219 North Winooski Avenue

Issac Smith House, 1848


By Jeff Fellinger

This building is an example of a the brick, Greek Revival houses so popular during this period. The main entranceway is identical to that of 318 North Street, though the door sits on opposite sides of the front façade. This veneered structure had a substantial pair of additions added to its rear prior to 1889. The Sandborn maps show few other changes to the plan up to the present day. However, an attic inspection revealed that there was a substantial fire in the rear addition around1920, judging from the repair materials and techniques used. Much of the charred wood remains and has been "sistered" with new material. An odd feature of the main house is that there are no windows in the front bay of the southwest façade. The dual front-end chimneys typical to these houses were in place until sometime after 1978. Only the south chimney now extends from the roof.

Issac L. Smith had this house built in 1848. Such reference is made by Wyllys Lyman in the 1848 Burlington Town land records, volume 20, page 189, pertaining to 221 North Winooski Avenue."It being the corner lot opposite the land I sold Issac L. Smith where Mr. Smith is now building" 1. A.R. Fuller, a salesman at the Lillies Safe Company, lived here prior to 1865 up until 1870 2. The 1889 Hopkins map then attributes the property to an A.D Spalter. No record of Mr. (or Mrs.) Spalter is found in the Burlington Directories of this time, however. He (she) may have owned the building and resided elsewhere.

The basement and attic inspection of the building on November 21, 2001 also revealed construction techniques and materials indicative of the period and which likely would be found equally within the other brick houses of this design. The foundation is rubble stone. The joists are sash sawn and run longitudinally. They tenon into a hand hewn summer beam that spans the width of the building. Wide, sash sawn boards create the subfloor. Machine cut nails are type A.

The attic space is unfinished. The sash sawn rafters meet each other with a plumb cut at the roof peak, and the frame they create is spanned by wide, sash sawn sheathing boards of approximately one inch thickness. The two original chimneys that flank the front, central pediment window are still in place on the interior.

1. Burlington Town Land Records, vol. 20, pg. 189.

2. Burlington Directory, 1865.