Now offering Historical Inn accommodations
The Grey Gables Mansion located in Richford, Vermont was built
between 1890-1892, for a
prosperous Richford entrepreneur, Sheldon Boright. By-gone days are
recalled in this stately mansion. Mr. Boright, a wealthy wood baron,
lived in the home with his young family. Much of the land in Richford
was owned by Mr. Boright, including the land beyond the river. Here he
would race his horses. He would invite his friends over for lavish
parties in the ballroom formerly located on the third floor. The guests could wander up to the widow's peak
and watch the horses race off in the distance.
balloon-framed mansion exhibits a typical multi-gabled, asymmetrical
design, complete with ornate exterior woodwork, a wrap-around porch and
porte-cochere, projecting bays, stained glass window sash, and
variegated wall and roof sheathing materials, typical of the Queen Anne
The interior, as well, is also intact, displaying such period detail as
found in the carved walnut and mahogany staircases, library and second
floor bedroom fireplaces, and original, dark varnished door and window
composed of reeding pilaters rising up to molded
The rather elaborate design and decorative detailing of the house was
taken from a popular late-nineteenth century architectural pattern book
entitled, Pallisterís American Cottage Homes (1878) and then adapted,
by Richford builder M.E. Dodge, to both suite the needs of the Borights
and to make use
of the locally-available materials. The original
house design, found on the cover of Pallisterís 1878 pattern book, was
actually used by George Pallister, himself, in the construction of his
home in Seaside Park, a suburb of Bridgeport, CT. This building,
however, is no longer standing, leaving the Boright House as perhaps the
only surviving example of its kind in the country, and certainly, the
only one of its kind in the State of Vermont.
The Borights lived in the home until 1943 when it was sold.
In the 1960's, the home was purchased by Hazel Weatherby, a cousin of
Norman Rockwell. Mrs. Weatherby was a local schoolteacher and artist.
Every year as an end of the year treat, Mrs. Weatherby would invite her
students over for a tour of The Grey Gables Mansion. Upon her death, the
mansion was inherited by her daughter who had married into the Bergeron
family. Mrs. Weatherby's descendants now live in New Hampshire.
The Mansion became a nursing home a short time thereafter. In the early
1990's, The Mansion underwent major renovations. IN 2002, The Mansion
was purchased and turned into a Bed & Breakfast.
Stories circulate around Richford about the ghosts which haunt The Grey
Gables. Though we have never seen or heard any, many people have lived
in and loved The Mansion. One of the ghosts is referred to as an old
lady who likes to clean. I wish this one was true. It would save me alot
of hard work!