Brownington Village Historic District

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Brownington Village Historic District
BROWNINGTON VILLAGE HISTORIC DISTRICT.jpg
Athenian Hall
Location Hinman Settler Road and Brownington Center Road, Brownington, Vermont
Area 110 acres (45 ha)
Architectural style Greek Revival
Governing body Local
NRHP Reference # 73000197[1]
Added to NRHP May 9, 1973

The Brownington Village Historic District is a historic site in Brownington, Vermont, United States. It is located near the intersection of Hinman and Brownington Center Roads. It was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places on June 9, 1973. The district consists of five buildings within the Old Stone House Museum complex and three neighboring houses, dating from the early 19th century.

History[edit]

In the early 19th century, Browington was a community on the Hinman Settler Road, a primary route in the county. It was on the stagecoach route from Boston to Montreal. Prior to 1816, it was one of two county seats. Residents developed a number of facilities to take advantage of the town's situation.

Old Stone House (Athenian Hall)[edit]

Alexander Twilight alone constructed this four-story granite building which was used as a dormitory for students at the Orleans County Grammar School, nearby. He called it "Athenian Hall." Granite was almost never used in building construction in the early 19th century in Orleans County. No one knows where the granite came from.[2]

The dormitory closed in 1859, two years after Twilight's death. The Orleans County Historical Society bought it in 1918 for $500.

It is called "The Old Stone House Museum" today. It is one of the best-preserved institutional buildings of its era in the United States. It is a museum that contains collections of 18th, 19th, and early 20th century furniture, paintings, decorative art, folk art, tools and household items.[3]

Alexander Twilight House[edit]

Across the road from the Old Stone House is Alexander Twilight's own house, which he built in 1830. The house provided living quarters for several students and continued to be used for students even after the Stone House/Athenian Hall was built. The Orleans County Historical Society bought it in 1999. It has been restored and serves as a visitor center for the Museum and as an office for the Historical Society's.

Lawrence Barn[edit]

This is an English-style barn, built during the first half of the 19th century. It is similar to the one that was originally associated with the Twilight House. It was moved to its present site in 1997. It houses an exhibit illustrating two centuries of farming in Orleans County.

Museum Education Center[edit]

This building was probably the original house on the site of the Alexander Twilight House.[4] It was donated to the Museum in 1978. It is now an education center.

Cyrus Eaton House[edit]

A friend of Twilight, Cyrus Eaton, built this house in 1834. The architecture is a late Federal-style, partially remodeled in the vernacular Greek Revival style.[4] The building has been thoroughly restored, down to the cedar shake roof. It contains the archives and research collections of the Historical Society. Behind the house is a well established mid- nineteenth century perennial garden.

Samuel Read Hall House[edit]

This house was built in the Federal style in 1831 by George West. It was the home of Samuel Read Hall for 21 years. Hall taught at the Orleans County Grammar School.

Purchased in 2006, the Samuel Read Hall House is now the focus of restoration.

Brownington Congregational Church and Village Cemetery[edit]

The church was completed in 1841. Both Twilight and Hall were ministers there. In 1899 Brownington native William Barstow Strong, who had attended the Orleans County Grammar School, paid for extensive remodeling of the church's interior and furnished a bell and spire for the belfry.

Prospect Hill and Observatory Tower[edit]

When the classrooms of the grammar school were nearby, students climbed this hill for evening vespers. In 1898, Strong built an observatory at the top. This was recreated by the Grange in 1975 for the national bicentennial and rebuilt again in 1998.

Rice and Going Hotel[edit]

Built in 1815, this farmhouse was once operated as a hotel. It is privately owned today.

Orleans County Grammar School[edit]

William Baxter paid for the construction of this building in 1823. It was constructed at the base of Prospect Hill. In 1869, it was moved to its present location. The building is owned by the town of Brownington and houses the Grange.

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. 
  2. ^ New York Times retrieved June 29, 2008
  3. ^ VMGA retrieved June 29, 2008[dead link]
  4. ^ a b The Old Stone House Museum (pamphlet). Orleans County Historical Society, Inc. 2007. 

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 44°50′13″N 72°10′07″W / 44.83694°N 72.16861°W / 44.83694; -72.16861