The former Dorset Methodist Church sat on this property from about 1840 to 1900 until they merged with the United Church of Dorset. A Philadelphia physician, Dr. John Herr Musser (1856-1912), built this vacation home in 1906, and passed away just six years later. His widow Agnes Harper Musser (1856-1941) and their children continued to vacation here until after WWII. The home is a rare example of the Shingle style in Dorset and was painted the bright white to fit in with the more traditional New England village vibe, but it would be better-suited with a period- and style-appropriate paint scheme. The home is now offered for short-term/vacation rentals.
Dorset Village Library
Old Dorset Post Office // 1845
Yet another of the buildings moved to Dorset Village by Charles A. Wade, this amazing classical building stopped me in my tracks when walking along the town’s marble sidewalks. It turns out this little structure was constructed in Enfield, Massachusetts, a town that was flooded in the 1930s for the filling of the Quabbin Reservoir. The building was likely built in the 1840s as a Congregational chapel, and upon hearing about the demise of the town, Wade drove to Enfield and brought back this charming little chapel for his hometown of Dorset. Upon its arrival to Vermont in 1938, the Greek Revival building was used as the town’s post office until a larger building was constructed in the 1960s. This building was converted to a real estate office and is now home to Flower Brook Pottery.
‘Maplebourn’ – Dorset Colony House // 1885 & 1925
Colonial Revival perfection! This building on the Dorset Town Green was originally constructed around 1885 for Allan Bourn, the purchasing agent of the New York Central Railroad. When Bourn was told by a trusted associate that a railroad stop was going to be built near Dorset, he made the decision to acquire eight acres of pristine land just west of the Dorset Green on Church Street. Bourn, a resident of Westchester, New York, decided to build a vacation home there for his family. The house was named “Maplebourn,” after a large maple tree on the property. Annie Bourn Sheldon, Allan’s daughter, inherited his property after his death in 1925. She and her husband then added two large additional wings onto the house, just at the time that Dorset’s local theater scene was beginning to take-off. After Annie’s husband Harry died in 1942, she began to rent out rooms of her home to visiting actors to the nearby Dorset Playhouse (last post). Actor and playwright, John Nassivera purchased the property and renamed it the Dorset Colony House, converting it to a residency hall. The building has since been purchased by Adele and Herman Raspé, who lovingly have maintained and enhanced the historically and architecturally significant property.
Sheldon House – 3 Pears Gallery // c.1830
This charming vernacular property in Dorset Village was built around 1830 as a one-story cape house. By the early 20th century, the modest home was enlarged with a second story and an extra bay, all in the Colonial Revival style, mixing the functional or minimally detailed historic building with a little oomph. The addition of a doorway portico and the randomly placed windows on the facade add to the charm. The renovation was completed by owner Bernis Sheldon (1866-1941). After Sheldon’s death, the building became home to the Dorset telephone exchange, who occupied part of the building. The building is now home to the 3 Pears Gallery, who have done a FANTASTIC job mainating and highlighting this beautiful building on the Green!
Dorset Village Library // c.1800
Dorset, Vermont is one of the most beautiful villages in New England and is often overlooked and rarely featured by “influencers” and blogs compared to nearby Manchester or Woodstock, which get all the love. This building in Dorset Village was built around 1800 and was constructed by John Gray, who kept a tavern here the early 19th century. The tavern was eventually sold out of the Gray family and was donated by Bernard G. Sykes to the Town of Dorset as the village’s library. It was originally known as the Sykes Memorial building so-named as a memorial to Bernard’s late parents, Lydia and Gilbert Sykes. The former tavern was renovated, giving it the Colonial Revival detailing and addition.