University of Vermont

South Hero

South Hero, Vermont


"The Bay and Islands; Looking North on Conro Hill; South Hero, VT. Photo by B. Barker." Unknown date. Postcard image courtesy of University of Vermont Special Collections.

Agriculture has been the predominant industry contributing to the growth of South Hero. The fertile soil has helped the town continue its agricultural practices and maintain a steady population, and the present day town of South Hero still retains its bucolic character. Grand Isle County directories and agricultural census records confirm the dominance of a continual agrarian lifestyle in South Hero and the growth of agriculture throughout the 19th century. Child's Franklin and Grand Isle County Directories, 1882-83, list 55 businesses, almost half of which are agriculture related, including 16 livestock breeders and dealers. The directory contains 148 individual resident listings, 129 of which show involvement in agricultural practices. Data extracted from the directory listings:

  • 27 orchards, averaging 200 trees per orchard
  • 18 flocks of sheep, averaging 100 sheep per flock
  • 3 apiaries listed, with 11, 14 and 28 swarms
  • 15 herds of cattle listed, averaging 19 per herd
  • largest orchard is 700 trees
  • average farmland is 116 acres, with the majority being 150-200 acres

According to the directories, census records and history books, the bulk of South Hero production during the latter half of the 19th century was livestock, primarily cattle and sheep, wool, butter, apples, potatoes, peas, beans, barley, oats, corn, buckwheat, cheese, maple products, and eggs. The town is primarily recognized for its Merino sheep, dairy and apple industry.[1]

[1] Hamilton Child, Gazetteer and Business Directory of Chittenden County, Vermont. (Syracuse: Journal Office, 1882), 544-548.

Last modified May 17 2005 05:14 PM

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