Tag Archives: burlington

Recap: Bicycle Tour and Exhibit Opening

Wheels in hand, cyclists prepared to depart for the tour from Bailey/Howe Library.

It was a lovely day for a bicycle history tour last Saturday, June 13th, with warm temperatures and blue skies! Luis Vivanco, University of Vermont professor of anthropology and author of Reconsidering the Bicycle: An Anthropological Perspective on a New (Old) Thing,  led thirteen adventurous wheelmen and wheelwomen on a cycling tour of Burlington’s rich bicycling past, with stops all over the city.

Luis, in costume, introducing bicyclists to the tour and the history of bicycling.

The tour was offered in conjunction with the opening of our new summer exhibit in the main lobby of Bailey/Howe Library on the main campus of the University of Vermont: Cycling Through the News: The Rise of Bicycling in Vermont and the Nation.

A sincere thank you to Luis Vivanco for donating his time and expertise to lead the tour around town on Saturday!


We’ll end this post with a short article from the Burlington Weekly Free Press from August 21, 1885, page 3, concerning Burlington’s many attractions for cyclists:

Burlington Weekly Free Press, August 21, 1885, p. 3.

(For more Burlington, Vermont, and American bicycle history tidbits, check out the exhibit! Another great place to see actual historic bicycles in Burlington is at the Old Spokes Home bicycle museum!)

The exhibit is on display until August 26th, 2015.

Cyclists taking a look at the exhibit before the bike tour.

Cycling Through the News: complementary event/exhibit

In conjunction with the “Cycling Through the News” exhibit, a bike tour is planned for this Saturday, June 13. Details:

Wheeling Around Burlington: A Bicycle History Tour  … By Bike

Grab your “wheel” (bicycle) and join us for a tour of Burlington to celebrate the opening of Bailey-Howe Library’s new exhibit on bicycle history! During this 10-mile jaunt, we will explore the fascinating history of the late-nineteenth century “bicycle boom” when wheeling took the country–and our city–by storm. Led by Professor Luis Vivanco, the bicycling anthropologist, we will visit places that can tell us who rode, why they rode, how they rode, and how these things were connected to important social changes.

When: Saturday, June 13, 10am-12noon
Where: The tour will start and end at Bailey-Howe Library on UVM campus so you can visit the exhibit as well.
What to bring: your wheel (of course!), a helmet, and a water bottle

Rain date: Saturday, June 20, 10am-12noon

ALSO… a complementary exhibit in Special Collections (Bailey-Howe Library, Ground floor):


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User Spotlight Series: Egbert Stolk

Egbert Stolk examining a wall at New York’s Tenement Museum, while an intern there this summer. Photograph by Alexandra Brown.


Egbert Stolk writes as a guest blogger for our User Spotlight Series this month. Egbert                recently graduated from the University of     Vermont’s Historic Preservation Program with a Master of Science. Below he shares his experience of using Chronicling America to research immigrant stories for The Burlington Edible Food Tour.


In my work for the edible food walking tour in Burlington, Vermont, we strive to gather immigrant stories who were working directly or indirectly in the food industry in Burlington. The different ethnic groups that came to America, and in our case specifically Burlington, also brought their food traditions with them. Sometimes traditional food was sold in shops or otherwise immigrants sold American food, while cooking ethnic food at home. In The Burlington Edible Food Tour we try to uncover immigrant and food stories, and places that relate to these stories. We used the online newspaper database Chronicling America to find more stories for the tour. For example: to locate street vendors and restaurants owned by immigrants and events pertaining to those businesses. It was very helpful as history is sometimes lost forever, but with the help of century-old journalism we are able to reconstruct part of Burlington’s immigrant              history. Continue reading User Spotlight Series: Egbert Stolk

User Spotlight Series: Vermont Milk Chocolate Company

Periodically, we’ll be interviewing researchers and showcasing projects that are using content from Vermont historical newspapers on Chronicling America.

Our first interviewee is Frances Gubler, a graduate historic preservation student at the University of Vermont, who has been conducting research this fall on historic industrial and manufacturing buildings on Flynn ???????Avenue in Burlington, Vermont, as part of a class research project. Fran graciously agreed to meet and share some of her newspaper findings.

To start, I asked Fran what she found valuable about Chronicling America.
“Chronicling America is easy to use. Microfilm is interesting, but it is also intimidating. With Chronicling America, you can do a quick keyword search and get results,” said Fran. Continue reading User Spotlight Series: Vermont Milk Chocolate Company

A Spectral Story: Queen City Cotton Mill Ghost

“Burlington’s Ghost.” From the Vermont Watchman, November 28, 1900.

Happy Halloween, or as the historic newspapers have it, happy Hallowe’en, from VTDNP!

Halloween is today, and thus, it’s appropriate to share a ghostly tale that captivated Burlingtonians at the turn of the twentieth-century at the Queen City Cotton Mill on Burlington’s waterfront. Dozens of people attested to witnessing the apparition of a recently-deceased mill worker, Marie Blais, around the premise of the property.

Marie was hit by a train in June of 1900 at the Lakeside railroad crossing, and was killed immediately.

By that fall, stories of the female mill ghost became prevalent–the lights of the trains would flicker when passing over where Marie was killed, and people attested to seeing visions of the girl near the railroad tracks and of her working at her old loom in the mill at night. Some even attested to hearing screams near the track. Continue reading A Spectral Story: Queen City Cotton Mill Ghost