The Park-McCullough House is one of the finest, most significant, and best preserved Victorian Mansions in New England. It is an important example of a country house in the Second Empire Style and incorporates architectural features of the Romantic Revival style that were popular at the time. To a great extent, the House retains the integrity and impact of its original design. Built in 1864-65 by attorney and entrepreneur Trenor Park, the House was designed by Henry Dudley, a prolific New York architect of the popular firm of Diaper and Dudley.
Trenor W. Park was born in Woodford, Vermont, just east of Bennington. He was ambitious and earned a law degree at the age of 21. His abilities caught the eye of Hiland Hall, son of one of the original settlers of Bennington and a leading political light. In 1846, Park married Hall's daughter, Laura.
Trenor moved to California where he amassed a fortune by activity in many fields including real estate, law and overseeing the mining interests of John C. Fremont. Laura, his wife, preferred the East and eventually she persuaded him to return to Vermont, where they began to build on 200 acres of land that was the Hall farm. The family moved in on Christmas Day, 1865, and in the pursuant years, the family's land was slowly expanded to include neighboring properties, finally covering almost 700 acres. The farm employed scores of citizens over it's 200 year history.
The Park's eldest daughter Eliza Hall "Lizzie" Park married John G. McCullough, another lawyer and one of her father's business associates in California. After Trenor's death in 1882 she bought out her siblings' interest in the House.
Lizzie and John McCullough made extensive renovations to the house in 1889-90, largely in order to entertain President Benjamin Harrison when he dedicated the Bennington Monument (a project made possible through the work of Hiland Hall) and who was a guest in the House during his visit.
Lizzie's son, Hall Park McCullough, inherited the House upon her death, and it was lived in by direct descendants of the family until 1965. After two hundred years of consistent family habitation, the house was given to the Park-McCullough House Association, who has managed it to the present day. The 700-acre farm was divided up, with the majority given to the Fund for North Bennington, which conserves the land for agricultural use and public enjoyment.
The structures and grounds we conserve and present for our visitors are valuable gateways to the history of the region and the country as a whole. Please visit us for a richer look into New England life, from the 1770s to now.