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Historic Cities, Villages and Towns...

Burlington, Vermont
Home of General Ethan Allen

By James P. Millard

Map of the Burlington area in 1914The beautiful city now know as Burlington was, in the earliest days of colonization, part of New France. The king of France, in order to encourage settlement in the wilds of America, granted large tracts of land, or seigniories, to loyal servants. In July 1734 this region was granted to the Sieur de La Perriere, a Captain in the French military. By 1759, this area, along with all the French claims in North America became part of the British empire following the French defeat in the French and Indian War. With peace came increased settlement. On June 7, 1763 Burlington received its charter from the crown.

Left: Map showing the Burlington, Vermont area in 1914

Among the earliest settlers was one Felix Powell,Winooski Falls circa 1899 who built a simple log home on what is  now known as Appletree Point in 1773. Another location settled early was directly opposite the fort erected by the Allen's andEthan Allen Farm Marker at entrance to Park Remember Baker at the falls on the Winooski River. Before long, a bustling village had sprung up- primarily along the waterfront area. Ethan Allen moved into the town in 1787, choosing to settle on the rich bottomland in the Winooski River intervale. That same year Burlington held its first town meeting. Within two years, Burlington's most famous citizen was dead, laid to rest in Green Mount cemetery at the crown of the hill. It took another century before the monument seen at left was erected.

In 1791 the University of Vermont was chartered and the first building was erected in 1794. By the outbreak of the War of 1812, Burlington was a center of commerce on the lake, with a population of some 2,000. Only Plattsburgh rivaled Burlington in importance along the vital Lake Champlain transportation corridor. Burlington became an important military base during the war, the battery upon the bluff overlooking the lake was shelled by the British during Murray's Raid.

Burlington Waterfront circa 1885During the last part of the 18th, right through the 19th Century and the coming of the railroads, Burlington was a  center of navigation on the lake. Shipping interests such as theMarker honoring the building of the Steamer Vermont at the Burlington Waterfront Gideon King family ran busy and prosperous enterprises from the village. A large number of commercial sailing vessels were built here. They were used to carry freight between the other important ports on the lake- Whitehall, Essex, and Plattsburgh New York, and the northernmost head of navigation, St. Johns, Quebec. 

Images of Historic Burlington, Vermont

Click on the thumbnails to see a full-size image. All photos Copyright © 2007 America's Historic Lakes

Ethan Allen Park
Home of the hero of Ticonderoga

Ethan Allen Park monument
Marker at entrance 
to Ethan Allen Park

Memorial Tower built to honor General Ethan Allen
Ethan Allen tower 

Autumn view from Ethan Allen tower
Autumn scene from the tower

view of Burlington Bay from the Ethan Allen tower
View from the tower-Juniper Island on the left, the Four Brothers and New York State in the distance.

Below: Autumn splendor in Ethan Allen ParkAutumn scene at the Pinnacle in Ethan Allen Park

Elmwood Cemetery

Burlington's Elmwood Cemetery, one of the City's oldest, is a lovely and fascinating place. Here are buried Fanny Penniman, wife of Ethan Allen, Ebenezer Allen, Zadock Thompson, and many Revolutionary and War of 1812 veterans. Click HERE to learn more about Elmwood Cemetery.
 Ethan Allen grave monument in Burlington's Greenmount Cemetery
Ethan Allen Grave
Green Mount Cemetery

Green Mount

Statue of Revolutionary War hero Ethan Allen marks his gravesite
Burlington's first cemetery, a truly lovely place crowning the hill that towers over the falls on the Winooski River, is the burial place of Gen. Ethan Allen. To learn more about Green Mount Cemetery and Allen's grave click HERE.

Lake View Cemetery

Monument to Burlington's unknown in Lake View Cemetery
One of Burlington's largest old cemeteries, Lake View covers some 46 acres atop a bluff overlooking Lake Champlain. Opened in 1867, the cemetery has stunning views of the lake, miles of paths and roads and monuments marking final resting places of many famous Vermonters.

Battery Park

Battery Park circa 1899, photo by M.P. Scullin
Circa 1899

Historic marker in Burlington's Battery Park

Burlington's beautiful and historic Battery Park

Another view of Battery Park

View of Battery Park on Burlington's waterfront
Burlington's beautiful and historic 
Battery Park

Statue honoring Abenaki Chief Greylock in Battery Park
Monument to the great Abenaki chief Grey Lock

The Burlington Waterfront

Burlington Waterfront from historic Battery Park
View from Battery Park: Compare this photo with the one above circa 1885. The Boathouse was designed to resemble the old Lake Champlain Yacht Club building.

View up the bluff towards Battery Park from the Burlington Boathouse
View up the bluff to Battery Park from the Burlington Boathouse

The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum constructed the Lois McClure- an exact replica of an 1860's Canal Schooner at the Burlington Shipyard.

Vintage photos:
Round about Burlington, Vt.  1900  Charles S. Lord Winooski, Vermont: Vermont Illustrating Company.


         Map of historic Burlington, Vermont. Click on the icons to learn more about the featured historic site.

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