Getaways don’t require an exotic tropical destination – sometimes they can be found in your own backyard. Or rather, your neighbor’s backyard. That’s what I found with The Landmark Trust USA and their breathtaking Sugarhouse property in Dummerston, Vermont. The last leg on my Green Mountain trip up north, I found myself nestled in a cabin in the woods (hello – I’m entering my Thoreau era).
The Landmark Trust USA is a nonprofit based in Southern Vermont that dedicates its mission to preserving the history of the properties through educational and short-term vacation rentals. The Landmark Trust are close friends of The Landmark Trust UK (marking it on my travel list for 2024)!
Upon arrival from the dirt roads of Dummerston, I was greeted by Jeremy, the media coordinator for the organization which also owns and is located at Scott Farm, an heirloom apple orchard. His cheery demeanor felt very Vermont as he showed me around the Dutton Farmhouse and Kipling’s Carriage House.
Entering Kipling’s Carriage House felt like a step into a yesteryear filled with fragile novels, walls that kept secrets of the elites, and overall vintage vibes. Sage green colored the exterior, blending into the forest setting. Everything in the home was true to the time period and if it had to be renovated, it was done in the fashion of the time.
The house felt quaint, whimsical and lived in – bringing history to life. This home was built for Kipling’s coachman, Matthew, to have a place to call his own and now it’s the perfect spot for families (sleeping four with one full bath) who want to get away from the hustle of city life.
Next on the agenda was the Dutton Farmhouse, on the Scott’s Farm property located at the highest point. Upon arrival, I was in awe of its never-ending landscape. I see why artists and travelers alike came to the Farmhouse, it arouses a creative spirit that can only be unlocked by beautiful sights.
Guests can view the apple orchard from the property’s windows, and the apples are ripe this time of year. Upon your first steps into the house, you are greeted by a gorgeous muraL. Painted by some of the workers who would stay at the property during harvesting season, the painting is an ode to community, connection, and of course, apples. Jeremy detailed the restoration of the house, showing me photos of what the property looked like before and after. I’m no history buff by any means, but it was intriguing to see what was and now is thanks to the Landmark Trust.
Once our tour concluded, I was able to make my way to the Sugarhouse property for my two-day holiday for some R&R. Before I took off, Jeremy gave me an apple pie made from Scott’s Farms apples and with all local Vermont ingredients. A sweet gesture (literally) that made my stay at the Sugarhouse even more enjoyable.
Located in a secluded wooded area, the Sugarhouse is a georgic one-bedroom cabin, once upon a time used to make maple syrup for the town. Sounds of birds and rustling leaves were the only sounds to be heard as I entered the cabin. Warm light flooded into the house, showcasing the rich browns of the wood it is built from.
While I went to preheat the oven on the kitchen counter, I saw there was a basket filled with Vermont jams and coffee. Another homey touch that was absolutely delicious (as I discovered the next day).
As the pie was baking I explored the cabin.
Books about Vermont, sugaring, and Kipling filled the bookcase.
A guestbook with doodles from past guests over the years who adored their stays brought an excitement to my heart. This was going to be an incredible time.
The bedroom was nestled in the back with windows that permitted natural light and views of birds flying by. The pie was soon ready and I dug in. Flavors of sweet and tart burst my mouth from the apples, and the crispy-sugary crust added a wonderful contrast. I laid on the couch while munching, devouring a paperback for the rest of the day.
The following day I took a shower at the crack of dawn, enjoying the stillness of everything around me. Once I finished, I headed outside for some more reading and sunbathing. This was pretty much my whole day as I noshed on the rest of the pie until sunset.
My last day I packed up my car and headed over to the Landmark’s prized home: Rudyard Kipling’s Naulakha. I met up with Susan McMahon, the Executive Director, and the brains of all the properties. This gorgeous house was reminiscent of a living museum. Susan led me through the history of Kipling – from family dramas, relationships with his children, and of course, the writing of his famous works and most notably, The Jungle Book.
I was even able to sit at his desk where he wrote his beloved tale!
Many pieces of the original furniture reside in the home, making Naulakha a special treat for history lovers, vintage paramours, and those looking for something other than an AirBnB. The home sleeps eight, rendering it ideal for reunions, retreats, or birthday parties with your closest gang.
My favorite spot was the garden outside that had flowers of all varieties, a pathway, and even a tennis court. Truly English sensibilities. After the journey into the past, I returned to the 21st century an hour later. I thanked Susan for her knowledge and hospitality as I headed south on the next leg of my travels.
The Landmark Trust USA’s mission preserves history for all generations. Come visit this summer for this once-in-a-lifetime chance to live out your rustic dreams in Vermont!