When we have realized our fundraising goals, our residents will be situated in a gorgeous remote environment in the Green Mountain National Forest at the poet Ruth Stone’s beloved farm house and orchard. The spirit of the programming we provide will reflect the philosophies and visions of the poet Ruth Stone herself, encouraging poets to have a visceral connection with the natural landscape around them, as well as to connect the individual experience with larger social themes. While remote—almost off-grid—we hope the Ruth Stone House will provide solitude for those who need a respite from the intensity of our times. While not hiding from the world, we aim to offer breathing room to think more clearly about one’s vision for their creative work, and how that can benefit our entire society. Our residencies will aim to challenge people to detach from the everyday routine and focus exclusively on their creative work in a truly unique space— the very rooms where Ruth Stone, and many others, have written.

The Ruth Stone House is a facility that hosts writers, but it is also a place where we ourselves create works to share with the world. Dedicated to book arts, we make hand-made books and book arts ephemera, offering our facilities to help others learn more about small press printing, letterpress, and manuscript development. We encourage collaboration and community, and want visitors to explore the natural landscape, work in the gardens, hike the trails around the house, and come together for meals and conversation. Our capacity will be intimate: 1-5 residents at a time.

Our events, however, will be gatherings of celebration for the current residents to share their work, and featuring local and visiting writers as well as food, drink and offerings from small businesses in Goshen, Brandon and Middlebury, VT. As always, the readings we will host will be free and open to the public, offering the local community a chance to interact and become inspired. Our facility will also function as a museum, art gallery and poetry library open to the public a few days each week, and by appointment.

Our shared vision for the Ruth Stone House is dependent upon the successful renovation of the historic house and outbuildings and the restoration of the orchards and property grounds in Goshen, VT. Reinvigorating these facilities will not just enable us to house residents and host classes and workshops (although that is what we are looking forward to)— no, restoring this property in the heart of the Green Mountains will allow us to create a meaningful community for creativity, collaboration and above all, poetry.
Our detailed budget outlines the necessary work needed to get the facilities up and running. This space will serve as a historic landmark in the community, and we want it to be safe, comfortable and welcoming to all. Our goal includes making four bedrooms available in the main house, and two studio-houses reserved for couples or small groups. Beyond repairs to the house and grounds, our financial goals will also assure the necessary programming budgets and scholarship funds to offer residencies and workshops that are free and accessible to dedicated writers regardless of socioeconomic status. We are devoted to providing well-curated, inspiring events; inviting poets to give readings, hosting panel conversations, teaching book arts workshops— all while providing guests with accommodations on-site.
The Opportunity: Our Budget, Programming and Financial Goals
By meeting our financial goals, we will be empowered to fully restore the historic Ruth Stone House property, build out a calendar of incredible programming for 2021, 2022, and beyond, and evolve our excellent, fully volunteer crew into a dedicated full-time staff to serve our poets and patrons. We are seeking Leadership contributions this fall to our Capital Campaign, and will launch a Public Campaign for winter 2020-21. Though we have specific and significant financial goals outlined here, any and all funds that we are able to secure this year and next will go to furthering our cause, supporting poetry and the arts here and now.
Here are the specific projects that your generosity can contribute to:
Writer-in-Residence Program at the Ruth Stone House: Projected 2 Year Budget $60K
In appreciation of Ruth Stone’s powerful and enduring presence in the Goshen, VT and her legendary hospitality to fellow writers, this residency will provide a unique living and working space to a writer to finish a project of literary importance, including letterpress projects. We will offer five single residencies a year, during the warmer months, with a monthly stipend. We will also host group residencies for 2-4 people twice a year with an expanded stipend resource. We plan for increased staffing on site to assist in groundskeeping, letterpress shop assistance, and coordinating the guests’ needs, as well as a meaningful stock of shop and studio materials for printing, writing, and creative collaborating.
Stipends for this program are of the utmost importance to assist in costs related to travel expenses, childcare, and loss of income during the writer’s time away in residency. Equally necessary is enabling our staff to focus on hosting and supporting the visitors’ process on-site. The Writer-in-Residency programs at the Ruth Stone House will strive to meet the needs of writers and support their creative work from all angles, while they are in our care.
10x Monthly stipends for individual artists $1,000 each
4x Group stipends for residencies of $2,200 each
2x Annual Staffing support for program $20,000
Materials investment $1200

ITERANT Poetry Magazine: a Ruth Stone House Publication: Projected Annual Budget $35K
We launched ITERANT in the throes of the pandemic in 2020, and see a bright future for our original quarterly publication. We feature a body of work by an emerging or up-and-coming visual artist in each issue, and develop strong collections of poems for each seasonal release. By featuring the poetry visually and as recorded audio files of the poets reading their work, we celebrate both the oral traditions of poetry and the beauty of the written word. Our ideal evolution of ITERANT includes offering competitive publishing fees and honorariums for poems, and likewise licensing rates for reproducing the visual art. We will continue to curate new voices in poetry alongside lauded, celebrated poets, and plan to produce an annual anthology of the work we publish online, in print. ITERANT represents a publishing program that takes real pride in not only appreciating the work we include, but also valuing that work in real material ways— and finding as many possible avenues for the collections to find readers, listeners, and enthusiasts across multiple media.
48x Poem honorariums $250 each
4x Visual art licensing fee $300 each
2x Guest Editors fees $1000 each
Editor, staff and admin (including web hosting) $18,000
Annual proofing, publication printing and distribution costs $1800

Ruth Stone “Big House” Renovation Plan: Projected Budget $100,000
The following plan is an abbreviated form of our complete renovation plan, which was created by the Ruth Stone Foundation board but relies heavily on a house assessment report authored by Thomas Keefe of Keefe & Wesner Architects, P.C. and consultations with Mike Quesnel General Construction, Inc. and Jonathon Jesup Restorations, Inc. Estimates provided by Jonathon Jesup.
This plan is split into three phases: Phase One focused on vital repairs to structure of the house; Phase Two has focused on reinstalling electric, plumbing, and heat; finishing renovations of the first-floor main block; and sealing up the house; and Phase Three projects focus on the south wing and second floor or require other tasks to be completed before they can begin.
Through thousands of volunteer hours, small scale fundraising and generous community near and far, we have completed Phase One and are making headway on Phase Two Goals!
☑ signifies a project’s completion.
Phase One: DONE!
☑ Re-leveling the Main Block: Before re-pouring the foundation, Mike Quesnel (with Ben Pease joining his team for these Phase One projects) jacked and leveled the main block of the house.
☑ Re-pouring Main Block Foundation: Quesnel poured a new foundation for ~75% of the main block, added a cellar door and replaced the sills in this area. Concrete chimney in front of house removed to complete project.
☑ Re-building First Floor Main Block Floor System: Because of extreme water damage, the floor systems in both living rooms and the main bedroom were rebuilt. Quesnel also installed a 2×6 bottom plate in these rooms in anticipation of building out exterior walls.
☑ Front Porch Rebuilt: Quesnel made porch roof level and rebuilt porch floor system. Pease and volunteers installed decking.
☑ Basement Repairs: Existing dry-laid stone foundation reinforced with cement between stones and basement water drain re-dug.


Phase Two Projected Budget: Subtotal: $24,300-$40,300
Phase Two has focused on reinstalling electric, plumbing, and heat; finishing renovations of the first-floor main block; and sealing up the house.
☑Wiring System Update: Master Electrician John LaFramboise removed knob and tube wiring and installed an up-to-code breaker box. Subpanel installed in basement for water tank and boiler.
☐ New Heating System: Wayne Burlett has returned to the house on several occasions to take measurements. Due to intense cold winters in Goshen and common power outages, Burlett advises the installation of the boiler system with antifreeze. As the chimney needs repair, wood stoves are not in use, and renovations have stopped the last two winters because of lack of heat within the building. Estimate: $16,000-$20,000
☐ Rewiring First Floor Main Block: John LaFramboise has run new wire to all rooms in the first-floor main block. Waiting on installation of drywall on curved bathroom wall before job can be completed.
☑ Plumbing System Update: Wayne Burlett reconnected house to existing septic tank and hooked up kitchen sink and a quarter bathroom on the second floor. Heat-pump hot-water tank installed.
☑ Main Block Walls Reframed: Pease and volunteers built out walls around the exterior of the first floor main block and insulated with 2×6 Roxul insulation. Ceiling space between 2nd floor joists framed and insulated to provide sound-proofing for guests.
☑ Bathroom Floor System Rebuilt: Contractor Robert Demic rebuilt bathroom floor system, which is also part of the first-floor main block.
☑Bathroom and Main Bedroom Window Replacement: As walls were being reframed, two windows were installed in place of one in the main bedroom, and the main block bathroom window was replaced.
☑ Reclaimed Finished Floor Installation: Pease and volunteers installed reclaimed wood donated by Vermont Restoration Materials in the main bedroom and smaller of the two living rooms.
☑Installing and Finishing Drywall on First Floor: Pease and volunteers installed drywall everywhere in the main block except bathroom and ceilings. All besides main bedroom needs to be taped.
☑ Wide-board Pine Floor Installation in Living Room: Original old-growth pine boards salvaged from main block to be re-installed in main living room.
☐ Clapboard Installation/Exterior Repairs: Clapboards removed during window and foundation installation need to be replaced. About 50% of these clapboards have been replaced. A few cracked or broken single panes of glass need to be replaced as well.
Estimate: $2,500-$5,500
☐ Site Regrading, Drainage, and Landscaping: A French drain was installed during re-pouring of foundation in the front of the house. The front yard needs to be regraded, so water flows away from the house. A retaining wall may be necessary as well.
Estimate: $10,000
☐ Chimney Repairs: Keefe advised flashing, re-pointing and installing caps for the remaining chimney.
Estimate: $2,800-$4,800
☐ Basement Water Issues: We’ve known a barrier was necessary under the approximately 2/3 of the house where there is crawl space instead of basement. Jesup advised 60 mil HDPE to limit subterranean water movement and to build an additional dry-laid stone wall between part of crawl space that transitions seamlessly to basement area (onto which the vapor barrier will be attached). Estimate: $5,000
☐ Repaint House Exterior: Contingent about completion of Clapboard installation/exterior repairs. Estimate: $10,000-$15,000
Phase Three
The projects in this phase focus on the south wing and second floor or require other tasks to be completed before they can begin.
☐ Inspect/Repair South Wing Floors: The South wing of the house sits on a crawl space, and Jesup advised taking up the floors here to both inspect beams and joists underneath and install a moisture barrier. Only subfloor installed in parts of this area, but new floors were planned in any case.
Estimate $6,000-$9,000
☐ ADA compliant Entranceways: A conservation effort is already underway for preserving the original interior doors in the house. They were removed and cleaned during Phase One, and some will be re-installed. As these antique doors generally run about thirty inches wide, some will be removed permanently and, in many cases, replaced with open entranceways. The south wing will have accessible doors, including the entry from the porch.
Estimate: $10,000-$15,000
☐ South Wing Conversion: Rooms noted on the blueprint as spare room and office will be converted into a second bathroom on the first floor that is ADA compliant as well as another bedroom. Estimate: $25,000
☐ Wheelchair Ramp: A wheelchair ramp will be built off the front porch but is contingent upon the regrading of the front lawn. Waiting on front yard to be regraded before beginning this project. Estimate: $4,000-$8,000
☐ Second Floor Upgrades: Plaster and lath ceilings beginning to crumble and need to be replaced. Floorboards in good condition, but River Road plank subfloor should be replaced with modern materials for less springiness.
Estimate: $25,000
☐ Window Conservation/Upgrades: The board has yet to decide if existing window sashes should have lead paint removed and reinstalled or replaced with modern, double-pane windows. Jessup advised conservation of existing. Only windows on the first floor of the main block have storm windows, and the rest of the windows need these (if old windows to be kept).
Estimate: $12,500
Total: $82,500-$94,500

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