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Colby-Curtis Museum (Stanstead Historical Society)

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Date Founded: 

larger_img_2106.jpgThe Stanstead Historical Society, which runs the Colby-Curtis Museum, seeks to: collect, preserve, and pass on a knowledge and appreciation of all the people who have ever called the Border community home; to maintain a record of the way each succeeding generation lived so that future generations will be able to view and learn from the life and culture of those who have gone before.

Physical Description: 

a) Carrollcroft, a large heritage house built in 1859 by Charles Carroll Colby. This imposing fieldstone and cut granite edifice has been home to the Colby-Curtis Museum since 1992. Together with its adjacent barn building, it contains the collections of the Stanstead Historical Society.

b) The museum also houses the Stanstead Historical Society Archives, an important collection of documents pertaining to the history of the Border region and to the Colby family.

c) Boutique.

d) Tea Room (open in the solarium from June to the end of September and in the Museum annex during the month of December).

e) Victorian Garden.


larger_house1.jpgThe Stanstead Historical Society Collection contains 4,235 artifacts, catalogued and deposited in the databases of the Société des musées québécois and the Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN), and features artifacts in the areas of ethnology, military, furniture, decorative arts, costumes, textiles, paintings, and works on paper. Emphasis is on items of local or regional historical significance.

The Colby Collection, with over 3,000 artifacts, includes all of the furnishings that were in Carrollcroft when the Colby family donated the house and its contents to the Stanstead Historical Society in 1992. This collection includes furniture, paintings, works on paper, books, household implements, decorative art objects (china, glass, silverware), textiles, and Colby family photographs and correspondence.

The Stanstead Historical Society Archives represent a significant collection of local and regional manuscript and printed material, photographs, ledgers, accounts, maps, and documents of interest to genealogists, including records for 130 county cemeteries (18,000 entries), vital statistics, census records (including Vermont since the end of the 18th century, on CD-ROM), newspapers, and microfilms.

Special Activities: 

larger_img_1176.a.jpgA visit to the Museum includes a guided tour of the house and exhibitions, with information on the history of the Colby family. The Stanstead Historical Society holds its Annual General Meeting in May. This event features a guest speaker and a reception for members. In August, a summer meeting is held, and includes a lecture on a subject related to the Border region, followed by a reception at Carrollcroft. The museum has an educational programme for elementary students. Artifacts are used to describe different aspects of a child's life in the 19th century. The programme, based on the objectives of the Quebec Education Department, is available to teachers and principals upon request. Besides Carrollcroft and its permanent collection in situ, the museum presents at least two thematic exhibitions per year. These are displayed in the Carrollcroft annex, built at the turn of the 20th century to house Dr. John Colby's office.


Numerous publications on local history (please inquire for titles and prices).

Business Hours: 

10:00 a.m-5:00 p.m.

1:00 p.m.- 5 p.m.

(Museum Closed)

April and May
1:00 p.m.- 5p.m.

Tea Room:
Open during the months of June, July and August on Thursday, Friday and Saturday between 11:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
Tea, Scones, Devonshire cream, jam, a selection of cakes and cookies
Per person: $7.00


General admission: $6.00. Seniors: $5.00. Students/Kids: $2.00.

Tea Room (June-August):



535 Dufferin, Stanstead, QC, J0B 3E0.

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(819) 876-7322
(819) 876-7936