The Elgin Springs Remedy

In 1850, Hiram Allen would discover Elgin Spring on his property near Vergennes, and knew he had found a way to turn a profit during the spring hotel craze of the antebellum age, a popular therapeutic treatment at that time.

He built an elegant Greek Revival addition onto his cottage style farmhouse and turned his property into a hotel, located on the crest of sloping pasture lands, with a beautiful view fading into the rugged Adirondacks in the distance.  The waters from the spring were peddled to patrons for their supposed medicinal properties, and among many things, were said to “purify blood”.

An analysis of Elgin Springs written in 1889 describes the springs to be so perfect in character that they were encouraged to be comparable to other famous springs across the globe.

“The analysis of Elgin Waters” – May 1st, 1889

“The analysis of Elgin Waters” – May 1st, 1889

But as with most health crazes, it came and went. The business prospered for 20 years until 1870 when it closed for good. After that, it became a private residence and changed hands until the 1970s. By then, the house had been deteriorating due to neglect as the years passed.

The town of Panton eventually condemned it, which is the reason for its abandonment. The current family who owns the property used the house for salvageable materials – selling off pieces of the house to people that wanted period details for their own house renovations. They have apparently been approached a few times by curious people wishing to purchase the property, but the family doesn’t wish too sell it.

Today, the people who used to sing their praises here have long been dust and bones, and a walk around the property is waltzing through memories, playing those sad songs like they were alive.

It was a white hot Vermont afternoon when I came across this wild abandoned house. Everything was in bloom, the plants wearing a brilliant green that was under competing blissful cerulean skies. The house sat pretty close to the wide shoulder of 22A, a thunderous roar of cars coming at a constant pace, traveling the long distance between Vergennes and Fair Haven. But we might have otherwise been in another world, the thick amount of foliage that had began to grow over the house provided ample invisibility from passersby. It was a magnificent house, it’s elegance still golden. Though what had been left behind was sparse, there was just enough for the imagination to latch onto.

Though it was once a hotel, it was the bones of a private residence I was exploring. The ruins of the interior retained all it’s original character, and though what had been left behind was sparse, there was just enough for the imagination to latch onto.

The whole place was practically being ensnared by vines and trees, adding a surrealistic quality to its decayed beauty. It was almost like mother nature was trying to demolish this place herself, saying its future was gone, using her roots and plants to pull this house down towards the earth, reclaiming what was once hers.

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The Carriage Barn

The Carriage Barn

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28 Comments on “The Elgin Springs Remedy

  1. I’m glad you featured the teddy bear in a shot, nothing says abandoned like discarded kid’s toy. What a great find, I’m surprised there is so much
    stuff still in there. Nicely done.

    • It’s always creepy when you find an abandoned kids toy, it just adds so much weight to a location. Thanks for your kind words.

  2. I know this house well. I do believe it is tied up in a family matter. I remember when it was a rental house as part of a larger dairy farm property. sad to see it falling into itself. Must have been a beautiful place in its day.

  3. By posting this so public one can now expect looting to go on……It is a shame , but thats
    reality. As it is someone broke all the windows out yrs ago. The pics are lovely though.

    • I’m glad you liked my pictures Katherine. I hope this blog doesn’t inspire looting or other acts of vandalism, that’s not the intent here, but as you said, that’s a sad reality.

  4. Thanks for taking these pictures and doing the local research….I have always wondered about this house and wondered why anyone would abandon one so beautiful and stately. I have always been facinated with abandoned houses/structures as each has a story to tell.

    • Thanks for the kind words Mandy, I’m really glad you enjoyed. That’s what keeps my fascination ignited, every place has some kind of story to tell, and I love stories.

  5. The family just south own the house, Marszalkowski they’ve owned it for at least the last 20 yrs. There is no issue with the ownership of the property. They were selling off pieces of the house to people that wanted period details for their own house renovations. The house was condemned by the town of Panton, I know this for a fact as the daughter of the last family that lived there told me. That’s why her family had to abandon it, and move. It has been empty since the very early 1970’s. The Marszalkowski’s have no interest in the house, and I do believe have been broached about purchasing the house, and they do not want to sell. If you look at their huge barn on their property, they’ve let the roof start to go on that. It won’t be long before that barn falls as well.

    • Very interesting, it looked like it had been scraped and salvaged – thanks for sharing.

      • My family had friends who lived in that house I’m guessing in the late or mid 60’s.I’m not sure but I think it was tenement housing.I have always held a sort of romantic,nostalgic feeling about this property.I wish it had a family to love it.

  6. If you want an interesting story do a piece on 30 main st. in Vergennes . It was a birthing house for many years , you can find many older folks that were born there . Beautiful house – my parents owned for over20 years .Ed Wright

    • Thanks for the suggestion Ed! You’ve peaked my curiosity, If I can get enough information on it, I’d love to do a story. Could you tell me anything about it? (If you care to share)

  7. Having lived in the area for most of my life I have driven by that house countless times. I’ve always wondered about it and why it was abandoned. As others on here said, it looked like it was a beautiful house at one time. It is a shame to see a house like that become so neglected. It was really neat to see the pictures and I am thankful that someone posted about this on their Facebook. It was really neat to see. Thank you for sharing your wonderful pictures.

  8. Yes, as having this posted publicly, there may well be looting and destruction, but this article and these pics were posted artistically and with a respectful fondness and appreciation for abandoned places. I have also been to this location, and taken photos, and have wondered if the walls could speak, what stories they would tell us of the history and energy of this abandoned home. Chad has a way of respectfully telling the story of places, through words and photographs, that does homage to each location. It was beautifully handled. It was artistically and thoughtfully displayed. There are evil, bored people everywhere, and they will desecrate all kinds of abandoned locations for whatever reasons they legitimize in their own minds. Not because it was posted on line. Thank you for sharing with all of us Chad.

  9. I also always wondered the story behind the house in Addison. I have always wondered what it looked like once upon a time & wondered if while doing your research if you found any pictures of the house before it fell in to such disrepair? I would love to see it in its glory

  10. I remember this house Rick owns it he was going to fix it up but he never did. Joey ( Rick’s son) the dog and I went and explore the house when I was ten ( 15 years ago). I remember how big it was the upstairs had five or six bedroom two staircase to go upstairs. Two bathrooms. One bathroom downstairs had stair to go into the basement the downstairs was huge the lichen was one big room then the dinningroom livingroom

  11. Amazing. Would also love to see photos of the house way back when……must have been beautiful. I have watched the house being consumed by nature for many years, hoping someone would come by and fix it up.

  12. Pingback: Inside 9 of the Planet’s Creepiest Abandoned Cottages | Direct Holiday Cottages

  13. I lived there from 1982 to 1985, at that point it was owned by the Noonan’s, his mother had been born in the house (when we were there he was in his 70’s?) so it had been in his family for quite awhile, but when he died, it was sold off and after that it was pretty much downhill…

  14. I was born on this house July 5th 1959. My father worked for Fred Noonan, who owned the farm just south of the house. It was a hired mans home. I am one of 8 children, and the thing I remember most of this house is the cast iron registers that were on the second floor. My brother and I used to sit on them and watch people as they went by. It is a shame that this house has gone the way it has. I have some really good memories there. Thank you for sharing your photos.

    • Laurie Hanfield, hang on to the memories. So sad to see such a beautiful old house fade away. My father grew up in an old brick house in Hinesburg, built in 1812. Was already over 100 yrs old when he was born in this house in1920. It needs someone to buy it and take care of it, or the same thing is going to happen to his childhood home. I drive by it every time on the way to dad’s home which further south now, and the Elgin Spring’s house is also on the way. Both fading away and so sad. There is a lot of personality and spirit in the Elgin Springs house….still there, even though it is now a shell.

    • I drove by a few months ago and noticed the far barn on the left had been torn out, and the carriage barn on the side had toppled onto itself. It’s looking pretty bad now…

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