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26 Main St.
Windsor, VT 05089
USA

802 227 0008

Pure. Fresh. Vermont

That's what we offer at the Snapdragon Inn. Join us for a  relaxing getaway and explore the Upper Valley of Vermont and New Hampshire. 

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Snapdragon Inn blog

Filtering by Category: "history"

Happy 250th Windsor, Vermont!

The Snapdragon Inn



Today Windsor is celebrating its 250th year since being chartered as a town on July 6, 1761. Then in 1777, the signers of the Constitution of Vermont Republic met in Windsor in what is now the Constitution House (just down from the Inn) to declare independence from Britain. The constitution was the first of its kind to abolish slavery,  grant sufferages to non-landowning males and require free public education. Thus making Windsor, "the birthplace of Vermont". It didn't become the 14th state until 30 years after being chartered. There is a celebration on the State Street green this evening that we'll be attending. Windsor is a beautiful town with an incredibly vast list of accomplishments and rich rich history. May the next quarter millenium be prosperous and exciting for our town!


New Video Series Documents Creativy at Snapdragon Inn

The Snapdragon Inn

Many of us have written on the blog about the Cornish Colony at the intersection of the history of 26 Main Street (Snapdragon Inn) with many of the members of the Cornish Colony or their creative friends. This was a place of art. It was filled with creative people and great thinkers. It was a place of summer plays in the backyard, readings, storytelling, and of course the occasional famous visitor. This web series will help to educate and hopefully recapture some of that creative spirit. Already, Snapdragon Inn is filling with original photography, local paintings, the writings of local authors, and even impromptu musical performance. We hope to capture a few of those moments and share them with everyone. Enjoy.

Snapdragon Inn:Reborn Episode One: Harriet Worrell: Playwright



More interesting history

Chris



The other day an author who is working on the biography of William Henry Seward emailed to let us know that Seward met with William Maxwell Evarts (former owner of 26 Main) at the house here in Windsor in 1860 to work on Seward's presidential strategy. He ended up losing the Republican nomination to Lincoln, but then became Secretary of State and has a very interesting history that you can learn more about here. This house never ceases to amaze us.

The Oldies are the Goodys

The Snapdragon Inn

I've been working away on our site, getting our information loaded and prepared for opening on September first. My most recent project has been boiling down the (almost) 200 years of incredibly rich and fascinating history of 26 Main Street into a single page for the site.

Let me tell you, it hasn't been easy.

My FAVORITE find so far didn't make the cut for the site, so I decided to share it here with you - "A St. Louis Picture of Mr. Evarts," was printed in the New York Times December 26, 1886, when Evarts was the Senator from New York.

Mr. Evarts is not as thin as he is painted. Nast and Keppler don't do justice to his appetite and digestion. While he is by no means an eligible candidate for membership in a fat mans's club, still he is far from being an organized collection of skin and bones. Mr. Evarts's hair is perfectly white. It is parted on the left side of the head, and there is no suggestion of baldness front or rear. He was dressed in black cloth, and was by no means a flattering advertisement of his tailor. The coat, a Prince Albert of ancient pattern, would have been a better fit for a much bigger man. The trousers bagged at the knees and would have accommodated about five sets of legs the size of Mr. Evarts's. No one would take him to be a remarkable man. There is nothing striking in his appearance, and his voice is ordinary. But he has a magnificent laugh. When he is tickled he laughs from his hair to his toes, and it is not difficult to tickle him. In fact, it can be said that his laugh is set on a hair trigger and goes off with very little provocation. Perhaps he pays as much attention to keeping himself happy as anything else. He doesn't allow trivialities to bother him, and frequently goes out of his way to enjoy the good things of the world.

This quote is even better when I look at a picture of Senator Evarts while I read it. Does this man look like he has a magnificent laugh? Someone that it is not difficult to tickle? I love this human side of Evarts, and it is such a great reminder that those dour historic photos do not equate to dour historic people! (Written like a true history major, I suppose!)

-- McKay

Maxwell Perkins - the talk of Hollywood

The Snapdragon Inn

Seems that we aren't the only Max Perkins fans these days, as Sean Penn is in talks to play Perkins in a new movie based on a biography of Perkins. The book, "Maxwell Perkins: Editor of Genius" won a National Book Award when it was published in 1978 and has recently been re-released.



Of course, here at the Snapdragon we feel it is imperative that character research be conducted at Perkins' home, and we welcome Mr. Penn and the rest of the cast to stop in, relax on the porch, stroll the woods around Lake Runnemede, and soak in the history of Perkins where it happened. And if they can't make it, so be it - more room for you to do the same!

The Golden Wedding: Part 1

Chris





This past week I have enjoyed reading the beautiful book especially printed to commemorate the Golden Wedding of William Maxwell Evarts and Helen Minerva Wardner Evarts in 1893. The language of the book is amazing and I will certainly share more. One of their great grand daughters gifted the book to our family and thought it would be fitting to have it at the Inn. We are thrilled to have such a rich piece of family history. She also included a written account of the centenary of the wedding of William and Helen that took place on August 29, 1943. Both accounts give such insight and texture to the history of the building.

I was struck by both of these passages and the descriptions of Windsor weather and how it is still so similar today.

"Tuesday, August 29 1893, was an unusually disagreeable day, cold, rainy, and with a high wind. Those who went out to gather ferns and goldenrod, to be used in decorating the garden-house, found it very wet work. A number of people, with Louise at their head, were busy all day covering a screen with goldenrod, and making other preparations for the next day's decorations. At noon the weather began to improve, and by the middle of the afternoon the rain had stopped, and later a high wind, almost a tornado for a few moments, blew away the clouds and brought us fair weather."

We had an afternoon of rain just like this on Saturday. The description below is precisely how it is many mornings here in Windsor.

"The Sunday of August 29th, 1943, when thirty-six of us were in Windsor to celebrate the centenary of our grandparents' marriage, dawned in thick fog and seemingly overcast skies, and we who knew Windsor weather were then reassured: by nine o'clock the sun had driven off the mists, Mt. Ascutney stood out clear and serene, and all seemed the same as in the old days as we walked up the hill to the elven o'clock service in St. Paul's Church.

Former owners of 26 Main Street: story continues

Chris




Taken on August 30, 1893 at the Golden Wedding of
William Maxwell Evarts and Helen Minerva Evarts


One Saturday, last summer, we were all working in the Inn when an older couple came to the door. They had driven up from Pennsylvania. I guessed they were in their 70's but Frances was 91! She and her husband had stopped by to visit "Grandma's House" and later wrote and said, "we were most impressed with all that was being done to bring the house up-to-date". Her grandmother, Elizabeth Hoar Evarts Perkins, was the third owner of 26 Main.

If you haven't read the former owner histories you can here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 . When Elizabeth died she left it to 3 of her 6 children, Maxwell Evarts Perkins (our editor), Charles Callahan Perkins and Molly Thomas. Charles became owner when Max and Molly died. None of his children wanted to own the home but they wanted it to stay in the family so they offered it to their cousins, and fortunately Bert and Zippy (Max's daughers) were delighted and became owners. Bert lived there for many years before she sold it to the Seale family and the sold it to us.

Phew.

Jane, Zippy, Bert, Peggy: Zippy and Bert later owned 26 Main Street

I would like to thank Frances for visiting us last summer. It was wonderful to meet someone who had such cherished memories of the home. She was wonderful and said in a letter to us, "I would hope that we could manage to get over to Windsor again. However, I am 91 and find that I have to curtail my activities." She told us stories of running back and forth from the neighboring houses to play with her cousins at 26 Main just like the cousins in our family do. The family spirit is still very much alive at 26 Main and we are thrilled for the connections to the family history and proud to be the most recent addition.

Note: Frances sent us an incredible family treasure that we will share with you in the coming weeks. The picture above is part of it.

Thursday Thoughts: Sharing 26 Main

The Snapdragon Inn

We may own the home that is slowly transforming into the Snapdragon Inn, but there are many people across town and around the world that feel a little piece of ownership when it comes to 26 Main Street. Some spaces inspire a loyalty and a love, and this building has that. I’ve had people tell me stories about the one time they got to go into the house, and how they can’t wait to see it again, and also stories from family members that breathe life into the historic figures who have lived within its walls. The one piece that brings them all together is a joy for the space and a desire to see it flourish.

With these stories also come precious gifts of history. We are always excited to hear memories of 26 Main, and encourage the sharing of them! We’ve also received another type of history – photographs. One of our local historians stopped by to bring us these photos of the home in another time and its occupants – I hope you enjoy them as much as we have!


Looking east on what is now Runnemede lane. Inn is on right.


Mrs. Evarts? This home is just south of the Inn - you can see it faintly in the background.


William Maxwell Evarts on back porch of the Inn.


The Inn as viewed from the south-west corner of the property. Note the porch that runs along the southern side of the building and the circular drive with large tree in center - these no longer exist, but boy are they beautiful!

--McKay

Mondays with Max: More talent at 26 Main

The Snapdragon Inn

Last week, we enjoyed a couple of quotes from Max Perkins, former resident of 26 Main. Max wasn't the only creative soul in his household. His wife, Louise Saunders was also a dramatic, lively and creative personality.

Cornish, NH along with Windsor, VT was the heart of the Cornish Colony of artists that included Auguste St. Gaudens and Maxfield Parrish. Maxfield Parrish was an acclaimed illustrator, known for his imaginative and romantic settings. Louise Saunders worked with Maxfield Parrish to create the fable Knave of Hearts, published in 1925. It includes 22 illustrations by Parrish, which took him 3 years to complete, and by some descriptions, these illustrations are considered to be some of his finest work.


Check out this link to catch just a glimpse of the fantasy, whimsy and beauty of this collaboration between two artists who spent a considerable amount of time in Windsor. You can also see some of the prints here.

Also, if you love children's illustrations and you are in the area, visit the Cornish Colony Art Museum here in Windsor for their latest exhibition. We visited the museum this summer, and my three kids ages 11, 8, and 5 all found something they liked.

--Joy