|Promoting the historical and cultural heritage of Williston, Vermont since 1974|
Our Town History
The town of Williston was chartered on June 7, 1763 when Gov. Benning Wentworth of New Hampshire granted 20,000 acres of land to Samuel Willis for whom the town was named. One of the earliest settlers was Thomas Chittenden who was elected Vermont's first governor in 1778. Williston Village includes residential, commercial, municipal buildings and churches, which line both sides of U.S. Route 2, now known as Williston Road. Twenty-six buildings were included in the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. The Historic District includes those plus other buildings in the Village. The Williston Historic Preservation Committee oversees any changes or additions within this District.
Williston has grown exponentially in the past 10 years with the population increasing 57 % (according to the year 2000 census) to a current population of just under 8,000 people by January 2002. The Taft Corners area of Williston has become a regional shopping center and residential growth has increased significantly. Now, more than ever, the historic fabric of Williston needs to be preserved and conveyed so that the town can retain its character.
Williston Historical Society
The Williston Historical Society has become a significant part of the Williston community since its founding in 1974. Their collection was housed in several community buildings in the beginning years. In 1986 the collection was given a new home (thanks to the generosity of a member) in the Dorothy Alling Memorial Library (built in 1959). The library added several rooms to the original building and so the original area of the library became the Vermont Room, which is maintained by the Williston Historical Society.
The Society's collection has grown, as well as the membership. The
Society has been involved in many historic -oriented activities in the
past thirty years, such as, trips to historic sites around the state,
guest speakers at member meetings, and tours through historic Williston
farmland and neighborhoods. A quarterly newsletter has been maintained
since 1974 to document and inform members of events about their community
heritage. A major accomplishment included raising enough funds in 1988
to move the town's only remaining one-room schoolhouse, known as the
Stovepipe Corner School, to an adjacent lot on the town green between
the town library and the Williston Central School. It was renovated
by the Society and is now owned by the Williston School District. Other
accomplishments incude: a statue of Vermont's first governor, Thomas
Chittenden from Williston, for the town green and a second statue for
the state house in Montpelier; the publishing of a book entitled "Thomas
Chittenden's Town" by Willard Randall and Nancy Nahra. The Society
is in gratitude to one of our members for his charitable act of giving
the statues and the book in our name.