Latitude / Longitude:
43° 0′ 1 N, 73° 4′ 58 W
Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
Glastenbury is a town in Bennington County, Vermont, United States. The town was unincorporated by an act of the state legislature in 1937, and is now essentially a ghost town. The population was eight at the 2010 census. Along with Somerset, Glastenbury is one of two Vermont towns where the population levels have dropped so low that the town is unincorporated. The town has no local government and the town’s affairs are handled by a state-appointed supervisor.
Despite the many hardships that greeted Glastenbury settlers, newcomers continued to arrive in small numbers, and the population grew slowly to 76 in 1810. But the years following 1810 were hard ones for all of Vermont, and by 1840 there were only 53 left in Glastenbury. After the Civil War, Glastenbury finally began to experience more rapid growth. Business interests in nearby Bennington were eager to take advantage of the vast timber resources there, and by 1872 had finally begun construction on a railroad (trolley) which ran up the mountain. The line ran along Bolles Brook and terminated at the place where the brook forked. It was an improbable achievement, with some parts of the line climbing as much as 250 feet (76 m) in altitude per mile. Remains of the old trolley tracks can still be seen today.
Glastenbury was first chartered in 1761 by New Hampshire Governor Benning Wentworth, but settlers did not begin trickling into this rocky, forbidding mountainous area for some years after. At the time of Vermont’s first census as a new state in 1791, only six families inhabited it. These first settlers found life on Glastenbury Mountain difficult, as would residents ever after, and by 1800 they had been replaced by eight entirely different families. Of these eight, only three would stay on until the next census ten years later, and only one of these would remain in later decades.