DUMMERSTON -- In the shadow of Rudyard Kipling's Vermont home, another historic property soon will open to the public.
The Landmark Trust USA is preparing the Carriage House, which dates to the 1890s, for its first renters at month's end.
The Carriage House sits just a stone's throw from Naulakha, the landmark Dummerston home where Kipling penned works including "The Jungle Book" and "Captains Courageous."
"Here we are with this amazing property, which is now empty and in perfect condition," said Kelly Carlin, regional property manager at The Landmark Trust. "It's got historical significance. It's a perfect compliment to Naulakha."
Twenty-one years ago, The Landmark Trust USA purchased Naulakha, which Kipling constructed in 1893. The trust also owns the nearby Scott Farm, a 571-acre parcel where farming dates to the late 1700s.
Rather than converting its properties into museums, the trust offers several homes -- including the four-bedroom, three-bath Naulakha -- for short-term rent to vacationers.
Also available for rent are the Amos Brown House -- which was built in 1802 and is Whitingham's oldest home -- and the Dutton Farmhouse and Sugarhouse at Scott Farm.
The Carriage House will be the trust's fifth rental property. Built around the same time as Naulakha, the structure is billed as a "smaller example of the tones, designs and appointments" of Kipling's home.
The first floor had housed Kipling's carriage and a greenhouse. Servants' quarters were upstairs.
Now, the entire structure is a residence. Formerly occupied by a Landmark Trust USA administrator, the home is being carefully outfitted as a rental property designed to take visitors back to Kipling's time.
"We've tried to bring furniture here that (dates to) the late 1800s, early 1900s," Carlin said.
She added that the trust consulted with a historic-paint professional in choosing colors for the home's interior.
The Carriage House has two bedrooms and one bath, and it "will be really comfortable for four people," said Tristam Johnson, Landmark Trust USA executive director.
The living room occupies the space that had housed Kipling's carriage. And the kitchen is the former greenhouse.
"I think there's just a fascinating feel about this building," Johnson said. "I just find it a very comfortable place to spend time."
Johnson said the Carriage House opening represents an important expansion as Landmark Trust USA administrators are "perfecting and systematizing how we manage properties and how we manage the organization."
At the same time, though, the trust's emphasis remains on the preservation of historic homes as "living history."
"The whole point is to offer a place where people can come stay, and they can really get a sense of what it was like then," Johnson said.
More information about the trust and its properties is available at www.landmarktrustusa.org.
Mike Faher can be reached at email@example.com or 802-254-2311, ext. 275.