HISTORY OF SPRINGFIELD VERMONT

(excerpted from the Springfield Chamber of Commerce website HERE.)

Springfield, Vermont was chartered August 20, 1761. The town, part of Windsor County, celebrated 250 years in 2011. Springfield history is well known for its development into a mill town. Located along the Black River companies used the power of the falls to power their machines. It is located in the center of what is known as the Precision Valley and was the home of the Vermont Machine tool industry. Springfield played an important role in production of machine tools during World War II. It was for their war efforts that Springfield was placed as the 7th most important bombing target in the country. Springfield has machine shops that are still in operation today.

It is not only for the machine tool history that Springfield is famous. Springfield is home to Vermont’s oldest one room schoolhouse: the Eureka Schoolhouse. This school house was completed in 1790. The school house is still part of our community and is located near Interstate 91 and serves as a Welcome Center for visitors in the summer months. The Springfield Telescope makers, the oldest amateur telescope makers club in the United States, have had their headquarters in Springfield since 1920. Each year they hold an event called Stellafane for telescope makers to gather from around the country. Springfield is also home of Hartness State Airport: the first airport in Vermont. The Hartness State Airport, named for Governor James Hartness of Springfield, is still in operation today offering hangers and runways for privately owned planes. In 1927 Charles Lindbergh, after completing his transatlantic flight, stopped in Springfield as part of his tour around the United States to promote aviation. James Hartness was the Governor of Vermont from 1921-1923. He was active in the machine tool industry as an inventor and entrepreneur. When Hartness ran for governor he campaigned on the issue of enticing Vermonters to stay in their home state instead of seeking employment in other States. This is still an issue that faces Vermont today.

Springfield is a place with a long rich history. While we have moved forward we are still connected to a past that has given current residents a sense of pride. Springfield has a long history of entreprenuership that can still be seen today. The majority of our businesses are locally owned and operated. We are proud of all that has been accomplished in our town and look forward to the future and new endeavors.
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