Our Vermont furniture showroom, Stonehurst, has a lot of interesting history. Besides it’s own history as a former girls boarding house, farm house, and lost ski resort–Stonehurst is also unique in it’s details. We used re-purposed and reclaimed materials as much as we could during the renovation, resulting in a space that is imperfectly beautiful and charming. This stained glass window is an example of just that. Given to us by Peggy’s friend Annette, this window has a great story.
St. Patrick Parish in Jaffrey, NH is set in the foothills of Mt. Monadnock. It’s a picturesque stone Catholic church built with farmers field-stones at the turn of the century, and still stands today. This stained glass window and three others were removed from St Patrick’s churchback in the days when the Catholic Church was modernizing and updating their decor. Annette’s father happened to drive by and saw the windows in a dumpster, and got permission to salvage them.
6 years ago on Christmas eve Annette’s 1814 farmhouse burned down, and this window was one of the few things that she was able to save. Eventually, she gifted it to Stonehurst and we were ecstatic to make this historic piece a part of our showroom.
This antique handcrafted stained glass window currently sits in our public restroom at Stonehurst. Seems like a funny spot to keep such a special window, but visitors to Stonehurst agree, it’s a great fit for this artistic glass work!
We’d love to invite you to Stonehurst to get a glimpse of this lovely window yourself! Plus, many other little decor details that make Stonehurst much more than just a furniture showroom.
For all you Pine Top alumni out there, here is a fun email I received from Sally Byrnes Magin who shares her memories of skiing here in the 1950s:
By chance, when googling “Pine Top” for sentimental reasons, I came across the Vermont Woods Studios and Stonehurst website. After spending many winter vacations as a child at Pine Top, I was so excited to see that you are keeping the memories alive! My family and our friends, from northern NJ, spent almost every President’s Week in February (from about 1950 until 1958) at Pine Top, learning to ski and having a wonderful time together. In fact, one of the trails that led from the top of the “Tobey” rope tow was named “Stoddard Run” after our friends the Stoddard family.
Eventually, as our skiing skills improved, we branched out to other Vermont ski areas. It was a magical time spent with Elsie and Romey (Racine), Laddie their dog, the kitchen staff, and the local ski instructors at Pine Top. Our group took over the entire house for a week, and expanded into the “new annex” when it was built.
Some memories that I have of Pine Top are: skiing down the Pelley and Tobey slopes, struggling with those rope tows, the Tiny Tot hill, eating “sugar on snow” in the old warming hut, being excited when the “new” warning hut was built, visiting the farm and cows up the road, the bell that signaled breakfast and dinner, playing board games in front of the fireplace at night, going into Brattleboro to see ski jumping competitions, and how cold the rooms upstairs were in the mornings before the heat came up through the grates. Also, walking back from the warming hut on a cold Vermont night with every star in the sky visible.
I hope to visit Stonehurst some time in the future and perhaps walk around the property to revisit old memories. …..Sally Byrnes Magin Township of Washington, NJ
Well, thank you so much Sally for generously sharing your wonderful memories of skiing at Pine Top. We hope you’ll come up to visit us soon. I think you’ll enjoy the property and all the improvements we’ve made while transforming it into Stonehurst (a showcase for Vermont’s fine furniture and home decor).
Does anyone else out there have Pine Top memories to share? Send them along! We’ve got an online compilation of Pine Top stories and yours should be part of it.
Next stop on my tour of Vermont’s luxury home decor providers is lighting manufacturer, Hubbardton Forge. If you’ve had to buy or install lighting fixtures over the last few decades you’re no doubt aware that most lighting is manufactured in Asia these days and the quality isn’t what it used to be.
Enter Hubbardton Forge of Castleton. The company was established in 1974 by two guys in a barn who set out to revive the forgotten craft of hand-forging raw metal into contemporary designs. Today the business started by George Chandler and Reed Hampton is one of the largest contemporary commercial forges in America. Forty years of practicing time honored principles have built an international reputation for innovative designs, simplicity and integrity.
During my visit to the forge I met with Art Director, Wendy Fannin to show her what we’re doing at Stonehurst and discuss possible strategies to cross-promote our products. Both companies share a passion for simple elegance, traditional craftsmanship and a commitment to environmental stewardship so it seems some synergy could be achieved.
At Vermont Woods Studios we’re looking forward to receiving our first order of Hubbardton forge chandeliers, floor lamps, sconces and table lamps very soon and I’m eager to see how they transform our space. They’ll be accompanied by fine furniture from studios all around the state, glassware from Simon Pearce, ceramics from Laura Zindel and hopefully linens from Anichini and furniture/pottery from Shackleton-Thomas.
Keep posted on our latest inventory and/or plan a trip to see everything in person at Stonehurst!
Michelle and I are the only ones who’ve made it in to work today. Snow is falling ever so gently, but it’s persistent! We’ve got about 6″ and the forecast is for 6 more. So I thought it would a good time to reprint this article that was recently published on Sotheby’s Vermont Country Properties blog. We are grateful to President and Principal Broker Lisa Coneeny and Office Manager Melissa Olson for posting it.
What to Do with a Lost Ski Area?
Jeremy Davis, author of “Lost Ski Areas of Southern Vermont” estimates there were 119 ski areas in the Green Mountain state during the mid 20th century. It seems that 2/3 of Vermont’s towns had their own ski area! Of course they were a far cry from today’s luxury resorts like Mount Snow, Stratton, Killington and Stowe. But back in the day, they were the center of winter activity in the communities they served. Now what has become of them?
A group of local enthusiasts at Vermont Woods Studios has recently transformed the former Pine Top ski area in Vernon, Vermont into a showcase for Vermont’s handcrafted, fine furniture and home décor products. The 220 year old farmhouse that used to welcome Nordic and alpine skiers has been lovingly restored. Known as “Stonehurst” since c1870 when it was sold to Lucretia Kendall for a sum of $2000, it is now home to a high end interior design gallery.
“With all it’s rich history we thought Stonehurst would be the perfect place to showcase the high quality home décor products coming out of Vermont”, said Peggy Farabaugh, new owner of the property. “The homestead is situated on a hundred acre wood with beautiful views of the mountains, forests and Connecticut River Valley. Customers can look out our windows and see Vermont’s sustainable working lands in action. Stonehurst gives us a way to show and tell the story of Vermont’s high quality, handcrafted products: where they come from and how they’re made.”
The gallery features a revolving selection of fine furniture from Vermont’s iconic brands including Copeland, Lyndon and many custom and specialty furniture makers. Original artwork by Linda Marcille, Susan Osgood, Donna Scully, Georgie Runkle and other local artists accents the furniture and is offered for sale.
“We’re adding new products daily and hope to soon have a consummate collection of Vermont home goods with glassware by Simon Pearce, lighting by Hubbardton Forge, kitchen accessories by JK Adams, pottery by Laura Zindel and a creative selection of specialty handmade items from the area’s top craftspeople,” said Farabaugh.
Visitors are warmly welcomed at Stonehurst. Hours of operation are 9am-5pm, Mon-Sat. Details and directions to the gallery on Huckle Hill Road in Vernon can be found on our website. Be sure to bring your sled, skis or snowshoes!
We know that buying fine wood furniture is a big investment, and we want you to feel as comfortable as possible making a decision that we believe, shouldn’t be rushed.
We believe that there is no better place to shop for Vermont wood furniture than in our showroom, nestled in the woods of Vernon, Vermont. All of our furniture comes from sustainably harvested forests, much like the one right in our backyard. Shopping at Stonehurst brings you closer to where your furniture really comes from. Visit us, and experience the beauty of Vermont wood, inside and out.
Unlike your traditional furniture shopping experience, at Stonehurst there is no need to rush. Feel free to bring a bottle of wine and a picnic lunch, and enjoy a relaxed country atmosphere while you get to know our furniture. Each member of our sales staff is an expert in Vermont wood, so even if you aren’t ready to purchase, we’d love for you to stop by and have a conversation with one of our friendly staff members and get to know more about Vermont Woods Studios.
At Stonehurst, we don’t have aisle after aisle of furniture. The pieces we carry at Stonehurst are just a representative sampling of the hundreds of pieces we offer on our online store. The pieces that we have in the showroom are a true reflection of the quality and craftsmanship that you can expect with all of our furniture.
Besides Vermont’s rich tradition for handcrafted furniture, Vermont is also known for its talented artisans. Did you know that Vermont has more artisans per capita than any other state in the US? We carry a variety of interior décor and artisans pieces in celebration of Vermont’s history of fine artistry and craftsmanship, and because we understand that designing your home doesn’t end at the hardwood furniture.