top of page


In 1764 Hunt built this stately home, using locally cut oak and pitch pine for the post-and-beam structure, and boards from the sawmill his father, Samuel Hunt, built that year just a mile south. For the next 15 years he lived there as a bachelor, with his also-bachelor brother Arad. The two of them, and Samuel, amassed considerable wealth by farming and developing land they had acquired through colonial land grants from the governor of New Hampshire, which then claimed all the land that later became Vermont. 


In 1779, Jonathan married Lavinia Swan of Worcester. (In grade school there, she had been a pupil of John Adams, for the one year he worked as a teacher before beginning the study of law).

​​Upon the death of Jonathan Sr. in 1823, the house and associated farmlands passed to his son Arad (1790-1833), whose holdings in an estate inventory amounted to 1,731 acres. When Arad died, quite young, in 1833, the house passed out of Hunt family ownership. Arad's son Jonathan continued farming in Vernon, nearby, but multiple generations of the family achieved national prominence in the fields of law, politics, art, and architecture. (See Politics and Society at the Governor Hunt House)

The house remained a farmstead for many years, passing through quite a number of hands (See From Farmhouse to Nuclear Power Plant) until 1947, when it was acquired by Florence Louchheim Stol (1900-1967), a renowned and cosmopolitan patron of the arts, who left an important collection of contemporary art to the University of Michigan Museum of Art.


She used the house primarily as a summer retreat, entertaining a fascinating coterie of guests. (See Florence Stol  and  An Intellectual Salon)

Stol died at the Brattleboro hospital in 1967. The house was then acquired from her estate in 1968 by the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Corporation as part of land acquisition for the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant. The house was used by Vermont Yankee as administrative office space during and after the construction of the nuclear plant, using the fireplaces for warmth as there was no other heating system in place. (See Coming Full Circle)

Finally, in 2020, the owner of Vermont Yankee, NorthStar, which is decommissioning the plan, donated the Governor Hunt House to the Friends of Vernon Center, a non-profit group, which is working to develop it into a community center for the town of Vernon.

bottom of page