On weekends year-round, the Franklin family repairs to their


On weekends year-round, the Franklin family repairs to their
On weekends year-round, the Franklin family
repairs to their Vermont hideaway, where they
Holiday on ice
make the most of every season.
Even in the middle of January, Janet
and Churchill Franklin, their three
grown children, and assorted family and friends can be found out and
about—skating on the pond they
excavated on the site of the original
farm pond and cross-country skiing
on trails across their property. “It’s
always such a fun, beautiful place to
be,” says Janet, “whether it’s just
the two of us or a whole crowd.”
Photography by miki duisterhof
Produced by karin lidbeck-brent
Written by Amanda lecky
january 2008 | country living 85
There are certain places that hold a special magic for each of us. Janet and Churchill
Franklin found theirs in the Green Mountains of Vermont, at Middlebury College,
where they first fell in love. In the decades since graduation, the Franklins have
spent nearly every weekend in the area: skiing the nearby slopes, visiting their three
children at school, and, most recently, congratulating their son as he married his
own Middlebury sweetheart. So when it came time to buy a vacation home, they
knew where to look and quickly found a piece of land with panoramic views of the
mountains they’d long considered their home away from home. Inspired by the
local farm vernacular, the couple bought a 200-year-old barn and had it moved to
form their new family gathering center. One long renovation later, the Franklins
now spend the winters skating and skiing, and the summers swimming and hiking,
in a setting that, says Janet, “Our family will enjoy for a long, long time.”
opposite: A
and building
this house took
almost five years,”
says Janet, “but
every second was
worth it. We’re
so incredibly
lucky to be able
to look out at
these mountains
each morning.”
roaring fire in a hearth crafted from local fieldstones makes the living room a
natural gathering place, whether it’s just Janet and Churchill (above right) or a party of 25.
“Our friends always fall in love with the house,” says Janet with her two best friends, Bethany MacDonald and Pat Carlucci (above left), who were visiting for an annual girls’ weekend.
january 2008 | country living 87
this page: The Franklins designed the dining room with parties in mind. The walls are clad with reclaimed barn boards, the floors are maple
milled from trees cleared from the property, and Janet found their pass-through “Dairy Queen” window at a local salvage yard. An original
hayloft ladder leads nowhere but adds architectural interest. opposite: Janet shopped on eBay for china that would fill out her collection of
Middlebury College–patterned Wedgwood: Burgess & Leigh Flow Blue in the Vermont pattern, and all manner of turkey-themed pieces.
88 country living | january 2008
“We skate on the pond all winter and swim there all
summer. One day it will be our ‘grandchildren magnet.’”
this page: Architect Tom Warner designed the house to look as if it had “grown” over the years. The relocated
barn, clad with new red siding, is in the center; the white section houses the kitchen and the master bedroom wing; and a small mudroom leads to the new garage. below, left to right: The Franklins and their
friends always skate up an appetite. They refuel with peppermint-topped cupcakes and hot chocolate stirred
with candy canes. Janet uses antique and vintage containers—lined with a cheery tea towel—to transport
the treats to the pond. What place holds special magic for you? Tell us about it at countryliving.com/magic.

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