Poultney (population 3,633) is located on the Vermont-New York border in the Lakes Region of Rutland County. Founded in 1761, initial growth centered around a grist mill in East Poultney, while the 19th century saw the emergence of West Poultney as the center of town. Reflecting this evolution are the buildings of the East Poultney Historic District and the Poultney Village Historic District, both listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The development of the slate industry transformed Poultney in the last half of the 19th century. An agrarian community populated principally by Yankees became an industrialized town enriched by a diverse group of immigrants. Many descendants of early Welsh, Irish, Slavic, and Italian immigrants live in the area today.
Poultney’s current Town Plan places considerable emphasis on preservation of its historic resources. The Town currently is implementing a $1.8 million streetscape improvement project that will include new sidewalks, curbs, and historically appropriate streetlights, utilities, and landscaping. Preservation activities are promoted by the Poultney Development Review Board and the Poultney Downtown Revitalization Committee.
The Town has also recently completed rehabilitation of The Stonebridge, a Greek Revival structure that has served over the years as home, bank, offices, and a bed-and-breakfast. The Town took ownership of the building after a disastrous fire and, through a combination of public and private funding, has rehabilitated the structure. The Stonebridge now serves as a visitor center and provides office space for a number of community organizations, including the Poultney Downtown Revitalization Committee and the Poultney Chamber of Commerce.
Designated a Preserve America Community in October 2005.