Shortly after the Rutland and Whitehall Railroad reached Fair Haven village in 1850, Welsh immigrants arrived to work in, and sometimes even own, the nearby slate quarries. By 1870 more than 100 families had settled in the village and they built two competing Welsh churches that faced each other across Washington Street. After the economic recession of the 1870s, business and production at the quarries exploded, and the village population climbed to more than 2,500 residents in 1890. Three-and four-story brick commercial blocks rose on Main Street south of the green and several hundred platform-framed, single-family dwellings populated the streets north and west of the green. Caernarvon Street heading north from the green is named after the slate-producing region in Wales, and the houses built here and on cross-streets between 1870 and 1890 form the best collection of Eastlake/Stick Style dwellings in Vermont. The fanciful scroll-sawn ornament, especially the porch valances, rails, and skirts, is particularly lively. A two-story house on the southwest corner of Caernarvon and 2nd streets is a nicely detailed example with false fachwerk board trim, gable screens, and front porches with turned posts and valances that fill the corners of its tri-gable plan. It is further enlivened by first-floor canted corners with drop pendants on the front gable and symmetrical bay windows on the gabled sides.
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