When we took stewardship of The INN at Ormsby Hill we were told there was history regarding the property, but it wasn’t until we met Shawn Harrington, Curator of the Manchester Historical Society http://manchesterhistoricalsocietyvt.org/ were we made aware of just how much info is available through him and the historical society and how rich is this INN’s history.
On Thursday March 30, 2017, Shawn Harrington came for his first ever visit to The INN at Ormsby Hill with an amazing collection of photos (all now digitized and displayed on his camera) of the INN, and the people. Shawn was as excited to be here as we were to have him visit. He shared so much information that we just felt even more excited to be here at the INN.
He told us of “Rocking Stone” and the Isham Sugar House that is still standing (in need of repair) only ½ mile from the INN. Shawn connected names and shared group photos of the Ishams, the family and their friends. There were old photos including one tilting up the stone columns that stand at the South and North Gates.
The two Griffins that now stand watch at the old front entrance once sat on top of those columns. Shawn also explained that they were originally bronze sculptures that were given to the effort for armament for the Great World War.
He had numerous photos of Edward Isham – who owned the mansion now known as “The INN at Ormsby Hill” and who founded the law firm of Isham, Lincoln (Robert Todd Lincoln) & Beale in Chicago.
Frances (Fannie) Bursch his wife and his children – Pierrepont Isham – 7th Cavalry Regiment – Anne Elizabeth (who died during the sinking of the RMS Titanic, one of only four upper-class women to do so.)
Our rooms at The INN at Ormsby Hill are named in their honor – Francis (for Edward Isham’s wife Fannie Burch)- Anne Eliza – Pierrepont – as well as his law partner and best friend the Lincoln (Robert Todd Lincoln). The Taft is for the 27th President of the United States – Howard Taft a friend of both Isham and Lincoln who oftened visited Ormsby Hill.
He also spoke about the Dellwood Cemetery less than 1 mile from the INN. The Dellwood Cemetery is nestled at the bend of Historic 7A next to the entrance of Hildene.
Visit the cemetery on Facebook at @DellwoodCemetery for great photos and historic info. The Dellwood Cemetery is open to the public and, once armed with so much information provided by Shawn Harrington and others you will walk through with an amazing sense of history.
We hope to meet with Shawn to further the Manchester Historical Society’s and his work.
There is much more to come.