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Orleans, Vermont
Country United States
State Vermont
County Orleans
 • Total 0.7 sq mi (1.8 km2)
 • Land 0.7 sq mi (1.8 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
1,191 ft (363 m)
 • Total 826
 • Density 1,204.2/sq mi (464.9/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code 802
FIPS code 50-53575
GNIS feature ID 1458854

Orleans is a village in the northwestern corner of Barton, Orleans County, Vermont, United States. The population was 826 at the 2000 census, making it the largest village in Orleans County.


Roger Enos purchased land in 1820 in the area from Ira Allen, who had been given original grants in the area but may have purchased this parcel from Herman Allen. It was named "Barton Landing", as a reminder that this was the first place where craft could be safely loaded for transportation down the Barton River to Lake Memphremagog. The place was where the Willoughby River entered the Barton River, providing sufficient water for flotation

In 1833, the Valley House was built as a restaurant and tavern. In 1875 twenty rooms were added for an inn. The building was destroyed by fire in 1998.

The railroad reached the town in 1859–1860. Railroad accidents were not uncommon. On November 9, 1909, a crew member was killed in a head-on collision between two locomotives, just north of the rail intersection with Main Street. Near the same place, on March 12, 1913, another head-on collision killed one of the crew.

The town changed its name to Orleans in 1908 by popular vote, to the name of the county.

In the late 1970s, the federal and state governments stopped the village from dumping raw sewage into the Barton River. Orleans' new treatment plant cost $2.8 million, 90% of which was paid for by state and federal governments. The village was able to disconnect its old storm sewers from the sanitary sewage system.

In 1999, the local Ethan Allen plant employed 600 workers. This dropped substantially in the 21st century.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 0.7 square mile (1.8 km2), all land.

The village is at the northwestern corner of the town of Barton.

At the edge of the village, the Willoughby River Falls is a 200-foot (61 m) long stretch of river with cascades and a chute. In spring trout migrate up the river and falls from Lake Memphremagog.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 378
1890 482 27.5%
1900 677 40.5%
1910 1,131 67.1%
1920 1,358 20.1%
1930 1,301 −4.2%
1940 1,332 2.4%
1950 1,261 −5.3%
1960 1,240 −1.7%
1970 1,138 −8.2%
1980 983 −13.6%
1990 806 −18.0%
2000 826 2.5%
2010 818 −1.0%
Est. 2015 778 −4.9%
U.S. Decennial Census

The village showed a gain in population in 2000, the first since 1940.

As of the census of 2000, there were 826 people, 364 households, and 228 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,204.2 people per square mile (462.2/km2). There were 400 housing units at an average density of 583.1/sq mi (223.8/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 97.82% White, 0.12% African American, 0.36% Native American, 0.48% Asian, and 1.21% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.36% of the population.

There were 364 households out of which 30.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.3% were married couples living together, 9.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.1% were non-families. 33.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.84.

In the village, the age distribution of the population shows 25.2% under the age of 18, 7.4% from 18 to 24, 25.4% from 25 to 44, 23.7% from 45 to 64, and 18.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 99.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.1 males.


Orleans has a library which is open 28 hours a week over four days. It is a non-profit corporation. There is one part-time paid librarian. Other help is volunteer. The library is unique in the county for having an endowment left as an estate which also constructed the building.


Major routes

The opening of the Interstate north on November 9, 1972 and opening south in 1978 affected the town comparable to the opening of the railway a century earlier.

During the April school vacation since at least 1983, the village has hired school children to clean the village streets for one day as part of a village "spring cleaning."


Willoughby Falls Bridge needed replacing in 2007. It will cost $1.6 million. The village must contribute 10% ($160,000). This was the most expensive state project in Orleans County that year.

Local community public and private transportation

Vermont Transit services Orleans.


While the Washington County Railroad (The Vermont Railway System) runs through Orleans, it does not service the town.

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