You are here

Rodney Marsh House

-A A +A
1852. 11 Pearl St., Brandon village
  • (Photograph by Curtis B. Johnson, C. B. Johnson Photography)

The brick, pavilion-with-ells house built for prominent lawyer Rodney Marsh across from his office on Brandon's elite Pearl Street is among the most elaborately detailed Greek Revival buildings in Vermont. Its carved wooden ornament, closely based on details in Asher Benjamin's The Builder's Guide (1839), includes a colossal Ionic portico, a wreath-decorated frieze, a door framed by Corinthian columns, and a two-bay second-floor balcony on brackets. The symmetrical wings are organized by brick pilasters with Corinthianesque capitals that carry a full brick entablature. An octagonal rooftop cupola has been removed.

Soon after the completion of the house, Marsh entered the state legislature, where he pressed his and his town's strong abolitionist views (the Brandon Anti-Slavery Society had seventy-eight members as early as 1837). He opposed the federal Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 as unconstitutional and pressed for Vermont's adoption of personal liberty laws. Local tradition claims Marsh's grand house was an important stop on the Underground Railroad, its more than fifty closets and eight original staircases making it a natural place for concealing fugitives.

Writing Credits

Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson


What's Nearby


Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson, "Rodney Marsh House", [Brandon, 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, 64-65.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.