Shard Villa (1872-1874)
The Columbus Smith Estate
1177 Shard Villa Rd, West Salisbury, VT. Cut stone, 2-1/2 story. French Second Empire style.
Home grown attorney Columbus Smith’s first great success was started in 1844, on behalf of the descendants of Frances Mary Shard, who died in England in 1819. His eventual win in 1858, after 14 years of research, multiple trips to England, legal filings, appearances & multiple appeals made him one of the richest men in Vermont. He would soon build and name his own estate after a women he never met.
He moved his ancestral home a bit to the north, and assembled an amazing team to build his mansion and grounds, from 1872-74:  the plan was based on “Design No. 19", in his copy of the 1869 pattern book “National Architect” by George E. Woodward;  the first plans were drawn by Warren Thayer, architect, Burlington, VT, and turned over to:  George & Clinton Smith (father & son) to detail the plans inside and out, and be the builders (at the time called “joiners”);  Robert Morris Copeland, Boston, MA (landscape architect - then called “landscape gardener”); and  in 1886-87, he brought Italian Muralist Sylvio Pezzoli to live in the Estate, while painting walls, ceilings, floors. screens and portraits.
Columbus's widow, Harriet, upon her death in 1919, willed the estate and fortune to become that we call today an Elder Care Home. A 2-1/2 story brick addition, with 14 rooms with private baths opened in 1922.
The Estate has been on the National Register of Historic Places (#89001789), since 1989.
See a custom Google Map with geolocations for all these sites.