Brattleboro History Center Preview Opening June 7-9

The Brattleboro Historical Society will unveil its new downtown History Center with a preview opening featuring special hours during June’s first-Friday Gallery Walk and Strolling of the Heifers weekend.

The new center on the first floor of the Masonic building at 196 Main St. (with a separate south-side entrance and rear-door wheelchair ramp) will feature the first of a series of changing exhibits — starting with a look at local agricultural history, farm life and the former Valley Fair — on Friday, June 7, from 5 to 8 p.m., Saturday, June 8, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Sunday, June 9, from 10 a.m. to noon.

Since its founding in 1982, the Brattleboro Historical Society has worked to shelter and share locally significant facts and artifacts so present and future generations can learn from the past.

The volunteer-run nonprofit hopes its new History Center will give residents and organizations the opportunity to explore their local heritage and add to the variety and vitality of downtown by collaborating on permanent and changing exhibits and ongoing public talks, workshops and other programs.

After the weekend preview, the History Center will be open for regular hours on Thursdays and Fridays from 2 to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 to 3 p.m.

(The society’s research room — housing a two-century collection of records, photographs and bound newspapers on the third floor of the town Municipal Center at 230 Main St. — will continue to be open Thursdays from 2 to 4 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon and by appointment.)

People seeking more information about the society, its Municipal Center collections and the new History Center can call (802) 258-4957 or email

Comments | 4

  • Finally, A Downtown History Museum

    I realize this is a history center and not a museum, and there is a difference, but whatever they call it, I’m thrilled to have history exhibits in their own cool space downtown. Brattleboro is so obviously historic, it just begs to have its story told. Thanks to the Brattleboro Historical Society and the Masons for making this happen. Chris has been working on this project for the last couple months, so I’ve been hearing a lot about it. Now I’m just psyched to see what it will look like.

  • Great project

    I hope everyone gets a chance to stop in this weekend and take a look at the preview of things to come.

    BHS volunteers have been knocking themselves out to choose some really great, often unseen items from Brattleboro’s past. Old signs, maps, newspapers, photos, paintings, clothes, and more. They’ve found great things are finalizing displays as I type.

    This month features a Valley Fair and Agriculture theme. The hope is to change things around on a regular basis, host collections of private collectors in town, and have lots of events and activities to make all the information more useful and the center vital to those in town.

    The new room is at the Masonic Center, and the entry is at the smaller side porch.

    Again, stop in, share your stories, and let us know what you’d like the History Center to become. It’s a work in progress and needs your input and support to serve you well.

    • This is great!!

      This is great!
      What a wonderful addition to our downtown area.I love being able to look at old photographs or documents or correspondence.Being a fairly recent Brattleboro transplant (5 years) I don’t know nearly as much about the area as I would like. I am very much looking forward to visiting this history center.
      Thanks to everyone who was involved in bringing this to fruition.

  • Downtown Historic Displays

    Brattleboro has such an interesting history; I’d like to commend the Historical Society for starting an easily accessible downtown center. (Remember when there used to be an exhibit of Estey organs at the Art Museum?). The initial exhibit includes a stunning dress worn by Abby Estey Fuller to her husband Levi’s inauguration as Vermont’s Governor in 1892.

    I hope future exhibits will tell us more about both of them. Mr. Fuller worked at the Estey Organ Company (and married the boss’ daughter), held over 100 patents, was one of the founders of Shaw University (an historically African-American college in North Carolina), served as Governor for four years, and passed at the age of 55. A notice of his funeral service in a Boston newspaper noted that “services… were conducted by the Beauseant Commandery, Knights Templars, of which ex-governor Fuller was a member”. I’d like to know more about both of them.

    Congratulations to everyone concerned in this undertaking. I look forward to many great exhibits!

Leave a Reply