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Harris Store

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1834. Main St., south end of the green, Strafford village

In 1833 Jedediah H. Harris, who had run a general store in Strafford village since 1803, commissioned contractor Martin Burrett to build a new brick and granite store. The building is a well-preserved example of a type common in commercial villages throughout the state. Harris specified a building that was two-and-a-half stories, with a gable-front, and measuring 30 × 50 feet. He also wanted a first floor 10 feet high, with 12-inch-thick walls, and a second floor 9 feet high, with 8-inch-thick walls. The first-floor storefront with large multipane windows is defined by five “fine hewed” granite posts with “stools” and “caps,” as well as granite steps, threshold, sills, and lintels. Harris did not exercise his contract option to have an oval window in the storefront, evidently preferring the rectilinear classical style then becoming popular.

Harris and his then-partner, Justin Morrill, opened the store in late fall 1834, hanging out their sign now on display within the building. For more than one hundred years the store passed through a succession of owners, until C. William Berghorn Jr. closed it in 1951 to make it his residence. Berghorn was also instrumental in the purchase and preservation of the nearby Morrill Homestead (OG29).

Writing Credits

Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson


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Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson, "Harris Store", [Strafford, 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, 341-341.

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