Rutland was settled in 1761 and by 1774 there were 35 families. The first grantee of the township charter was from Rutland, Massachusetts. The city was incorporated in 1882 and by the early 1900s had a population of 16,000. Rutland City was a prosperous community in the mid to late 1800s, with many fine Victorian homes of the era still standing behind the park between Route 7 and the downtown area. Many buildings facing Merchants Row and Center Street are noted on the National Register of Historic Places.