This State House is Vermont's third, and was built in 1859 after the second was destroyed by fire in 1857. It was reconstructed with a similar plan, but on a larger scale and with a distinctly different ornamental scheme reflecting the Renaissance Revival style popular at the time. The State House was rebuilt aver the course of two and a half years and cost $150,000. It remains one of the nation's oldest and best preserved state capitols still in use.

The building is surmounted by a gold dome and Ceres, the Roman goddess of Agriculture. Vermont has one of 13 state capitols with a gold-leaf covered dome. The dome is 57 feet high and is made of wood sheathed in copper and covered with 23.75 carat gold leaf, as pure as can be obtained. The original statue of Ceres was carved by Brattleboro sculptor Larkin Mead. But in 1938 the wooden statue was found to have rotted and was in danger of toppling off the dome. Eighty-six-year-old Sergeant-at-Arms Dwight Dwinell volunteered to carve a new statue with the help of his janitorial staff. It's 14 feet tall and mounted on a six foot pedestal.