Campus Treasures

 

Nicholson House

41 & 43 South Prospect Street

1810

Offices, Center for Student Ethics & Standards

 

 

The Nicholson House on 41-43 South Prospect Street has undergone many changes since its construction nearly two hundred years ago.  Dr. John Perrigo was the first owner of the house which was built just prior to the War of 1812.[1]  The structure would have originally resembled the shape and massing seen on the Benedict House next door.  Evidence of the original layout is still present although well hidden behind Queen Anne style additions.  The house served primarily as a residence for UVM affiliates during the rest of its history.  During the early 19th century, Professor James Dean and later Professor Henry Chaney lived in this house.[2]  By the 1870s-1880s, Daniel C. Linsley became the landlord of the house which he used as a rental.[3]  Daniel Linsley was an engineer who had designed the railroad tunnel by North Avenue in 1861, and by 1870 became the Burlington city mayor.[4]  Linsley owned this house and also the home on 52 Williams Street, later known as the Bishop’s House.

Former owner of Nicholson House

Picture from, "Round About Burlington." Charles Lord, Free Press Association: 1900.

The next owner of 52 Williams Street also purchased the building on 41-43 South Prospect and expanded both buildings during his ownership.  In 1893, A.E. Richardson, a wealthy Burlington businessman bought the property that was behind his recently renovated mansion on Williams Street. Richardson was the partner of the Wells Richardson Company that began as a wholesale drug supplier for northern New England in 1872.  Wells Richardson expanded their business and by the early 1880s was distributing its goods all over North & South America, Europe and Australia.[5]  Richardson renovated the home by dividing the house into a duplex.  A three story addition to the rear of the house was created and Queen Anne styling was added to the new appendages on the front façade.  Richardson made this renovated building available to renters until 1913 when the University of Vermont acquired the building shortly after his death.[6]  The house was used as rental housing by the University for another fifty years when it was converted for use as office space.[7]  Most recently, the Center for Student Ethics and Standards has made their offices in the Nicholson House.

 

 

 

 

 

Nicholson House and the Benedict House Circa 1930

Pictures courtesy University of Vermont Special Collections

[1] Blow, David.  Historic Guide to Burlington Neighborhoods.  Eds. Lilian Baker Carlisle. Chittenden County Historical Society publ.  1991. Page 169.
[2] Blow, David.  Historic Guide to Burlington Neighborhoods.  Eds. Lilian Baker Carlisle. Chittenden County Historical Society publ.  1991. Page 169.
[3] Davis, Kerry.  “History of Nicholson House.” Online posting, Nov 1999. 13 November, 2007  http://www.uvm.edu/campus/nicholson/nicholsonhistory.html
[4] Blow, David. “Burlington in History, Historic House at 52 Williams Street.”  Burlington Free Press  29 August 1976.
[5] Child, Hamilton.  Gazetteer & Business Directory of Chittenden County Vermont for 1882-1883.  Hamilton Child publ. Syracuse NY: Journal Office, August 1882.  Page 109-111.
[6] Blow, David.  Historic Guide to Burlington Neighborhoods.  Eds. Lilian Baker Carlisle. Chittenden County Historical Society publ.  1991. Page 169.
[7] Davis, Kerry.  “History of Nicholson House.” Online posting, Nov 1999. 13 November, 2007  http://www.uvm.edu/campus/nicholson/nicholsonhistory.html

 

 

Researched by: Johnny Holdsworth

graduate student, Historic Preservation Program, University of Vermont, 2007