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Hand House

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c. 1785. West end of Hand's Cove Rd.

The house Nathan Hand acquired in 1792 when he moved here with his wife and seven children from Easthampton, Long Island, is something of a mystery. It sits not far from the lakeshore on Hand's Cove, where tradition has it that Ethan Allen rallied the Green Mountain Boys in May 1775. On the exterior it appears to be a typical central-chimney, wood-frame, Cape-type house, with its early asymmetrical fenestration intact. In fact, a number of its walls are those of an eighteenth-century blockhouse, a secure “long house” of closely fit, squared logs, here 20 × 38 feet but now enclosed by the 30 × 38 footprint of the Cape. This may account for the intact fenestration since log walls tend to discourage window remodeling. The additional ten feet of the house, framed in post-and-beam with plank walls, share sills and garret floor joists with the log walls, indicating that the blockhouse walls were reassembled as a part of creating the present gabled structure, probably between the end of the Revolution in 1783 and 1795. Whether the blockhouse was one located here prior to the Revolution (deeds do indicate structures on the property) or scavenged from Ticonderoga or Mount Independence after the war, it is a fitting representative of frontier Vermont, a farmhouse fashioned from a fortress.

Writing Credits

Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson


What's Nearby


Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson, "Hand House", [Shoreham, Vermont], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Vermont

Buildings of Vermont, Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2013, 132-132.

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