Nestled in Vermont’s Green Mountains, Rutland rests in a wide valley between two mountain ranges, in a natural north-south passage. To the east three large peaks in the Green Mountain range- Killington, Pico and Shrewsbury flank Rutland. To the west of Rutland are the Taconics.
Take advantage of our nearby mountains and lakes and join the thousands or tourists who visit our region to ski, hike, swim and enjoy the autumn foliage.
As Vermont’s second largest city, rich in natural beauty, melded with a healthy economy and a wonderful history, Rutland is hailed as an ecletic mix of the old and new. We are enjoying great popularity among shoppers, diners and others who have discovered Downtown Rutland.
The city began as a small hamlet called Mill Village on Otter Creek in the town of Rutland in the early part of the Nineteenth century. In the early 1800s, small high-quality marble deposits were discovered in Rutland, and in the 1830s a large deposit of nearly solid marble of high quality was found in what is now West Rutland. By the 1840s small firms had begun operations, but marble quarries only became profitable when the railroad came to Rutland in 1851. The famous quarries of Carrara in Tuscany, Italy became largely unworkable because of their extreme depth at the same time; Rutland quickly became one of the leading producers of marble in the world
This fueled enough growth and investment that in 1886 the marble companies saw to it that the center of town was incorporated as Rutland village, and most of the town was split off as West Rutland and Proctor, which contained the bulk of the marble quarries. Rutland City was incorporated as Vermont’s third city on November 18, 1892. The new city’s first mayor was John A. Mead, who served only one term in 1893.
In 1894, the nation’s first polio outbreak was identified in the Rutland area. 132 people from the Rutland area were affected. Seven died. 110 others suffered some paralysis for life. 55 were from the city itself.
In 1903 it was a Rutland City ordinance restricting the carrying of firearms that lead to the Vermont Supreme Court’s decision in State v. Rosenthal, thereby establishing protection for the carrying of firearms without permit or license, what has become known as “Vermont Carry.” Nonetheless, Rutland had a similar ordinance in place as late as 1998 at which point it was challenged and eventually removed, and there have been reports from residents of police harassment over openly carrying firearms as recently as June of 2008.
The closing of the marble quarries in the area in the 1980’s and 1990’s cost the area jobs.
The Summer Concert Series once featured the punk rock and metal music festival Punk In The Park. This was discontinued after five years by the city because of alleged unruly behavior by attendees in the Main Street Park, though no official reports of any sort were ever filed.