Dorset Vermont Historical Society Bley House Museum
Ongoing Exhibits


The beautiful Norcross West marble quarry, now a famed swimming hole, is just one of more than thirty large once -active quarries around Dorset. From 1785, until just after World War I, the marble business extracted a total of 15,805,000 cubic feet of stone from some two dozen quarries. The marble was used for tombstones, sidewalks, and, most notably, large public buildings, including the New York Public Library, Boston's Temple Israel, and the Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C.

This permanent, yet always changing, exhibit explores the geology of marble, where the Dorset quarries were located (and why), how the marble was cut and extracted, what tools made the work possible, who did the work, who had the work done, and how they transported the marble to market.

Supplementing the exhibit is an outdoor scale representation of the incline railroad which serviced the Freedley Quarry from around 1868 until 1905.

Dorset marble quarry workers in 1905
Quarriers in 1905, standing on a 43-ton block of white marble from the Plateau Quarry in S. Dorset. The block became one of thirteen columns of the D.A. R. Continental Hall building in
Washington, D.C.


Fenton Stoneware

Jonathan Fenton first established his pottery in Dorset Hollow in 1801. After ten years in the Hollow, Fenton moved his kiln to East Dorset to access more desirable clays for his stoneware. Sons Richard and Christopher continued the operation until 1832, when they moved to Bennington to join forces with the Norton family.

This exhibit features pottery made by Jonathan Fenton while he was in Boston, Dorset and East Dorset, as well as the work of his sons in East Dorset and Bennington. The exhibit also features examples of Christopher Fenton's patent pottery.

Fenton pottery
Fenton stoneware.
The cobalt blue floral design was a
Richard L. Fenton 'signature'
The Art and Crafts of Jessica Hill Bond (1908-2001)
Jessica and Eugene Bond moved to Dorset in 1955. She had long been interested in researching and duplicating stencils on toleware and other household items, but when she moved in Vermont, her focus enlarged to include the many stencil patterns found on the walls in many old buildings.

Soon, much of her time was spent photographing and tracing these walls, making documentary records of the designs in color on sheets of poster board and categorizing according to the state and town in which they were found.

The Dorset Historical Society is proud to present a rotating exhibit showcasing Jessica's important research into the stencil patterns used around the region two centuries ago.

Jessica Hill Bond Stencil

Dorset Historical Society
Member of Vermont Historical Society and
The New England Museum Association

PO Box 52 · Route 30 at Kent Hill Road
Dorset, VT 05251 USA · 802-867-0331

— Open Hours —
Wednesday, Thursday & Friday, 10-4 p.m.
Saturday, 10-2 p.m.

Other days and times by appointment

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