Main Street, Warren Historic District, circa 1911
Photograph courtesy of the Vermont Historical Society

  Warren Historic District Buildings
Photographs courtesy of Landslides and the Central Vermont Chamber of Commerce

The Mad River, its tributaries, and the mountains they drain from form the natural boundaries of the Warren Historic District. A lumber and grain milling center throughout the 19th century, not surprisingly most buildings of Warren were built of wood frame construction. While there is a commonality of materials among the buildings in the district, there is a variety of building types and architectural styles. This variety of architectural styles is typical in small Vermont villages, having developed slowly over the course of the 19th century. Like other villages in the valley, Warren was bypassed by the railroad, and did not experience the rapid transformation that characterizes central Vermont railroad towns to the east. The diversity of building types represents the relatively isolated, and therefore independent, small towns that characterize much of Vermont in the 19th century.

Over 75 buildings and sites contribute to the Warren Historic District. The focus of the town is a civic complex comprised of the United Church (1838), Village Cemetery (1826), Town Hall (1872), and the Municipal Building and Library (a schoolhouse from 1867). The Warren House Hotel, built around 1840, is today the town's general store and social hub, but functioned well into the 20th century as a stagecoach inn and boarding house. This building also served at times as the town library and post office, and dances were held intermittently on the second floor. The circa 1850 Pitcher Inn, Warren's historic inn, was recently restored and furnished with elegant accommodations. Remnants of foundations are all that remains of the town's mills which were active from 1820 until 1940 when all had closed, burned, or been carried away by flood waters. Warren mills produced a great variety of objects--pail handles, butter tubs, wooden bowls and hoe handles for the farmers; downspouts, clapboards and shingles for use locally and for export to southern New England; and wagons, ox shoes and mill picks for the lumber trade. An important symbol of the town is the Warren Covered Bridge, the only one in the town and located at its heart. The quiet economic climate of Warren in the first half of the 20th century resulted in the preservation of the village.

The Warren Historic District is bounded by the Mad River, West Hill Rd., Main St. and Brook St. Residences are private and not open to the public, but many of the businesses and public institutions are accessible. Further information can be obtained from the Visitors Center, Sugarbush Chamber of Commerce, and Waitsfield Historical Society, all located in The General Wait House, Rt. 100, Waitsfield, open 9:00am to 5:00pm, Monday-Friday, 802-496-3409.

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