The Main House is a Queen Anne Victorian built by a prosperous Shelburne Vermont merchant Cyrus Van Vliet. Mr. Van Vliet purchased the land for the house from the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1885. The main house was built in 1886 and included 16 rooms and the typical piazza wrapping around the front of the house. The carriage barn was built a year later on a pile of stones for a foundation, as many barns were in those days. The original footprint of the perennial garden graces the view from the dining room windows.
Elaborate for its day, the house included gum wood wainscoting, a paneled staircase, and a cistern to collect rainwater. A pump and gravity system was also installed and brought water to the ground-floor bathroom and hall sink. Some say the house had the first flush-toilet in town (located in the cellar). Other features considered extravagant for the time included the English tiles around the fire grate in the library and locally manufactured wooden blinds. These beautiful features remain well preserved in the library of the Inn today. Mr. Van Vliet also constructed a large barn, stable, carriage house, icehouse and workshop on the property.
In 1915, the Van Vliets sold the property to Dr. Walter H. Ranks, who later deeded the property to his daughter and her husband, Helen and Rene Gadue. The Gadues lived in the house until their deaths within ten days of each other in the mid 1990s. The Gadue’s children decided to split the property into three parcels – the house and carriage barn which comprise the Heart of the Village Inn, and the two houses to the South and East of the Inn.
The first owners and creators of Heart of the Village Inn, Bobbe Maynes and Pam Pierce, bought the property from the Gadue’s children in 1996. They renovated the property into a nine room inn – adding private baths, a full sprinkler system and various other upgrades to electrical and plumbing systems. The house is nearly in its original footprint and much effort was made to maintain the main building and the carriage barn with as much historic integrity as possible. Bathrooms were created out of small rooms between other bedrooms or from closets, and the owner’s quarters were made from a wonderful old attic with interesting nooks and crannies. As part of the renovation, the carriage barn was raised 30 inches off its original foundation so a slab foundation could be poured. During that very careful raising, only a few of the original slates on the roof were lost and many of the people in town watched all day as the barn was lifted. The design of the rooms was purposefully created to show the unique two “v” trusses which support the barn. The original barn door was insulated and retrofitted with windows. The secondary barn door was installed in the Shelburne Room. For over 17 years, the Inn was successfully managed by several owners, including Shelburne residents Chris and Shona Lothrop, who made a number of extensive renovations and improvements to the property.
We are are excited to build on the Inn’s success and to add our magical personal touch to both the Inn and to the guest experience. We look forward to hosting you!
Rose and Anatoly