Extremely well-preserved, Green Mountain Seminary is an excellent example of an educational facility from the mid-1800s. An important landmark of rural Waterbury Center, the Seminary building has provided that community with various types of educational institutions. Like nearby College Hall in Montpelier, the building was originally built as a seminary. The Free Will Baptists of Vermont required a place for religious instruction, specifically for pastors who wished to be ministers. Completed in 1869, the building was constructed of wooden clapboards on a high stone foundation. The school's first catalog referred to the "elegant" Italianate style building as "one of the finest structures in the state...removed from the bustle and distraction of large commercial villages; it is free from the haunts of vice and dissipation or temptation to idleness; and is surrounded by natural scenery unsurpassed in its magnificence and grandeur." The first class was comprised of 106 gentlemen and 104 ladies. The first two floors were used as educational rooms. The chapel was also on the second floor while the third and fourth floors were for "gentlemen's rooming." A separate three-story lodging building, demolished in 1938, was used for summer boarding of students, and was possibly the ladies' rooming quarters during the school year.
Green Mountain Seminary
Photograph courtesy of the Central Vermont Chamber of Commerce
Historic view of Green Mountain Seminary and students
In 1878, just ten years after it was constructed, the Seminary became the property of the principal, Miss Elizabeth Colley, who continued to operate the building as a school. A few years later, in 1881, the Minard Commercial School began to share the educational space with her. In 1885, the building was deeded to the town by the "Green Mountain Seminary Association" for use as a graded school. Except for the notable removal in 1941 of the original belfry tower and walkway, the Seminary has experienced very little alteration during these changes in ownership, primarily because of its continued use as an educational facility. Most recently, the interior of the first floor has been altered for adaptive reuse as a library and day-care center.
The Green Mountain Seminary is located off Vermont Rt. 100 in Waterbury Center. It is now used as the Hunger Mountain Day Care Center and the Waterbury Center Library.