North Champlain


Like Park Street to its west, North Champlain was relatively well settled by a stable working class by 1869. Unfortunately, few of the buildings from this time survive on North Champlain. Of a possible thirteen buildings, only six show substantial evidence of remaining.

121 N. Champlain

Current aerial maps show the exact footprint as the 1869 Beers map which lists the initials J.F. at this location. The Vermont Sites and Structures Survey gives this building a construction date of 1860 for John Flaherty.1 The 1869 Directory states that John Flaherty, employed by Jed P. Clark and Co., grocers, lived on "Champlain St. between North and Peru sts." J. Flaherty is still listed at this site on the 1890 Hopkins map. Another wonderful survivor, this building stands with its central massing intact despite a huge apartment building at its rear.

162 N. Champlain

The 1869 Beers map lists F. Dumas at this location. The 1869 Directory listed F. Dumas, an employee of Kilburn and Gates furniture, lived on 'Champlain st. between North st. and North Bend." By 1881, W.H. Lee, an employee of J. R. Booth was living at this address. The name listed for the site on the 1890 Hopkins map is I. Courtier, but directory research did not find anyone by this name at this address. The central massing of this building remains intact, with a later side addition to the south.

171-173 N. Champlain

This building, and its neighbor at 177 N. Champlain belong to James Madigan who began buying property in this area in 1866. Deed Records show that there were two transactions between James Madigan and Marcia R. Thomas, the first in 1866 for "Lot No. 7 west side of Champlain st."2 The second transaction came later 1867 for "Lot No. 8 on Follett and Shaw plan Champlain st."3 By 1869, the city directory shows John Madigan, an employee of the Vermont Central Rail Road having a house on "Church st. between North and North Bend." As he had previously purchased land on Champlain street, and Church does not run between North and North Bend, this is obviously a misprint in the directory. The 1881 Directory gives this address, but subsequent to that, the address of 177 North Champlain is given.

177 N. Champlain

Although it was built after the period of significance for this assignment, the home John Madigan built next to his original home continues the story above. Mr. Madigan retained both properties, his family living in both presumably until well past 1890 when both homes are shown on the Hopkins map with the name of J. Madigan.

184-186 N. Champlain

The 1869 Beers Map clearly shows a building on this location. Current aerial maps show that this structure shares almost identical footings. However, the earliest evidence of an occupant here comes in 1881 when the directory lists Barney Gunning at this address. Mr. Gunning is still here in 1890 when he is listed on the Hopkins map in this location. The building's central massing is clearly defined despite a large rear addition and porch on the front and north sides.

187 N. Champlain

Current aerial maps show the exact same footings as seen on the 1869 Beers map. Despite a large one story rear addition, the central massing of the building remains clearly defined. Here again is the first story gable front bow window that has been seen so frequently in this area. The 1881 Directory listed Michael McMahon at this exact address, and the 1869 Directory stated that M. McMahon, an employee of the Rutland and Burlington Railroad live on "Champlain St. between North St. and North Bend." The 1890 Hopkins map shows M. McMahon at this location as well.

196 N. Champlain

This building was almost overlooked in that the current footings are off by almost a lot size from the 1869 map. However, after research, it seems plausible that the map may have been slightly misdrawn in this case. The 1881 City Directory places J. Bray at this exact address as does the 1890 Hopkins map. The 1869 Directory states that Bray, an employee of Burlington Gas and Co., lived on "Champlain st. Between North St. and North Bend." While there is a large addition on the south side entry, the central massing seems consistent with the earlier maps and aerial views.

1 Vermont Sites and Structures Survey, North Champlain Street, CD Rom.
2 Burlington City/Town Records, Box 5, 1866-67, p. 1.
3 Ibid, p. 46.