A Short History of The Deming House
Sometime before the year 1780, a drover of cattle from New Milford, Conn., and a loyalist to King George of England, decided to escape the persecution of like believers due to the ongoing conflict that we now know as the Revolutionary War. Coming to a place he was familiar with in the Green Mountains of Arlington, Vermont, he picked a knoll overlooking a river called the Battenkill and either built or had built a two-story tavern. This man's name was Gamaliel Deming and the establishment became known as The Deming Tavern. People of like beliefs soon followed and the area became known as "Tory Hollow", a slang term given loyalists of the time.
Gamaliel and his wife Rebekah had two sons, Martin and Sylvester and soon changed their tory ways with Gamaliel hosting the first recorded town meeting on September 5, 1780. His two sons became Green Mountain Boys, Martin serving under Col. Ethan Allen and Sylvester being listed as a Life Guard for the first governor of Vermont, Thomas Chittenden. Gamaliel later served the town as a Grand Juror and commissioner. His Inn is mentioned many times on official invoices for various official business visits, the most common commodities being sold, "Vittels" and "gills of Rum" for the men and "bats and slays" for the horses. For example, on an invoice dated Oct. 1780, 9 meals of vittels and half point of rum were listed as costing 9 shilling, 8 pence. On the same invoice, 6 meals of vittels, 16 gills of rum and 26 horse bats cost the state a total of 1 pound, 12 shillings. So it appears that until his death in 1802 at the age of 75 and his wife's death in 1816 at the age of 84, the two ran a very successful inn. The second floor of the two story "Georgian Colonial" served as a ballroom as well as a meeting hall and has a very unique feature of 12-foot high curved ceilings. Quite an architectural achievement for its time, and still very structurally sound. Also of interest is the fact that the original tavern's foundation still supports the old structure with massive hand-sawn and round trees notched and placed where they were originally over 223 years ago! All of the Deming's are buried across the street in St. James cemetery, land deeded to the town of Arlington by Gamaliel.
The Deming Tavern was owned by the family until Feb. 27, 1864 when it was sold by Sylvester Deming II to Henry Hard. After passing the old tavern down to his children, it was sold to a number of other people who made various changes to the building including adding a "north wing" addition in 1883 and dividing the old ballroom into 3 rooms for use as a rooming house. The Deming House retains much of its original charm and character and is listed on the Department of the Interiors historical buildings.
3929 Vermont 7A
Arlington, Vermont 05250