St. Johnsbury is located in Caledonia County, 38 miles northeast of Montpelier along Highway 4, on the banks of the Moose River. The meeting of three river valleys effects a startling interplay of elevations here.
St. Johnsbury was settled by Jonathan Arnold, a Rhode Island native who build the first frame dwelling in 1787 on a spot now known as Arnold Park. Points of interest include the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum, the oldest art gallery in the U.S. maintained in its original condition, built in 1873.
In the late 19th century, the community of St. Johnsbury became a railroad center. The downtown historic district contains commercial blocks, a railroad station, museums, and residential buildings.
The population estimate for July 1, 1998 was 17,348, an increase of 882 since 1990.