Built c. 1867, for Stephen Herrick, a wealthy dry goods merchant on Church Street, this square, Italianate, brick house was built on the site of his previous house (1). Occupying a prestigious location at the southwest corner of College and Willard Streets, it has cast iron window heads, elaborate door hoods, an ornate cornice, and cupola added to his house. A contributing structure to both the Main Street-College Street Historic District and the South Willard Street Historic District (2), the main block is two and a half stories, with four bays on each side, and walls fourteen inches thick (3). The shed-roof dormers on the north and east sides of the shallow hipped roof are the result of its 1932 renovation and conversion to apartments (4).
Stephen L. Herrick was born in Swanton, Vermont, in February of 1815. He moved to Shelburne, VT to work for Luther M. Hagar in the early 1830s. In 1836 he came to Burlington and worked briefly in the store of H. J. Peck and Co. After spending some time in Mobile, Alabama, and New Orleans, Louisiana, due to ill health, he returned to Burlington in 1840. In 1849, he started his own general merchandise store, and later dry goods, on the site now occupied by Abraham's on Church Street. According to his death announcement , he "...made a fortune" and retired in 1873 (5). He spent his winters in New York City and Providence. It was in Providence that he died of pneumonia on November 26, 1892(6).
The Burlington City Directories do not indicate who lived at the house immediately after Herrick's death, but according to the Historic Guide to Burlington Neighborhoods, it was purchased by Dr. John M. Clarke in June of 1894 and rented to Phi Delta Theta fraternity for a chapter house. The fraternity stayed there until 1899, when the house was sold to Dr. W. F. Hazelton . The real estate section of Burlington Free Press for April 20, 1899 said:
However, Dr. Hazelton remained there only a short time, for the 1901 Burlington City Directory notes that he "removed to Bellows Falls."
A series of occupants followed from 1901 until 1915, with the longest-remaining resident being M. D. McAMahon, who worked for the China Hall Company at 5 Church Street. From 1916 until 1930, it again housed University of Vermont Fraternities, such as the Alpha Tau Omega. It stood vacant for a year, until E. H. Harrington purchased the property and remodeled into six four-room apartments in 1931. He made extensive changes, adding the attic dormers, the porches, and completely updated and renovated the interiors, including the addition of electric refrigeration, twenty-four-hour hot water service, soundproofing, and new paint, of the "new plastic paint" variety. The article mentions that he retained as much of the original interior finish work as possible as it was of such high quality (8). The exterior visible today is the result of these 1932 alterations. The house continues to serve as apartments today.
(1) United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, nomination for the Burlington, Vermont, "Main Street-College Street Historic District."
(3) United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, nomination for the Burlington, Vermont, "South Willard Street Historic District," 1977.
(4) "New Apartment House Once Was Collegiate Center, Fraternity House Transformed by Modernization," Burlington Free Press, March 26, 1932, page 10, center column.
(5) "The Late S. L. Herrick," The Burlington Daily Free Press, November 29, 1892, page 5, column 2.
(7) "Sale of Herrick House to Dr. Hazelton," Burlington Free Press, April 20, 1899, page 5, column 2.
(8) "New Apartment House Once Was Collegiate Center, Fraternity House Transformed by Modernization," Burlington Free Press, March 26, 1932, page 10, center column.