William W. Wells House // c.1845

One of the most stately and classic homes in central Vermont is this Greek Revival beauty constructed of brick, right on Main Street in Waterbury. The home was built for William Wellington Wells, who was born in Waterbury, Vermont in 1837. He soon became one of Waterbury’s most prosperous merchants of the mid-nineteenth century, starting as a lawyer with business interests including a tannery and grist mill in nearby “Mill Village” and a mop and chair stock business. He served in the Civil War and contributed much to the town’s growth. After successive ownership, the town’s appeal during the winter months shifted the demand towards short-term stays tied to the ski industry. The Wells House was added onto at the rear and converted to a motor hotel called the “Gateway Motel” in the mid-20th century. The use remained for decades until a fire destroyed much of the motel, leaving the 1840s Greek Revival home’s future in limbo. Thankfully, new owners restored the home and built much-needed residential housing at the rear, largely in the same form as the old motel. Love to see preservation at work!

One thought on “William W. Wells House // c.1845

  1. Marlin Williams April 27, 2023 / 5:49 pm

    The prosperity in these small, relatively isolated New England towns in the mid 19th century is really astounding.


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