Abandoned Vermont: Reading House

Over the years, I’ve driven past this house many times getting that “abandoned” vibe from it, then noticing broken windows, overgrown brush, yet a mowed lawn. Maybe it wasn’t entirely abandoned, but certainly no one lived in this house. Finally I stopped to take some photographs. Considering how long it’s been neglected and vacant, it is in good condition. Who needs a house in Reading, Vermont? Advice for when you cannot information about a property (e.g. if it’s for sale): call the town offices.

Surrounded by trees.

Surrounded by trees.

The side of the house.

The side of the house.

The rear of the house is a bit more worn. But the slate roof is gorgeous.

The rear of the house is a bit more worn. But the slate roof is gorgeous.

The porch has seen better days, and this rear ell.

The porch has seen better days, and this rear ell.

Beautiful back porch (you probably remember this photo from an Instagram post).

Beautiful back porch (you probably remember this photo from an Instagram post).

The interior is not too far gone.

The interior is not too far gone.

Seen through the back door, not in such great shape.

Seen through the back door, not in such great shape.

But it might need some plaster. This Rutland Patching Plaster is from nearby Rutland, VT!

But it might need some plaster. This Rutland Patching Plaster is from nearby Rutland, VT!

Beautiful doorknobs!

Beautiful doorknobs!

Barn view from the porch.

Barn view from the porch.

Front of the barn.

Front of the barn.

The front of the house is hard to see from the road, as the road sits further behind this photographer.

The front of the house is hard to see from the road, as the road sits further behind this photographer.

What a beautiful property, isn’t it? It hasn’t been surveyed (that I can find), and is not listed in the State or National Register. However, I’m sure you could make a strong case for eligibility in Reading, VT. What do you love most: original windows, hardwood, wood details, doorknobs, slate roof?

Reading List

We all have those preservation books that we want to read, but once school and/or work get in the way, these books remain distant longings.  It’d be a guilty pleasure to read something other than our assigned readings, even if it were preservation related.  Of course, I have not been in school for two years now, so I should have been able to read all of these books.  Some I have, others remain on my bookshelf just waiting for me. 

Aside from preservation books, I love historical fiction.  Growing up I read the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder and learned a great deal about the late 1800s and pioneers. I read the Dear America series and learned about all different time periods in diary form from fictional girls my age.  And the American Girl series (you know, those with the dolls) taught me even more, from colonial times to pioneers to the early 20th century to World War II. However, I’ve since risen above that reading level, just not the adoration of learning history in the first person voice (which echoes my current field, oral history.) 

A recent book purchase of mine was The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan. It is about the Great Depression and seems like a wonderful book.  I haven’t read it yet, but be sure that there will be a review of it when I do read it. 

This next book I’ve wanted to read for three years or so. In fact, fellow preservationists will be shocked to learn that I’ve never read it:  The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs. It is the quintessential book of preservation combining with other fields and what we should do in the future.  See what I mean? I’m almost ashamed. How could I not have read this book?  Well, we were going to in class but somehow the syllabus got out of order and we were just never assigned the book and as much as I wanted to read it, I had many other readings to do as opposed to something that would not be assigned.  And then I did try after college, but found the introduction to be so slow that I would fall asleep reading it.  Someone told me to skip the introduction and just start with chapter one.  If all else fails, I’ll do that.  No matter what,  I WILL read this book before graduate school. 

Please share with me a list of reading I should do before graduate school (next year.)  I’ve been told I should read anything by Daniel Bluestone, who loves to write about sense of place, quality of life – that sort of thing. It sounds good to me!