1. The Round Church of Richmond, Vermont:
From its website:
The Old Round Church is actually a sixteen-sided polygon. It was built between 1812 and 1814 under the leadership of local blacksmith/carpenter William Rhodes to serve as a place of worship for five Protestant denominations: Baptists, Christians, Congregationalists, Methodists and Universalists. Members of each denomination advanced money to finance construction of the church. From the outset the building was used for town meetings as well as church services.
There are several legends concerning why the church has such an unusual shape. One claims it was to keep the devil out of the corner or to keep the enemy from hiding around the corner on the outside. Another legend holds that Rhodes had 17 workers—one for each side and the last for the belfry. A less fanciful explanation is that William Rhodes’s parents lived in Claremont, NH, which had an octagonal church of its own; perhaps he modeled this one upon the one in his hometown.
Within a few decades of the church’s opening, the founding denominations began to move out, some of them to build worship places elsewhere in the community. In 1880 the Old Round Church reverted to the Town of Richmond and continued in use as the town’s meeting hall until 1973, at which time safety concerns forced its closure to the public.
2. Emily Dickinson’s House in Amherst, Massachusetts. Nicely done and worth a visit, if you’re into nineteenth-century poetry.
3. Most of the town of St. Johnsbury, Vermont is a testament to the largess of the Fairbanks family, inventors of the platform scale and major employers there for many years. They founded St. Johnsbury Academy (which local students get to attend gratis), the Fairbanks Museum, and the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum (essentially, a combination library and art gallery).
The museum we especially enjoyed: Richardsonian Romanesque on the outside…
…Victorian splendor within!
The Athenaeum also contains some of the beautiful custom woodwork that was prevalent in the nineteenth century.