Historic Structures

Mad River Glen Ski Lift, Fayston Vermont

The Mad River Glen Cooperative in Fayston, Vermont, is the home of the Single Chair Ski Lift, also known as Chair #1. The longest operating single chair ski lift still in its original location in North America, it is a historical treasure for the ski industry. The ski area is located on the northeast slope of General Stark Mountain in central Vermont. The tramway division of the American Steel and Wire Company designed and installed the Single Chair Ski Lift, a patented aerial ski tramway, in 1947. At the base of the ski lift is a bottom Drive Terminal (1600' elevation) that drives a wire rope up the mountain to a top Tension Terminal (3570' elevation). The bottom Drive Terminal features a large 10' diameter cast iron bullwheel that pulls the 1 1/8 diameter steel cable. An Allis-Chalmers diesel engine, located in the Vault Motor Room in the basement, drives the bullwheel. The Vault Motor Room is a reinforced concrete and steel structure built into a slope directly below an open, wood frame structure that houses the drive bullwheel assembly. This room contains an Allis-Chalmers diesel engine, a secondary General Motors diesel engine, a belt drive system, reduction gear shafting, a vertical drive shaft set into beveled gears, and a disc brake system, as well as a concrete counterweight connected to an hydraulic brake system located in the rear of the Vault Motor Room. The Operator's Room is a two-story, wood frame structure located at ground level above the Vault Motor Room, on the south side of the Drive Terminal. The main upstairs Operator's Room contains several instruments used for running the lift drive system. To engage the diesel engine, there is an upper throttle and torque converter switch on the south wall (facing the lift line), which connects to a wire that runs through a magnetic solenoid that can stop the throttle through the emergency brake (e-brake). To run the chairlift, the operator first starts the diesel engine in the Vault Motor Room. He then puts the lift in drive by engaging the torque converter upstairs, and then pulls down the upper throttle, which activates the throttle on the motor.

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Labrot and Grahams Oscar Pepper - Old Crow - Distillery, Versailles Kentucky

Born about 1775 in Fauquier, Virginia, Elijah Pepper followed his family to Kentucky in 1797. He first established a distillery with his brother-in-law at the Big Spring behind the Woodford County Courthouse in Versailles. Bourbon County tax records and the census of 1810 show that he moved there for a three year period before returning to Woodford County. Elijah and his wife Sarah were between the ages 26 and 45 in 1810, and they had seven children (four boys) and nine black slaves. By 1812 Elijah was paying tax on 200 acres of property along Glenn's Creek where he established his grist mill and distillery. Clear title to the property was not established until 1821 and the deed recorded the following year. He selected the Grassy Springs Branch of the Creek for its waterway through limestone cliffs and three springs that bubbled out of the banks of the creek. Census records of 1820 confirm that the Pepper family are living in Woodford County and both are over 45 years old. Their family has not grown but their slave holdings have increased to 12. Five members of the household are involved with agriculture. Ten years later the 1830 census confirms the success of Pepper's farmstead by the documentation of 13 male and 12 female slaves. Before March 20, 1831 Elijah Pepper died. The extent of his agricultural and distilling business is clarified by his inventory that lists hemp on hand and 8 acres ready to break, flax and flax seed, wheat, rye, 41 barrels of whiskey (1560 gallons), 6 stills, 74 mash tubs, kegs, stands, 22 horses, 113 hogs, 95 sheep, 30 lambs, and over 30 different types of cattle. Farming and timbering equipment is numerous. Household possessions include carpeting, silver, and furnishings that show wealth. No details of the interior of the house or out buildings are provided. The list of possessions sold show that his wife Sarah purchased much farm and distillery equipment, including stills and tubs etc. in still house. Since Sarah inherited the property, she presumably continued the business with the help of her eldest son Oscar, who eventually took it over.

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Boston Beer Company (Original), Boston Massachusetts

The Boston Beer Company (not associated with the company founded in 1985 that produces Sam Adams) has been associated with the present site since the company was chartered in 1828. In August 1828, Benjamin Thaxter conveyed to the Boston Beer Company a parcel of land, which Thaxter had acquired in July and August of 1828. It was explained in the deed that Baxter had purchased this land with money provided by a group of subscribers who established a fund for erecting and carrying on a brewery of malt liquors at South Boston. Thaxter was to hold the land until such time as they were incorporated, at which time Thaxter would convey the land to the subscribers in their corporate capacity. The subscribers, including Gamaliel Bradford, Nathan Rice, Benjamin Thaxter and Elijah Loring, had been incorporated as The Boston Beer Company on February 1, 1828 for the purpose of manufacturing malt liquors in all their varieties, in the City of Boston. They were authorized to hold real estate not to exceed $50,000 in value and personal estate not to exceed $100,000. The parcel conveyed by Thaxter included two lots, one of which comprises the eastern portion of the present site at the corner of Second and D streets in South Boston. The first was a rectangular lot, which extended west 186 feet from the corner of Second and D Streets and was 90 feet deep. The second lot extended north from the first, running across Second Street and out to the sea. This lot presently runs between West Second and West First streets and is occupied by trailers. Two additional adjoining lots are part of the present Boston Beer Company parcel. One lot purchased in 1828 extended the parcel 27 feet to the west and added 10 feet to the depth of the lot along the south border so that it increased from 90 to 100 feet in depth. An additional lot acquired in 1845 expanded the parcel 30 feet to the west. No deeds were located that would indicate that the property was sold at any time between 1800 and 1899, suggesting that the Boston Beer Company was the continuous owner of this parcel from 1828 until 1957. Peter Stott's research indicated that the first brewery built on this site was built circa 1851 for Henry F. Cox & Co. brewery. (Stott) In the 1851 directory, Henry F. Cox & Co. is listed under brewers at 2d near D Street and James L. Phipps is listed next to the company name, suggesting he was the manager or a partner of the company. Henry Cox's involvement was short lived, and by 1856, J.L. Phipps & Co. is listed under brewers at 147 2nd Street. By 1858, the address had changed to 149 2nd Street. Phipps & Co. appears at this address through 1860, but in 1861, Henry Souther (Phipps' brother-in-law) is listed under brewers at 149 2nd Street and must have taken over the company. However, by 1863, Souther had apparently moved his operation to 2nd cor. H Street (later 528 2nd Street) where he remained into the 1870s. That company continued under several names including Bay State Brewery, Jones, Johnson & Co., Jones, Cook & Co., and finally Frank Jones Brewing Company until it closed in 1903.

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Scotland Mansion, Frankfort Kentucky

The imposing Greek Revival mansion, located off Versailles Road, five miles east of Frankfort, was built between 1845 and 1847 by Robert Wilmot Scott, a prominent lawyer, politician, and innovative farmer and stock raiser. He as?as aisĀ© instrumental in establishing the Kentucky public school and constructed the first common school in the State on his estate. The land on which the house was built had been the estate of Martin D. Hardin (1780-1823), another eminent lawyer and politician. Later owners of the property include Horatio P. Mason, a famous contractor and engineer; and Colonel J. Swigert Taylor, a respected Frankfort distiller and thoroughbred horse breeder. Scotland, as it is now called, is the largest Greek Revival house in Franklin County, and one of the largest in Kentucky. Its imposing bulk is well-known to motorists driving on Interstate Route 64, the present main connector between Louisville at the Falls of the Ohio River and Lexington in the heart of the Bluegrass region of Central Kentucky. The house, surrounded by aged trees, lies at the top of a knoll several hundred feet south of the highway just east of the Frankfort interchange. The extensive property is entered off the road between Frankfort and Versailles, Woodford County, where it passes under I-64 half-a-mile west of the house. The present rear of the property abuts on the Old Frankfort Pike, a narrow scenic road now seldom used but once a major thoroughfare linking the State capital with Lexington, the Athens of the West. Before I-64 was routed across the north side of the property, the house was approached from the old Leestown Road (now 421), which has, however, changed its course several times in the last century-and-a-half. By the mid-19th century, the early L & N Railroad had already been located between the house at the Leestown Road. Thus the mansion has always faced at least one major transportation route and the property has been defined by others; the apparently unfortunate proximity of I-64 is, therefore, only an extension of a feature in fact boasted about by Robert Wilmot Scott, the builder of the house, in an advertisement for the sale of the property, he personally prepared in 1871. The Louisville and Lexington Railroad, and the State road from Frankfort to Lexington, pass through it, under the same lines of fence affording a commanding front view of the principal dwelling-house and adjacent grounds; the Frankfort and Versailles Turnpike is on the western boundary; Ducker Depot is within a mile and a half, and thus easy access is had, from all directions, it being five miles from Frankfort, nineteen from Lexington, and seventy from Louisville.

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Roselawn - Owsley House, Danville Kentucky

Roselawn was the last home for William Owsley, Congressman, Governor of Kentucky, and Associate Justice on the State Court of Appeals. Owsley, born in Virginia in 1782, came to Lincoln County, Kentucky, as a child. He studied law under Chief Justice of the State Court of Appeals John Boyle and, after obtaining his license, began to practice law in Garrard County. He was elected to the State Legislature and shortly thereafter (1812) was appointed to the Court of Appeals by Governor Scott. In 1828 Owsley retired from the Court and returned to his home in Garrard County, Pleasant Retreat (listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1975), to practice law. He sold the house and moved to Frankfort in 1837. The next year he purchased the property on which Roselawn was to be built, and established his son-in-law, Clifton Rodes, and family there. There was apparently a dwelling on the property at the time Owsley bought it, but neither this fact nor the nature of the dwelling can be substantiated. The existing dwelling reputedly burned in 1847, and the Rodes family moved to Danville. In the meantime, Owsley won the 1844 election for the Governor of Kentucky. He moved to Roselawn, built for his retirement, when his term ended in 1848 and lived there until he died in 1862. Roselawn is a two-story, five-bay, brick house situated in the gently rolling terrain of the Bluegrass Region in northeastern Boyle County, Kentucky. It is located about a mile and a half northwest of Danville on the east side of U.S. 127 (Harrodsburg Road), and about two miles from the Mercer County line. The house, which faces southward, is set back from the highway lying to its west and sits on the northern edge of a broad, flattened knoll amidst a grove of mature trees.

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Rochester-Cecil House - Melrose, Danville Kentucky

The history of Melrose is closely linked with that of the adjoining farm, Roselawn, which was the home of Kentucky Governor William Owsley between 1844 and 1848. Owsley lived at Roselawn following his tenure as governor although he had purchased the property in 1838. This purchase did not include the tract upon which Melrose stands, but the governor's son, Erasmus Boyle Owsley, enlarged the holdings associated with Roselawn during the 1840s by accumulating many smaller surrounding tracts. In 1845, William and Erasmus Owsley sold three hundred acres, including the land on which Melrose was to be built, to the governor's son-in-law, Albert Gallatin Talbot. Talbot was an influential politician in his own right, and won a seat to the state legislature in 1850. Upon his 1855 election to U.S. Congress, Talbot sold this property, which he had named Melrose, to Charles Hannah Rochester, Sr. Rochester had the house built shortly thereafter. The property was sold at auction upon Rochester's death in 1863 and passed through several hands until acquired by Granville Cecil and his wife Emma, who was A. G. Talbot's daughter, in 1878. Melrose is a two-story, five-bay brick dwelling of Greek Revival design. It is situated in the gently rolling terrain of the Bluegrass Region in northeastern Boyle County, Kentucky, and is about a mile and three quarters northwest of the county seat, Danville, and a little less than two miles from the Mercer County line. The property is located on the east side of U.S. 127 (Harrodsburg Road), and the house, which faces westward toward the highway, sits at the end of a long drive of approximately eight hundred feet and on a small, cleared knoll.

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Robinson House - Quietdale, Huntsville Alabama

The house was erected for Mrs. Caroline Moore Robinson, widow of Madison County sheriff William (Black Bill) Robinson. A Virginia-born planter and speculator, Robinson had accumulated vast landholdings in Alabama and Mississippi by the time of his death in 1852, at the premature age of forty-four. Documentary evidence hints that the noted Huntsville architect George Steele or his son, Matthew W. Steele, may be responsible for the design and construction of Quietdale. The younger Steele, though never to achieve a reputation comparable to that of his father, intermittently practiced as an architect in Huntsville during the 1850s. George Steele himself died in the fall of 1854. But a note among his estate papers refers to a debt of $1131.66 due from the Estate of Wm Robinson for the bal[ance] of work furnished by M.W.S. Executor, payable on January 1, 1856. Certainly the original plan of the house followed George Steele's predilection for separating the formal interior spaces from the more intimate family living area Thus a forty-two foot long drawingroom suite lay to the right of an entrance vertibule; to the left was a series of smaller and more informally disposed rooms extending into a rear ell. Directly behind the foyer, two stairhalls with parallel stairways led to completely separate bedroom suites on the upper floor. Why the upper floor was partitioned is not entirely clear: whether to isolate the guest chambers, or in deference to the custom observed in far more primitive Alabama houses of the period, of carefully separating the boys' and girls' sleeping quarters.

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Kildare Mansion - McCormick House, Huntsville Alabama

Kildare's builder Michael O'Shaughnessy was a northern capitalist who, with his brother James, was looking for investment and development situations in the South during the last quarter of the nineteenth century. They settled on Huntsville, a town of 5,000 persons that had never revived following the Civil War, where they built and purchased homes and began buying large tracts of land and buildings. It was through the O'Shaughnessy's influence that additional wealthy outsiders were attracted to Huntsville as a town with great development potential. It was this group of northern investors and self-styled town builders, associated with prominent local businessmen, that provided the money, the connections, and the know-how to package and sell Huntsville as an industrial and resort site. Before the O'Shaughnessys moved on, they were chiefly responsible for the creation of Dallas Manufacturing Company and of East Huntsville Addition (a major suburb), the construction of the resort facility called Monte Sano Hotel, the refurbishing of the Huntsville Hotel, and the establishment of a large cotton seed oil plant. However, many of their colleagues remained in Huntsville and continued to establish or attract additional cotton textile mills and various other smaller industries, which created the economic basis for the town's postbellum recovery. The second owner of Kildare, Mary Virginia McCormick, was the daughter of Cyrus Hall McCormick of reaper fame. Although she spent only a few months in Huntsville each year, if at all, she was responsible for much philanthropic work in the town. She took a particular interest in the living conditions of the several mill villages that had grown up around the town (as a result of the O'Shaughnessy's initial efforts) and coerced the mill directors into providing better health care and recreation facilities for the operatives by offering matching funds for settlement houses and YMCA's.

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Angels Flight Cable Railway, Los Angeles California

The property was first constructed in 1901 to provide efficient transportation between the city's commercial core and the top of Bunker Hill. New cars were constructed in 1905. A new station house, designed by noted Los Angeles architects Train & Williams, and an entrance arch were added in 1910. The period of significance begins in 1905 and ends circa 1945. The Flight operated continuously until 1969 when it was dismantled and stored as part of an urban renewal program. Twenty-five years later, the original elements of Angels Flight was removed from storage, rehabilitated, and reinstalled within the same city block slightly south of and parallel to its original location on the hill. Angels Flight operates in its historic function, carrying passengers up and down Bunker Hill's steep eastern slope in downtown Los Angeles. One of only six incline railways still extant and operating in the United States, Angels Flight represents a now extremely rare property type. The incline railway was originally developed to serve two different needs: industrial and passenger. According to incline railway historian Donald Duke, The first known incline railway in the United States was constructed in 1762, at Lewiston, New York. It was used to haul merchandise up and down the Niagara escarpment, near what is now the border between the United States and Canada. The application of cable rail technology to incline rails spurred their greatest period of construction in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, with most constructed between 1880 and 1910.

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Beverly Wilshire Hotel, Beverly Hills California

As the first major hotel to be constructed in the rapidly growing community of Beverly Hills since 1912, the Beverly Wilshire Hotel is representative of the quality of commercial architecture built in the city during its prime period of development. Associated with one of the city's most influential citizens, the hotel was constructed in 1927 for Walter G. McCarty, a real estate developer who once owned a quarter of the city, and was designed by the eminent Southern California architectural firm of Walker and Eisen in the Second Renaissance Revival style. The structure is the most prominent example of this noted firm's work in Beverly Hills. It was one of the first major buildings to be constructed on Wilshire Boulevard, and acted as an anchor for that street's commercial development. From its inception, the hotel has catered to many notables, including film stars, wealLthy business and social luminaries, and visiting royalty. Walter G. McCarty, the founder of the establishment, was instrumental in the development of the southern half of Beverly Hills. To draw attention to the tracts of residential homesites he controlled and to demonstrate his faith in the community's potential for growth and as a desirable destination, he commissioned the firm of Walker and Eisen to create a nine story hostelry on Wilshire Boulevard in the center of the city. Percy Eisen and Albert Walker were among the premier architectural firms in the area. Particularly renowned for their traditional Second Renaissance Revival designs, the pair had been in partnership for eight years when the hotel was commissioned, and would continue until 1941, during that time providing to Los Angeles and its environs buildings of exceptional merit. The Beverly Wilshire is the most famous of their work in hotel design; others in the area are the Hollywood Plaza, the Gaylord Apartment Hotel, and the El Cortez Hotel in San Diego. Significant examples of their commercial work include the California Lutheran Hospital; the Taft Building in Hollywood; Security Title Insurance, Fine Arts/Signal Oil, and California Fruit Growers Exchange in Los Angeles; Bay Cities Guaranty in Santa Monica; and the City Hall, Civic Auditorium, Public Library, and Police Station in Torrance, California. Both Walker and Eisen were natives of California. Percy Eisen gained his training in the office of his father, Theodore; Albert Walker trained at Brown University in Rhode Island before working in the offices of prominent Southern California architects Parkinson and Bergstrum, A.F. Rosenheim, and Hunt and Grey. By 1924, the firm of Walker and Eisen were obtaining a large percentage of the contracts for height-limit buildings in the Los Angeles area, employing over fifty draftsmen. The Beverly Wilshire is a prime example of their work in the area of housing for the tourist trade, an apartment-hotel which provided for all the amenities wealthy travellers had come to expect from a resort facility, yet also contained provisions for extended stays and the privacy of a residence. The conservative design represented a combination of traditional styles, yet a continuity was achieved through the architects' use of well-proportioned spaces and the judicious use of decorative elements. The Beaux Arts tradition appealed to owner McCarty, who imported the finest materials from Europe, including Carrara marble, for use in the execution of Walker and Eisen's design. The design of the hotel exhibits a number of the characteristics associated with the style, including the tripartite composition of the facade, its street level arcade, classical embellishment, and use of terra cotta. The construction was supervised by the William Simpson Company. Interior decoration was done by noted muralist and designer Anthony B. Heinsbergen. Furnishings were from Barker Brothers, a Southern California furniture dealer who dominated the market in the 1920s.

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