Mansion’s Vermont History

Redfield , ProctorThe house has a rich history.  The home was built in 1867 by Redfield Proctor. Redfield Proctor was raised near Cavendish, VT, in Proctorsville, which was named for his grandfather. Redfield’s widowed mother, Betsy Parker Proctor, raised him alone from the time he was 8 years old after his father died suddenly. He later married Emily Jane Dutton from Cavendish and they had five children together: Arabella, Fletcher, Fanny, Redfield, Jr., and Emily. Redfield had been practicing law in Boston but returned to Vermont to become part of her Union forces, the house was built by him after the Civil War and owned by him until he died in 1908.   Proctor established the Vermont Marble Company and developed the town which would later be named for him (Proctor, VT) which housed not only the marble factory but many of the workers, often recent immigrants, who served as laborers.  

He became Governor of Vermont in 1878 and his two sons Fletcher and Redfield both became governors of Vermont in the next couple generations.  He himself was Secretary of War from 1889-1891, and died in office as US Senator from Vermont in 1908.   An article on says “Colonel Redfield Proctor is credited with transforming the marble business into one of the country’s greatest industries, bringing prosperity to Rutland and power to Proctor. In 1886 Proctor succeeded in convincing the state legislature that two new townships should be created from the original town.

vt-marbleThe new townships of Proctor and West Rutland, largely owned or controlled by the Proctor family, contained some of the richest marble deposits in the world; thus did Rutland lose its title as Marble City”. His wife substantially funded the marble bridge in Proctor with a dedication to their son Fletcher who predeceased her.

The house was next purchased by Henry Clement who was a nephew of Proctor’s longtime political rival.  The Clement family owned the Rutland Herald (longest continuously operating family-owned newspaper in the country) and Clement’s son, John, returned, after some extended travels subsequent to his service in WWI, with stories, paintings and writings.  He wrote for the Rutland Herald in his later years and was known to have had many large late night gatherings at the house which stayed in his family for over 60 years. 

Rutland_Halloween_Parade_(Earth-616)In the early 1970s, the house was occupied by Tom Fagan who organized and promoted the Rutland Halloween Parade.  Fagan typically held a colorful post-parade Halloween party for his friends, including acquaintances who freelanced as comic book writers.  Because in the early days of comic book writing authors were allowed to freelance and write for multiple companies, there are episodes in several different series which revolve around the Halloween parade and  events on All Hallows Eve at “Fagan’s Mansion”.  From 1975 on, the house was owned by a succession of prominent local families: the St. Peters, who sold off significant acreage which became Country Grove condominiums, the Foleys who sought in vain to have the Dining Room murals restored and who renovated the north end of the home, and the Duncans who did much of the existing decorating.  It was approved as a Bed and Breakfast by the City Development Board in June  2010.  More detail is available on individual websites about the various phases of the home’s history.