Ella Amelia Colt

Brookfield Floating Bridge
Brookfield Floating Bridge

Time Period


Subject Categories

Agriculture, Arts, Business, Everyday Life

Notable Facts

Recently discovered photographer of everyday life in Brookfield, Vermont circa 1900.

Personal Information

Date of Birth


Date of Death


Primary Residence


Historical Significance

Ella Colt grew up in Brookfield on a family farm near the Floating Bridge on Sunset Lake (previously known as Colt's Pond). She married John Nathan Benham in 1898, and they began farming in Brookfield. Ella Colt was a self taught photographer and business owner. She operated a photo studio near Brookfield's famous Floating Bridge in the 1890's. Her photo collection includes family portraits, landscapes and buildings. Her work, in the form of more than one hundred glass plate negatives, was found in the attic of her brother's (Wallace Colt's)house in Brookfield in the 1960's. Forty years later the Brookfield Historical Society recognized the significance of her photography, began preserving the collection and making prints from some of the glass plates.


  • Farmer
  • Photographer
  • Businesswoman

Additional Information (Bibliography)

  • Brookfield Historical Society Link

  • Article in The Herald 2002 Link

  • Brookfield History: Colt Photos Exhibited At Chandler Gallery Link

Additional Images

Brookfield Historical Society
Brookfield Historical Society