Theron Boyd

The Theron Boyd Homestead, overlooking the Ottauquechee River just west of Quechee, stands much as it did in the late 1700s. The centerpiece of the farm complex is the well-preserved two-story house with a Georgian plan and transitional Federal-style detailing. Built in 1786 for William Burtch, the house is one of the most outstanding examples of late-18-century architecture in the State of Vermont. Burtch, son of one of the first settlers of Hartford, was a prosperous businessman and farmer with over 500 acres. The stately home was enlarged by the additional of a two-story brick ell circa 1830 by James Udall, a prominent citizen who served as judge of the Hartford District Probate Court. Udall farmed the property and bred Merino sheep, Durham cattle, and Morgan horses. The property was owned during the 20th century by the Cowdry and Boyd families; Theron Boyd lived in the house where he was born in 1901 for 88 years.

The main block of the Boyd House has a symmetrical plan typical of the Georgian style with massive central chimney. The exceptional architectural features include the double-leaf entry framed by Doric pilasters and six-light transom, cornice with two rows of denticulated molding, feathered clapboard siding over a post-and-beam structure, narrow molded corner boards, and 12/12 windows. Traces of the yellow ocher 18th-century paint is visible on the façade and side walls. The rear wall has indications of Indian red with white trim. The entry hall with stair, east parlor, kitchen with adjoining bedroom and storage room, pantry, and east bedroom of the second floor were detailed in 1786, with the west parlor and west bedrooms on the second floor dressed on the interior in the early 1800s. Outstanding interior features are the massive central fireplaces, period paneling and woodwork, early-18th-century cast iron stoves and kettle, and early 1800s wallpaper. The house has no modern improvements such as electricity, plumbing, or telephones, except for a cast iron sink.

Representing agricultural development in the Upper Connecticut River Valley from the period of settlement to the mid-20th century, the property along with the house and several associated outbuildings was transferred to the Ottauquechee Regional Land Trust (later renamed the Vermont Land Trust) in two separate transactions. In 1989, the Land Trust sold 30.16 acres of the property to the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation. The Theron Boyd House is used for conservation studies and is open for special tours.

Contact Us

Tracy Martin, Historic Sites Section Chief
802-828-3051

Division for Historic Preservation
One National Life Drive

Deane C. Davis Building, 6th Floor
Montpelier, VT 05620-0501