In 1833, Jedediah H. Harris, who had run a general store in Strafford village since 1803, commissioned a local contractor to build a new brick and granite store. Harris and his then-partner, Justin Morrill, opened the store in late fall 1834, selling provisions to locals and visitors to the small town. Morrill would later go on to construct a stunning Gothic home nearby and become a leading U.S. Senator. For more than one hundred years the store passed through a succession of owners, until C. William Berghorn Jr. closed it in 1951 to make it his residence. The building has since been converted to the local post office branch, with a residential unit likely above.
Orange County Vermont
Strafford Town House // 1799
Perched atop a hill at the edge of the town common in Strafford, Vermont, the Strafford Town House epitomizes rural New England charm. The town house was constructed in 1799 by local carpenters as a place to do public business and served for a brief period in the early days as a meeting house for various local congregations. The building is one of the oldest meeting houses in Vermont and was one of the first meeting houses to put the entrance at the tower-end and the pulpit at the other end of the building. The change from a side-entrance orientation reflected a time when New Englanders were clearly deciding to separate their political business from their ecclesiastical affairs.
Hosford Stone House // c.1835
Josiah Hosford of Thetford, Vermont built this stone house for his family in about 1835. Hosford was a stone mason who built a series of stone houses in town, using stone quarried in nearby Lyme, New Hampshire. Josiah Hosford (1802-1883), was the grandson of Aaron Hosford, one of the earliest settlers in the North Thetford area. The distinguished family contributed resided and contributed to the town’s vibrant history, as ministers, teachers, artists, farmers, and tradespeople. A fire at the home in the early 1900s gutted the interior, and the owner at the time, a carpenter, reconstructed the interiors, shingled the side gables, and added on the porches.
White-Heaton House // 1795
This transitional Federal house in Thetford was built around 1795 for an Isaac White. The house was later owned by Orange Heaton (who’s name perfectly fits the color of the leaves in the photo). The design is refined, yet stately with the enclosed, gabled, projecting entrance porch. Louvered panels and an elliptical louvered fan frame the door.
Tunbridge Congregational Church // 1839
The Congregational Church in Tunbridge, Vermont was organized in February of 1792. The Congregationalists‘ first house of worship, the Tunbridge Meeting House, was built in 1795, and was also the civic meeting hall and a multi-denomination church. The first Tunbridge Village Congregational Church was built from 1835 to 1837, but that building was destroyed by fire in April of 1838. The present building, which seats about two hundred people, was built in 1839 at a cost of about $1,500. The building has changed very little except that in 1882, a freak tornado struck the church destroying the steeple, which was soon replaced with the existing steeple. This building relates architecturally to a number of churches that were built throughout Vermont in the first half of the nineteenth century and serves as a good example of vernacular ecclesiastical Greek Revival style architecture that enjoyed widespread popularity across the state.
Whitney Hill Schoolhouse // 1860
One-room schoolhouses were scattered all around small towns like Tunbridge, VT until the advent and proliferation of the personal automobile to allow students to meet in a single, larger school. The Whitney Hill Schoolhouse was one of such one-room schoolhouses that were located in town and constructed in a Vernacular Greek Revival style. The building features two doors at the gable end with transom windows, and a bank of windows at the end of the side facade, to provide light to the classroom inside. The school was apparently in use until the 1920s and appears to be used as a residence or something of the like today.
Market School // 1904
In the small town of Tunbridge, Vermont, it is impossible to not be impressed by the rustic landscape, historic architecture, and vast farmland. The town was established in 1761 and today has a population of under 1,200. In rural Vermont towns, small one room schools were often scattered all over to service the dispersed students who mostly lived on farms or in small villages. By the turn of the 20th-century, the town center began growing larger and the need for a slightly larger consolidated school was apparent. The Market School was the first Tunbridge two-roomed schoolhouse. Built in 1904 at a cost of $2,600, the facility consolidated two school districts and was used as a school until 1954 when Tunbridge Central School was built. It is now occupied by the Town Offices and a meeting room for town boards and commissions. The school can be classified as Classical Revival with a hipped roof, paneled corner pilasters, and a recessed central entrance under a gable with a lunette window.
Lamb-Davis House // 1832
The Lamb-Davis House, today the Hubble Shire Farm, was constructed in 1832 and stands as one of the best-preserved examples of a brick Federal style home in Vermont. The home was built by Reuben Lamb, a builder, who showcased his craftsmanship at the entrance especially. The front door has 2/3-length sidelights with curved tracery. Flanking the lights, are engaged columns supporting a protruding, fret-detailed frieze, and above a glazed fanlight with radiating muntins sit in a paneled reveal. Surrounding the entire entrance configuration is a granite arch that incorporates pilasters and a keystone, elegantly framing all the detail. The home was sold to Aaron Davis in 1865 and remained in the Davis family over one hundred years. It was purchased in 2019 and converted to a high-end bed & breakfast and event space. The interior was modernized but the exterior appears much as it would have nearly 200 years ago.
Orange County Courthouse // 1847
The Orange County Courthouse in Chelsea, Vermont, is a two-story white clapboard Greek Revival structure. Built in 1847, the prominent civic building overlooks the south common of Chelsea village. The prominent three-section rectangular bell tower is topped by a gilded copper dome. The courthouse has many hallmarks of the Greek Revival style. Foremost is the temple front image created by the triangular shaped pediment in the gable and the paneled corner pilasters that imitate columns.
The original Orange County Courthouse was built in 1801 by Oliver Terry on land donated by Reuben Hatch, some of which became the South Common in Chelsea. Due to numerous expenses in the early 1840’s for repairs to the deteriorating, old courthouse, in 1846 the county levied a tax to fund a new building. The county dismantled the original building and Master Builder Horace Carpenter of Chelsea constructed the present Greek Revival style in 1847 for $4,228.80. Horace Carpenter was at the start of an illustrious career when he built the courthouse in 1847. In 1848, Carpenter built the Universalist Church (now Baptist) in Washington, VT, using an almost identical exterior design. That same year he also built “Pinehurst,” the home of Horace Fairbanks, and later became the chief carpenter for the Fairbanks Scale Company. He built the Caledonia County courthouse in 1856.
Rufus Hyde House // 1832
This eclectic home in Chelsea, Vermont has seen some major alterations over time, but it was originally built in 1832 as a Federal style home. It was built for Rufus Hyde (1809-1879) an attorney who worked at the Orange County (Vermont) Courthouse a block away. Upon his death in 1879, the home was purchased by Asa Barnes, proprietor of the Orange County Hotel which stood just next door. Barnes added the Victorian Stick style porch and a projecting second floor gambrel-roof balcony (since removed) and rebranded the home as ‘Parkview’, an annex to the popular hotel.