Bethel

If you’ve ever visited the Smithsonian or Union Station in Washington, D.C. you’ve seen a piece of Bethel. The prized Bethel White Granite is quarried on Christian Hill and is used in renowned buildings and sculptures around the world. The quarry is one part of Bethel’s rich history as an industrial center in the White River Valley, but this is hardly a town stuck in the past. Today Bethel is home to a surprising diversity of established businesses and innovative start-ups. From lumber and construction companies to woodstove manufacturers, artisan pottery and wood carving studios to an organic feed company, entrepreneurs are drawn to this small town. Bethel’s historic Main Street stays busy with a range of shops and services that support them: banks, restaurants, food and hardware suppliers, and professionals. Businesses and residents are spread out over the mountains, tucked away in distinct communities: Bethel Village, Bethel Gilead, East Bethel, Lilliesville, Lympus and West Bethel. Bethel’s entrepreneurial spirit carries over to the community groups working hard to bridge those geographical divides. Residents are coming together around a resurgence in events like the annual Community Forward Festival and historical society programs, the newly-renovated Town Hall and an innovative citizens’ emergency preparedness program.
Claim to Fame: 
Home of Bethel White, the whitest granite in the world
Quick Facts
Population: 
2030
Size: 
45.50 square miles
Year Established: 
1779
Attractions: 
Catching some tunes at the Summer Concert Series at the Bandshell. Bring a picnic dinner and listen in to local and regional bands in this popular summer event, created by the Bethel Council on the Arts. Photo: © Rebecca Sanborn Stone

Catching some tunes at the Summer Concert Series at the Bandshell. Bring a picnic dinner and listen in to local and regional bands in this popular summer event, created by the Bethel Council on the Arts. Photo: © Rebecca Sanborn Stone

Spending a relaxing afternoon at Peavine Park, along the White River. Bring a picnic, snooze in the shade of the gazebo, and take a paddle from the boat launch.

Spending a relaxing afternoon at Peavine Park, along the White River. Bring a picnic, snooze in the shade of the gazebo, and take a paddle from the boat launch.

Celebrating at the annual Bethel Community Forward Festival in September. Make a float for the parade, sample the BBQ and get your groove on at the evening street dance. Photo: © Rebecca Sanborn Stone

Celebrating at the annual Bethel Community Forward Festival in September. Make a float for the parade, sample the BBQ and get your groove on at the evening street dance. Photo: © Rebecca Sanborn Stone

Viewing the historic Bethel Mills Hydro Plant at the Church Street Bridge. Don’t forget to look up: if you’re lucky, you’ll spot a bald eagle circling high above. Photo: © David Aiken

Viewing the historic Bethel Mills Hydro Plant at the Church Street Bridge. Don’t forget to look up: if you’re lucky, you’ll spot a bald eagle circling high above. Photo: © David Aiken

Visiting a quintessential Vermont Town Hall. Designed by Vermont architect George Guernsey, Bethel’s 1892 Town Hall was recently renovated. It now houses the Bethel Historical Society Museum and includes a restored painted curtain. Photo: © David Aiken

Visiting a quintessential Vermont Town Hall. Designed by Vermont architect George Guernsey, Bethel’s 1892 Town Hall was recently renovated. It now houses the Bethel Historical Society Museum and includes a restored painted curtain. Photo: © David Aiken

Town Website: 
www.bethelvt.govoffice3.com/‎
Planning Docs: 
http://www.trorc.org/towns/town-of-bethel/
Demographic Info: 
http://www.trorc.org/towns/town-of-bethel/