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West Castleton Railroad and Slate Company Foreman's Duplex

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c. 1853. North side of Cedar Mountain Rd., Bomoseen State Park, Lake Bomoseen
  • West Castleton Railroad and Slate Company Foreman's Duplex

This modest two-family house is an important example of “stacked slate” construction and Welsh heritage in Vermont. Constructed of mortared slate rubble, it is one of two duplexes that, together with the company office nearby, are the three remaining stone structures built by the West Castleton Railroad and Slate Company between 1852 and 1854. The Welsh came to western Rutland County from Pennsylvania and Wales beginning in 1850, drawn by the demonstrated quality of the area's unfading green and purple slate, rated to last between two and three hundred years. Among the principals of the company, at least one, John Borrowscale, is identified as a Welsh slater.

With its deep eave-side facing the road, the duplex follows a method of construction and a plan typical of working villages in the slate region of Wales, and its two-family nature is immediately evident in the central two-door entrance, each with its own sidelights. In historic photographs examples in wood as well as stone appear at several early Welsh slate quarrying sites in Rutland County, with two or three of stone to maybe a dozen of wood. Aligned in a row, like the two duplexes here, each had a small, rubble-slate-walled rear yard, subdivided down the middle so each family had its own garden plot. In 1854, these duplexes were identified as foremen's residences, indicating the likely greater status of the stone versions. A history trail within Bomoseen State Park identifies other architectural and archeological remains of the industry, including stone ruins of the slate mill.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson
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Citation

Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson, "West Castleton Railroad and Slate Company Foreman's Duplex", [Fair Haven, Vermont], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/VT-01-RU52.

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Vermont

Buildings of Vermont, Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2013, 90-90.

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