Poultney, Vermont History

Poultney is located in Rutland County in the state of Vermont. It was charted on September 21, 1761 by Benning Wentworth, Royal Governor of New Hampshire and was named for William Pulteney, the 1st Earl of Bath. The first settling families were Thomas and Zeruiah (Richards) Ashley and Ebenezer and Lydia (Richards) Allen. Ebenezer was a cousin of Revolutionary War hero, Ethan Allen. The town grew slowly at first as there was unresolved conflict over land ownership between New York and New Hampshire. A grist mill was built in 1777 the village expanded around it. Located on the main vein of slate running thru Vermont, Poultney’s slate industry grew in the last half of the 19th century. This was a major export for the area and attracted immigrants from many countries, including Wales. Hard economic and depressed times encouraged many Welsh slate workers to come to the Poultney area. Several slate quarries mined and milled slate roofing, tiles and building blocks. Several are still in operation today. As of the latest census in 2020, Poultney had 3,020 people, a drop of over 12% from the last census of 2010. The town’s total area of 44.8 square miles is comprised of 43.9 square miles of land and 0.9 square miles of water. Poultney share Lake St. Catherine with the town of Wells. Main routes crossing the town are VT Route 30, VT Route 31 and VT Route 140.