DescriptionIn the past, smuggling was one of Swanton's more lucrative businesses. This town near the Vermont-Québec border was the scene of controversy when enterprising Vermonters drove cattle across the border into Canada, where the livestock was sold to British soldiers during the War of 1812. Twentieth-century smugglers followed in their predecessors' footsteps during Prohibition when they ran liquor into the state by automobile.
Before 1700 the St. Francis Indians, guided by French Jesuits, built the first chapel in the Vermont territory at Swanton. After France lost the land to the English, the Native Americans moved the chapel stone by stone to St. Hyacinthe, Québec.
Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge, 3 miles northwest off SR 78, covers 6,792 acres along the Missisquoi River delta and Lake Champlain. Waterfowl and other wildlife can be seen along a 1.5-mile interpretive trail. Several other refuge trails are open for wildlife observation. Hunting is allowed in season with a permit. Phone (802) 868-4781.