Skinner Cottage

A Brief History of the House - Skinner Family

Richard and Mary Skinner originally built the Skinner Cottage in 1802. Richard was a probate judge in Manchester, Vermont. The courthouse where he served is within walking distance of the house opposite the Equinox Hotel and Resort. Richard Skinner was later elected to the US Congress, was the 9th governor of Vermont and subsequently served as the State's Chief Justice. The Skinner family is interred at Delwood Cemetery at the end of Main Street.

The Skinner family included a son Mark who became famous in his own right as an eminent citizen and public servant in Chicago and in whose name a public school is named to this day in recognition of his leadership setting up the Chicago public school and library system. It is Mark's daughter who funded, in Mark's honor, Manchester town's public library to the left of the house, shortly past the Equinox Hotel and Resort, on the street junction.

In the late 1800's friends and acquaintances of the Skinner family from the Chicago area, visited the area and also bought or built major Summer homes and, now historic, estates in the Manchester valley area near the Skinner home. Some of those who maintained Summer residences include President Lincoln's son and well known business people, e.g. the Field family (of Marshall & Fields department store dynasty).

Brief History of the House - Pew through Taylors

More recently (since the early 1900's), of particularly great lasting historical significance, the Pew family were decades long owners of the "Skinner Cottage". Mary Ethel Pew was one of four children of the founder of Sunoco. She and her siblings founded the nationally and internationally influential Pew Charitable Trusts, a NGO founded in 1948 and now a multi-billion dollar highly influential philanthropic foundation whose mission is to serve the public interest, improve public policy and civic life. In many ways Mary Ethel Pew was the most historically influential resident of 'Skinner Cottage'.

The house has since had few owners. Ms. Newhouse who did much to renovate this historic mansion (and others on Main Street), a caterer who enlarged the rear of the house, and a headmaster and his wife, who previously owned the Ethan Allen Inn nearby Arlington.

The current owners of Skinner Cottage, the Taylor family, have a decades long relationship with Manchester.


David Taylor
802-362-4797 | 917-689-7907

3505 Main Street · Historic Route 7A · Manchester Village

Mailing Address:
P. O. Box 1113
Manchester, VT

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