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Visiting the Perkins Building, Stowe, Vermont: A Long History of Uses Since the Early 19th Century

Updated on March 3, 2020
State flag of Vermont
State flag of Vermont | Source
The Perkins Building, Home of the Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum
The Perkins Building, Home of the Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum | Source

Now housing the Vermont Ski and Snowboarding Museum

This historic structure in Stowe, Vermont, looks as if it was designed as a church building.

It indeed was.

Dating from 1818, the building (1) — known as the Meeting House — was used commonly by various local churches in Stowe, founded in the 18th century. In 1861, the land on which the building previously stood was obtained by a church denomination which eventually used what became Stowe Community Church in 1920.

For its part, the Meeting House was moved to its present location (records show it was pulled by a team of oxen) at South Main Street. It variously served as a town hall (before its replacement by a bigger building at the beginning of the 20th century) and, until the 1970s, as the home of Stowe's Fire Department, in addition to other functions.

The building was saved from demolition by refurbishment in anticipation of it becoming the Vermont Ski Museum (nearby Mount Mansfield offers fine skiing opportunities); the scope of the Museum was later expanded to include snowboarding.

Features of the Perkins Building (thus named for a family which came into ownership and carefully restored it) include a large, broken pediments at its South Main Street elevation, a classical doorway and a small tower with a balcony topped by octagonal roofing. High, vertically elongated windows each side of the entrance way — a not unusual style in many church buildings — are a reminder of the original church function of the building some two centuries ago. The building's styling thus altogether gives an impression of clean and precise lines, of Neoclassially-derived inspiration.

Although Stowe's Community Church, with its very tall spire, is better known than this former church building, it remains typical of New England and indeed is hard to miss by the visitor to Stowe, being centrally situated.

The Vermont Stowe and Snowboarding Museum, housed in the Perkins Building, is located at 1 South Main Street, Stowe, Vermont.

March 3, 2020

Note

(1) See also: https://www.vtssm.org/vtssmhistory/

Lift outside the Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum
Lift outside the Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum | Source

Also worth seeing

Picturesque Stowe attracts many visitors especially during the skiing season, given its proximity to the slopes of Mount Mansfield, at 4395 feet / 1340 metres, Vermont's highest peak; the Community Church, dating from 1863, has a prominent spire; the Neo-Colonial-style Town Hall dates from 1902; the Shaw General Store dates from 1895.

In Montpelier, (distance: 22.7 miles / 36.5 kilometres) notable visitor attractions include: the golden domed State House, dating from 1859; the former studio of artist Thomas W. Wood. Christ Episcopal and Saint Augustine's Churches are significant examples of ecclesiastical architecture.

The Vermont Marble Museum, Proctor (distance: approx. 75.8 miles / 121.9 kilometres)

The Frost Place, Franconia, New Hampshire (distance: 73.9 miles / 118.9 kilometres) is a museum and poetry centre based in the former home of poet Robert Frost (1874-1963).

...

How to get there:

Burlington International Airport (distance to Stowe: 33.5 miles / 53.9 kilometres), where car rental is available from various companies, is served by a variety of airlines, including Porter, JetBlue, Delta and United, which fly to a number of North American connections. Stowe lies on Route 100, north of Junction 10 of the I-89. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information. Visitors to the United States are advised to refer to appropriate consular sources for any special border crossing arrangements which may apply to citizens of certain nationalities.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

Map of Vermont towns with Stowe highlighted
Map of Vermont towns with Stowe highlighted | Source

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