Fort Ethan Allen Museum

Riding  Hall


The Riding or Drill Hall was built in 1895 to provide indoor space to practice and exercise the cavalry. This was necessary especially with Vermont’s harsh winters, although there were still outdoor maneuvers even in the winter.  The original cost of this massive structure- 32,100 square feet, was only $20,187.  It was heated by stoves and originally had no bathrooms. It was not lighted until 10 years later when electricity came to the Post.


Later the Riding Hall was converted to a gymnasium, where the soldiers played basketball, bowled and exercised. The soldiers also watched movies in the hall before the Herrouet Theater was added to the Post’s roster of buildings in 1933.


The Riding Hall was one of the buildings given to St. Michaels College when the General Services Administration decommissioned the post in the 1960’s. Today it serves as the home of the Vermont Youth Orchestra and as space for St. Michael’s music department. It has been renamed the Elley Long Music Center.

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