Built On Land Purchased From The James Frost Estate
Into which Mr. Crowell has Converted the
Well-known Charlier House
at the Head of High and Green Streets.
The extensive repairs and improvements which Mr. Geo. E. Crowell has had in progress for nearly two years past on the house formerly known as "the Charlier place," but which Mr. Crowell has named "Lindenhurst," have now so nearly reached completion that the family slept there on Wednesday night for the first time. The outside improvements, which began about the 1st of April, 1888, have consisted principally of additions to the front of the house, on both sides of the main entrance, which have been carried through to the roof and end in two towers; the broad piazza has been extended around three sides of the main part of the house, an oriel window has been built in the roof on the north side, and a central dome has been added to light the broad staircase which mounts up through the centre of the house.
Inside, the transformation has been complete, and there is nothing left to remind its most familiar occupant of what it once was. The main entrances are from the north side and the east front, and in either case one passes through massive double doors of carved oak into a vestibule of paneled oak with tile floor, and thence into the hall itself which is of almost baronial proportions. It is of ample width and height, with ceiling of paneled oak and a seeming of generous home comfort and hospitality, with the massive staircase as a central feature. The reception room, which is the front corner room on the north side, presents an air of solid elegance such as is rarely met with. The finish is of selected frontier mahogany with high paneled wainscoting. Its piece of resistance is the fire place and mantel, which are built into an alcove, with cosy nooks at either side of the chimney, and a horseshoe arch of mahogany fret work framing in the whole in a way which is entirely unique. The mantel is of carved mahogany, and bears the word "Welcome" in prominent relief letters.
The dining room, on the opposite side of the house from the living room and looking toward the north, is solidly finished in Tennessee ash, and has an inlaid block floor, fire place and mantel, and sideboard built in as a part of the finish. Opening from the dining room is the butler's pantry, of ample size, with china closets, china sink, and every needful appliance.
The staircase, as we have already said, is the central feature of the hall, and indeed, with its carved columns, carved newels, paneled sides, and elaborate fretwork, all of solid oak, and the softened light falling down through the stained glass of the dome, it is the notable feature of the whole house. A novel accessory is the fire place on the first landing, with blazing log, and here and on the landing above oaken seats invite to rest.
The arrangement of rooms on the second floor is substantially the same as on the floor below. In the corner over the reception room is Mr. Crowell's own individual retreat, otherwise the library. The finish is of solid oak, and the arrangement of the fire place, mantel, alcove and cosy nooks is the same as in the room below. Over the mantel, on the front of the chimney, is a painting reproducing the view from Mt. Willard in the White Mountains, with Mt. Willey on the right, Mt. Webster on the left and Mt. Chocorua in the distance. Connected with the main room is a large alcove covering the width of the hall below. In the centre in front, over the hall below, is the "sunrise room" looking toward the east and opening upon the balcony. In the opposite corner from the library is the guest chamber, with elegant finish of interior mahogany. In the rear of this is the family chamber and dressing-room, finished in Tennessee sycamore. The chamber over the dining room has a beautiful finish of western cherry. The hall upon the second floor is paneled in oak, the same as below, and on this floor is a spacious linen closet, and a dark closet for furs and woolens.
The chambers on the third floor are finished with equal completeness,--the "boys' room" in ash, the "girls' room" in cypress, a third chamber in a beautiful mottled whitewood, and the "moonrise room" in gum wood (the "sweet gum" tree of the South), and each with its own fire place and mantel. One of the most inviting rooms in the whole house is the school room on this floor, finished to the rafters, frescoed in the harmonious colors, and looking out to the north, west and east through the oriel window.
Each chamber has its own large closet. There are lavatories on each floor, and on the second and third floors are well appointed bathrooms. The fire places are all of tile with brass trimmings, and backings and sidings of iron with relief figures.
The kitchen is finished in southern pine, and its appliances are of the most complete kind, including set range and every modern convenience. In the rear is the servants' sitting room tastefully fitted up, and in the rear of this the laundry. On the second floor of the L are the servants' sleeping rooms and bathroom. The plumbing is of the most approved kind, and a large steam heater in the cellar warms the whole house.
A novel feature upon the first floor is the introduction of an upper panel of plate glass in the doors of each room, giving an outlook from room to room and thence out door throughout.
In the remodeling and refitting of this well-known mansion Mr. and Mrs. Crowell have carried out plans which have been long maturing, and the house as it stands today is simply the embodiment of plans for a new house which have been long in mind. The result of the two years' work of many craftsmen is a residence of rare elegance and commodiousness, its ample grounds and commanding outlook combining to make it one of the most attractive country places anywhere to be found. It is the sincere wish of the whole Brattleboro community that the days in it of Mr. Crowell and his family, which he has so well earned, may be many and happy ones.
The interior finish has been done entirely by Hunter & O'Neil. The designs are theirs throughout, following suggestions from Mr Crowell, and differing as they do in every room and in every part of the house, the completed work speaks for itself of their skill and their fertility of resource. All the ceilings are frescoed, and this work has been done by the O'Neil Brothers. The fire place and gas fixtures were put in by Hall of Springfield; the plumbing and steam fitting were by Mr. Anderson, and the attachments for automatic electric lighting by Mr. Clary.
Caleb L. Howe & Son 1884
This mansion was built by the future Gen. Simon Bolivar Buckner, Sr. of New Orleans, for his friend, Louisiana State Senator James B. Eustis---
Mr. John Stoddard of Georgia had just completed a magnificent summer residence, on an eminence on the north side of Elliot Street, and in the rear of the Water Cure Establishments in this village. The house is of brick, two stories in height, underneath which is an airy basement containing the kitchen, washroom, store-rooms, &c. On the first floor is the main hall,a large dining room, sitting room, parlor, and library.
The Civil War ended Brattleboro's immensely prosperous ties to the South---especially through the Wesselhoeft Water Cure, the Asa Miller carriage manufacturing, the Brooks-Cabot family cotton brokerage, and Southern ties from the Holbrook family participation in "the Triangle Trade" to the West Indies and Turk's Island.
Professor Elie S. Charlier of Paris and New York City bought the mansion, which became known as "the Charlier place". George E. Crowell is remembered in Brattleboro for building the Chestnut Hill reservoir.
Elie Charlier married Jeanette Van Dycke Stacey at St. Paul's Church in Chester, Pennsylvania on March 20, 1856. Their daughter, Winona de Clyver Charlier, born in 1854, was the grandmother of folk singer Pete Seegar.
Mrs. Christie B. Crowell
This photograph was taken in a park in Brattleboro---it may be on the Common, or possibly in Crowell Park.
For long years the owners of the Lindenhurst mansion opened their grounds to school excursions and especially to bird watchers. The Vermont Phoenix for September 6, 1901 carried an article entitled "State Audubon Society; Organization of Brattleboro Bird Club Changed to Widen Its Scope of Usefulness", possibly written by the secretary, Mrs. Fletcher Barrows---
At the regular meeting of the Brattleboro Bird club held at Lindenhurst last Monday evening the club voted to disband and reorganize as a State Audubon society. They have had this object in view since last winter when one of the members attended the joint session of the Audubon societies and the American Ornithologists' Union which convened at Cambridge, Mass., and returned delegated to form a state society in Vermont. W. C. Horton was elected as chairman to organize the new society. The following officers were elected: Mrs. Frances B. Horton, president; Mrs. Elizabeth B. Davenport, 1st vice president; Mrs Stella E. Barrows, secretary; Miss Emma Gregg, assistant secretary; Miss Kate Selleck, treasurer; executive board, William C. Horton, Charles H. Thompson, Mrs. Sadie L. Stockwell of West Brattleboro, and the first four officers.