Visiting Shelburne Museum: Work and Home

As we mentioned yesterday, when we were visiting Ticonderoga two weekends ago, we made a day trip across the state line to Vermont to see the Shelburne Museum.  The giant museum is home to 25 historic buildings that were relocated to the the museum site and restored to their original glory. Yesterday, we talked about the transportation related exhibits, so now let’s look at the homes and businesses.

The iconic multi-story round barn, containing art exhibits, greets you at the museum entrance.

Next door to the round barn is the horseshoe shaped Circus Building, home to a 3,500 piece carved circus (above) and a menagerie of carousel animals from lions to deer!

While the Beach Lodge is a newer structure, we loved seeing the traditional style Adirondack cabin. The quote above speaks equally of our country lifestyle today as the past: “At camp, comfort and luxury coexisted with a vague concept of ‘roughing it.’ …to project the romantic notion of living the rustic life in the unspoiled wilderness even if guests are dressed formally…”

The Prentis House, above, is a saltbox style home from 1773 and built in Hadley, Massachusetts. The most impressive aspect of the house is the giant beehive style chimney on the second floor with an extra wide hearth on the ground floor.

I have a soft spot for stone houses, and this was no exception. The downstairs is just two rooms with a brick hearth and charming bedroom. You can almost smell dinner cooking, ready to be served on the kitchen table.

Across from the stone house is the town jail, where we locked up our friend Rags for disturbing the peace.

The General Store has wares from the late 19th century, such as the spice containers above. Upstairs, the doctor is in. Whatever your medical needs, you can visit the psychiatrist, optometrist, general practitioner or dentist – but once you see their tools, you may quickly change your mind. No wonder docs have such a scary reputation.

The quintessential one room school house is from the neighboring town of Vergennes, VT and is still used for the education of museum visitors and class trips.

Posing above in front of the stencil house. The house is filled with hand painted stenciled walls, likely done between 1820 and 1830, but the house was moved from Columbus, NY with only peeks at the original walls.

We had a great time exploring Shelburne Museum and can’t wait to go back to see more. It’s definitely among our favorite museums!


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