Old Images of Montpelier, Vermont

Categorised as Vermont
Old photo of the view of Montpelier, Vermont, taken around 1904
Old photo of the view of Montpelier, Vermont, taken around 1904. From the archives of the Detroit Publishing Company Photograph Collection at the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Glimpse history through old images of Montpelier, Vermont, the seat of Washington County in the United States of America.

A Bird's-eye view of Montpelier in Vermont, published in 1884
A Bird’s-eye view of Montpelier in Vermont, published in 1884. From the archives of the Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division.

The Pavilion Hotel

At 109 State Street sits a 1971 reconstruction of a French Second Empire style building, now used as the principal workplaces of the Governor of Vermont, the Vermont Attourney General, the Vermont State Treasurer, and the Agency of Administration, as well as the Vermont Historical Society and its museum.

The original hotel on that site was opened in 1808, and later expanded and rebuilt in the Greek Revival style, at which point it became the Pavilion Hotel.

Then in 1874 the building was demolished, to be replaced by the $100,000 French Second Empire style hotel, offering ninety bedrooms, two ball rooms, dining rooms and lounges, all lit by jet gas and served by steam powered elevators.

It served a duel purpose as both a hotel and a home for many of Vermont’s legislators, until October 1966 when longer commuting journeys led to less demand for the hotel’s bedrooms and the premises were abandoned.

Did the Pavilion Hotel need to be demolished in 1969? Probably not, but organised protections for historic buildings were only just emerging. At least the new 1971 building recreated many aspects of the lost building’s facade.

Old photo of State Street and the Pavilion Hotel in Montpelier, Vermont, taken around 1904
Old photo of State Street and the Pavilion Hotel in Montpelier, Vermont, taken around 1904. From the archives of the Detroit Publishing Company Photograph Collection at the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.
Old photo of the Pavilion Hotel in Montpelier, Vermont, taken around 1904
Old photo of the Pavilion Hotel in Montpelier, Vermont, taken around 1904. From the archives of the Detroit Publishing Company Photograph Collection at the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

I added this closeup so you can see some of the smaller details in the image:

Closeup of an old photo of the Pavilion Hotel in Montpelier, Vermont, taken around 1904
Closeup of an old photo of the Pavilion Hotel in Montpelier, Vermont, taken around 1904. From the archives of the Detroit Publishing Company Photograph Collection at the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Old photo of the Post Office in Montpelier, Vermont, taken around 1904
Old photo of the Post Office in Montpelier, Vermont, taken around 1904. From the archives of the Detroit Publishing Company Photograph Collection at the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Old photo of the Kellogg-Hubbard Library in Montpelier, Vermont, taken around 1904
Old photo of the Kellogg-Hubbard Library in Montpelier, Vermont, taken around 1904. From the archives of the Detroit Publishing Company Photograph Collection at the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Old photo of Lower State Street and the Winooski River in Montpelier, Vermont, taken around 1904
Old photo of Lower State Street and the Winooski River in Montpelier, Vermont, taken around 1904. From the archives of the Detroit Publishing Company Photograph Collection at the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

I’ve added a closeup, to give a clearer view of the buildings spotted behind the trees, and the footbridge across the river:

Closeup of an old photo of Lower State Street and the Winooski River in Montpelier, Vermont, taken around 1904
Closeup of an old photo of Lower State Street and the Winooski River in Montpelier, Vermont, taken around 1904. From the archives of the Detroit Publishing Company Photograph Collection at the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Old photo of the Winooski River in Montpelier, Vermont, taken around 1904
Old photo of the Winooski River in Montpelier, Vermont, taken around 1904. From the archives of the Detroit Publishing Company Photograph Collection at the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Flood of 1927

This photo is very low resolution so unfortunately I couldn’t add a quality closeup. The Library of Congress site has a handful of 1927 photo thumbails of Montelier’s flooded streets, but they are too small and blurry to display here.

However, even this low resolution photo shows how badly damaged State Street was by Vermont’s great 1927 flood, which happened on 3rd and 4th of November, and left homes abandoned, factories submerged, and farm animals drowned.

On the right side of the photo you can see the Pavilion Hotel.

The flood of November 1927 caused widespread damage to the streets and buildings of Montpelier, Vermont
The flood of November 1927 caused widespread damage to the streets and buildings of Montpelier, Vermont. From the archives of the Albertype Company Photograph Collection at the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Montpelier Flood 1992

The news item from 1992 shows how bad that year’s flooding hit Montpelier.

State Street looks like a river, with three to five feet of water flowing fast through the capital building complex. Even the canoe is difficult to keep under control.

Then the ice started to break up and move down the river, which was quite a sight, and there was concern whether the bridges would hold so people weren’t allowed to cross.

Everyone seems very jolly given some of the difficulties they had faced.

Very suddenly, the water disappeared. But of course, that’s when the clean up had to start and the emergency services quickly went round to assess the risks of fire and other dangers.

Montpelier Vermont Flood of 1992 – Ocarina Oftime on YouTube

Montpelier Flood 2011

The serious floods which hit Montpelier on 28th August 2011 following hurricane Irene are shown in this news segment, leading to a discussion and display of old photos of the terrible floods which struck Vermont in 1927.

C-SPAN Cities Tour – Montpelier: Vermont’s Historic Floods – C-SPAN on YouTube

Old Map of Montpelier

Admire a beautifully illustrated old map of Montpelier, created in 1884.

Montpelier Vermont History and Cartograph (1884) – Bravura Media Company on YouTube

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