Barre, VT is a city in central Vermont near the state's capital, Montpelier. Together with the town by the same name, they were chartered in 1781 and called Wildersburgh. It was then settled beginning in 1788, and renamed after a champion of the American Revolution Isaac Barré, and coiner of the term "Sons of Liberty". In 1895, the four square miles of the city were incorporated separately from the town.
Located deep within the Green Mountains, the surrounding town is covered with a variety of bike paths and other recreational facilities. The Green Mountains are a popular destination in all seasons for hiking, skiing, and other winter sports. In fact, many Winter Olympians call Vermont home for its world-class ski slopes.
The town is separated into four unique villages. Much of the area is defined by the large immigrant groups that came and settled into neighborhoods, lending their traditions and heritage to the diverse community.
Known as the “Granite Center of the World,” our city is home to vast granite deposits. Following the American Revolution and the War of 1812, a robust granite industry developed in the city. Geologists say one large deposit is as much as 10 miles deep, stretching 4 miles long and 2 miles wide.
As word spread of the granite in the area, so too did the railroads. With the coming of the railroad in 1875, the famous Vermont granite could reach destinations all over the world. The granite industry boomed. Immigrants came from Canada and Europe to take advantage of the opportunities here. Many of these were Scottish and Italian immigrants, almost all of whom worked in the granite quarries. This influx gave the city its unique architecture, festivals, markets, and more, becoming the one of the most diverse cities in the state.
Located near Montpelier, Barre is often grouped with the Montpelier as a greater metro area. They are known as the “twin cities” in the state. Montpelier is the capital of the state, and is the country’s smallest state capital. The capital has a long manufacturing history, with mills and iron foundry providing the base of the economy. Today it is home to the Vermont College of Fine Arts and the New England Culinary Institute, with insurance and tourism rounding out the principal industries.
As a metro area, these cities provide a broad range of cultural activities and attractions including:
Locals and visitors alike can take in the urban streets of the capital city, and then enjoy the open spaces and rural activities in the town of Barre. With the peaks of the Green Mountains nearby, there are endless leisure and recreational activities for outdoor enthusiasts.