The Farmhouse, so lovingly restored and maintained, dates back to at least 1842—when sheep and cattle outnumbered people in Vermont. The farm later became the summer estate of Bertha Eastman Berry, an editor of the renowned Social Register.
The Transition to an Elegant Country Inn
Over the years, various owners added a number of structures including an additional residence, a wine house, a carriage house and the original inn. The property first assumed its familiar role as the quintessential Vermont country inn in 1962.
James McGovern bought the property in 1971, and operated it as a traditional hunting lodge. He was noted for his wonderful wine cellar, and received the Grand Award from the Wine Spectator in 1984 for having “one of the greatest wine collections in the world,” with a stock of over 40,000 bottles.
He also assembled what is perhaps the world’s most complete collection of the work of celebrated French artist Michel Delacroix. The collection still graces the walls of The Hermitage. He also collected other works, primarily sporting art, and selling some of it to enthusiastic visitors became a pleasant and successful side business. Mr. McGovern and his wife Lois collected friends as well as art, and the Inn was filled with regular customers for more than 30 years. Many considered it a second home.