One of the oldest extant houses in Vermont, the residence of Benjamin Carpenter attests to Guilford's well-established character, even before the Revolution. Built in 1772, Carpenter acquired it in 1779, the year he became Vermont's second lieutenant governor. Its massive central chimney, steep gabled roof, and rhythmically spaced windows are closely related to established eighteenth-century vernacular traditions in New England. The distinctive square-headed Palladian window above the front door is one of several found in early-nineteenth-century contexts in the immediate region. This window was formed by flanking a regular-sized sash window with shorter sidelights beneath panels and tying the three together with a cornice molding. The paneled pilasters that frame the windows are similar to those of the Federal door below. The entrance's delicate porch with an open-gable roof on columns invites comparison with the porch of the Deacon Holbrook House (WH37) of 1825 in Brattleboro. It seems likely that these details do not date to the construction of the house. Rather, they are probably the result of the common phenomenon of second-generation remodeling in Vermont and were likely the additions of Carpenter's son, Cyrus, to whom the house was deeded in 1800. In another typical Vermont pattern, newly arrived summer residents restored the house beginning in the 1930s.
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Benjamin Carpenter House
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