Sheffield is part of Caledonia County and bordered by Wheelock, Sutton, Glover and Greensboro. It was chartered Oct. 25, 1793 as part of the Vermont Charter.
The late date was due to the reluctance of settlers to locate within the wilds of the more northern towns after the southern portions were settled. Before settlement, the dense forests were still standing wholly unharmed by the woodman’s axe. The charter went to Stephen Kingsbury and the following winter, several families from New Hampshire settled in the southern part of town with the first settlement being made of John and Richard Jenness along with Jonathon and James Gray and their families.
The first few years, settlers had difficulty raising sufficient provisions, which were brought up from river towns on horses, much of the distance marked only by marked trees. A mountain range passes through the northern and western portions of the town, which separates the waters of the Passumpsic and Barton Rivers. Unlike most mountain ranges, this one is not characterized by cliffs, abrupt precipices, or sharply pointed peaks, but rather by gently sloping sides and rounded peaks that are heavily wooded. The town is watered by several brooks and streams, many of which converge and empty into the Passumpsic.
Despite its high elevation, the soil in Sheffield has been historically fertile and several farms still dot the landscape. Sheffield is home to several small trout ponds, including Duck Pond (named for being a favorite resort for wild ducks) and Bruce Pond (named after a man who attempted to construct a nearby saw-mill).
Today, Sheffield’s town hall and post office are on Route 122 as part of a small village and a short distance from the Miller’s Run School, PK-8. Also on Route 122, near the northern border of the town sits Holbrook State Park, one of the Northeast Kingdom’s hidden gems. An unassuming dirt access road takes hikers or snowshoers to a trail network in a small, densely wooded area that is home to Round Pond, Long Pond and Mud Pond. Sheffield stands out within Vermont as the site of a 16-turbine industrial wind energy project that began producing power in 2012. It was designed to generate an estimated 100,000 megawatt hours of electricity each year and provides $520,000 in revenue to the town annually. A portion is applied to the municipal budget to reduce local taxes, and the rest is put into a reserve fund to be invested by the town for future use.
Sheffield serves as a bedroom community and many residents commute to larger nearby towns like Lyndon or Barton. The nearest high school is Lyndon Institute, a private institution in Lyndon Corner, but students in Sheffield can be tuitioned to a school of their choice.