In some ways, Barre is one town, while in others it’s two towns. Or city. Or town. I’ll explain.
Barre City is the “downtown” part of Barre. Barre Town is sort of the outer ring around Barre City. It’s a little like two concentric circles. Barre City and Barre Town have their own municipal offices and property taxes. There’s Barre City Elementary and Middle School, and there’s Barre Town Middle and Elementary School. Both of those schools feed into one high school, Spaulding High School (which is in Barre City).
Sometimes people talk about Barre City or Barre Town. A lot of the time, people just refer to them combined as Barre.
To make things even more fun, Barre Town consists of Barre Town, Graniteville, Websterville, East Barre, and South Barre. So, there you go.
The granite industry was and is a big part of Barre. There are several granite sheds in Barre where people carve granite into statuary, monuments (including monuments and memorials throughout Vermont, out of state, and even in Washington, D.C.), and headstones. Barre granite is also used in construction, and even shipped out of state for large construction projects such as seawalls and piers. It’s not surprising to see a train of cars with nothing but Barre Granite on it.
Granite is still an important part of the economy, although it’s not the driving force that it once was.
State of Vermont
Barre City Public Schools
Barre Town Public Schools
Central Vermont Medical Center (really it’s Berlin, but it’s so close!)
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont (again, technically it’s Berlin)
Rock of Ages
The Barre Area Development Corporation is a great resource and has lots of information about Barre, including information on starting or growing a business in Barre. Here’s a link to that helpful website.
Ongoing Events and Fun Things
Barre Heritage Days (July)
Downtown and Neighborhood Trick or Treating (October)
Farmers Market (June - August, Pearl Street walkway)
Things to See and Do
Hope Cemetery–The monuments here range from traditional to very customized (a huge soccer ball? A car?). Barre granite reigns supreme in this beautiful cemetery.
Barre Granite Museum–Learn about the past, present, and future of the granite industry in Barre.
Rock of Ages Quarry and Visitor Center–Graniteville is an actual town, albeit part of Barre Town. Rock of Ages is in, you guessed it, Graniteville.
Barre Opera House–Truly a gorgeous venue, that gets used year-round. You can see everything from local dance studio holiday performances to big-name musicians and comedians.
Thunder Road Speedbowl–When you’ve got the need for speed, Thunder Road is your cure. “Run What You Brung” is always a crowd-pleaser!
Barre City Municipal Pool–Located near the Barre City Elementary and Middle School, this pool is just what you need on a hot summer day.
Playground 2000–A clear favorite for children or those young at heart
Millstone Trails–some of the best mountain biking around, and terrain that you won’t find anywhere else
Currier Park–Right in the center of town, Currier Park hosts summer concerts and is a great place to play or have a picnic.
Vermont History Center–Calling all history buffs, the Vermont History Center has wonderful exhibits for all ages
Country Club of Barre–Come on, sometimes you just want to chase a ball around a park. Country Club of Barre is a great 18-hole course.
Cornerstone Pub & Kitchen
Ladder One Grill
Morse Block Deli
Two Loco Guys
Si Aku Ramen Company
Rickie’s Indian Restaurant
Cornerstone Pub & Kitchen
Ladder One Grill
How far is Barre from…
Barre has two exits onto Interstate 89, one that it shares with Berlin, and the other in South Barre, making it convenient to get to a lot of places in the Northeast and within the state of Vermont.
- Burlington International Airport–It’s only 50 minutes to Burlington, Vermont’s Queen City. Home to the University of Vermont, great shopping, restaurants, a very popular pedestrian mall on Church Street, the Flynn Theater, Lake Champlain Waterfront, and of course, the Burlington International Airport. Once at the airport, parking is manageable, traffic is manageable, and, honestly, the airport itself does a good job moving people through to the gates. BTV offers direct flights to many airports, and, of course, you can change flights to get anywhere in the world. When we talk with people about buying real estate in Barre, especially if they’re out-of-state buyers, this proximity to the airport and the ease of getting there are huge benefits.
- Boston–Get comfy for three hours to get from Barre to Boston by car. Once you get to Boston, traffic can be an adventure. But there’s not much you can do about that. Plan on three hours. This means that you’re only three hours from Logan International Airport, with direct flights all over the place.
- Montreal–2.5 hours usually does the trick. There’s a wild card with the border crossing into Canada, and Montreal’s traffic can be a bear at times.
- NYC–The internet says it’ll take five hours to drive to New York City. Most people around here plan on it taking six. Do your own cost/benefit analysis about flying or driving.
- Montpelier–This one’s easy. 15 minutes. And it’s always 15 minutes unless you hit a little construction on Route 302 (The aptly named Barre Montpelier Road).
- Northfield (and Norwich University)--Again easy. 20 minutes, just head up the grade, get off Interstate 89 at Exit 6, and then down the grade.
- Sugarbush Resort–45 minutes and you’re at world-class skiing in the gorgeous Mad River Valley.
- Stowe Mountain Resort–Just about 50 minutes. If you’re one of those people who remembers driving all day to get to good skiing, well, your problems are solved!
Getting Around In Barre
Parking downtown is stress-free. There is plenty of parking along Main Street, and there’s also a large municipal parking lot behind the Main Street buildings, on Merchants Row. The downtown area has meters that accept coins or the Park Mobile app.
It’s good for anyone who’s thinking about buying and selling real estate in Barre to have a solid knowledge of the housing stock and the different neighborhoods within Barre.
Barrer’s housing stock is similar to many New England towns. Around the downtown (Barre City), there are older houses. Some of these dates back to the early 1800s. Many were granite worker homes over the decades, and it’s not uncommon to see older buildings that were originally designed as multifamily properties, or that have been changed to multifamily property over the years.
Some of the Barre City neighborhoods have modest housing, and some have quite grand real estate, featuring larger houses, substantial yards, and tree-lined streets. There’s something for every taste and every budget.
As you move away from the downtown and Barre City area, the housing stock changes a bit. Here you’ll find houses built in the 1950s-1960s generally. Ranch style and split-level ranches are common in some of those neighborhoods. Move a little further still, and you’ll see more houses built in the 1980s-present day. You’ll still find some of the older housing stock in all parts of the town. Barre’s over 200 years old, and some of that past is still very much the present!
Green Light Real Estate researches and publishes sales data for the Barre real estate market regularly. Here’s a link to the latest report, which includes information on sale prices, days on market, and more in both Barre City and Barre Town, as well as in other nearby towns.
There are a couple of condominium associations in Barre. Country Way is a relatively large condo association in Barre City. In Barre Town, Wildersburg Commons is the largest association, featuring free-standing as well as adjoining units.
There are also many apartments in Barre, particularly in Barre City. Most of the apartments are houses that were either built originally to be multifamily or have been converted over the years. Rents range widely depending on the size, location, and condition of the apartment, as well as what utilities are included. Vacancy rates for Barre apartments tend to be very low.
Every year, Green Light Real Estate does a rental survey. Here’s a link to the latest information on rents in Barre.