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Averill Corporation (Averill Lumber Company Housing)
During the last quarter of the nineteenth century and first two decades of the twentieth, the railroads and the portable steam sawmill enabled the rapid culling of hardwood, sawlogs, and paper logs from the forests of northern Essex County. Among the earliest developers of the lumber business was George Fitzgerald of Island Pond (see ES6), who amassed tens of thousands of acres of woodland and had interests in many wood-product manufactories, including the Gilman Mill in Lunenburg. In 1884, on the northwest shore of Great Averill Pond, near its outlet, Fitzgerald and E. C. Robinson began a steam sawmill that manufactured “rough lumber, lath, and clapboards.” To attract and maintain a workforce, they built this gabled, two-story, wood-frame 40 × 80–foot boardinghouse on the shoreline east of the mill, using many of their own products. Fitzgerald sold the mill in 1899, and the boardinghouse was converted into the seasonal Lake Side Inn, mostly serving recreational fishermen. The inn added a full-length porch with columns that faced the lake, as well as four wood-frame, one-story rental cottages along the shore to the west. Hortense Quimby acquired the inn in 1928, changing its name to Quimby's Inn to link it with Quimby's Cold Spring Club, a fishing club her father founded in 1893 on Forest Lake and the southern shore of Averill Pond. She lobbied to have the state highway moved from the shoreline, and in c. 1953 VT 114 was relocated and paved behind her inn. In 1970 a group of private investors organized as the Averill Corporation purchased the inn and cottages. Today it remains a rare survivor of the dozens of lumber camps that harvested the old-growth timber of Essex County and of the early resort industry that developed on the northern lakes in their wake.
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