PROCTOR - On July 24 the Preservation Trust of Vermont signed an
option agreement that may keep the Vermont Marble Museum open to
The Preservation Trust of Vermont has signed an option
agreement that gives them until the end of the year to raise
$880,000 to acquire the 90,000-square-foot building, museum,
archives and gift shop.
In addition to fundraising, the Trust will
seek to find a permanent nonprofit organization to assume ownership
and operations of the museum.
Owners Martin and Marsha Hemm
publicly announced last April that the museum, which they had owned
for 18 years, would close in the fall. The Hemms sited the spike in
their electric bills after the local utility was purchased by
Central Vermont Public Service Corp. last year, as the financial
'tipping point' from which they felt they could not recover.
The Trust has made a $5,000 deposit on the museum. They now have
only five months remaining in the year, to raise the $880,000
needed for purchase. The Trust's goal is to fundraise more than $1
million, which includes $200,000 to cover expenses after they take
"The Vermont Marble Company, during its heyday
between 1880 and the 1930's, grew to be not only the largest marble
manufacturer in the world, but one of the world's largest
companies," states the Preservation Trust of Vermont website. "It
employed over 5,000 people, had offices in most major U.S. cities
and owned the rights to all the marble in Vermont, Tennessee,
Colorado and Alaska." The company is located in what was once
the main manufacturing plant of the Vermont Marble Company in
According to the Trust, Vermont marble has been used
in numerous government and private buildings, including the Thomas
Jefferson Memorial, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the U.S.S.
Arizona Memorial, the U.S. Supreme Court Building and the White
House interior. Overseas, the marble can be found in far flung
places from Saudi Arabia to Taiwan, where the marble was used to
build the National Chiang Kai-Chek Memorial Hall in Taipei.
information about the museum fundraising effort visit