry, as reflected in the 1930 Census. The “new” Colchester remained relatively rural and agrarian, in keeping with its historic character. During the early 1900s, the Town saw significant growth in its summer seasonal community, due to its lakeside location. This seasonal population growth is not reflected in the census; however, Colchester’s year-round population continued to grow steadily through 1960. Colchester’s population nearly doubled in the 1960s, with the completion of Interstate 89 and the introduction of International Business Machines in the neighboring Town of Essex. This was the beginning of Colchester’s suburbanization, as it quickly became a bedroom community for the greater Burlington area. The population increase seen during this decade was primarily from in-migration as residential developments surged and Colchester’s natural amenities made it an attractive place to live. During the 1970s, the rate of population growth slowed only slightly.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau - Census of Population & Housing, 2000 Summary File 1 Table P1

During the 1980s and 1990s, the Town’s population grew by an

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Town of Colchester's 2019 Town Plan  

The Town of Colchester's 2019 Town Plan is the long-term (20+ year) plan for the community that, while primarily focusing on land use, provi...

Town of Colchester's 2019 Town Plan  

The Town of Colchester's 2019 Town Plan is the long-term (20+ year) plan for the community that, while primarily focusing on land use, provi...