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Newfane, VT Tour - Newfane, Vermont
Newfane, Vermont
Traveling on scenic
Route 30 in Vermont brings you through an area rich in history with picturesque towns dotting the rural landscape. One of those historic towns is Newfane, Vermont, noted for its Greek Revival buildings situated on The Green. The significance of those buildings was recognized July 21, 1983 when it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Newfane, VT Tour - Luke Knowlton, holder of the original charter
Luke Knowlton, holder of the original charter
The history of the town dates back to 1774 when the town was organized by the gathering of nine Congregation Church of Christ followers. Among those members was Jonathan Park, the first settler of Newfane and Luke Knowlton, holder of the original charter. The first charter was granted by New Hampshire Governor Benning Wentworth in 1753 to Abner Sawyer and others. The name of the town then was Fane. In 1761, the charter was returned to Governor Wentworth. A new charter was issued under the new name of Newfane to Luke Brown and his associates. Then in May 1772 the Governor of New York made a grant to Walter Franklin and others, most of who resided in New York. Walter Franklin finally turned the township over to Luke Knowlton and John Taylor of Worcester County, Massachusetts. Newfane was surveyed in 1772, then organized May 17, 1774. Two years later Jonathan Park resided in the village. Nathaniel Stedman and Ebenezer Dyer also settled in Newfane. The first born child was Elizabeth to Jonathan Park on February 20, 1768. The original land was cleared on Newfane Hill. In 1787, Newfane Hill became the shire of Windham County.

Newfane, VT Tour - Windham County Court House
Windham County Court House
From 1790 to 1820, the village consisted of a courthouse, jail, meeting house, academy, three stores, two hotels, a variety of shops, and twenty private residences. By 1825, new Windham County courthouse and jail were built at a cost of $10,000 in the lower part of the village called Fayetteville which was named after General Lafayette whose last visit to the country was in 1824. The buildings were improved in 1853 at a cost of $13,000.

Williamsville was considered the southeast part of the town. Pondville was considered the extreme south part of the town.

Newfane, VT Tour - Newfane Congregational Church
Newfane Congregational Church
The Congregationalists had a meeting house erected in 1799. They worshipped their until they joined forces with four other Protestant groups to build the Union Church in 1832. By 1839, the Congregationalists built their own meeting house. There were changes in the style of the Meetinghouse. It is believed that the building was at one point a one-story structure with a gallery and main floor. However, in 1865 the gallery was cut down and the pulpit was altered. Slate was added to the roof in 1897.

Worship of the other denominations continued at the Union Church until 1854 when the building the building sat empty for eighteen years. Then finally, in 1872, the village took over the building after restoration.

Newfane, VT Tour - Overall view of the Windham County Court House
Overall view of the Windham County Court House
The Windham County Courthouse has gone through several changes over the years. It was originally Federal period with symmetrical boxlike shape. You can see the Federal style in the entranceway. In 1854, the four majestic Doric columns along with the two story Greek Revival portico was added. The last additions were added in 1907 when the building was extended westward with two additional bays.

Newfane, VT Tour - The Newfane Market
The Newfane Market
Across the street is the Newfane Market. There is a The British Clockmaker, Olde and New England Books, Moore Free Library and two inns, The Four Columns Inn and Restaurant and The Old Newfane Inn. With its typical New England white painted historic buildings, Newfane, Vermont by far is one of the most photographed towns in all of Vermont. Make this stop a part of your New England vacation.

Source: Research, photos & text by Bryan Wright

Related Links:

Newfane Vermont USA

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