The Town of Huntington
The town was originally called "New Huntington", but the name was changed to "Huntington" in October 1795, named for landholders Josiah, Charles and Marmaduke Hunt.
Huntington, that has a total area of 38.0 square miles, is in southeastern Chittenden County, bordered to the southwest by Addison County.The town is located on the west side of the Green Mountains and is centered on the valley of the Huntington River, a north-flowing tributary of the Winooski River . Its most prominent feature is the 4,083-foot summit of Camel's Hump is in Huntington's northeast corner, on the town boundary with Duxbury . As of the census of 2000, there were 1,861 people, 692 households, and 512 families residing in the town, we estimate that the current population is about 2,000.
Marijke and I came along in 1968 and purchased Windekind, a time when the town and the area was primed for change. Prior to the 1960s Huntington had been, because of geography, a backwater community in Chittenden County with most its livelihoods generated by logging and small farms including end of the road hill farms like Windekind. This meant that a lot of the post war suburban development in the Burlington area did not make its way to Huntington, in this period the Town remained largely untouched with its rural way of life intact especially its tradition of Town Meeting and strong local governance.
By the mid-sixties, because of IMB driven economic growth in the area, Huntington slowly began to develop, especially in its north west corner, as a bed room community for the Burlington area, but there has never been a big development in town, newest construction was single family on larger parcels.
At the same time a second demographic shift impacted on Huntington. Because of the town scenic beauty and unspoiled landscape, the area began to attract a younger, progressive and environmentally oriented population who were eager to purchase old farmsteads, open land and populate the older and often historic homes in the villages. This group settled in, many worked out of town at skilled professional jobs in the Burlington area or settled down to create their own business in town and raise a family. Today, the community is replete with inspiring examples of the creative combination of a professional career and developing a rural lifestyle, which is exactly what Marijke and I did. Numbering about 40, the examples of successful home grown business that run the gamut from farming, market gardening, construction and timber framing to engineering, construction and environmental consulting.
We experienced change first hand because I participated in town governance, (selectboard, planning Commission, The Design Review Board and the School Board) and Marijke was the school counselor. We helped create and guide change by always working with others on Boards and at town meetings. I am still on the Design Review Board and perhaps will rejoin others in my thirst to be part of future community development. Meanwhile we are focused on insuring that the Commons is an outstanding example of land use development and community development.
We can say, with considerable confidence, that today Huntington is a well governed community with sound fiscal management on all fronts. The Town has great community supported schools nestled in a fantastically beautiful rural landscape that continues to attract a very environmentally minded, recreation and progressive population. We see many great examples of home grown creativity in town in the form of new local business and creative uses of the landscape. This happens because of the Communities’ evolving demographics that favors the environment and other progressive causes. We also have in place strong environmental regulations that are largely supported in the community.
Creating Community in Huntington has always been exciting and replete with much hard work. In the community an impressive cadre of volunteers rise to that task populating year after year our volunteer boards. This process has never been without considerable back and forth and sometimes conflict—but overall progress has been steady and inspiring.
The town has come a long way and the exciting hard work will always be needed. Again and again, Marijke and I look at what we are doing here and how that augments and compliments the greater efforts in the community and vice-a versa.