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Williston, Vermont
Old Brick Tavern, Williston
Old Brick Tavern, Williston
Motto(s): 
"Old town charm, new town spirit"
Location in Chittenden County and the state of Vermont
Location in Chittenden County and the state of Vermont
Williston, Vermont is located in the United States
Williston, Vermont
Williston, Vermont
Location in the United States
Country United States
State Vermont
County Chittenden
Communities Williston
North Williston
Kirby Corner
Area
 • Total 30.6 sq mi (79.2 km2)
 • Land 30.1 sq mi (77.9 km2)
 • Water 0.5 sq mi (1.3 km2)
Elevation
604 ft (184 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 10,103
 • Density 330.39/sq mi (127.56/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
05495
Area code(s) 802
FIPS code 50-84475
GNIS feature ID 1462263

Williston is a town in Chittenden County, Vermont, United States. Originally rural and laid out with many farms, in recent decades it has developed into a thriving suburb of Burlington, the largest city in the state of Vermont. As of the 2020 census, the population of Williston was 10,103, an increase of over 1,000 people since the 2010 census. Williston is one of the fastest-growing towns in Vermont, and while becoming more populated, it has also developed as a major retail center for the Burlington area as well as much of central and northern Vermont. The town contains the village of Williston, which is unincorporated.

History

The town was named for Samuel Willis, a landholder.

During the night of July 7, 1984, an Amtrak train with 287 people aboard hit a landslide and derailed, killing five people and injuring about two hundred. Although the accident triggered one of Vermont's most intensive emergency responses, the final victims were not rescued until the end of the day.

A private, boarding high school, Pine Ridge, was founded in 1968 to serve learning-disabled students. It closed in June 2009.

Geography

Williston is in central Chittenden County, bordered on the north by the Winooski River. The city of South Burlington is to the west. According to the United States Census Bureau, Williston has a total area of 30.6 square miles (79.2 km2), of which 30.1 square miles (77.9 km2) is land and 0.50 square miles (1.3 km2), or 1.65%, is water.

Brooks

Allen Brook drains the center of the town. It begins and flows from Mud Pond north to the village of Williston, and then in a northwesterly direction where it meets the Winooski River. It has a length of 10 miles (16 km) and drains a watershed covering 6,900 acres (2,800 ha).

Muddy Brook flows on the western edge of Williston and marks the border between Williston and South Burlington.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 471
1800 836 77.5%
1810 1,185 41.7%
1820 1,246 5.1%
1830 1,608 29.1%
1840 1,554 −3.4%
1850 1,669 7.4%
1860 1,479 −11.4%
1870 1,441 −2.6%
1880 1,342 −6.9%
1890 1,161 −13.5%
1900 1,176 1.3%
1910 1,000 −15.0%
1920 929 −7.1%
1930 961 3.4%
1940 1,021 6.2%
1950 1,182 15.8%
1960 1,484 25.5%
1970 3,187 114.8%
1980 3,843 20.6%
1990 4,887 27.2%
2000 7,650 56.5%
2010 8,698 13.7%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2010, there were 8,698 people, 2,921 households, and 2,141 families residing in the town. The population density was 252.1 people per square mile (97.4/km2). There were 3,036 housing units at an average density of 100.1 per square mile (38.6/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 95.6% White, 1.0% African American, 0.2% Native American, 2.0% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.10% from other races, and 1.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.5% of the population.

There were 2,921 households, out of which 36.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.1% were married couples living together, 5.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.7% were non-families. 20.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.59 and the average family size was 3.02.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 27.5% under the age of 18, 4.1% from 18 to 24, 32.0% from 25 to 44, 24.6% from 45 to 64, and 11.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.6 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $61,467, and the median income for a family was $69,762. Males had a median income of $49,048, versus $31,740 for females. The per capita income for the town was $29,757. About 0.8% of families and 1.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 0.8% of those under age 18 and 4.9% of those age 65 or over.

Infrastructure

Transportation

Bus service is provided by Chittenden County Transportation Authority. This transportation brings residents and workers to South Burlington and Burlington, the central locations of the bus system.

Major routes

Interstate 89 passes through town from east to west, though it is signed north-south. There is an interchange just south of downtown.

U.S. Route 2, also known as Williston Road, passes through town from east to west. Williston's historic village is located along U.S. 2 in the center of town.

Vermont Route 2A provides a north-south route through town, connecting it to Hinesburg and Essex Junction. Much of the town's retail development, including nearly all of its big-box stores, is located along Route 2A, which runs through the western part of Williston and intersects I-89 and U.S. Route 2.

Economy

One measure of economic activity is retail sales. Williston led the state in 2007 with US$434.8 million. The part of town known as Taft Corners has a number of big-box stores, including Walmart, Home Depot, Bed Bath and Beyond, Petsmart, Staples, Old Navy, and Best Buy, as well as chain restaurants not seen elsewhere in Vermont such as Friendly's, Texas Roadhouse, Longhorn Steakhouse, and Ninety-Nine. Additionally, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement operates a large law enforcement center in the town.

The Vermont Department of Corrections was headquartered in the White Cap Business Park in Williston now back in Waterbury.

Williston central school williston vermont 20040808
Williston Central School

Education

The town has two schools: Allen Brook School, Pre-K–2, and Williston Central School, 3–8.

The Williston school district is part of the Champlain Valley School District. It therefore sends its students of high school age to Champlain Valley Union High School, which it supports through taxation.

Notable people

  • Edwin Atwater, Canadian businessperson and politician
  • James Edmund Burke, mayor of Burlington, Vermont
  • Lucius E. Chittenden, attorney and author who served as Register of the U.S. Treasury during the American Civil War
  • Martin Chittenden, U.S. congressman and governor of Vermont
  • Thomas Chittenden, founder of the Republic of Vermont and first governor of Vermont
  • Ben Cohen, entrepreneur and co-founder of Ben & Jerry's
  • Bart Farley, professional soccer player and coach
  • Jerry Greenfield, entrepreneur and co-founder of Ben & Jerry's
  • Raul Hilberg, Austrian-born historian and leading scholar on the Holocaust
  • Virginia V. Lyons, member of the Vermont Senate
  • Ross Miner, figure skater and skating coach
  • Haviland Smith, retired CIA officer and former station chief
  • Russell S. Taft, chief justice of the Vermont Supreme Court

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