208 North Street

c. 1850


By Jeff Fellinger

This is an eclectic structure. The raised foundation, gable roofed, 2 story, brick veneered building sits on the plot where Intervale Avenue heads off to the northeast from the intersection of Elmwood Avenue and North Street. Thus, the plot between Intervale and North is acute in angle, not rectilinear. The Presdee & Edwards (P&E) map shows the structure as a rectangular block set tightly against this corner. By the time it shows up on the 1889 Sandborn Map the floor plan is a trapezoid, the pointed corner built to match the odd angle of the streets. Whether an alteration was made to the west wall between 1853 and 1889 or whether there was lack of accuracy on the P&E map, it is unclear. If a physical alteration was made, perhaps it was done in order to make room for a sidewalk on the eastern side of Intervale Avenue sometime prior to 1889.

A porch had been added to the north facade to shelter the living space entrance at the rear by 1889. Circa 1900, the rear porch had been extended the point of the acute angle was sliced off creating a tall, thin, flat plane into which the store entrance door was placed. Around 1920 the rear porch was redone. It was more shallow, but extended the full length of the back wall. Around 1940 an entrance to the second floor was cut into the front (south) façade, and a porch with a concrete stairway was added. Circa 1950 the building was stuccoed and faux stone was applied to the raised portion of the foundation.

The building was built for commercial and residential use by Charles Racicot 1. The first floor (the raised basement) was shop space, the upper floors for dwelling. The property is described as a "grocery" on the C. Wainwright map and a Mr. John Tatro was the owner/proprietor from 1864 to 1869, and then his son Joseph lived there through 1876 2. Oliver DeVarennes owned this shop and another grocery at 78 North Street through the turn of the century 3. About 1912 the property was sold to Samuel George, an immigrant from Lebannon. Albert George, a relation to Samuel and also a recent immigrant, ran the first floor space as a grocery, and resided above (PHOTO). Around 1940 the commercial space housed the "Paramount Cut Rate Shop" where one could find many handy items, including fishing tackle, hardware, plumbing supplies, and ice cream (fig. 4). The sign, left of the door claims "we serve real ice cream at our soda fountain and deliver anywhere in the city." In 1954 Leo Benway purchased the downstairs portion of the property and began his "Benway Taxi Service." A plan of the property shows the split of ownership in 1956 3. The property still operates as a taxi service, that of the Yellow /Checker Company.

1. Burlington Town Land Records - vol. 23 pg. 303

2. Burlington Directory -1886/87

3. Plan of Propterty owned by Charles Nantelle; C.W. Holton, Engr. 1956.

3. Hopkins map, 1889