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Peacham

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The crossroads village of Peacham Corners provides a rich catalog of Vermont interpretations of Greek Revival. The village developed in the late eighteenth century at the intersection of the road (Church Street) from Peacham's elevated common and the important Bayley-Hazen Military Road from Newbury in the Connecticut Valley. Jonathan Elkins settled here in 1776, but because he was imprisoned by raiders until 1782, he did not build his Georgian-style tavern alongside Bayley-Hazen Road (just south of the village) until 1787. John Mattocks, who was the first lawyer in the “Northeast Kingdom” and a state legislator, federal representative, and later the governor, had a two-story, hipped-roof Federal-style house built in 1805 by local carpenters, Buckminster Brothers. The house has a central chimney and fine fanlit doors under broken pediments.

Prosperous from sheep-farming wealth in the second quarter of the nineteenth century, the village emerged as the commercial and institutional focus of Peacham. Its new prominence was indicated by the relocation in 1843 of Peacham Academy and the Congregational Church down from the common to the village. Most of the village shops and taverns have been lost to fire, as was the academy building (1976). The relocated church remains, its 1806 Federal body redecorated with more massive Greek details. The houses built and remodeled in the second quarter of the nineteenth century create a remarkably unified aesthetic for the village, notably along Bayley-Hazen Road. Here are Federal one-and-a-half- and two-story eaves-fronted houses refitted with Greek doorways, one-and-a-half-story Classic Cottages, and two-story gable-front houses with Greek features. By the mid-nineteenth century, Peacham was suffering from a decline in population, which ultimately preserved it as one of the most complete Greek Revival villages in the state.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson

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