Brattleboro Fire Dept | Wesselhoeft Water-Cure

Tour Stop Location: Central Fire Station - Elliot Street

103 Elliot Street, Brattleboro, Vermont 05301, United States


Dr. Robert Wesselhoeft turned a fraying edge of Brattleboro into a celebrated mecca for writers, statesmen and the intelligentsia of the era seeking ‘the healing waters of Brattleoro,’ the most famous ‘spa’ of its time. He founded the Brattleboro Hydrotherapy Establishment in 1845, commonly known as the Wesselhoeft Water-Cure. Among its many famous visitors were Harriet Beecher Stowe and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, whose experiences in Brattleboro even served to inspire their writings.

The Wesselhoeft building was torn down in 1927 and the current Brattleboro Fire Department was built in 1949. A spring still bubbles in the basement. The firemen say sometimes, in the middle of the night, the faucets turn on by themselves, making us wonder if Dr. Wesselhoeft ever really left.

Play Audio & View Transcripts

  • Wesselhoeft Water-Cure (1) - The Cure

  • Wesselhoeft Water-Cure (2) - Dr. Wesselhoeft Speaks

  • Wesselhoeft Water-Cure (3) - Abby Estey Remembers

Research & Production

Audio Producer: Lissa Weinmann
Audio Editor: Sally Seymour

SEGMENT 1 Script/Narration/Recordings: Lissa Weinmann
Voice of Dr. Wesselhoeft: Ned Childs

SEGMENT 2 Voice of Dr. Wesselhoeft: Ned Childs
Excerpts taken from Wesselhoeft comments in various editions of 'Green Mountain Spring' newspaper

SEGMENT 3 Narrated by: Lissa Weinmann
Voice of Abby Estey: Elery Loggia
Source: Abby Estey Fuller Daughters of the American Revolution

Ongoing Development and Involvement:
As a community-created project, we encourage ongoing dialogue, questions, and engagement. If you would like to be involved in future developments, have information or a perspective that could deepen others' understanding of this topic, please contact us.


  • <p>Abby Estey in 1854 at age 12.</p>