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VERMONT’S HISTORIC STATE HOUSE
Images of a Stately Past

Historical Photograph

Over the years the State House has seen the construction of three additions to the original 1859 structure, beginning with the 1886 State Library and Supreme Court Annex. With the erection of a separate building for the Supreme Court and State Library in 1919, the Annex became the home for most of the committees of the House of Representatives. The Old Supreme Court Chamber was recently restored as a private lounge for legislators.

Historical Photograph

Cornelius and Baker of Philadelphia designed and manufactured all of the elaborate gas chandeliers, sconces and lamps for the State House when it was first furnished in 1859. Today, many of the original fixtures survive while others have been replaced by replicas as part of the recent restoration of many of these spaces. This 19th century photo shows the elaborate House gasolier. Ornamental plasterwork adorns the ceiling of each major chamber of the second floor. The ornaments were cast in molds and applied to th ceiling to complete a design that in many cases was probably selected by the architecht from a book of Renaissance design elements.

Historical Photograph

This 1909 view of the State Auditor's office shows how many of today's Senate Committee rooms looked when nearly every state official worked in the State House. Auditor Dewey T. Hanley is seated in a room with a decoratively painted cornice and a combination gas/electric chandelier that sports a hose to supply gas to a table lamp.

Historical Photograph

The State Cabinet of Natural History and Vermont Historical Society occupied a first floor chamber in this view from the 1870s.

Historical Photograph

On October 11, 1899 Montpelier erupted with festive pride as Admiral George Dewey, Spanish-American War hero and native son, returned home. The State House was decked with banners and bunting and strung with hundreds of electric lights that were wrapped around its columns, pediment, and dome.

Historical Photograph

In the 1920's a small replica of the State House was paraded around Vermont, eventually coming to rest at a motel on the outskirts of Montpelier, and after that, a restaurant in Randolph. In 1991 it was donated to the Friends of the State House who restored it for another round of parades honoring the Statehood Bicentennial.

Historical Photograph

In 1938 when Larkin Mead's rotting Agriculture was removed from its perch atop the dome, Sergeant-at-Arms Dwight Dwinell volunteered his woodworking skills to create a new copy. Then 87 years old, Dwinell worked exclusively on the head while a crew of janitors whittled the body from Ponderosa pine. Here Dwinell poses with his new head and the decayed head of Mead's statute. Dwinell's effort is a piece of genuine folk art while Mead's would serve as the renowned sculptor's first major venture into high art.