During the second quarter of the nineteenth century, Derby Line developed in tandem with adjacent Rock Island, Quebec, as the largest commercial border village in Orleans County. Merchant Austin T. Foster had a store and house in Derby Line, and a boot and shoe factory across the border, and he served as associate U.S. consul for the adjacent border townships. After the Civil War, at the peak of his influence and affluence, Foster demolished his house adjacent to the village park on the west side of Main Street and erected this finely detailed two-story, Italianate house. The house set a local standard for stylish building emulated by successful businessmen and professionals in northern Orleans County. The central-hall house is distinguished by twin two-story, projecting bays that flank the entrance, corner pilasters, and paneled entablatures with paired scroll-sawn brackets. The entrance stoop has an ornate hood, supported on massive scrolled brackets echoed below by railings that curve up to robust newel posts.
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Austin T. Foster House
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