Vergennes: The Little City with Big Appeal
Vergennes was Vermont's first city 1788 and bills itself as America's smallest city. The city's name was suggested by Ethan Allen to honor the Comte de Vergennes who served as the French Minister of Foreign Affairs and negotiator of the Treaty of Paris.
Vergennes is certainly the state's smallest city only two square miles in size with a population of 2‚700—and one of the prettiest downtowns around. Just west of downtown are the scenic Vergennes Falls where Otter Creek traverses the city and water-powered sawmills once operated.
You'll find the elements of both a vital city and neighborly town here. The City Hall and Vergennes Opera House‚ constructed in 1897‚ is still the center of Vergennes' business and cultural life. The beautifully restored‚ acoustically superb Opera House presents a year-round schedule of jazz‚ opera‚ folk‚ classical and theater performances..
City Park‚ in the center of the downtown‚ hosts Monday evening summer band concerts community festivals such as French Heritage Days in July and Vergennes Day in late August, and encourages strolling on a summer's evening. The park serves as the location for a farm and craftsperson market from May through October.
Within the three-block downtown area, traditional businesses mix with the new. Revitalization has attracted eclectic, locally-owned shops and restaurants to become neighbors of deep-rooted Vergennes businesses. Main Street's 150-year old commercial blocks built with local stone and eye-catching window displays entice people to stop and explore.
It is a very walkable community, too. A walk down Main Street brings you by Bixby Library, with its beautiful stained-glass domed ceiling. A detour down the sidewalk-lined side streets takes one past houses that speak of the city's 19th century prosperity. The stately Federal homes, Greek Revival cottages, and Mansard-roofed and bracketed dwellings, feels like stepping back into the Victorian era. Vergennes strives to be a friendly, welcoming place.
On your next trip to Vermont why not schedule a trip downtown in our "smallest city."
Attractions within a short driving distance of Vergennes include:
- Vergennes Opera House
- Lake Champlain Maritime Museum
- Rokeby Museum
- Chimney Point State Historic Site
- Button Bay State Park
More information on Vergennes can be found on the city’s web site.
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- Vergennes: The Little City with Big Appeal
Vergennes is host to several cultural and community events throughout the year:
Vergennes Memorial Day Parade
Largest in Vermont!
May 25, 2015
French Heritage Day
2015 date TBD
Addison County Field Days
August 4-8, 2015
Vergennes Day Kick-Off Dance
August 28, 2015
August 29‚ 2015
Vergennes Holiday Stroll
December 5‚ 2015
VUES Winter Holiday Craft Fair
December 5, 2015