XX indexVermont  





      THE old town of Burlington, almost from the beginning the shire town of the county, and lying near the center of its west line, was originally bounded as follows:
"Beginning at the southerly or southwest side of French or Onion River, so called, at the mouth of said river, thence running up by said river until it comes to a place that is ten miles upon a straight line from the mouth of the river aforesaid, then runs upon a line perpendicular to the aforesaid ten miles line southerly so far as that a line to Lake Champlain, parallel to the ten miles line aforesaid, will, within the lines and the shore of the said lake, contain six square miles."
      By legislative enactment this area was diminished, on the 27th of October, 1794, by annexation to Williston of all the land lying east of Muddy Brook; the next change occurring on the 22d of November, 1864, when the city was chartered.

      In addition to the many material advantages of the place in situation, the variety of soil and surface, the water privileges, and the shipping facilities which were afforded by Lake Champlain long before the era of railroads, the city of Burlington, like its parent township, is most happy in the indescribable beauty of scenery presented by lake, island and mountain, river, valley and forest. Almost every description of the beautiful in nature has here been embellished" by the tasteful hand of man. Irregularities of surface have been diminished; marshes drained, and tangled woods of evergreen and deciduous trees replaced by blossoming parterres and colonnades of graceful elms. But the grandest beauty of the Champlain valley will never be enhanced nor marred by human effort. Centuries will not suffice to still the ceaseless motion of the lake, or move the bases of the commanding temples that surround it. These, by their distance, are clothed with all the grandeur of sublimity without its terror. "Age cannot wither or custom stale their infinite variety." Today they stand boldly out from the horizon, range succeeding range in grim procession, until the most distant have melted from the reach of human vision ; tomorrow they will loom up before the eye vague as the Satan of Paradise Lost, with the perspective only of shadows, their massive shoulders magnified by the involuntary excursions of the imagination. The emotions of the beholder are increased, moreover, by the historic associations that cluster about every portion of the landscape, from the battles between the aboriginal savages, recorded alone by the weapons now occasionally discovered in our fields, to the struggles of the Revolution, of the last war with Great Britain, and the peaceful and profitable rivalries of the trade and commerce of recent years.


      The name of Burlington was probably derived from the BURLING family of Westchester county, New York, who were extensive landholders in the several towns that were chartered at the same time with Burlington, although they were not original grantees of Burlington. The town of Colchester was granted to Edward BURLING and others, among whom were ten of that name. It seems not impossible, therefore, that the name of Burlington was intended for Colchester, and was by a clerical error given to the town that afterwards transmitted it to the Queen City of Vermont. Russell S. Taft, in his admirable sketch in the Vermont Historical Magazine, further suggests that, "no doubt the name of Williston was intended for Burlington, as it was chartered on the same day with Burlington, which was granted to Samuel Willis and others, there being four of that name among the grantees."

      The grantees were: Samuel WILLIS, Tunis WORTMAN, Thomas DICKSON, John WILLIS ye 3", Stephen WILLIS, Daniel BOWNE, Thomas CHESHIRE, Jr., John BIRDSALL, Benjamin TOWNSEND, Thomas YOUNGS, Samuel JACKSON, Gilbert WEEKS, Zeb SEAMAN, Jur, John WHITSON, William KIRBEE, Joseph UDELL, John WRIGHT, Jur, Abraham VAN WICK, Minne SUYDAM, Jacobus SUYDAM, Edmund WEEKS, Nicholas TOWNSEND, Samuel Van Wick, John WILLIS, Jr., Thomas ALSOP, Thomas PEARSALL, Jr., William FROST, Senr, Thomas FROST, William FROST, Jr., Penn FROST, Zebulen FROST, William COCK, Thomas VAN WICK, Harmon LEFFORD, Thomas JACKSON, Thomas UDELL, John Wright MARCH, Daniel VOORHEES, Joseph DENTON, George PEARSALL, John WORTMAN, Jur, Benjamin BIRDSALL, John BIRDSALL, Jr., Jacob KIRBEE, Benj. FISH, Lawrence FISH, John WHITSON the 3d, Nathan FISH, Richard SEAMAN, Morris SEAMAN, Jon PRATT, Nathan SEAMAN, Jr., Rich JACKSON, Jr., Solomon SEAMAN, Israel SEAMAN, Jacob SEAMAN, Senr, Jacob SEAMAN, Richard ELLISON, Jur, Richard ELLISON, Third, Samuel AVERHILL, The Hon. Jno TEMPLE, Theodore ATKINSON, M. Hunting WENTWORTH, Henry SHERBURN, Eleazer RUSSELL, Esq., and Andrew CLARKSON, sixty-six rights.

      The charter was granted on the 7th of June, 1763, by the province of New Hampshire, the admeasurement being 23,040 acres, or six miles square, of which 1,040 acres was allowed for "highways, ways, and unimprovable lands by rocks, ponds, mountains and rivers."

      The charter granted the inhabitants, as soon as they numbered fifty families, the privilege of holding two fairs annually, and also of keeping a market on one or more days in each week, as they might deem most advantageous. The usual requirements and reservations were inserted in the charter. The grantees were required to improve five acres of land for cach fifty acres owned by them, within the next five years after the date of the grant; to reserve for the government all white and other pine trees fit for masting the royal navy; to reserve near the center of the town a tract of land for town lots of one acre for each grantee; and to pay one ear of corn annually, if lawfully demanded, for the space of ten years, and after the said ten years the sum of one shilling, proclamation money, for every 100 acres owned, settled or possessed.

      Besides the shares allotted to the grantees above named the charter contained the following grants of shares for the purposes mentioned: To his excellency, Benning WENTWORTH, Esquire, a tract of land to contain 500 acres as marked B. W. in the plan, which is to be accounted two of the within shares; one whole share for the incorporated society for the propagation of the gospel in foreign parts; one share for the Glebe for the church of England, as by law established; one share for the first settled minister of the gospel; and one share for the benefit of a school in said town; making in all seventy-two shares or rights of land of 320 acres each.

      The earliest record of a proprietors' meeting is dated at Salisbury, Conn., not until the 23d of MARCH, 1774. Burlington was there referred to as "a Township lately granted under the great seal of the province of Newhampshier now in the province of New York," thus constructively admitting the claim to jurisdiction which New York had set up. Colonel Thomas CHITTENDEN was chosen moderator of this first meeting, Ira ALLEN was the first proprietors' clerk.

      At an adjourned meeting held at the same place on the next day it was,

" 1ly Voted, That Whereas, Ethan ALLEN, Remember BAKER, Herman ALLEN, Zimri ALLEN, and Ira ALLEN known by the name of the Onion River Company, who are Proprietors in this Township of Burlington on said River (a Township lately granted by the Governor and Counsel of Newhampshier and is now in the Province of New York) have expended large sums of money in cutting a road through the woods from Castleton to said River seventy miles, and clearing off encamberments from the said lands in them parts, clearing and cultivating and settling some of these lands and keeping possession which by us is viewed as a great advantage towards the settlement of these lands in general, especially the township of Burlington.

"Whereas, The said Ethan ALLEN, Remember BAKER, Heman ALLEN, Zimri ALLEN and Ira ALLEN have laid out fifteen, hundred acre lots in said Township bounding on said river. Therefore in consideration of these services done by them, in consideration of their settlement of five families on said lots with those that are already on, and girdling five acres on each one hundred acre lot in two years from the first day of June next, improving same.

"It is voted; if proper Survey bills be exhibited to the Proprietors' Clerk of said Town and recorded in this Book by the first day of June next the said lots are confirmed to them as so many acres of their rights and shares in said Township said fifteen lots are to be laid seventy rods wide on the river."

      It was further voted that each proprietor should have liberty at his own cost to pitch "and lay out to himself" one hundred acres on one whole right or share, the lots to be not less than seventy rods wide, exclusive of what had already been granted to be laid in the town. Another vote was passed "that there shall be for each one hundred acres to be laid out in the town of Burlington one hundred and three acres laid, which three acres shall be improved for the use of said town for public highways if needed, in the most convenient place of said lot." All records of deeds of sale and survey bills of land in the new town were to be recorded with the proprietors' clerk, and were to have priority, not according to the dates of the deeds or bills, but according to the dates of their recording. Ira ALLEN was appointed surveyor to lay out said town. The meeting was then adjourned to "Fortfradreck in Colchester on Onion River," on the first Monday in the following June. The last meeting recorded at this place was held on the 1st of May, 1775, and was probably the last meeting before the general exodus from this part of the country, because of the approach of the British army.
The ALLEN brothers and Remember BAKER, by purchase from the original grantees, became extensive land owners along Onion River. It is said that at different times Ira ALLEN owned five-sevenths of the town of Burlington, situated principally in the eastern and southern parts. ALLEN made the first surveys ever made within the limits of the town in the year 1772, and was engaged the greater part of the next two years in exploring and surveying this portion of the State.


      The first settler in Burlington was Felix POWELL, who came here in 1773. He used to go to mill at New Haven, at the lower falls in Otter Creek, within the present limits of Vergennes. On the 22d of October, 1774, he purchased of Samuel AVERILL of Litchfield, Conn., for thirty pounds, a tract of land which consisted, in addition to the village lots, of 103 acre-lots occupying the whole of Appletree Point, and extending northerly nearly to Onion River. He afterward cleared a part of the land on the Point, and erected a log house, but soon removed to Manchester, Vt., and sold his land on the 19th of August, 1778, to James MURDOCK, of Saybrook, Conn. This deed is the first one recorded that recognized the authority of Vermont.

      Stephen Lawrence was the next settler, who, in November, 1774, bought of Remember BAKER lot No. 10 on Onion River. The same year John CHAMBERLIN, Ephraim WHEELER, Stephen CLAP, Ichabod NELAN and Benjamin WATE made contracts for the purchase of lands in Burlington from different members of the ALLEN family, but they did little towards establishing a settlement before they were forced by the war to relinquish their labors here. Lemuel Bradley and several others came next, and in 1774 and 1775 made clearings in the northern part of the town on the intervale, and near the falls opposite the ALLEN settlement in Colchester. In the fall of 1775 some of the new comers went to the southern part of the State, while a few passed the winter in the Block Fort in Colchester. After SULLIVAN's retreat from Canada in the summer of 1776, the final abandonment of the town was completed. Lemuel BRADLEY represented the town in the first general convention of delegates from the several towns of Vermont, held at the inn of Cephas KENT, at Dorset, Vt., on the 25th of September, 1776. The town was apparently not represented in the subsequent session of January, 1777, when the Declaration of Independence of Vermont was proclaimed.

      Previous to the Revolution, and for years after, the usual route by which the settlers came to Burlington, when they came by land, was the road cut by BAKER and the ALLENS in 1772, from Castleton to Colchester, which crossed Otter Creek near the lower falls, where Vergennes now stands, passed Shelburne Falls in Shelburne, and thence directly to the falls at Winooski. This road, with the block forts at Vergennes and Winooski, was a great protection to the early settlers on the "Hampshire Grants."

      On the 29th of January, 1781, the proprietors of Burlington were again assembled at the house of Noah CHITTENDEN, in Arlington, Vt., but accomplished nothing beyond a ratification of the proceedings of former meetings.

      After the close of the Revolutionary War the town was rapidly settled. Stephen LAWRENCE, before mentioned, moved here with his family in 1783. John DOXEY, John COLLINS and Frederick SAXTON came the same year. DOXEY settled on the intervale, in the north part of the town, but was driven out by a freshet, and removed to the road now leading from the High Bridge to Hinesburg. Stephen LAWRENCE, Samuel LANE and John KNICKERBACOR settled near the High Bridge. John COLLINS, Job BOYNTON, Gideon KING and Stephen KEYS settled at the lake on lots 11-15, while Frederick SAXTON and Phineas Loomis formed a settlement at the head of Pearl street. Isaac WEBB was one of the first settlers in the south part of the town. John VAN SICKLEN settled in the southeast part of the town. The early surveyors were Thomas BUTTERFIELD, William COIT, Caleb HENDERSON, Ira ALLEN, Nahum BAKER, Nathaniel ALLEN, Abel WATERS and Edward ALLEN.

      The first marriage record reads as follows:

"Samuel HITCHCOCK and Lucy Caroline (daughter of Gen. Ethan ALLEN), married May 26th, 1789."
      The first births recorded are as follows: 

"Loraine Allen HITCHCOCK, daughter of Samuel and Lucy C. HITCHCOCK born June 5th, 1790." 

"John Van Sicklin Jr son to John Van Sicklin and Elizabeth Van Sicklin was born June 11th, 1790."

      John C., son of John DOXEY, was born February 22, 1788, though his birth is not on record.


      The town was organized, by proper election of town officers, March 19, 1797, at which meeting Samuel LANE was chosen town clerk; Job BOYNTON, constable; and Stephen LAWRENCE, Frederick SAXTON and Samuel ALLEN, selectmen. The first justices of the peace were Samuel Lane and John KNICKERBACOR, elected in 1789. Samuel LANE was also the first representative in the Legislature, chosen in 1786. The first meeting for the election of State officers and councilors was held at the house of Benjamin ADAMS, on the first Tuesday of September, 1794, when the vote for governor stood as follows Isaac TICHENOR, twenty-three; Thomas CHITENDEN, seventeen; Ira ALLEN, three and Nathaniel NILES, one. The first election for representative to Congress (on record) was held at the same place on the last Tuesday in December of the same year, when the ballot stood as follows: Israel SMITH, seven; Isaac TICHENOR, seven; Matthew LYON, four; William C. HARRINGTON, two; Nathaniel CHIPMAN, one; and Noah SMITH, one.

      When Vermont was declared to be a free and independent jurisdiction, in 1791, the site of Burlington was a forest. The village then consisted of three dwelling houses at the lake or "bay," at the foot of Water (now Battery) street. Captain Job BOYNTON lived in a broad, low, framed house; Captain Gideon KING kept an inn at the northeast corner of King and Water streets, in a two-story building with the kitchen in the rear.

[The correctness of this belief has been questioned, but all doubts must be dispelled by the fact shown by the town records, that the annual town meeting for 1795 was held at ten o'clock in the morning, at the house of Gideon KING, "inn-holder."]

      Captain John COLLINS lived in a framed house near the present corner of Battery and King streets. A Scotchman or Englishman named GRANT kept there a small single-room store, built of logs. The wharf consisted of a few logs fastened to the shore of the lake. In the vicinity of the square, which was then covered with bushes and shrubbery and an occasional pine tree, were several temporary huts of lumbermen. A few small houses had been erected here and there at the head of Pearl street and along the road to the falls, where the two-story "mansion of Ira ALLEN stood. Three years later John FAY and Elnathan KEYES were the only attorneys practicing in the County Court; Samuel LANE and William COIT were justices of the peace, and John FAY was postmaster. Concerning the appearance of Burlington at this early day, the best description which can be found or given is contained in the article before quoted from, by Russell S. TAFT, esq. It is written in the language of Horace LOOMIS, who had been a continuous resident of the place since 1790. He came here with his father's family on the 17th of February of that year, and took up his residence with them in a log house that stood east of the old store of Luther LOOMIS on Pearl street, in the vicinity of and nearly opposite the present residence of Edward C. LOOMIS. On the 8th day of July, 1790, the house now occupied by Edward LOOMIS was raised by quite a concourse of people from Shelburne, Essex, Colchester, and Burlington. In the latter part of November of that year the family moved into the new house, which has ever since been the home of some member of the LOOMIS race.

      Soon after this time there were but four buildings on what are now Battery and King streets. BOYNTON, COLLINS, and KING lived in houses before mentioned, and there was a blacksmith shop a little north of the COLLINS place on the opposite side of the street. Colonel Frederick SAXTON had made a beginning of the old Pearl street house the year before, and sold to Phineas LOOMIS the twenty acres of land that embraced his new house. Daniel HURLBUT lived in a log house near the site of the building now occupied by A. C. SPEAR, at the head of College street on College Green. Benjamin BOARDMAN lived in a log house a little north of the brick house on the intervale farm of J. N. POMEROY, occupied by J. STORRS. Mr. SPEAR, either Dearing or his father, lived in a log house on the intervale near the river, on land recently owned by Philo DOOLITTLE. There was a house on the Ethan ALLEN farm occupied by Mr. WARD. There was also a log house on the BRADLEY farm occupied by Moses BLANCHARD. There were a number of little plank and log houses at the falls, and among the occupants were Judson; and Mr. SPAFFORD was lumbering there, and William MUNSON was tending the saw-mill, and James HAWLEY tended the grist-mill, such as it was. Alexander DAVIDSON lived on the shore opposite the Theodore CATLIN place. A man by the name of LOCKWOOD lived above the falls, near what since is called the Rolling Place, near the foot of the hill, afterwards occupied by Dr. FLETCHER. Daniel CASTLE lived about half a mile east of DAVIDSON's. There was a shanty on the site of J. N. POMEROY's red farm house, built by a Frenchman by the name of MONTE, which he had occupied while he was getting out masts and rolling them into the river at the Rolling Place on the hill above, where the brick house of J. N. POMEROY stands. Under the hill where Eliab FOBES lived, near the High Bridge, Stephen LAWRENCE and his mother lived. John KNICKERBOCKER boarded with Joel HARVEY, who with his family lived near the present site of George B. DE FOREST's house on Tuttle street. Elisha LANE lived on a part of what was afterwards my father's farm, above the High Bridge on the intervale; he bought out Elisha, Samuel, and Samuel Lane, jr., who lived on the land when we came. Jock WINCHELL and Barty WILLARD lived over the river on the Stanton and WEEKS farm. Barty WILLARD moved here the second year afterward. Peter BENEDICT lived on the old ELDREDGE place. Samuel ALLEN lived on the hill this side of Muddy Brook. John DOXEY lived where Alexander FERGUSON now lives, about half a mile south of the ELDREDGE place. There was quite a little settlement of the FRENCHES and others in that part of the town which was set off to Williston. Nathan SMITH lived on the FISH farm, and John VAN SICKLIN lived on the farm which his son now owns. A man by the name of Marvin lived under the hill just this side of John VAN SICKLIN. AVERY, that framed my father's house, lived at the falls. Nahum BAKER lived with him, and helped to frame the house. William COIT lived in Colchester, at Ira ALLEN's, and the next year built a house on the corner of Water and South streets, on which was built Court-House Square, facing to the south, and was afterwards, about 1802, sold to Amos BRONSON, and by him moved to the north side of the square, and was long occupied by BRONSON, Arza CRANE, John HOWARD, Newton HAYES, successively, and afterwards by John HOWARD as a hotel.

      Stephen PEARL, who had formerly been a merchant of Pawlet, Vt., came to Burlington from Grand Isle about 1794, and occupied the house erected by Frederick SAXTON several years before, at the head of Pearl street. Saxton, Stackhouse, Burt, Dubartis Willard, Jock Winchell, and Stephen LAWRENCE came here in June, 1783. Three of them built a shanty near the spring above Sidney BARLOW's in Maria LOOMIS's lot, and SAXTON erected a log house above the site of Luther LOOMIS's store, where Phineas LOOMIS first lived with his family, and in 1791 Isaac WEBB and afterwards Dr. John POMEROY, who lived there from the spring to the fall of 1792. Colonel PEARL is described as a large, portly man, generous and genial to a fault, successful as a farmer, but too free with his goods for a merchant of those days. He died on the 21st of November, 1816, at the age of sixty-nine years. His brother Timothy was a shrewd business man, and for some time judge of probate of Alburgh District.

      Colonel James SAWYER, a native of Massachusetts, and the son of a sturdy soldier of the Revolution, himself rendered important service for the American cause in the Revolution, and became father to a number of martial sons. He came to Burlington from Brandon in 1796, where he passed two years as a merchant, and succeeded Stephen PEARL as sheriff. He died in Burlington in 1827, aged sixty-five years.

      It was in the year 1793 that Prince Edward of England, afterwards Duke of Kent, passed through Burlington on his way from Canada to Boston. He came by the way of Chazy and Grand Isle in sleighs, in the month of February, and stayed over night at the house of Phineas LOOMIS, now occupied by Edward C. LOOMIS. Colonel Stephen KEYS, "a gentleman of the old school, who wore a cocked hat, kept a hotel on Water street, and was collector for the district of Vermont," paid his respects to the prince in the evening, with Elnathan KEYES, Joshua STANTON, Levi HENRE and Zaccheus PEASLEE. It is related that although the prince respectfully acknowledged an introduction, he excited the anger of the colonel by abruptly leaving his guests and retiring to his room. Frederick SAXTON, Abram Stevens, Jira ISHAM, and Jason COMSTOCK took the prince and party on to Boston.

      The old town of Burlington made a considerable stride in settlement from 1790 to 1800. At the time that Vermont was admitted into the Union, Samuel LANE was town clerk and first selectman; Captain Daniel HURLBUT, a rough, powerful man, one of the men fitted to build up a new country, who aided in the construction of bridges, of the college, and of turnpikes, who frequently rafted lumber to Quebec, was selectman, and John KNICKERBACOR selectman and town treasurer. Elisha LANE, a shoemaker, who lived on the site now covered by the rear of Bacon's block on Church street, was constable; Daniel CASTLE, Peter BENEDICT, John KNICKERBACOR, Lemuel BOTTOM, and Stephen LAWRENCE, were listers; Samuel LANE was leather sealer; Frederick SAXTON and Nathan SMITH were grand jurors; Phineas LOOMIS, pound-keeper, with his barn for a pound; John DOXEY, Richard HOLCOMB, and Gideon KING were "tidingmen"; Daniel CASTLE, David STANTON, and Barnabas SPEAR were fence viewers; Frederick SAXTON, Daniel CASTLE, Stephen LAWRENCE, Lemuel BOTTOM, Nathan SMITH, and Moses BLANCHARD, surveyors of highways; Daniel HURLBUT was sealer of weights and measures; and Phineas LOOMIS, committee to hire preaching. At the meeting during which these officers were chosen it was "Voted to raise a tax of two pence on the list of 1790 to hire preaching the year ensuing." At this period the principal streets leading out of town were the old road running eastward from the south end of College Green, and the Shelburne road, which was a continuation of St. Paul street south. The principal business of the inhabitants, after attending to their domestic affairs, was the building of roads and bridges. The surface of Burlington was much more irregular than now. The ravine that is still distinctly traceable from Pearl street south and west across College, Main and Church streets, was then in many places impassable. The site of Court-House Square was reached from the present corner of College and South Union streets by the way of Pearl and Church streets. This ravine was very early bridged on Pearl and Main streets, at the latter place by a bridge nearly two hundred feet long and very high. The early records betray the scarcity of money at the period under consideration by a vote passed in the following language (September 3, 1763) "That the town will pay the expence of repairing sd bridge [over Onion River,] in good pork at 25 [shillings] pr hundred, beef at 20 [shillings] wheat at 4 & corn at 3 pr bushel."

      At a town meeting held at the house of Gideon KING, inn-holder, at 10 o'clock A. M., on the 26th of MARCH, 1795, Peter BENEDICT, Colonel William C. HARRINGTON, and Benjamin ADAMS were chosen a committee "to hand round subscriptions for the court-house." At an adjourned meeting at the same place on the 16th of the next month, it was "Voted, that a committee of five be appointed to appropriate the subscriptions for building a court-house in Burlington agreeable to law." The committee were Captain Daniel HURLBUT, Colonel Stephen PEARL, William COIT, esq., Elnathan KEYES, and Ira ALLEN. The next March meeting was held in the court-house. This building stood near the center of the square. The famous pine tree whipping-post was a little to the north and east of the present fountain. The jail was on the site of the Strong block.

      At this time and for years afterwards the Legislature required every town to be as plentifully supplied with ammunition as possible. On the 16th of April, 1795, the town voted, “That the selectmen be hereby directed to procure half a hundred of powder, one hundred and fifty weight of lead, and a due proportion of flints for the town stock."

      In the following year there was great alarm and excitement throughout the State caused by the ravages of small-pox, which was as yet but little understood and therefore the more superstitiously feared. On the 24th of March, 1796, at the meeting held in the court-house, a vote was passed, "That the Town recommend to the select Men that provided any Physician that will erect a Building in such place as they the select men shall approve of as retired, They grant full liberty for a permanent place for having the Small pox, under certain restrictions as they shall consider safe and it is further recommended that they would Grant no Indulgence of Innoculation unless such person go into the pest house prior thereto -- and Continue there until he is perfectly Clensed."

      No other records appear until the year 1804- Among the items of the meeting held in the spring of that year is an account of five dollars allowed to Ebenezer T. Englesby for sundries delivered to James B. HARRINGTON in sickness, under direction of the selectmen, and the same amount allowed to Dr. Matthew Cole for medical attention to "Peter the Frenchman." In 1805 the town petitioned the Legislature to grant a turnpike road from the line between Vermont and Canada to meet some turnpike road in the State of New York leading to Troy, and another turnpike road from Burlington to Montpelier. As will be seen by reference to the chapter on internal improvements, this petition resulted in the establishment of these turnpikes according to the wishes of the petitioners.

      In this year "Barty" WILLARD delivered himself of a rhyming witticism which, we believe, has never been published. He was a wheelwright and blacksmith, and from 1793 to the time of his death, in 1815, at the age of sixty-eight years, lived on the site of the large brick house, now unoccupied, west of the southwest corner of Pearl and Willard Streets. At some time during the year 1805 a company of lawyers, among whom were General Levi HOUSE, Thaddeus RICE, Elnathan KEYES, E. D. WOODBRIDGE, John FAY and his brother, Moses FAY, who were engaged in gaming and drinking, according to the custom of the times, invited Barty to take a seat at their table, and insisted on his asking a blessing, whereupon he improvised the following

"Lord bless this clime, haste on the time 
When death makes lawyers civil; 
O, stop their clack, and send them back
Unto their master, Devil.

"Let not this band infest our land, 
Nor let these liars conquer; 
O, may this club of Beelzebub
Torment our world no longer.

"As bad, indeed, as the thistle-weed 
That chokes our fertile mowing, 
Compared, nigh, the Hessian fly,
That kills our wheat when growing.

“O, sullen death, now stop their breath, 
Refine them all in brimstone; 
Let them repair to h---l. and there
They'll turn the devil's grindstone."


      During the first twelve years of the present century the town grew even more rapidly than before. The forests, which had hardly been cleared in 1800, were laid low, and in their place might be seen at the proper season fields of grain and orchards of young and promising trees. Clusters of houses took the place of the evenly distributed dwellings of twenty years before, and the town was possessed of several hamlets. When war was declared, and the friends and the opponents of the national administration had laid aside their animosities to. contribute equally to the common defense, Burlington became a point of considerable interest Troops were stationed here under command of Gen. MACOMB, and in 1813 Gen. Wade HAMPTON occupied the town with 1,400 men; troops also encamped in the easterly part of the town. Colonel CLARK went from -Burlington with 102 men and attacked a British force at St. Armand, killed nine, wounded fourteen, and took 101 prisoners, whom he brought to Burlington. The military authorities took possession of the college buildings and used them for an arsenal and barracks. Meanwhile it was suspended as an institution of learning. In 1813 the enemy threatened Burlington, so that the public stores at Plattsburgh were brought hither. The British fleet came up the lake and fired a few shot at this town, but retired when cannon on our shores began playing upon them. They made their approach from around Juniper Island with two gun-boats and nine row-galleys. Notwithstanding the slight repulse with which they met at Burlington, they commanded the lake for some time, and took every craft that they could find. They entered Shelburne Harbor and took the schooner of Captain Robert WHITE, replying to his remonstrances with the explanation that they had nothing against him and wished him no personal injury, but were under strict orders to take everything that floated on the lake, and destroy what could not be utilized.

[About the beginning of the war, Mark RICE evinced the general uneasiness caused by the proximity of the enemy, by erecting a dwelling on Main street, which at a moment's warning could be converted into a little fort and made almost impregnable. The basement of this house he made a perfect dome of heavy stone and cement, with small windows like port-holes. Mr. RICE was a cabinet-maker, and built a little shop just west of his house. The shop long ago disappeared, but the dwelling is still standing and is in a good state of preservation. It is occupied by Mr. W. H. S. WHITCOMB.]

      Embankments were thrown up on the lake shore north of the foot of Pearl street, now called the Battery, and barracks were built between Pearl street and Battery Place, and along the latter to the lake. These barracks were two stories high and were half surrounded by a piazza along the second story. Here were a store and medical and surgical departments complete. In 1813-14  Captain LYON, then a boy of ten years, was employed there as waiter for two officers. The fatal epidemic of 1813 was dreadfully effective at this camp. Captain LYON, who lost his father and other relatives and friends by this disease, describes its first symptom as being usually a pain in the left side, which would rapidly extend over the whole body, and in the brief space of a few hours cause a painful death. Women were little afflicted by it, but it was not uncommon for fifty men in this camp to die in one day.

      Around the barracks was a camping ground about twice as large as the present Battery. Water street then extended from the Battery to Maple street, and during the war presented a scene of the greatest activity. The movement against the liquor traffic not having begun, soldier and civilian united in unconcealed successions of hilarious sprees. This thoroughfare was lined with little wooden buildings which had been converted into cheap boarding-houses, taverns and rum shops. One of the larger taverns, kept by one CHANDONETTE, a Parisian, was a square, framed house, two stories high, painted white, and surmounted by a gambrel roof, and stood on the northeast corner of Main and Water streets, facing south. It was continually crowded with soldiers and camp-followers, who spent their time in drinking and carousing. Another tavern stood on the east side of Water street, fronting west, occupying the present site of the building owned by DREW & CONGER. It was a long, low story-and-a-half building, with dormer windows projecting from the roof. About 1821 Russell HARRINGTON, brother of William C. HARRINGTON, was the proprietor of this house. MAYO's store stood directly opposite this resort.

      This mercantile establishment was in the hands of two brothers, Nathaniel and Henry MAYO under the firm name of N. & H. MAYO, the father and uncle respectively of Henry MAYO, now residing in Burlington. It was the only store on the street. It was a brick building two stories high, about thirty feet north from the store that now stands in the vicinity. It presented its side to the street, and was entered by a door near the center on the Water street side. The proprietors did all the baking for the army and navy stationed at Burlington during the war. They had a bakehouse in the basement of the store and a wooden building for the same purpose a few feet southwest of it, down the bank. They also erected a building-the same one now occupied by Thomas ARBUCKLE as a dwelling on Maple street and near its present site, in which they baked hard bread for the navy. During the first two years of the war Nathaniel MAYO occupied as a dwelling the house that now stands on the northwest corner of Main and Prospect streets, and was followed in the year 1814 by a Mr. CUSHMAN. Opposite this residence, on Main street, was the store of Thaddeus TUTTLE.

      There were no manufacturing concerns on Water street nor on the lake shore. Indeed, there was little manufacturing of any kind here at that early date. Just west of Water street was a steep bank, verging directly to the water's edge. The principal thoroughfare to the lake, from the interior, was by way of Maple street. There was considerable travel, also, on Main street to Water, thence to Maple and the lake. Maple street was open only to St. Paul. Leaving what was then called Court-House Square, towards the lake on College street, the traveler was obliged to begin a descent about where E. T. ENGLESBY then lived, into a ravine forty or fifty feet deep, as steep as he could safely descend, and cross on a plank a little brook that flowed south and west from Pearl street. This part of College street was then little more than a footpath. It was a favorite coasting-place for the boys in winter. East of the square on College street, and between the present site of Howard National Bank and the store of A. N. PERCY & Co., was a steep hollow, bridged, and east of that the street was almost impassable by reason of the ravine. This was not filled up for many years; the site of the city market building being about the deepest part of this depression, and remaining impassable until the Vermont Central Railroad filled it up with the intention of passing over it to Main street. The boys who then attended school in the brick structure on the site of the present high-school, passed through this hollow on College street, crossing the bottom on a plank. Bank street extended to Water street, but was occupied only by dwelling-houses, most of them of small dimensions. No street extended west of Water street. Champlain and Pine streets were opened from Maple to Pearl, and occupied only by dwelling-houses. St. Paul, or Shelburne and Willard streets, were the only outlets of the town south. Winooski avenue did not reach north of Pearl street, that entire region being covered by a heavy growth of pine. The avenue was afterward opened north of Pearl street by Wyllys LYMAN and George P. MARSH, under an agreement with the town, they being evidently desirous of increasing the value of their possessions in that neighborhood. Union street, with the exception of a narrow lane between Main and College streets, was pasture and meadow land. North Prospect street was a part of a large farm afterward owned by Governor VAN NESS. There was no travel on South Prospect, though the thoroughfare in front of the College Park had very much the same appearance that it now presents-a number of the first houses still occupying the old sites. Colchester avenue, which then contained about one-tenth of the dwelling-houses that it now has, was considerably used by the wayfaring men between Burlington and Winooski Falls. The ravine on Pearl street was spanned by a bridge of about the same dimensions as the bridge across the same depression on St. Paul street, near King.

History of Chittenden County, Vermont 
With Illustrations and Biographical Sketches 
Of Some of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers
Edited By W. S. Rann, 
Syracuse, N. Y.
D. Mason & Co., Publishers, 1886
Page 392-533.

Transcribed by Karima Allison ~ 2004

Burlington section of Hamilton Child's "Gazetteer and Business Directory of  Chittenden County, Vt. For 1882-83."
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