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Rockingham, Vermont
Pleasant Valley Grange Hall, next to the Rockingham Meeting House
Pleasant Valley Grange Hall, next to the Rockingham Meeting House
Rockingham, Vermont
Rockingham, Vermont
Rockingham, Vermont is located in the United States
Rockingham, Vermont
Rockingham, Vermont
Location in the United States
Country United States
State Vermont
County Windham
Chartered 1752
Area
 • Total 42.3 sq mi (109.6 km2)
 • Land 41.9 sq mi (108.5 km2)
 • Water 0.4 sq mi (1.1 km2)
Elevation
1,037 ft (316 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 4,832
 • Density 123.1/sq mi (48.7/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
05101
Area code(s) 802
FIPS code 50-60250
GNIS feature ID 1462189

Rockingham is a Town in Windham County, on the southeastern Vermont border in the United States, along the Connecticut River. As of the 2020 census, the population was 4,832. Rockingham includes the incorporated villages of Bellows Falls and Saxtons River, as well as a large rural area west of Interstate 91.

Rockingham has no formal town center; instead, town offices and the Rockingham Public Library are located in the village of Bellows Falls. The approximate center is the Rockingham Meeting House, passed by Route 103, a popular east–west route across the state. The Meeting House was built in Rockingham Village, once the main settlement in the town, but with the increased use of water power for manufacturing, population shifted to other villages located on the two rivers in the town. Most of what was left of Rockingham Village (over a dozen buildings, also called the Old Town) burned in a fire on April 14, 1908; the fire came close to the Meeting House but it was saved. The houses, hotel, and store that burned were not rebuilt.

History

Street Scene, Rockingham, VT
Street scene c. 1910
Rockingham, Vermont (1915)
Rockingham, 1915

One of the New Hampshire grants, it was chartered by Governor Benning Wentworth on December 28, 1752 and named for Lord Rockingham. The township was granted to Samuel Johnson and 72 others. First settled in 1753, pioneers fished for salmon and shad. By 1771, the population reached 225. In 1785, Colonel Enoch Hale erected the first bridge over the Connecticut River, and until 1796, it remained the only bridge across. The village of Bellows Falls became an important mill town.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 42.3 square miles (109.6 km2), of which 41.9 square miles (108.5 km2) is land and 0.4 square mile (1.1 km2) (0.97%) is water. It is drained by the Williams River, the Saxtons River, and several brooks that drain directly to the Connecticut River; the latter river is the eastern boundary of Rockingham.

It is crossed by Interstate 91, U.S. Route 5, Vermont Route 103 and Vermont Route 121.

Demographics

The rural community, based on farming, had its peak of population in 1920.

Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 1,235
1800 1,684 36.4%
1810 1,954 16.0%
1820 2,155 10.3%
1830 2,272 5.4%
1840 2,330 2.6%
1850 2,837 21.8%
1860 2,904 2.4%
1870 2,854 −1.7%
1880 3,797 33.0%
1890 4,579 20.6%
1900 5,809 26.9%
1910 6,207 6.9%
1920 6,231 0.4%
1930 5,302 −14.9%
1940 5,737 8.2%
1950 5,499 −4.1%
1960 5,704 3.7%
1970 5,501 −3.6%
1980 5,538 0.7%
1990 5,484 −1.0%
2000 5,309 −3.2%
2010 5,282 −0.5%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 5,309 people, 2,202 households, and 1,387 families residing in the town. The population density was 126.7 people per square mile (48.9/km2). There were 2,425 housing units at an average density of 57.9 per square mile (22.3/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 97.38% White, 0.34% African American, 0.09% Native American, 0.55% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.26% from other races, and 1.32% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.15% of the population.

There were 2,202 households, out of which 31.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.2% were couples living together and joined in either marriage or civil union, 12.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.0% were non-families. 30.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 25.1% under the age of 18, 6.8% from 18 to 24, 27.1% from 25 to 44, 25.5% from 45 to 64, and 15.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.6 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $33,423, and the median income for a family was $45,503. Males had a median income of $29,200 versus $22,944 for females. The per capita income for the town was $19,051. About 4.8% of families and 10.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.5% of those under age 18 and 9.6% of those age 65 or over.

Listed on National Register of Historic Places

Rockingham Meeting House, Rockingham, VT
Rockingham Meeting House

Notable people

  • John S. Barry, fourth governor of Michigan
  • Henry Adams Bellows, lawyer, state Congressman and jurist
  • Jonathan Blanchard, pastor, social reformer, and president of Wheaton College
  • Hetty Green, businesswoman and financier
  • Hugh H. Henry, United States Marshal for Vermont
  • Daniel Kellogg, United States Attorney for the District of Vermont and Justice of the Vermont Supreme Court
  • George Bradley Kellogg, Adjutant General of the Vermont National Guard, Lieutenant Colonel of the 1st Vermont Cavalry Regiment in the American Civil War
  • Selim Peabody, educator
  • Zera Pulsipher, religious leader
  • Shadrach Roundy, religious leader
  • Henry Franklin Severens, judge
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