The New England Kurn Hattin Homes
From the History of Westminster 1791-1981
by M. Elizabeth Minard Simonds.
The New England Kurn Hattin Homes were started in 1893 by the Reverend Charles Dickinson, a native of Westminster. Dr. Dickinson was pastor of Berkeley Temple in Boston, Massachusetts, and a distinguished graduate of Harvard College. His wife, also, was a native of Westminster.
He had in the course of his ministry seen a great need for the kind of program that the homes are now furnishing. He saw no other organization attempting it. Lands and buildings were acquired from a former hotel company. He succeeded in interesting many of his parishioners in the project. He also interested some local people, particularly E. L. Walker of Bellows Falls, who served over twenty-five years as treasurer and left one-half of his property to the homes at his death. Other Vermonters very much interested in the project were the Honorable H. W. J. Van Patten, and the late Fletcher D. Proctor of Proctor. No other buildings were erected. However, later on the original building was burned and a new one was erected in its place, just about the time that a new school building was being built. From then on the homes continued to grow and expand. At the present time there are three cottages for boys, a gymnasium, a Manual Arts Building, and commodious farm buildings. The homes also gradually acquired additional land until they owned something over five hundred acres in the town of Westminster.
They also operate a girls department in Saxtons River in the town of Rockingham. The land and buildings for this project were bequeathed by Mrs. Sarah J. Warner of Saxtons River.
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