Located at the Naulakha Estate in Dummerston, Vermont, the Kipling Carriage House has long served as a companion to the larger Shingled home. This charming building originally stored author Rudyard Kipling’s carriage and an apartment space for his coachman. The quaint structure sits atop a high stone foundation and retains much of its original detailing, and inside, the structure oozes charm! After Rudyard Kipling sold the estate, the next family converted the structure to a servant’s quarters. In 1992, the British-based Landmark Trust acquired Naulakha as its first American building, later creating the Landmark Trust USA who maintain the property to this day. Like Naulakha, the Kipling Carriage House is available for short-term rentals, which helps the Landmark Trust USA maintain and restore these historic buildings.
I was fortunate enough to be able to spend a couple nights at the Kipling Carriage House and the experience is something I will hold with me for the rest of my life. The wood-lined walls, historic windows, cozy furniture, and fireplace, make you feel so at home, and sweeping views of the Connecticut River Valley add to the splendor. There is something so great about “unplugging” from screens and reading one of Kipling’s books by the fireplace in one of his properties!
Located on a hillside in rural Dummerston, Vermont, you will find Naulakha, one of the most significant properties in the region. Naulakha (pronounced now-LAH-kuh) was built in 1893 for Rudyard Kipling an english journalist and author born in British India, an upbringing which inspired much of his professional work. In 1892, Kipling married Caroline Balestier, who was born into a prominent New England family. The couple honeymooned in Vermont near Carrie’s family home. The couple would settle in Vermont in a cottage which was soon outgrown, leading the couple to buy 10 acres of land from Carrie’s brother Beatty Balestier and built their own house. The new Shingle-style home they had built was named Naulakha after a book written by Rudyard and Caroline’s late-brother Wolcott. Kipling wanted a home that merged the distinctive qualities of the Indian bungalow with those of the American Shingle Style and he worked closely with his architect, Henry Rutgers Marshall of New York City, a Balestier family friend to achieve this.
The rectangular mass of the home parallels the contours the hill upon which its sited, and sits atop a raised fieldstone basement salvaged from stone walls on the property. From the home, Kipling wrote some of his most influential work, including the Jungle Books (1894, 1895), Captains Courageous (1896,The Seven Seas (1896), and The Day’s Work (1898). Sadly, the Kipling’s moved out of Naulakha after just a few years, largely from familial disputes with Caroline’s brother, Beatty. The family removed to England where they settled, though Rudyard always mentioned how much he missed his secluded life in Vermont. The property was then purchased by the Holbrook family, who made slight modifications to the property, but all maintaining the original design and feeling. In 1992, the British-based Landmark Trust acquired Naulakha as its first American building, later creating the Landmark Trust USA to maintain the property and more. The Landmark Trust USA rents out Naulakha and the adjacent carriage house for short-term rentals to provide revenue for maintaining these properties.