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Townshend Town Hall

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1920, M. R. Drew. VT 30 at Grafton Rd., Townshend village
  • (Photograph by Curtis B. Johnson, C. B. Johnson Photography)

The town hall, off the southeast corner of the Townshend common, is the product of Vermont's Old Home Week, an annual celebration made official in 1900 that invited transplanted Vermonters back to the state to experience the historic charm of their home communities. In Townshend the town occupied the ground floor of the meetinghouse (WH23) until 1908, when its officials decided to build separate quarters. They commissioned a simple Greek Revival frame building from M. R. Drew of Greenfield, Massachusetts, and dedicated it at the Old Home Day festivities of 1916. After it burned in a major village fire two years later, the same architect designed a grander replacement that was paid for by Kate Dutton in memory of her husband and son. Lieutenant Colonel Henry F. Dutton taught school in Townshend when he met and married his locally born wife. Though they moved to Florida, they maintained contact with the town, and Dutton returned to speak at Townshend's first Old Home Day observances in 1901. In accordance with directives that it be far enough away from other buildings to eliminate the possibility of fire, William Cushman of Brattleboro built the new town hall south of its previous site. Faced with stucco, this building is eclectically Colonial Revival in form. It has a full columnar Greek portico with a lattice-balustraded gallery and a pedimented gable with a triangular attic light. However, it also has modillioned cornices and is topped with a multistage Federal tower with a clock stage, arcaded octagonal belfry, bellcast cupola, and a flying eagle weathervane. Nostalgically synthesizing diverse forms drawn from nineteenth-century meetinghouses and courthouses, it accommodates the local government in an impressive manner for a small upland rural town.

Writing Credits

Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson


What's Nearby


Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson, "Townshend Town Hall", [Jamaica, 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, 408-409.

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