The historic South Royalton House was built in 1850 by Daniel Tarbell as a railroad-stop Inn, and was popularized by local trade and travelers coming through for business or pleasure. Among some local lore are claims that Theodore Roosevelt would stay in a corner suite at the South Royalton House. He also liked to don his well-worn bearskin coat, walk outside in the snow, and pontificate on the town green.
In the early 20th century, the building was renowned for the live music played in its fourth story ballroom on a wide planked spring floor with a candlelit medallion lantern overhead. Folks would dance or gather around the potbellied wood stove for dining. The Carriage Barn was used as a livery stable to house guests’ horses overnight.
Around the early 1980’s, the South Royalton House became a very popular high-end restaurant. Chef Chuck Gunderson of Pomfret, Vermont put the historic place back on the map. At the same time, Vermont Law School began to flourish as the pre-eminent environmental law school. They utilized the commercial kitchen for all their daily meals and appellate dinners until this past February 2016.
Today this arresting, two-dwelling property overlooks the picturesque South Royalton Green with the remarkable Ellis music bandstand. It rests within a moment’s walking distance from Vermont Law School, downtown shops and restaurants, the local bank and post office.
The main building boasts to this day a quaint and enchanting underground Pub, which was originally put together by Laurence Rockefeller, Judge Billings, and Thomas Debevoise as their private billiards club and wine cellar. Over time the Pub grew into a public tavern. Since the sale of the SRH to a private owner, the Pub has been fully restored and used as a popular, cherished venue for private and cultural events.