Stories & Galleries

“A Vermont Romance”

This 1916 silent-era film is contains some of the oldest footage shot in Burlington as well as other parts of Vermont. It is included here because of its fascinating glimpses of the Burlington landscape nearly a century ago. Watch for a variety of street scenes, a steam-powered train pulling into Burlington Station, horse-drawn cabs waiting alongside City Hall Park, customers relaxing at the Hotel Vermont, and some fleeting views of the waterfront industrial landscape.

According to some sources, such as silentera.com, the film was produced by or for the Vermont Progressive Party. The film, lost for many years, was found in the early 1970's in a Montpelier barn and restored by WCAX-TV. This music track by Lee Erwin was commissioned by Vermont ETV.

“A Vermont Romance” is a melodramatic story about a down-on-her-luck young woman who came to Burlington to start a new life and found work in a sewing factory. She is pursued by a villain or two and, after a car-chase scene and an inexplicable tour through an industrial bakery, she finds "romance" with one of her rescuers. (Again, we include it here because of the wonderful, all-too-brief glimpses of the city in 1916.)