As a preparation for this region, I made a map with the places I wanna create and their respective projected populations (calculated with realistic population densities). There are only two cities in the region, with Sterling being the primary city and Bosworth being the second one. As time goes by, the two cities will grow more and more together. The shaded grey areas are, where development seems possible.
I've been playing the map for a while now, that's what the region looks like as of recently.
I developed the region organically. Starting out with different towns, I didn't plan too much ahead and tried to go step by step. For example it didn't make sense to already plan out a rigth-of-way for the region highway. That's something which will come later on, as the region develops with more or less 'historic' accuracy . The first big regional development was the railway, now I'm slowly turning to state routes and U.S. routes, while the towns grow. I also go back to the 'older' towns every now and then.
Timeline of events:
1500 Before the first Europeans settled the area, Native Americans from the Western Abenaki tribe inhabited the shores of Lake Champlain.
1609 French explorer Samuel de Champlain claimed the area on July 30, but it wasn't until 1666 that it became part of the New France colony.
1690 Dutch-British settlers established a stockade at Chimney Point and in 1696 a first settlement was established further north near today's Sterling. The trading posts served the New Hampshire colony.
1731 The French arrived Chimney Point and started with the construction of a fort and controled the border with Vermont. By that time the stockade near Sterling lied within French territory. Along with the military, French settlers entered Champlain County and established another settlement near today's Bosworth.
1759 When British troops managed to take the French fort at Chimney Point, the French retreated as far as Quebec. Pushing along northwards. the British destroyed military infrastructure along the way. The stockade near Sterling burnt down completely.
1760 On the ashes of the old trading post, British settlers founded another settlement, which they named Sterling.
1763 Vermont became British with the Treaty of Paris.
1777 Vermont became an independent Republic, only threatened by the Revolutionary War. It remained independent until 1791, when it joined the union as the 14th state. The independence from British rule resulted in considerable economic growth for Sterling. It became an important trading town close to the Quebec border. The opening of a university emphasized the importance of the aspiring town.
1823 Lake Champlain Canal was opened, creating a continuous waterway between New York and Montréal. The port of Sterling became an important trading point for lumber. By that time, Sterling was one of the largest towns in the U.S.
1831 When the population became too numerous for the town meeting, Sterling was incorporated into a city.
1849 Central Vermont Railway reached Sterling, connecting Champlain County to the state capital and other parts of New England. The lumber industry could bloom even more and also dairy produces became more and more important.
1865 Civil War affected the population of Champlain County. The men were mustered for the 2nd Vermont Infantry regiment, destined to fight against the Confederates. By the end of the war, the population dropped by about 40%.