This Place In History: John Strong Mansion

ADDISON, Vt.

At 'This Place In History' the Executive Director of the Vermont Historical Society Steve Perkins takes us to the stately, imposing colonial home of John Strong, a Revolutionary War patriot, judge and state legislator.

"We are very fortunate in that this house was occupied by his family for five generations. There's a deep history here that we are very proud of," said Carol Schwenk, State Regent of the Daughters of American Revolution Vermont State Society. 

"It's one of the most notable 18th century homes in the state of Vermont today. It's a Georgian Federal style. All of the brick was made here on the property. It's got a very interesting pattern on the back of the house with the brick, to let barge operators know that this was his house. He was a man of the stature when he built the house and occupied it," continued Schwenk.

"The Vermont Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution were fortunate enough to acquire the house in 1934. One of our aims is historic preservation, so we're delighted with this project. Within a year of our purchase, we had it opened to the public as a museum, with an extensive collection of artifacts pertinent to the period," said Schwenk.

Just behind the John Strong Mansion Museum, visitors will find a mowed path leading to the DAR State Park. Where the path meets the back of the home is a garden in which Egyptian walking onions, thyme, sage and more stand tall.

"What we have here is a colonial herb garden. And we're very fortunate this year to have a grant and a master gardener from UVM help us restore our herb garden and make it a little more colonial in nature," explained DAR State Curator Susan Ferland.

Back inside the home, beautiful decorated rooms showcase period furniture and pieces original to the Strong family.

"If you think about it, dining rooms were not all that common in houses in northern Vermont in this period. Most of them were more humble houses and nobody would dedicate a whole room to dining. So this is quite unusual. But the Strongs, by the time they built this house, were quite prominent in the community. They achieved a bit of leisure time and more wealth, so they have a dining room. And along with that came the dining room furniture," said Maureen Labenski, Curator of the John Strong Museum.

"The side board was made in Vergennes, in the early 1800s; and comes from the Strong family. It belonged to John's son Samuel. And it's just a beautiful piece of furniture. I think a lot of people when they think of Vermont furniture, think of things that are more primitive. But this is really a quite sophisticated, beautiful piece of furniture. There was a clock maker at Chimney point for a period of time. And his name was Barnes. And he made a lot of clocks, and this is one of them. We have another one in another of our rooms. We have a lot of clocks actually. There are four rooms on the first floor and two rooms on the second floor, a large bedroom and a ballroom," said Labenski.

All rooms are open to the public when the museum is open. Visitors can stop by for guided tours, weekends from Memorial Day through Labor Day and holidays; from 10 AM to 5 PM.

For more from our 'This Place In History' series, click here.

To view a map of Vermont's roadside historic markers, click here.


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