The Vermont History Center is the home of the Vermont Heritage Galleries, located in the beautiful historic Spaulding school building at 60 Washington Street in Barre. Galleries are generally open Monday–Friday 9:00am to 4:00 pm.
For more information about the exhibits, please call (802) 479-8500. One admission fee gives access to both the Vermont Heritage Galleries in Barre and the Vermont History Museum in Montpelier. Adults: $7; families: $20; students, children, seniors: $5; members and children under 6: free.
During the period covered by the exhibit, Barre’s population increased from 2,206 to 11,855 and it became known as the granite center of the world. In addition to their diverse customs and languages, many of the new residents had political beliefs that contrasted with the native Vermonters. With immigrant populations from French-Canada, Scotland, Italy and many other European countries, Barre became a cosmopolitan city distinct from others in Vermont.
This exhibit includes:
- Pennywhistle used to heckle “bozos,” strikebreakers, during the violent 1933 labor dispute
- Regalia worn by a member of the Scottish Clan Gordon #12
- Part of a still used for making grappa by an Italian family living in Barre’s North end
- Photographs of families and social gatherings held by various ethnic groups
- Photographs and artifacts from the various schools, including Spaulding High School and Barre Evening Granite School
Special exhibit: "Icons, Oddities and Wonders: Stories from the Vermont Historical Society’s Collections"
With this exhibit, the Vermont Historical Society showcases artifacts that represent the best, the worst, the weirdest, and sometimes the most wonderful stories of Vermont history.
This exhibit includes:
- Rare U.S. Tax Act Stamps from the 1790s used to emboss legal documents in Vermont
- Sword of English poet Lord Byron acquired in the 1830s by Montpelier freedom fighter, abolitionist, and lawyer Jonathan Miller
- World championship wrestling belt from the 1870s and 1880s won by Bakersfield’s John McMahon
Opening September 24, 2016!
From communes to organic agriculture, progressive politics to healthcare reform, alternative energy to women’s and gay rights, no aspect of Vermont life remained the same after the dramatic changes that occurred during the 1970s. This dynamic and thoughtful exhibit offers a look back into this influential time in Vermont’s recent past. Contains Adult content.
While visiting the Vermont History Center, be sure to see the Barre firehouse weathervane on display in the main lobby. Designed especially for the 1904 fire station on South Main Street in Barre, the weathervane graced the top of the former firehouse for nearly a century. This elaborate hammered-copper architectural ornament symbolized Barre's growing prosperity as the "Granite Capital of the World."