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The Central House and Central Spring
 

Although both are located within the village of Sheldon, The Central House and the Central Spring are two entirely separate entities.  The Central House, run by S Vandenburgh, formerly of New York, occupied the northeast corner of Main Street and Bridge Street in Sheldon Village.  The Central Spring, run by the Green & Co, occupied a site east of Central Street in Sheldon Village.  An 1871 map of the village clearly shows both along with other houses to be discussed at another time. .

 

The Spring

From “The Central Spring – A Remedial Agent” published in 1869 by the Transcript Printing Establishment of St. Albans, VT notes the following information about this mineral spring.
“During the past few years the mineral springs of Northern Vermont, and more particularly those of Franklin County, have gained a just celebrity for their curative efficacy, in a class of maladies which has heretofore resisted the best efforts of medical skill.”  The article goes on to show the Analysis of the water as well as listing a number of remedies it has produced.  ITS LOCATION states, “The Central Spring is situated on the east side of the Creek that divides the village of Sheldon, which is near the center of Franklin County, Vermont and about 9 miles from St. Albans, the nearest railroad station.  For convenience of access, and beauty of location, it is unrivalled; located on an elevation of land that commands a view of the whole village, beside the great variety of scenery that Vermont is so celebrated for.  It is within less than one-third of a mile of the four hotels at the village, and near the accommodations in private families, many of which are but a few rods distant.  …The public and the medical faculty in the vicinity are confident that its efficacy and range of remedial action will not be surpassed, if equaled, by any other spring in use.  After pages of medical and invalid testimony, directions for its use are given. “The following named hotels will be ready for the accommodation of boarders the coming season, and assure us that invalids not able to walk, (the distance is short) will be provided with conveyance daily to the Central Spring free of charge” Named are the Keith House owned by A H Keith, the Central House owned by S Vandenburg, and the Vermont House owned by F H Eldred. 

Stereoscope of the Central Spring House
   
View of Sheldon Village looking East from near the Central Spring 1877

This is the current Crowe Hill Road.  Note the building to the right is a hotel also.

From the St. Albans messenger Aug 27, 1869
“The Central Spring, about which much less has been said than about either of the others, but which is fast coming into note, is situation about a quarter mile south of the Vermont House and the Bellevue Hotel.  It has a bottling house and numerous patrons.  It is a powerful water, though not disagreeable to the taste, and physicians regard it as fully equal to the other springs as a medicinal agent.  It is owned by Green & Co”
 
The Central House

The Wright’s Hotel later known as The Central House

 

What would become known as The Central House began its existence when Mr. Wright built a boarding house on the corner of Main Street and Bridge St. in 1855.  Wright’s Hotel it served the business and industrial hub of Sheldon until the beginning of the “Mineral Spring” era.  Although not located at the source of any mineral water, Mr. Vandenburg purchased the hotel in 1868 and renamed it “The Central House” perhaps due to the popularity of a spring called The Central Spring.  His business card boasts carriage rides to local springs three times a day to encourage guests seeking mineral cures.  Mr Vandenburgh, siting bad health, advertises broadly to sell the property in 1868

   
The St. Albans Messenger August 1869

The Central House was last year headquarters, but this year owing to the erection of larger and nicer houses nearer the springs, to which guests go directly, it is used less as a depot, and owing to the forgoing fact and to the dullness of the season, it is also used less as a boarding house. Yet, situated as it is in the village, convenient to church and post office, and running an omnibus, as it does, to all the springs each day, free of charge, it has received a good share of patronage. It now has about 40 guests, and has had and probably will yes have this season more than that.  The proprietor is Mr S. Vandenburgh, who, owing to ill health, offers his house for sale

 

In 1871 this interesting piece appeared in the local paper. St Albans Weekly Messenger Friday Jan 13, 1871 P5

"Half a Loaf Better than No Bread"

"Mr. Vandenburg, proprietor of the Central House at Sheldon, announces that he has closed his bar against the sale of liquor on Sunday, and we wait to see who will follow suit. By this announcement he has the honesty to admit the inference that he sells on other days, but we are glad that he is just one seventh as good as he out to be. If there is any landlord that is better we shall be glad to know who and where he is. "

 

Advertisement St Albans Messenger August 1869
He also began advertising broadly throughout VT and New England for a buyer using the same ad in papers in Vermont, NY, and Mass and eventually sold to Mr. Sewell in 1872. Sometime between 1872 and 1897 the hotel burned as did most of the hotels in Sheldon.
 

John W Sewell purchased the house in 1872 and Mr Vandenburgh returned to New York. 

The next land transaction we find for this predominant corner lot occurred in 1897 when a new owner appear and built the house that continues to remain there to this day.