The history of Hill Farm Inn goes back nearly 200 years. Its picture-perfect location on the banks of Batten Kill, surrounded by rolling meadows and beautiful mountains, has been the backdrop for its evolution; from family farmstead and working dairy to quintessential modern-day inn. Even today, many of our guests have been coming for generations and almost anyone you meet in the community has a story to share.
The Earle Hill farm had its beginnings away back when George Washington was still alive and in good health, when Vermont had been a state for less than a decade. It was in the year 1799 that Abner Hill took three very important steps; he bought a farm, he built a house which is still standing, and he took a wife, Clarissa. And there have been Hills on the land and in the house ever since. – local reporter Jerry Raftery, 1967
In the early 1900s Mrs. Hill’s business in summer boarders increased. At first there was room for only a half dozen paying guests, but the food and the scenery attracted more and more. The season lengthened until the summer people started coming when the trout season opened in the spring and their stay continued through the foliage and on to deer-hunting. When skiing entered the picture, the summer boarders became a year-round phenomenon.
When Don and Anne Pollard bought the property in 2012, they committed to preserving the Hill’s tradition of stewardship and hospitality, and the landmark quality of the inn. They restored and updated buildings and grounds with the utmost care, and entrusted daily operations to hospitality pro (and classically trained chef) Mariah Macfarlane.
Chef Mamie was born in Vermont and spent a memorable part of her childhood here. “I came back to the Green Mountains because I missed the beautiful seasons…the quiet hush of snowy days, the lush greens of spring and summer, the outrageous foliage. And because I feel connected to the people here and their active participation in the place that they live.”
As friends and guests have visited again, they’ve brought with them old photos like these, plus postcards, articles, and memorabilia that piece together the story. Among our favorite scenes are the two below, captured by USDA photographers in the early ’60s. Pretty darn wholesome, right? They remind us why we love the simple pleasures of a home-cooked meal, and the bracing thrill of winter fun. Check out Mr. and Mrs. Hill carving in the kitchen!
Among the treasures we’ve found is a 1965 brochure describing “Hill’s Farm Inn” as located in ideal hiking country, with many scenic roads for pleasure driving trips. In the summer, guests may visit theatres, museums, golf courses, and the Southern Vermont Art Center. Spring and fall bring us fisherman and hunters, the inn less than one-quarter mile from the Battenkill, one of new England’s best trout streams. In the winter, the inn operates as a ski lodge. Big Bromley, Stratton, Magic Mountain, and Snow Valley ski areas are within 25 miles.
We’re really glad some things never change. Vermont remains faithfully Vermont. The inn is open for business. And we can’t wait to share it all with you!