Grand Isle was chartered on October 27, 1779 by the Vermont Legislature. It is one of five towns (South Hero, Grand Isle, North Hero, Alburgh, Isle La Motte) comprising Vermont’s “Lake Champlain Islands.”
Originally, North Hero, South Hero and Grand Isle were granted to Ethan Allen, Samuel Herrick and 363 other Revolutionary War veterans as a single town known as Two Heroes. The land was surveyed and divided into 64 acre lots. Many of the Green Mountain Boys did not use their properties and they were either sold or reverted back to the state. Settlers began coming to the southern island in the early 1780’s. The first inhabitants built cabins and developed farms along the water’s edge.
In 1798, Two Heroes was divided into North Hero (the entire north island), Middle Hero and South Hero, with the last two sharing the southern island and a single representative to the legislature, hence they were not actually separate towns. This arrangement was not entirely satisfactory: in 1810, Middle Hero was given complete autonomy and renamed Grand Isle, which is what the French had originally called the whole southern island.