The country seat of Colorado mining prospector Vernon Read is perhaps the most noteworthy of a series of rural estates that developed in Stowe beginning in the late 1930s. As designed by Van Allen, it reflects an antiquarian (if not necessarily scholarly) interest. The model for the main house was French Canadian rural architecture, reflected in the one-and-a-half-story main block with a steep slate roof that shelters an inset porch, narrow gabled dormer, massive center chimney, and flanking lower wings. The main block is built of brick salvaged from Burlington's Sherwood Hotel, which was destroyed by fire. The wings are faced with broadaxe-hewn logs. The interior features beams salvaged from a barn on the Ethan Allen homestead in Burlington, a fireplace surround of antique Dutch tiles, natural pine walls with horizontal wainscoting and molded chair rails, and rabbeted vertical upper walls. Wrought-iron hardware by Edmund Wells of Stowe is combined with brass from Williamsburg. In the early 1950s the manor was converted into a country inn, with the addition in 1954 of a rear dining ell similar in character to the main house and separate carriage house–like motel units.
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Edson Hill Manor
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