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Northern Telephone Company Building

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1906. West side of Main St., Enosburg Falls
  • (Stephen Whitaker)

This modest two-story, brick office block faces east from the southwest corner of the green. It is the first telephone building constructed in Vermont. In 1883 Charles L. Ovitt installed the first telephone in Enosburg Falls to connect his store with the rail depot several miles away. He and two associates started the Enosburg Phone Company in 1895, merging it with the Northern Telephone Company in 1899. They acquired two other fledgling telephone companies, and in 1906 built this switching station and office, finally moving the local switchboard out of Ovitt's own house. By adopting the styling of office and bank blocks typical of Vermont's more urban areas, the neoclassical Northern Telephone building presented an image of solidity and permanence important to the new industry and let the public know that the company was in Enosburg Falls to stay. Twelve women operators and three male supervisors worked here regularly until 1942, when switching machines replaced the manual switchboard. Today the office block still contributes to downtown Enosburg Falls and its linear cluster of small-scale commercial buildings along Main Street, providing a fine backdrop for Dairy Days parades that are a community celebration each June.

Writing Credits

Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson


What's Nearby


Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson, "Northern Telephone Company Building", [Enosburg, Vermont], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Vermont

Buildings of Vermont, Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2013, 202-203.

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