More than a Market

The Template Parlor

Image of a parlor with a red sofa on the left and a small, elaborate yellow-tiled fireplace to the right on an angled wall. The fireplace opening is circular, and the mantel is supported by elaborately-carved wooden columns. The walls are hung with photographs and paintings.

A Template Gathering Space

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Danis's Cash Market

A French-Canadian Market at 37 Conger Avenue in the Lakeside Neighborhood of Burlington 1926-1969

Located a stone’s throw from the Lakeside Park, Danis’s Cash Market was the physical and social center of the community. Here neighbors purchased the cuts of meat central to French Canadian cuisine and stocked up on refreshments before heading over to watch baseball games in the park. Over the years, a hall on the second floor served the community as a billiard hall, a school, a church, and a gathering space.

Courtesy of Shelburne Museum Archives.

Physically separated from Burlington by railroad tracks and united by a shared language and culture, Lakeside residents formed a tight-knit community. Developed by the Queen City Cotton Company for its workers, the neighborhood included tenement, apartment, and duplex housing, a general store, a nursery, a barbershop, a cobbler, a handful of grocery stores, and a large central park with swings and slides, a baseball diamond, and a hockey rink in winter.

Noon hour, returning to Queen City Mill from Lakeside, c. 1909. Courtesy of Prints and Photographs Collection, Library of Congress (Lewis Hine Collection).

The Danis family’s arrival in Vermont was typical of many French Canadians seeking better job opportunities in the mills. Louis Danis, his wife Victorine, and their eight children arrived in St. Albans by rail from St. David d’Yamaska, Quebec, around 1910. The family settled in Queen City Cotton Company housing in Lakeside, and many worked at the mill over the next few decades.

Louis and Victorine Danis with their children, c. 1935. At the back are Donat (second from left) and Arthur (third from left).


In 1926 son Arthur Danis opened a grocery store advertising billiards and tobacco at 34 Conger Avenue, moving the business across the street to 37 Conger Avenue in 1937. His younger brother Donat was the meat cutter and bookkeeper for the store. Both men were active in religious and civic organizations and in Democratic politics. Donat served as alderman for Ward 5, advocating for the needs of his community in the south end of Burlington.

Donat Danis (left) and Arthur Danis and family (right)

Making a Template Visible

Template and the Template Project

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Template Dumbwaiter

A dumbwaiter was included in the china closet so that food could easily be sent from the kitchen upstairs to the night nursery where the three Eustis children took many of their meals.

Template Elevator

The builders’ plans for the mansion indicate that was originally an elevator installed in the house, which would have been a simple cab that was used primarily for wood. An electric sawmill in the basement was used to cut wood to the proper size. The current elevator cab was upgraded in the early twentieth century.

Template Safe

This safe is located in the China Closet and would have housed the family silver and other valuable pieces. When the outermost door is closed it appears to hide a regular closet, but when opened reveals two different doors sets that lie beneath. The first is a faux wood grained metal door that locks with a key, and the second is a set of double metal doors, also faux wood grained, that open with a knob.

Template Telephone Room

This telephone room was installed after the house’s initial construction when the Eustises replaced the Western Electric telephone that had been installed closer to the front door. As telephone conversations became more commonplace, the need for privacy prompted the addition of this tiny room.

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Historic Paint Cross Section

Template Uncovering the Original Paint

In order to discover the original paint of the hall, a deep chip was removed from the wall and its cross section examined through a microscope, revealing each layer of paint. In this cross section from the hall, four individual layers of red paint were used to create the original wall treatment, followed by a single layer of modern white paint. The four original paint layers contained hand-ground pigments of various sizes, creating a depth in the color that was more like canvas painting than modern wall painting. As part of the restoration of the Eustis mansion, Historic New England hired specialized decorative painters to recreate the four layers of red in the hallway, restoring it to the original Pompeiian red.

Base layer of red paint.

Second layer of red paint.

Third layer of red paint.

Top layer of red varnish.

Modern white latex paint, now painted over.

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Template Small Parlor Classical Print

In the nineteenth century famous paintings were often copied as prints and circulated to a mass audience. This is a lithograph after the British artist Lawrence Alma-Tadema’s painting completed in 1885 and now in the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Alma-Tameda’s career spanned more than sixty years during which he focused almost exclusively on classical scenes like this one, imagining the people and their surroundings in minute detail. It’s the attention to detail that appealed to proponents of the Aesthetic Movement who were deeply concerned with the artfulness of day-to-day objects.