455 North Avenue, photograph by Louis McAllister, 1931

GPS reading: 18T 0640806, UTM 4928153

Taken from the east side of North Avenue looking southwest, this photograph shows men laying a new surface on the west side of the road. Further south, a steamroller can be seen rolling the east side of the road.

The house visible just behind the road crew is 455 North Avenue. It was built in 1872, just a year after the dedication of Lake View Cemetery, to serve as a residence for the cemetery sexton. Burlington’s annual report for 1871 shows that E.C. Ryer, the architect who laid out the cemetery, was paid $55 to draw up plans for the house (and barn). This gable-fronted Gothic Revival house has a cruciform plan. Details include decorative barge boards and oculus windows in the gables. The historic sites and structures survey for this property states that the house was built in 1860 and moved in c.1925, but a request for funding to build the house appears in Burlington’s annual report for 1872 and, while summaries of work done on the house appear in annual reports for ensuing years, there is no mention of moving the house in any annual report from 1921 through 1930. The iron fence was installed along the property in 1908.[1] When this photograph was taken, Walter R. Clayland, superintendent of cemeteries lived at this address.[2]

Behind the men, just north of the house, an iron gate is visible. Although not the primary entrance, this gate opened onto a drive that lead down to the cemetery proper. This photograph clearly shows that the iron fence ends at the gate. North of the gate, the cemetery property is defined by a distinctly less-than-elegant board fence. Lake View Cemetery was developed in the late 1860s in response to a shortage of space at the city’s other burial grounds. Lake View was part of a nation-wide trend toward more park-like cemeteries.[3] The architect, E.C. Ryer was hired to design the cemetery, a design that came to include numerous winding paths, lawns and scenic views.[4] Soon after its dedication in 1871, the cemetery became the most prestigious burial place in the city.[5]

[1] City of Burlington, Annual Report of the City of Burlington, Vermont: for the Year Ending 1908, 133.

[2] Burlington City Directory, 1931.

[3] Douglas S. Terpstra, Howard Mortuary Chapel nomination for the National Register of Historic Places, 1998, section 8, 3-5.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.



455 North Avenue, photograph by T. N. Martin, 2005

GPS reading: 18T 0640806, UTM 4928153

The contemporary comparison photograph shows that the iron gate visible in McAllister's photograph was moved from its original position just north of the house. (It is now further north and down the hill.) The board fence is gone and the iron fence has been extended. A row of short, broad evergreen trees has been planted along the inside of the fence and, although 455 North Street is almost entirely obscured by these trees, it is still there.



Historic Burlington Project
Burlington 1890 | Burlington 1877 | Burlington 1869 | Burlington 1853 | Burlington 1830

Produced by University of Vermont Historic Preservation Program graduate students
in HP 206 Researching Historic Structures and Sites - Prof. Thomas Visser
in collaboration with UVM Landscape Change Program
Historic images courtesy of Louis L. McAllister Photograph Collection University of Vermont Library Special Collections