Living in Stowe, Vermont
Stowe is a picturesque mountain town located 38 miles east of Burlington -- Vermont's most populous city -- and 11 miles from I-89, the state's major highway. Its main village lies between Mt. Mansfield to the west and the Worcester Mountains to the east, making it a scenic home for outdoor lovers.
Dubbed the Ski Capital of the East, Stowe's economic engine is largely tourism. In winter, the attraction is alpine skiing at Stowe Mountain Resort, and in summer and fall, visitors come for the rugged mountains and gorgeous autumn foliage. Springer Miller Systems, Inntopia, Utility Risk Management and Everbank, along with Topnotch Resort, The Trapp Family Lodge, Stoweflake Resort, Stowe Mountain Lodge and Stowe Mountain Resort are the town's largest employers.
Because of its tourism base, the percentage of second homeowners is large, but Stowe's full-time community also is vibrant. The population of Stowe is about 4,886, which marks a 9.7 percent increase since the census in 2000, and the town has its own elementary, middle and high schools. The elementary school, in particular, is regarded as one of the best in the state, creating a draw for families. The median household income in Stowe is $67,138, compared with $52,104 statewide, and median home cost is $470,000. Stowe's current residential property tax rate is $1.93.
Stowe's weather is a healthy mix of divine and dismal. Recent weather data show between 45 percent and 50 percent of the year being cloudy with some precipitation. However, much of the precipitation in Stowe is winter snow, with average annual snowfall in the neighborhood of 325 inches per season. Winter temperatures range from 0 degrees to 25 degrees during January and February, and summer temperatures range from 70 degrees to 85 degrees in July and August. The months with the most precipitation are November, February, March, May and June, while the driest are August, September, December and January.
Because of its location at the foot of the state's highest peak, Stowe's weather is tricky to predict. At times the mountain blocks slow-moving fronts from the west, and in other cases weather takes longer to clear.
Like the rest of Vermont and the Northeast U.S., Stowe enjoys four distinct seasons, as well as a November "stick" season and April "mud" season, when full-time residents enjoy respite from busy tourism.
The town of Stowe was chartered in 1763, and early settlement revolved around farming, the production of potash and milling lumber. Later, a large focus became tourism: Specifically, summer tourism became popular in the early 1900s after a group of passionate skiers carved the first trails in the side of Mt. Mansfield.
During the War of 1812, when the British embargoed potash and, as a result, the price doubled and tripled, a thriving contraband trade sprung up across the Canadian border, and the valuable article of commerce was carried illegally into Canada. It is believed that Smugglers' Notch -- the name of Stowe’s own state park -- originated from this trade, which included other contraband items such as cattle and whiskey during Prohibition.