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Lake Horicon & Lake Champlain, Part II

Lake Horicon and Lake Champlain was originally published in 1858 and written as a travelogue.  Quaint in its writing it does provide the reader of today with an insight to the state of development and commerce of those communities along its shores; and,  how this water base transit systems provided the means to deliver their economic products through this north-south “corridor of commerce” during the mid-nineteenth century between the great cities of Canada and New York.

As a Holiday Season special gift from us to our readers we are offering from our “Olde Post Office Book & Gift Shop” another book published in 1858 – “Home Sketches of Essex County – Ticonderoga” written by Flavius (Joseph) Cook.  An in depth review of our town’s earliest history to 1857.   Mentioned that you read this on the Ticonderoga Historical Society’s web page or our “Facebook” page and get it for the discounted price of $10.*

*No other discount apply

Burlington – Mr. Charles Lanman, in his Sketches of Adventure, says:  “Of all the towns I have seen, Burlington, in Vermont, its decidedly one of the most beautiful.  It stands on the shore of Lake Champlain, and from the water to its eastern extremity is a regular elevation which rises to the height of some three hundred feet.”  It is the most important town on Lake Champlain; is a port of entry, and by recent arrangements between our government and Great Britain, is made one of the two ports (Plattsburgh being the other,) on Lake Champlain, at which merchandise sent from England through the United States into Canada, is entered for inspection and exportation.  The principal streets running east and west are one mile in length and these are crossed nearly at right angles by others running north and south, cutting the whole village into regular squares.  The village contains about 7000 inhabitants, and is steadily advancing in wealth and population.  It is the seat of the University of Vermont, which is a flourishing institution, having a large and increasing Medical College occupying a separate building connected with it, a well selected library of about 8000 volumes, a good chemical and philosophical apparatus, and a respectable cabinet of natural history.  Besides the university buildings, the village contains eight Churches; a large Town Hall, which cost $30,000; a Custom House; a Public High School; a Female Seminary; four Banks; four Printing Offices – two daily and three weekly newspapers; seven Hotels and Taverns; about sixty Stores – four of which are Book-Stores.  There are three lines of Railroads, by each of which trains arrive and depart twice or more, daily, excepting Sundays.  During the continuance of navigation, there are regular lines of steamboats to Whitehall and Rouse’s Point, a Steam Ferry to Port Kent and Plattsburgh, besides numerous arrivals and departures of irregular boats, sloops, &c.  There are four extensive wharves with storehouses, and two extensive freight depots on the lake shore, with passenger depots near the lake, and one near the center of the village.  A Breakwater has been built in front of the wharves, for the protection of shipping.  Opposite to Burlington the width of the lake is 9 ¾ miles, and the soundings taken at eight different places along the line, vary from 50 to about 300 feet.

The buildings of the University of Vermont are delightfully situated at the eastern extremity of the village, at an elevation of 277 feet above the level of the lake.  The prospect from the dome of the principal edifice is, at some season of the year, one of unrivaled beauty, and well repays the toil of ascent.  Here is spread out, as upon a map before the eye, the busy village; the lake, stretching from south to north, with its bays and islands, its steamboats and other water craft; the Winooski river, dashing through dark and frightful chasms and then winding gently through the meadows at the north; and, more remote, the forests and farms and smiling villages; and, to complete the picture, varied outline of mountains, many of whose summits mingle with clouds.  Population of the town about 8000.