Albert J. Marro / Staff Photo The Redfield Proctor estate on Ormsbee Avenue in Proctor will be going up for auction next month. In front is the grave of Col. Proctor's horse Old Charlie, who survived the Civil War and died in Vermont. The house had not yet been built at the time of the horse's death.
PROCTOR — The grand Proctor mansion, once the home and lasting emblem to the powerful Proctor family, is going up for auction Aug. 6.
Built in 1915 by Redfield Proctor Jr., son of the founder of the Vermont Marble Co., the brick colonial revival estate on the hill was home to two generations of Proctors before the family sold it at auction in 1995.
Now, the couple who bought the home 18 years ago say they are ready to pass the stately representation of local history onto new owners.
“For two people it’s a bit much,” Peg Boots said, standing near the entrance to her home, which boasts eight bedrooms and 10 bathrooms. “We need walkie-talkies to keep in touch.”
To be sure, Peg and David Boots say they have enjoyed living in the mansion and the town immensely.
“We’ve enjoyed every moment here,” David Boots said during a tour of the dining room, sitting room, living room, powder room, kitchen, guest room and porches that make up most of the downstairs area.
“I hope the new owners enjoy the home has as much as we have,” Peg Boots added.
Over the years, the couple has left their mark on the estate.
A windowed room that the pair refer to as the breakfast room was added off the kitchen years ago, a bathroom and shower were installed on the first floor and a number of light sconces and chandeliers from the couple’s former home in Sudbury, Mass., were installed in the Proctor house. On the five-acre grounds, the Bootses also left a personal marker by burying their beloved cat in a pet cemetery filled with Proctor dogs.
But for the most part, the couple has tried to leave a light footprint on an estate that they both know represents functions as much more than a home in the community.
It wasn’t long after they arrived that they opened their home for a pair of Proctor Historical Society tours and during their nearly two-decade stay, the pair have taken pains to restore the home as closely as they could to the way it looked when it was built.
“When we first moved in, all the woodwork in the house was painted and we spent quite a bit of time removing it to reveal the original varnish,” David Boots said. “We refinished all the floors as well.”
Even when the couple added something new they did their best to make it match seamlessly with the existing aesthetic.
When the Breakfast Room was built, they said they conducted a nationwide search for the type of brick that would match the mansion’s exterior.
“Everything we’ve done has been done with the idea of trying to keep as much history as possible intact,” Peg Boots said.
Leaving their longtime home wasn’t an easy decision for either of them. But after celebrating his 82nd birthday last month, David Boots said he and his 75-year-old wife are looking forward to spending more time at their smaller home in Hawaii where the pair own a 25-acre macadamia nut plantation.
Before they go, the home will be auctioned off Aug. 6 by luxury real estate auctioneers Albert Burney Inc. of Alabama.
The mansion is being auctioned regardless of price although $40,000 will be added to the high bid to pay for the furniture in the fully furnished home.
When it was sold at auction in 1995, the Boots paid $500,000 for the mansion which, at that time, had an assessed price of $467,000.
What the estate, which the town assessed at $995,100 in 2007, might sell for now is anybody’s guess. But Mark Hogan, part of the creative team handling the auction for Albert Burney, said the auction company has already received a number of inquiries about the property from prospective buyers around the country.
“I don’t think we’re going to have a problem auctioning it off,” he said.
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