184 South Champlain Street

By Mary O'Neil

It would be very easy to overlook this unassuming little house, when trying to determine which structures may be standing that were on Young's 1830 map. Tucked in between two other houses, it sits quietly and unobtrusively on South Champlain Street. But there is reason to believe that this little house was indeed on Ammi B.Young's map of 1830.

Earliest mention of this separate land parcel is made in 1807, when Thaddeus Tuttle deeds lot number 94, with several other parcels, to John Norton Pomeroy. [1]
Dr. Pomeroy ultimately splits lot number 94 into halves, sells the northern half to Robert and Andrew White in July of 1815 with the whole of lot number 95. (This is the Captain White Place, 43-45 King Street).[2]  The southern half of lot 94 is deeded to Elias Nye in February of 1824. [3]. These lot assignments refer to the survey maps done of Burlington in 1810 by John Johnson [4], which are believed to correspond with an earlier parcel survey done by William Coit at the first proprietor's meeting in 1798. [5]

Elias Nye stands as a very prominent figure in Burlington's history.  We can determine that he owned the dock at the foot of King Street, known as Nye's dock, as well as several waterfront properties.  As the parcel at 184 South Champlain Street moves within the Nye family, warranty deeds illustrate the extent of Elias' land ownership.[6]

The determination of Elias Nye's residence at this address at 184 South Champlain Street can well illustrate the prominence shipping and maritime commerce held in the history of Burlington, as well as the maritime history of Lake Champlain.  Gideon King, who controlled most of the lake traffic between St. Johns, Quebec and Whitehall, N.Y. between 1790 and 1826 did so not only by holding the mortgages on most of the shipping vessels, but by his interest held at the wharves here and at Whitehall. To understand that the Nye family held the King Street Dock in private ownership illustrates a distinctness and prestige they must have enjoyed in the maritime trade.

Although illustration for the railroad easement obscure this property on both the 1857 Walling map and the 1862 Wainright map, there is an indication on the latter that a building stands at this location. (The notion for a structure [a circle] is apparent, with no resident name given).   On the 1869 Beers Map, we learn the occupant of 184 South Champlain Street is T.J. Curtis.

This small, one and a half storied front-gabled structure continues to be residential. Although another small home has been nestled in between the original divisions of lot number 94, the structure at 184 South Champlain Street can reasonably be considered a survivor from Ammi B. Young's 1830 Map of the Village of Burlington.

1.      Town of Burlington Land Records. 7:372.
2.      Ibid., 5:246.
3.      By decree of the Supreme Court holden at Burlington Court of Chancery, 1st Tuesday of January, 1824.  Town of Burlington Land Records, 7:372.
4.      City of Burlington Land Records, 72:257.    May 17, 1919  James Britchard to Bridget Crowley
"front of 35 feet on South Champlain Streetwith a dwelling thereonand is the south half of city lot #94 on a plan drawn by John Johnson, Surveyor, April 12, 1810."
5.      The 1833 Survey Map of Burlington may be consulted to confirm these parcel assignments. Bailey Howe Library, University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont.
6.  City of Burlington Land Records, 13:433.  October 3, 1879, Ruth Nye and Laura Nye to Charles Nye and others
 "Lots #146, 147, 148, 149, 150 as laid down by John Johnson, surveyor, 1836also a certain other lot with house erected thereonthe southerly half of lot #94also the property at the foot of King Street, known as Nye's dock, fronting on Battery Street"

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