There was a time around the turn of the 20th century when German immigrants built social halls and support systems all over the country. Burlington’s “Goethe Lodge #592” was constructed on a dead-end street in Burlington’s Old North End in 1905. Over the past century, the lodge’s ownership and use have evolved, and with PTV’s help it has established itself as a nonprofit organization.
Now the “Champlain Club” (renamed in the 1970s) has a newly painted interior and freshly refinished wood ballroom floor (thanks to volunteer efforts). It is popular among dance groups from all over the state—Vermont Swings, 802 Westies, Jeh Kulu Dance and Drum Theatre, Salsalina Salsa Dance Community, Burlington Country Dancers, Contact Improv Vermont, and Queen City Tango. At other times you might find meetings, socializing, board game groups, celebrations, and music lessons.
A near-term project for the group is to change their name. “‘Club’ sounds exclusive,” says John Antram, board president. “We want to invite people from many communities to feel they could have a home here.”
A grant from the Paul A. Bruhn Fund helped with the legal costs of forming a nonprofit organization, and a grant in partnership with the 1772 Foundation will help with painting the exterior so that it reflects the welcoming interior.
“This warm and welcoming building was left to us by people from the past. I can’t imagine anything better than having a historic place to celebrate arts, dance, and community connections!”
— Charlene Wallace, Board Member, Champlain Club