History of Park-McCullough
The Park-McCullough House is one of the finest, most significant, and best preserved Victorian Mansions in New England. Built in 1864-65 by attorney and entrepreneur Trenor Park (1823-1882), the House was designed by Henry Dudley, a prolific New York architect of the popular firm of Diaper and Dudley. 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.
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 (1795-1885), son of one of the original settlers of Bennington and a leading political light. In 1846, Park married Hall's daughter, Laura (1828-1875)
Trenor Park 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 had been part of Hiland Hall's holdings. The House cost $75,000 and the family moved in on Christmas Day, 1865.
The Park's eldest daughter, Eliza Hall "Lizzie" Park (1848-1938), 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 who had come to town to dedicate the new Bennington Monument 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. The property also includes a playhouse, a miniature of the Mansion itself; a Carriage Barn with a collection of horse-drawn carriages and sleighs; and extensive lawns and gardens.