Abandoned Vermont: Hancock House

Hancock, Vermont is known for its association with the lumber industry, the Green Mountains and its location along the Scenic Route 100 Byway. In the early nineteenth century, Centre Turnpike (today VT Route 125) connected Middlebury to the Connecticut River Valley. Agriculture, lumber, mills, modest homes and the turnpike tell the story of Hancock.

Hancock, VT

This former residence sits across the street from the Old Hancock Hotel in the Hancock Village Historic District. It is Federal style architecture, constructed in 1825. Pictures can tell such interesting stories. The above image shows ghost lines for shutters on at least the second story. Perhaps the house had a wrap-around one story porch.

View of the ell. Note the interesting ghost line of another roofline, and the alterations to the window openings.

Northeast corner view. The first floor windows are mostly boarded from the inside. Note the pilaster on the corner of the building - another hint of a porch? You can see the shutter ghost lines clearly on the second story. Yet, look at the bottom of the first story. It almost looks like someone started work on the house.

The sun and the blue sky help the details pop. Note the house appears to have been painted red, but weather and time have worn it away. The attic story window has been altered.

Note the beautiful white porcelain doorknob. Did this house have a more elaborate door frame at one point?

Altered windows, clapboard in a variety of condition. Note the nice cornice return on the gable.

Did you notice anything odd about this 1825 house? There is not a chimney. The foundation looks as though work was started and never completed. I’d love to spend more time staring at this abandoned house. While historic, these 6/6 windows likely replaced the original 12/12 windows. (Glass panes grew in size as glass technology improved; therefore, older windows have smaller panes.)

As I mentioned, I do not know anything about it. Maybe it’s another sad story of the owner running out of money  or perhaps it’s one caught up in family estates. Regardless, it would be a crying shame for Hancock to lose this building, especially because it sits at such a prominent intersection. What potential it has.

(Historical information from The Historic Architecture of Addison County: Vermont State Register of Historic Places.)


17 thoughts on “Abandoned Vermont: Hancock House

  1. Mark says:

    I love Abandoned Vermont. It really hits home with me. I recently read Congdon’s book about old Vt. houses, and was surprised by some of the idiosyncracies of the state’s built heritage. (every jurisdiction has them, and I love comparing them). He notes, for example, that the state has few gambrel-roofed houses, and that they exist largely in the south and west part of the state. He also notes that many of the older houses in the state don’t have wall panelling since it was a sign of great wealth and many Vt. homes were more modest. It was a nice read; its made me want to read more about Vt.

  2. Paula Sagerman says:

    Is this at the corner of Route 100 and Route 125?

    What is bizarre about this house is that someone went through the trouble of moving all four second story front window openings, just a little bit.

  3. bellegroveatportconway says:

    What a beautiful old home! Can you image the stories the walls could tell? Makes you wonder what they have seen. It would be ashame for this to be lost!

  4. Kitty Hodgetts says:

    We own the oldest house in Hancock, circa 1775) which started out as a stopover for travelers comming over the mtn from middlebury and in 1800, when the road was started from Middlebury to hancock, it was a toll house. You should check us out. most of the house is original. Kitty Hodgetts

  5. name says:

    Someone from other state owns this house and works on it a few times a year only. It will take forever to restore at this speed. Is it right at edge of creek, and there is no way of installing septic, so cannot be used as dwelling anymore.

  6. Belles and Whistles says:

    I so enjoy reading your commentary–I’m curious to know how locals rally when they hear of your attention to “forgotten treasures.” My guess is you provide not only a gentle reminder but an impetus to restore, rehab, remember, reanimate!

  7. Centralia Heart says:

    Could the chimney have been in the center of the roof on the main part of the house? It looks like something might have been there at one time. Also, was this house lifted and a new foundation built under it? It looks like someone started with new “basement” type windows.

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