64 King Street

By Mary O'Neil
Currently a two-unit apartment house, circumstantial evidence would suggest that 62-64 King Street is one of few remaining buildings in the vicinity of Champlain Street that have survived since Young's 1830 map was executed.

            There is little to suggest on the exterior the history of this building. Research indicates that Dan Lyon, through Timothy Strong,  had been deeded this property in a land transfer from Seneca Austin and Charles Haynes.  Seneca Austin had purchased nearly the entire clock from Henry Thomas in March of 1823. [1]   Dan Lyon makes several property line adjustments between his purchase in 1843 and 1845, which are amusing as well as informative.[2]

The ownership of 64 King Street by Dan Lyon is significant. Captain Lyon was a well known and respected ship captain, working with other prominent captains such as Gideon King, Robert and Lavater White, and Almas Truman who were all living in Burlington. It was Capt. Lyon, with the White brothers and Truman, who launched their sloops in the darkness in the early morning hours of September 5, 1819 in an effort to rescue the passengers of the burning steamer, the Phoenix.  Hemenway indicates that these gentlemen could see the light from the burning vessel, and launched a rescue effort.  Certainly the close proximity of the house to the water aided in their surveillance.  Despite their best efforts, however, five lives were lost when the Phoenix went down. [3]

In November of 1845, Dan Lyon sells the house to Samuel M. Pope.[4]   Mr. Pope is a prominent member of the Burlington community, working at the Merchant's Bank as well as serving as a representative of the Prudential Committee (School Board) in the 1860s. [5]  S.M. Pope is confirmed as the occupant of 64 King Street on both the 1862 Wainright Map as well as the 1869 Beers Atlas.

There is much more research to be done confirming the date of construction on this building at 64 King Street. A substantial fire on the second story in more recent years dictated extensive remodeling. When insurance adjusters were examining the damage, several aged handwritten ledgers fell from the ceiling in the attic. The owner allowed them to be left for inspection, and the next day they were missing. What information they could share about the early history of this structure cannot be determined.

Given its appearance on Young's 1830 map with consistent building footprints on subsequent maps, as well as archival evidence indicating house and parcel adjustments as early at 1843, it may be safely assumed that 64 King Street is one of a handful of buildings that survive from1830.
1.      Town of Burlington Land Records, 7:198.     Henry Thomas to Seneca Austin, March 25, 1823
"Quarter acre lots numbered 96, 97, 98, 143, 144, 145, the westerly half of Quarter acre lot number 99 and the westerly half of Quarter acre lot number 100."  $2,300.00 for the sale.
2.      Town of Burlington Land Records, 16:56. Chas Haynes to Dan Lyon
"Beginning at a stake standing three feet from the southeast corner of said Lyon's now dwelling house, thense two and a half feet east, thence north the whole length of my house lot, thence west two and a half feet, thence south to the place of beginning."  $50.00 is the sale price.
Town of Burlington Land Records, 16:514       Timothy F. Strong to Dan Lyon, April 6, 1844
"Beginning at Dan Lyon's gardenbeing a portion of the land deeded to T.F. Strong and W.L. Strong by Philo Doolittle on the twenty-sixth day of September, 1826."
3.      Abby Maria Hemenway, The Vermont Historical Gazetteer: A Magazine Embracing the History of Each Town (Burlington: A.M. Hemenway, 1867),1:691.
4.      Town of Burlington Land Records, 17:425.
5.      Burlington City Directory 1866-67, 12. 
Abby Maria Hemenway gives his occupation as a cashier in her 1857 Gazetteer.  1:514.           

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