And the days of work at the Lake Champlain Bridge and Chimney Point are coming to a close. Every day out there brings back memories to my early days in Vermont. A preview here is Pier 3 of the old bridge with Pier 6 of the new bridge in the background. What a difference!
Nice house, right?
I love to drive, even if I’m driving alone, but the downside is that the level of sight-seeing is less than if I were passenger (generally speaking; I suppose it could just be a different perspective). So, as I’ve passed this house from time to time, I’ve thought a variety of things (please don’t judge me based on my split second drive-by thoughts):
Ooh, cute house.
Central chimney. Pedimented windows. Wood shingle roof.
Something looks different about it.
It’s too perfect.
Is that new construction? It’s a good imitation of historic. It’s going for connected architecture, I guess.
Clearly a new garage.
One of these days I’ve got to take a picture.
It must have a nice view.
Finally, earlier this week, I stopped on the side of the road to take a picture (and my car was greeted by a large German shepherd…oh the perils of roadside photography). Since I wasn’t just driving by, I could actually look at the house, in all of its confusing manner.
New or historic? Where are the front steps?
Aside from the too-perfectness, what gives it away?
Click on the picture and zoom in. Check out the foundation. It’s poured concrete; a concrete slab. A historic house with a massive central chimney would not have a poured foundation — among other things.
What do you think?
Do you agree? What would you say about this house?
Is it an example of new construction to blend in with surrounding historic homes? Or is it too confusing? Maybe you can spot the obvious new characteristics right away, but I have to admit that this house perplexes me more than others.
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 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).
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.
The poor, poor house.
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).
As I’ve proclaimed, I love Vermont. For Part 2 of my love letter to the state, to show rather than tell, here is a collection of some of my favorite Vermont photographs that I’ve snapped throughout this past year. Enjoy this entirely subjective selection, much of which is landscaped focused.
I’ve been driving past this sign for a while now and I just love it. It screams summer in rural America. It’s not a billboard, but a large sign on a farm vehicle. I had to stop to snap a few shots of this great display of community enthusiasm. By no means am I photo editing expert or anything close, but I enjoyed playing with effects.
Hope you are enjoying your summer!
History & film buffs: You may have noticed that Google is celebrating the 71st birthday of The Wizard of Oz movie (1939). I just love Judy Garland. The book is titled The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, dating to 1900.
It’s county fair season in Vermont! Visit the proclaimed largest agricultural fair (in Vermont), the 62nd Addison County fair through Sunday August 14.
Taking a road trip soon? Check out Roadside Peek for a large collection of neon, kitsch, maps, attractions, and a roadside blog. The formatting of the site seems a bit off, but the information is very entertaining.
Meet the new President of the National Trust, Stephanie Meeks, via a video and a letter on the Preservation Nation blog.
I Googled “I love historic preservation” and some of the first links I see include quotes that say, “I love historic preservation, but…” That is not what should appear! No qualifiers! What do you think?
On a happier note, more and more organizations are providing curriculum assistance for teachers who want to engage their students in historic preservation and history. Check out the Teachers and Students Portal from the Wisconsin Historical Society.
If I had my own street, it would surely be this: