The capital of the state and shire town of the county of Washington. It lies in N. lat. 44° 17', and W. lon. 72° 36'. It is 182 miles W. from Augusta, Me.; 97 N.N.W. from Concord, N.H.; 160 N.W. by N. from Boston, Mass.; 200 N. by W. from Providence, R.I.; 205 N. from Hartford, Ct.; 148 N.E. from Albany, N.Y.; and 524 miles from Washington. First settled in 1786. Population, 1830, 2,985. Montpelier became the seat of government in 1805, and the shire town of the county, in 1811. It is finely watered by Onion river and by several branches of that stream. These streams afford a good water power, on which are manufacturing establishments of various kinds. The surface of the town is very uneven and hilly, but not mountainous. The soil is very good along the streams, and the highlands produce excellent pasturage. The agricultural products are various and valuable. In 1837 there were between 8,000 and 9,000 sheep in the town.
This township was granted October 21, 1780, and chartered to Timothy Bigelow and others, August 14, 1781, containing 23,040 acres. It was rechartered February 6, 1804. In the spring of 1786, Joel Frizzle erected a log house on the bank of Onion river, in the southwest corner of this township, and moved his family into it from Canada. This was the first family in town. Early in the month of May, 1787, Col. Jacob and Gen. Parley Davis, from Worcester county, Mass., began improvements near the place where the village now stands, and erected a log house, into which Col. Davis removed his family the winter following.
The village of Montpelier is surrounded by hills of considerable elevation; and although it is too low to command an extensive prospect, is very present, and quite romantic in its appearance. It is located very near the centre of the state: it is a great thoroughfare from all directions, and commands a large and valuable interior trade. The buildings are in good style; some of which are very handsome.