Constructed prior to 1869, 282-284 Colchester Avenue is a two-story, four-by-two bay frame building with a stone foundation. The building is a duplex with dual entrances on the front façade. Two interior-end brick chimneys rise from the side-gabled roof and wooden clapboards clad the exterior. Original six-over-six light windows are evident on the gable end. A rear two-story ell along with various porches appear to have been a later additions.
282-284 Colchester Avenue is listed on the 1869 Beers Atlas map as "A. Howe." The 1890 Hopkins map shows "Mrs. S. Bernor" in the same frame dwelling. No Bernors are listed in the Burlington city directories during the time period.
Beginning in 1900 Noble H. Bissonette, a carpenter, resided at 284 Colchester for several years before Joseph Cross, (1) a laborer, was identified in the 1905 Burlington city directory. Peter Rivet (Riverette), also a laborer, was listed for 282 Colchester Avenue. By 1910, Michael J. Burke, a foreman at Winooski and Frank Barrett, a clerk, were residing at 282 and 284 Colchester Avenue. (2) Likewise, in 1920, Carl N. Gowan, an employee at B. Grocery Company and Frank A Barrett, now an employee at 97 College Street, were listed. (3)
The Sanborn Fire Insurance map from 1926, revised in 1938,
is the first Sanborn map to include 282-284 Colchester Avenue.
Nash Place, absent on previous maps, is present to the west of
the building, perpendicular to Colchester Avenue. The Historic
Sites and Structures Survey suggests that a turn of the century
housing shortage, primarily due to a rise in industrialization,
led local landowners to participate in speculative ventures resuling
in the creation of new streets. The 1930 Burlington city directory
identified James E. Smith, a carpenter at the University of Vermont
and Frank E. Martin, an employee at the Burlington Maytag Company
as residing at 282 and 284 Colchester Avenue. Mrs. Laura E. Barrett,
a widow, and Gilbert Holcombe, a farm hand, were listed in the
1940 Burlington city directory.
(1) Waite, L. P. and Company. Burlington City Directory and Business Directory (Burlington, Vermont: The Free Press Association, 1900).
(2) Waite, L. P. and Company. Burlington City Directory and Business Directory (Burlington, Vermont: The Free Press Association, 1910).
(3) Manning, H. A. Burlington, Winooski, Essex Junction Directory (Springfield, Massachusetts: H. A. Manning Company, 1920).