Remembering The Past
Killington Peak and Pico Peak
These two peaks were both owned by the late Mortimer Proctor of the Vermont Marble Company. Pico was given to him as a 21st birthday present in 1910. He sold it to Pico Ski Inc. in 1948.
Killington Peak was bought by Mr. Proctor in 1919 from M.E. Wheeler of Rutland and given to the State of Vermont in 1938. The Vermont Marble Company sold around Killington Peak some 6,000 acres of land to the State in 1945 to be included in the Coolidge State Forest. This is the land which the Sherburne Corporation had leased from the State for its ski lifts, lodges, etc. in 1957.
Hotels of Years Gone by
In the early days, almost anyone who had a little extra room was expected to take in travelers. More formally recognized hostelries were Josiah Wood's Tavern Stand at the Mission Church, the Coffee House on Elbow Road in North Sherburne, and Ruftis Richardson's hotel near the Harley Gifford house. But the most recent and best remembered one was adjacent to the present Grange Hall.
It was build in 1840, enlarged for a tavern in 1863, and run by Benj. Maxham for 18 years. In 1889 Augusta Bates Taylor, great aunt of Oren Bates and grandmother of Mrs. Florence Taylor Hall owned the hotel.
In 1891, Ida Perkins married Horace Wilson and they lived at and ran the hotel for seven years. There was no running water, so they drew a barrel of water daily from a spring barrel and watering trough 500 ft. away (at the post office). Horace bargained with Mrs. Taylor that if she would provide the pipe he would dig the ditch, which he did. After it was laid, she mentioned to him that it hadn't been covered over. "That's right, Mrs. Taylor, I only said I'd dig the ditch." So she had to pay for covering it, much to her dismay.
The Taylors always reserved a room for themselves in the hotel in case they came to Sherburne on business. They also owned the Michael Smith House next door and occupied it on the 31st of March each year, bringing livestock with them from plymouth to escape the higher taxes on personal property in effect in that town. In fact, this led to a lawsuit filed by Plymouth vs. Sherburne to recover lost taxes. Testimony of Mrs. Wilson clinched the matter concerning their residence in Sherburne, and Plymouth lost the case.
There was no hotel operation after the Wilson's left in 1898 and the big house became a dwelling house for several families, and eventually collapsed.
For more information about the history of the Town of Killington, please visit the Vermont Room at the Sherburne Memorial Library.
Prepared by the Sherburne Historians