Vershire, Vermont

Living in Vershire, Vermont

Vershire is a small town located in Orange County, west of Fairlee and West Fairlee, Vermont. Vershire, Vermont is currently home to about 630 people. The town of Vershire, though was renamed “Ely” for three years, got it’s name through the combination of VERmont and New HampSHIRE. The town is about 36 square miles. The center of town is built on a ridge, which overlooks the valley with views of New Hampshire.

Town of Vershire, Vermont

History of Vershire

Vershire was chartered in 1781 and granted to Capt. Abner Seelye and 64 others. The town was originally named Malden before taking the amalgamated name of Vershire. This amalgamation came from the town being located in Vermont and offering wonderful views of New Hampshire. Just ten years after the charter, the town had grown to a population of nearly 440 people.

As a typical Upper Valley town, Vershire also had it’s share of grain mills and saw mills, with industry came population. It’s interesting to know that there were once many more people living in Vershire than today. At one point, when the census was taken in 1840, there were 1998 people who lived in Vershire. That’s more than three times more than today’s population.

During and after the civil war, Vershire was a place to be for miners. Producing copper at staggering rates, the copper mines ran from Vershire into West Fairlee. In 1854, the Vermont Mine Company opened and hired primarily Cornish and Irish immigrants who previously worked in British mines.

The Ely Copper Mine in Vershire, VT

Of course the mining boom brought on a need for buildings for housing and commerce. There were approximately 100 buildings, homes and businesses that were constructed during the mining boom. Along with places of worship and residential housing, there was a tailor, meat market, livery stable, doctor’s office, barber, hat shop, library, blacksmith and even a photography studio. The town was a very busy place in mid to late 1800s.

BY 1883, the copper mine was fizzling out due to many reasons, there were poor trades and worse investments and unpaid employees, by 1888 the mining company was bankrupt and sold off. Many attempts were made to bring the mining industry out of the dust, but none were successful. The population dropped off steeply.

After the mine closed, the town lost about 1500 residents in a short period of time. By 1960 Vershire’s population was just more than 200 people. The center of town was transformed into The Mountin School of Milton Academy. This is an independent school with programs for high school juniors. The programs focus on sustainable agricultural living, farming and give the students an opportunity to live and work on an organic farm.

Mountain School, Vershire, Vermont

Mountain School of Milton Academy

Vershire Today

The Mountain School of Milton Academy is still a thriving school today. While the students keep the farm active, when the school is on break there are plenty of alumni who tend to the school and keep things organized and running smoothly.

The public education begins in Vershire with Vershire Elementary School, after which there is an array of options for high school. Students from Vershire attend high school in surround towns.

There are a few places of employment in town, but most residents travel throughout the Upper Valley for employment. The largest employers in the area are Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center and Dartmouth College. Aside from those two major employers, other industries such as tech, retail and hospitality are of great importance to the Upper Valley.

The town of Vershire, VT is also home to several small businesses and is a great community to call home. The town has it’s own grass-roots organization known as “VerShare”.  The group works to build community involvement and economic development. The main goal of the group is to benefit the residents of Vershire in a communal way.

The VerShare organization has a number of initiatives which help and contribute to the Vershire Community Library,  Senior Lunches, Community Soup Nights, the Made-in-Vershire Shop as well as the VerShare Community Camp, Fall Festival and the Stagecoach Stop Hostel. The VerShare organization has fundraisers and events throughout the year.

Vershire, VT Country Road

Calling Vershire Home

Vershire, Vermont is a beautiful, quiet town to escape to after a long day at work. Being only 20 miles from Dartmouth College, Vershire offers the relaxing country setting, away from the hustle and bustle of the city – yet still within traveling distance. It’s a picturesque, classic Vermont town.

With acreage and views as far as the eye can see, Vershire offers wonderful homes and estates that are situated on beautiful lots of land. The median home value in Vershire, VT is slightly higher than other places in the Upper Valley, but this is expected due to the amount of larger homes and estates.

Although the median home value tends to be higher in Vershire, there is a wide split between single family homes on modest lots, and hill top estates. If you’re in the market for a new home in a quiet, rural country town, you should certainly consider looking at the available real estate in Vershire, Vermont.

Andrew Eaton

Andrew is a New England native and has spent the past 15 years in the Upper Valley of New Hampshire and Vermont. He is a marketing guru and freelance blogger who loves all things Upper Valley.

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn