Troy was chartered Oct. 28, 1801 as a town called Missisquoi, named after the river that runs through it from south to north in a valley between mountain ridges and then west across southern Quebec and northern Vermont to Lake Champlain.
The town, which borders Canada to the north, is bounded by Newport to the east, Lowell to the south and Westfield and Jay to the west .
Troy’s land area had originally been granted in October 1792 as two separate parcels – each containing just over 11,000 acres. The town's name was changed to Troy on Oct. 26, 1803 because no significant settlement had occurred. The following year the town’s first grist mill was built.
The town contains two villages, the unincorporated village of Troy and the incorporated village of North Troy. The first post office was established in 1823 in the village of South Troy, which came to be known as Troy. A second post office opened in 1828 at North Troy. Between 1820 and 1830 the town’s population more than doubled, from 227 to 608.
At that time, the roads into the Missisquoi Valley were in rough shape and “ill wrought and in the worst locations and over almost impassible mountains,” according to the Vermont Historical Gazetteer, published in the 1870s. The most traveled route, the Gazetteer said, was the old Bayley Hazen Military Road, which “has of later years been pretty much deserted by man and surrendered to the beasts of the forest.”
The mountains to the east of the Missisquoi Valley contained significant veins of magnetic iron ore, and the site of a large stone blast furnace, a remnant of Troy’s 19th century iron industry, can still be found along the Missisquoi River. The town once produced over 400 tons of cast iron annually, but the business passed through several owners and was abandoned because it was not profitable. The production of iron lasted just over a decade, from 1834 to 1846. Some of the iron markers set along the Canadian border were cast in Troy.
The extension of the Connecticut and Passumpsic Railroad in 1864 to Newport at the head of Lake Memphremagog provided Troy’s farmers with access to new markets. Lumber and farm products, such as butter, could be carried to Newport, a distance of about 10 miles, and put on trains for next-day transport to places as far away as Massachusetts.
Throughout its length, the Missisquoi River is a recreation destination, and Big Falls in Troy is a dramatic attraction and a favorite picnic spot. The falls has a drop of 40 feet as it cascades into a deep gorge with the highest cliff rising some 80 feet above the river. Big Falls is managed as a state natural area by the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation. It is south of North Troy Village off River Road.