Town of Winooski Vemont
A small city of neighborhoods reflecting a variety of historic periods, Winooski’s 6,750 inhabitants enjoy a centralized location that provides an easy commute to Burlington and Essex Junction. Attractive homes on established tree-lined streets emphasize the quality and workmanship of previous times with architecture styles including historic Federal, Queen Anne Victorian, craftsman-style homes, 1950s ranch houses, and contemporary structures. Close proximity to I-89 and Vermont Routes, 2, 7, and 15 extends the opportunities for residents to easily access work, shopping, and recreational activities throughout Chittenden County and the rest of the state.
Once a part of Colchester and named for the river that comprises its southern boundary, the City of Winooski has been a focal point in the commerce of Chittenden County since Ira Allen placed sawmills at each end of the dam he built across Winooski Falls in 1786. The same river that Allen had the foresight to use for timber processing brought prosperity to the town beginning in the late 1830s when the Burlington Mill Company harnessed the Falls’ power for the manufacture of yarns and cloth, attracting workers and businesses to support the burgeoning industry. The company’s financial status rose and fell over the ensuing years affecting the town’s economy.
The American Woolen Company purchased the mills in in 1901, once again bringing prosperity to the community. By 1922, the town had reached economic stabilization and was considered one of Vermont’s largest industrialized villages. Winooski successfully petitioned the Legislature for a city charter that year, becoming a city on March 7, gaining its independence from Colchester.
The city suffered a blow when the American Woolen Company shut down in 1954, causing an economic decline that lasted for two decades. Since the mid-1970s, the city has been experiencing renewal. The mill buildings have been restored; the Champlain Mill contains stores, restaurants, and offices, and the converted Woolen Mill now houses condominiums and a health spa. Industrial parks have attracted new businesses, light manufacturing, and office space, increasing employment opportunities. A new period of revitalization is underway with the approval of a redevelopment project which redesigns the heart of Winooski into a pedestrian-friendly streetscape bringing new shops, housing, and businesses to a viable community.
All town profiles have been prepared by Mrs. Mary Ann DiSpirito