Winooski, Vermont
The Winooski Block (1867) in downtown Winooski
The Winooski Block (1867) in downtown Winooski
Official seal of Winooski, Vermont
Onion City
Location in Chittenden County and the state of Vermont.
Location in Chittenden County and the state of Vermont.
Winooski, Vermont is located in the United States
Winooski, Vermont
Winooski, Vermont
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 44°29′42″N 73°10′57″W / 44.49500°N 73.18250°W / 44.49500; -73.18250Coordinates: 44°29′42″N 73°10′57″W / 44.49500°N 73.18250°W / 44.49500; -73.18250
CountryUnited States
 • MayorKristine Lott (I)
 • Deputy MayorHal Colston (D)
 • ManagerJessie Baker (I)
 • Total1.51 sq mi (3.92 km2)
 • Land1.43 sq mi (3.71 km2)
 • Water0.08 sq mi (0.21 km2)
177 ft (54 m)
 • Total7,997
 • Density5,592.31/sq mi (2,155.52/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)802
FIPS code50-85150[2]
GNIS feature ID1460302[3]
WebsiteWinooski, VT Official City Website

Winooski /wɪˈnski/ is a city in Chittenden County, Vermont, United States. Located on the Winooski River, as of the 2020 U.S. Census the municipal population was 7,997.[4] The city is the most densely populated municipality in northern New England, an area comprising the states of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. It is the smallest in area of Vermont's nine incorporated cities. As part of the Burlington, Vermont metropolitan area, it is bordered by Burlington, Colchester and South Burlington.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.5 square miles (3.9 km2), of which 1.4 square miles (3.7 km2) is land and 0.1 square mile (0.2 km2) (5.30%) is water.


As early as 750 CE, the Abenaki tribe lived along the shores of a cascading waterfall in a fertile river valley they called "winoskitegw," meaning “land of the wild onion.”[5][6] Winooski's southern border is formed by the Winooski River, which is alternatively known as the Onion River.[5]



Five thousand years ago a single family of paleolithic Native Americans came to what is now the city. The prehistoric campground for this transient group is one of Vermont's significant archaeological sites. Other native people came to Winooski in the years that followed.[7]


Situated on a main road, Winooski most likely started as a rest stop for travelers. With a set of waterfalls to assist the growth of industry, however, it soon also became a center for wool processing.[7]

In the early 1770s Ira Allen constructed a blockhouse on the Winooski (then "Onion") River which served both as a fort and as general store and office for the land-speculating Onion River Company. Fort Frederick was never used for defense, but its presence increased the value of Onion River property and promoted settlement.[7]


Further information: Winooski Falls Mill District

After the Revolutionary War, Ira Allen built a dam across the river with a sawmill at each end.[7]

In the late 1830s the Burlington Mill Company used the river's power for the manufacture of yarns and cloth.[8]

In 1846, James and Lucinda Stone from Winooski settled in Sheboygan County in the Wisconsin Territory and named their new settlement Winooski, Wisconsin.

Modern times

Textile mill in Winooski, 1937
Textile mill in Winooski, 1937

The American Woolen Company purchased the failing Burlington Mills in 1901 restoring a measure of economic growth to the area.[9] This success eventually led Winooski to incorporate as a city in 1922, breaking away from the town of Colchester.

The mills closed in 1954, resulting in two decades of economic problems for the city.[7] In the 1980s, two old mills were converted into commercial, office, and apartment space, helping to revitalize the area.[7]

In 1979, the city researched the construction of a dome over the entire city of Winooski, to reduce heating costs during the winter. The proposed dome would have been 200 feet (61 m) at the center, and internal combustion engines would have been banned.[10] Though the dome was never built, to this day the city's planner defends the concept, insisting "Economically, it's a slam dunk," and adding "You could have had year-round fly-fishing."[11]

In 2008, the city dismissed their city manager of 11 months, while he was still an at-will employee. His contract had been scheduled for three years.[12]


The mayor of the city is Kristine Lott, who is the first elected female mayor in Winooski's history.[13] Jesse Baker was hired as city manager in 2017, replacing Katherine "Deac" Deccareau.

Position[14] Name Party First elected
Mayor Kristine Lott Independent 2019
Deputy Mayor Hal Colston Democratic 2019
Councillor James Duncan Democratic 2019
Amy Lafayette Progressive 2019
Hal Colston Democratic 2018
Michael Myers Independent 2019
Manager Jesse Baker Independent 2017 (appointed)


Historical population
Census Pop.
U.S. Decennial Census[15]

As of the 2010 U.S. Census,[2] there were 7,267 people and 3,252 households residing in the city. The population density was 5,191 people per square mile (1,964.1/km2). There were 3,393 housing units at an average density of 2,107.5 per square mile (814.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 82.5% white (81.5% non-Hispanic white alone), 6.9% African American, 0.3% Native American, 6.2% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.53% from other races, and 3.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.2% of the population. 36% of the population are of French and French Canadian ancestry, 13% Irish, 8% English, and 5% Italian or German.[16]

There were 3,252 households, of which 24.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.4% were couples living together and joined in either marriage or civil union, 11.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 50.2% were non-families. 36.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.21 and the average family size was 2.98. 14.4% of the city's total population was born outside of the United States.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 21.5% under the age of 18, 12.3% from 18 to 24, 34.8% from 25 to 44, 17.8% from 45 to 64, and 13.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.4 males.

Mill and falls in Winooski
Mill and falls in Winooski


Personal income

The median income for a household in the city was $30,592, and the median income for a family was $38,551. Males had a median income of $30,257 versus $21,168 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,208. About 10.2% of families and 15.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.8% of those under age 18 and 13.1% of those age 65 or over.

Methodist Episcopal Church of Winooski
St. Francis Xavier Church on St. Peter Street
St. Francis Xavier Church on St. Peter Street


Bus service is provided by Green Mountain Transit.

The city is served by Interstate 89, and US Routes 2, & 7.

Notable people


  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on January 16, 2020. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2020-05-20. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  3. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Archived from the original on 2012-02-26. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  4. ^ Bureau, U.S. Census. "Census - Geography Profile - Winooski city, Vermont".[dead link]
  5. ^ a b Kelley, Kevin J. "What's in a Name? The Origins of the "Winooski" River". Archived from the original on 2015-09-10. Retrieved 2015-07-30.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-02-14. Retrieved 2016-02-08.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ a b c d e f "Welcome to the Onion City's website". Welcome to the Onion City's website. Archived from the original on 2005-08-26. Retrieved 2005-08-16.
  8. ^ "About Winooski". Archived from the original on 2008-05-09. Retrieved 2008-05-30.
  9. ^ "A VISIT TO BURLINGTON, VERMONT – Burlington is a perfect destination!". Archived from the original on 2011-07-25. Retrieved 2008-05-31.
  10. ^ A Dome for Winooski? - TIME Magazine Archived 2009-09-06 at the Wayback Machine retrieved June 15, 2008
  11. ^ "Doomed Dome: The Future That Never Was - h+ Media". h+ Media. 2009-09-30. Archived from the original on 2011-03-13. Retrieved 2009-11-08.
  12. ^ Sutkoski, Matt (September 24, 2008). Winooski manager's future cloudy. Burlington Free Press.
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2019-03-06. Retrieved 2019-03-12.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2019-07-05. Retrieved 2019-07-05.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
  16. ^ Winooski - Winooski - Ancestry & family history Archived 2014-04-13 at the Wayback Machine. ePodunk. Retrieved on 2014-04-12.