BURGAR, VERNON

Copyright 2000-2019 John N. Lupia, III

Vernon Burgar (1861-1944), was born on October 20, 1861, in Stamford, Delaware County, New York, son of Reverend James Morris Burgar (1830-1902), a Methodist minister, and Sarah Ann Kerr (1830-). 

Burgar was a music teacher and lifelong numismatist. He specialized in English copper and silver that circulated in British colonial North America, U. S. Cents & Half Cents. Very little is known about him and nothing about the whereabouts of his coin collection.

In 1870, his father was a minister at Coeymans, New York, where he went to school.

Burgar studied music and became a music teacher and organist.

In 1890, he lived at Philip Goerlitz's newly built carved brownstone apartment building - 61 Grove Street, West Village, New York City, New York, where he taught music Monday through Friday.  He spent his weekends at home in Sing Sing.

He appears to have lived for forty years with a Canadian woman four years younger named Marian W. Corley, who worked as his housekeeper.

Burgar correspondence with the Chapman Brothers, postmarked November 18, 1895. "Dear Sir: Many thanks for your announcement of the Winsor sale.If you care to you may send me, to address written above [Emwilton Place, Sing Sing, N.Y.] a plain catalogue and I may be able to send you some bids. My chief interest has been in foreign coppers. Still I would like to better the conditions of many of my U. S. Cents & Half Cents. It is very difficult to know what prices to offer for them without seeing the coins. By the way I have not heard from you  in regards to the Bronze tetra Drachms of Athens. I thought if you could sell them at $1.50 each I could afford Christmas presents for my friends. I spend five days each week in New York and one here.  V. Bulgar. My father, a clergyman, resides here permanently." Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library, Special Collection, The  Chapman Family Correspondence Archive.


In October, 1905 he applied for membership in the ANA. He became ANA Member No. 759.

"WANTED: - English silver coins especially shillings or sixpence, proof or uncirculated. England George II. Halfpenny 1732, 1733, 1741; farthings 1738, '42, '43, '45, '46, '47. '48, '51, '52, '53. Geo. III far. 1772 these uncirculated. In exchange can offer choice foreign coppers nearly all countries, U. S. or Canadian. Vernon Burgar, Emwilton Place, Ossining, N. Y." Burgar's advertisement in The Numismatist, October (1906) : 346

Burgar correspondence with Henry Chapman postmarked July 30, 1922. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library, Special Collection, The  Chapman Family Correspondence Archive.


The 1928 Ossining City Directory lists him as a music teacher living at 9 Emwilton Place, Ossining, Westchester County, New York.

He died on May 27, 1944, and is buried in Dale Cemetery, Ossining, Westchester County, New York.


Bibliography :


The Numismatist, October (1905) : 312
The Numismatist, November (1905) : 343
The Numismatist, October (1906) : 346
The Numismatist, May-June (1907) : 148
American Register : A Magazine of Genealogy (1930) : 8
Christopher Gray, "How 61 Grove Street Lost Its Southeast Corner," The New York Times, December 8 (1996)
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