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Historic Essex

Not currently being offered

Situated on the scenic western shore of Lake Champlain, the hamlet of Essex contains a rich variety of well-preserved buildings within a thriving community center.  During the years following the Revolutionary War, the settlement prospered as an active center for shipping, industry, and commerce. It was a principal port on Lake Champlain and a destination for travelers, with ferry service first established in the late 1700s.


This prosperity led to the construction of numerous community buildings, and an impressive array of residences overlooking the lake. Because much of this growth was in the first half of the 19th century, there is a particularly exceptional collection of Greek Revival architecture found there.

On this walking tour, we’ll see many of the 150 National Register-listed historic buildings in the hamlet, including Wright’s Inn (1798), the Essex Free Library (1818), Hickory Hill (1822), Rosilyn (ca. 1830), the Old Brick Schoolhouse (1830), and Greystone (1853). We’ll also have the opportunity to see the interiors of several public and private buildings, including some surprises.

There will be special opportunities to see the interiors of several public and private buildings, including a visit to two on-going restoration projects belonging to noted preservation architect John Mesick.

This tour is led by AARCH board member and Essex resident and historian David Hislop, a few property owners, and preservation architect John Mesick. The tour begins at 10 AM and ends around 4 PM.

The tour begins at 10:00 am and ends around 4:00 pm.

The fee is $50 for AARCH members and $60 for non-members.




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