Stonehurst: History of a Vermont Fine Furniture Showroom

Stonehurst, circa 1870: Now a Vermont Fine Furniture Showroom
Renovations are underway at Stonehurst, the newest Vermont Fine Furniture Showroom.   This photos was taken circa 1870, about when the 200 year old farmhouse property was sold to Lucretia Kendall by Noyes and Theresa Streeter for a sum of $2000.

I made a visit to our local Vernon History Museum last weekend to learn more about Stonehurst, the 200 year old farmhouse property we recently purchased as the future home for our Vermont Fine Furniture Showroom.  I was lucky enough to run into Peggy Frost, Nancy and Dale Gassett and a few other volunteers who were working in the museum’s gardens.  Peggy knew just where the old photos of Stonehurst were stored so we went inside the museum and spent a few hours pouring through them.

The Original Stonehurst

The original Stonehurst farmhouse was built circa 1800 but I can only find photos going back to 1870 or so.  Near as I can figure, the shot above would have been taken around the time that Stonehurst was sold by Noyes and Theresa Streeter to Lucretia Kendall for a sum of $2000.00.  That was recorded on March 9, 1868.

Pine Top Ski Resort

Stonehurst had a very different life from the 1940s to the 1960s when it operated as a ski resort named Pine Top.  You can see from the photo below that the house looked essentially the same through the ages.  At some point it was painted red over the original white.  And the horse barn-woodshed to the left of the house was converted to a dormitory for overnight skiers.

Stonehurst was known as Pine Top Ski Area, 1940-1960
Stonehurst was known as Pine Top Ski Resort, 1940s-1960s.  Operated by Elsie and Romey Racine, it welcomed up to 26 overnight guests who enjoyed skiing in the winter and traditional Vermont outdoor activities in the summer.

After talking with Barbara Moseley, our Vernon Town Historian, I learned that Pine Top was owned by Romey and Elsie Racine, a couple that moved to Vermont from New Jersey.  “The Racines hosted vacationers and skiers in their welcoming lodge and operated a 3 run ski area with warming hut, equipment rentals and ski patrol.  It was all staffed by local families.”  Pine Top was  set up to lodge up to 26 guests, often accommodating families of students from nearby boarding schools, Northfield Mount Hermon and Deerfield Academy.

Pine Top Ski Area Resort in Vernon, Vermont Circa 1960
This is the “backyard” of Stonhurst when it was Pine Top Ski Area, circa 1960.  What a view!

Stonehurst Tomorrow: A Vermont Fine Furniture Showroom

Happily, Stonehurst looks pretty much the same today as it did 70 years ago when Pine Top was operating.  The property was sold to Bill and Elaine Ellis after Pine Top closed and the Ellis’ transferred it to Vermont Woods Studios in August of this year.  We’re now working with J Coleman + Company Architects and Bob Furlone of American Construction to transform the property into a Vermont Fine Furniture Showroom. The goal is to create a relaxing destination shopping experience for our customers who journey here from all around the Northeast and beyond.

Stonehurst, with it’s beautiful vistas and 100 acres of forested land provides a venue for us to convey our environmental mission and show people where sustainable, handmade furniture comes from.  Stay tuned for progress reports and a grand opening for Stonehurst next Summer.

Stonehurst, 2012.  Soon to be Vermont's Premier Fine Furniture Store
Stonehurst, 2012. I took this photos right after we purchased Stonehurst in August.  Now we’re working with J Coleman + Company Architects and Bob Furlone of American Construction to transform Stonehurst into a Vermont Fine Furniture Showroom.  Stay tuned for progress reports and a grand opening next Spring or Summer.

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This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Hardwood Furniture: Cherry, Maple, Oak or Walnut?

Hardwood Furniture: Real Solid Cherry, Walnut, Maple, Oak Wood

Which Type of Hardwood Furniture Is Best For Your Bedroom, Dining Room or Home Office?

If you’re looking for hardwood furniture, there’s a good chance you’re narrowing your wood choices down to the most popular and plentiful species grown here in America such as cherry, maple, oak and walnut.  These prized hardwoods are grown sustainably here in the USA with Vermont and New England being a favorite source for many woods.

We like these species because they are well suited to fine furniture making by virtue of their color, strength, hardness, grain patterns and workability.  They are also readily obtainable in our local and regional area, making them a sustainable choice.  Often our furniture makers will offer two-tone combinations of these hardwoods creating a custom, artisan look and feel to your furniture.

The photo above shows Copeland Furniture’s SoHo Bedroom Set in solid maple and walnut hardwoods.  This striking two-tone wood combination has become a best seller in our metropolitan markets, particularly Manhattan, Los Angeles and San Francisco.  Homeowners appreciate the modern, contemporary sensibilities of the SoHo solid hardwood design as well as the fine detail and craftsmanship that goes into every custom, made to order piece.

SoHo furniture is also offered in a two-tone walnut and cherry design.  Which of these hardwood combinations would look best for your bedroom furniture?

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This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Trend Alert: What is Green Interior Design?

What is Sustainable Interior Design

 

Interior design is not a new concept. For decades, people have been making a living by creating works of art with furniture and accessories as their palette and empty rooms as their canvas. It is probably not a surprise that fashioning the perfect design for the inside of your home is crucial to how you feel and react in your environment. Interior design is all about aesthetics. It’s about taking items that are visually appealing and combining them with your personality to create something unique and personal to you.

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This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Discover America’s Best Real Wood Furniture On Columbus Day

America's Best Real Wood Furniture

 

Explore The World of Real Wood Furniture

Columbus Day is a favorite time to shop for home decor as everyone’s beginning to realize that the holidays are right around the corner.  If you’ll be entertaining family and friends for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza or another holiday you may be shopping for furniture today.  No doubt, like Columbus, you’re looking for America’s best.  So set your sails for Vermont.

In the Green Mountain State you’ll find the best real wood furniture anywhere in the USA. Vermont is home to some 2000 small custom furniture makers located throughout our state as well as several mid-size, high end furniture manufacturers like Copeland Furniture and Lyndon Furniture.

Vermont style furniture is known for organic solid wood, clear natural finishes and fine craftsmanship.  The favorite hardwood among craftspeople and customers alike seems to be American Black Cherry as shown in the handmade Shaker dining table above, although you’ll also find a variety of other North American woods including walnut, oak and maple.

With so many American furniture brands now making their furniture overseas, Vermont has quietly become the Real Wood Furniture Capital of the USA.  I know of only one Vermont furniture company that moved its operations overseas back when the Asian exodus was taking place and that was Ethan Allen.  The other Vermont furniture businesses have continued to operate successfully in the USA, remaining true to their communities, their employees and their quality.

You can arrange a tour to visit the best of our Vermont furniture makers and see the difference that real wood and authentic American craftsmanship make.  Columbus Day is a great time to make the trip!  Start here with this Map of Vermont Master Furniture Makers and maybe swing by our Vermont Woods Studios Furniture Showroom in Vernon VT on your route.  Then let us know if you too, see Vermont as America’s best place to shop for the real thing in USA made furniture.

 

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This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.