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Bristol, Vermont
Main Street in Bristol in the fall
Main Street in Bristol in the fall
Location in Addison County and the state of Vermont.
Location in Addison County and the state of Vermont.
Country United States
State Vermont
County Addison
Chartered 1762
Settled 1783
Organized 1789
Communities Bristol
Rocky Dale
Area
 • Total 42.2 sq mi (109.2 km2)
 • Land 41.5 sq mi (107.5 km2)
 • Water 0.7 sq mi (1.7 km2)
Elevation
522 ft (159 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 3,782
 • Density 91/sq mi (35.2/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
05443
Area code 802
FIPS code 50-09025
GNIS feature ID 1462053

Bristol is a town in Addison County, Vermont, United States. The town was chartered on June 26, 1762, by the colonial Governor of New Hampshire, Benning Wentworth. The charter was granted to Samuel Averill and sixty-three associates in the name of Pocock—in honor of a distinguished English admiral of that name. The population was 3,782 at the 2020 census. Main Street is home to most of the businesses of the town. The town is also home to the Lord's Prayer Rock.

Geography

Bristol is located in northeastern Addison County, at the western foot of the Green Mountains. The New Haven River, a tributary of Otter Creek, flows out of the mountains through the town center. The town is crossed by Vermont Route 17 (east-west) and Vermont Route 116 (north-south).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 42.2 square miles (109.2 km2), of which 41.5 square miles (107.5 km2) is land and 0.66 square miles (1.7 km2), or 1.57%, is water.

The main settlement in the town is Bristol, a census-designated place, located on the north side of the New Haven River, northwest of the geographic center of town.

Demographics

BristolRock 20160903
Bristol Rock (otherwise known as Lord's Prayer Rock) on Route 17 / Route 116 in Bristol, commissioned by local physician Joseph C. Greene.
Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 211
1800 665 215.2%
1810 1,179 77.3%
1820 1,051 −10.9%
1830 1,274 21.2%
1840 1,233 −3.2%
1850 1,344 9.0%
1860 1,355 0.8%
1870 1,365 0.7%
1880 1,579 15.7%
1890 1,828 15.8%
1900 2,061 12.7%
1910 2,005 −2.7%
1920 1,952 −2.6%
1930 1,832 −6.1%
1940 1,939 5.8%
1950 1,988 2.5%
1960 2,159 8.6%
1970 2,744 27.1%
1980 3,293 20.0%
1990 3,762 14.2%
2000 3,788 0.7%
2010 3,894 2.8%
2020 3,782 −2.9%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the 2000 census, there were 3,788 people, 1,460 households, and 1,013 families residing in the town. The population density was 90.7 people per square mile (35.0/km2). There were 1,546 housing units at an average density of 37.0 per square mile (14.3/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 98.42% White, 0.24% African American, 0.13% Native American, 0.40% Asian, 0.11% from other races, and 0.71% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.50% of the population.

There were 1,460 households, out of which 37.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.1% were married couples living together, 10.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.6% were non-families. 22.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.03.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 27.7% under the age of 18, 7.0% from 18 to 24, 30.7% from 25 to 44, 23.7% from 45 to 64, and 10.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.2 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $43,250, and the median income for a family was $48,458. Males had a median income of $33,977 versus $23,602 for females. The per capita income for the town was $19,345. About 6.9% of families and 10.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.9% of those under age 18 and 11.1% of those age 65 or over.

Economy

Bristol was once home to the now defunct Freemountain Toys, known for producing stuffed vegetable toys known as Vegimals. The Peas in a Pod in the movie Toy Story 3 are based on the peas Vegimal.

Education

Bristol is part of the Mount Abraham Unified School District, which serves the towns of Bristol, Lincoln, Monkton, New Haven, and Starksboro. Bristol is home to Bristol Elementary School and Mount Abraham Union Middle/High School.

Notable people

  • Jeremiah Curtin, writer and translator
  • Walter C. Dunton, Justice of the Vermont Supreme Court
  • Ezra Butler Eddy, Canadian businessman and political figure
  • Ethan Sonneborn, activist and 2018 Vermont gubernatorial candidate
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