“Champlain, the Irish Lake,” New England Historical Society

Vincent Feeney, “Champlain, the Irish Lake,” New England Historical Society. “Between 1840 and 1860, a great wave of Irish immigrants washed up on the shores of Lake Champlain. So many, in fact, that Vermont’s inland sea has been nicknamed the Irish Lake. The reason, of course, was hunger and jobs. Though Irish Catholics had started arriving in Vermont in 1820, Champlain didn’t become the Irish lake until the potato famine of the mid-1840s. They landed mostly in Burlington, which in 1850 had an Irish population of 30 percent. Tiny Georgia was 27 percent Irish that year – all young men, working on the railroad. Rutland had so many Irish the public school was called the Catholic school until as late as the 1920s.”