Seeing Vermont: Edward Everett Estate in Bennington

Looking up at the Everett Mansion from its front lawn.

Seeing Vermont takes you to a different part of the Green Mountain State, showcasing its scenery, buildings and people.

This week’s location: Edward Everett Estate on Mount Anthony in Bennington

Where it’s located: About 125 miles and two hours, 45 minutes of drive time south of the Burlington area, the Everett Estate sits on the northeastern side of Mount Anthony in Bennington. Nestled in the southwestern corner of the state, it’s about 3 miles from the New York border and about 5 miles from Massachusetts.

About the area: Edward Everett was born in Cleveland in 1851 and lived there with his uncle for a few years once his mother remarried, following the death of his father when he was 3 years old, and moved to New York City. However, he would spend summers with his mother and stepfather in Bennington.

Everett enrolled at Phillips Academy in Massachusetts but soon after moved to Vermont and graduated from Bennington High School. He then returned to the Midwest and went on to become a successful businessman, first as a glass manufacturer — eventually being dubbed the “Bottle Baron” as he grew wealthy making products for companies like Coca-Cola and Anheuser-Busch.

Everett went on to build a mansion in Washington, D.C. — now the Residence of the Ambassador of Turkey — and then built a summer home in Bennington. Italian masons started work in 1911 and finished in 1914 on what became known as the Everett Mansion, it and the 500 acres of land surrounding it on Mount Anthony later being listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Three-hundred and seventy-one acres of the estate, which was originally called The Orchards, and the mansion became the home of St. Joseph College in 1974, an institution that was renamed Southern Vermont College (SVC). SVC closed at the end of the academic year in 2019 and was recently purchased by Southwestern Vermont Medical Center for $4.65 million in late December.

The mansion is three stories tall and includes a large terrace on the back and outer balconies on the second level that provide stunning views of the town. There is a library, gallery that was used to host balls, and a theater all on the first floor. Behind the western side of the building is a courtyard, perched alter, and a cascading water fountain with steps — all made of stone.

A two-level carriage house sits just feet away from one of the mansion’s entrances, and further below the estate is a third stone building that was called the “Gate House” and acted as an entrance to the property.

There are wide-open fields throughout much of the estate while winding trails weave through the wooded areas, some of which are now part of the Bennington Area Trail System. You can find a pair of ponds and some remnants of the orchards as trees drop crab apples throughout the property. There are also a handful of newer buildings that were constructed for the college, including residence halls, a cafeteria, and an athletics center.

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