Merchants Row, Rutland Vermont

Looking north on Merchants Row from Center Street in Rutland, around 1904. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company collection.

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Merchants Row in 2015:

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Aside from a conspicuous lack of horse-drawn carriages in the 2015 scene, this view of Merchants Row hasn’t changed a whole lot in the past 111 years.  The only prominent building from 1904 that doesn’t survive today is the one on the far right, which was destroyed along with several other buildings in the 1906 fire.  Following the fire, the current building was built on the site.  Otherwise, all of the other buildings are still around today, although some have been altered.  The left side of the street is particularly well-preserved, with many of the buildings dating to the 1860s.  The oldest of these is probably the Ripley Bank Building, which was built before 1864.  Just beyond it is the ornate facade of the Rutland Opera House, which was built in 1881 after the original burned in 1875.  Today the entire area here is part of the Rutland Downtown Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places.

Center Street, Rutland Vermont (2)

Another view looking east on Center Street from Merchants Row in Rutland, taken around 1907-1920. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company collection.

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Center Street in 2015:

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These photos were taken from nearly the same location as the ones in this post, but the historic photo here shows the north side of Center Street as it appeared in the years following the 1906 fire that destroyed most of the left-hand side of this scene.  Since the first photo was taken, though, not much has changed.  Some of the buildings have been altered, such as the Rutland Savings Bank building on the far right, but otherwise all of the prominent buildings from the early 20th century are still there today, including the Mead Building on the left, which is situated at the corner of Center Street and Merchants Row and replaced the earlier Bates House Hotel that had been destroyed in the fire.  Today, the entire area is part of the Rutland Downtown Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places.

Center Street, Rutland Vermont (1)

Looking east on Center Street from Merchants Row in Rutland, around 1904. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company collection.

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Center Street in 2015:

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This view of Center Street has seen plenty of changes over the years, but some of the original buildings are still there.  The most obvious one is probably the Rutland Savings Bank building on the far right.  It was built in the 1860s, but was substantially renovated in the 1950s.  Most of its 19th century architectural detail was lost during this renovation, including the mansard roof, which was replaced with a fourth floor, and the pillared entrance, which was replaced with marble along the entire first floor of the building.

Across the street, several other 19th century buildings survive.  The long, three story commercial blocks in the center date to the 1860s (left) and 1880s (right), and further up the hill is the red brick steeple of the 1872 First Baptist Church.  However, none of the buildings in the left foreground of the first photo survive; these buildings were destroyed in a massive fire in February 1906, just a year or two after the photo was taken.  The losses included the Bates House Hotel on the far left, which was replaced with the present-day building in 1907.  The other two buildings on the left-hand side of the 2015 photo were also built in the immediate aftermath of the fire, in 1906-1907.

Dorr Drive, Rutland Vermont

Looking west on Dorr Drive in Rutland, around 1900-1910. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company collection.

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Dorr Drive in 2015:

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This view of Dorr Drive was taken from the same spot as the ones in this post, just angled differently.  Taken from in front of The Maples, the home of 19th century author Julia Caroline Dorr, the first scene shows a typical country road in early 20th century rural New England.  The road is narrow and unpaved, and although automobiles existed during this time period, it is unlikely that many would have ventured this far into the Vermont countryside.  Today, however, the rural road is now a fairly significant route in Rutland, and is one of the main ways to get to the College St. Joseph, which is just up the road.

The Maples, Rutland Vermont

The Maples, the home of author Julia Caroline Dorr, on Dorr Drive in Rutland, around 1900-1910. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company collection.

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The house in 2015:

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This house on Dorr Road in Rutland was once the home of Julia Caroline Dorr, a 19th century American author known for both prose and poetry. She was born in South Carolina, but grew up in Vermont. Her husband was Seneca M. Dorr, a lawyer and politician originally from Vermont. The couple moved to Rutland in 1857, which was probably around the time this house, knwon as “The Maples,” was built. The Dorrs lived here for the rest of their lives; Seneca would practice law in Rutland and go on to serve as the President of the Vermont Senate, and Julia continued to publish her work. Seneca died in 1884, and Julia in 1913, so the first photo was almost certainly taken while she was still living there. Today, the house is still there, and although it no longer has the porch, it still retains much of its architectural detail.  However, there is a substantial addition on the right-hand side of the house, which is now used as a church.

Calvin Coolidge and Allen Treadway at Plymouth, Vermont

Congressman Allen T. Treadway presenting two rakes to President Calvin Coolidge at the Coolidge Homestead in Plymouth, Vermont on August 19, 1924.  Photo courtesy of Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection.

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The scene in 2014:

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I’m not quite sure what’s going on in this first scene.  I understand that Congressman Allen Treadway is giving two hand-carved rakes to President Coolidge, but I’m not entirely sure why.  Film of this ceremony can be seen at the beginning of this video.

Congressman Treadway represented the First Massachusetts District from 1913 until 1945, and before that he was the President of the Massachusetts Senate from 1909-1911, three years before Coolidge himself would hold the same position.  They never actually served together in the Senate; Treadway left just before Coolidge started, but like Coolidge he was a Republican from Massachusetts and fellow graduate of Amherst College.