From Farmhouse to Nuclear Power Plant

 

The Hunt family retained ownership of the Governor Hunt House and associated farmlands for only a decade after the death of Jonathan Sr. in 1823. The house and surroundings, an estate of 1,731 acres, passed to Jonathan's son, Arad. However, when Arad died in 1833 a portion of the property, including the Governor Hunt House, was sold to William Heard and it remained in the Heard family until 1906.
 

The Heards were said to be ardent abolitionists, which (together with the tunnel-like basement foundation of the house’s chimney) led to tales that it was a stop of the Underground Railroad, but there is no documentation of this.

The Heards sold the property to George K. Stebbins in 1906. In 1923 the Stebbins estate sold the property to Clement and Bernice Jennings. The Jennings continued to farm the land for the next fifteen years, but in 1938 it was sold to Richard W. Steenbruggen. A mere five years later, in 1943, Steenbruggen sold out to Charles B. Westin. Westin planned renovations and also intended to have a farmer reside on the property.
 

However, after another five years, Westin sold the house, without the farmland, to Robert J. Kuhn. Kuhn was the author of a history of Northfield, Massachusetts that also included his research into the Hunt family. It is thought that Kuhn made the purchase intending to find a historically sensitive buyer because just a few months after his purchase, he sold the house to Florence Louchheim Stol. Stol was a lively and fascinating woman whose story deserves its own detailed treatment (See: The Life and Loves of Florence Stol).
 

When Stol died in 1967, the property and the Governor Hunt House entered a new and modern stage. The house would now become an important part of a nuclear power plant that, in many ways, changed the face of the town of Vernon. Now more changes are in the works: Today the building is on its way to becoming Vernon's community center and an anchor to the town's planned village area (See: Coming Full Circle)