From The Archives
1795 Greek Revival
Lower Waterford, Vermont
Rabbit Hill Inn
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History of the Inn1795 Hodby Tavern & General Store is built.
1825 Jonathan Cummings builds the Main House as his shop and home.
1832 Nathan Bishop purchases the Cummings home as his private residence.
1834 Fred Cross & O.G. Hale purchase the two houses and open Fred Cross’s Churn, a travelers’ and traders’ inn.
1840 Cross and Hale enlarge the main portion of the house by adding the area that is currently the Federal Parlor and Sitting Room.
1844-55 During this period, several innkeepers operate the property as Travellers’ Home.
1855 O.D. Hurlburt bought the property and renamed it Valley House. It is believed the ballroom and carriage wing were added at this time.
1870 H.A. Bowman purchased the inn. Guests would “summer” here while ferries shuttled guests up and down the Connecticut River.
1873 Bowman sold the inn to his son (or nephew), Edwin, who ran the inn until 1912 before making it his private home. By this time, the railroad industry was growing and much of the commerce was moving towards St. Johnsbury because no rail lines came through Waterford.
1919 The property is sold to Mr. & Mrs. J.W. Davies. Mrs. Davies names her home Rabbit Hill. Mr. Davies, a philanthropist businessman from St. Johnsbury is thought to have brought the process of milk homogenization from Europe to the United States. He operated a creamery in St. Johnsbury. The Davies actually purchased the entire village of Lower Waterford and refurbished all the homes painting them white with green shutters. Hence, the “White Village of Vermont” becomes the town’s moniker.
1957 St. Johnsbury House Hotel acquires the property for use as a summer hotel operating as Rabbit Hill Motor Inn. It was then that the ballroom and carriage house were converted to guestrooms. A neon “MOTEL” sign graced the roof and a sign by the parking lot read: “Good Vermont Food”.
1968 John & Ruth Carroll purchase the inn and operate it until the late 1970?s. A series of innkeepers own the property for short periods of time.
1980 Eric & Beryl Charlton acquire Rabbit Hill Inn and add a new level of charm and hospitality.
1987 John & Maureen Magee purchase the inn. Major structural restorations and presentation upgrades are undertaken to bring the inn to another level of sophistication that inn travelers are seeking.
1994 Brian & Leslie Mulcahy, former inn guests, join the Magees as Assistant Innkeepers to help manage the property.
1997 Brian & Leslie Mulcahy become the owners of Rabbit Hill Inn and continue to undertake major renovations and systems upgrades. The work in an old house is never done! But through all of its changes, one thing remains… warm, sincere, personal hospitality is the hallmark of Rabbit Hill Inn and its innkeepers!
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