Elgin Springs House

The Elgin Springs House in Panton, Vermont was built ca. 1845 by architect James Gorham. Originally a Classic Cottage, the Greek Revival addition (right) was built ca. 1850. Owner Solomon Allen and his son, Hiram, started an enterprise focused on the supposed medicinal qualities of nearby Elgin Springs. Guests to this boarding house/inn were encouraged to drink from a spring on a nearby hill, which would “purify blood.”

The Elgin Springs House in Panton, Vermont.

The book, New England: A Handbook for Travellers by Moses Foster Stewart (1875) writes of Elgin Springs, “About 3 miles south of Vergennes are fine cascades of Otter Creek, near which is the Elgin Spring (small hotel) containing sulphates [sic] of magnesia, iron, and soda, and carbonates of soda and lime” (page 184).

Closer view from the road.

South side of the house.

The Vermont State Historic Sites & Structures Survey recorded this house in 1977. At that it had already been abandoned and was identified as threatened. Now, 34 years later, the house sits abandoned and seems to facing demolition by neglect. As to the reasoning and its fate? I’ve only heard in passing that it’s caught up in a family matter.

Front of the house.

The poor, poor house.

Front door.

For those interested, yes, there is a “Keep Out/No Trespassing” sign. These pictures were taken from the road. And, of course, I love this house.

Historical information obtained from The Historic Architecture of Addison County: Vermont State Register of Historic Places, published by the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation (1992).


13 thoughts on “Elgin Springs House

  1. Sabra Smith says:

    There is a similar situation here — a structure considered by many to be one of the oldest original residences in Pennsylvania faces demolition after being entangled for years in a family struggle. Now it is beyond the “average” person’s financial or DIY capacity to rehab and so most see the only option to be demolition. If you want more info, google Heidelberg Kerlin Farm. Help, support and ideas are wanted! The owner is willing to sell, rather than demolish, if a white knight riding a big wallet emerges.

    • John Hlumyk says:

      Ha, ha, “White knight riding a big wallet,” that is outstanding. If one does emerge, while he is still in Penna., could you send him over to the Isaac Meason House in Fayette County? Yet another exceptional landmark in distress, although nowhere near to extinction from neglect as the Heidelberg Kerlin Farm. So many places to keep my fingers crossed for that I’m running out of fingers.

  2. JT says:

    Hey. Long story short: my boyfriend and I hiked Snake Mountain today and on the way back North, saw this abandoned house. He had his nice camera and I had my iPhone camera, so we figured we would stop by and snap some photos. We parked on the side of the road and walked up to the house.

    We checked out the front…walked right up to it, took some photos both with his camera and my phone. then we went around to that door on the South/front-side part of the house and peered inside and everything was pretty much as expected…rotting wood falling down everywhere, vacant space….a few tools etc from some workers who had been there to probably check out the situation/maybe try to repair some stuff. BUT THEN, I kid you not, there was a very, very old teddy bear by the threshold. The bear’s face was worn off, ears gone….we’re talkin’ very, very old. It was eerie and I grabbed my phone to take a photo. My phone screen went completely blank and said it was locked (this has never ever happened before). So I didn’t take a picture. My boyfriend kept his camera on, but in his pocket.

    We then checked out the backside of the house and went back to the front….he took a few more pics. We got a bit of a weird vibe so left shortly after.

    In the car after about 2 minutes, we decided to look through our photos. I had one photo that came out completely white and SO DID my boyfriend. What?! Gives me goosebumps just recalling it. Judging by the placement in my bf’s photo stream, his white image was “taken” at the time the camera was in his pocket when we were near the bear.

    we are now trying to research this house and see what the story is…

    • Kaitlin says:

      JT: Honestly?! What an awesome story. I’d love to see the photographs if you are willing to share. Eerie, that’s for sure. All I know about the house is what is in this post. If you find anything else, I’d be interested to know. I love this house!

  3. c says:

    My husband works for the people who own this house. He is friends with their children, they grew up together. They used to play and mess around in the house as children. The house is not tied up in family matters, so I don’t know why people keep saying that. The house has been abandoned since they bought it and it would take way too much work and money to fix it up. They are going to let it fall on its own. And the house is definitely not structurally sound so NOBODY should be going inside or on their property for that matter. We see people stopping to look all the time, it is a pretty cool house…but people should respect the owners property, plus it is dangerous to go inside.

    • Kaitlin says:

      thanks for the clarification. Agreed, no one should go inside. What a shame that the owners never attempted to fix it up. Do you know when they bought it?

      • c says:

        I’m not completely sure when they bought it, the owner is currently in Florida so I cannot ask him. My husband said they moved there around 1985 but it’s possible they owned it before actually moving there (they live in the house next door) he is from Rhode Island. And like I said, it would be way too costly to fix, plus my husband said there is no saving it. It would need to be torn down as it is not structurally sound at all. When the owner comes back from vacation , I will ask him what he knows about the place. I always thought it was a cool house driving by it and never realized it belonged to my husband’s boss until a couple years ago.

  4. Al says:

    Your photo’s are really great, especially the interior shots.

    Living in New York, we’ve been visiting Vermont for the past six years. Six years ago I was driving home on Rt. 22A when I came across this house. I decided to stop the car and take some photo with my Hasselblad loaded with black and white film. I got some impressive outside shots, but I didn’t go inside the building.

    Every year I always wondered about if the house is still standing. I stopped again this year (Feb. 2016) and took more pictures only this time I decided to take some interior shots from the windows. No sooner did I do that when a pick-up truck stopped on the road and warned me not go enter the building. It was apparently the property owner’s son who gave me some history about the place, that’s how I found out about this web site.

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