Newfane Village

Windham County, Vermont

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The Town and Village of Newfane are separately incorporated municipalities for tax and improvement purposes. Village matters are handled through the Town offices. (See Town of Newfane) Village residents are also Town residents, taxpayers and voters. Town residents living outside Newfane Village do not pay Village taxes, and cannot vote on Village matters. [Town of Newfane, VT, Newfane Town Plan, 2006,, accessed September 2014.]

Newfane as described in 1937 [1]

Newfane was originally chartered as Fane, for Thomas Fane, according to tradition, who was a follower of Sir Thomas Wyatt in 1554 in the movement to place Lady Jane Grey on the British throne in place of Queen Mary. The village proper was first called Park's Flats for pioneer Jonathan Park, and Fayetteville, in honor of Lafayette. Situated on a level valley floor banked by soft-sloping terraces, its handsome greens distinguished by town hall, church, courthouse and old inns, Newfane stands with Woodstock as one of the most charming villages in Vermont. Newfane remains the shire town of Windham County in spite of the greater size and affluence of Brattleboro and Bellows Falls. This is a rare instance in the State in which the county seat is retained in a small village instead of being transferred to a larger center. It is also a gratifying instance for the Newfane setting is a lovely one.

Among the early settlers was lawyer Martin Field, graduate of Williams College, and having an M.A. degree from Dartmouth, who came to Newfane in 1800. One of his grandsons was Eugene Field, the poet, who spent many boyhood summers here, and based several of his poems on recollections of sunny young days in Newfane.

The broad, open Commons, outlined in elms, has a memorial honoring the first settler who gave the land that is now the village nucleus. Park, with Stedman and Dyer, came here in 1776 to begin the original settlement of Newfane Hill. Lieutenant Park led a detachment of Newfane volunteers to fight in the Battle of Bennington. The smooth square now forms a pleasant plaza for various summer inns.

  1. Works Progress Administration, Federal Writers' Project, Vermont: A Guide to the Green Mountain State, American Guide Series, Vermont State Planning Board, 1937.

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