Stone Village Houses // 1830s-1840s

The stone houses in Chester, Vermont are the highest concentration of rare snecked ashlar construction in the region (there are only 50 estimated examples in the state). In the early 1830s, skilled masons from Scotland came to central Vermont to work on building projects there. A number of these, mainly from the Aberdeen area, were experienced in a construction method known as “snecked ashlar”, in which plates of stone are affixed to a rubblestone wall.

Two Scottish masons, brothers Alison and Wiley Clark, came to the town of Chester in 1832 to work on large factory building (now no longer standing). In 1834, Doctor Ptolmey Edson hired the brothers to build his house, which was the first snecked ashlar structure in the village. It was followed by a series of other buildings, most of which are residences. The church and district school were also built of stone, possibly due to the influence of Dr. Edson, who sat on their respective building committees.

Former Ptolemy Edson House.

In addition to the snecked ashlar homes, a schoolhouse, church and tavern were constructed. The tavern, a wood frame building, sadly burned in 2012.

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