the old parsonage

The Old Parsonage
Peru, Vermont

In 1804 the residents changed the name of the town from Bromley to Peru because they associated Peru, South America, with gold and riches. They felt that their community, with a more positive image, might attract more settlers. - Phebe Ann Lewis, Peru, Vermont

The Old Parsonage was constructed in 1850. The exterior detailing of the Church, the Old Parsonage and the shed wing follow the Greek Revival style prevalent in mid-nineteenth century America. The use of classical precedents for architectural details was based upon archaeological discoveries in Greece. Greece, being the symbol of democracy and independence, became the architectural inspiration in the new American Republic.

The Old Parsonage is constructed of large, hand hewn posts and beams held together by wooden pegs. It is finished with wide pine floors. The walls are lapped clapboards over wide pine sheathing on the exterior and lime plaster over wood lath on the inside.

The porch was built under a later campaign, within a decade of the original construction. The interior was used in a somewhat formal manner as befitted a country parson in the nineteenth century. There was a careful zoning of the service areas from the living areas. A secondary stair, surprising in a house of such relatively small size, enabled servants to go about their activities without interfering with the Parson, his family and the parishioner guests.

Nineteenth Century vernacular New England houses relied upon the newly available paints for their decoration. Paint was applied on all surfaces including the ceilings, walls and woodwork. Likewise, the simple pine floors and furniture, usually unwittingly stripped and stained, were originally painted and grained.

As was prevalent at this time, there were no masonry fireplaces. Heat was provided by cast iron wood stoves/hearths on the first floor with a system of flues and vents providing heat to the second floor. A traditional wood cook stove was used in the kitchen. The Dining Room Stove is cast iron in the shape of a church.

Substantially untouched since the 19th Century, the Parsonage was acquired and conserved by Joseph Pell Lombardi in the 1970’s.

Exterior Oil Painting by Fred Swann
Farm Pond
Front Gardens
Rear Gardens
Dining Room
Dining Room Stove
Master Bedroom