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about Burlington

Burlington is a city in Chittenden County, Vermont of which it is the county seat. As of the 2000 census, Burlington has the largest population of any city in Vermont. The city is the core of one of the nation's smaller metropolitan areas. The urbanized area consists of the cities of Burlington, South Burlington, and Winooski; the towns of Colchester, Essex, and Williston; and the village of Essex Junction. As of the 2000 census, the population of the Burlington metropolitan area was approximately 150,000.

Burlington lies roughly 55 km (30 mi) west of the state capital in Montpelier, about 80 km (45 mi) north of Rutland, and 100 km (60 mi) southeast of Montreal, Quebec. Burlington is a college town, home to the University of Vermont and to Champlain College. St. Michael's College is in nearby Colchester. The only large industrial facility in Vermont is IBM's semiconductor plant a few kilometers east in Essex Junction, but many small industrial and service companies are located in the Burlington area.

Downtown Burlington is situated on a hillside overlooking Lake Champlain -- the sixth-largest lake in the U.S. The Winooski River lies along the city's northern boundary. Burlington has regular ferry service to New York State during the summer and autumn and an international airport with commercial service to major regional hubs. Train service to Boston and New York is available from Essex Junction.

Burlington also has a thriving cultural and music scene. The most famous local band is Phish, an eclectic "jam band" originating from the University of Vermont circa 1983. They are also donating all profits from the sale of Ben & Jerry's Phish Food ice cream to the cleaning up of Lake Champlain.

Burlington geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 40.1 km² (15.5 mi²). 27.4 km² (10.6 mi²) of it is land and 12.7 km² (4.9 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 31.78% water.

Burlington history

The town of Burlington (comprising what are now the cities of Burlington and South Burlington) was chartered in 1763, but settlement did not commence until the 1770s when the Allen brothers built a fort at the falls of the Winooski. After the Revolutionary War a few settlers cleared land and began farming, and in 1787, Ethan Allen settled in the bottomland near the mouth of the Winooski River and built his home, which stands today. The first town meeting was held in 1787. The University of Vermont was established in Burlington in 1791 as the Agricultural College of Vermont on land donated by Ira Allen. Soon after the town common was set aside as public land and has survived as City Hall Park. By 1812, Burlington had become one of the leading ports in the nation, primarily as the main point for importing Canadian lumber, and had a population of 2000.

During the War of 1812 Burlington was the site of an army base and major military hospital, but did not play as important a role as other Lake Champlain cities such as Vergennes, Vermont and Plattsburgh, New York despite being so close to the Canadian border. Burlington was, however, the home of the United States fleet on Lake Champlain.

In 1823 the Lake Champlain Canal was opened and provided a continuous water route from New York City to Montreal via the Hudson River and Lake Champlain. With the opening of the canal, Burlington and Plattsburg became important ports, shipping lumber and farm products south to Albany and New York City and manufactured goods to the farmlands of Vermont and northeast New York State. By 1830, Burlington had begun to grow rapidly, and soon became the state's preeminent city. The large number of potential mill sites and its location on Lake Champlain at the western end of the main east-west travel route in northern Vermont meant that it was a natural site for the state's major industrial and commercial center and international commerce with Canada.

With the coming of the Rutland and Burlington railroad up from Rutland in 1849, Burlington's lumber industry continued to grow, and in 1862, when the Central Vermont Railroad reached Winooski, the dairy industry began in the area as farmers could now sell milk to other parts of New England and to Quebec. In 1864 the northwestern portion of the town became the City of Burlington -- the state's first incorporated city -- and the more rural portion of the original town was established as the new town of South Burlington. In 1885, the Winooski & Burlington Horse Railroad Company began the first streetcar service in the city, traveling from downtown across the river into Winooski, where there was access to the major railroad line traveling east.

In 1929, the end of streetcar service in Burlington was marked by an unusual "Abandonment Celebration", culminating in a trolley car being burned in the center of downtown. In 1997 The Philadelphia, one of Benedict Arnold's gunboats, was discovered after resting on the bottom of the lake since 1776. In the 1990s, Burlington began to reclaim its waterfront, which was dominated by underused and abandoned industrial buildings, but building into parks, trails, and other recreational resources, and returning the focus of the city to its beautiful waterfront with its stunning views of the Adirondacks.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Burlington, Vermont".

This city is also known as: Burlington.

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