Up in the woods of New Hampshire’s town of Chesterfield, there is a staircase in the middle of the woods that looks like it could have come out of a fairy tale. This staircase is located in what is known as Madame Sherri’s Forest. The forest abuts the Wantastiquet Mountain Natural Area, and is about a 5-10 minute drive from Brattleboro, Vermont. So why is this staircase ruin in the middle of the woods?
Madame Antoinette Sherri was a Paris-born theatrical costume designer who worked in New York City in the early 1900s. Her husband and her found the charming town of Chesterfield, New Hampshire and decided to build a French-inspired chateau summer house that included extensive stonework including a roman arch stairway, ornate interior, and designed landscape gardens. They entertained many of their friends in this summer home during the roaring 20’s. However, over time her fortune started to dwindle down, and by the 1950s the house began to fall to ruin and was vandalized. She returned to the house in 1959 to discover this, and left to never return. Then in 1963, the entire house burned down, only leaving the stone arch stairway and pillars. A couple years later Madame Sherri died in Brattleboro, Vermont.
These stone ruins are seriously a site to see. My neighbor, Julie, and her son, Hayden, and I all spent a long morning here checking out the ruins and the nearby hiking on Wantastiquet Mountain. The sites are amazing. We hiked up Wantastiquet Mountain and we could see all the fog coming off of the Connecticut River that flows below the mountain.
Madame Sherri’s Forest is a must see if you are ever in Lower Vermont or New Hampshire. We paired our visit to Madame Sherri’s forest with a hike up Mount Monadnock the day before, which is only 45 minutes away. These two areas can easily be fit into the same weekend, and why wouldn’t you want to hike the most hiked mountain in the United States while visiting really cool ruins?
This area is really a site to see, and you will definitely not regret visiting Madame Sherri’s Forest!