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Hospital Houses

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1864. 2 and 4 Emmons St., City of Montpelier
  • (Photograph by Curtis B. Johnson, C. B. Johnson Photography)

The Sloan U.S. Army General Hospital was built in 1864 on a hill overlooking Montpelier around what had been the 1855 state fair racetrack. The result of lobbying from Vermont officials, the hospital was a part of the U.S. Army's program to treat wounded Union soldiers. The hospital was composed of eighteen buildings arranged in an oval, connected by covered walkways, and enclosing a central green. The one-and-a-half-story ward buildings held forty beds in two rows of twenty along each wall and were typical of the light wood-frame vernacular that was evolving locally with the availability of dimension lumber and platform framing. Although the army specified that each ward should measure 187 × 24 × 14 feet, the Sloan wards measured 108 × 24 × 12 feet. The difference was rationalized on the basis of the economy of using local boards whose standard length was twelve feet. After the hospital closed in 1866, the buildings were auctioned off and the Methodist Seminary (WA33) built on the central green. Only the small, one-story, brick arsenal building (71 College Street) remains on the site, but a number of the wards were divided into three and moved to individual house sites in and around Montpelier. These two modest houses are perhaps the most readable remaining examples. Each is one-and-a-half stories and measures 36 × 24 × 12 feet. Both retain the open eaves and spare fenestration of the wards, but the house at number 2 reflects more of their original appearance with its plain trim and windows with peaked lintel boards. Number 4 has decorative shinglework and a gabled entrance pavilion that was probably added about 1900.

Writing Credits

Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson


What's Nearby


Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson, "Hospital Houses", [Montpelier, 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, 307-307.

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