“We’re kind of in the old center of town here in Milton, the intersection of Main Street and Route 7,” Vermont Historical Society executive director Steve Perkins said. “We’re talking about this brick building that’s right behind us, one of the few survivors of this old village. It’s the — we’ll call it the old Clark Office Building, to put some history to it — and we’re going to talk to Marty Steinhausen, who is the owner of this building. He’s put a lot of wonderful work into preserving it.”
Mike Hoey asked, “What was this property — that you’ve put so much work into the last couple of years — built for? What was its original use?”
“Originally, Joseph P. Clark, who lived in the mansion right next door, built this building for an office — to house the office for his milling operations,” Steinhausen said. “He owned a grist mill and a lumber mill just right across the street there. Obviously, those buildings are no longer in existence; they were washed out in the flood of 1927. There were several buildings over there that used water power for manufacturing, and this was the square — basically the town square, the hub of activity. Once those buildings were gone, I think Milton changed quite a bit.
“Joseph P. Clark was considered the benefactor of Milton. He was an extremely successful businessman with his milling and other commercial activities. In fact, he brought the railroad through Milton and there was an engine named after him. He lived in the mansion and had this for an office, and his milling operations were apparently very successful.
“When we bought the building, it was extremely dilapidated and in extremely bad shape, so we kind of built it from the ground up. It has housed a tavern of some sort since at least the 1930s, so we’re continuing that tradition because Arrowhead Lodge is now on the ground floor, and my wife and I live on the upper two floors. It was built sometime in the 1860s, and the brick at that time was pretty soft and the mortar was soft, and so we had to do a lot of masonry work rebuilding it from the ground up.”
Perkins asked, “So, how can people visit this historic building?”
“Well, a great way to visit the building is to come to Arrowhead Lodge,” Steinhausen answered. “It’s a great little tavern and they serve primarily, almost exclusively, Vermont drinks and delicious food made from almost-all-Vermont products.”
Perkins continued, “And if people want to learn more about what this village used to look like before the 1927 flood, how can they do that?”
“A great way to learn about any part of Milton history is to visit the Milton Historical Society (in person) or visit them online,” Steinhausen replied.