Why Manchester, Dorset and Our Mountain Towns
Southern Vermont is the one place in Vermont where you get everything the Green Mountain State has to offer. No matter the season, the Northshire and Stratton areas provide residents and visitors a lifetime of unforgettable things to do, see, and experience.
Located in the prettiest valley in Vermont, and only a few hour’s drive from the major metropolitan areas of the Northeast, lie the scenic and vibrant Vermont towns of the Northshire. Just a short 15-minute drive into the adjacent Green Mountains brings you to the charming towns and villages surrounding the Bromley and Stratton ski resorts.
If you are not familiar with our corner of Vermont, here are the towns we serve and a little about each of them. If you would like to learn even more about Manchester, Dorset, Stratton and the surrounding communities of the Northshire and our Mountain towns, feel free to contact us.
Dorset – The Gem of the Northshire!
Elevation: 962 feet Population (2009): 2,111 Median age: 45.1 years Median household income (2009): $63,236 Median house (2009): $379,867 Read more stats at City Data.
Dorset has a picture postcard setting—the center of town is on the National Register of Historic Places, protecting the white clapboard houses and the town green they surround.
It is an affluent town with many second homeowners and retirees. It also has a solid middle class. Dorset has a lot of history and a lot to take pride in: It is home to the oldest marble quarry in the country, the oldest continuously operating golf course in the country (The Dorset Field Club), the oldest continuously operating inn in the country (The Dorset Inn). Ethan Allen met here, Bill Wilson started AA here, and a pre-Olympic level horse show happens for 6 weeks every summer here.
There is an excellent K-8 school (The Dorset School) in town. For high school, residents may choose between Long Trail School (6-12) in Dorset or Burr & Burton Academy in Manchester. Both are superior independent schools. Burr & Burton serves as the public school option for Dorset (as it does for Manchester), but Dorset residents may also opt for Long Trail as their public school option for grades 9-12. Other notable assets in Dorset: The Bill Wilson homestead, The Dorset Theatre Festival, Dorset Historical Society, HN Williams Store, The Dorset Union Store, Dorset Nursing Assn, Emerald Lake State Park, The Vermont Summer Festival Horse Show.
To search current listings for sale in Dorset - click here.
Manchester – Hub of the Northshire!
Manchester Center and the Village of Manchester together comprise the Town of Manchester. The two have different personalities. The town is a “Shire” town, which does not mean that hobbits live there, but rather that Manchester is the county legislative seat for the northern part of Bennington County, which is referred to as the Northshire. Bennington is the Southshire’s county seat.
Manchester Village has a quieter, more elegant, more residential personality. The Equinox Resort is the focal point of the Village. Burr and Burton Academy, the town’s high school, is there, as is the Southern Vermont Arts Center, and the restored historic mansion Hildene.
Manchester Center Statistics
Elevation: 753 feet Population (2010): 2,120 Median age: 45.6 years Median household income (2009): $51,206 Median house value (2009): $258,999 Read more Manchester Center’s City Data page.
Manchester Village Statistics
Population in 2011: 745 Median age: 61.9 Median household income (2009): $42,710 Median house value (2009): $710,361 Read more at Manchester Village’s City Data page.
Manchester as a whole has great schools and is an excellent place to raise a family. Manchester Elementary & Middle School (MEMS) serves K-8. The Maple St School is a private elementary school option in town. Burr & Burton Academy is the town’s superb high school (9-12). There is a good selection of local, independent shops in Manchester as well as national retail outlets. The outlets are a tourist attraction and complement the recreational and cultural aspects of the town.
Manchester is the hub for area dining and shopping, for those who stay at Stratton or Bromley Mountains. It boasts one of the best independent bookstores in the country (Northshire Bookstore), a wonderful historic mansion (Robert Todd Lincoln’s Hildene), and the flagship store of the Orvis Company. The town has an engaged citizenry who have managed, despite a recession, to overhaul the downtown area to be more functional and prettier, to build a new hall at the phenomenal town recreation park (complete with swimming pool), and to construct a brand new, state-of-the-art library. Manchester is looking at a bright future!
Learn about all the events and resources in Manchester and the area at VisitManchesterVT.
To search current listings for sale in Manchester - click here.
Danby - Beautiful Views and So Close!
Just north of the village of East Dorset on Route 7, lies the town of Danby. Danby’s heights have gorgeous, long-range mountain views across bucolic farmsteads and the Green Mountains. Also impressive, it has the largest underground marble quarry in the world, stretching more than 1 mile (1.6 km) over an area of 25 acres
Population (2009): 1,268 Elevation: 710 feet Median age: 36.9 years Median household income (2009):$46,952 Median house value (2009): $170,385 (it was $93,200 in 2000) Read more at Danby’s City Data page.
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Arlington - A Quintessential Vermont Town to Explore!
To the south of Manchester Village, on Route 7A, is Arlington. Learn about Arlington here.
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Pawlet - Sweeping Valleys and Beautiful Vistas!
This hub of arts, crafts, and beautiful vistas is worth a special drive. Explore Pawlet more here.
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Rupert - Charming and So Close!
North of Dorset on Route 30 is a turn west that climbs up over Rupert Mountain. At the top is the wonderful nature preserve and learning center Merck Forest and Farmland. In 2000, Rupert’s population was listed as 704. You can learn how many of them are women and how many are men, and much more, here at Rupert’s City Data page.
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Sandgate - Secluded and Peaceful!
About three miles north of Route 313 on the western side of Equinox Mountain lies the historic hill town of Sandgate. Here is where you’ll learn more it. They have an annual ox roast, which you can gat a great feeling for thanks to Mike Perra’s photo.
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Shaftsbury - The Southern Gateway!
Just south of Arlington, down Route 7A, lies Shaftsbury. Encompassing a beautiful area, Shaftsbury offers easy access to the Long Trail, among many other hiking trails. You can get more information, including all the town meeting minutes for Shaftsbury, here.
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Sunderland - So Close to Manchester!
Just north of Arlington and directly south of Manchester, is Sunderland, named for Ethan Allen’s comrade in arms, Peleg Sunderland. Located along the Battenkill River and surrounded by acres of farmland it's a colorful drive during foliage. Information about the town is here. It is also home to the Chiselville Covered Bridge. You’ll see the Chiselville Bridge if you ever watch “Baby Boom,” the 1987 film with Diane Keaton. The bridge is featured in the scene when Diane Keaton’s character leaves New York to move to fictional Hadleyville, Vermont.
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Wallingford - The Northern Gateway!
At the intersection of Routes 7 and 140, nestled in the valley between the Green Mountains and Taconic Mountains, lies the historic and picturesque village of Wallingford. Both the Main Street and the Otter Creek farm district are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Wallingford was the boyhood home of Paul Harris, founder of the service organization Rotary Club International. According to the locals, maple syrup was first made in Vermont at Sugar Hill in Wallingford. The White Rocks National Recreation Area is located just south and east of the village and offers hiking trails, picnic areas, and spectacular scenery. There is more to learn about Wallingford here.
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