Shard Villa is not an institution. It is a home that gives our residents the opportunity to live on the grounds of an estate that has a wonderful story and heritage. Shard Villa was developed as a country home beginning in 1872 by Columbus Smith, a local lawyer, educated at Middlebury College. He was renowned at the time for his experience in international inheritance and estate law. Built of native limestone, the grand mansion itself was named after Columbus’s first most significant and famous case pursuing and recovering the estate of Frances Mary Shard. Major construction of the house, the centerpiece of what eventually grew to be a 3000 acre estate, was finished by 1874, but work continued well into the 1880s, when Smith brought Italian artist Silvio Pezzoli to live at the mansion while he painted the grand murals that adorn many of its ceilings and walls.In 1922, the property was adapted for use as an elder care residence, in keeping with the wishes of the Smiths through their wills. The Villa has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1988.
Harriet Jones Smith, wife of Columbus Smith, mother of William and Mary
William Smith, son of Columbus and Harriet
Mary Elizabeth Smith, daughter of Columbus and Harriet
Silvio Pezzoli the muralist that lived in the mansion for a time painting frescoes