Stereoviews of Burlington, Vermont


Historic Burlington ProjectUniversity of Vermont Historic Preservation Program

Stereograph Research on the Historic Waterfront of Burlington, Vermont during the late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries

By Paul Willard Gates

As part of the curriculum for the Historic Preservation Program at the University of Vermont, the class of 2016 completed a group research project for the course titled HP 206: Researching Historic Structures and Sites. The core principles of the course focus on methodologies and documentation techniques utilized in the professional field of historic preservation. Through the use of primary and secondary sources, we developed skills used to identify and record historic buildings, sites, even whole districts. At the end of the project, the results of the research were incorporated into a website of our own design and ultimately placed online here so that the public may enjoy the stewardship of our research and further understand the importance of our collective past.

During the period of time spanning from the late nineteenth century to the turn of the twentieth century, various parts of Burlington, Vermont was photographed on stereographs. Stereographs were a popular form of media in the late nineteenth century.(1) The stereograph, or stereo view, was an ingenious type of photograph with two nearly identical images placed together. When viewed with a device called a stereoscope, the photograph produced an optical effect where the image appeared three-dimensional.(2) The remarkable images produced were unprecedented, giving the viewer a feeling of depth and perception that couldn’t be reproduced with the other photographs at the time.

Special Collections at the University of Vermont Library has a wonderful collection of stereograph images of the Queen City. A selection of these stereographs were divided into four categories focusing on specific geographic areas. Tim Hulett has researched views from the University of Vermont Campus, Michelle Johnstone has covered the Hill neighborhood section, Jackie Lehmann has looked at the views of downtown Burlington, and my research is of views of the Waterfront. A vast swath of the Waterfront was captured in time when railroad, docks, lumberyards, and heavy industry covered much of the area. Aside from a few buildings and other infrastructure, the waterfront today has drastically changed; there are almost no tangible remains of the vibrant and thriving industrial community that once dominated Burlington’s Waterfront. The map below is for referencing the approximate locations where each stereograph was taken. They are numbered 1 through 12.

Figure 1. Map showing area of study. Paul Willard Gates
Figure 2. Stereograph TR, President Roosevelt, in the Green Mountain State, steamer landing, Burlington, Vt. North. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.
Figure 3. Reshoot 29.JPG. 341˚ north. Image taken by Paul Willard Gates on October 20th, 2014.

This stereograph depicts President Theodore Roosevelt with a group of men on a large dock with a boat stationed in the background. Further behind them is Lake Champlain and a rolling tree line. The stereograph has the publisher stamped on the left hand side of cardboard, “Underwood & Underwood Publishers, New York, London, Toronto - Canada, Ottowa - Kansas.”(3) On the righthand side of the cardboard mount, “Works and Studios, Burlington, Vt, Littleton, NH, Washington, D.C.” is stamped along with “sun sculpture trade mark” placed in between the works and studios.(4) Below the righthand stereograph is written “President Roosevelt, in the Green Mountain State, steamer landing, Burlington, Vt. Copyright 1903 by Underwood &Underwood.”(5) The time of day proves difficult to determine along with the fact that almost no shadows are shown by individuals in the picture, due to the possibility of an overcast sky with no visible sun. Thankfully, further research has solved this dilemma.

After initial research into historic articles of the Burlington Free Press, it was discovered that President Roosevelt had visited Burlington in 1902. The President undertook an extended tour through several towns and he arrived in Burlington via rail where he was greeted by “one of the largest crowds in the history of the city, the streets along the line of march also thronged.” President gave a short speech to the excited crowds of Burlington from a stand erected outside of the Fletcher Free Library and after a short reception at Governor Woodbury’s residence, was driven by carriage to the yacht club where he boarded the Elfrida for a trip to Thompson’s Point. There were about five hundred people along with the Sherman Military band who followed the President to Thompson’s Point on the Champlain Transportation Company’s steamboat Chateaugay.(7)

An accurate date can be attributed to this stereograph of being taken at the Burlington Yacht Club on August 30th, 1902. The Burlington Weekly Free Press mentions that Teddy Roosevelt visited Vermont on a Saturday and the article was published on the 4th of September 1902, Saturday places his visit five day before the publish date of the article.(8)Page 12 of the Burlington Weekly Free Press also mentions the time of day and the street taken leading down to where the Elfrida was berthed, which was around five o’clock and the street was College leading down to the yacht club dock.(9)Looking further at the stereograph and comparing the Burlington Weekly Free Press article to historic maps of Burlington and the waterfront, we can make a solid connection on the location of the dock where he embarked upon the Elfrida. The images below from The Worley & Bracher Map of 1869, The Bird’s Eye View of Burlington and Winooski, Vermont, published in 1877 by JJ Stoner, Madison, Wisconsin, and the Sanborn Map Company of Burlington, 1900, sheet 19 all depict the dock over a forty year time span from 1869 to 1900. Presently, the Burlington Community Boat House occupies the dock providing a full service marina to customers.

Figure 4. Detail of the Plan of the City of Burlington, Chittenden Co., Vt, Worley & Bracher, 1869. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library,
Figure 5. Detail of Bird's Eye View of Burlington and Winooski, Vermont, published in 1877 by JJ Stoner, Madison, Wisconsin. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.
Figure 6. Detail of Burlington 1900, sheet 19, Sanborn Map Company. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.
Figure 7. B21.16. Moonlight on Lake Champlain. Northwest. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.
Figure 8. Reshoot 2 Moonlight.jpg. 287˚ west. Image taken by Paul Willard Gates on October 10th, 2014.

This stereograph was taken at night will a full moon set in a cloudy sky overlooking Lake Champlain. In the bottom of the photos, the shadows of trees are outlined along with a tall smoke stack in the lower right hand corner with the northern tip of the Burlington breakwater with a small light house at the very end. The waters of Lake Champlain reflect the moonlight with the outline of the Adirondack mountain range in the back ground. Stamped on the left hand side of the cardboard is “American Scenery, Published By.”(10) On the other side of the cardboard, “Hills & Bowlers, Burlington, Vt.” is stamped.(11) Though it is hard to make out any other distinguishable features in this stereograph, information can be gleaned from the primary landmarks, namely the breakwater, lighthouse, and the smoke stack. Judging by the time the reshoot photograph was taken, it must have been sometime in the early morning as after six a.m. was when the reshoot was taken.

In the 1830s the farthest end of Burlington waterfront was relatively undeveloped and had little in terms of docks built into the offshore sections of the district.(12) This all changed as time progressed well into the later half of the nineteenth centuries as historic maps show a gradual progression of industry beginning to take shape. The Presdee & Edwards Map of Burlington, Vermont, 1853 shows a small rectangular building just below a hill near the Rutland and Burlington Railroad tracks, parallel to North Avenue yet there is very little else in regards to any other industry.(13) There is nothing mentioned of the breakwater or light around this area. The Beers map from 1869 in Figure 8 shows a much larger amount of infrastructure including the Holfe Tyler & Co., Lumber Yards, the Linsley & Co., Planing Mill, the Otis Shepard & Co., Lumber Yard, the Gates & Kilburn Lumber Yard, various sub-streets running perpendicular to the waterfront, some of the breakwater (not including in area), and the Central Vermont Rail Road and other associated rail lines.(14)

The index and sheet 8 Sanborn Fire Insurance maps from 1885 also depict the lumber yards but list the ownership of this area under the name of J.R. Booth along with two planing mills and box shops, the first owned by Linsley & Co., and leased to W. & D. G. Crane along with the second mill being leased to W. & D. G. Crane.(15) A third box shop is listed under sublease to Pope & Watson.(16) Figures 9-12 depict these areas in great detail, outlining the locations of various lumber storage sheds, the mill buildings, building housing engines to power the mills, offices, rail roads, and the larger storage yards which were curiously arranged perpendicularly to the waterfront with “streets” running in between each lumber pile.(17) J.R. Booth Lumber Company as depicted in the advertisement of Figure 14, was a popular and successful company that advertised widely in the Burlington Weekly Free Press throughout the late nineteenth century and into the early twentieth century.(18) Presently, the U.S. Coastguard station, Community Sailing Center, the remains of the Moran Plant, and the Burlington Waterfront park and bicycle path occupy the area. The view is referenced as number 2 on the project map.

Figure 9. Detail of the F. W. Beers 1869 Plan of the City of Burlington, Chittenden Co., Vt. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.
Figure 10. Detail of Burlington 1885, index, Sanborn Map Company. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.
Figure 11. Detail of Burlington 1885, sheet 08, Sanborn Map Company. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.
Figure 12. Detail of Burlington 1885, sheet 08, Sanborn Map Company. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.
Figure 13. Detail of Burlington 1894, lumber yards detail, Sanborn Map Company. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.
Figure 14. Detail of J. R. Booth Company advertisement, Burlington Weekly Free Press, November 8th, 1878. Chronicling America.
Figure 15. B21.33. The Docks. South west. Special Collections, University Of Vermont Library.
Figure 16. Reshoot 25.JPG. 172˚ south west. Image taken by Paul Willard Gates on October 6th, 2014.

This is a daylight image of the J.R. Booth lumber yard and mill complex down on the waterfront, facing south west. Though the image doesn’t have any stamps or makers marks, there is a single, very small word written in cursive on the upper lefthand side of the cardboard back of “Booth.”(19) Also in very faint lettering on the left hand stereograph is the number “172,” it isn’t clear what the number signifies but it would possibly be related to the number of photographs taken.(20) It’s an interesting photo because it catches the magnitude of the amount of lumber that dominated the northern section of Burlington’s waterfront and docks. The piles of processed board lumber are staggering: some are nearly as large as the planing mill located in the center of the photos with the large smoke stack belching out smoke. Judging by the shadows being cast off the northern facing edges of the lumber piles and buildings, it appears as though this stereograph was taken midday or early afternoon.

The design of the mill in the stereograph has a main two story rectangular block with perpendicular block extension in the rear along with a smaller “L” shaped extension on the front with the smoke stack located to the left. The F.W. Beers 1869 Plan of the City of Burlington, Chittenden Co., Vt. listing of the Linsley & Co., planing mill fits the overall shape of the building while later maps show additional buildings incorporated into the existing infrastructure.(21) The Bird’s Eye View of Burlington and Winooski, Vermont depicts a drawn three dimensional image of the planing mill complex along the waterfront with more additions to the original structure listed on the Beers Map. Figure 19 shows how the planing mill augmented since 1869 to 1890, where W. & D. G. Crane along with E. A. Pope are listed as leasing the property(22).

Due to the design of the main mill complex, it is very reminiscent of the layout found on the F.W. Beers 1869 Plan of the City of Burlington, Chittenden Co., Vt.(23) Details of the mill fit the outline in Figure 17. However, researching later maps such as the 1877 Bird's Eye View of Burlington and Winooski, Vermont (figure 18), sheet 8 of the Sanborn Fire Insurance Map of Burlington, 1885 (figure 11) and even the G.M. Hopkins 1890 Map of the city of Burlington, Vermont (depicted by figure 19), show various additions made to the area. The village of Burlington, Vt. by C. Wainwright from 1862 has several unlabeled long rectangular buildings in the vicinity of the planing mills but doesn’t show the mills themselves.(24) Due to the absence of the mills from the 1862 Wainwright map and the nearly stereographs identical match to the 1869 F.W. Beers Map, the date of its construction and the date in which the photo was taken could be post 1862 and pre 1877. Without doing more proper research, the date of the photograph cannot be conclusive. Presently, the remains of the Moran Plant, Community Sailing Center, the the Coastguard Station, and the Burlington Waterfront park and bicycle path occupy the area. The view is referenced as number 3 on the project map.

Figure 17. Detail of the F.W. Beers 1869 Plan of the City of Burlington, Chittenden Co., Vt. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.
Figure 18. Detail of Bird's Eye View of Burlington and Winooski, Vermont, published in 1877 by JJ Stoner, Madison, Wisconsin. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.
Figure 19. Detail of the G.M. Hopkins 1890 Map of the city of Burlington, Vermont: from official records, private plans and actual surveys. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.
Figure 20. B21.22. Down by the Lake, (South, Burlington, Vt. South. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.
Figure 21. Reshoot 21.JPG. 170˚ south. Image taken by Paul Willard Gates on October 6th, 2014.

Stereograph B21.22 is a day time picture set picture taken of the southern section of the J.R.Booth lumber yards with associated buildings, the waterfront, and the rail roads along with related infrastructure. On the left hand side of the cardboard back is stamped “American Scenery.” along with the word “Booth” handwritten in the same cursive signing as found on stereograph B21.33.(25) Below the left hand image is “179. Down by the Lake, (South, Burlington, Vt.” and on the right hand side is stamped “Green Mountains.”(26) Judging by the shadows cast off the eastern sides of the buildings, lumber piles, and rail cars, this stereograph was possibly taken in the early or middle of the afternoon as the sun was setting in the west.

The photographer must have moved further south off of the bluff on Depot Street overlooking the water front industrial district from where stereograph B21.33 was taken.(27) The image not only incorporates J. R. Booths lumber yards in the right hand side of the photo, but also the wharf and basin in the upper right hand corner along with many rail lines and a large double bay front gabled building identified as “the engine house.”(28) The 1869 Beers map also show the “engine house” with the J. R. Booth lumber yards, particularly the yard space leased by Gates & Kilburn and Barnes & Company with a coal shed to the mid upper right hand corner on the water front basin area along with a a lumber shed to the left of it with the name G. L. Linsley below both buildings.(29) Not included in the picture is the City Water Works building (figure 26) which houses two pumps producing eighty horse power each for pumping water.(30)

The extent of the image that the stereograph captures extends further south down along the waterfront. Much more of the industrial district and infrastructure continues but the blurred background makes it hard to distinguish the other buildings. Due to the similarities between B21.33 and B21.22 such as the setting around the J. R. Booth lumber yard, the double bay engine house, and the arched basin enclosure at the waterfront. Both images could have been taken around the same time. The comparison of the depicted infrastructure in the maps of Worley & Bracher from 1869, F.W. Beers 1869, the 1887 Bird's Eye View of Burlington, and the Sanborn Fire Insurance map of Burlington 1885, sheet 08, give a date range in which the could have been taken of sixteen years between 1869 and 1885. The 1862 C. Wainwright map of the Village of Burlington, Vt depicted in figure 22 shows the engine house, railyards, the dock basin, along with several unmarked buildings could also expand the date range by twenty years but since the planing mills are not incorporated into this map it is hard to be sure.(31) As of today, the derelict Moran Plant, Community Sailing Center, the U.S. Coastguard station, and the Burlington Waterfront park and bicycle path occupy the area. The view is referenced as number 4 on the project map.

Figure 22. Detail of the village of Burlington, Vt, C. Wainright, 1862. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.
Figure 23. Detail of the Plan of the City of Burlington, Chittenden Co., Vt, Worley & Bracher, 1869. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.
Figure 24. Detail of the F.W. Beers 1869 Plan of the City of Burlington, Chittenden Co., Vt. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.
Figure 25. Detail of Bird's Eye View of Burlington and Winooski, Vermont, published in 1877 by JJ Stoner, Madison, Wisconsin. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.
Figure 26. Detail of Burlington 1885, sheet 08, Sanborn Map Company. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.

The next five stereographs, B21.31, B21.20, B21.18, B21.19, and B21.19 are being lumped together because they all more or less represent the same subject matter. They cover the middle district of Burlington's waterfront from current day Battery Park just off of Battery Street. Though there are differences between all four of them, primarily, the angle in which they were shot, they all incorporate similar structure and sites. They are Lake Champlain, Oakledge Park, Shelburne Point, the Adirondacks, the breakwater, the steamboat dock, the southern end of J.R. Booths lumber yard, Pioneer shops, and the Vermont Central Rail Road Passenger Depot, various rail lines and other associated builds.

Figure 27. B21.31. Rail yards on Lake Front. South west. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.
Figure 28. Reshoot 6.JPEG. 225˚ South west. Image taken by Paul Willard Gates on October 6th, 2014.

Stereograph B21.31 is a daytime picture taken of the middle district of Burlington’s waterfront. Lake Champlain, the breakwater with a light house on it, the tip of Oakledge Park, Shelburne Point, and the Adirondack Mountain Range of New York encompassed all of the upper portion of the stereograph. The industrial district of the waterfront covers the foreground of the stereograph with several large buildings, many railcars connected to each other in at least three rows, a railcar shed, some lumber piles, and a sectioned off basin surrounded by docks with a steamboat moored on the left at the steamboat landing. Stamped on the cardboard back on the left hand side is “W. H. Menns, Burlington, Vt.” with “Views of the City and Vicinity” stamped on the right hand side.(32) By looking at the shadow of the side gabled light house in the middle of the breakwater being cast toward the east, it appears that the stereograph was taken after midday, perhaps in the early afternoon.

After researching the historic maps, it appears that the time period that would have incorporated a lot of the listed infrastructure and building would have to be after 1869. Nothing before this time period shows the exact arrangement and construction, except the F.W. Beers and Worley & Bracher maps of 1869 (Figures 29 and 30).(33) The dock is called “central dock” while the edge of it with the steamboat is labeled as the “steam boat dock” with warehouses on it.(34) On the Sanborn Fire Insurance Map of Burlington 1885, sheet 09 (figure 31), the steeply pitched front gable roofed warehouse immediately to the left of the dock with the railcars coming out of it is labeled as the “car shed” and there is a smaller but similarly constructed warehouse in the back of it labeled as “salt storage.”(35) The infrastructure in the foreground is part of Pioneer Shops which include the large building on the bottom left of the image, which is the “mach shop 1st and carp shop 2nd,” the similar sized building to the right of it is the “Burlington Shade and Roller Co.,” and the smaller gable roofed building to the left of it stores “lumber, packing curtain, fixtures, and a lumber dryer.”(36)

More information from the Sanborn Fire Insurance Map of Burlington 1885, sheet 10 (Figure 32) show the “central dock” being renamed to the “central wharf” with the steam boat landing on the western edge of the wharf, the building in front of the landing is labeled as the “steam boat freight depot,” and the second smaller building is the passenger depot.(37) Curiously enough, at the steam boat landing is a steam boat (Figure 33)! After looking at various types of steam boats that would have plied the waters of Lake Champlain during the latter half of the nineteenth century and comparing the outlines of the rudder, stern, hull, amid ships section, the walking beam engine, smoke stack, and pilot house, the only ship that fits the profile of the one at the dock is the Reindeer (figure 34).(38) The Reindeer was built from 1880–1881 by the Grand Isle Steamship Company in Alburgh, Vermont, and Ell Rockwell served as her captain through 1884.(39)

Figure 29. Detail of the F.W. Beers 1869 Plan of the City of Burlington, Chittenden Co. , Vt. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.
Figure 30. Detail of the Plan of the City of Burlington, Chittenden Co., Vt, Worley & Bracher, 1869. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.
Figure 31. Detail of Burlington 1885, sheet 09, Sanborn Map Company. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.
Figure 32. Detail of Burlington 1885, sheet 10, Sanborn Map Company. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.
Figure 33. Detail of Reindeer at dock on Stereograph B21.31. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.
Figure 34. Steamboat Reindeer at dock at the Champlain Steamboat dock off of College Street Burlington. University of Vermont Landscape Change Program and the Fletcher Free Library.

Much of the waterfront has significantly changed since the late nineteenth century. Aside from the general outlines of the waterfront and some of the existing permanent docks, nearly all of the infrastructure and buildings are gone, either burned by fires in the past or demolished to make way for Burlington’s Waterfront Park and other twentieth century structures. The Burlington Community Boathouse and docks now stand where the steam boat landing, freight, and passenger sheds used to be along with Echo Lake Aquarium and Science Center. The light house in the middle of the breakwater is no longer there. The outlying jetty that sectioned off the basin is underwater and the surrounding docks were removed and replaced with the waterfront boardwalk. All the Central Vermont Rail Road lines and associated building are gone except for one rail line that runs along side the bike path down on the waterfront park. A majority of the buildings associated with the Pioneer Shops are also gone, aside from three buildings just north of Main Street Landing off of Lake Street. The view is referenced as number 5 on the project map.

Figure 35. B21.20. South from Battery, Burlington, Vt. No. 1. South west. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.
Figure 36. Reshoot 14.JPG. 223˚ south west. Image taken by Paul Willard Gates on October 6th, 2014.

Stereograph B21.20 is a day time view of the middle district of Burlington’s waterfront. The central wharf and steam boat landing, the breakwater with light houses, Lake Champlain, the projection and tip of Oakledge Park, Shelburne Point, and the Adirondack mountain range of New York of the stereograph. The industrial district of the waterfront covers the foreground of the stereograph with at least two buildings at the bottom, one in the righthand corner has a barely distinguishable roof line sign of Blodgett & Son. Several of the rail lines from the Central Vermont Rail Road Company are in the center of the picture with railcars connected to each other, one of J.R. Booths lumber yards with related infrastructure, and the sectioned off basin. Stamped on the left hand side of cardboard back is “Photo By M. Y. Bixby,” with “South from Battery, Burlington: Vt. No. 1.” written on the bottom half of the left stereograph.(40) Stamped on the righthand side of the cardboard back of the stereograph is “Burlington, Vermont.”(41) By looking at the shadows cast off the eastern side of the connected railcars, the sun would be setting in the west, placing the time of day either early or mid afternoon.

Aside from many of the distinguishable features discussed from stereograph B21. 31 such as the central dock as shown in the F.W. Beers and Worley & Bracher maps of 1869 (figures 29 and 30) and it’s renaming as the “central wharf’ in the Burlington 1885, sheet 10, Sanborn Map Company (figure 32), there are some subtle differences. Stereograph B21. 20 was taken farther north from stereograph B21.31 because it depicts more of J.R. Booths lumber yard. Figure 37 shows more detail of J.R. Booth’s Yard “4” with a parallel arrangement of “streets” number 1st through 4th.”(42) G.L. Linsly’s Coal Shed is located near the south western part of the pier while two lumber sheds are at the very end.(43) The slightly obscured roofline advertisement of “Blodgett & Son” stands out predominantly at the bottom of the stereograph and was a planing mill known under the name Blodget & Son’s.(44) Worley & Bracher map of 1869 (figure 39) also mention the company but as “C Blodgett & Son.”(45) The updated Sanborn Fire Insurance map from 1885 doesn’t label it at all on sheet 09, where the location of the planing mill from 1869 would place it on the northern edge of the Pioneers Shops, where Baldwin Manufacturing Co., a company that produced refrigerators, now occupies (figure 37).(46) The building to the left of Blodgett & Sons planing mill on the stereograph is labeled on the Sanborn 1869 map, sheet 05 (figure 38) as a shavings ware house and retains its function as a wood shavings ware house on the Sanborn 1885 map, sheet 9 (figure 37).(47)

Today, the waterfront has significantly changed in appearance. One fact not mentioned in the previous stereographs is the amount of tree growth that’s occurred since the later half of the nineteenth century. It’s difficult to get a good view of the now mostly vacant Burlington Waterfront park with the treeline. The Burlington Community Boathouse is visible along with the breakwater but the original steam boat landing building no longer there. The breakwater no longer has the light house on it. The lumber yards are no longer there with most of the basin now open without the barrier that once boxed it in. The rail yards are also absent with the exception of the single track that runs through Waterfront Park. The view is referenced as number 6 on the project map.

Figure 37. Detail of Burlington 1885, sheet 09, Sanborn Map Company. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.
Figure 38. Detail of Burlington 1869, sheet 05, Sanborn Map Company. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.
Figure 39. Detail of the Plan of the City of Burlington, Chittenden Co., Vt, Worley & Bracher, 1869. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.
Figure 40. B21.18. South from Battery, Burlington, Vt. South west. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.
Figure 41. Reshoot 12.JPEG. 217˚ west. Image taken by Paul Willard Gates on October 6th, 2014.

Stereograph B21.18 is another view in the set of photos from Battery Park over looking the central section of the waterfront industrial district. It incorporates many of the same elements of the district in stereographs B21.31 and B21.20 including the central wharf with the steamboat landing, a second dock with a building and lumber stacked on it, the Central Vermont Rail Road rail lines and car shed, and parts of the Pioneer Shops. Stamped on the left hand side of cardboard back is “Photo By M. Y. Bixby,” with “South from Battery, Burlington: Vt. No. 4.” written on the bottom half of the left stereograph.(48) Stamped on the righthand side of the cardboard back of the stereograph is “Burlington, Vermont.”(49) Judging by the shadows cast from the railcars, they are nearly in line them on the ground suggesting that the stereograph was taken during the middle of the day.

However, what is different about this stereograph is the inclusion of more structures associated with Pioneer Shops, more rail road associated infrastructure such as the car shed in stereograph B21.31, and the Central Vermont Rail Road Passenger Depot. The “Pioneer Mechanic Shop” is mentioned on the Presdee & Edwards Map of Burlington, Vermont 1853 (Figure 42) and shown as a large and narrow rectangular building abutting a bluff surmounted by Water Street.(50) Over the years, it expanded and augmented greatly in size, which will be covered in the narrative for stereograph B21.21. The Central Vermont Rail Road Passenger Depot is only partially included at the far left hand side of the stereograph but will have more information covered for it in the narrative for stereograph B21.19. The F.W. Beers map of 1869 (Figure 43) list all of these structures and the Sanborn Maps of 1885 and 1889 also list the structures but in greater detail. The view is referenced as number 7 on the project map.

Figure 42. Detail of Presdee & Edwards Map of Burlington, Vermont, 1853. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library
Figure 43. Detail of the F.W. Beers 1869 Plan of the City of Burlington, Chittenden Co., Vt. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.
Figure 44. B21.19. South from Battery, Burlington Vt. South west. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.
Figure 45. Reshoot 8.JPEG. 249˚ west. Image taken by Paul Willard Gates on October 6th, 2014.

B21.19 is the second stereograph grouped together from the other five stereographs representing the central section of the Queen City’s industrial waterfront. Taken off of Battery Park, three young boys are posing in front of a picketed fence where the boy on the left is hanging off the fence, the boy in the middle is looking towards the north, and the last boy on the right is gazing south toward the waterfront. As previously mentioned, this stereograph focuses on the Central Vermont Rail Road Passenger Depot. Through the mass of buildings of Pioneer Shops in the immediate foreground below the fence, the joined railcars along the tracks, and the high peaked front gabled sheds and ware houses lining the waterfront, the Passenger Depot imposes over them and everything else. Stamped on the left hand side of cardboard back is “Photo By M. Y. Bixby,” with “South from Battery, Burlington: Vt. No. 2.” written on the bottom half of the left stereograph.(51) Stamped on the righthand side of the cardboard back of the stereograph is “Burlington, Vermont.”(52) The long shadows being cast the the railcars off their eastern side suggest the stereograph was taken in the late afternoon.

The Central Vermont Rail Road Passenger Depot rests in between the end of Bank and College Street (figure 46) along the waterfront.(53) A very large structure, it has two large blocked towers facing Lake Champlain, four smaller towers at each corner of the main block, and three round bays allowing easy ingress and egress out of the station on either the southern or northern facade. The Burlington Free Press commented in an article of the plans for a new passenger depot to be made for the Central Vermont Rail Road.(54) Under the supervision of D. C. Linsley Esq., Engineer of the Road, and Warren Thayer, architect, the new passenger depot was to replace a small dwelling house considered “makeshift” in regards to the majesty of the new station.(55) With this new station, it provided a large open interior with three platforms, restrooms for women and men, a ticket and telegraph office, offices for the Central Vermont Rail, water, and gas.(56) The paper estimated that it would take at least another winter to complete.

Figure 47 shows the general design of the passenger station along with three structures below it. They include the back side of the car shed seen in B21.31 and B21.18. The other structures set behind the car shed are the freight depot and two ware houses owned by E.W. Peck and leased to O.J. Walker and Brothers.(57) Figures 48 and 49 shows a three dimensional hand-drawn section of the 1887 Bird's Eye View of Burlington and Winooski, Vermont, where the passenger depot stands out prominently amidst the built landscape. It ceases to show up in later Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps after 1912 where a new Union Passenger Station was built at the foot of Main Street.(58) Currently, there is a parking lot where the passenger depot used to stand and almost no heavy rail lines except for the existing line running parallel with the Burlington Bike Path. The view is referenced as number 8 on the project map.

Figure 46. Detail of the G.M. Hopkins 1890 Map of the city of Burlington, Vermont: from official records, private plans and actual surveys. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.
Figure 47. Detail of Burlington 1885, sheet 09, Sanborn Map Company. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.
Figure 48. Detail of Bird's Eye View of Burlington and Winooski, Vermont, published in 1877 by JJ Stoner, Madison, Wisconsin. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.
Figure 49. Detail of Bird's Eye View of Burlington and Winooski, Vermont, published in 1877 by JJ Stoner, Madison, Wisconsin. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.
Figure 50. B21.21. South from Battery, Burlington, Vt. South. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.
Figure 51. Reshoot 19.JPEG. 176˚ south. Image taken by Paul Willard Gates on October 6th, 2014.

B21. 21 is the last of the stereographs to cover the middle waterfront district of Burlington and was taken from Battery Park. The photographer covers nearly the entire expanse of the Pioneer Shops, a collection of various manufacturers that produced goods throughout the middle of the nineteenth century well into the twentieth. Many of the building have flat or curved roofs and a tall single smoke stack emerged out from the middle of the site. Stamped on the left hand side of cardboard back is “Photo By M. Y. Bixby,” with “South from Battery, Burlington: Vt. No. 3.” written on the bottom half of the left stereograph.(59) Stamped on the righthand side of the cardboard back of the stereograph is “Burlington, Vermont.”(60) The shadows coming off the western side of the buildings suggest that the stereograph was taken in the early morning hours with the sun rising in the east.

The Pioneer Shops first started out as the “Pioneer Mechanic Shop” is mentioned on the Presdee & Edwards Map of Burlington, Vermont 1853 (Figure 42) depicted as a large and narrow rectangular building abutting a bluff surmounted by Water Street.(61) In 1869, it had expanded exponentially into a massive complex under the ownership of B.S. Nichols (Figure 52) which included lumber sheds, various ware houses, the Gates & Kilburn furniture factory, machine shops, a door and sash ware house, a carriage house, a wheel wright, door manufacturing, a foundry, and a 175 horsepower engine to provide power to the entire site.(62) Pioneer Shops maintained well into the end of the nineteenth century and into the twentieth with the exception of different tenants moving in and out.(63) In 1885, J. R. Booth and J. A. Woodbury took ownership of Pioneer Shops with B. S. Nichols & Co., Burlington Shade and Roller Co., W. H. Brink, Wing & Smith, and Baldwin Manufacturing all leasing various shops and manufacturing space.(64)

The row of buildings on the left hand side of the factory space consist of the foundry with associated storage rooms, a 400 horsepower engine also occupied this space further south with the accompanying smoke stack, a machine and carpentry shop, sash doors, blinders, furnishing, sawing, and planing space hidden by the roof of the machine and carpenter shop.(65) On the right hand side of the site, half of the roof of the sawing and planing mill is visible with the curved roofline of the Burlington Shade Roller Company behind it, and the latter rooflines of the factory spaces used for door furnishings, curtains, sashes, blinds, mouldings, and glass. The Central Vermont Rail Road Passenger Depot is visible from its northern facade along with other mills and factory sites extending further south along the Queen City’s waterfront. Today, most of the original Pioneer Company infrastructure is gone except for a few buildings, parking lots, and the Main Street Landing building. The view is referenced as number 9 on the project map.

Figure 52. Detail of the F.W. Beers 1869 Plan of the City of Burlington, Chittenden Co., Vt. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.
Figure 53. Detail of the F.W. Beers 1869 Plan of the City of Burlington, Chittenden Co., Vt. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.
Figure 54. Detail of Burlington 1885, sheet 09, Sanborn Map Company. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.
Figure 55. B21.17. Southwest view of Lake Champlain. South west. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.
Figure 56. Reshoot 31.JPEG. 250˚south west. Image taken by Paul Willard Gates, November 11th, 2014. Pine Street Barge Canal and Rail Yard.

The maps that depict these piers are found in the indexes of the Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, starting with the 1885 map (Figure 57).(66) This same configuration is also shown on the G.M. Hopkins map.(67) These structures were used for the Pine Street Barge Canal when it was in operation. It was a canal with a basin for boats to come into the Shepard & Morse Lumber Companies yards (Figure 57). It also provided access for the Skillings, Whitney and Barnes Lumber yards and the inland canal was a massive structure that was parallel with Pine Street in the southern section of the Burlington Waterfront District (Figure 58).

It appears that this picture also incorporated residences as well as an engine and turntable house. Further inspection of the darkened areas to the left of the stereograph depict a half rounded large building. The only building with that shape is the Central Vermont Rail Road round house (Figure 60 and 61). Judging by the elevated downward angle looking towards the south west, it could have been taken somewhere off of the corner of Pine Street and King or Maple Street. Currently, the double piers no longer exist. The barge canal is no longer in use, and the roundhouse foundation and railways are off of Railway Lane just off of the Burlington bike path. The view is referenced as number 10 on the project map.

Figure 57. Detail of Burlington 1885, sheet 09, Sanborn Map Company. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.
Figure 58. Detail of the G.M. Hopkins 1890 Map of the city of Burlington, Vermont: from official records, private plans and actual surveys. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.
Figure 59. Detail of the G.M. Hopkins 1890 Map of the city of Burlington, Vermont: from official records, private plans and actual surveys. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.
Figure 60. Detail of Burlington 1885, sheet 12, Sanborn Map Company. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.
Figure 61. Detail of Bird's Eye View of Burlington and Winooski, Vermont, published in 1877 by JJ Stoner, Madison, Wisconsin. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.
Figure 62. B21.154. South east. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.
Figure 63. Reshoot 27.JPG. 151˚ South east. Image taken by Paul Willard Gates on October 6th, 2014.

This stereograph is labeled as B21.154 by Special Collections, the University of Vermont Library. Stamped on the lefthand side is “Published by L.G. Burnbam & Co.,” with “No. 136. Boats to Let” on the bottom half of the lefthand picture.(68) On the righthand side is printed “Burlington, Vermont.”(69) Depicted is a beach on Lake Champlain looking south east along a heavy tree line with three buildings in the woods. There are several small watercraft pulled up onto the beach including what appears to be an end of a barge in the bottom righthand side of the stereograph.

Through the Burlington City Directory of 1888-1889, I was only able to find a couple of advertisements on the only company that had boats to let. It lists Charles R. Archambault as the proprietor for a company with “row boats for sale or to let.”(70) The advertisement states it has “first-class row boats supplied to camping parties by the day or week. Rates reasonable, Patronage solicited.”(71) However, I am skeptical of the location of this company in relation to the site where stereograph B21.154 was taken just north of the junction of the Pine Street Canal. The Directory lists the company as being at the “boat house near Depot, foot of College street.”(72) This is not close to where the location of the stereograph at all. The Burlington City Directory of 1900 lists the Archambault business as moving from the foot of college street to “71 North Battery.”(73)

The only other company that had boats for use and rental in Burlington in the late nineteenth century was that of Henry Chiott who owned a boat livery.(74) The advertisement from the directory states his company has “fine boats for sale or to let. Also steam launch fitted up in first class style. Foot of King St., Burlington, Vt.”(75) While the location of Chiott’s boat livery is closer to the location of where the stereograph was taken, it’s far from the foot of King Street. Currently, Railway Lane and building associated with the Vermont Rail Road company occupy the area along the Burlington Bike Path. The remains of the piers leading into the old barge canal can also be seen in both the stereograph and the reshoot, especially at low tide and lake level. The view is referenced as number 11 on the project map.

Figure 64. B21.34. From the Break-water. East. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.

Stereograph B21.34 shows the Burlington waterfront at the central wharf at the foot of College Street. The Central Vermont Rail Road Passenger Depot is visible behind it along with the rest of downtown Burlington. While this image does cover the waterfront district, it provides a unique vantage point of looking up and eastward at the skyline of the Queen City. Stamped on the lefthand side of the cardboard is “American Scenery” with “402. Burlington, Vt., from the Break-water.”(76) Judging by the shadows being cast off and down of the eaves of the steam boat freight depot, it appears as though the stereograph was taken in the late morning or the middle of the day. The view is referenced as number 12 on the project map.

Figure 65. Detail of the Plan of the City of Burlington, Chittenden Co., Vt, Worley & Bracher, 1869. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.
Figure 66. Detail of Bird's Eye View of Burlington and Winooski, Vermont, published in 1877 by JJ Stoner, Madison, Wisconsin. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.
Figure 67. Detail of Burlington 1885, sheet 10, Sanborn Map Company. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.
Figure 68. Detail of Burlington 1900, sheet 19, Sanborn Map Company. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.

This view is iconic due to the representation of the late 19th century Burlington Waterfront. Figures 65 through 67 shows the central dock (or wharf) at the end of College Street where Theodore Roosevelt had his stereograph when he visited the Queen city in 1902. The configuration of the central wharf at that time however, doesn’t show the passenger depot and changed the ownership of the steamboat freight depot building to the Lake Champlain Yacht Club. Sheet 10 of the 1889 Sanborn Fire Insurance map also doesn’t list the separate passenger depot building; it was incorporated into the freight depot building at the foot of the dock.(77) The Central Vermont Rail Road Passenger Depot is also depicted in the photo right behind the steamboat dock.

While the context of these features was already covered in previous sections, there are some very prominent features that rise above the rest of the buildings in downtown Burlington. They are the churches and their associated steeples further up on the hill. Looking at the stereograph in a magnified view, the four churches were identified through simple triangulation using a ruler and paper copies of the Frederic W. Beers Plan of the City of Burlington, Chittenden Co., Vermont 1869 map, the J. J. Stoner Bird's Eye View of Burlington and Winooski, Vermont, 1877 map, and the G.M. Hopkins 1890 map of the city of Burlington, Vermont. From left to right they are the First Unitarian Church, the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church, and the First Baptist Church.

Figure 69. Detail of stereograph B21.34. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.
Figure 70. Detail of the F.W. Beers 1869 Plan of the City of Burlington, Chittenden Co., Vt. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.

Based off of the G.M. Hopkins 1890 Map of the city of Burlington, Vermont, the Unitarian Church is located off of Elmwood avenue and Pearl street, the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church is located off of Saint Paul and Cherry Street, Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church is located off of Saint Paul street and Bank street, and the First Baptist Church is located off of Saint Paul street and Bank street,(78) Each one of these churches are also listed on the Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps in 1885, 1889, and 1894. However, in figure 73 the 1877 Bird eye view map of Burlington and Winooski depicts Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church without a belfry whereas the stereograph shows it having one. The belfry for this church must have been added onto the church sometime after 1877 and into the 1880s. Currently, only three of the four churches are in their original location. The Unitarian Church is now called the First Unitarian Universalist Church, the Immaculate Church is now called the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, and the First Baptist Church still retains its historic name. Infrastructure related to the Burlington Town Center occupies the block where Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church historically was. It was reconstructed at the foot of Cherry street along Battery street after a fire destroyed the original church in 1971.(79)

Figure 71. Detail of Bird's Eye View of Burlington and Winooski, Vermont, published in 1877 by JJ Stoner, Madison, Wisconsin. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.
Figure 72. Detail of stereograph B21.34. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.
Figure 73. Detail of Bird's Eye View of Burlington and Winooski, Vermont, published in 1877 by JJ Stoner, Madison, Wisconsin. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.
Figure 74. Detail of stereograph B21.34. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.
Figure 75. Detail of stereograph B21.34. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.
Figure 76. Detail of Bird's Eye View of Burlington and Winooski, Vermont, published in 1877 by JJ Stoner, Madison, Wisconsin. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.
Figure 77. Detail of stereograph B21.34. Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.

The stereographs from Special Collections at the University of Vermont are a wonderful and unique collection of nineteenth century photographs that cover a broad area of Burlington, Vermont. Familiar places on the University of Vermont campus, through neighborhoods in the hill section, buildings and streets downtown, and the waterfront are all depicted in over a hundred stereographs. By comparing them to historical maps, alternate primary sources, and secondary sources, the Historic Preservation 206 class aim to create a rich narrative of the histories of these areas. The waterfront was major industrial center from the middle of the nineteenth century going into the twentieth where steam and canal boat docks, railways, lumber yards, mills, and other manufacturing sites lined the shores of Lake Champlain south from Pine street all the way north past Battery Park. As time progressed, the landscape changed and the previous dominating industrial district that helped to fuel the economics of the Queen city slowly disappeared, was absorbed into the current landscape, and was replaced with the modern twenty first century vista that now defines the Burlington waterfront.

Notes

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5. Stereograph President Roosevelt, in the Green Mountain State. steamer landing, Burlington, Vt., Stereograph Collection, Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.
6."Burlington's Welcome, The President Receives an Ovation from Our People, One of the Largest Crowds in the History of the City Assembled in City Park - The Streets Along the Line of the March Also Thronged.” Burlington Weekly Free Press, September 4, 1902, 12, accessed October 12, 2014, http://www.chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86072143/1092-09-04/ed-1/seq-12/.
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