As of the 2020 Census, the population of the village was 2,328. The population of the surrounding town is 6,701 (including the village).
The scenic Missisquoi River meanders through Swanton and over the Village Dam before flowing gently into Lake Champlain via the Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge. The river and lake are important segments of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail that stretches from northcentral New York to the far reaches of northern Maine. For additional outdoor activites check out the Swanton Recreation Path that connects to miles of rail trail to explore.
The earliest inhabitants of this region dating back about 10,000 years were the Abenaki whose tribal headquarters and museum are located in Swanton. The town was chartered on August 17, 1763 by New Hampshire Governor Benning Wentworth when this territory was claimed as part of that state. The first permanent European settlers arrived in the late 1700s. From the beginning, it has been a center for transportation; first by water as sloops, then, barges built in Swanton carried timber, and later, the railroads. Even today, New England Central freight trains can be seen on the tracks that run on the east side of town.
The Town of Swanton is a separate governmental entity from the Village of Swanton which was chartered within the Town in 1888. The Village has a fire department and a police department. It also operates an electric department and provides water and sewer services to the Village as well as part of the Town.
The Village of Swanton is the town’s economic center with a beautiful town green that is also home to a pair of “royal” swans, a gift from the Queen of England back in 1961. This bestowal was the brainstorm of a Montreal public relations man with a camp in Swanton, who wanted to do something to celebrate the town’s 1963 bicentennial. He arranged for a pair of swans to be sent from a naturalist trust in Norfolk, England with the Queen’s blessing, to Swanton, where they spent summers on the green and winters in a resident’s yard. While today’s swans aren’t the original (or even descended from them), Swanton still calls them the Royal Swans.
The Town of Swanton is one of the most attractive communities in Vermont. It is located in the northwestern corner of the state bordering Lake Champlain on its west and Québec Province in Canada on its north. Interstate 89, Vermont Route 78, and U.S. Route 7 are the major transportation routes through the town. These routes meet in the village center to form a foundation for the town’s vibrant commercial hub, which is made up of a mixture of family-owned businesses, national stores, and a variety of residential housing types, as well as the municipal offices, village police & fire departments, and the Swanton Elementary School. Numerous industries surround the Village Center and the outlying areas of town are residential and agricultural in nature.