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Essex Junction, Vermont

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Essex Junction, Vermont

Essex Junction is a village in the town of Essex in Chittenden County, Vermont, United States.[1] The population was 8,591 at the 2000 census. It was incorporated on November 15, 1892.

Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, provides daily service to Essex Junction, which serves as a focal point for rail travel in the greater Burlington area, which includes Essex and Winooski. Amtrak operates its Vermonter from St. Albans, Vermont to Washington, D.C..

The Village of Essex Junction is also one of three voting districts (District 6-2) in the Town of Essex, with Districts 6-1 & 6-3 together comprising the town outside the village. The Village and Town each operate their own fire department, library, parks department, and municipal services, and contain separate school districts for grades K–8. Both governments operate a unified police department, and the unified Essex High School.

Essex Junction is home to IBM's Burlington Design Center and 200 mm wafer fabrication plant. IBM is the state's largest private employer, with approximately 4200 employees.


Modern history has been affected in a major way by the presence of IBM which chose the village as the site for its facility in 1958.

In 2003, as a result of the nationally publicized suicide of an Essex Junction teenager, Vermont, and other states, passed legislation against cyber-bullying.[2][3]


In 1958, IBM leased a facility for its new Data Processing Division. By the end of the year, there were 500 workers. In 1969, the plant expanded to .

In 1982, employment reached an all-time high of 8,000. In 2007, the town listers dropped the value of the plant from a high of $147.5 million to $104 million.[4] The plant's workforce is a little over 5,000 in 2011.


According to the United States Census Bureau,[5] the village has a total area of , of which, is land and (1.86%) is water.


This climatic region is typified by large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot summers and cold winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Essex Junction has a humid continental climate, abbreviated "Dfb" on climate maps.[6]


As of the census[7] of 2000, there were 8,591 people, 3,409 households, and 2,253 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,804.1 people per square mile (696.8/km²). There were 3,501 housing units at an average density of 735.2/sq mi (284.0/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 95.55% White with a large proportion of those 53% being of Irish descent, 0.69% African American, 0.24% Native American, 2.36% Asian, 0.29% from other races, and 0.86% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.14% of the population.

There were 3,409 households out of which 35.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.4% were married couples living together, 9.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.9% were non-families. 26.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.04.

In the village the population was spread out with 26.4% under the age of 18, 7.7% from 18 to 24, 32.9% from 25 to 44, 23.1% from 45 to 64, and 10.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 97.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.0 males.


Personal income

The median income for a household in the village was $53,444, and the median income for a family was $61,985. Males had a median income of $40,287 versus $26,910 for females. The per capita income for the village was $24,142. About 1.8% of families and 2.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.6% of those under age 18 and 7.8% of those age 65 or over.[7]


The largest industrial facility in Vermont is IBM's semiconductor plant in Essex Junction. In 2007, the IBM plant had the largest assessment in the town, $104 million.[8]

The Champlain Valley Expo

Essex Junction is home to the Champlain Valley Expo, a former dirt racetrack that has evolved into a large event field, with stadium seating for concerts, and multiple halls that can host a variety of indoor events.

Champlain Valley Fair

The 10-day Champlain Valley Fair is the most notable event held at the Expo. The state's largest fair consists of five components blended together at the same time:

  • A large agricultural exhibit, with a dairy cows, other farm animals, and 4-H-style events for both livestock and agriculture.
  • A commercial exhibit for a variety of local and regional vendors to showcase their products to the public.
  • A large area dedicated to a mix of local foods like real maple syrup, and conventional fair foods such as fried dough and cotton candy.
  • A Midway provided by Reithoffer Shows with rides typical of a large traveling carnival. The 46 rides in 2010 included a Wild Mouse roller coaster, a large Ferris wheel, and the Speed premier ride.[9]
  • Nightly concerts, which in 2010 included Lyle Lovett, Keith Urban, Bill Cosby, and Justin Bieber.[9]

Over the last decade total Fair attendance has been almost 300,000 per year. In 2010, the Fair had 46 carnival rides and almost 200 vendors.[9]

Other Expo events

Other events held at the Champlain Valley Expo include: Antique Car Show, WOKO Giant Flea Market, Vermont International Festival, and the Champlain Valley Balloon Festival.


Town vote to merge Revote
District 2006-11-07 2007-01-23
Yes No Yes No
6-1 (outside village) 1,283 2,319 690 2,528
6-3 (outside village) 365 822
6-2 (within village) 2,728 1,026 2,009 362
Townwide totals 4,376 4,167 2,699 2,890
Village vote to accept No revote
result was
  2,922 1,085

The village of Essex Junction was formed within the town of Essex on 1892-11-15. The village was formed to provide services (such as sidewalks, water, and sewers) to the villagers that the rest of the, mostly rural, town citizens did not want, and did not want to pay for.

As the town outside the village developed, it added similar services. By 1958, the first hints of merger showed up in a voter petition. Since then a series of votes (often contentious) had defeated or passed merger in each community, but never at the same time in both. The state legislature required a positive vote in both.

This temporarily changed on 2006-11-07 when merger passed in the town as a whole, and in the village. Everyone in the town voted on the merger; the Villagers voted in a second ballot on the merger if it passed the townwide vote. The large regional paper initially misreported the results as a defeat of the merger, based solely on the vote results outside the village.[10] The next day the correct results were reported in both the town’s paper,[11] and as a correction in the regional paper.[12]

On 2006-12-06 a petition to reconsider the merger was submitted to the town. The petition contained signatures totaling more than 5 percent of registered voters, which is the threshold required to force a re-vote.[13] The revote was held on 2007-01-23 with a result that overturned merger by 191 votes, rejecting the current merger proposal.[14]

If the results had stood, a multi-year merger process would have resulted in a new town of Essex Junction replacing the current governments of Essex and Essex Junction.


The Essex Junction School District funds and supervises: Essex High School, Summit Street School, Fleming School, Albert D. Lawton School, the Hiawatha School, and the Center for Technology.[15]

Notable people

See also


External links

  • Essex Junction official website

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