James Jones 204 pages softcover
On August 4th, 1929 the Queen City's street car era went up in literal flames. More than 5,000 attendees witnessed the spectacle of an unforgettable farewell party. held at the corner of Main and St Paul Streets in downtown Burlington. Vermont.
Burlington's public transportation story began much more sedately with a horse drawn street railway system in 1885. The routes expanded when a state-of-the-art electrified system replaced equines eight years later. A second company connected neighboring Winooski, Fort Ethan Allen and Essex Junction soon after. An inevitable merger and name change took place when the Burlington Traction Company began its ride during 1896.
For the next third of a century, as many as three-million annual patrons rode its 16 miles, to Winooski, Fort Ethan Allen, Essex Junction as well as Burlington's Queen City Park, downtown, North Beach, Ethan Allen Park, local hospitals, schools, sporting events, family gatherings, seasonal events and work commutes. Before automobiles, Burlington Traction Company was the quickest, least expensive way to travel greater Burlington. Ridership declines after World War 1, and rubber tired buses drove away most passengers.