Champlain Historic Calendar
On the cold morning of Tuesday, February 18,
2003, the Village
lost forever another of its historic homes. The former Savoy Hotel burned
to the ground, and with it, a part of Champlain’s early
Opened in 1930 as a hotel, Champlain’s residents
will likely remember the Savoy as a place
where people could have a drink after work, attend
parties, banquets and weddings, or board in one of the
upstairs rooms. Most
people, however, are unaware of who built the Savoy
or the family that lived there for almost 80 years
before the establishment of the hotel.
was built by Champlain businessman Bartlett Nye starting
in May of 1851. One of the
first things he did was to plant Locust trees in the
front yard on the hill. The
trees were the reason the estate was always called “Locust Hill”.
Bartlett Nye was born in Plympton, Massachusetts, on January 8, 1799,
and was a Mayflower descendent.
His family moved to Burlington in 1806
and when he was 16, he moved to Champlain to be with his
older brother Freeman who had moved there in 1807 at the
In 1839, Bartlett married
Lucy Matilda Moore who was the daughter of Noadiah Moore
and grand-daughter of Pliny Moore, the founder of
Champlain. They had one
child named Elizabeth Matilda Nye who was born in 1840. Six months after giving birth
to Elizabeth, Lucy and her baby contracted the measles. At first the family was not
alarmed by this. Her sister
Laura wrote her a letter from school in Middlebury, Vermont, and
mentioned the measles:
“Ma writes you have just commenced a seige
[sic] with King Measles.
I hope you will soon drive him from the
Lucy died two days after this letter was written. Surprisingly, her baby
daughter survived the sickness.
was raised by her grandmother Caroline for the next
year. During that time,
Lucy’s sister Laura was courted by Bartlett. Laura was unsure if she should
but finally decided to and was married in October of
1842. This made Elizabeth’s
her new mother. Bartlett
and Laura had seven children of which five survived to
adulthood. The children
Maria Nye, Margaret Barnes Nye, Ellen Rose Nye,
Charles Freeman Nye, Grace Cornelia Nye, Mary Laura
Nye and Bartlett Nye.
In 1817, at the age of 18, Bartlett went into
partnership with his brother Freeman and established the
firm of “F. & B. Nye”. The
two brothers acquired numerous farms and houses and
owned shops, stores, mills and a dam. In
1825, Freeman built a large estate called the “The
Lines” just over the border where the current I-87
border crossing is and used his Canadian residency to
help build their business in LaColle as well as
Champlain. Although Freeman
lived in Canada
the remainder of his life, he always kept his American
The firm of F. & B. Nye owned a considerable
amount of land and buildings in the Village
of Champlain. The Beers’ 1869 map of
Champlain shows at least 10 references to the firm of
“F. & B. Nye”. Some of
the buildings they owned included the brick buildings on
formerly called the Champlain Hall and Champlain House.
The partnership even owned
stone farm house on Prospect Street.
probably the wealthiest businessman in Champlain during
the 1840s and 1850s.
continues for several more pages and describes the
building of the house and its 150 year history.
Another 20 or so pictures are displayed in this