By Heather Frost for the Vernon Historians
Built in 1889, the elaborate and impressive 15 room Staten family house stood for over 50 years in almost the exact spot of Vernon’s Town Office and Library today. A large connecting barn housed the fine driving horses belonging to the family and perhaps in later years garaged the Staten’s Knox, said to be the first auto in Vernon. A tall windmill, used for pumping water, stood on the east side of the barn.
This luxurious house was the center for many social events connected with the family’s associations in several organizations. Noted for her food and lavish hospitality, Mrs. Staten’s home was popular with the engineers who boarded there during the construction (1907-1909) of the Vernon Dam and power house. Within walking distance was the North Train Depot, one of three train stops in Vernon, which brought visitors to our town. Railroad service came to Vernon in 1849 and around 1957 local passenger service was discontinued. The house burned in June 1954, fourteen months after the death of its owner, Zelia Johnson Staten. In 1970, the present-day Vernon Town Office and Library were built on the property.
Vernon Bicentennial Parade, June 26, 1976. The parade started from the Vernon Elementary School on Governor Hunt Road and went to the Vernon Recreation Area on Pond Road. Quote from parade attender: “I remember that parade, it was hotter than blue hazes and very well attended.” America is celebrating its 244th birthday in 2020.