178 South Prospect Street
Wadhams House, located at 178 South Prospect Street, is a Greek Revival home originally constructed in 1845. [i] It was built for Nathan Strong Hill upon his arrival in Burlington to assume the post of Treasurer of the University of Vermont. [ii] In 1861, Matthew Buckham - future president of the University - purchased the house from Nathan Hill. Buckham resided there for 10 years. [iii]
An 1851 graduate of UVM, Buckham worked for two years as principal at the Lenox Academy in Massachusetts. [iv] After a tour through Europe, he returned to Vermont and was given a job teaching rhetoric at the University. [v] A department chair followed, and by 1871 Buckham was president of the University. [vi] His tenure as president saw a great building boom, giving the university much of the shape it has today.
The house passed through a number of owners until it was purchased by Sherman R. Moulton. Moulton, a graduate of Harvard Law School, set up a legal practice in Burlington in 1903. He eventually became a judge and rose through the courts until being named Chief Justice of the Vermont Supreme Court in 1938. Judge Moulton retired from the bench in 1949 and died at his home later that year. [vii]
Mrs. Moulton, not wanting to live alone, sold the property in 1949 to Richard T. Wadhams. Wadhams, one of the owners of the Lake Champlain Transportation Company, lived in the house until 1970, when he sold it to the University.
No longer a residence, since its acquisition in 1970 the home has housed part of the University's Admissions Department.
View of Wadhams House looking east. date unknown. Courtesy Bailey-Howe Library, Special Collections)
[i] University of Vermont - Historical Information on Buildings. Spreadsheet. University of Vermont, Bailey-Howe Library, Special Collections, Building Reference Files
Blow, David J. Page 175. Historic Guide to Burlington Neighborhoods. Burlington, VT: Chittenden County Historical Society . 1997.
Michael J. Plummer, graduate student. Historic Preservation Program, University of Vermont. 2007