Putney Village Historic District
National Register Nomination Information:
A small mill village in the Connecticut River Valley, the Putney Village Historic District extends to the north and south from a compact center near the falls of Sackett's Brook. The spacious northerly extension encompasses the formal, late 18th and early 19th century farmhouses that formed the original village center, while the southerly extension includes the less architecturally cohesive and more heavily trafficked U.S. Route 5, as well as two small branch roads. Most of the 107 primary buildings in the district are clapboard, slate roofed, 1-1/2 to 2-1/2-story houses. Federal style or vernacular examples of the Georgian Plan and I-House configurations predominate, though vernacular Greek Revival or early Italianate style, 1-1/2-story, gable front, Sidehall Plan houses are also numerous. Capes, Classic Cottages, and diverse late 19th and early 20th century vernacular houses are represented as well. While 22 buildings are non contributing, they are counterbalanced by the generally high architectural quality found in the district. Of special note is the striking, close-knit streetscape of stores and small workers' houses that stretches to:the top of Kimball Hill from the highly focal district center.
That center is marked by several large, non-residential buildings of diverse periods. The A.M. Corser Store, #51 (south section), and the massive, hip roofed, Georgian Plan tavern, #52, are the two primary visual focal points there, and have historically been hubs of social activity as well. The store, which has two eaves front, 2-story bay windows, terminates the impressive Kimball Hill streetscape, and can be seen from far to:the south on U.S. Route 5. Equally prominent, the late 18th or early 19th century tavern across the street is the centerpiece of an impressive, curving row of five public-oriented buildings that unite Westminster West Road with U.S. Route 5. Those south of the tavern, the brick Methodist Church, #69, and the Town Hall, #67, are major landmarks for travelers from the north and south. Those northwest of the tavern, the Congregational Church, #47, and the Masonic Hall, #49, contribute formality to the most densely built up section of the district. Also marking the district core are a 1-story brick paper mill, and the Baptist Church, #63, both located on"Christian Square" a small loop opposite the intersection with Westminster West Road. On the small island in that intersection stood, in the early 20th century, a bandstand that helped to visually tie all these elements together.
Nearly 30% of the buildings in the district date from before 1830, almost all of which are houses. Of those, half have a clearly distinguishable style. While buildings of this period are scattered in the southern half of the district, the finest examples are found both at the district center, and lining the spacious and rolling Westminster West Road.to the north. Many of the latter stand on artificial hillocks set back from the road, and are fronted by rows of locust trees. Of special note on that road are #3, a vernacular Georgian style I-House with corner and entry quoins, #19, a 1772 Cape, and #'s 2 and 11, brick-ended, Federal style
I-Houses with unusual facade ornamentation (#11 however, is covered with aluminum siding). Two of the most ornate Federal style houses, #'s 27 and 32, stand atop Kimball Hill, facing the village center below rather than the road, and act as gateways to Westminster Road. In the district center itself, #'s 41, 46 and 66 are also excellent examples of this style, and #52 is an excellent example of a tavern of a slightly earlier period.
While the Georgian and Federal period is dominant in the district overall, the Greek Revival period, which accounts for 22 structures, most slgnificantly shaped the district center. Several prominent examples of the Greek Revival style the Congregational and Methodist churches, #'s 47 and 69, the Masonic Hall, #49, and #70, a house with a 2-story portico, are located there, as is a particularly unusual example of the style, #39, a small gable front house with a unique, fanciful door in an ornate surround. The latter is one of four generally similar houses that establish a rythm of gables that climb Kimball Hill. Two stores built in the Greek Revival period, #51 (north and south sections), terminate that streetscape.
The Greek Revival style Perfectionist Chapel, #53, which originally had a 1-story portico, was another major architectural element in the district center from this period, before being rendered non-contributing by a fire about ten years ago. Another significant loss was the demolition about seven years ago of the vernacular, 2-1/2-story, gable front, Perfectionist Store, built around the same time, which stood just north of #54.
A Greek Revival style feature shared by the Congregational church and several Greek Revival style houses, located between and including #'s 39 and 98, is entrance ornamentation formed of wide, high relief, molded fascia boards and corner blocks. The motif survived into the 1860's, and was added to three houses that were all probably remodeled during that time, #'s 62, 72 and 83.
Dating.from about. the time of those remodelings to about 1885 are only twelve buildings, which are found throughout the district. They range from very simple, gable front, vernacular houses such as #'s 12, 64 and 95, to the more impressive vernacular Italianate style residence, #21, to two major village landmarks, the Italianate style Town Hall, #67, and the Second Empire style Hewett House, #77. The latter stands just south of the district center on a large lot, set back from the road.
Most subsequent development in the village occurred in the southern end, which was, until the 1880's characterized by merely a few scattered, vernacular Greek Revival style houses, and the Maple Grove Cemetery, #86. The only significant exception to this was the construction around 1890 of four houses in the district center, built one above the other on the steepest part of Kimball Hill, between #39 and the top of the hill. Three of them, #'s 29, 36 and 37, are identical, square, hip roofed duplexes, while #34 is a similar single family house type.
Houses that began to fill in the southern area include the two vernacular examples of the Queen Anne style in the district, #'s 93 and 94 (built c.1905 and c.1885, respectively), the towers of which proclaim arrival into the village for travelers from the south. Nearby are three diverse, vernacular examples of the later Colonial Revival style- #89 (1916), a fine example of the then-prevalent "Four Square" house type, the clapboard, hip roofed #102 (c.1918), and the wood shingle, gambrel roofed #105 (c.1920).
Of the 22 non-contributing structures, only three, #'s 53, 73 and 76, are significant detractions, all occupying prominent locations, and all having replaced important historic structures. There are only two significant gaps in the district resulting from demolition or fire within the past fifty years, one between #'s 11 and 15, and the other in the general vicinity of #80. Number 80, now a quite isolated, Georgian Plan house, is shown in early 20th century photographs as part of a continuous, tree-lined streetscape containing several similar houses.
While deterioration is a relatively minor problem in the district, alteration, especially in the form of artificial siding, replacement of original entrances, and installation of small-sash windows, has eroded the historic fabric of several significant buildings.
Despite these losses mentioned above, the Putney Village Historic District retains a remarkable degree of cohesiveness and architectural quality considering its large size and geographic diversity.
Descriptions of individual buildings in the district follow (numbers refer to sketch map).
1. House, c.1790.
The house is similar to #46, a 3/4 Cape oriented gable end to the street, in that each has identical entrances in both the primary eave side and the third bay of the right gable end. Number 44 however, was constructed with much more formal, Federal style entrances.
One particularly unusual feature of this house is the west gable end door, known by local tradition as a "widow's door", which has a small hole cut out of the wide boards. During her wedding, the widow who owned the house supposedly stood naked on one side of the door, and passed her arm through the hole to accept the ring, thus symbolically severing all ties with the past‹and absolving her new husband of her former husband's debts.(la)
The house has only an early 20th century hip dormer breaking the slate roof, and a recessed carriage barn wing as appendages. The 2/2 sash windows have flanking blinds, and are diminished in the gables, with delicately molded cornices. The front door, c.1865, is covered by sheet metal weatherization, while the original raised;panel east gable door has two replacement glazed panels and a storm door, Both doors are topped by 5-light transoms. The house stands on a concrete faced fieldstone foundation, and is trimmed by corner boards, narrow frieze boards, and a slightly overhanging molded cornice. The west gable end has a flush cornice and slightly returning frieze boards. The exterior brick chimney was added to that end around 1967.
The wing was built in two sections. The clapboarded, slate-roofed right section (c.1830) has hand hewn mortice and tenon framing and a broad canted arch opening, while the vertical flushboarded left section (c.1880) has circular sawn mortice and tenon framing, a sheet metal roof with truss bracketed eaves, and large sliding and hinged doors.
1a. Tobacco Barn, c.1900. The last of several tobacco barns found along Westminster West Road as late as the 1930's, this approximately 22 x 40 foot building, now used as a potter's studio, is relatively small compared to the other tobacco barns that once stood nearby. The circular sawn, mortice and tenon framed barn bears the numerous ventilation slats, formed of hinged vertical flushboards, which are peculiar to this barn type. Non-original features include the sheet metal roof, fixed two sash windows in the east eave side, and numerous very recent, irregular, rounded windows in the south gable end.
2. House, c.1795 /c.1805.
It was very likely built within a year of, and by the same family as #11, a very similar brick-ended I-House (though now covered by aluminum siding) which was built by Captain Thomas H. Green.(2a) According to a former owner, who claimed to have found dates carved in the basement, the main block was built in 1805 (which is consistent with the architectural detailing) onto an existing Cape, now the ell, which was built in 1795.(2b)
The massively proportioned, high-relief facade ornamentation of the main block exhibits strong influence from certain examples of the Georgian style in America, which were derived from early 18th century English pattern books.
The central door of the 5x2 bay main block has two broad, molded panels, and a glazed and paneled storm door. It is framed by fluted Roman Doric pilasters with slight entasis, each of which stands on a plain base and supports an entablature fragment containing a triglyph with guttae. These support a pediment with drilled mutules that is broken to accommodate a semi-circular fanlight with radiating muntins and variously colored lights. The raking cornice moldings of the pediment have unfortunately been replaced by plain fascia boards. Framing the facade are two massive, tapering wall pilasters with entablature fragments, which are nearly identical to those of the entrance, though larger, unfluted, and without bases. These support the slightly projecting molded box cornice which trims the slate roof.
Windows have 2/2 sash, and on the facade are flanked by louvered blinds. The front first floor windows have large, delicately molded cornices, while the second floor windows abut the cornice. The clapboarded rear wall is unfenestrated, which further suggests that the ell preceded the main block. The first floor windows in the brick, common bond end walls are surmounted by semi-circular relieving arches. Between the two bays of each of these walls rises an interior end chimney. The house stands on a granite slab foundation, while fieldstone retaining walls support parts of the artificial hillock.
The ell has a central door, original and replacement 12/12 sash windows, and an asymmetrical gable roof, the front hall of which has the lower pitch, and extends beyond the wall plane to cover a recessed porch. While such a porch is unusual for an 18th century Cape, the former ell of #32, which was also originally a free-standing Cape, was very similar (see #32). Wall sheathing within the porch is wide horizontal flushboard. The original door has six raised panels, and a 5-light transom with alternately orange tinted and clear lights.
The gable front Late Bank Barn, connected to the ell by a small clapboard extension, was built about 1870, and measures approximately 35x50 feet. It stands on a fieldstone foundation, has a partially open basement story, circular sawn, mortice and tenon framing, clapboard sheathing, a sheet metal roof, and random 6/6 sash windows. The gable front has a large sliding door, a hayloft door above it, and a 6/6 sash gable window. A newly rebuilt sliding door serves the south eave side.
3. Corn Crib, c.1915 (converted to a house, c.1975).
Atop the original fieldstone foundation is a cinderblock foundation broken by multiple light, horizontal windows. In the gable center is a batten door. The gable window and one side window have 6/6 sash. Open eaves expose decorative, curvilinear rafter tails.
4. The Major James Fitch House, c.1779.
On April 21, 1779, 28-year-old Major James Fitch bought 101 acres of land on this site from Moses Johnson, who had built #8 several years earlier.(4a) Fitch presumably built this house soon thereafter, since on September 20, 1779 he published his intention to marry Lydia Clay, and in 1781 their son, James Fitch Jr., was born.(4b) In 1809 Fitch built #5 , across the street, for that son. Also in the early 19th century, Major Fitch ran a tannery on the small brook that flows between his house and Moses Johnson's, which may be #7 today.(4c)
In 1880, Putney S. Hannum moved into this house from Weston, Vermont, and became a prominent farmer. His son, Fred B. Hannum, raised enough tobacco through the 1920's and into the early thirties, largely on land just north of #3, to fill two large tobacco barns that stood behind this house, one of which was 100 feet long.(4d)
Around 1905, according to David Hannum, Fred B. Hannum, his father, built the two story ell, and added the fine Colonial Revival style porch that spans the front. Turn of the century photographs show this house with a previous wrap around, c.1880 porch, which had scroll sawn corner brackets and square posts.(4e)
The broad central door of the house has six varied, raised panels, and a 7-light transom with alternately green tinted and clear lights. Flanking the door are fluted, necked pilasters that support plain entablature fragments which border the transom. A molding underlines the transom, and projects around the pilasters to form capitals. This entrance is framed by wide bands of staggered quoins formed of beveled square blocks (two per quoin).
Windows have replacement 12/12 sash, 2/2 sash, and in the gables, original 12/8 sash. Blinds flank windows on the front and south sides. First floor windows have heavy molded cornices topped by small hip roofs, while the second floor windows abut the intricately molded, narrow frieze.
The slightly projecting box cornice is studded by numerous small mutules along the front and gable ends. This cornice forms pediments on the gable ends that have clapboarded tympana which extend farther than the wall planes‹a rare, characteristically 18th century feature also found on #19. Trimming the corners are staggered, beveled quoins laid upon wide corner boards. The foundation is concrete faced fieldstone. Breaking the rear pitch of the slate roof, just within the rear wall, are two massive, slightly corbelled chimneys.
The deep, full front porch (c.1905) consists of six Tuscan columns, with plinths at top and bottom, that stand on a concrete floor and support a low hip roof with a molded box cornice and matchboarded ceiling.
On the back is a 2-1/2 story, 4-bay, clapboard ell which is anchored by a massive central chimney and fronted by a plain shed-roofed porch. Fenestration is various, including original and replacement windows and doors. A l story, clapboard ell extension (c.1950) contains two garage bays.
Attached by a narrow walkway to the north gable end is the non-contributing wing built in the early 1940's as an office for Dr. Daniel Charles DeWolfe, who came to Putney in 1939.(4f) The 4x1 bay, 1 story, 3/4 Cape has fluted entry pilasters, 8/12 sash windows, clapboard sheathing, and an asphalt shingle roof.
4a. Shed, c.1900. A large gable front door serves this approximately 10 foot square, clapboarded shed, which has multiple sash eave side windows, a cinder block foundation, and asphalt shingle roofing.
5. The James Fitch Jr. House, c.1809.
The 2-1/2 story, 5x2 bay, clapboard I-House has a 1-1/2 story rear ell connected to an eaves front Yankee (Early) Barn.
The door (c.1870) has two glazed, round headed upper panels, and is topped by a wide lintel board with a widely projecting, intricately molded cornice. Windows have 2/2 sash, abut the frieze boards in the second floor, and occur diminished in the gables. The latter are enclosed by louvered blinds. The house stands on a projecting concrete foundation, and is topped by a steeply pitched sheet metal roof, from which rises a small central chimney. Trim includes simply corner boards and a projecting, returning box cornice. The interior retains Federal style detailing, including a finely molded mantel in the north parlor.
The ell is trimmed like the main block. From it, on the south side, projects a lean-to containing two large, double leaf doors. On the north side of the ell, adjacent to the main block,is a clapboard lean-to. The barn (c.1820) has the large central opening typical of this barn type, as well as a smaller, added garage door to the left, and a pass door to the right. Sheathing is variously board and batten, horizontal and vertical flushboard, and sheet metal roofing.
6. The Foster A. Wheeler Store, c.1785.
Especially notable about the building is its great height and depth relative to its width, the very steeply pitched slate roof, and the massive, paired interior end chimneys, three out of the original four of which survive. The first floor windows appear to have originally been longer than those of the second floor, which may have been related to the original function of this building as a store.
Moses Johnson (see #8), not long after selling land to Major Fitch in 1779 (who soon thereafter built #4), sold land to Foster A. Wheeler, who built this store, and operated a blacksmith shop across the road.(6a) The store had probably been standing well over a decade by 1806, by which time it was still the only fully brick building in Putney (number 2, probably constructed by that time, has brick ends).(6b)
In 1839 Wheeler sold the store and blacksmith shop to Henry Barton of Boston, who ran the store and shop until about 1850, when the building became a dwelling.(6c)
This building was once connected by a passageway to #7. That small factory utilized power from the brook running past the property, and was later moved a short distance to its present location.(see #7).
The common bond brick store stands on a granite slab foundation, has no appendages, and has doors in three of the four sides. Trim includes simply the slightly projecting, returning box cornice, and the raking friezes. Windows have 2/2 sash, which in the second floor nearly abut the cornice, and in the first floor are surmounted by Dutch arches, separated from the window frames by three courses of brick infill. Surrounding the paneled door are fluted pilasters and an underscaled pediment with a central urn. Opposite this entrance, in the 3-bay rear eave side, is a French door. In the central bay of the north gable end is a Christian cross door sheltered by an entry hood with a delicately molded returning box cornice.
6a. Carriage Barn, c.1865/c.1880/c.1915. Built in three sections, this carriage barn consists of a tall, 1-1/2 story gable front block with a flush, 1 story, eaves front ell. The gable front section, built around 1880, has a steeply pitched slate roof, clapboarded balloon frame, fascia trim, and a large sliding door at left. Above this are a hayloft door and a large louvered gable window.
Of the four bays of the ell, the right two were built around 1865 and have circular sawn, mortice and tenon framing, a large diagonal batten sliding door to the right, and a 2/2 sash window to the left. Around 1915, two additional carriage bays were added to the south of this ell, which have splayed lintel boards that form slightly elliptical arches. The rounded, exposed rafter tails of this new section were continued across the front of the c.1865 section as stubs, for decorative purposes.
7. The Putney Cheese Factory/ The Wallace Ford House, c.1820/1909.
The building originally stood on the north bank of the brook that flows past to the north, and was attached to #6 , Foster Wheeler's store, by a passageway before being moved to its present fieldstone foundation.(7b)
By at least as early as October, 1874, the building housed the Putney Cheese Factory which, according to a Brattleboro newspaper of that date, was managed by R. G. Page, and produced about 17,000 lbs. of "extra quality cheese" in that year, which sold for 14¢ per pound.(7c)
Sometime in the 1880's Oliver B. Wood rented the building and made cider for a few years. Around 1900, Wallace Ford bought it, began converting it to a house, lived in it several years. but died in 1905 before finishing the remodeling. In 1909, Harry Amidon bought it from Ford's family, who had continued to live there, and completed the work.(7d)
The somewhat irregular fenestration of the house includes 2/2 sash windows, and a glazed and paneled door, sheltered by a simple gabled hood, located left of center in the south eave side. Trim includes corner and frieze boards, and slanted eave soffits. A central cinder block chimney rises from the asphalt shingle roof. Serving the basement level of the east gable end, facing the road, are two large, double leaf doors. At the opposite gable end is a board and batten, shed roofed, plastic-enclosed greenhouse (c.1980).
8. The Moses Johnson House, c.1773.
On June 16th, 1773, Moses Johnson, a 32-year-old carpenter from Stamford, Connecticut, bought 64 acres on this site from Captain John Kathan (see #83), and probably built this house in the same year.(8b) The house stands prominently on a small rise set back from the road, at the intersection of Sand Hill Road. The attic framing, though now covered with insulation, bears the Roman numerals that Johnson carved upon each corresponding mortice and tenon to guide him in raising the frame.(8c) A few years later, Johnson sold parts of his 64 acre tract to Major James Fitch, and to Foster A. Wheeler, who built #'s 4 and 6, respectively.
Johnson, a Whig, in 1775 assisted in arresting Putney resident Judge Noah Sabin, considered to be a dangerous Tory, and taking him to the Westminster jail one of the events leading up to the infamous "Westminster Massacre".(8d) Johnson later went on to become a Lieutenant in the Revolution. Louisa Amidon, a direct descendant of Moses Johnson, presently lives next door in #7.
The house has an extended rear ell which is flush with the south gable end. The four panel main door is covered by a non-contributing batten storm door. Framing it are nearly full sidelights, and simple pilasters with block bases and capitals that support a narrow molded pediment that touches the window above. Thick, half-round fillets border the heavy lintel board along top and bottom, and project slightly over each pilaster, forming the capitals and neckings. The broad tympanum has wide fascia board in-fill.
Trim includes wide sill boards, corner and frieze boards, and the widely projecting returning box cornice. Windows have 6/6 sash, and in the second floor break through the frieze to abut the cornice. The diminished gable windows retain their original 9/6 sash. The foundation is brick on the front and south sides, and fieldstone on the north and rear. Two small, near central chimneys rise from the rear roof slope.
The gabled ell, which may have originally been a separate structure, has a 6-bay first floor (south side) and a 4-bay second floor, added around 1900 to the south side only. A 1-story ell extension has three 4-light knee wall windows, and a broad central carriage bay supported by two chamfered posts. A large brick chimney (c.1970) rises from the roof of this extension where it meets the ell.*
8a. Furniture Workshop/ Garage, c.1980. This irregular gabled structure has ells that include a 2-car garage. The clapboard building has an asphalt shingle roof and various small-light windows. Non-contributing.
8b. Shed, c.1920. This long, eaves front, board and batten shed has various cross-braced doors across the front. Non-contributing.
* According to: Edith De Wolfe and others (editors), The History of Putney Vermont: 1753-1953 (Putney: The Fortnightly Club of Putney, Vermont, 1953), p.47, the first sermon of the Congregational Church was held in this house in 1772, though the actual date was probably 1773.
9. House, c.1780.
The non-contributing, near central batten door has a fascia surround with a splayed lintel board and crude, non-original dentils. Small 6/6 sash windows have fixed blinds on the front eave side only. The house stands on a cinder block foundation, has corner and frieze boards, and a slightly projecting, returning molded box cornice trimming the asphalt shingle roof. The cornice is nearly flush on the west gable end, and flush and unmolded on the east. Wooden openings in the foundation at the northwest corner indicate an interior privy.
9a. Carriage Barn, c.l900. A deteriorated, clapboard, eaves front carriage barn which was once connected to the house through a wing, this small building has a large opening in the right half of the eaves front, and an asphalt shingle roof.
10. House, c.1865.
All windows have 2/2 sash and peaked lintel boards. The door, in the west eave side of the ell, has added upper lights, and is sheltered by a simple shed-roofed porch supported by a turned post. The house stands on a brick foundation, and has trimming sill, corner and frieze boards, and widely projecting, returning molded box cornices. Two small chimneys rise from the asphalt shingle roof.
The 2x1 bay shed has an octagonal gable window with radiating muntins, and a non-contributing shed-roofed porch on the south. The greenhouse has a double pitch, asphalt shingle and glazed shed roof, and clapboard walls.
10a. Carriage Barn, c.1865. This 1-1/2-story, clapboard, gable-roofed structure has been converted to a 2-bay garage through the addition of two overhead garage doors on the gable front. A pair of 6/6 windows mark the gable which is defined by a returning cornice. A large shed dormer has been added to the north roof slope.
11. The Captain Thomas Greene House/The Congregational Church Parsonage, c.1810.
The house was built by Captain Thomas Greene, who was apparently of the same family as the builders of #2. (11a) Though Greene had leased this land from John Campbell in 1805, he probably did not build the house until after 1806.(11b) According to an 1825 historical sermon by Reverend Elisha D. Andrews, there was only one brick ended house in town in 1806, and evidence suggests that it was #2, not this one.(11c)
In 1834, ten members of the "United Christian Society" joined together to buy this house for use as a Congregational Church parsonage. The building was specifically intended for the use of Reverend Amos Foster, who was installed as minister in 1833, his successors, who were to be "Orthodox Congregational Trinitarian Ministers, and for no others."(11d)
The house is the last bit of physical evidence associated with the second Congregational church (which stood from 1803 to about 1845), save for the flat depression a few yards south of the house where the church stood. From this high point of Westminster West Road, near the intersection of Sand Hill Road, the church marked the symbolic center of the village before the area down by the falls of Sackett's Brook took precedence around 1840. The church was rebuilt at its third and final location near those falls in 1841 (#47), while this house remained as the parsonage for as many as twenty years more, until a new parsonage, #60, was built.
Impressively situated upon a hill, set back from the road, the house is served by a drive lined with large locusts and maples. Framing the replacement, c.1970 paneled door are simple entrance pilasters with heavily proportioned, high relief capitals and replacement molded bases. A similarly heavy entrance entablature is divided by a molded taenia, and topped by a projecting cornice. Very similar to these pilasters are the two massive, tapering wall pilasters that frame the facade. They have pedestals, molded bases, and necked molded capitals, and may have supported entablature fragments that were removed when the aluminum siding was installed. Windows have 2/2 sash. From the low pitched, slate hip roof, which is trimmed by aluminum-enclosed eaves, rise two massive interior end chimneys. The main block stands on a granite slab foundation, while the rear wing, which is flush with the south end, has a brick foundation.
Sheltering the glazed and paneled wing door (c.1890), in the center bay under the cross-gable, is a 1-bay entry porch formed of two Italianate columns supporting a hip roof. A wing extension (c. 1970) contains three canted garage bays.
11a. Carriage Barn, c.1900. The first floor of this small, gable front carriage barn is completely open, while the clapboard gable has a hay loft door. The eave sides are sheathed with vertical flushboard, and the roof with sheet metal. Trim includes corner and frieze boards, and eaves with slanted soffits.
12. House, c.1870.
The door, in the right bay of the gable front, has two long, glazed upper panels and a fascia surround. Windows have variously 1/1 and 2/2 sash, in similar surrounds. Trimming the clapboard walls are sill boards, and corner boards that curve to meet the raking friezes. The steeply pitched slate roof is trimmed by eaves with slanted soffits and molded cornices. The foundation small central chimney are brick. Spanning the front is a porch with a lattice skirt, turned posts, a spindle balustrade, scroll sawn corner brackets, and a shed roof. In the 4-bay wing is a 3-bay recessed porch, supported by slotted posts that are linked by flat, scroll sawn balusters.
The clapboard barn extends one story below grade, and has a slate roof and fascia trim. In the right half of the gable front is a large opening, and a hayloft door above. A fixed 12-light window lights the attic. In the south eave side are two fixed 4-light stall windows. Below these, in the basement is a canted arched pass door, and a similar but wider carriage bay.
13. Late Bank Barn, c.1870.
13a. Office, c.1960. This small, 2-bay wide, 1-story, clapboarded gable front building has a gabled hood over the door, a flush, eaves front ell, a cinder block foundation, and an asphalt shingle roof. Non-contributing.
13b. Privy, c.1900. Unless moved to the present site, this privy suggests that a house once stood nearby. The approximately 5x5 foot, clapboard, gable front building has fascia trim and an asphalt shingle roof
14. Bank Barn, c.1830 / c.1905.
The barn has a clapboard gable front, board and batten eave sides and an open basement story to the south. The gable front has fascia trim, and 1/4-round eave brackets. In the sheathing of the south eave side can be seen what may be markings from the original large main door. Recent alterations include a horizontal, 4-part gable window, two variously sized doors occupying the location of the former sliding door in the right third of the gable front, and three skylights in the slate roof.
14a. Blacksmith Shop/ House, c.1900 / c.1970. Originally a blacksmith shop, this small, slate roofed, vertical flushboard sheathed building has undergone substantial alterations within the past ten years in its conversion to a house. It is barely visible from the road due to the slope of the hill. New windows, siding, exterior chimney, deck. Non-contributing.
14b. Barn Foundation, c.1870. The barn that stood on this approximately 20x100 foot fieldstone foundation, which is parallel to the road, was probably an eaves front bank barn similar to but larger than #13. It burned around 1900 and is now used as a parking lot for #14.
14c. Barn Foundation, c.1870. Of the three barns that originally stood here, the one built on this approximately 15x40 foot fieldstone foundation may have been a horse barn. It burned around 1900 and is now used as a parking lot for #14.
15. The David Crawford House, c.1822.
Crawford became a distinguished Captain in the War of 1812, and later held several public offices, including justice of the peace for twenty-five years and state senator in 1840 and 1841.(15b) His son James apparently took over the house by 1869, since "J. Crawford" appears by this house on the Beers' map of that year.(15c) Number 14, and two other barns that once stood across the road, were originally associated with this house (see #'s 14,14b and 14c).
The original door surround, which appears in a c.1890 photograph of this house, was dominated by a tall, very heavy and intricately molded broken entablature which had slight projections in the center and above each pilaster.(15d) The present surround frames a c.1850 door with multiple added lights, and is composed of projecting sideboards and a widely projecting molded pediment. Windows have replacement 12/12 sash, and in the second floor abut the eaves. An intricately carved dentil course with rounded gaps underlines the front eave, and projects slightly to clear the lintel boards of each of these windows. In the gable ends, the second floor and gable windows have heavily molded cornices. The house stands on a granite slab foundation, and has a steeply pitched slate roof trimmed by a returning molded box cornice. Other trim includes plain raking friezes, and corner boards.
An approximately 60 foot long, 1-story, slate roofed rear ell is flush with the south gable end, has 6/6 and paired 12/12 sash windows, two glazed and paneled doors, and in the west end, two canted arched carriage bays.
15a Shed, c.1950. Small, tar papered, shed roofed shed. Non-contributing.
16. House, c.1950.
16a. Garage, c.1950. Gable front, approximately 12x20 foot, novelty sided garage with a central overhead garage door. Non-contributing.
16b. Shed, c.1950. Gabled, novelty sided shed with a rear lean-to and an exterior cinder block chimney. Non-contributing.
16c. Shed, c.1970. Vertical flushboarded shed roofed shed, approximately 7x15 feet. Non-contributing.
17. Patch House, c. 1915.
A 1920 photograph postcard of this house refers to it as the "Patch house", which may be the name of the original owner. Significant alterations to the original appearance have included the removal of a porch that spanned the east gable end (similar to the present entry porch), the installation of a large picture window with small-light muntins in the right bay of that gable end, the sheathing with aluminum siding, and the front addition to the wing.(17a)
The door, in the second eaves front bay, has horizontal panels and small upper lights. The entry porch is supported by turned posts and scroll sawn corner brackets. Windows have 2/2 sash and fixed, flanking blinds. Over the right two eaves front bays are single-light knee wall windows. A returning box cornice trims the slate roof. The wing has two small, 2/2 sash windows, and a non contributing, shed-roofed addition which has narrow vertical windows.
17a. Shed, c.1915. This approximately 15 foot square, clapboard shed has a concrete foundation, asphalt shingle roof, fascia trim, slanted eave soffits, and a door identical to #17.
17b. Barn, c.1915. A small, 20x30 foot, eaves front Bank Barn converted to residential use, this building is sparsely fenestrated, and has a large, recently added, triangular light in the south gable. The clapboard barn has fascia trim, a staggered butt slate roof, and large sliding and hinged doors to the basement level . The primary original entrance was through the west eaves side (uphill), the opening of which is now sealed and fronted by a deck.
18. House, c.1825.
The primary entrance (left bay) consists of a Christian Cross door flanked by 2/3-length sidelights. Each sidelight is framed by elongated pilasters formed of fascia boards with narrower boards laid over them, and delicately molded bases and capitals. They support a tall broken entablature which has a slight projection over each pilaster. Windows have molded architrave surrounds, molded cornices, flanking blinds, and predominantly 2/2 sash, though original and replacement 12/12 sash , and a 6/9 sash gable window are also found. The house stands on a brick foundation, and is trimmed by corner boards, narrow frieze boards, and a molded box cornice. From the slate roof rise two tall, corbelled chimneys with iron, crested caps (c.1870). The 2-tier porch spans the south side, and is formed of balustraded, Greek Doric columns. In the wing extension are two non-contributing, small-light picture windows.
18a. Gazebo, c.1870. Originally a related structure to #38a, this octagonal, arcaded gazebo was moved to the present site around 1965, after #38a, a small vernacular house, was destroyed by fire. As shown in an early 20th century photograph, the structure originally stood on the approximate site of #35, atop a hill high above #38a, and was served by two flights of stairs.(18aa)
Measuring approximately 8 feet in diameter, the gazebo has a flared, octagonal hip roof with widely projecting eaves supported by scroll sawn truss brackets. Below the eaves, in each wall, are decorative scroll sawn valances, and similar 4-round corner brackets below them that form round arches. Each wall has lattice in-fill, and a paneled lower spandrel.
18b. Barn, c.1825 / c.1870. Originally an eaves front Early (Yankee) Barn , this barn was expanded by the addition of the gable front, 2-1/2-story, 2x3 bay Bank Barn ell to the south gable end. A 16-light transom marks the location of the original large, eaves front door, now covered by vertical flushboard sheathing. The clapboard, gable front addition has numerous replacement 12/12 sash windows, and a large opening in the gable front left bay. A slate roof covers both sections.
19. The James Haile House, c.1772.
In 1772, James Haile (1745-1808), of Warren, Rhode Island, bought 70 acres of land on this site from William Pierce, and probably built this house soon thereafter.(19a) His fourth son was born in Putney, presumably in this house, two years later. Haile later fought in the Revolution.(19b)
On March 26, 1793, a group met in this house as "...proprietors and subscribers for purchasing a library to be kept in the town of Putney", thus founding the Putney Library,which still exists.(19c)
In the 1840's the house was occupied by Achsah Campbell, who was one of those accused by a grand jury of "having had relations" with John Humphrey Noyes. One of her daughters later married Noyes' son, George.(19d)
The 4-panel front door of the house, covered by a plain board for weatherization, is topped by a 5-light transom, and framed by a delicately molded architrave surround. The slightly projecting box cornice directly above this has a continuous crown molding that wraps around the gable ends, under the gable projections. Windows, which also meet the low roof eaves, have plain surrounds, flanking blinds, and 6/6 sash in the first floor. In the north gable is a paired 12/12 sash window, and a small, square, fixed 4-light window in the west gable corner. The south gable contains one 12/12 sash window. The house has a fieldstone foundation and a slate roof. Inside are two molded fireplace mantels, and a 5-foot-high fireplace with a crane and brick oven.
A small, gabled, non-contributing garage (c.1950) is attached by a narrow walkway at the northwest corner, and has novelty siding, an asphalt shingle roof, and an overhead sliding door in the gable end.
20. House, c.1820.
A small, extended ell projects from the rear, and two massive chimneys rise from the rear pitch of the slate roof, just inside the rear wall. Surrounding the Christian Cross door and its 2/3-length sidelights is a delicately molded architrave surround. Above this is a plain, broken entablature which projects slightly over each of the four door and sidelight jambs. The cornice above it has a crown molding that follows each projection. All windows have 6/6 sash and flanking blinds. Those in the first floor, as well as the diminished gable windows, have molded cornices, while those of the second floor have molded architrave surrounds. Above the entrance is a 6/6 sash window flanked by narrow 4/4 sash sidelights, suggesting a Palladian window. This and the other second floor windows interrupt the narrow main block entablature, which is supported at the front corners by elongated pilasters with necked molded capitals. The interior is very well preserved.
The clapboard and asphalt shingled ell is flush with the north gable end, and extended by a 1x1 bay addition that is flush with the south gable end. Another ell extension to the west (c.1965) contains two slightly arched garage bays.
20a. Carriage Barn, c.1820. Very close to the house is this approximately 20 foot square, vertical and horizontal flushboarded carriage barn. It has an asphalt shingle roof, and a large sliding door in the left of the eaves front, topped by a 12-light transom. A small clapboard lean-to on the east nearly touches the wing of #20.
21. Clough House, c. 1869.
The spacious house is characterized by very regularly spaced bays, which are emphasized by the paired, scroll sawn brackets- which line the non-returning box cornice. Windows have 2/2 sash, molded cornices and flanking blinds, and in the 3-bay eaves front of the second floor, abut the molded frieze. The gable windows and center window above the entrance have narrow, paired 1/1 sash. The raking friezes curve down to meet the corner pilasters, which are very similar to those of Federal style houses in the district, such as the nearby #s 20, 22, and 27. Each leaf of the double leaf door has a long, round headed, etched glass panel. The surround is formed of engaged, chamfered Italianate columns that support a stilted lintel board, and a cornice studded by rounded modillions. The balloon framed house stands on a brick foundation, and has a slate roof and near central chimney.
Fronting the wing is a porch similar to the original main block porch. It has chamfered Italianate columns, a molded entablature, a low hip roof, and a skirt of decoratively sawn vertical flushboards. The barn wing, which descends to a full basement level to the north, is clapboarded on the north and west sides, vertical flushboarded elsewhere, and has S-round brackets along the raking friezes. It has a large opening in the front (south) side.
22. House, 1799.
The Christian Cross door is flanked by 2/3-length sidelights, and is framed by a molded architrave surround. An entablature and cornice over it may have been removed when the porch was built. The second floor windows, which retain their original 12/12 sash, have molded architrave surrounds and cornices, and abut the narrow, intricately molded entablature. First floor windows have 6/6 sash and similar surrounds. The center window, above the door, has 3/3 sash sidelights, suggestive of a Palladian window. At the front corners are elongated pilasters with necked molded capitals that support the entablature and slightly projecting molded box cornice. The porch has balustraded turned posts that are topped by scroll sawn corner brackets, and that support a frieze, molded cornice, and low hip roof.
Fenestration of the small 2-bay ell has been mostly altered. Still evident above the right two bays of the 3-bay, carriage barn ell extension, despite significant deterioration, are remnants of two elliptical arches cut out of the wide horizontal flushboard sheathing. The approximately 30x25 foot barn attached to this is also deteriorated, and has a large eave center opening, flushboard sheathing, and a sheet metal roof.
22a. Mike Herbert, in an interview, 1/13/85, citing information given to him by his father, Fred Herbert.
23. House, c.1860.
The door has two round headed, glazed upper panels, and a fascia surround with a wide lintel board. Windows have 6/6 sash. Trim includes sill, corner and wide frieze boards. Roof eaves have slanted soffits. The foundation and tall, near central chimney are brick. The ell is trimmed like the main block, and has a glazed and paneled door, and small, paired 4-light windows.
24. Central School, 1906.
24a. Garage, 1984. Eaves front, 2-car, vertical flushboarded garage with a truncated sheet metal roof. Non-contributing.
25. House, c.1945.
25a. Garage, c.1970. A small, shed-roofed, 2-bay garage. Non-contributing.
26. House, c.1955.
27. The Noyes Homestead / Locust Grove, c.1810.
In 1822 Noyes' father, Hon. John Noyes, a retired Brattleboro businessman and U.S. Congressman, bought this house from Captain Benjamin Smith, who was a prominent Putney merchant and probably the builder of the house.(27a) In 1835, Tirzah C. Miller, one of Hon. John Noyes' daughters, described her family's home as: "...a large, handsome, old-fashioned house, situated upon a graceful eminence overlooking the little village of Putney...". "A rare group of locust trees of uncommon height and size..." she continued,"...gives to the place the name of 'Locust Grove'"(27b) Some of those locusts remain today. Because of the numerous books and journals in the house, as well as Noyes' disposition, Miller wrote: "visitors are impressed with the intellectual atmosphere which pervades the place."(27c)
It was this intellectual environment in which John Humphrey Noyes, the founder of "Modern Perfectionism", grew up. After leaving Putney for several years for schooling and preaching, he returned in the late 1830's and began forming a small Utopian community by which he hoped to realize his ideal of "Bible Communism". This Utopian vision involved communal ownership of property, and eventually communal marriage as well. In 1846, Noyes secretly instituted a "complex marriage" and "consolidation of households" in Putney, centered in this and two other houses in the village(see#'s-62 and 76). This house became the focus of the Perfectionist community in 1847 when another consolidation took place, and "...the four principle families of the Putney Community were united [here] in a single household": the Noyes, Cragin, Skinner and Miller families.(27d)
Other past owners include John Campbell, Omar Buxton and Muriel Nicholson.
Particularly unusual about the house is the eave ornamentation, considering the date of the house, and the entry porch. Corner pilasters with molded bases and widely projecting necked capitals support an entablature consisting of an architrave with an elliptical chain link motif overlay, and a rope molded frieze. Originating from the taenia are numerous scrolling modillions that meet the soffit of the molded box cornice, and partially obscure the rope molding. The broad, flushboarded tympana, which are pierced by semi-elliptical lunettes that have radiating muntins, are framed by narrow raking friezes with cut out designs of alternating horizontal diamonds and vertical ovals.
The simple shed-roofed entry porch is an especially fine example of Federal style ornamentation because of the extreme attenuation of the paired Tuscan columns that support it‹an emphasis on the decorative rather than the functional properties of columns.
The entrance and windows are treated with similar delicacy. Flanking the Christian cross door are 2/3-length, 2/2 sash sidelights, and on either side of these are delicately molded paneled pilasters. A molded broken entrance entablature projects slightly above each pilaster. Windows have 6/6 sash, molded architrave surrounds, and broken entablatures that project slightly above each window jamb. Second floor windows abut the main block entablature. The delicacy of the ornament is counterbalanced by the two massive interior chimneys that rise from the ridge of the slate roof.
The ell, which, like the main block, has a granite slab foundation, has an asphalt shingle roof with no eave projections, and a 6/6 sash gable window flanked by two smaller ones, suggestive of a Palladian window. Near the main lock, an ell door has an ornate, chamfered, truss bracketed hood, visible through a glassed-in enclosure. The wing has a brick foundation, sheet metal roof and a picture window in the east gable end.
27a. Early (Yankee) Barn, c.1810. Probably the primary barn to this house before a larger one was built on the site of #25, this eaves front, vertical flushboarded barn has a large double leaf door with cusped strap hinges, a fieldstone foundation, sheet metal roof, and a small lean-to on the south gable end, which is served by a large double leaf door.
27b. Ash House, c.1810. A rare example of an early 19th century ash house, this simple approximately 3x4 foot common bond brick structure has a small wooden gable front door.
28. House, late 18th century, c.1870.
Noyes had set up a hand printing press in a sawmill loft in 1839 or 1840 to publish The Witness, which he had begun in Ithaca, New York in 1837 to promulgate his Perfectionist doctrines. If this building was in fact his print shop*, later publications of The Witness, and The Perfectionist, which was begun in 1843, may have been printed here.(28b) The building presumably became a residence some time after 1847, when Noyes and most of his followers were run out of town by hostile residents.
The approximately 27x22 foot structure has a 2x2 bay ell to the south, and an L-plan carriage barn to the west. The door, which has two long, round headed glazed panels, and the 2/2 sash windows, have plain drip molded surrounds. Topping the high knee wall is a returning box cornice, and an asphalt shingle roof. A non-contributing shed-roofed porch shelters the door. The foundation is brick. Sheathing the carriage barn ells is clapboard, novelty siding, and slate roofing. There are several hayloft doors, and both canted and square carriage bays, with sliding and hinged doors.
* See also: Constance Noyes Robertson, Oneida Community Profiles (Syracuse, New York: Syracuse University Press, 1977), p.96, for reference to a "printing office" included among the Noyes property.
29. Duplex, c. 1890.
The double central entrance consists of two doors, each with long, rectangular, glazed upper panels, and both sheltered by a 2-bay, hip roofed porch supported by plain square posts. Windows have 2/2 sash and flanking blinds. The clapboard building has a brick foundation, fascia trim, a molded box cornice, and a slate roof. Built into a steep bank, it has a full basement story at rear.
30. House, c.1970.
30a. House, c.1975. A tall, approximately 20 foot square, 2-story, vertical flushboarded house with a truncated gable roof. Non-contributing.
31. Late Bank Barn / Multi-Family Residence, c.1870/c.1975.
The barn has a fieldstone foundation, board and batten sheathing, a slate roof, and irregular fenestration, including paired 6/6 sash windows. The present entrance is through a door at gable left, while the original large central door has been sealed.
32. The Phineas White House / The John Kimball House, c.1815.
Phineas White (1770-1847) was born in South Hadley, Massachusetts, graduated from Dartmouth in 1797, and came to Putney in 1800 to practice law. He set up his office in a small brick building, #50, and lived in a simple, 18th century Cape that would later form the ell of this house, until about 1930. That Cape, the markings of which can still be seen on the back of this house, was similar to the present ell of #2 in that it had a recessed, eaves front porch.(32b) Between 1815 and 1820, White served as the state's attorney for Windham county, judge of the probate court, and Putney representative to the legislature. From 1834 to 1840 he was a state senator. He was also a member of the Putney Masonic Lodge, and became Grand Master of the state in the 1840's. White spent the last years of his life here farming.(32c)
Another Dartmouth graduate whose life closely paralleled White's was John Kimball, who married White's daughter Frances Mary, and lived in this house from about 1840 probably into the 1870's. A lawyer in Claremont, New Hampshire, Kimball came to Putney in 1839, held various state level public offices, and spent the last years of his life here farming.(32d) He may have built the nearby large barn, #31. According to local tradition, Kimball, the namesake of Kimball Hill, built several houses on that hill, which would have to be #'s 39, 40 and 42-small workers' houses built around around 1840.
The formal entrance of the house is framed by two large locust trees, and is led up to from a level carriage landing by two flights of slate stairs built into the steep, terraced front lawn. That entrance, which is virtually identical to Plate 30, Figure 1 in the above mentioned pattern book, has a Christian Cross door framed by 2/3-length sidelights and a 3-point arched fanlight, all gracefully leaded. Paneled door jamb pilasters have capitals that project slightly from the fanlight base. These elements are slightly recessed within an outer surround of fluted, necked pilasters supporting a fascia board that frames the fanlight, and that has repeated triglyph motif carvings.
Windows in the facade (south side) and east gable end, which were taken directly from Plate 17, Figure 1 of The American Builder's Companion have 6/6 sash (as shown in the pattern book), granite sills, and polished granite splayed lintels with stepped keystones. They are flanked by mechanical louvered blinds. Windows in the much less formal, irregularly fenestrated rear and west sides have plain jack arches.
The Flemish bond brick building stands on a granite slab foundation, has two massive, interior end chimneys, and a slate roof trimmed by a mutulated returning molded box cornice. A broad-gabled, clapboard, 3-bay deep ell spans the rear (north) side, has very narrow eaves sides, and has an irregular gable roof. The west gable end has a small, recent greenhouse addition.
33. The Stearne O. Parker House, c.1870.
The house was built by Stearne O. Parker of East Putney, great grandson of Joshua Parker, who according to local tradition became the first settler on Westminster West Road in 1764. It was occupied in the early 20th century by a manager of the Robison Paper Company on Sackett's Brook, and had formally landscaped grounds.(33a) As a dormitory for Windham College from the 1950's to 1978, the house was known as the "Gray House". A fire in February, 1985 destroyed the roof between the gables, which the owner plans to rebuild.
The door, at gable left, is covered by a non-contributing batten storm door. Windows have 6/6 sash. The clapboard house stands on a brick foundation, has sill boards, and raking friezes that curve to meet the corner boards. Before the fire, the roof had slate shingles, a central chimney and a non returning box cornice. Built into a steep bank, the house has a full basement story
34. House, c.1890.
35. House, c.1945.
35a. Garage, c.1945. Similar to the house, #35, in detailing, this 4-bay wide, eaves front, wood shingle carriage barn has fixed 6 sash windows, and a folding double leaf door in the right bay. Non-contributing.
36. Duplex, c.1890.
The double central entrance consists of two doors, each with long, rectangular, glazed upper panels, and both sheltered by a rebuilt, hip roofed porch supported by turned posts. Windows have 2/2 sash, but the one above the entrance is sealed and clapboarded. The clapboard building has a brick foundation, fascia trim, a molded box cornice, and a slate roof. There is a small rear wing with irregular, shed roofed porches. Built into a steep bank, the house has a tall basement story at rear.
37. Duplex, c.1890.
The double central entrance consists of two doors, each with long, rectangular glazed panels, and both surmounted by a large, 3-point arch, sunburst motif fan supported by fluted pilasters and flanked by coach lights. Windows have 2/2 sash, but the one above the entrance is sealed and clapboarded. The clapboard building has a brick foundation, fascia trim, a molded box cornice, and a slate roof. Built into a steep hill, the house has a full basement story at rear.
38. Carriage Barn, c.1870.
The large, central, diagonal matchboard, double leaf door, and the 6/6 sash windows have label moldings with the ends cut off at 45 degrees. In the steep central cross dormer is a round headed, hood molded 6/6 sash window. Crowning the ridge intersections is a 1x1 bay, hip roofed cupola with arched openings and a bracketed cornice. Similar paired, scroll sawn brackets trim the eaves of the steep slate roof. Fenestration of both gable ends has been almost completely altered, and the north end has gained a non-contributing, clapboard lean-to.
38a Foundation Hole, c.1870. This approximately 22 foot square, fieldstone foundation hole is all that remains of the vernacular, c.1870, 1-1/2-story, Sidehall Plan house that originally stood here. Generally similar to #95, the house had a wrap-around Italianate style porch, and elongated first floor, 6/6 sash windows that reached the floor level. (38aa) The house burned around 1967. The small gazebo that stood atop the hill just north of the house, now #18a, was served by two flights of stairs built into the hillside. It was moved to its present location soon after the fire.
39. House, c.1840.
The1-1/2-story, gable front, Sidehall Plan, 3x3 bay clapboard house has a small 2-bay rear wing, and a full basement story on three sides. The door has two large, square panels each having --round sunburst motifs in the corners, and each filled by a large, round, raised panel formed of concentric circles, and bordered by small triangular fringes. Surrounding the door are 2/3-length sidelights above pyramidal raised panels, and a paneled transom bar above. Framing the whole is an outer surround of high relief, channeled, raised panel fascia boards with bull's-eye corner blocks, and a plain projecting cornice. Crowning the cornice is a small horizontal board with a pyramidal raised panel. Flanking the 6/6 sash windows are blinds with both vertical and horizontal louvers (an unusual feature also found on #47). The house stands on a foundation of gold glazed brick, unusual for the period, and has fascia trim, a returning molded box cornice, a slate roof, and a small central chimney.
40. House, c.1840.
The 1-1/2-story, 3x6 bay, gable front, Sidehall Plan house has a 4-bay south eave side porch (c.1890), a partial basement story at rear, and a 2-story residential and carriage barn rear wing. The 5-panel door is flanked by 2/3-length sidelights, and has a surround of high relief, channeled, raised panel fascia boards with bull's-eye corner blocks. There is a second door in the 4th bay of the south eave side. Windows have 2/2 sash and flanking blinds. The clapboard house stands on a brick foundation, has wide trim, a returning molded box cornice, and a slate roof. The hip roofed porch has turned posts with spindle balustrades, a frieze and molded box cornice, and a lattice skirt. In the wing are windows, a hay loft door, and in the basement level, a double leaf carriage bay door with diagonal matchboard panels. There is another large, double leaf batten door below the basement level.
40a. Blacksmith Shop/ Garage, c.1840 / c.1920 / 1985. Originally a 3x1 bay blacksmith shop, the two 6/6 sash first floor windows of this small, gable front, clapboard building were replaced by two large, 4-panel sliding doors in its conversion to a garage or carriage barn. (40aa) Slanted eaves trim the steep sheet metal roof. A 1985 remodeling removed the doors and substituted a shingle-roofed oriel and a glazed pass door. Non-contributing due to alterations
41. Baker House, c.1810 / c.1865.
The door has two long round headed upper panels, and flanking 2/3-length sidelights. Door jamb pilasters are attenuated and paneled, while the outer entrance pilasters are fluted, and layed over wider sideboards. The broken entrance entablature has slight projections above each pilaster, each projection emphasized by the several moldings that jog over them. Windows have 2/2 sash, occur diminished in the gables, and have delicately molded architrave surrounds with flanking blinds. Trim includes sill boards, corner pilasters with molded bases and necked, widely projecting molded capitals, a narrow frieze abutted by the second floor windows, and a returning molded box cornice.
The ornate Italianate style porch has square columns with shafts and necks that have round headed panels. These support a frieze with round ended panels between the columns, paired, curvilinear, pendanted brackets above each column, and a molded box cornice above. The 3-sided bay window, in the right bay of the south gable end, has narrow 1/1 sash windows, folding blinds, and paneled lower spandrels. One of the original two large, interior chimneys rises from the rear pitch of the slate roof. The foundation is granite slab. While the southern part of the interior of the house has been completely remodeled, the upstairs and north parlor retain original trim, and three very fine Federal style mantels.
The substantially remodeled ell retains an elliptical arched carriage bay. Non-contributing additions include an oriel window, a door with a gabled hood, various windows, dormers, and a 2-bay ell extension that is flush with the main block.
41a. Office, c.1870. Haynes E. Baker made an unsuccessful attempt to establish a stock company in this unusual, approximately 12x15 foot, 1-story, gable front, clapboard building probably after selling his half interest in the "Old Corner Store", #51 (southern section) in 1869. (41aa) In the right bay is a door opening topped by a tall lintel board with a widely projecting cornice supported by scroll-sawn brackets. The deteriorated building, which stands on a brick and fieldstone foundation, has a slate roof with slanted eave soffits. Some of the windows retain their 2/2 sash and flanking blinds. Inside is dado matchboarding.
A second related structure, apparently an early 19th century carriage barn remodeled to the Italianate style with a cupola and cornice brackets, was recently demolished by the present owners, who intend to use the timbers for a new church structure.
42. House, c.1840.
The approximately 22x27 foot, 3x4 bay, 1-1/2-story, gable front, Sidehall Plan house has a basement story at rear, a full front porch, and a flush 3-bay ell to the north connected to a gable front carriage barn. The door, which has a large upper panel, has a plain fascia surround with bull's-eye corner blocks. Windows have 6/6 sash, and occur diminished in the gables. The clapboard house stands on a brick foundation, has fascia trim, a molded frieze, a returning molded box cornice, and a small central chimney rising from the slate roof. The porch, c. 1865, has three square, necked columns, a frieze, and a shed roof with a returning molded box cornice. In the ell is a central door flanked by 2/2 sash windows. The deteriorated, vertical flushboarded carriage barn has a sliding door at left with two lower cross-braced panels, and a rolled roof with a flush cornice.
43. House, c. 1810.
The vernacular Federal style building has delicately molded trim, a full brick basement story in the rear half, an entry porch, and a 2-bay shed roofed ell that is flush with the gable front. The door has a large glazed upper panel, 2/3-length sidelights, and a delicately molded architrave surround surmounted by a tall lintel board and a widely projecting molded cornice. Windows have 2/1 sash in similar surrounds. Lining the eave sides are 8/8 sash knee wall windows. The clapboard house has fascia trim, and trimming the slate roof, a returning molded box cornice which is flush on the gable front, and only slightly projecting on the eave sides. The rear basement door is flanked by original 12/12 sash windows in molded surrounds. The gabled entry porch, c.1900, has four turned posts, and a matchboarded tympanum. There is a door and 6/6 sash window in the north wing. (Entry porch removed, fall 1985.)
44. House, c.1805.
Built part way up Kimball Hill many years before the Congregational Church (#47) and the Masonic Hall (#49) were built below it, the house originally had a formal south eave side facing the village center below, while the equally formal, pedimented east gable end faced the road. The house is similar to #1, also a Cape with identical entrances in two sides.
McClellan's map of 1856 shows D. Hager living here, while Beers' map of 1869 indicates Dr. D.P. White.(44a) Early 20th century owners have included Edwin Gorham, a painter, Dr. E. S. Munger, and Mrs. Blood.(44b)
The house has a long 3-bay rear wing, and a long, 2-bay enclosed porch projecting from the south eave side. The remaining original entrance in the east gable end has a raised panel Christian Cross door flanked by 3/4-length sidelights, and framed by a molded architrave surround. Above this is a lintel board which projects slightly at the ends, topped by a delicately molded cornice that follows the projections. The small 6/6 sash windows have delicately molded architrave surrounds with molded cornices. The house has fascia trim, a molded box cornice, and a slate roof. In the wing is a double leaf sliding door, a 6/6 sash window, a glazed and paneled door, and full shed roofed porch across the front. The enclosed south porch, as seen in a 1916 photograph, was originally open, and had a clapboard apron and a lattice skirt.(44c) It now stands on a cinder block foundation, has a vinyl sided apron, and banks of 1/1 sash windows enclosing it.
44a. Livery Stable, c.1915. This large, approximately 30x35 foot, 1-1/2-story + attic, clapboard livery stable was probably built by Simon L. Davis, who ran the store in #51 (south section) for several years beginning in 1915. A sign in the gable from about that time reads: "S. L. Davis". The architectural detailing is consistent with such a date as well.
The building has a symmetrically fenestrated facade which includes a central double leaf sliding door, a tall glazed and paneled hayloft door above it, and three 2/2 sash windows in each of the gable corners. In the extreme right is a 4-panel pass door. Each leaf of the central door has two long over two short, chamfered, diagonal matchboard in-filled panels. The upper central panels are filled with fixed 4-sash windows. Along the south eave side are seven small, square, single light stall windows. The building stands on a concrete foundation, has fascia trim, and a slate roof with raking eave soffits.
45. Store, c.1890.
The central triple leaf door has long, 3-light upper glazed panels. To the right is a large multiple light window, and at left is a glazed and paneled door, similar to that serving the porch above. That porch is supported by 1/4-round chamfered truss brackets, and is formed of turned posts, spindle balustrades, slightly arched valances, and a hip roof with a molded cornice. Windows have 2/1 sash, with 12-or 4-sash storm windows. The gable window, framed by the returning molded box cornice, has replacement leaded glass (c.1975). The clapboard building has a concrete foundation and an asphalt shingle roof.
46. House, c.1805.
The house has an entry porch and extensive mid-19th century additions. Framing the Christian Cross door are 2/3-length sidelights, and a wide fascia surround with a tall lintel board. Tuscan columns and two chamfered posts support the hip roofed entry porch. First floor windows have 6/6 sash, molded architrave surrounds, and broken entablatures that project slightly above each window jamb. A door in the center of the south gable end is glazed and paneled, and has a surround of narrow pilasters supporting a similar entablature. Second floor windows also have molded architrave surrounds, but abut the main block entablature. The window above the main entrance is flanked by 2/2 sash sidelights, suggestive of a Palladian window. Supporting the intricate, rope molded entablature are wide corner board pilasters with widely projecting, necked molded capitals. The molded box cornice forms pediments in the gable ends that each frame a full-sized window. The house stands on a granite slab foundation, and has a slate roof from which rise two massive interior chimneys.
A 3-bay ell has a door in its partially exposed west gable, variously 12/12 and 9/6 sash windows, and 8-sash knee wall windows. From this ell projects a small carriage barn, parallel to the main block, which has a broad canted arch opening in the south gable, below grade behind the house. An approximately 30x22 foot recessed wing of this ell has a large, eaves front, central matchboarded sliding door, a double leaf hayloft door above, and four small stall windows across the north gable end. All three of these ells and wings date from the mid-19th century, are clapboard, and have slate roofs with returning box cornices.
47. The Congregational Church / The Putney Federated Church, 1841.
The earliest record of the church is from 1772, when the first sermon was held in the newly built home of Moses Johnson, #8. The next year, the first meetinghouse was built across from Old North Cemetery, just north of the district, and in 1803, the second was built a few yards south of #11. The third and final move of the church came in 1841, following increased industrial and commercial activity at the present village center by the falls of Sackett's Brook.(47a)
When built, the church had a high gallery in the back, which may have been removed to make room for the present classroom space in 1867, the year that the church was "thoroughly repaired". The present vestibule may have been built at that time as well. In 1893 the church was again repaired and remodeled, at which time the present bowed pews replaced the original ones, which had no central aisle, and an organ, carpet and Queen Anne windows were installed. 1915 electric lights and the present pressed tin ceiling were added. The church became the Putney Federated Church on January 10, 1919, when the Baptists and Methodists joined the Congregationalists, and left their church buildings, #'s 63 and 69. In 1938 the sanctuary was remodeled, which is probably when the molded entablatures and pediment inside were built, and any remaining stained glass was replaced by multiple sash windows.(47b)
The church exterior is well preserved, though missing the battlements and tall corner finials that originally crowned both tiers of the belfry ridge tower.(47c) Two story corner and facade wall pilasters have entasis and necked molded capitals with paired annulets. They support an entablature and molded box cornice that form a full pediment. Each leaf of the central double leaf door has eight variously sized panels. This door, and the similar single leaf doors in the first and third bays, which are purely ornamental, have fascia surrounds and ornate raised panel corner blocks. Large upper story windows have 20/20 sash, while windows in the 7-bay first floor of the eave sides have 12/12 sash. All have blinds with vertical and horizontal louvers.
The first tier of the belfry is flushboarded, and trimmed by corner pilasters that support a full entablature, and that frame a molded, circular applique studded with twelve keystones. Forming the diminished second tier are paired, paneled pilasters that support a triglyph entablature and a mutulated cornice. Between the inner pilasters of each side are smaller antae that support an open, keystoned round arch, through which can be seen the bell. A plain, wooden finial tops the low hip roof.
48. The Isaac Grout Store / "Grout's Stand" / The M. G. Williams Store, c.1804.
As seen in a c.1900 photograph, the building had a door in the same location as the present left of center door, regularly spaced first floor windows, and a c.1870, Italianate style entry porch.(48e) By about 1920, as seen in a later photograph, the same door was flanked by two small-light picture windows, the openings of which still exist. Above them was a 2/3-width, second floor porch from which hung a sign that read: "M. G. Williams".(48f) The building now houses the Putney Consumer's Co-op.
The building stands on a brick foundation, has a recent, aluminum sided rear lean-to, and a 3-bay wide recessed wing, added as an annex around 1865. In the first floor are two unpaneled, non-contributing doors that facilitate traffic through the co-op. At far right is an original, deeply recessed, raised panel, Christian Cross door topped by a 4-light transom. Windows have variously 2/2 and 6/6 sash, and occur both paired and single in the first floor. In the second floor they abut the eaves. Trimming the asphalt shingle roof is a molded cornice with slight returns but no overhang.
49. Masonic Hall, 1859.
The doors, in the first and fourth bays, each have nine upper lights. have 6/6 sash and, like the doors, have peaked lintel boards. In the is a broad, triangular louvered opening, framed by the paired, scroll sawn brackets that line the returning molded box cornice. The building has a concrete foundation, fascia trim, a frieze with a molded lower edge, and a slate roof.
50. The Phineas White Office, c.1800 / c. 1875.
51. (North Section) Store, c.1845.
The first floor, which now consists of five slightly recessed, aluminum sided bays has, in different bays, large fixed four sash windows, an 8-light transom, and a double leaf glazed and paneled door. Windows have 6/6 sash. The porch is supported by chamfered truss brackets, and is formed of chamfered Italianate columns on tall pedestals which are linked by scroll sawn, vertical flushboard balusters. Visible within the porch is the corner board and molded entablature trim, elsewhere covered by siding. The building has a concrete foundation, and a slate roof trimmed by a returning box cornice.
The ell, which connects with #51 (south section) as a wing, was originally a carriage barn. The ell has been extended forward by a non-contributing, nearly full, clapboard lean-to which is flush with the facade of the south section. Above it are 6-sash knee wall windows.
51. (South Section) The C.W. Keyes Store / The A.M. Corser Store, 1840 / c.1900.
Hand written in black paint on one of the roof planks in the attic is "C.W. Keyes 1840"- a very probable date of construction considering the massing, framing, and details such as the widely projecting, returning box cornice. Consistent with this information, the store is labeled "C.W. Keyes Store & P. O." on McClellan's map of 1856.(51d)
In 1857, Alexis B. Hewett bought a half interest in the store, in partnership with Haynes E. Baker (see #41), who presumably bought the other half interest at the same time.(51e) Beers' map of 1869 labels the store: "Baker & Hewett Store & P. O.(51f) In 1869 A. F. Kelley bought Baker's interest, and the store became known as "Hewett & Kelley", until Hewett bought out Kelley's shares in 1872 and became the sole proprietor.(51g) In that same year, Hewett built his lavish Second Empire style residence, #77.
Hewett kept the business until 1882. By 1883, H. E. Wheat was running the store, with the help of a 20-year-old clerk, Adelbert M. Corser of Dummerston. Wheat and Corser became partners in 1886 (at which time the store may have been called "Elmore Wheat & Son"), and in March, 1889, Corser became the sole owner. Corser, who at the time lived in #94, became widely known as a sewing machine salesman, and kept one man constantly on the road selling two brands of machines.(51h) Corser was also an amateur photographer, reponsible for most of the historic photographs in the collection of the Putney Historical Society.
Corser sold the business to Simon L. Davis in 1915, and the next year built himself a new house, #89.(51i) Davis, in addition to the store, apparently ran the livery stable across the street, #44a, which bears his name. Subsequent owners have been Oscar Cummings, who named the store the "Old Corner Store", A. F. Fickett, who renamed it "Putney General Store", and the present owner, Robert Fairchild.(51j) While doing basement renovations several years ago, the present owner found remnants of stone flumes, indicating that the store may have been built on the site of an earlier mill.
The store is entered through a double leaf, glazed and paneled door, which is recessed between the bay windows. These windows contain canted 1/1, 2/2, and large fixed 4 sash lights. In the southeast gable is a wide 8/8 sash window similar to those originally located in the facade. Below this, serving the attic, is a broad door with four raised panels and cusped strap hinges. A small gabled projection above it originally sheltered a hoist, which lifted goods to be stored in the attic. Spanning the first floor of this gable end is a recently added, clapboarded lean-to.
The wing, which connects with #51 (north section) as an ell, was originally a carriage barn. It has been extended forward by a nearly full, non-contributing, clapboard lean-to which is flush with the facade. Above it are 6/6 sash knee wall windows.
* First Name: Calvin W. Keyes. See: Edith De Wolfe and others (editors), p.156.
52. Captain John Stower's Tavern / Houghton's Tavern / Putney Tavern, c.1797.
The approximately 54x28 foot wing, which meets the 40x32 foot main block flush on the south side, originally contained a very unusual, large ballroom with an elliptical-arched ceiling, the framework of which still exists, above the present dropped ceiling, in the attic. Original stenciling that trimmed this ballroom is also still intact, beneath the wallpaper. Equally as rare as the ballroom was the wrap-around porch with solid Tuscan columns, which spanned the wing and main block from at least as early as the early 19th century, up to 1953.(52a)
The photograph caption of a c.1930 "Putney Tavern" brochure places the date of construction at 1797- a date that corresponds well with the architectural massing and detailing.(52b) According to deed research by Craig Stead, John Goodwin of Worcester, Massachusetts sold to Chandler Bigelow land on this site in 1797 or 1798. Bigelow in turn leased the property to John Stower, whose name is associated with the tavern through the first two decades of the 19th century. While Goodwin or Bigelow may have built the tavern, the precise date is uncertain, since the first specific mention in the Putney Land Records of a tavern on this site does not appear until 1805.
The Brattleboro Reformer in the early 19th century carried continual announcements of Mason's meetings, carriage tax and debt collections, stallion showings, etc., at "Capt. John Stower's".(52c) In 1824, the building was actually used to reckon the exact center of town, when a decision by the Putney Library Society determined that "...the [library] books shall be kept within a half a mile of Houghton's Tavern."(52d) Asa Houghton was the proprietor from about 1818 to 1830.(52e)
By the 1880's, the building was known as "Kendrick's Hotel", and was run by D. H. Kendrick.(52f) By 1901 Clifford Davidson was the proprietor and the building was known as: "Kendrlck House". (52g) Mr. & Mrs. E.W. Parker ran an inn called the "Putney Tavern" here around 1930, and by 1953, the building had been divided into apartments.
The hip roof and wing of this building may be original, though there is some evidence that the original roof was gabled, and later reconstructed (before 1830) when the wing was built, in order to harmoniously unite the main block and wing roofs. A detailed examination of the building frame is necessary to determine the physical history of this structure.
If original, the relatively steep hip roof would correspond well with the Georgian style features of the building, such as the massive proportions, heavy door surround, and complete moldings in the north parlor. Two bowed collar ties in the roof peak, which have roofing nails and rot on the tops, clearly formed a small platform atop the hip roof, with a bowed surface for water run-off. Water seepage apparently caused deterioration nevertheless, and a small cap was subsequently built which continues the roof ridges to the present peak. This hip roof platform may have originally been surrounded by a balustrade, and flanked by two massive interior chimneys, in the same locations as the present slender, c.1870 chimneys- all hallmarks of Georgian style roof treatment.
The building is served by a wide 4-panel door, which is topped by a 6-light transom, and framed by a wide fascia surround with a splayed lintel board. Above this door, and two others in the long south side, are small gabled hoods. Windows have 6/6 sash (probably original), fixed blinds, and abut the eaves in the second story. The clapboard building has a projecting concrete foundation, beaded corner boards, a slightly projecting, delicately molded box cornice, and a slate roof. The wing has a shed roofed addition on the northwest, a flush returning cornice in the gable, and a corbelled interior end chimney.
Attached to the southwest corner of the wing is a 3x2 bay, 2-story, gabled, c.1865, nearly free-standing wing with clapboard sheathing, 6/6 sash windows, and a slate roof trimmed by a returning box cornice. From this addition projects to the southeast a non-contributing lean-to, flush with the main block wing, which has an entry porch, oriel window, and exterior chimney.
52a. Garage, c.1950. A 25 foot square, cinder block, shed roofed, 1-car garage. Non-contributing.
53. The Perfectionist Chapel / The Village Room Restaurant, 1841 / c.1970.
The present, non-contributing, 2-story, 3x4 bay, 27x30 foot, flat roofed building has a recessed central entrance sheltered by a gabled hood and flanked by oriel windows. Fenestration is otherwise irregular. The clapboard building has a vertical flushboard rear wing.
54. The Perfectionist Store Wing / Putney Fruit Company, c.1840.
55. Paper Mill, 1945.
The building has an irregular plan to fit the site, and has narrow, vertical 12-sash windows. The mill that preceded it, probably built in 1895 following a fire on April 29 of that year, was a similar building, with tall, segmental arched 16/16 sash windows and tall flanking blinds. (55c)
56. House, c1950.
57. Shed, c.1960.
58. Tenement, c.1900.
59. House, c.1820 Possibly built by an early 19th century mill owner, this simple, 1-1/2-story, approximately 15x40 foot house is listed on McClellan's map of 1856 by the name "J. Robertson"- probably John Robertson, who arrived in Putney with his parents in 1823, and took over his father's paper mill, on the site of #55, with his brother George around 1865. (59a) John Robertson later moved into #62.(59b) Around 1925, the American Legion removed all the interior walls, and used the building as a hall, holding dances and other functions. The ell is a former schoolhouse moved to the site.(59c)
The house has shed roofed additions on both eave sides and the gable front, and a 1-1/2-story ell. Original features include the clapboard west gable, which has a small 6/6 sash window and a nearly flush cornice, and the steep, staggered butt slate roof, from which rises a tall chimney. The 3-bay ell has a central door flanked by 3/4-length sidelights, and a recessed, 2-bay garage wing with both a folding double leaf garage door, and an overhead door.
60. House, c.1860.
The house has a 5-bay rear wing, a 2x1 bay rectangular bay window on the south, and a 2x1 bay, 1-story, clapboard, shed roofed addition to the north. The door has two long over two short panels, and is flanked by full sidelights with multi-colored cast glass lights. Framing the entrance is a wide fascia surround with a plain projecting cornice crowned by a peaked lintel board. Windows have 2/1 sash and flanking blinds. The clapboard house stands on a brick foundation (concrete on the sides), and has fascia trim, a slate roof, and a returning box cornice.. The wing is fronted by a 4-bay porch with simple Italianate columns and a low hip roof. In the bay to the left of this porch is a non-contributing door with sidelights, which probably replaced a carriage bay. Wing windows have 6/6 sash. The two ridge chimneys have ornamental iron caps.
61. House, c.1855.
The house has a high knee wall, fascia trim, and a slightly recessed, 4x1 bay wing. The door has narrow glazed panels, and a gabled, partially lattice enclosed entry porch with square posts. Windows have 6/6 sash. Trimming the staggered butt slate roof is a returning molded box cornice that is flush on the south end. The wing has windows, a door sheltered by a post-supported extension of the roof eave, and in the right bay, a sealed carriage bay.
62. The John Humphrey Noyes House / The John Robertson House, 1839 / c.1870.
Noyes married Harriet Holt in 1838, and immediately moved into his father's home, #27. The following year he built this house. Early in 1840, Noyes' Perfectionist followers began holding regular meetings in this house, the result of which was the "Constitution of the Society of Inquiry of Putney, Vermont", which formed the basis of the utopian Perfectionist community that took shape in the following years.
In 1846, Noyes secretly instituted a "complex marriage" and "consolidation of households" among his followers in Putney, which involved this house, #27, and the house that formerly stood on the site of #76. Among the Perfectionists at the time, this house was known as the "lower house", while #27, atop Kimball Hill, was referred to as the "upper house".(62a)
The house was later owned by John Robertson, who apparently lived previously in #59. Robertson, whose name appears on this site on Beers' map of 1869, arrived in Putney in 1823, and,with his brother George, worked in his father's paper mill on the site of #55. The brothers took over the mill in the 1840's, and ran it through the rest of the 19th century.(62b) Robertson almost surely remodeled the house, adding the present door and surround, the elongated first floor windows, and the full front and gable end porches which have since been removed.
Sarah Doyle remembers the house when the next owner, William Augustus Cole (1837-1907) lived there.(62c) Cole worked for John Robertson in his paper mill in the 1840' and 1850's, later buying a half interest in the company, and eventually becoming the sole owner. Cole rebuilt the mill after a fire destroyed it in 1895, that new building resembling the present one on the site (see #55).(62d) Cole also ran the Ashuelot Paper Company, in Ashuelot, N.H. According to David Hannum, a paper mill manager named Mr. Poland lived here after Cole.(62e)
While the exterior of the house is generally well preserved, the full-width porches which were added around 1870 are missing. Only the polygonal, engaged posts of the former ornate, Gothic Revival style west gable end porch, and the chamfered, engaged columns of the former Italianate style full front porch, remain.(62f) The 4/4 sash windows in the first floor, which extend to the floor level, are clearly scaled to these former porches.(The glazed door in the fifth bay served the front porch). The wide. triple paneled door has long upper and short lower panels, 2/3-length sidelights, and a surround of high-relief, channelled, raised panel fascia boards with bulls-eye corner blocks. Also dating from this c.1870 remodeling is the 1-story, rectangular bay window in the east gable end, which has a denticulated and modillion-studded cornice.
Indicative of the original 1839 date of construction are the diminished gable windows, which now have 2/2 sash, the semi-circular gable fan above them in the west gable, and the narrow, molded entablature, which is topped by a slightly returning box cornice. In the east gable is a replacement, square louvered opening; and possibly original, square, fixed 4-sash "Cape" windows in the gable corners. The clapboard house has a brick foundation, a slate roof, and a near central brick chimney.
The ell is trimmed like the main block, and has 3/3 sash knee wall windows. The ell of that ell has a high knee wall, non-projecting eaves, an enclosed double carriage bay, and a balcony and stair serving the second floor of the gable end.
62a. Carriage Barn, c.1870. Probably built by William Cole when he remodeled #62, this somewhat altered, 1-1/2-story + attic, clapboard carriage barn retains its original, 2x2 bay, bracketted cupola, steep slate roof, and fascia trim. Irregular, replacement fenestration in the main block and recessed wing includes wide doors, various 6/6 sash and picture windows, and knee wall windows.
62b. House, c.1970. A very small, clapboard, 2x1 bay house with a taller 1x2 bay shed roofed addition on the gable end. Non-contributing.
63. The Putney Baptist Church / The Putney Community Center, Inc., 1884.
The Baptist church was first organized in the western part of town, mostly by "thrifty farmers", in 1787.(63a) In 1790 the first church was built on "Orchard Hill", and in 1837, a new church was built at the south end of Aiken Road. Church membership began to decline in 1840, and the church became extinct by 1860. A few Putney Baptists joined the Baptist Church in Brattleboro in 1877, and three years later revived the denomination in Putney by establishing a branch church, meeting in the Town Hall, #67. The Baptists built the present church in 1884, "largely aided" by Dea. Jacob Estey of the nationally significant Estey Organ Company of Brattleboro. In 1892 the organ company helped retire the remaining construction debt.(63b)
When the Baptists joined the Methodists and Congregationalists in forming the Federated Church in 1919, which still meets in #47, this building was abandoned . The chandelier was given to the East Putney Community Club and hung in Pierce's Hall (the former Methodist church), where it remains today.
The building found a new use when, on September 10, 1925, the Putney Community Center, Inc. was organized. The church was bought for the purpose by summer residents Miss Sarah Andrews and Mrs. Bertha Estey, who supported the organization until the Depression. Later support came from the contributions of five individuals, including Mrs. Gamble, of Proctor & Gamble.(63c)
The church interior, originally adorned with bowed, exposed roof trusses and ornate stenciling, was completely remodeled for diverse functions such as basketball and theater.(63d) In 1929 a smoking room and showers were added to the east.
The approximately 45x30 foot building has a square central tower, a very steeply pitched slate roof, and a 3x3 bay gabled addition on cross-axis at rear. In the tower is the ornately paneled double leaf door, topped by a triangular arched label molding similar to those over the windows. All windows have narrow, 1/1 Queen Anne sash, and triangular fanlights with label moldings. They vary in size depending on location. The clapboard church stands on a brick foundation, and has a wide, vertical matchboard frieze that continues horizontally across the gable front, angling around the triangular arches of the windows,to define the staggered butt-shingled gable. This gable is bordered ~long the top by raking board and batten friezes. The horizontal flushboarded tower has a steep Mansard roof with diamond patterns in the shingles, broken in the front by the triangular arch of the window that protrudes up into it. There is a small board and batten crown, from which rose the belfry, which was pierced by large round arches, and topped by a tall, 4-sided spire with blind dormers.(63e)
The clapboard, slate roofed rear addition, c.1900, is linked to the main block by a small walkway. It is surrounded by a wide paneled frieze which defines the staggered butt-shingled gables. Windows have 1/1 Queen Anne sash, and in the gables are topped by small, curved extensions of the sheathing above. The rear eave center door has a triangular fanlight in a small, bracket supported wall dormer. To the east is the clapboard, shed roofed, 1929 addition.
64. The Baptist Church Parsonage, c.1884.
The door has two long, round headed, glazed upper panels, and a Tudor arched cut-out over the lintel board, similar to that of #85. Windows have 2/2 sash. The house has a brick foundation, slate roof, fascia trim, and a returning molded box cornice supported by paired, scroll-sawn brackets.
65. New England Telephone Company Dial Office, c.1970.
66. House, c.1820.
The house appears on McClellan's map of 1856 by the name "G. H. Loomis M.D.", and on Beers' map of 1869 by "Dr. Allen"(66b) In 1875, Dr. George Foster came to Putney, and lived and practiced medicine here into the early 20th century.(66c)
The house has pedimented gables, a c.1920 entry porch, a c. 1885 full south gable end porch, a rear ell, and various smaller, clapboard additions. Flanking the Christian Cross door are 2/3-length sidelights in-filled with small, replacement, paired glass blocks, c.1940.
Delicate entry pilasters have molded capitals that project slightly to encompass the narrower pilasters layed over them. These, and the two Tuscan columns, support the gabled entry porch. Windows have 2/2 sash, and some remaining, original blinds. The second floor windows abut the narrow, molded frieze, which is supported by corner board pilasters, and topped by a molded box cornice. From the front pitch of the expansive slate roof rise two large, corbelled, interior end chimneys, which appear to have originally corresponded with two others in the rear roof pitch. The foundation is granite slab.
The gable end porch, half of which has been enclosed and stands on a brick foundation, has turned posts and balusters, and brackets on the posts and roof eaves. The deteriorated and altered ell has a wide rectangular carriage bay, and irregular additions.
66a. Garage, c.1915. This small, approximately 12x15 foot, 1x1 bay, gable front, clapboard garage has a rolled roof, 2/2 sash windows, and a replacement overhead door.
67. The Putney Town Hall, 1871.
In addition to its administrative functions, rooms in the building were used for Baptist services from 1880 to 1884, when #63 was built, for the Central School, grades 8,9 and high school from 1895 to 1906, when #24 was built, for the town library from 1896 to 1967, when #90 was built, and for the Post Office from 1942 to 1963, when #76 was built.
The building has a gabled central pavilion, a low, truncated hip roof which is jerkin-headed at rear, and a very ornate, cast iron fire escape on the back. Framing the replacement, c.1940, double leaf glazed and paneled door, and the tall, 3-light transom is a segmental arched molded architrave surround. This entrance originally had a double leaf, Italianate style, bolection molded door.(67c) Flanking the entrance are 1/1 sash sidelights. Windows have 6/6 sash and heavy, molded architrave surrounds. In the second floor (the piano nobile), the windows are taller, and have label moldings and molded feet. First floor windows have molded sills and cornices. Trim includes bevelled and staggered corner quoins, a full entablature, and a widely projecting molded box cornice supported by paired, paneled modillions. Topping the pavilion is a gable framed by a returning box cornice and pierced by a semi-circular lunette with radiating muntins. The foundation is granite slab. Two corbelled chimneys rise from the slate roof. The upstairs auditorium has a stage, and extensive matchboard sheathing.
67a. Vault, c.1935. About nine feet square and seven feet high, this deteriorated brick vault has a concrete, overhanging, segmental arched roof, and a similar, small vestibule with a matchboard door.
67b. Garage, c.1930. A large, central double leaf door serves this clapboard, approximately 12x17 foot garage. It has a steep sheet metal roof with open eave soffits that expose the purlins, and a cinder block foundation.
68. Laundry / Office, c.1975.
69. The Putney Methodist Church / Our Lady of Mercy R. C. Church, 1842.
The Methodist Church was formed in Putney in 1826, and built its first church in 1832 in East Putney, now Pierce's Hall. (69a) That first church is similar, being brick, and having two identical entrances. Abandoned in 1919 when the Methodists joined the Congregationalists and Baptists in forming the Federated Church, which met in #47, this church was acquired by the Our Lady of Mercy Roman Catholic Church in 1931.
Each of the identical entrances of this building have doors with two long over two short panels, 2/3-length sidelights, door and sidelight jamb pilasters, and polished granite lintels. Above each is a 16-light window with sidelights, and similar lintels. Large nave windows have 20/20 sash, gauged jack arches, and granite sills. The common bond brick church stands on a granite slab foundation, and has a prominently denticulated box cornice that forms a flushboarded pediment on front. The flushboarded first tier of the tower is framed by applied corner pilasters that support a denticulated entablature. The diminished second tier is nearly identical, but also has pilasters and rectangular louvers on each face. A bellcast copper roof with a denticulated cornice tops the cylindrical third tier. A botonee cross, added by the Catholics in 1931, crowns the tower. The interior has been remodeled to the Colonial Revival style, probably in 1931.
69a. Carriage Shed, c. 1870. This eaves front , approximately 22 x 15 foot building sheathed with clapboard, vertical board and tar paper formerly serveed as a carriage shed for the Methodist Church (#69) It is in deteriorated condition. A pass door enters the south gable end.
70. House, c. 1835.
The house is listed on McClellan's map of 1856 by the name "S. Houghton", and by 1869 had become the parsonage for the Methodist church, #69.(70b) The building was probably remodeled in 1932, from which time, until 1942, it served as the post office. A photograph from about 1935 shows the building with the present door just left of center, and two picture windows, one of which had "U.S. Post Office, Putney, Vt." painted on it (70c) A second door has since replaced the right picture window. By 1953, the building was a two-family house.
The fact that there are three columns in the portico- an awkward number according to Classical architectural theory- and the unusual channeling of them suggests that the builders were unfamiliar with the then new Greek Revival style. In addition, the large, round pediment window is a holdover from earlier periods.
The battered, square columns have a narrow central channel in each side, and support a continuous entablature, and a flushboarded pediment. The round window has radiating muntins. Beneath the portico, the two near central doors each have two long glazed panels. At left is a picture window, and at right, a 2/2 sash window. Other windows are relatively small, and have original 6/6 sash. The house stands on a granite slab foundation (brick on the north side), and has a slate roof. The 1-1/2-story, clapboard wing, which has a "salt box" addition on the south eave side, is flush with both walls of the main block.
71. The Restoration Shop, c.1975.
72. The Keyes House, c.1798.
James Keyes lived here by at least as early as 1823, when he bought a store in town called the "White Store". He is shown living here on McClellan's map of 1856, while Beer's map of 1869 shows "Mrs. Keyes". The Keyes' daughter, Caroline, who was noted for her flower gardens that appeared in national magazines, occupied the house until her death in 1919. Rudyard Kipling was purportedly her guest here often.(72b)
The house has a replacement, c. 1860 door surround, and a rear ell with an attached carriage barn. The door has eight variously sized, raised molded panels, and a high relief, channeled, raised panel fascia surround with bull's eye corner blocks. Windows have 12/12 sash in the first floor, 12/8 sash in the second, and 8/8 sash in the gables ( all of which is probably replacement). The second floor windows abut the narrow molded frieze, which is topped by a slightly projecting, returning molded box cornice. The frieze wraps around the corner boards to suggest pilaster capitals. The house has a brick foundation and a sheet metal roof.
The ell has a large central chimney, 8/12 sash windows, and various other altered fenestration. It is extended by a carriage barn that has a broad, canted opening in the front, and small stall windows at the rear.
72a. Shed, late 19th century. This very small, gable front, clapboarded and asphalt-shingled structure was formerly used to store coal on the adjoining property (74). A paneled door flanked by small fixed lights marks the front. The roof has cornice trim and is sheathed with roll roofing. The shed was moved to this site in the 1950's to serve as a childrens' playhouse.
73. Gas Station, c.1935.
74. House, c.1865.
Each leaf of the broad, double leaf door has a round headed, glazed panel. The door has a wide fascia surround, and a bracketed entry porch with turned posts and balustrades. Windows have 2/2 sash. In the gable end of each of the small ells is a 3-sided, 1-story bay window. The clapboard house stands on a fieldstone foundation, has fascia trim, a molded frieze, and a steep slate roof. Fronting the wing is a partially enclosed porch with turned posts and scroll-sawn bracing brackets. The enclosed section is clapboarded, and has a large picture window.
74a. Ice House/Garage, c.1880. This small, 1-story structure originally served as an ice house for #74 (74a) and still retains interior horizontal board sheathing and octagonal vent holes in the gable peaks. The exterior is clapboarded and the gable roof is trimmed with a boxed cornice and fascia boards A vertical board pass door enters the rear. The front facade below the gable is now totally open to admit cars. The structure is in fair condition.
75. House c.1920.
75a. Office, c.1920. Possibly a former barn, this 1-1/2-story, approximately 12x20 foot structure has a returning box cornice, slate roof, modern awning windows, an enclosed porch, new clapboard siding and a cinder block foundation and exterior chimney. Non-contributing.
76. United States Post Office, 1963.
Demolished to make room for this building was a large, c.1795, 5x4 bay, 2-story, clapboard, Georgian Plan house with slightly projecting gables - a rare feature. Known as the "Campbell House", it became one of the 3 Perfectionist dwellings in the mid 1840's, #'s 27 and 62 being the others, when John Humphrey Noyes instituted a "complex marriage" and "consolidation of households" in Putney (see #'s 27 and 62). The house later became the parish hall for Our Lady of Mercy R. C. Church, which had moved into the former Methodist Church (#69) in 1931. The Post Office had been located in the Town Hall, #67, since 1942, until this building was completed in 1963.(76a)
77. The Alexis B. Hewett House, 1872.
Born in Windham in 1822, Hewett came to Putney in 1843, and worked in a woolen mill for twelve years, nine of them as superintendent. In 1857 he bought a half interest in the present General Store, # 51 (south section) with Haynes E. Baker (see #41). A.F. Kelley bought Baker's interest in 1869, and the store briefly became known as "Hewett & Kelley". In 1872, Hewett bought out his partner, and built this impressive residence, at a cost of $16,000. He retired in 1882, and remained here until his death in 1894.
Hewett had married Miss Abby Pierce in 1845, and their adopted daughter, Minnie Abby Hewett, in 1898 married Wilson Grant Treadway of Long Island, N.Y. Treadway conducted a livery stable, and a mail and passenger carrier service from the depot to the village center for 33 years, while living in this house. He died in 1942, though his wife remained in the house at least through 1953. The building afterwards became a boarding house, and still later, a dormitory for Windham College. At that time the carriage barn housed a bar called "The Gazebo". Following five years of abandonment, the house is again in good repair.(77a)
The 3x3 bay, approximately 28 foot square, richly embellished, clapboard house stands on a large lot, set back from the road. It has two full-height bay windows on front which protrude into the mansard, an entry porch between them, and a 4-bay rear wing. The tall, double leaf central door has long, round headed glazed panels, and a molded architrave surround. It is sheltered by a porch with chamfered Italianate columns, a stilted, bracketed entablature, and heavy, turned balusters. Elements of the porch are repeated on the bay windows, such as the bracketed porch entablature, which continues around each of them, defining the floor divisions, and the balusters, which are repeated as applied ornament to the lower second floor spandrels. A similar, 1-story bay window is located in the right bay of the south side.
Echoing the porch entablature is the full entablature of the main block, which is studded by numerous incised brackets. Windows have 2/2 sash in intricately molded surrounds with denticulated molded cornices, foot leafs and flanking blinds. The house has a granite slab foundation, a slate shingle roof, and two large, symmetrically located chimneys. Small dormers in the mansard have stickwork in the gables.
The 1-story + mansard wing is fronted at the left by a porch similar to that of the main block, and has a sealed carriage bay at the right.
77a. Carriage Barn, 1872. As elaborately embellished as the house, #77, this 1-1/2-story + mansard carriage barn has three ogee-arched carriage bays and a 2x2 bay cross gabled cupola with round headed windows. Each carriage bay has paneled double leaf doors, and multiple sash knee wall windows above (not original). The mansard roof is trimmed by a bracketed entablature, and broken by an ornate central gable dormer with a replacement single light. The roof is asphalt shingle, but retains original slate shingles on one side. On the north is a clapboard lean-to, while the south side has altered fenestration.
78. House, c.1872.
The house has a high knee wall, brick foundation, and a 3x1 bay recessed wing, which has another rear wing. In the left bay is a door with two long, glazed upper panels, a molded cornice, and a simple, non-original,truss bracketed hood. Windows have 2/2 sash. Two gable wall dormers in each side break the widely flared, wood shingle mansard roof. The recessed, gabled wing has a separate entrance and a steep slate roof. The rear wing is irregularly fenestrated.
79. House, c.1780 / c.1920.
The basement framing however, consists of circular sawn, dimension lumber and reused salvage materials- more typical of the early 20th century. The house most likely dates from the 18th or early 19th century, and underwent complete remodeling inside, and partial structural reconstruction, in the early 20th century.
An early 20th century photograph shows the house in its original form as a 4x3 bay, 3/4-Cape, before the present Chicago picture window replaced the two windows left of the door.(79a) Marks in the clapboard above the other small, 6/6 sash windows suggest that they may also have been altered. Another early 20th century photograph shows the house with gas pumps in front.(79b)
All interior features, c.1920, are of high gloss, natural wood finish, from the newel post and stair, door and window moldings, floor boards, and large plywood panels of the walls and ceilings in all the rooms. The glazed and paneled main door also dates from this period.
The clapboard house stands on a brick-capped fieldstone foundation, and has an expansive slate roof crowned by a tall ridge chimney and trimmed by a non-returning, slightly projecting molded box cornice. A 4 bay, extended rear ell has unusual slate hung walls, 6/6 sash windows, an asphalt shingle roof, and a large gable dormer. In the west end of the clapboard ell extension is a double leaf carriage bay.
79a. Shed, c.1920. Slate hung like the ell of #79, this small, gable front shed has a central door, and a fixed 6-sash window next to it.
80. House, c.1800.
The replacement glazed and paneled door is sheltered by a non-contributing gabled entry porch with plain, square posts. Windows have 6/6 sash, and abut the returning molded box cornice in the second floor of the facade. In the south gable end is a 2x1 bay, rectangular, 1-story bay window (c.1910) with paneled spandrels. The foundation and two ridge chimneys are brick, while the roof is slate. A 3-bay rear ell has a large, modern deck on the south, and a 2-bay wing which has a full basement level. From that wing extends a modern, 3x2 bay, 2-story gabled ell.
81. House, c.1945.
82. House, c.1790?
The asbestos shingled building has a high knee wall, a brick-capped fieldstone foundation, a steeply pitched slate roof with raking eave soffits, and an asymmetrically fenestrated facade. A 3-bay rear ell has a shed roofed rear extension. The 5-panel door, and the relatively small, 2/2 sash windows have plain fascia surrounds. Blinds flank some of the windows.
83. The Colonel Charles Kathan House / The James H. Knight House, c.1768 / c.1869.
Considering the approximately 35x15 foot dimensions, the house would have been unusually narrow for a 1- or 1-1/2-story house of the 18th century (compare with #19). Framing details in the basement however, as well as a newspaper fragment dated 1806, found in the plaster of a south parlor wall, confirm a very early date for the structure.
The house is an important architectural element that helps establish a sense of arrival to the village center for travelers from the south.
Charles Kathan bought from Josiah Willard the original four fifty acre town lots which included the village center, and probably built what were the first mills in Putney, in 1765. He and his wife Elizabeth were married in about 1768, and probably built this originally 1-story house soon after. The house was willed to Kathan's daughter, Priscella Kathan, upon his death in 1793. She in turn sold the house in 1804 to Asahel Newcomb. Following four subsequent owners, one of which was "Mrs. Adams", the house was bought by James H. Knight on April 15, 1869.
Knight was of the second generation of a family of entrepreneurs in Putney, and had a woodworking shop and residence across the street (see #84). His father, Perry Knight, also an undertaker and cabinet maker before James took over the business, is listed on McClellan's map of 1856 as living in #82. According to Craig Stead, Perry Knight moved from that house into this one, with James,James' wife Mary, and their sons Edwin and Frank, after James had remodeled the house and added the second story. James Knight ran his undertaking business from this house, and used the attached barn for embalming and storage of the hearse. Several embalming fluid bottles have recently been found buried near the barn foundation.
Following the death of James Knight in 1893, and that of his wife in 1905, their son Edwin E. Knight inherited the house and business. When Edwin died in 1944, the house was sold to Mary Papielska and Esther J. Pratt. In 1964, Papielska sold the house to David Rohn, an art professor for Windham College. Rohn moved to New York City when the college closed in 1978, and converted the house to a multiple unit, locally infamous apartment building.
A fire in December, 1981 completely destroyed the barn, much of the ell, and did significant damage to the main block. Craig Stead purchased the house in February, 1982, and rehabilitated the main block, reconstructed the barn and ell, and divided the building into four apartments.(83a).
The clapboard house has a 4-bay, 2-story ell attached in a "T" configuration to another, larger garage ell. Dating from the c.1869 remodeling are the door surround, which is formed of high-relief molded fascia boards with matching corner blocks, the raking frieze boards that curve to meet the corner boards, and very likely the 2/2 sash windows. Blinds flank all windows. The replacement, c.1870 door has two long, glazed upper panels. Trimming the slate roof are eaves with slanted soffits, and topping it is a corbelled ridge chimney. The brick-capped, fieldstone foundation is faced with concrete.
Serving the south side of the non-contributing reconstructed ell are two salvaged, Federal style entrances with both solid and glazed doors, and sidelights. They are sheltered by a porch which has salvaged Greek Doric columns. Other ell fenestration includes 6/6 sash windows, and two gable dormers on either slope of the sheet metal roof. The vertical flushboard non-contributing garage ell includes a wide overhead sliding door in the east facade of the northern part.
84. St. Thomas Factory Outlet, c.1955.
The Knight House appears with a cabinet shop on this site on McClellan's map of 1856, and with a shop on Beers' map of 1869, by the name "J. H. Knight". James H. Knight was of the second of three generations of a family of undertakers, sawmill operators, and cabinet makers. Knight ran his cabinet shop here from the 1850's until his death in 1893, and the undertaking business from #83 across the street, beginning in 1869. The present building was part of Windham College from the 1950's to 1978, and then became an upholstery shop.
85. House, c.1840 / c.1885.
The central door of the c.1885 main block has a large glazed panel, and a surround formed of wide fascia boards with narrower, overlaid, bevelled fascia boards. The lintel board overlay has a Tudor arched cut-out, similar to that of #64. Sheltering the door is a shed roofed entry porch with balustraded, turned posts, scroll-sawn bracing brackets, and a lattice skirt. Windows have 2/2 sash. The house has a brick foundation, clapboard sheathing with fascia trim, a slate roof trimmed by a returning molded box cornice, and is crowned by two ridge chimneys.
The Classic Cottage ell has a high knee wall, original 6/6 sash windows, and a central door in a fascia surround with narrower overlaid boards and raised corner blocks. Trimming the staggered butt slate roof is a slightly overhanging molded box cornice, which is broken by elongated, 2/2 sash shed wall dormers. A screened-in porch with chamfered posts, matchboarded railing and a low hip roof covers the right three bays of this ell. In the slate roofed wing to the west of this ell are two large, double leaf, vertical flushboard carriage bay doors. Serving the south gable front of the attached barn is an earthen ramp, and large, diagonal matchboard-paneled doors. In the east side of the basement level is a wide, canted arched opening. The barn also has random 6/6 sash windows.
86. Maple Grove Cemetery, c.1808-c.1930.
Lining the road in front of the cemetery is a fence of granite piers, some of which are still linked by original hanging chains. The cemetery itself is bounded along the front by larger granite piers linked by non-contributing piping, along the west by similar piers linked by a picket fence, and elsewhere by stone walls.
87. House, c.1880.
88. House, c.1865.
88a. Shed, c. 1940. A small, gabled, horizontal flushboard shed. Non-contributing.
89. The Adelbert M. Corser House, 1916.
Corser, a prolific amateur photographer, took many photographs of Putney, now in the collection of the Putney Historical Society. One of these, dated 1916, shows four carpenters standing in front of this house while under construction.(89b)
A small road originally passed in front of the house, from the northwest to the southeast, which explains the present non-alignment of the house with Old Route 5.(89c)
The 2-1/2-story, 25 foot square house has a clapboard first floor, a flared, wood shingle second floor, a tall slate hip roof, and a full front porch. The door, left of center, has an elliptical glazed panel. To the right of this is a large, square window that has a stained glass transom. Two small, square, multi-colored Queen Anne windows light the hall, and are located in the south and west walls, at the southwest corner of the house. Other windows have 1/1 sash, and are irregularly placed in the side walls, conforming to the interior plan and stair location. A wood shingled hip dormer breaks the front pitch of the roof, and has a small, paired 1/1 sash window. This hip roofed porch is supported by balustraded Tuscan columns, and has a lattice skirt. The foundation of the main block, and foundation piers of the porch, are of pressed stone. There is a small, 1x1 bay, hip roofed, clapboard rear wing at the northwest, with a 1-bay entry porch supported by a single Tuscan column.
89a. Garage, 1916. This approximately 20 foot square, clapboard, 2-car garage has a tall, asphalt shingled hip roof which mimics the house, #89. There are two overhead garage doors in front.
90. Putney Public Library, 1967.
The library was founded in 1793 by a group of "proprietors and subscribers" that met at James Haile's house.(#19. In 1800, the library became the Putney Library Society, after the Vermont Legislature passed an act incorporating library societies. It is uncertain where the library was actually located, though the society decided in 1824 that "...the books shall be kept within a half a mile of Houghton's Tavern [#52]". In 1896 the library moved into a room in the Town Hall (#67), until 1967, when this building was completed.(90b)
As shown on Beers' map of 1869, the District No. 1 School formerly stood on this site.(90c)
The approximately 35x45 foot building is low-to the ground, and covered by a low-pitched, widely overhanging gable roof. Large, exposed wooden beams run the length of the roof, and break through the gable ends, exposed to the weather. Similar beams along both eave sides are supported by chamfered posts. About half the area of the brick walls is glass. The north gable is filled with-various large, asymmetrical glass panels, above a low fieldstone wall. The building is non-contributing due to age.
91. House, c.1860.
The door has two long over two short raised panels, and nearly full sidelights. Windows have 2/2 sash and flanking blinds. The north eave side fenestration has been altered. The clapboard house stands on a brick foundation, and has a slate roof with widely projecting open eaves, and a central chimney.
91a. Garage, c.1950. A gable front, novelty sided garage with an overhead sliding door, cinder block foundation, and an asphalt shingle roof. Non-contributing.
92. House, c.1860.
The door has two long over two short panels, 2/3-length sidelights, and a surround of paneled sideboards, corner blocks, and a lintel board with a wide diamond-shaped overlay. The paneled corner pilasters of the main block have block capitals with similar overlays. Trimming the steeply pitched, staggered butt slate roof is a very wide double fascia frieze, and widely projecting eaves with slanted soffits. Windows have 2/2 sash with flanking blinds. In the south eave side, a canted, 1-story bay window constitutes the only fenestration. In the north roof slope is a 2-bay shed wall dormer. The foundation is granite slab and fieldstone, and brick under the bay window. Over the door is a 1-bay entry porch (c.1880) with turned posts and a bracketed frieze.
A full porch with turned posts and balustrade shelters the 5-bay, recessed rear wing, though only the roof continues over the last two bays, which contain two broad, canted arched openings. The approximately 30x40 foot, gable front bank barn attached to the wing, built around 1900 into a steep grade as 1/4-round brackets along the eaves, and a 12-sash, lozenge gable window. A large sliding door, and a pass door serve the gable front, while the vertical flushboard south eave side has 6/6 sash windows in the upper level, and broad canted arched openings in the basement level. The barn now houses a craft shop, the Putney Woodshed.
93. House, c.1905.
The eaves front, 1-1/2-story, 3x2 bay house has a 2-story polygonal tower projecting from the front left bay, a 2-bay porch fronting the rest of the facade, and a jerkin headed rear ell. The house has a brick foundation, a steeply pitched, staggered butt slate roof, interior end chimneys, and a 1-bay hip dormer above the porch. Polychromatic slate shinglework, and an ornate copper finial adorn the octagonal tower roof. A band of round and canted butt shingles wraps around the otherwise clapboard building between the first and second floor windows of the gable ends, and encompasses both the tower, and the knee wall of a 1-story bay window in the south gable end. The gables above the second floor windows are similarly sheathed. The central door, the small fixed 6-sash window in the right bay, and the 1/1 sash windows in the gable ends all have molded cornices. All windows, including the narrow 1/1 sash tower windows, have flanking blinds. Turned posts support the shed roofed front porch. In the north gable end is a non-contributing bay window, similar to the one in the opposite gable, which is used as a drive-up window by the present occupant, the Putney Credit Union.
94. House, c.1885.
An early, vernacular example of the Queen Anne style, the building is basically a 2-1/2-story, gable front, Sidehall Plan, 3x3 bay clapboard house typical of earlier periods (similar to #96), which was simply elaborated upon to achieve the complexity characteristic of the style. The recessed, 1-bay entrance at the right is counterbalanced by a projecting, 1-story bay window at the left, and is sheltered by a small wrap-around porch, which originates from the bay window. From the roof of the porch rises a square, 2-story tower. A 2-1/2-story wing, recessed to the south, wraps around the north eave side with a cross gable, and terminates the porch. Between the tower and this cross gable is a small second tier porch. There is another 1-story bay window in the south eave side.
The door is glazed and paneled, and windows have 1/1 sash. Marking the entrance is a paired 1/1 sash window,* and a small gable in the porch. Both tiers of the porch have turned posts and balustrades, and bracketed spindle valances. The house has a brick foundation, raking frieze boards that curve to meet the corner boards, molded cornices with open eaves, slate roofs, and a wrought iron, spherical finial atop the tower. The rear wing contains a canted arched carriage bay, and is fronted on the south by a 2-tier porch with turned posts. The iron fence in front of the house, c.1845, was recently moved to the site from a cemetery.
* in the first tier of the tower
95. House, c.1870.
The clapboard ell, originally a carriage barn but now used for office space, retains its gable hayloft door and slate roof, but has had modern additions of an oriel window, a 1/1 sash window next to it, both with small sash muntins, and a door and flanking windows in the gable end.
96. House, c.1870.
97. House, c.1850 / c.1975.
97a. Garage, c.1980. An eaves front, board and batten garage with two segmental arched bays containing overhead garage door. Non-contributing.
98. House, c.1840.
98a. Garage, c.1920. A small, gable front, 12x15 foot, clapboard, slate roofed garage with a large double leaf door and a modern louvered cupola.
99. House, c.1900.
100. The Dr. Laura Plantz House, c.1900 .
Dr. Plantz was born in Lyndon, and came to Putney at the age of ten. After attending medical school in Pennsylvania around 1855, she ran a Home for the Friendless in New York City, and a Young Ladies Seminary in Illinois. She later practiced medicine in Vermont and the midwest. Around 1900 or earlier, she returned to Putney with her husband, T. A. Plantz, and built this house for them and her brother, Demanstus Wheller (Wheeler?).(100a) Dr. Plantz appears in an early 20th century photograph, seated by the south end of this house. Visible in the photograph is the present carriage barn cupola, and a 2-story bay window that was originally located in the south gable end of the main block.(l00b) The house later served Windham College as a dormitory, classrooms, an infirmary, and in the barn, a dining hall, lounge and bookstore. It was called Currier Hall.
The clapboard building has a brick foundation, and a full, 2-story portico with square, weather board posts. The prefabricated entrance has fluted pilasters, sidelights, and a sunburst fan. Windows has 12/12 sash and molded cornices. The returning main block cornice has no overhangs. A rear ell with variously 2/2 and 6/6 sash windows connects with a large, gable front former carriage barn, which has several large, multiple sash windows, and a gabled cupola. The cupola has patterned shingle walls, and plastic-enclosed, rectangular openings. A smaller, gabled louvered cupola rises from that one. Non-contributing due to alteration.
101. Shop, c.1900.
102. The Herbert L. and Helen Bailey House, c.1918.
The clapboard house is nearly square in plan, and has a 1-story, hip-roofed wing on the west end (possibly originally a porch), a small, 1x2 bay, 2-story, hip roofed wing flush with the west wall, and an entry porch. The central door has eight variously sized panels, full sidelights, and a molded cornice. Windows have 8/1 sash, molded cornices and flanking blinds. Above the entrance is a 6/1 sash window with 4/1 sash sidelights. The foundation is concrete faced fieldstone, and the roof is slate. Forming the entry porch are paired Tuscan columns which stand on a clapboard railing, and which support a gable roof with a deeply recessed, clapboard tympanum. On the west end, an exterior brick end chimney rises from the wing roof.
103. The Mary E. Gates House, c.1885.
The house has a rear ell connected to a cross-gabled wing- intended for the boarders‹which projects to the south. While the house is generally well preserved, the small paired brackets that originally lined the cornice between the present larger ones, as well as the brackets of the entry porch, have been removed. The door contains a multi-colored Queen Anne window in its upper half, and, like each of the 2/2 sash windows, has a molded cornice. A horse shoe door knocker is stamped: "Mary E. Gates". The entry porch has chamfered and turned posts, a turned balustrade, and a low hip roof. In the south gable end is a 1-story bay window. Topping the clapboard building are wide frieze boards, and a returning box cornice supported at each corner by ornate brackets with 4-point star cut-outs. The foundation is brick, and the slate roof has patterned, rounded and polychromatic shingles. Fronting the 1-1/2-story ell is a porch similar to the entry porch. The cross-gabled ell wing is trimmed like the main block, including the patterned slate roof.
103a. Shed, c.1920. This small, 1-1/2-story, clapboard shed has a 3-bay gable front, and 6/6 sash windows.
104. House, 1984.
105. The Henry Coe House, c.1920.
The eaves front, 5x3 bay, approximately 35x20 foot, 1-1/2-story + attic, wood shingled house has a nearly full, 3-bay shed dormer on front, and a small, extended rear ell. Flanking the central door are 1/2 length, paired sidelights. Windows have 6/6 sash and flanking blinds. The foundation is cobblestone, and the molded cornice has no projections. Spanning the west gable end is a glassed and screened-in porch with Tuscan columns standing on a wood shingle apron.
105a. Garage, c.1920. Trimmed like the house, this gable front, wood shingled garage has a central, double leaf paneled door, and 6/6 sash windows along the sides.
105b. Shed, c.1920. This small, approximately 7x7 foot, gable front, wood shingled shed has a door and paired 6-sash windows.
106. House, c.1865.
106a. Garage, c.1975. A 2-car, board and batten garage with a rear-sloping shed roof, and large sliding doors. Non-contributing.
107. House, c.1865.
108. House, c.1865.
The 5-panel door is framed by chamfered jambs, 2/3-length sidelights, and a fascia surround with a simple cornice. Windows have 6/6 sash and flanking blinds. The clapboard house stands on a brick foundation, and has a slate roof with a returning box cornice. Spanning the south side is a glassed in porch with a clapboard apron.
108a. Garage, c.1915. This small, 10x15 foot, clapboard garage stands at the termination of Old Depot Road. In the gable front is a triple leaf, folding, glazed and paneled door. The eaves are flush on the gable ends, and have open soffits elsewhere that expose the rafter tails.
109. Barton House, c.1800.
The 2-story clapboard main block has shuttered 12/8 windows, a simple returning cornice, and cornerboards that each show a cut at the second floor level, raising the question of whether this portion of the structure may originally have been 1 or 1-1/2 stories in height. Asphalt shingles sheath the gable roof and asbestos siding covers an irregularly fenestrated, incompatible 1-story enclosed porch that spans the southern two-thirds of the facade.
Attached to the rear of the northern end of the main block is a 1-1/2 story clapboarded, half-cape ell. A chimney marks the junction of the ell and main block roofs. The ell has flush eaves on the exposed west gable end, 12/12 and 12/8 sash, a 4-panel door on the west end of the north facade, and a central paneled door on the south facade.
110. House, c.1850.
110a. Barns, c.1850. Two eaves-front sections form this structure. The mostly clapboarded western section is slightly lower and exhibits stall windows, cornerboards, a slate roof and an overhead garage door. The eastern section has a slate roof of slightly steeper pitch, stall and fixed loft windows, an overhead garage door, and probably replacement board-and-batten siding. This section rests on stone piers and has an exposed open basement level at the rear.
The Putney Village Historic District is significant for its overall high architectural quality and cohesiveness, and as the cradle of "perfectionism" a utopian religious experiment developed here in the 1840's by John Humphrey Noyes. The Putney perfectionist community later in the century gave rise to the internationally noted Oneida Community of Oneida, New York. The village, endowed with fertile land and ample water power, became an important center for agriculture and small industry in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. It consequently contains an unusually high proportion of Georgian and Federal period buildings, several of which, such as #'s 2, 4, 27, and 32, houses, and #52, a tavern, are among the finest and most unusual examples of their style or type in the state. The village exemplifies a common mid-19th century historical phenomenon in Vermont, that being a shift of primary village development to the center of industrial activity, in this case water power, from a more formal hilltop center. Lacking the water power resources to become a major industrial center, Putney maintained a thriving economy from the mid-19th century through the early 20th century, but experienced little growth. The most significant structures built during that substantial period of time include an Italianate style Town Hall,#67, a Second Empire style House, #77, a Colonial Revival style school, #24, and several vernacular Queen Anne and Colonial Revival style houses.
Despite the town charter issued by New Hampshire governor Benning Wentworth in 1753, hostile Indians made settlement of Putney virtually impossible until after the end of the French and Indian War in 1760. Two forts however, were built as early as the 1740's and 1750's on about 500 acres of land in the northeast corner of the town known as the Great Meadows. Formed by a bend in the Connecticut River, the Meadows had long been prized for their high fertility, tall pines suitable for ship masting, and accessibility.
While the Great Meadows, today marked by large barns and silos, have been consistently farmed since Putney's earliest settlement was made there, the primary focus for development in Putney became, by the late 18th century, the falls of Sackett's Brook, and the valley just north of the falls. Equal in fertility to the Great Meadows, that valley was especially desirable because of its proximity to the water power of the falls, and because it was a natural confluence of travel through the town, thus reducing isolation. Westminster West Road, which traverses the valley, intersects with the major regional thoroughfare, U.S. Route 5, at the falls.
Four years after the French and Indian War, Joshua Parker "...drove the first team through Putney street", as Westminster West Road was originally called, and was immediately followed by others.(l) Reverend Elisha D. Andrews, in his historical sermon of 1825, conveyed a vivid image of the earliest years of settlement in the district along that road. "...In the year 1768..." he wrote, "...the valley through the middle of town was chiefly a wilderness. There was but here and there a smooth tract of a few acres cleared. The road lay through the midst of vast pines and hemlocks that closed together over the head of the traveler making midday dark... At that period there were none but log houses..."(2)
Frame houses began to replace the temporary log ones in that year, 1768, which is probably when Colonel Charles Kathan built a sawmill at the falls of Sackett's Brook.(3) The remarkably well preserved Cape built in 1772 by James Haile, #19, is probably typical of that first generation of frame houses in the district. It is distinguished from later Capes, such as #1, by its steep, expansive roof and slightly projecting gables. Probably the first departure from simple log or frame Capes was #8, a simple 2-story I-House built by Connecticut carpenter Moses Johnson in 1773. As the district progressed from a frontier settlement of small, scattered farms to a cohesive village toward the turn of the 18th century, it came to be characterized by 2-1/2-story eaves front houses such as this, though with considerably more refinement of detail. Major James Fitch for example, only six years after Johnson built his house, erected one of the few Georgian style houses in Vermont today, #4. The degree of detailing and refinement of the Fitch House is unusual in Vermont for so early a period, and is indicative of the rapid cultural progress that took place in Putney after the Revolution.
"The growth of the town after the Revolution was phenomenal", according to the Windham County Reformer in 1901.(4) At the peak of its population in 1791, with 1,848 people, Putney was the fourth largest town in the state.(5) The district as it appears today took shape largely within the ensuing two decades. By 1810, at least one fulling mill and several smaller enterprises lined the falls of Sackett's Brook, and a large tavern, #52, a store, #48, a law office, #50, and several Federal style houses, #'s 41, 44, 46, and perhaps 66, had been built nearby.
A distinct, more populous settlement of its own had by then also developed in the valley above the falls. Lining Westminster West Road are numerous Federal style houses, as well as a rare, brick, 18th century store, #6. On a rise in the valley, a few yards south of #11, stood a church,which visually gave to this northern part of the district the symbolic distinction of being the primary center of the town. The church was built in 1803 to replace the original Congregational meetinghouse, which was built in 1773 across from Old North cemetery, north of the district.
If the church, in the northern part of the district, was a primary visual focal point for the town and village, the tavern, built down the hill near the falls around 1797, became the primary social and economic focal point. Coinciding with the construction of the numerous Federal style houses in the district appears to have been the addition of the present wing onto the tavern. Though now divided into small rooms, the wing originally contained a 28x54 foot ballroom with an elliptical, vaulted ceiling, and stencilled trim. The ribbed form that held the ceiling laths remains intact in the attic, while the stencilling is preserved under wallpaper in the second floor. Such a ballroom could only have been built in a cultural climate of considerable refinement.
Indeed, in 1821, when former U.S. Congressman Hon. John Noyes (the father of John Humphrey Noyes) retired from his Brattleboro business, he and his wife decided to move to Putney, which was "...convenient to Brattleboro, and the home of several educated families of high social standing...".(6) Among those prominent residents was Captain Benjamin Smith, from whom the Noyeses bought their new Putney residence, #27, a very large and unusually ornate example of the Federal style. Other prominent residents of the early 19th century must have included Captain Thomas Green, who built #11, and his relatives, who built #2, both outstanding, brick-ended, Federal style I-Houses. Phineas White, one of the several graduates of Dartmouth College (which is located about fifty miles to the north) to settle in Putney, built #32, a brick I-House with marble trim that also stands among the finest Federal style houses in the district, as well as the state.
Only two vernacular, 2-1/2-story, eaves front houses, #'s 72 and 80, remain of the several similar houses of the Federal period that formerly lined U.S. Route 5 south of the district center. Collectively, those houses formed a gateway into the district for traffic from the south, which has historically been predominant. It was the markets to the south that in large part supported Putney's bustling early economy. Cloth production was dominant until the 1820's, and raw cloth was occasionally sent to Connecticut River mills in Massachusetts for dyeing and dressing.(7) Stimpson, Green and Fairbanks built the first paper mill in 1818, though George and William Robertson, brothers from Scotland, and their three sons are credited with developing the paper industry in Putney. The Robertsons arrived in 1823, and began producing writing paper on the site of the present paper mill, #55. Five years later, George Robertson alone established another mill below the first. Periodically, one of the brothers would draw a load to Boston, and bring back a load of supplies.(8)
Probably characterized much of the time by large quantities of blue cloth hung out to dry on fences along Sackett's Brook, and paper out to dry either on poles, or spread out in nearby fields, this southern district center by the falls must certainly have appeared in marked contrast to the pastoral, rolling hills of the northern district center on Westminster West Road.(9) It is not surprising then, that the proposal around 1840 to move the Congregational church from there to the area of the falls caused some controversy.(10)
As evidenced by the numerous Greek Revival style buildings concentrated near the falls of Sackett's Brook, as well as by the several small, vernacular houses of the style found scattered to the south, economic activity by the falls had increased dramatically by 1840. In that year, according to information compiled by mid-19th century historian Zadock Thompson, lining Sackett's Brook were the Robertson's two paper mills, two fulling mills, a woolen factory, several smaller mills or shops, and one large, 4-story factory that measured 80x32 feet, and produced 33,000 yards of "cassimeres" per year.(11) In addition to these, Isaac Grout built a chair and toy factory in 1840, which employed ten men.(12)
Grout may have built the three small, 1-1/2-story, gable front, vernacular Greek Revival style houses that stand next to one another on Kimball Hill, #'s 39, 40 and 42, to house some of his workers.(13) Number 39, the highest on the hill and displaying very unusual ornament, may have housed a foreman. At least one elaborate Greek Revival style house, #70, which has a 2-story portico, was also built near the falls during this surge of economic activity. C. W. Keyes built a new store, #51 (south section) in 1840, and probably not long after, another, #51 (north section) was built next to it. Overshadowed by the business down at the falls, the 18th century store on Westminster West Road, #6, closed in 1850, and was converted to a residence.
When the new Congregational church, #47, was finally dedicated here in 1841, this village center by the falls became the sole, undisputed center of the village, and in fact, of the town as a whole. In the following year, 1842, a new Methodist church, #69, was built here, replacing the one built only ten years earlier (today Pierce's Hall) in East Putney--a small hamlet on the east side of Bare Hill.
In addition to the two churches, #'s 47 and 69, the early 1840's in Putney saw the construction of a curious little chapel in the heart of the village center,#53, which had a brick first floor and a column-supported, projecting pediment, before being almost completely destroyed by a fire around 1970.
The chapel, built in 1841, represented the formal beginning of the Putney perfectionist community‹a utopian religious experiment founded by John Humphrey Noyes. An important figure in the history of American religion, Noyes was born in Brattleboro in 1811, and moved to Putney, into the elaborate Federal style #27, with his parents in 1822. Putney at the time was the scene of "fervent religious revivals", in anticipation of the Second Great Awakening, and one in particular, in 1827, struck Noyes when he was home from Dartmouth on vacation.(14) After graduating from Dartmouth, Noyes headed for Andover Seminary in 1831, but later transferred to Yale and began to minister to what was called the "free congregation" of New Haven. Here he took perfectionism, then an offshoot of Wesleyan Methodism, and began to change it to such a degree that he would later be credited as the founder of the movement.
Proclaiming that "...the current religious teachings are all wrong...", and that the Second Coming of Christ had already occurred in 70 A.D., Noyes argued that it was no longer permissible to follow the old paths of sin and repentance, but rather that all must strive for perfection here on earth.(15) Perfection, he believed, could come only through complete spiritual equality among individuals. This entailed communal ownership of property, and, ideally, communal marriage. In 1834 Noyes announced in New Haven that he was free from sin, and thereupon embarked on a life-long endeavor to realize and spread perfectionism.
The Perfectionist was the first of several journals he published toward this end. Three years later in Ithaca, New York in 1837, he began publishing The Witness, in which he discussed a letter entitled "The Battle Axe and Weapons of War", which he had written, divulging the concepts of complex marriage. The furor following this publication threw Noyes into debt, as creditors demanded payment. The following year, Noyes married Harriet Holton, and moved back to Putney, staying in his parents' house, #27, until 1839, when he built his own house, #62. Holton not only paid Noyes' debts, but helped him to continue publishing The Witness, and later The Perfectionist, and The Spiritual Magazine in Putney. For this purpose, they may have used #28, as a print shop.
From the time of his arrival in Putney, Noyes began a gradual process of establishing an ideal perfectionist community. An original nucleus of family members and other adherents met regularly at either Noyes' house, #62, or his parents' house, #27, in 1839 and 1840, a group that Noyes called the "Putney Bible School". "The Society of Inquiry of Putney, Vermont" was established in 1841, when twelve original members signed a formal document vowing to develop and promote the perfectionist faith. In the same year the society became an economic entity, the chapel, #53, was built, in which sessions began being held daily. With property and finances donated by Noyes' father, wife, and to a lesser extent, others, the community thrived, and by 1843, 35 people were supported by the common purse".(16) The community owned two farms, a grist mill, a print shop, #28, a store, of which only a small addition, #54, remains, and several houses, including #'s 27, 62, and the original house on the site of #76.
The Putney community culminated in the "consolidation of households" which was secretly instituted in November, 1846. Under Noyes' theocratic leadership three households were formed in the houses mentioned above, the primary household being the Noyes homestead, #27. When rumors about:the community spread in Putney, a social upheaval resulted. About sixty citizens met at the Congregational church, #47, and resolved that "...the moral interests of this community demand the immediate dissolution of said Association."(17) Noyes was arrested on October 26, 1847, charged with adultery, and released on bail pending trial. A month later Noyes further infuriated residents when he fled to Lairdsville, near Oneida, New York, where a small branch community of perfectionists had established itself. Fearing arrest, most Putney perfectionists followed. One of the few who remained, John R. Miller, the storekeeper, was threatened with being"tarred and feathered and ridden on a rail".(18)
In their newly found isolation in New York, the Oneida Community--a direct outgrowth of the community incubated in Putney, grew substantially, and made tremendous economic and social achievements. By 1877 production of the famous Newhouse traps, silk, silverware, and canned goods, as well as other enterprises, totalled several hundred thousand dollars per year.(19) The "complex marriage" seemed to be working on a large scale, and stirpiculture, a pioneer form of eugenics in America, was developed. The Oneida Community as a utopian experiment lasted from 1848 to 1880, at which time it was converted to a joint stock company. It continued long after that however, as a modern industry with uniquely liberal management policies, and the largest production of silverware (silverplate) in the world.(20) By 1948, Oneida LTD employed 4600 people, most of whom lived in Sherrill, New York--a self-governing company town, and the smallest city in the state.
Following both the social upheaval caused by the expulsion of Noyes and his followers, and the rapid industrial expansion that had occurred around the same time, overall activity in Putney leveled off and gradually decreased through the rest of the century. Despite the arrival of the railroad in 1850 usually a major boon to towns along its route- and despite the general oppulance of the later post-Civil War period experienced throughout the country, Putney had simply reached the limitations of its water power resources by mid-century. While the population steadily decreased,and relatively little new construction occurred, nearby Bellows Falls and Brattleboro, which utilized the more substantial power of the Connecticut River, continually increased in size, and gained entire neighborhoods of diverse new houses. In 1901, The Windham County Reformer summed up the situation, which had not substantially changed in fifty years, when it wrote of Putney: "...an increase in the output of manufactured goods must be largely secured by additional steam power, if at all, and it is not anticipated...".(21)
The only example of individual, post-Civil War wealth in Putney is #77, an elaborate Second Empire style house built by Alexis B. Hewett, who made his fortune from a general store, rather than from industry on Sackett's Brook. The fine Italianate style Town Hall, #67, built one year before the Hewett House in 1871, provides at least some indication that the economy continued to thrive.
At least one substantial new industry did take hold in Putney after the Civil War, when Franklin L. Pierce, who formerly owned a sawmill in East Putney, bought a factory site on Sackett's Brook in 1887, and built a chair stick and box factory, which employed about 15 workers.(22) Plerce's factory may have been the impetus for the construction of four new houses on Kimball Hill around that time, #'s 29, 34, 36 and 37, three of which are identical duplexes. These houses, along with a store built around then, #45, continue the unusually cohesive village center streetscape to the top of Kimball Hill. Mary E. Gates, in addition to those workers' houses, built a boarding house, #103, around the same time for Putney factory workers (though according to Austin Gassett, the building never served its intended function).
Like the industrial southern section of the district, the agricultural area along Westminster West Road to the north remained economically active throughout the 19th century and well into the early 20th century, despite the lack of significant growth. While dairy farming was the agricultural mainstay, tobacco was introduced as a significant cash crop by the turn of the century. In 1900, Julius F. Washburn raised about a ton of tobacco to the acre, and had "barns adequate for storage".(23) Fred B. Hannum, another substantial tobacco grower, had two large barns behind his house, #4, one of which was 100 feet long, for the drying and storage of tobacco that he grew across the road from #1.(24) Of this once substantial industry, which lasted in Putney into the late 1920's or early 1930's, only one small tobacco barn remains in the district, #la.
Other industries began to subside around that time as well. On November 11, 1918 for example, the 4-story Stowell Manufacturing Company burned to the ground, and was not rebuilt.(25)
In 1919, the three church denominations, the Congregationalists, Methodists and Baptists, joined to form a single Federated church, perhaps in part because of the excessive space and cost presented by three large church buildings relative to the size of the congregations. The following year, Putney's population reached its all time low of 761.
The large Central School, #24, was built in 1906 as a result of new state regulations, but very little construction otherwise took place in the early 20th century. In the sparsely built up southern end of the village at that time, a few retired individuals saw fit to build for themselves modest, diverse residences. A. M. Corser, who ran the present Putney General Store from 1889 to 1915, built his vernacular Colonial Revival style Four Square, #89, in 1916. Around 1918, Bert Bailey, who had served as postmaster for many years, and Henry Coe, a retired Boston businessman, built #'s 102 and 105, respectively, both variations on the Colonial Revival style. Dr. Laura Plantz retired in Putney after a life of work and study throughout the east and midwest, and built #100 around this time or earlier, which was certainly a fine, large house before being rendered non-contributing in the past thirty years.
As the automobile made the village more accessible from urban areas to the south, several artists and writers took up residence in Putney village, including Norman Maler in the Dr. Plantz House, #100.(26)
In the early 1950's the district became the home of Windham College, which took over several buildings between the top of Kimball Hill and the southern tip of the district. The college later built a small campus just north of the district, off of U.S. Route 5. At the bankruptcy of Windham College in 1978, Putney, down to the primary employers of one paper mill and one factory (Basketville), has been a quiet, predominantly residential community. Since the opening in 1961 of I-91, with an exit at Putney, tourism, second homes and commuting have been on the increase.
The coming years may hold the greatest changes for the village since the 1840's, and consequently, the greatest challenges to preserve the cohesive stock of historic buildings. Due to occupy the Windham College campus this year is Landmark College, which will be the only college in the country intended exclusively for dyslexics. Other plans for the near future include a thorough rehabilitation of the tavern, #52, which has been in a state of decline for over thirty years, and the incorporation of it into a complex of hotel, office and retail space, which will be built behind the tavern.
A very active historical society, and recent private sector preservation activities in the village, are having the positive effect of fueling a growing preservation awareness in Putney. This will hopefully be only the step toward the long-term preservation of Putney's particularly rich architectural heritage.
1. Amidon, Cora, notes on Putney history, with references to documents included in the Putney Land Records, manuscript, c.1945, in possession of Louisa Amidon, Putney, Vermont.
2. Andrews, Rev. Elisha D., "An Historical Sermon by the Rev. Elisha D. Andrews, Fast Day, April 8, 1825, in the Congregational Church that then stood at the south-west (sic) corner of David Hannum's land, and on the west side of the road opposite the home of Misses (sic) Loive & Eva Blood (Now, 1937)", typescript of the original, 1937.
3. Appel, William H., "Putney, Vermont: A Study of the Changes in Property Relationships from 1930 to 1951, with Factors Leading up to 1930", unpublished M.S. dissertation, Yale University, 1952.
4. Benjamin, Asher, The American Builder's Companion, or a New System of Architecture; Particularly Adapted to the Present Style of Building in the United States of America, Boston: Etheridge & Bliss, Proprietors of Work, 1806.
5. Charter of the town of Putney, under the auspices of: "Province of New Hampshire: George the Second by the Grace of God of Great Brittain, France, Irelend, King Defender of the Faith", signed by Governor B. Wentworth, December 5, 1753, with subsequent documentation, in the archives of the Putney Town Clerk's Office, Putney, Vermont.
6. Child, Hamilton (compiler), Gazetteer and Business Directory of Windham County, Vt., 1883-1884, Syracuse, New York: published by the author, 1884.
7. De Wolfe, Edith, Lura H. Frost, Edith I. Gassett, Inez S. Harlow, and Elizabeth G. Scott (editors), The History of Putney, Vermont: 1753-1953, Putney- The Fortnightly Club of Putney Vermont, 1953.
8. Edmonds, Walter D. The First Hundred Years: 1848-1948, 1848 Oneida Community, 1880 Oneida Community Limited, 1935 Oneida LTD, Oneida, New York, published by Oneida LTD, 1948.
9. Foster, Rev. Amos, "Putney", in Abby Maria Hemenway (compiler), Vermont Historical Gazetteer, Vol. V, Brandon: Mrs. Carrie E.H. Page, 1891, Part II. pp. 159
10. The Fortnightly Club of Putney, Vermont (compiler), "People of Putney:1753-1953", copied and distributed by the Fortnightly Club of Putney Vermont, August, 1953.
11. Gassett, Austin R. and Evelyn, personal letter to Matthew Cohen, April 15, 1985 (now in possession of the Putney Historical Society).
12. "History of Putney Church", typescript, 1969, derived from: "Note to History of Putney Church", Brattleboro Daily Reformer, October 12, 1925, n.p., from "Clifford Cory's notebook", in possession of the Putney Historical Society.
13. "History of the Putney Public Library", printed on bookmarks by the Putney Public.Library, no author or date, derived from records in the library archives.
14. Howe, C. L. & Son, Putney, Vt. Views, a bound collection collection of photographs, Brattleboro: C.L. Howe & Son, c.1890.
15. Mansfield, David Lufkin, "Dummerston", in Abby Maria Hemenway (compiler), Vermont Historical Gazetteer, Vol. V, Brandon: Mrs. Carrie E.H. Page, 1891, Part II, pp. 1-59.
16. Mansfield, David L., History of Captain John Kathan, Brattleboro: E. L. Hildreth & Co., 1902.
17. Mulcahy, Susan, "The Moses Johnson House", typescript, c.1950, in possession of Louisa Amidon, Putney, Vermont.
18. Noyes, George Wallingford (compiler and editor), Religious Experiences of John Humphrey Noyes: Founder of the Oneida Community, New York: The MacMillan Company, 1923.
19. Noyes, George Wallingford (compiler and editor), John Humphrey Noyes, Oneida, New York: published by the author, 1931.
20. "Pierrepont B. Noyes Dies at 88", in The New York Times, April 16, 1959, n.p.
21. The Putney Land Records, stored in the vault of the Putney Town Clerk's Office, Putney, Vermont.
22. "Putney Tavern: Putney, Vt.", brochure, Putney: Mr. & Mrs. E. W. Parker, c.1930.
23. Robertson, Constance Noyes, Oneida Community: An Autobiography, 1851-1876, Syracuse, New York: Syracuse University Press, 1970.
24. Robertson, Constance Noyes, Oneida Community Profiles, Syracuse, New York, Syracuse University Press, 1977.
25. Stead, Craig, "History of the Stead House", typescript, 1984.
26. Walbridge, J. H. (compiler), Picturesque Putney, Newfane, Townshend and Jamaica: Supplement to the Windham County Reformer, Brattleboro: Reformer Publishing Company, 1901.
1. Amidon, Louisa, March 17, l985.
1. Beers, F.W., Atlas of Windham Co., Vermont, From actual surveys by and under the direction of F. W. Beers, assisted by Geo. P. Sanford and others, New York: F. W. Beers, A. D. Ellis and G. G. Soule, 1869.
2. Carpender, Moncure C. and Clifford E. Cory, "Putney, Vermont: Showing Original Town Lines with Houses and Roads in Existence About AD 1800", 1947.
3. McClellan's Map of Windham County Vermont: From Actual surveys and under supervision of J. Chase Jr., Troy, New York; Philadelphia: C. McClellan & Co., 1856.
1. Miscellaneous photographs in the collection of the Putney Historical Society Museum, Putney, Vermont.
2. Postcards, in the collection of the Wilbur Room, Bailey-Howe Library, Burlington, Vermont.
3. "Putney Historical Society Glass Plate Prints", prints from the glass plates of A.M. Corser and others, organized in loose leaf binders, all photographs are of Putney and vicinity, approximately 1900-1935, in possession of the Putney Historical Society, Putney, Vermont.
DATE ENTERED: February 20, 1986.
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