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Champlain Transportation Company Records

Identifier: mss-935

Scope and Content

The Champlain Transportation Company Papers consist of a variety of manuscripts and photographs from the period 1824-1947. The "A" collection included are bound volumes of Company ledgers, stock books, board meeting minutes, and various reports. There is also a considerable amount of correspondence and other loose manuscripts from the half century l825 to 1875. The manuscripts and letters pertain to all aspects of the Company -- daily business, passenger lists specifications of new steamers, finances, employees, and so on -- as well as providing insights into the careers of such noted CTC officials as Philo Doolittle Thomas H. Canfield and LeGrand B. Cannon. In addition, there are many photographs and pictures in the collection, both of CTC steamboats and Company employees and officers. The collection has been arranged chronologically, with the photos alphabetized at the end.

The Champlain Transportation Company Papers "B" consist of a variety of manuscripts and photographs from the period 1900-1947. Included are bills and memoranda pertaining to many facets of the company inventories, leases, employees, inspections, and so on as well as following the careers of noted CTC officials, Daniel Loomis, and H.W. Corbin. The photographs primarily pertain to the building of the Steamer, Horicon.

The collection has been divided into five sub-divisions: Lake Champlain Transportation Co. (LCTC), Plattsburgh-Grand Isle Ferry Co. (PGIFC), Lake George Steamboat Co. (LGSC), Green Mountain Adirondack Ferry Co. (GMAC) and Photographs. Each sub-division has been arranged alphabetically.

For historical background refer to the beginning of the inventory of the Champlain Transportation Company "A" Collection.


  • 1812-1947



Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights:

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Curator of Manuscripts.

Historical Note

The Champlain Transportation Company was founded in October of l826 in Burlington, Vermont. Luther Loomis of Burlington was elected first president, and the Company entered into active competition with the various other Lake Champlain ferry and steamboat organizations the following summer with the launching of the Franklin. The CTC proved more successful than its competitors at attracting business and dealing with the financial problems created by the large number of transportation vessels operating on the lake, and by l835 had absorbed or bought up the equipment of the other Lake Champlain steamboat companies. The Company grew steadily thereafter, and despite occasional competition from rival groups or individuals, dominated transportation on the lake throughout the nineteenth century. In l868 the CTC bought control of the Lake George Steamboat Company, and two years later the Delaware and Hudson Railroad gained control of the CTC, when they acquired a permanent lease from the Rensselaer and Saratoga Rail Road, which had acquired a controlling interest in the CTC. The Delaware and Hudson retained control of the CTC until 1937, when, after a number of years of declining revenues, the railroad sold the Company to Horace W. Corbin.. Service on Lake George ceased in 1939, and steamboat runs on Lake Champlain also became less and less extensive throughout the 1940's. Finally, in l948 the CTC ended its steamboat service on Lake Champlain as well (although a Burlington group did acquire and run the Ticonderoga until she was moved to Shelburne museum in 1954), to be replaced by steel ferries under the control of the new Lake Champlain Transportation Company. The LCTC and its regular ferry service are still in operation.


  1. 1. Ralph N. Hill, "Champlain Ferries," Vermont Life, 16, no. 4 (Summer 1962), 2-6, 20-28.
  2. 2. Ralph N. Hill, Lake Champlain: Key to Liberty (Taftsville, Vt.: Countryman Press, 1977).
  3. 3. Ralph N. Hill, Sidewheeler Saga: A Chronicle of Steamboating (New York: Rinehart and Co., 1953).
  4. 4. [Ogden R. Ross], The Steamboats of Lake Champlain, l909 to 1930 (n.p.: Press of the Delaware and Hudson Railroad, 1930).


22.5 Linear Feet (18 cartons)

Language of Materials



The Champlain Transportation Company was founded in October of 1826 in Burlington, Vermont and dominated transportation business on the lake throughout the nineteenth century. The Champlain Transportation Company Papers consist of a variety of manuscripts and photographs from the period 1824-1947. The letters pertain to all aspects of the company including daily business, passenger lists, specifications of new steamboats, finances, and employees. The photographs document both of Company steamboats and employees and officers.

Physical Location

Silver Special Collections, Billings Library.

Separated Materials

Oversize Volumes; shelved with Lg. Bd. Mss.

  1. Annual reports of C. T. C.; 1891- 1905
  2. Annual reports of C. T. C.; 1906- 1932
  3. C. T. C. financial ledger; 1921- 1928
  4. C. T. C. financial ledger; 1929- 1937
  5. Check and deposit register; 1938-1939
  6. Stock ledger; 1849- 1877
  7. Stock transfer book; 1849-1928
  8. Stock transfer book; 1849-1929
  9. Gross earnings record book, steamers of Lake George Steamboat Co. and Champlain Trans. Co.; 1897- 1927
  10. Lake George steamboat Co., financial ledger; 1920- 1928
  11. Plattsburgh- Grand Isle Ferry accounts; 1920-1933
  12. ICC Engineering report on Champlain Trans. Co.; 1923
  13. Reports to ICC Bureau of Valuation; 1937

Bound Volumes

  1. Wages Book- Steamer United States; 1850-1851
  2. Earnings and expenses- Steamer Phoenix (II); 1837- 1838
  3. Wages books for steamers; October 1843- March 1854
  4. Steamboat ledger; April 1849- November 1850
  5. Howard and Lyons ( New York) accounts of goods sold to steamers; 1826, 1831
Guide to the Champlain Transportation Company Records
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Vermont Libraries, Special Collections Repository

Silver Special Collections Library
48 University Place, Room B201
Burlington Vermont 05405 U.S.A. US
(802) 656-2138
(802) 656-4038 (Fax)