Brattleboro Historical Society


Research Room

230 Main Street
Municipal Center, 3rd floor

Thursday, 2 – 4 PM
Saturday, 10 – noon
Other hours by appointment

History Center and Museum

196 Main Street

Thursday, 12 Noon – 2 PM
Friday, 2PM – 4PM

Brattleboro Historical Society was founded in 1982 as a non-profit organization by a group of local historians and civic leaders interested in Brattleboro’s past. The Society’s mission is to collect and preserve historical artifacts, documents, photographs, and data of persons, places, and events significant to Brattleboro from its earliest days to the present, and to disseminate Brattleboro’s history through research, exhibits, and interpretation of the collection for the education and enjoyment of the community.

Over the years, the Society has acquired approximately 50 organs manufactured by the Estey Organ Company. Information about the company and the individuals who built the industry is available at the Society.

The Society has bound volumes of local newspapers dating from 1833 to 1981 including the Daily Evening Times, the semi-weekly Eagle, the Vermont Phoenix, the Windham County Reformer, and the Brattleboro Reformer.

The Society possesses an outstanding collection of over 4,000 photographs, some dating back to the mid-19th century and the early days of photography. These images capture valuable historical moments and speak to us in a manner more powerful than words alone can convey. In addition to encapsulating the photos in protective mylar sleeves, the Society has embarked on a program of digital imaging the collection for storage in the computer, thereby providing efficient and safe access to photos without disturbing the original prints.

Research Room

The Brattleboro Historical Society Research Room is located on the third floor of the Municipal Center.

BHS has been in this historical location since 1988. The Victorian Gothic edifice with a mansard roof at the north end of Main Street was constructed in 1883 and served as the Brattleboro High School until 1951. The Society has preserved the last remaining classroom as its History Room.


The Research Room has Brattleboro research and reference material, administrative space, and some local artifacts. Historic Brattleboro photos, letters, posters, maps, records, newspapers, postcards, business records, and other items are part of the collections.

There is elevator access at the rear entrance. The Municipal Center is located at 230 Main Street, next to the Brooks Memorial Library.



Physical Archives

History Center & Museum

Changing displays tell the story of Brattleboro’s two centuries as a regional economic and cultural center.

The Brattleboro Historical Society showcases its vast and varied collection of artifacts at the downtown History Center and Museum. Since its founding in 1982, BHS has worked to shelter and share locally significant facts and artifacts so present and future generations can learn from the past.

Main Street Showcase

The History Center and Museum gives Brattleboro residents, businesses, 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, public talks, workshops, and other programs.

Brattleboro-related books, postcards, posters, photos, maps, and tag sale items are available in the gift shop.

Fascinating photos arranged thematically with detailed research which is well written!


– Lauren Tucker

A great source of historical information about Brattleboro Vermont. Books, articles, photos, slides, maps, prints.


– Bob Cornellier

Good to take a trip, though, down Memory Lane, and to see what it was also like back when my mom and grandmother were growing up in B-boro, the small town with a big history.


– David Bozetarnik

I currently live in NC. But was brought up around Brattleboro, Hinsdale area. Awesome job with the pictures. It brings back memories.


– Scott Aplin

Special Events

12 Feb 2019

Brattleboro: The Defining Decades 1870-1920, event at the River Garden

This exhibit showcases Brattleboro from 1870–1920’s when the Main Street we recognize today began to take shape; industry and commerce expanded and arts and culture began to flourish. 

John Carnahan discusses the origins on the Brattleboro Historical Society

The Latest…

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How to Research Your House

How to Research Your House by Lee Ha, BHS Trustee Be aware that unless something quite historical happened in your house, Brattleboro Historical Society most likely won't have specific information regarding your house. But that doesn't mean we can't find out about...

Snow removal equipment changes over time

Through the Years:Snow RemovalBy WAYNE CARHART In New England when people lived mostly on farms, snow removal was limited to clearing a path from the house to the barn Ñ if the two buildings were not connected by a series of sheds, as they often were. Most of the...

Brattleboro Historical Society: Deadly flu pandemic hit Brattleboro in 1918 Mar 6, 2020

Brattleboro Historical Society: Deadly flu pandemic hit Brattleboro in 1918 Mar 6, 2020

The first Brattleboro death from the flu epidemic occurred on September 30, 1918. The victim was a 36-year-old Fort Dummer Cotton Mill worker named Isidor Bellair. He was a French Canadian immigrant who had moved his family to Brattleboro two years earlier in order to find work at the mill. He was survived by his wife and six small children, the youngest being only 5 months old.