Burlington 1877

What still stands from between 1869 and 1877 in burlington, VT?


Built circa 1874, this French Second Empire house is a square plan of stone construction with four stories, three bays and a steeply pitched mansard roof. There have been extensive alterations from the original structure, including the removal of a large cupola and elaborate entrance.[1]

F.C. Kennedy was the first person listed at this residence by the Burlington City Directory in 1875-1876.[2] He was listed as an agent for the Burlington Woolen Mill, from which he built a fortune during the prosperous post-Civil War years. His enjoyment of the property is short-lived however, as he was forced to sell it around 1881-1883 due to the embezzlement of a huge sum of money by his orphaned nephew.[3]

The next resident of the house was another industrialist, W.A Crombie. As of 1884-1885 W.A. Crombie was the manager of Shepard and Morse Lumber Company, and residing at 236 North Prospect. A very busy man, W.A. Crombie was also listed on the board of directors at the Vermont Life Insurance Company during this time. In 1889 he was elected as mayor of Burlington and in 1890 also became president of the Baldwin Refrigerator Company until 1893. W.A. Crombie served as Mayor from 1889 to 1891.[4]

W.A. Crombie was a family man, having married Susan Augusta Choate in 1868. They had three children, William Murray Crombie, Arthur Crombie and Maude Elizabeth. All were born in Burlington Vermont.[5] 1890 is the first year that two of his sons, Arthur C. Crombie and Murray W. Crombie, both students, appeared in the directories as living with W.A. Crombie.[6]

W.A. Crombie and George H Morse formed a partnership in 1892 to create The Morse and Crombie Lumber Company.[7]


Previous to this time George Morse is living at 133 South Prospect, but the 1892 directory listed him and Harold R. Morse with the Crombie family at 236 South Prospect. The new company they created was short-lived however, as it is no longer found in the city directory by 1893 or subsequent years. The Morse family continued to board with the Crombies for two more years until both families moved out of the house in 1895.[9]


In 1896 the next occupant of the house was Elbert B. Kimball, president of the Spaulding and Kimball wholesale grocery. He was listed alone in the house until 1910 when he was joined by Fred E. Kimball, also of Spaulding and Kimball. By 1923 Elbert had moved on but Fred stayed at 236 South Prospect until 1932 when the property changed hands again.[11]


In 1932 Katherine R. Provost used 236 South Prospect as a Sanitarium, but moved the facility the following year to 102 Adams Street. The property lay vacant during 1934, but was soon occupied again.[13]

Katherine sold the property to Peter Handy who changed the property into a four story house, likely it was then that the cupola was removed, and created ten apartment units. The house was renovated again in 1982 into the Southridge Condos.[14]

Luckily The Provost Sanitarium Advertisement of 1932-33 provided a view of 236 South Prospect before the major reconstruction.


[1] State of Vermont Division for Historic Preservation. Vermont Historic Structures and Sites Survey. 236 South Prospect. (Montpelier, Vermont: Division for Historic Preservation, 06/1979)

[2] Burlington City Directory 1875-1876

[3] Structures and Sites Survey, 236 South Prospect

[4] Burlington City Directory 1884-1891

[5] Burlington Mayors, 1865-1992.

(University of Vermont: Special Collections, 1992)

[6] Burlington City Directory 1884-1891

[7] Burlington City Directory 1885-1895

[8] ibid

[9] ibid

[10] ibid

[11] Burlington City Directory 1896-1932

[12] ibid

[13] Burlington City Directory 1932-1934

[14] Blow, 144

[15] Burlington City Directory 1932-1933

[16] Burlington City Directory 1932-1933