Essex Junction, Vermont is a small village within the Town of Essex in Chittenden County. The village got its name in the mid 1800s when the surrounding area was experiencing rapid economic and population growth. Six of the new railroads built to support the booming industry around Burlington, Winooski and Essex were making junction ties in Essex, thus to anyone and everyone familiar with the railroad industry, the area became known as Essex Junction. The name would not become official until 1892 when the General Assembly of the State of Vermont approved the incorporation of the Village of Essex Junction.
The Village of Essex Junction, now home to about 8,700 residents, was formed in order to provide services, such as sidewalks, running water, and sewers, to the villagers. These services had not previously been available, because most of the town citizens, who lived in the rural areas of Essex, where not interested in paying for those types of services. Essex Village briefly merged once again with the Town of Essex in 2006, but for most of the past 116 years has been an independent village. Today, Essex Junction maintains its own fire department, parks department, and municipal services, library and K-8 school district, but shares a unified police department, and High School with the Town of Essex.
Amtrak still provides daily service to Essex Junction which continues to serve as a focal point for rail travel in the Burlington and Essex areas. Many Essex Junction residents perform railroad related work, but even more are employed at the IBM semiconductor plant in town, which is responsible not only for some of the economic growth in Essex Junction but also for the surrounding areas in Winooski, Burlington and Williston. Champlain Valley Exposition, which hosts various annual events across Vermont including the state’s largest county fair, maintains its headquarters in Essex Junction.
Essex Junction is surrounded by the mostly rural Town of Essex which offers parks, lakes, rivers and plenty of unblemished countryside. The village center, bustling with local boutiques, national retail chains, six shopping centers and a variety of diverse restaurants serves as a great source of entertainment for Essex residents. While the rural Town of Essex offers beautiful homes and large farm properties, Essex Junction has plenty of new condominiums, apartments and row houses in the village center for people looking to live a little closer to the excitement.