Photographer: Date taken: Houses in view:
Louis McAllister
Sept. 17, 1928
138, 137, 133 and 132 North Winooski Ave.
Looking: Global position UTM:
18T 0642228, 4927276

This view looking south down North Winooski Avenue from the early fall of 1928 prominently displays the streetcar tracks of the Burlington Traction Company. The tracks splitting off to the left travel west on North Street, while the tracks heading down the middle of elm-tree-lined North Winooski Avenue continue on to Pearl Street.[1] Electric streetcars connected this neighborhood with the rest of Burlington, Essex Junction and Winooski. Streetcars had been running first as horse-pulled cars and as later electric cars on this particular line since the formation of the Burlington Horse Railway Company in 1885.[2]

South of North Street, North Winooski Avenue was almost exclusively a residential street in 1928. One-hundred-thrity-seven North Winooski Avenue, the two-and-a-half story, brick, gable-front home built in the Greek revival style closest to the camera on the right side of the street, was divided into apartments. The main body of the house held three units and the former carriage house not visible in the photograph held two more[3], although only three of the five units were rented in 1928[4]. Harold Butler, an employee at a nearby funeral home, Clarence Moodie, who worked at White’s Creamery, and Walter Stoddard, an auto mechanic, are listed in the 1928 Burlington City Directory as residing there.

The next house down, on the right of the image, 133 North Winooski Avenue, is a one-and-a-half story brick house dating from roughly the same period as its neighbor 137, although the bracketed entry hood was probably a later addition from the second half of the 1800s. According to the 1926 Sanborn insurance maps, the house was divided into two units at the time, one housing James Warren, a janitor, and the other Paul Isham, an employee at Fort Ethan Allen.[5]

Directly opposite 133, sits 132 North Winooski Avenue, the third house down on the left side of the street. This two-and-a-half story, wood-framed, gable-fronted, Greek revival home remained a single-family residence belonging to Mrs. Theresa Spillane in 1928, the widow of her former husband Patrick.[6] The house features a double-decker porch covering off-center front entrance, most likely a recent addition to the house at the time.

Moving north, 136 North Winooski Avenue was also a single family home in 1928, although a room in the back of the house was rented out. This one-and-a-half story wood-framed, gable front, Greek revival style house was owned by Zell Fowler, an employee of the Burlington retailer Blodgett Supply Company, and Mrs. Natalie King rented a room where she lived and made her living as a dressmaker.[7]

The large brick structure on the left side of the street in the foreground is 138 North Winooski Avenue, a building with a very different history than the mid-19th century homes that surround it. Built in 1885 by the city of Burlington, the two-and-a-half story, gable-fronted building was originally constructed to house the Star Hose Company #2, a volunteer fire department.[8] The arched portico seen in the photograph, a later addition, conceals the large doorway into the first floor that was intended to house a horse-drawn hose cart, the main firefighting apparatus of the time. In 1895, just ten years after its construction, Burlington switched to a full-time firefighting force and consolidated its firehouses, leaving 138 North Winooski Avenue vacant.[9] After a brief stint as a school, the building was later rented out by the city as a meeting hall, and in 1928 the “Ligue des Patriotes Franco-Americanes” or the Franco-American legion used the building as its Burlington headquarters.[10]

1. David J. Blow, Historic Guide to Burlington Neighborhoods, volume 3 (Burlington, Vt: Chittenden County Historical Society, 1991) 36.

2. Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps for Burlington, Vt. 1926.

3. Burlington City Directory for 1928, including Winooski and South Burlington (Burlington, Vt: H. A. Manning, 1928).

4. Directory, 1928.

5. Directory, 1928.

6. Directory, 1928.

7. Directory, 1928.

8. Blow, 36.

9. Blow, 36.

10. Directory, 1928.

Click to view this street scene in 1929,or 2005

Back to the intersection between North Winooski Ave. and North St.

North Winooski Avenue North of North Avenue

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