St. Johnsbury Historic Walking Tour

Take a trip into town at St. Johnsbury to catch some great views, shop the wares in the artisan stores, and discover some of the Northeast Kingdom’s best-kept secrets. St. Johnsbury’s Main Street Historic District is an attractive and timeless section of the Northeast Kingdom’s largest town. From elegant architecture of the Victorian era to the soaring heights of Italianate churches, St. Johnsbury transports you back centuries when horse-drawn carriages filled the broad main avenue. Follow the St. Johnsbury Historic Walking Tour from St. Johnsbury Academy’s campus to the elegant homes around Arnold Park. Along the way, you’ll catch sight of the soaring six churches in town, the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum, Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium, and more.

Start your walking tour at the Caledonia County Courthouse. The building, marking St. Johnsbury as the county seat, also stands adjacent to a park with a Civil War monument. Nearby, the Athenaeum, presented to the town in 1871 by the nephew of the man who invented the platform scale (yes, those good, ol’ fashioned balance scales), has been carefully restored to its original splendor with intricate woodworking, stenciled ceiling, and art gallery. Designated a National Historic Landmark, the Athenaeum stands as the oldest art gallery in the country. You can’t miss the almost menacing structure with its brick walls, tall windows, and black roof. Explore inside to view interesting art.

The St. Johnsbury House is a beautiful North Country hotel, famous for housing past Presidents, featured paired Doric columns and an unmistakable architecture (that two-story portico) that can be seen from both ends of the curved street. Walk south past South Church to the Academy complex. In front of Fuller Hall, cross Main Street and turn left to take a moment, and take in the view.

Next, admire the massive Brantview, an imposing Queen-Anne style chateau featuring a 60-foot center hall, grand staircase, and fine woodwork inside. Many more Victorian-era homes display their grandeur throughout St. Johnsbury along your walk. Admire the grand windows of the Pearl House, the pavilioned porch of the Estabrook House, and the 1820 Paddock House, the first brick home in the town.

Visit the website for a complete list of buildings and sights on the Historic Walking Tour and here for a trail map (Section 1A).

Caledonia County Courthouse
1126 Main Street
St. Johnsbury, VT 05819