Date Published | August 11, 2006   Story on Sudbury Vermont
 
 
BY HEIDI ULRICHSEN

Mary Germond has lived in Sudbury for 50 years, but she’s never visited Science North or seen the Inco Superstack. That’s because she’s from Sudbury, Vermont, a small, rural town of about 600 people.


“It’s wonderful to raise your kids here. We have a big yard to play in, and there’s Burr Pond down the road. When my children were young, they would go swimming and boating there. We never had anything to worry about,” says the 82-year-old.
 

According to a long-time resident, voters in Sudbury, Vermont, traditionally support the Democratic Party.  Our city isn’t the only community bearing the name Sudbury. If you Google the word “Sudbury,” you’ll come up with links to three other communities besides our own.
 

Northern Life is presenting an occasional series on the places that share our name.
 

The original Sudbury is a market city home to 22,000 people in Suffolk, England. Our community was actually named after the city. The CPR commissioner’s wife came from the area, and changed our community’s name from Sainte-Anne-des-Pins to Sudbury.
 

There’s yet another Sudbury in Middlesex County, Massachusetts. About 17,000 people live in this community near Boston.

Sudbury, Vermont was founded in 1763, just before the American revolution. One of the town’s original residents, Silas Brown, moved to the settlement from Sudbury, Massachusetts, and decided to name the new community after his old hometown.
 

Crown Point Road, the oldest road in Vermont, cuts right through the community. It was built around 1750 during the French-Indian war. Most of the town’s original residents were farmers.
 

Tourists often stop by to take pictures of the Sudbury Congregationalist Church, which was built in 1807. The community’s town hall is located on the bottom floor of the church.
 

The church is rarely used as a place of worship anymore because it doesn’t have a minister. Residents raised money to restore the building a few years ago. A new steeple and bell tower were installed last summer.
 

Another point of interest in the town is a large derelict hotel called Hyde Manor. It was built in the 1850s and closed in the 1960s. The building is now abandoned.
 

Germond knows most people in the tight-knit town. The majority of Sudbury’s population attended her 80th birthday party two years ago.
 

“What a bash that was. Three bands we had – one after another. It was fun. We had it at the town hall. They celebrated my birthday in a blaze of glory,” says the widowed grandmother of eight.
 

Sudbury doesn’t have much of a business community. There’s three farms, but no post office, and not even a store to buy a jug of milk. Most residents work and shop in Brandon, a nearby community of about 5,000 people.
 

Children in Sudbury were educated in one-room schoolhouses until 1983, when construction on a modern elementary school (Sudbury Country School) was completed. Only 28 children from kindergarten to Grade 6 attended the school last term.
 

Middle school and high school-aged children are bussed into schools in Brandon.

Instead of a town council, the community has a “select board” with three elected officials. They are in charge of setting the budget and tax rates. There are only two town employees – the town clerk and a roads commissioner.
 

“I look after all the land records and the mortgage deeds. I’m in charge of the elections – the national elections, state elections and local elections. I also look after birth and death records. Then I handle everything else that there isn’t a person for,” laughs town clerk Steve Sgorbati.
 

The town’s residents are mostly Democrats. They voted overwhemingly against George W. Bush in the last election, he says.
 

Sgorbati says he’d like to visit Sudbury, Ontario some day. While he’s never been to Northern Ontario, his family has visited Montreal many times. The city is only three hours away.
 

The civil servant likes Canadians, although he thinks our driving habits leave a lot to be desired.
 

“Canadians drive fast. A lot of Canadians drive through here heading down to Cape Cod (in Massachusetts) or to Lake George (in New York). Other than their driving, they’re fine.”
 

Despite its rural nature, Sgorbati loves living in Sudbury. “I can walk to work. It doesn’t take me two hours to drive 15 miles, which it does in the city.

Editor's note: Northern Life's story on Sudbury, Vermont made the front-page of the Rutland Herald, a newspaper in Rutland, Vermont. To read the Herald's story, visit http://www.rutlandherald.com and seach 'Sudbury, Ontario.'