Burlington, Vermont
Early 20th-century Postcard Views

HP 206 Researching Historic Structures & Sites • 2012
Historic Preservation ProgramUniversity of Vermont

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Green Mountain Sanitarium

This postcard of the Green Mountain Sanitarium is dated circa 1900-1923. The image would have been taken from across the street (located at 244 Pearl Street) looking northwest. The building does not exist today, so the location of the photograph is based on where 244 Pearl Street should have been. This image shows the general location of where the Green Mountain Sanitarium would have been located. There today is Pearl Street Beverage and Lakeside Pharmacy, the street address is 240 Pearl Street, while the next structure to the east of this building is 252 Pearl Street. So the sanitarium would have been located between those two structures that are there today. The image was taken looking northwest from across the street. Photo by author, 2012.

The Green Mountain Sanitarium's history starts on the Burlington Village Map of 1862 where the home of H. Hickok appears at the corner of Pearl Street and Maiden Lane.(1) Seven years later in 1869, the H. P. Hickok home appears again in the same area and the home has increased in size. The building has an extended entrance attached to a long rectangular building that has many attachments to the back, making it pyramid-like; the main entrance faces Pearl Street.(2) The Burlington city directories list H. P. Hickok as living in the building from at least 1865 (which is the first directory the UVM Special Collections has) to 1884/85.(3) H.P. Hickok died in 1884, though on the 1890 Hopkins map, the home was still labeled as H. P. Hickok.(4)

Henry P. Hickok's obituary detailed his life in Burlington. He was the president of the Merchant's National Bank for 30 years, a trustee of the University for 32 years, represented Burlington in legislative office in 1852, was a deacon for the Congressional Church, and worked as a minister in Peru, N.Y. and in Georgia. When his father became ill, Hickok returned home and continued the family business. He married Marie Buell and had only one child, Mrs. A. J. Willard.(5)

From 1896 to 1900 it is unclear who occupied the home, the 1900 Sanborn insurance map labels the house as a sanitarium, and that would place the ownership of the property under William R. Prime.(6) William R. Prime appears in the 1896 Burlington City Directory as a surgeon and physician, and as the proprietor of the Vermont Sanitarium at 244 Pearl.(7) The building based on the maps, had not changed at all since the ownership of H.P. Hickok.(8) The sanitarium was known as the Vermont Sanitarium for Women and Children. The street address changed during 1896 to 1900 from 244 Pearl Street to 124 Pearl Street and the back to 244 Pearl Street though the building was always located at the corner of North Union and Pearl Street.(9)

William R. Prime is known to have lived in the home from 1896 until 1908, at which time William I. Prime lived in the home.(10) William I. Prime had already been listed as living in the home in 1901 as a student and another resident of the home was Miss Mary F. Prime, who was a nurse at the Sanitarium.(11) William I. Prime only lived in the home until 1910. From 1911 to 1913 the home was the residence of two different doctors: first Dr. W. G. Church and then Dr. H. Waite Sabin.(12)

Then in 1914, Dr. Thomas E. Hays moved into the home and began running the Green Mountain Sanitarium. The Sanitarium ran advertisements in the Burlington city directories from 1914 to 1916, emphasizing their Turkish Baths and other medical services they offered.(13) The Green Mountain Sanitarium remained at 244 Pearl Street until 1940, at which time Dr. Hays and his wife, Marie, who was a nurse, moved to 258 Pearl Street. Based solely on the Burlington city directories, it would just seem that the change of address was just a renumbering of the buildings, it was not. The 1942 Sanborn insurance map does not show the building that was the pyramid-shaped Hickok home turned Sanitarium; instead there is a large rectangular building and a parking lot. The new building is unlabeled but has a street address of 238 Pearl Street.(14) To the east of the parking lot is a building labeled as 256/258 Pearl Street. Dr. Thomas Hays and his wife remained in that building (256/258) until 1956; Thomas died in 1943 and Marie passed away in 1956.(15)

The rectangular building at 238 Pearl Street was the First National Super Market from 1941 until 1968. In 1969 the building was listed as the Robert Thomas Interiors store; in 1970 is became the Stretch and Sew Fabric Store. The street address changed from 238 to 242 Pearl Street and then in the 1978 Burlington City Directory both 238 and 242 Pearl Street exist and house the State Liquor Store and Stretch and Sew Fabrics. 238 Pearl Street has remained a liquor store, all the way to today (it currently is the "Pearl Street Beverage") and also is the home to the Lakeside Pharmacy (at one time the Sir Speedy store).(16)

Text by Courtney Doyle

1. Sanborn Insurance Map, Burlington Vermont, June 1862, New York: Sanborn Map & Publishing Co., 1862, Sheet 10.
2. Sanborn Insurance Map, Burlington Vermont, June 1869, New York: Sanborn Map & Publishing Co., 1869, Sheet 15.
3. Burlington City Directory and Business Advertiser, (Burlington: The Free Press Association), years: 1865-1884/85.
4. G.M. Hopkins, Map of the City of Burlington Vermont from Official Records, Private Plans, and Actual Surveys, Philadelphia: Hopkins, 1890.
5. "H. P. Hickok Died," St. Albans Daily Messenger, August 11, 1884.
6. Sanborn Insurance Map, Burlington Vermont June 1900, New York: Sanborn Map & Publishing Co., 1900, Sheet 30.
7. Burlington City Directory for 1896, Burlington: L.P. Waite & Co., 1896, pg.244.
8. Sanborn Insurance Map, Burlington Vermont June 1900, New York: Sanborn Map & Publishing Co., 1900, Sheet 30.
9. Burlington City Directory, (Burlington: L.P. Waite & Co.), years: 1896 to 1900.
10. Burlington City Directory, (Burlington: L.P. Waite & Co.), years: 1896 to 1908; 1910.
11. Burlington City Directory, (Burlington: L.P. Waite & Co.), years: 1901, 1897.
12. Burlington City Directory for 1911, (Burlington: L.P. Waite & Co.), 1911, pg. 110. Burlington City Directory for 1913, (Burlington: L.P. Waite & Co.), 1913, pg. 120.
13. Burlington City Directory, (Burlington: L.P. Waite & Co.), years: 1914-1916.
14. Sanborn Insurance Map, Burlington Vermont June 1942, New York: Sanborn Map & Publishing Co., 1942, Sheet 33.
15. Burlington City Directory for 1943, (Massachusetts: H.A. Manning Co.), 1943, pg. 330. Burlington City Directory for 1956, Massachusetts: H.A. Manning Co., 1956, pg. 413. What exactly happened to the Sanitarium building is currently unknown. Sanborn Maps, City Directories, and even Burlington Free Press searches have not turned up anything at all.
16. Burlington City Directory, (Massachusetts: H.A. Manning Co.), years: 1946, 1956, 1965, 1975, 1970, 1978, 1980, 1984, and 1992.