Celebrating Intervale History: The Farmhouse

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In celebration of the Intervale Center’s 30th anniversary, this is part of a blog series highlighting the unique historical significance of our land and buildings. Many thanks to Britta Tonn, Architectural Historian, for the preparation of these historic reports.

A classic example of Italianate-style architecture, the farmhouse was built in 1868 for George L. Reynolds and occupied by his family through 1907. Various tenant farmers lived on the property and operated the dairy until 1937 when Ella Calkins moved to the farm alone and took it over. Her daughter, Rena, joined her in 1941 and continued living in the farmhouse and operating the farm until 1991. It is historically unique that the farm was operated by women for over 50 years, and Rena was the last remaining dairy farmer in Burlington by the time she retired. Upon her death in 1996, the property was transferred to her nephew, Paul, who donated the farmstead to the Intervale Foundation (now Intervale Center) in 2002. It has housed the Intervale Center’s administrative offices since 2005.

       The house is a classic example of an Italianate style farmhouse with a high degree of historic integrity. Exterior features, such as the decorative window moldings, porches with elaborate carvings, double entry door, and slate roof, are character-defining features of the Italianate style. The farmhouse’s interior includes a distinctive center hall floorplan, staircase with turned balustrade and newel posts, historic plaster wall and ceiling finishes, hardwood and softwood flooring, molded window and door trim, panel doors and pottery knobs, and a cast iron and slate fireplace with a marble mantel.

Abby Portman