History of Brandon
Chartered in 1761, Brandon is a microcosm of Vermont and American history. What started as a small community, called Neshobe, blessed with fertile soil, and abundant water power developed into a thriving commercial center of manufacturing and agriculture. The railroads arrival in the 1840’s connected Vermont made products to the rest of the country and the world. As the community flourished it developed a unique Village Plan, with wide streets radiating out from several greens, anchored with the historic Congregational and Baptist Churches. The Baptist Church in particular was a center for the activities of the Anti-slavery movement in Vermont.
As evidenced elsewhere in Vermont and America, those industries which fueled Brandon’s growth and development began to decline. They were replaced by a growing awareness of the arts and tourism and of course the Vermont Brand – images of clean air and water, local foods and of course maple syrup. So today, Brandon is a diverse and vibrant community anchored around a lively downtown of interesting shops and restaurants and other necessary services and Forest Dale, an historic village; home of the community elementary school, two major woodworking businesses and the historic Forest Dale Iron Works – which fueled Brandon’s early growth.