Bayley Historic District
Municipality: Newbury, VT
Location: Route 5 and Oxbow Street
Site Type: Historic District
Vt Survey No: --
UTMs: (Zone 18) A. 736190/4885740. B. 736300/4885360. C. 735710/4885300. D. 735680/4885600
National Register Nomination Information:
Consisting of twelve principal buildings and numerous attached and free-standing barns and outbuildings, the Bayley Historic District is a well-preserved collection of primarily Federal and Greek Revival style dwellings dating from the late 18th to mid-19th centuries. All of the structures are woodframe and range in height from 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 stories. Many have attached ells and wings which in some cases were originally free-standing dwellings which preceded construction of the main house blocks. The District is set in a semi-rural context outside or Newbury Village. .
Comprised of twelve buildings, the Bayley Historic District is residential in nature with one exception, the Oxbow D.A.R. Chapterhouse (#3). Of the district's three roads, Vermont Route 5, originally known as the River Road, is the major thoroughfare through this district and the town and follows the ridge which overlooks the Connecticut River and plains below. Oxbow Street intersects with Vermont Route 5 near the top of a curving incline, thus forming a fork. Heading west and away from Vermont Route 5, Oxbow Street is intersected by another dirt road which eventually rejoins Vermont Route 5 within the boundaries of the Newbury Village Historic District (also being nominated to the National Register). Altogether, these roads form a triangular district.
The houses in the Bayley Historic District aligning Vermont Route 5 are of an earlier construction date while those situated along the side roads are generally later. The District contains some of the oldest structures in Newbury. The buildings of the Bayley Historic District are as follows:
1. Grunitz/Monmaney House, c.1800, c.1870. The Grunitz-Monmaney House is an unusual combination of an early Federal style design topped by a French Second Empire style mansard roof. Apparently, the house originally stood where the Augustine-Kelly House (#4) now stands; when the latter was built c.1840 by Timothy Morse, this house, also owned by Morse, was moved to its present location.
The main block of the house exhibits original Federal-style details. The 2-story, 5 x 3 bay clapboard block has an elaborate central entrance. Although the neoclassical elements at first seem crudely placed, it is probable that the entrance was altered at some point, perhaps during the Greek Revival era, because the full-length sidelights are situated where the pilaster shafts should be. All that remains of the pilasters are the capitals; these support a plain keystoned cornice board, while flanking a semi-circular fanlight. The door jambs are narrow reeded boards. The 4-panel door retains a spade-shaped Suffolk Latch.
The windows are embellished by molded cornices and panelled surrounds, and have 6/6 sash. Plain cornerboards support a projecting cornice. The mansard windows generally correspond in style to the windows below and also have 6/6 sash. A side entrance is located on the south side; it has a modern, gabled portico. A one-story, clapboard, lean-to is attached to the rear of the house.
Although this house appears to be an odd mixture of styles, there are two other examples in the town of Newbury where original roofs were later changed to mansard roofs. The Huntoon House in the Newbury Village Historic District was built with a gable roof as was Burnhams Shoe Store in the Wells River Village Historic District. Both of these roofs were altered to mansard roofs sometime during the third quarter of the nineteenth century.
2. Jennings House, c.1960. One-story, gable roof, ranch-style house. This building does not contribute to the Historic District.
2A. Jennings Garage, c.1960. One-story, gable roof, 2-bay garage. Non-contributing.
3. Oxbow D.A.R. Chapter House, 1851. The chapterhouse, originally a schoolhouse, exhibits details and proportions representative of the Greek Revival style. The 1-story, clapboard, gable-front structure has 3 x 4 bays, a central entrance, and a belfry crowning the roof. Four simple Doric pilasters anchor the corners and support a wide, plain frieze which surrounds the building and creates a full pediment on the facade. The windows have 12/8 sash, pedimented lintels, and single, hinged shutters constructed of vertical boards. The entrance has a plain, panelled surround and space for 1/2-length sidelights which were either removed or never encased. An arched, lattice-work portico, a 20th century addition, protects the entrance. The belfry, situated at the front of the gable's ridge, has flushboard siding, a hip roof, and 4 openings which have been boarded. Attached to the rear of the building is a small, 1-story, gabled shed.
This was the site of the second Courthouse built in 1801 to serve the state legislature which moved about to different locations, including Newbury, until Montpelier was chosen as the capital. The courthouse was dismantled in 1839 and a district schoolhouse was built in 1851. The Oxbow Chapter of the D A R. procured the building in 1912, the first such chapterhouse in the state.
4. Augustine/Kelly House, c.1840, c.1870. Italianate Revival, 2-1/2-story, "L" plan, clapboard siding. Corbelled interior stove chimneys crown the gable roof. Italianate Revival features include the bracketed cornice which returns at the gable ends; round-headed windows in the gable peaks; full-length first-floor windows with 9/6 sash in the east gable end; heavy, molded window cornices; and the 1-story, wraparound porch supported by square, chamfered posts with simple, open, curved brackets. All of the windows have louvered shutters and, excluding the 1st floor windows, 6/6 sash. The entrance appears almost concealed in the inside corner, yet a transom and full-length sidelights help amplify its presence.
Two wings of 1-1/2 and 1-story are linked to the main house. They have gable roofs and modern fenestration. Attached to the rear wing is a 1-1/2 story barn with a gable roof and cupola, vertical board siding.
Timothy Morse (1803-1862), a prolific builder in Newbury, erected this house to serve as his residence after moving an earlier structure which he owned, the Grunitz/ Monmaney House (#1) from this lot to its present location. Morse was a highly respected figure in Newbury and played an important role in the establishment and operation of the Newbury Seminary. He is also credited with erecting the Seminary building and the Leslie-Wells House in Newbury (see Newbury Village National Register nomination), as well as numerous other buildings in town. The present Italianate appearance of the house post-dates its locally held construction date of c.1840, therefore suggesting that the building was probably extensively remodeled c.1870, when the Italianate style was in vogue. It is one of the best examples of the style in Newbury.
4A. Garage: Modern, 1-story, gable roof, horizontal siding, 2 car bays. Noncontributing.
5. Ellithorpe House, c.1855. 2-1/2-story, gable roof, clapboard siding, 5 x 3 bays, central entrance. Panelled, Doric corner pilasters support a wide, plain frieze and cornice returns. Windows have 2/2 sash and molded cornices. A 1-story later wraparound porch has turned posts with scroll brackets and a turned balustrade. The porch on the wing has square chamfered posts and scroll brackets. Above the latter porch is a shed-roof wall dormer topped by a balustrade. The Ellithorpe House is an excellent example of New England's "continuous architecture" because beyond the two wings is a 3-bay carriage barn which, in turn, is linked to a 1-1/2-story, gable roof barn with a lean-to addition.
The present main block of the Ellithorpe House appears to date from c.1855. Its proportions, paneled pilasters and strongly articulated cornice and frieze suggest that it may have been constructed at that time. The Queen Anne porch appears to be a later addition; the central door may have been altered at the same time. A much earlier date (c.1835) is ascribed to the buildings locally; perhaps one of the wings constituted an earlier freestanding dwelling.
6. Haradon House, c.1965. Modern, 1-story ranch house with low gable roof. Non-contributing.
7. Bayley-Cobb House, c.1785. The Bayley-Cobb House is a good example of a Federal residence. With 2 stories and 5 x 2 bays, this clapboard house is crowned by a hip roof which may have replaced an earlier, square hip roof (Wells, History of Newbury, Vt., p.333). Two, large, interior-end, brick chimneys with corbelled caps anchor the structure. Panelled corner pilasters support a molded frieze. The outstanding hallmark of this house is the central entrance: halflength sidelights composed of narrow, 6/6 sash flank the door and a large, heavy entablature unifies the three divisions below. The entablature is particularly noteworthy for featuring a pulvinated frieze. Molded cornices are seen on the 1st floor windows and on the sides' 2nd floor windows; those of the facade's 2nd floor are instead capped by the main cornice. All of the windows have 6/6 sash and louvered shutters. The interior of the house is notable for the two alcoves which flank the parlor fireplace.
A 2-story ell is attached to the rear of the main block. This ell connects to another ell which now serves as apartments. The second ell features a continuous shed dormer and a recessed porch extending the length of the facade and supported by square, chamfered posts.
Built by Issac Bayley (1767-1850), son of General Jacob Bayley, this house remained in the Bayley family for several generations. It was here that the general died in 1815.
7A. Garage: Modern, 1-story, gable roof, 3 car bays, clapboard siding. Non-contributing.
8. Lawrie-Dwyer House, c.1780. Like the Merritt House (#9), the Lawrie-Dwyer House serves as a pivot at the fork of Vermont Route 5 and Oxbow Street. This house is one of the oldest structures in Newbury. It is known to have been standing by 1785 and it served as the congregational parsonage for many years. Although it has undergone some alterations such as the application of aluminum siding and the installation of a new "Federal" doorway after a fire in 1970, this house retains its original massing, fenestration pattern, etc.
2-1/2-story, gable roof, 5 x 2 bays. Original cornice returns and window cornices. Two interior chimneys originally anchored the roof but were removed in 1857. Smaller 6/6 sash light the 2nd floor. A gabled 2-1/2-story wing links the main house to a gabled 1-story wing. Beyond the smaller wing is a large 2-1/2 story barn which displays a cupola atop the gable roof. The barn has retained its clapboard siding.
9. Bayley-Merritt House; c.1795, c.1835. Situated at the fork where Oxbow Street and Vermont Route 5 intersect, the Bayley-Merritt House is a pivotal structure in the district with its broad, 2-1/2-story gable front accentuating its presence.
The house was radically altered during the Greek Revival era and given many of its existing details at that time. Built sometime before 1795 when it was inhabited by Esquire Farrand, the house was likely reorganized during the residency of Harry C. Bayley (1804-1879), a grandson of General Jacob Bayley.
The facade is arranged in a pattern sometimes referred to as a "Noah's Ark": the number of bays ascend towards the gable peak in a sequence, in this case, 5:3:1 The Noah's Ark design can be seen throughout the Connecticut River Valley. The mass of the upper stories is further emphasized by the recessed portico which stretches across the facade's 1st floor. The portico is supported by four, square, panelled pilasters. These meet an entablature which is carried around the house and a molded cornice returns at the gable ends with exaggerated length. Narrow panelled surrounds encase the windows which have 9/6 and 6/6 sash and louvered shutters. The central entrance is capped by a rectangular transom and flanked by louvered shutters. Modern continuous shed dormers have been placed on the side elevations. Attached to the rear is a 1-story ell which has an enclosed screen porch.
9A. Barn: 1-1/2-story, gable roof, clapboard siding, sliding door, transom, fixed 6-pane light in gable peak.
10. Swasey-Lerner House, 1797. Built in 1797 by Captain Moses Swasey, Jr. (1768-1823), a Newbury mechanic, this house was intended to serve as a kitchen for a larger main block which was never built. The existing structure is wood frame with clapboard siding, 1-1/2-stories, and 5 x 2 bays. The gable roof meets a shed-roof section in the rear and has a continuous shed-roof dormer extending the length of the front. The centrally-located chimney and entrance and lack of kneewall space reflect the influence of the Cape Cod house type. The box cornice has a molded frieze below. Door and window surrounds are plain. There is a batten door on the north side elevation. The interior is noteworthy for "Indian Shutters" which slide out of the walls.
With the exception of the continuous dormer, this house is representative of the early structures built in Newbury. While others later became subsidiary ells on larger, more sophisticated homes, this one remained the same size and served all the functions of a residence.
10A. Barn/Garage: 1-1/2-stories with basement level, gable roof, tarpaper and vertical board siding.
11. Harmon House, c.1810 This clapboard house is noteworthy for its unusual framing which has the gable portion projecting slightly over the sides of the house. The house stands 1-1/2-stories and measures 3 x 3 bays. The windows have 12/12 sash, louvered shutters, and molded cornices. The entrance has 1/2-length sidelights, a transom, and molded cornice, Federal features, although the placement of the door is much more common to the Greek Revival period. A 1-1/2-story ell has a recessed porch and two, shed-roof dormers with paired windows. A low, 1-story appendage links the ell to a 1-1/2-story, gable-roof, clapboard barn.
12. Laban House, c 1800-1807. 1-1/2-story, 5 x 2 bays, gable roof, woodframe, clapboard siding, two interior chimneys with corbelled caps. Fenestration on the facade is asymmetrical. Corner boards support a molded cornice which returns at the gable ends. Windows have 6/6 or 2/2 sash, louvered shutters, and molded cornices on the facade's and left side's windows. A molded cornice is also found over the central entrance; the rest of the door surround consists of a plain frieze supported by plain boards. Although the entrance lacks a transom, there are sidelights. A smaller, gable-roof ell connects the main house to a modern, saltbox-roof, clapboard garage with an arched opening.
In form and proportion, this house is a good example of the Cape Cod house type. The central chimney was likely removed at some point and replaced by two stove chimneys.
George W. Kent (1821-1887), one-time sexton of the cemetery, is listed on the 1887 Beer's Map as residing in this house. The Walling Map of 1857 lists a "J. Kent." If this is the house that was known as being "under the great elm" (see Wells, p. 332 and p. 605), it was reputedly built by William B. Bannister sometime between 1800-1807 (Wells, p. 459).
The Bayley Historic District is a well-preserved collection of late 18th to mid-19th century buildings with few modern intrusions. All are residential with the exception of one, The D.A.R. Chapterhouse (#3), a former schoolhouse. The District is significant historically for its association with Jacob Bayley, a founder of Newbury and prominent figure in Vermont history for his role in the building of the Bayley-Hazen military road during The American Revolution.
The Bayley Historic District takes its name from the Bayley family, whose most illustrious member was General Jacob Bayley (1726-1815), considered the founder of Newbury. The Bayley-Cobb House (#7) is noteworthy as the house in which the general died in 1815. Throughout the years, many of the houses within this district have been inhabited by members of this family.
Until 1763, Charlestown, New Hampshire was the northernmost outpost of the Connecticut River Valley inhabited by colonists. In that year, a group of men traveled north from Charlestown in search of a new area of settlement. Following the river, they reached the fertile intervale area long known as the Great Oxbow in Newbury, Vermont and Haverhill, New Hampshire, which was a well suited place to erect needed temporary shelters and plant crops. The success of the expedition induced others to follow. Soon a charter for the town was granted by Governor Benning Wentworth of New Hampshire to General Jacob Bayley and 74 other men, many of whom were related to each other. Bayley went on to distinguish himself along with Moses Hazen by clearing the famous military supply route to the north, now known as the Bayley-Hazen Road, during the American Revolution.
Another prominent resident was Timothy Morse (1803-1862), a founder and fervent supporter of the Newbury Seminary. An addition to his ecclesiastical and educational interests, Morse was an industrious builder in Newbury. Two of his properties in the Bayley Historic District were the Grunitz-Barnes House (#1) and the Augustine/Kelly House (#4). For some unknown reason, Morse moved the Grunitz-Monmaney House to its present location from the site where the .Augustine/Kelly House now stands.
Throughout the Bayley Historic District, homes were updated in the 19th century: in one case (#1) a Federal house gained a French Second Empire style mansard roof, in another case (#4) a c.1840 house was extensively remodeled in the Italianate style. The older houses tend to be clustered along the "river road," (Vermont Route 5), Newbury's first thoroughfare. The Bayley-Cobb House (#7) exhibits a typical Federal entrance.
The Lawrie-Dwyer House (#8), although recently altered after a fire, still displays Federal style traits. An excellent example of the so-called "Noah's Ark" design is the Bayley-Merritt House (#9), originally built around 1795 and updated around 1835 to conform to the dictates of the Greek Revival fashion. The Italianate Revival style is represented by the Augustine Kelly House (#4). Other structures within the historic district, such as the Ellithorpe House (#5), the Swasey-Lerner House (#10), and the Laban House (#12), exemplify more vernacular characteristics which also add to the visual appeal of this district. Altogether, the buildings of the Bayley Historic District form an interesting array of architectural types and styles while simultaneously contributing to the overall quality of Newbury.
1) Beers, F. W. Atlas of Orange County, Vermont. F. W. Beers Co., N.Y., 1877. 2) Dwight, Timothy. Travels in New England and New York. Edited by Barbara Miller Solomon, Cambridge: Belknap Press, Harvard University Press, 4 Volumes, 1969, Vol. II.
3) Town of Newbury, Vermont. History of Newbury, Vermont, 1900 to 1977. Bradford Vermont: Fox Publishing Corporation, 1978.
4) Vermont Division for Historic Preservation, Vermont Historic Sites and Structures Survey, Town of Newbury, 1978.
5) Wall, H. F. Atlas of Orange County, 1858, N.Y.
6) Wells, Frederic P. History of Newbury, Vermont, 1704-1902. St. Johnsbury: The Caledonian County, 1902, reprinted 1975.
DATE ENTERED: July 28, 1983.
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