The Kelsey House
Adams Landing Bed & Breakfast
shares its grounds and waterfront.
Guests of Adams Landing Bed & Breakfast
often return for a week or more
stay at The Kelsey House.


First Settlers - Grand Isle was settled in the years following the American Revolutionary War. Vermont became the 14th state in 1791 after fourteen years as an independent republic. War veterans made up most of the island settlers, but in the northwest corner of the big island they were mostly Quakers. The old Quaker meeting house sat at the corner of Adams School Road and Quaker Road. Several original Quaker families still live in the area.

Adams Landing - Adams Landing began as Tobias Landing. Captain Tobias, a Quaker settler, established a boat yard on the site that became the landing. In 1828 the landing was established soon after the the opening of the Erie and Champlain Canals and the arrival of the first steamboats on the lake.

The Tobias family designed and built shallow draft canal boats with collapsible masts that could pass under the bridges over the Champlain Canal. They shipped agricultural cargo, apples, maple syrup, corn down the canal to the Hudson River and then to the Port of New York for sale. The landing became the center of bustling trade. In the 1830's or 40's the Tobias family gave way to the Griswold family and the landing took their name.

Griswold Family - Our house was built in 1842 when Edwin Adams married one of the Griswold girls. The Griswolds built the Kelsey House for the newlyweds. The main house started as an extension of the Kelsey House.

Edwin Adams ran the landing that now bore his name for most of the nineteenth century.He also ran the store and post office (the green house on the landing). Steamships were the mainstay of shipping on the lake and of great importance to the islands where water was the only way to travel.

In 1896 the railroad came to the islands and the steamships began a long decline. Mr. Adams may have felt like the owner of a business on a state highway when the interstate goes through a few miles away. About that time Mr. Adams sold the House to John Rutherford, a wealthy New Yorker who bought it as a vacation retreat.

More to come soon.