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What is our town like?
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A little about our town, Canaan, Vermont and our community!

The Town of Canaan is a picturesque community located on the Connecticut River in Northeastern Vermont. It is bordered by New Hampshire and Quebec, Canada, and many consider it to be the “real” Northeast Kingdom of Vermont.
Canaan is a great place to live, work and visit. During its 225 year history, Canaan has provided its inhabitants with superb water and sewer service, roads, schools, libraries, and recreational and cultural activities.
People in Canaan take pride in their independent nature and “can do” attitude.  The myriad of activities (Moose Festival, softball tournaments, Sugar on Snow Social, Chili Cook-off and Fall Festival, Art in the Park exhibit, Historical Society, parades, variety shows, dances, American Legion functions, church suppers, etc.) conducted by members of the community demonstrate that given a task they will successfully carry it out with a high degree of confidence and professionalism. We may be small, but we are mighty!

The beautiful town of Canaan is the northeasternmost town in the State of Vermont. Residents and visitors alike enjoy the unique location of Canaan as it is one of only two towns in the State of Vermont that border both another state and Canada.


In the case of Canaan, the community borders Quebec to the north and New Hampshire to the east. Canaan is also the only town in Vermont to share a land border with New Hampshire as all other communities throughout the two states are separated by the beautiful Connecticut River.


Canaan is a town that captures the true essence of Vermont. There are a proud people who live here, a tradition of community connectedness and a history of caring for one another and the lands and offerings of our town. We hope that you will explore this website to learn more about all that Canaan has to offer.

A bit of history...

Canaan lies in the extreme Northeast corner of Vermont. It borders Quebec, Canada and New Hampshire and consists of 18,700 acres of land. It was chartered by the state of Vermont to John Wheeler and forty-three associates on February 25, 1782. Early settlers included John Hugh, 1785, Samuel Beach, 1796, John Dunning, 1799, Nathan Beecher, 1802, and Samuel Weeks, 1804.

During the 1800’s, people began migrating to Canaan as it was strategically located on the border with Canada and New Hampshire. The boundary line between Vermont and New Hampshire was not finally established until 1934 and between Vermont and Canada until 1925. Until the lines were firmly drawn, a number of border skirmishes took place.

In 1880 Canaan’s population was 637. These early settlers lived difficult lives as articles not obtained from the wilderness, soil or lakes and rivers had to be transported from seaports great distances away. Many of these individuals lived “off the land” on family farms and relied on each other for moral support, social interactions and economic assistance.

Although Native Americans never settled in the area, they used it for hunting, fishing and travel. Early settlers had to be on guard at all times as many of them were not friendly. As natural resources were plentiful many settlers relied on farming and logging to earn a living.

During the 1900’s many people immigrated to Canaan from Quebec, Canada. Today there are a number of French Canadian families living in the area and French is spoken at many social gatherings. This “French connection” enhances the cultural diversity of Canaan and benefits the local economy by promoting trade and commerce with Quebec, our neighbor to the North.

The town of Canaan consists of many subdivisions such as Beecher Falls, two miles North of the village; Wallace Pond (also knows as Lake Wallis), five miles West; South Canaan, four miles Southeast; and Canaan Hill, five miles South. These communities were settled in the late 1800’s, had their own schools and post offices, which no longer exist, and contributed greatly to the growth and economy of the town.

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