Wiswell House in Cabot, Vermont

The Wiswell House was built between 1868 and 1870 by Sherburne Leonard Wiswell and his wife, Seraphine Crosby Wiswell in Cabot, Vermont. Originally constructed as a two-story home with a steep, high roof and steep gables, it was rebuilt in the 1880s with the addition of a mansard roof and a circular tower in front, following a popular trend in the U.S. and Europe. The remodeling included elements of the Second Empire, Italianate and Queen Anne styles. The house has eighteen rooms on three floors, plus an attached woodshed and two-story carriage barn. An enlarged front porch was created later.

The Wiswells and their descendants have lived in this home since its construction. It is now owned by the two great-great-granddaughters of Sherburne and Seraphine. Considerable portions of the house are still in original condition, owing to the preservation efforts of the family. The Victorian parlor, the bedroom upstairs over the parlor known as the North Chamber, and a small upstairs room behind the North Chamber, known as the museum, have original wallpaper on walls and ceiling, and original carpet from the 1880s.

In the 1880s reconstruction of the house, Second Empire elements included the mansard roof with its “eyebrow” pediments over the gabled windows. Italianate features are visible in the wide cornices supported by curved corbels below a hipped roof with sets of dentils in various sizes, in the pedimented windows, and in the central balcony with wrought iron railing. Queen Anne style is strongly represented in the asymmetrical facade, quoins at the corners of the rectangular building, an oriel window on the second floor, and a two-story half-round tower on the right front with patterned shingles in “fish scale” style. Queen Anne decoration also appears elsewhere on the structure. A unique feature of the house is the retention of part of the original two-story house on the right side of the front, where the original roof is intact. The home is a fine example of the eclectic style popular in the 1880s.

It is a rare event for one family to own and occupy the same home for 155 years. No persons who were not family members have ever lived there.


Original roof structure


Mansard roof and Victorian siding

The Parlor


Unchanged since the late 1800's when it was first decorated.

The North Chamber

The Museum

The Third Floor

4th of July


Every year the town of Cabot organizes a July 4th parade which runs down Main Street

The Barn


The barn is attached to the main building via the Shed. It was built for horses which were used to pull the family carriage. Hay was stored on the second floor.

The Shed


The shed connects the main house and the barn. It includes a three seater privy.



The Wiswell House is bordered by two traditional New England homes.

Elm Street Cemetery


Memorial to Seraphine and Sherburne Wiswell

Town of Cabot


circa 1845.

1836 was Cabot's economic high point, when over 5,000 sheep were recorded in town. Soon thereafter, the wool-growing industry collapsed all over Vermont, accounting for a second great wave of out-migration.

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