Community Spotlight: Enosburg, VT
A spectacular view of Jay Peak is just one of many features that Enosburg, and the village of Enosburg Falls, have to offer. A small, yet vibrant community, located in northern Vermont on the Missisquoi River, Enosburg Falls is thriving once again after a fire engulfed an entire block on Main Street, displacing businesses and residences just two years ago. Housing Vermont, a non-profit development organization, purchased one of the downtown buildings and transformed it into a mixed use development, which has enabled businesses to move back to Main Street. The building also has affordable housing units on the second floor, as well as a parking garage in the basement.
The fire and subsequent revitalization effort spurred discussions of how and where the community will grow. As a result, the town, in agreement with Enosburg Falls, has put in place a growth cap to encourage compact development in and around the village center. The cap limits new home construction to fifteen units per year outside of the village, not including replacement dwellings. The Town also adopted an exemption to the growth cap for planned residential developments (PRDs) that are built central to downtown, adding a bonus density clause to projects that include affordable housing.
One of the downtown’s prominent features is Lincoln Park, which hosts a summer concert series and a farmer’s market on Wednesdays and Saturdays. One thing Enosburg is missing is a hotel, however, the owner of America’s Mattress is working to change that by refurbishing his downtown building to include Enosburg Inn and Suites. After all, tourists will need a place to rest after taking a walk or bike ride on the Missisquoi Valley River Trail, which extends 26 miles from St. Albans, north to Richford.
Enosburg is also a lively arts community, which is evident when you visit Artists in Residence, a newly founded artists co-operative, that provides a space for local artists to feature their spectacular work. Historically, Enosburg was also home to Charles Hardin Andrus, a stage curtain designer whose works are showcased in theaters across Vermont. The Enosburg Opera House is a perfect example of a historic public meeting space that was also used as a stage for traveling theater productions in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The tradition is still present today, as common events include music and theatrical performances, as well as local town meetings.
Finally, you can’t talk about Enosburg without mentioning the annual Vermont Dairy Festival which takes place in June and offers four days of rides, dairy baking and kids milking contests.
So, while you’re looking for Vermont towns to visit, consider Enosburg, get acquainted with the local businesses, and see what makes this community special.