Welcome to Tunbridge, Vermont

The town of Tunbridge was created on September 3, 1761 by way of a royal charter which King George III of England issued to Governor Benning Wentworth of New Hampshire.

The name Tunbridge was chosen by Wentworth and most likely in honor of (or to gain favor with), the English noble William Henry Nassau de Zuylestein (1717-1781), fourth Earl of Rochford, Viscount Tunbridge, Baron Enfield and Colchester. De Zuylstein’s secondary title is derived from the old “royal borough” of Tunbridge Wells (sometimes Royal Tunbridge Wells) in England.

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Just before dawn on October 16, 1780 the town line of Tunbridge and Royalton was witness to the last major raid of the Revolutionary War in New England. In the “Royalton Raid” three hundred Indians led by British soldiers headed down from Canada along the First Branch of the White River. Part of a series of raids designed to terrorize frontier settlements, the result was the destruction of dozens of homes, and crops and livestock necessary to survive the coming winter. Although women and girls were not harmed, 28 men and boys were taken captive and marched to Canada to be imprisoned. In the years that followed, many of the captives made their way back to their families, but some never returned. One resident, Peter Button, was killed in Tunbridge near the Royalton town line along what is Rte. 110 today. A historic marker has been erected there.

The first Tunbridge proprietors’ meeting of which there is any record was held at the house of John Hutchinson on May 28th 1783. The minutes of this meeting show that others were previously held, but no records of them are to be found. Elias Curtis was the first proprietors’ clerk.

Historic Sites

The entire center of Tunbridge Village, including the fairgrounds was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994. Officially the district listing is “Roughly, along VT 110 and adjacent rds. including Town Rd. 45 and Spring and Strafford Rds.”

Tunbridge has five covered bridges (all listed on the National Register)

  • Cilley Bridge — South West of Tunbridge Village (off Howe Lane from VT 110)
  • Flint Bridge — North Tunbridge on Bicknell Hill Road (off VT 110)
  • Larkin Bridge – North Tunbridge on Larkin Road (off VT 110)
  • Howe Bridge — South of Tunbridge Village (entering on VT 110) at Belknap Road
  • (or Hayward & Noble or Spring Rd.) Bridge —In the Village, West side of VT 110 on Spring Road

Tunbridge also has two other structures are individually listed on the National Register:

  • Hayward & Kibby (or Hayward & Noble) Mill — On Spring Road in Tunbridge Village
  • South Tunbridge Methodist Episcopal Church

Tunbridge World’s Fair

The historical antecedent of the Tunbridge World’s Fair can be traced to the town’s charter which therein authorized the establishment of two annual fairs when the population of the town reached 50 families.

It wasn’t until 1867 that, after a succession of fairs in Orange County starting in 1847, the Tunbridge Agricultural Society was organized and staged a fair at the Elisha Lougee Farm in North Tunbridge. At the 1867 fair Vermont’s former Lieutenant-Governor Burnham Martin referred to the fair as a “little World’s Fair”. Lewis Dickerman adopted the phrase and used it in the 1868 publicity handbills and the Tunbridge fair has used the name ever since.

In 1875, the Union Agricultural Society assumed the sponsorship of the fair and moved its location to the present fairgrounds in the center of Tunbridge.

In 1894 the fair joined the National Trotting Association and for many years has maintained the only remaining grass race track in Vermont.

The annual fair continues to this day with demonstrations of farming and agricultural traditions and culture, working antique displays, horse and ox pulling, horse racing, cattle and horse shows, junior exhibits, floral and 4-H exhibits, contra dancing, gymkhana, and many free shows.

source: wikipedia

Notice to Tunbridge Voters:

Informational Meeting and Special Town Meeting Regarding Emergency Services

The Tunbridge Selectboard and the Emergency Services Committee will hold the final informational meeting prior to a special town meeting to determine Tunbridge's participation in the proposed Tunbridge, Royalton, and Sharon ambulance service. The meeting will be held on July 29th in the Town Hall at 7:00pm. There will be a presentation on our current ambulance services, the proposed three-town collaboration, and an opportunity to ask questions of and provide feedback to the selectboard, the Emergency Services Committee, a representative from Two Rivers Ottauquechee Regional Commission, the attorney who drafted the proposed three town contract, and a representative from both the Sharon and Royalton selectboards.

There will be a Special Town Meeting at the Tunbridge Central School on August 26th at 7:00pm. This meeting will have one article: to authorize the selectboard to enter into a contract to form a three-town ambulance service. If the article passes Tunbridge will move forward in its collaboration with Sharon and Royalton to realize the joint service. If the article fails, Tunbridge will continue to purchase emergency services from South Royalton Rescue and First Branch Ambulance.

Over the past year there have been several informational meetings about this issue in Tunbridge and in Royalton. The board has requested input and feedback via these meetings and solicitations in the Tunbridge Quarterly. Now is the time to join with us in reviewing the proposal and preparing to vote on this important issue. We look forward to seeing you.

If you are unable to attend the informational meeting, please join the selectboard at one of its regularly meetings (every Monday night at 6:00pm) between now and August 26th. If you are unable to attend and have specific questions you would like posed at the informational meeting, please pass those questions on to the board's administrative assistant, Wendy McCullough. Notes from the meeting, the draft proposal, and a copy of the PowerPoint presentation will be made available on the town website.

-The Tunbridge Selectboard

The information above can be found at the following website for easy reference: http://www.tunbridgevt.com/?p=1904