History of 45 Howard Street

45 Howard Street is a fine example of the many Queen Anne style cottage houses that builder John Roberts erected in Burlington in the last third of the 19th century. Characteristic is the gable end facing the street, the two narrow second story windows above a first floor bay window, the side porch and the decorative millwork on the upper story. According to the Historic Guide to Burlington Neighborhoods, Vol. III, Roberts built the houses on speculation for about $900. His own house was a grand dwelling at 227 South Willard Street.

The lot on which it was built was once part of the Buell estate. Col. Ozias Buell and his son Frederick were prosperous Burlington merchants. Ozias built the house at 303 Pearl Street for Frederick and bis bride, Eliza Hickok as a wedding present (1820) That house is now known as the Buell-Hungerford house, for it was the home of Frederick’s only daughter, Maria, who was the Buell heiress. She was married to the Rev. Edward Hungerford, a Congregational minister, who deeded #45 Howard to the first owner of the house. The Buell and Hickok estates now are the location of the Five Sisters neighborhood.

Incidentally, the Rev. Hungerford assisted the pastor at the College Street Congregational Church between 1904 and 1906, and it was he who, in 1905, married Grace Goodhue at her parents’ house on Maple Street to Calvin Coolidge.

Some time after Maria inherited the family property, Edward began to develop the extensive family holdings First came the start of Hungerford Terrace, from the property behind 303 Pearl. In 1898 he registered at City Hall a map of the family property in the south end of the city, bordered on the north by Howard Street..

There were no buildings indicated on this map, nor was there a house at the location of #45 on the Sanborn map of 1894. This made it problematic to figure the date of the house,, since John Roberts, having come into financial difficulties, left town in August of 1894 and never returned. The State of Vermont Historic Sites and Structures Survey section for this house gives a date of 1885. It has been impossible to justify this date so far, especially since the house wasn’t on the 1894 map. The City Directory does not list residents by street until 1902. Before then, one needs to know the name of a resident to find the address Also, the street numbers were changed at times.

The earliest houses on lower Howard Street were on the Sanborn 1894 map, listed as #14 and #15. They were side by side, across the street from the site of #45, and with about the same footprint. Could one of them have been moved? Probably not. Finally I consulted with Mary O’ Neill in Planning and Zoning. She noticed that the letter “H” had been penciled in on the map, on lot 95, the location of#45. H for house? I am betting that the house was built in 1894, too late to get on the Sanborn map, one of the last Roberts houses. Did the Hungerfords rent the house until it was sold in November of 1902? .So far there is no evidence one way or another. 1894 is the best guess.

So, in 1902 Rev Hungerford sold house and lot to John Merchant, an employee of the Malted Cereal Company. He had been living in the Old North End at 87 Lafountain Street. Now he was a two minute walk to work. His neighbors were mostly, like himself, of French Canadian descent, many of them employees at Horatio Hickok’s box factory. John and his wife Selina lived on Howard Street for nearly 25 years. Jobn’s occupation is also listed as carpenter. For a time in the ‘teens and twenties, the house number was 21.

Tbe house was sold to Thomas and Beatrice Bouchard in January of 1927.Thomas Bouchard owned a grocery store on Heyward Street, and lived on Shelburne Road. He rented the house to Roy Yandow, whose twin occupations are listed as electrician and billiards. He also occupied the house next door on Hayward Street, so one house must have been a business location.

The Bouchards sold in December of 1930 to Alderic and Mary Lapierre. The Lapierres, who are not listed in the City Directory, continued to rent to Yandow. Eight years later they sold to Eloi and Gabrielle Demers, who ran the South End Lunch, and lived in the house. In 1948 Donald E. Goulette, Sr., owner of Goulette’s Delivery Services, and his wife Leola bought the house. Dianne E. Garen and Dorilda M. Meunier owned the house from 1973 to 1982. R’ Paul Meunier, retired, is also listed as resident at #45. They sold to Lori L. Staab, a teacher at Essex Junction Vocational Center. Mark De Parlo owned the house in the 1990’s, then from 2002 to 2009 Mark C. and Jennifer J. Borgan-Behr had the house before the present owners.

#45 Howard Street is a beautiful example of the homes built for working people in late 19th century Burlington. There are about 50 of these homes around Burlington, in various states of preservation. This is one of the good ones.

REFERENCES

Burlington Land Records, Burlington City Hall

Burlington City Directories,, 1897 onward

Sanborn city maps, Burlington, 1894

Historic Guide to Burlington Neighborhoods, Vols. I, III

History of the College Street Congregational Church