Newport City and Newport, the town, are distinct, separate incorporated entities next to each other at the southern end of Lake Memphremagog on the Canadian border.
Newport City straddles the bay that forms the lake’s inlet. It contains the largest population of any municipality in Orleans County, yet encompasses the smallest area. It borders the towns of Coventry to the south, Newport to the west and Derby to the north and east.
The early settlers obtained much of their food from the lake and forest, particularly trout and venison. The first homes in what later became Newport City were built in 1793. It was initially called Pickerel Point and later renamed Lake Bridge for its location at the head of Lake Memphremagog.
The railroad reached Lake Bridge in 1863, and in 1868, the settlement’s name was changed to the Village of Newport, which was incorporated with its own government. At the time, it had a livery stable behind a hotel several blocks from the railway station that handled as many as 100 horses.
In 1886, the state legislature made the Village of Newport the shire town of Orleans County, and a courthouse was built. Soon, the Boston & Maine and Central Vermont railroads were routed through the village, and a population boom followed. The Goodrich Memorial Library was built in 1898 and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is the largest library in the county and one of only two that are open full-time.
In 1917, the city of Newport was formed as its own entity, encompassing the former Village of Newport and the former village of West Derby. It was organized on March 5, 1918. The city achieved some fame between 1936 and 1953 for having the largest dance floor in New England at an entertainment venue called the International Club. The city’s population reached its peak in 1950 at 5,217.
The city has a mayor-council form of government… A beautiful boardwalk along Lake Memphremagog leads to the GatewayCenter and city marina.
Three of the four major rivers in the county empty into the lake at Newport City, the Clyde, the Barton and the Black.