Current Exhibitions

Vail Family Parlor

Occupying the oldest part of Village House is the Vail family’s parlor. It was common at the end of the 19th century for families who opened their homes to boarders to keep a room or two for their private use. This room is decorated as if the Vail family kept it as their private space to relax in – away from the demands of their guests.

This room has a different floor than the rest of the house and that floor is noticeably tilted! That is because the room is one of the original two rooms built in 1798. The main room of the original house extended from the north wall of the present hallway and included this room. When the house was expanded the builders simply added on to the original structure.

Photo by Liz Glasgow

Before 1808, this room served not only as the main living area for the owners of the house but it also may have acted as the kitchen and dining room. After 1808, Augustus Griffin returned to this home and added eleven feet to the eastern side of the house creating two rooms, one of which he used as a bedroom.

It was very common in rural areas before the Civil War for homes to serve two purposes, personal and business. For example, Griffin not only lived here with his family but he also, at different points in his life, ran a tavern, a general store and a school all from this building! We think that until Griffin built a large extension on the back of the building, he may have used this space as his tavern and general store.

Exhibit Items

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