The Skunk Hollow Tavern

Site: V10-73
Municipality: Hartland, VT
Location: Brownsville Road, Hartland 4 Corners
Site Type: Tavern

The Skunk Hollow Tavern (L. M. Billings, 1869 and now owned by Louis and Rae Schmertz) is perhaps the oldest structure extant in the village.

The pattern of its evolution reflects the earliest type of settler construction: to dig into a hillside having the front facing the best available weather, the other three sides being bermed against the worst. The next step, when time and fortune allowed, was to build upon the homestead excavation, creating an "English" basement (one built into a hill) in the process. The bricks used in the Tavern's building are the crudest sort in the area, an indication of its early date.

The Skunk Hollow Tavern underwent several transformations which reflected the expanding economy. Since outlying farms were a major influence on the commercial significance of Four Corners, several stores sprang up to accommodate the growing agricultural community. Later manufacturing added strength to the local economy. Most of the buildings in town housed commerce at some point. The Skunk Hollow Tavern, for example, has been reported to have been at various times in its history, a milliner's, a cobbler's, a butcher shop, a dairy drop-offpoint, a tea-room, and rumor has it, a car wash. The magnificent three-storey barn burned in the early 1980s. At the time it was being used as a bakery. The Tavern is probably eligible for the State Registry.
(Source 131:167)