Bright Street is a small single block running north-south from Archibald Street to Riverside Drive in the Old North End of Burlington. Bright Street was constructed between 1853 and 1869, although it had little development prior to the 1870s. Roughly six houses went up in the 1870s and the rest shortly thereafter.1 Unfortunately many no longer exist today, as they have been replaced by new housing and large warehouses. Most of the remaining houses have undergone significant changes, with additions, new porches and siding. Bright Street was initially home to French-Canadian immigrants in the mid-1800s but became home to an influx of Jewish, primarily Russian, immigrants in the late 1800s. The Queen City Soap Works moved into First Avenue (present day Riverside Drive) near Bright Street employing much of the Jewish population.2 Many of the houses accommodated multiple families and boarders, and the turnover was fairly high, with residents moving often between houses in the area.3
1 1869 Beers Atlas map; 1877 Birds-Eye map
2 Chester H. Liebs, ed. The Burlington Book, (University of Vermont, Department of History), 1980, 11.
3 1880 and 1900 Census records