cellblock

This Vermont Home Comes With a Full Cellblock

An 1870s property listed for sale in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom used to be a jailor's residence

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A home for sale in Vermont's rural Northeast Kingdom is probably unlike any you've ever seen before—because of something unusual that comes included in the property.

"It has a lot of character," real estate agent Jennifer Allen said of the 1870s home in quiet Guildhall.

Boasting four bedrooms, views of the White Mountains, and easy access to snowmobile trails, the house also includes a former jail.

"There will not be another person that you probably would ever know in your entire life that would own a jailor's house and an attached jail," Allen observed.

Guildhall is home to the historic court for Essex County, which sits just two doors down.

The person in charge of holding suspects before their hearings used to live in the house the jail is built into.

The cells in the home haven't been used for more than 50 years, Allen noted.

"It's not something that would be a selling point for me at all," said a woman considering the property Wednesday, who asked NECN and NBC10 Boston to not use her name for privacy reasons.

However, the sellers insist the attached wing with the old cellblock made their address really memorable.

"It's fun—full of history," said Linda Rothluebber, who lived in the Guildhall property and now has it listed for sale. "People would ask questions like, 'Can I come see it?' or, 'That's the old jail?' or, 'Is it haunted?', and I'd just tell people, 'You decide for yourself.'"

Rothluebber said before she moved away, she batted around the idea of cleaning up the long-neglected jail and converting it into a short-term rental business.

A Vermont arts group is offering an online version of First Night this year so that residents can adhere to public health guidelines amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"And have bed linens that were black and white striped and complimentary orange robes," Rothluebber chuckled. "Serve food through the little slots [in the cell doors], you know?"

The property, which was offered at $149,000, is already under deposit, Allen said. Her showing Wednesday was therefore really just for a possible backup offer, she added.

The agent said she is certain whoever moves in next will be locking down one heck of a conversation starter.

"It has a lot to offer the right person," Allen said of the one-time jailor's residence.

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