From all that can be ascertained concerning the origin of the town, it is thought to have been chartered by Benning Wentworth about the year 1761. The original charter was lost when the capitol at Montpelier burned. Ira never received a charter. Though townspeople petitioned the Vermont government, they apparently neglected to follow up on the next critical step in the process — payment of the granting fee. After 10 years of appearing on the state Legislative agenda, the issue disappeared; the state never received any funds and Ira never got its charter.
Ira is supposed to be named after the youngest brother of Vermont's famous Allen clan, Ira. After the town organized on the 31st day of May, 1779, Ira Allen placed his name on the petition document requesting a grant for the town. At the same time, he served as Vermont's surveyor general. Besides these two points, Ira Allen had nothing else to do with the town's history, but must have gained some influence to have the new town named after him.
Ira Brook provided a good source of waterpower through the 18th and 19th centuries. Sawmills were located along the banks as was a carding mill to ready wool for knitting. Over the years, the town housed a cheese factory, potash factory and tannery. However, when the railroad bypassed Ira, the businesses departed the town.
Like other communities, Ira's present population lags behind the peak number of residents reached during the 19th century. The 1810 Census recorded 519 residents in Ira, the 2000 Census counted 470. The decrease of farming and local industry has influenced the population figures, but it is on the upswing from 1920, when there were 295 residents.
History of Ira, Vermont, Simon Lewis Peck, The Tuttle Co., Rutland, VT, 1926.
FamilySearch Historical Records Collection has Vermont birth, death, and marriage records online.
The probate district for Ira is Rutland.
Rutland Probate Court
83 Center Street
Rutland, VT 05701
The following is a list of cemeteries in present-day Ira. For location of cemeteries, see Cemeteries of Vermont, Rutland County, website at this link.
- Riverside Cemetery - inscriptions at Find A Grave site.
1. Ira Baptist Church
1846 Route 133
West Rutland, VT 05777-6303
Phone: (802) 235-2239
Town Clerk Vital and Town Records, 1732-2005, can be found on FamilySerach (browse only images) at this link.
The Family History Library has microfilm of original records from the Ira Town Clerks Office. These include Town records, 1753-1908, and Records of births, marriages, and deaths, 1857-1995; indexes to births, marriages, deaths, 1753-1995,
Ira Town Clerk
53 West Rd
Ira, VT 05777
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 870 West Rutland, VT 05777
Phone: (802) 235-2745
Website: Town of Ira
Rutland Herald online at this link.
Libraries and Historical Societies
- Ira an eight-sided home to heroes, Don Wickman, Rutland Herald Newspaper, Feb. 23, 2007.
- History Rutland County Vermont, Edited by H. P. Smith and W. S. Rann, Syracuse, NY, 1886.