Barre is a city in Washington County, Vermont, in the United States. . Barre City is almost completely surrounded by Barre (town), Vermont, which is incorporated separately from the City of Barre.
Central Vermont’s largest municipality, Barre City is the Granite Center of the World. Stone workers from all over Europe created a patchwork of cultures which helped Barre to grow to the diverse municipality it is today.
Barre City is home for several of Central Vermont’s finest attractions including the Barre Opera House, Hope Cemetery, the Socialist Labor Party Hall, Studio Place Arts, Vermont History Center, Vermont Granite Museum. In addition, there are several annual weekend festivals including the Green Mountain Motorhead Classic Car Spring Fling in early June, Homecoming weekend in July, the Northeast Fiddler’s Association Contest and Festival in September, and Scary Barre: A Harvest Festival in October. And don’t miss the Wednesday Summertime Farmers’ Market and Wednesday Summertime Evening Concert Series.
Barre is often twinned with nearby Montpelier in local media and businesses. The two cities are connected by Route 302 and Interstate 89. Barre is the main city in the Barre Micropolitan area which, at 59,564 residents, is the 3rd largest in Vermont (after Burlington and Rutland). Barre itself is the largest city in Washington County, and is the 4th largest city and the 10th largest municipality in Vermont.
Sample of the Barre Granite from the E. L. Smith Quarry of the Rock of Ages Stone Company, Graniteville, VermontBarre is the self-proclaimed “Granite Center of the World.” Initially established with the discovery of vast granite deposits at Millstone Hill soon after the War of 1812, the granite industry and the City itself saw a boom with the arrival of the railroad. The fame of this vast deposit of granite, which some geologist say is 4 miles (6.4 km) long, 2 miles (3.2 km) wide and 10 miles (16 km) deep, soon spread to Europe and Canada. Large numbers of people migrated to Barre from Italy, Scotland, Spain, Scandinavia, Greece, Lebanon, Canada and a number of other countries. The population increased from 2,060 in 1880, to 6,790 in 1890, to 10,000 in 1894. By the turn of the century Barre was noted as the State’s most diverse municipality.
The Italian immigrants in particular brought a radical, largely anarchist labor movement to Barre. They were originally affiliated with the Socialist Labor Party before affiliating with the Industrial Workers of the World, and in 1916 elected a Socialist Party candidate as mayor of Barre. The old Labor Hall of the radicals is still standing, and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
“Barre Gray” granite is sought after worldwide for its fine grain, even texture, and superior weather resistance. Many sculpture artists prefer it for outdoor sculpture.
Hope Cemetery in Barre displays extensive examples of the sculptor’s art.