Our History

vintage photo Thistledown Inn

The First Horace Henry Powers House (circa 1850)

Gothic revival style architecture with a rock foundation and wood clapboard features corner pilasters, molded cornices, peaked window lintels, wood shutters, and a recessed paneled entry doorway with sidelights flanked with French doors. Inside, the old parlor, library, living room, formal dining room, kitchen and sunroom connect by a center hall entry. 


POWERS, Horace Henry (1835-1913)

The portrait centered over the presiding Judge of the Lamoille County Supreme Court is Horace Henry Powers.

Horace was born to Dr. Horace and Love E. (Gilman) Powers in Morristown, Vt., May 29, 1835.  He is the grandson of Urias and Lucy (Wakefield) Powers and Sam and Mary Gilman, and a descendent of  Walter and Trial (Shepard) Powers who emigrated from Essex, England to Salem, Mass in 1654.

He was a brilliant, active, and well-respected man.

Horace attended Peoples Academy; graduated with a Bachelor degree from the University of Vermont in 1855; studied law and earned his Masters in 1858 under the direction of Thomas Gleed of Morristown, then with Child and Ferris of Hyde Park.  He was admitted to the bar in 1858 (while at the same time teaching in Hyde Park) and he married Caroline, daughter of Vermon and Adeline (Cady) Waterman of Morristown on October 11, 1858.  Horace  practiced law in Hyde Park, Vt., 1859-1862; became a member of the State house of representatives in 1858; a prosecuting attorney of Lamoille County in 1861 and 1862; a member of the council of censors in 1869; a member of the State constitutional convention in 1870; then served in the State senate in 1872 and 1873; again served in the State house of representatives in 1874 and served as speaker.  Horace was the Judge of the Supreme Court of Vermont from December 1874 to December 1890; a trustee of the University of Vermont from 1883- 1913, and a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1892.  He was elected as a Republican to the Fifty-second and to the four succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1891-March 3, 1901).   He was chairman of the Committee on Pacific Railroads (Fifty-fourth through Fifty-sixth Congresses); then resumed the practice of law in Morrisville, Vt.  Horace died in Morrisville, Vt. on December 8, 1913. Horace is buried in Pleasant View Cemetery with his family. 

The Thistledown Inn at 201 Park Street is the home of Horace Henry Powers and is named the Horace Henry Powers House 

This house was built c. 1850 It shares elements of Greek Revival and Gothic Revival styles of architecture, both of which were popular in the decades before the Civil War.  Greek Revival, the most common style in 19th century Vermont, was popular from the 1830s to the 1870s. It was inspired by classical Greek temples and features an emphasis on triangular gables, corner pilasters, and cornice returns such as the ones on the driveway side of the inn. The more romantic Gothic Revival, inspired by medieval architecture, became popular in the 1850s and is seen in the cross-gable form of the building and the front facade with its long, paired windows, porch with paired columns and the bracketed pediment over the second story door.  This house was moved to its present location to make room for the large house constructed to the west of it.

This large, Federal style, two-story, symmetrically-ordered, wood-frame, gable-roof dwelling, with cornice returns, corner pilasters (columns), and full sidelights and door surround, is quite typical of late 18th and early 19th century farm house construction in Vermont. Several one-story outbuildings are attached to the rear of the house. This practice of connected architecture was quite common in Vermont, as it allowed easy passage between buildings during the cold winter months.

Interestingly, This house was first located on the lot next door, the former Dr. Walker Property, and in 1875, was moved to it’s current location and Horace Henry Powers had a larger, grander home built, known as the Horace Henry Powers House #2.

On March 21, 2007, The State of Vermont Division for Historic Preservation entered The Horace Henry Powers House in the Morrisville Historic District in The National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of the Interior under provisions of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.      Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present




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Thistledown Inn B&B
201 Park Street
Morrisville, VT 05661