Fire and flood along the Passumpsic River have destroyed most nineteenth-century mills and shops and many of the dwellings of St. Johnsbury Center. This remaining row of nineteenth-century, wood-frame, one-and-a-half-story houses is striking for the repetition of their gable fronts in an interesting mix of vernacular types common in the upper Connecticut River watershed. There are two small c. 1825 Cape Cod houses, their ends facing the road, and six small c. 1840 one-and-a-half-story examples of the Connecticut River “five-bay front” house type, several of which appear to be the work of the same builder. Then there are three one-and-a-half-story side-hall houses with recessed Greek Revival front porches with entablatures, pilasters, and columns, and a two-story side-hall as well, all more clearly from c. 1850. One five-bay house added a gable extension supported by columns with cast-iron Ionic capitals to emulate the recessed porches of its newer side-hall neighbors. The last five-bay house, built c. 1865, has added cornice brackets and a bay window. The original occupants of the houses were typical Vermont village home owners during the nineteenth century, ranging from tradesmen and shop owners to retired farm couples and a minister.
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St. Johnsbury Center Houses
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