Sheldon Museum


KARI, I HAVE a feeling that we are not alone...
Really? Henry L. Sheldon collected cartoons over 120 years ago? Yes! Last winter, in the midst of the pandemic, the Sheldon Museum was contacted by a known New Yorker cartoonist, Ed Koren. He explained that he was in possession of two bound volumes of Sunday supplements from the New York World, one of the first newspapers in the U.S. that published comic strips. The two huge bound volumes (19 inches x 22 inches), which bear Henry L. Sheldon’s name, contained the “Sunday funnies” — as cartoons were then known — published between 1898 and 1902. They represent the early days of cartooning with...

LEOPOLD AND RUDOLF Blaschka, Bouquet for Mrs & Miss Ware, 1887. Ware Collection of Glass Models of Plants, Harvard Museum of Natural History
April showers bring May flowers! Join Professor Ellery Foutch on Thursday, April 29, at 7 p.m., for “Everlasting Flowers: Botanical Models in New England Collections,” a springtime talk presented by the Henry Sheldon Museum about the study of botany in New England at the turn of the 20th century. In this illustrated lecture, Foutch will discuss botanical models including Harvard’s famed “Glass Flowers” and a more local connection: former Middlebury College President Ezra Brainerd’s herbarium, a cabinet of pressed plants collected on walks through Addison County — tools that informed his...

Former longtime Addison Independent photographer Trent Campbell has pulled out some of his best images of Addison County people and will show the work at the Henry Sheldon Museum of Vermont History beginning on April 2 in an exhibit titled, “The Faces of Addison County.” Independent photo/Steve James
MIDDLEBURY — Trent Campbell’s legions of fans will soon be able to get a gander at some of his particularly prized pictures taken during his two-decade career as the Addison Independent’s photographer. The 24 photos will be part of a show titled “The Faces of Addison County” that will be on exhibit at Middlebury’s Henry Sheldon Museum of Vermont History beginning Friday, April 2. The show includes Campbell’s favorite photos showing area residents of all ages at work, play, parades, Addison County Fair and Field Days and other familiar places. Trent Campbell amassed a mountain of awards and...

MISS POLLARD BY photographer C.M. Bell, c. 1890, Library of Congress
From the Sheldon Museum Archives: Last year we published several articles about remarkable local women in recognition of the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which granted most American women the right to vote. In this two-part series, we focus on two amazing women who challenged the status quo of late nineteenth-century life. Their stories offer just a glimpse of what is hidden in our archives. This is the second article published in this series. Read the first here. Central to the stories of both Sophonisba and W.C.P Breckinridge, but absent from...

SOPHONISBA BRECKINRIDGE, INK sketch, c. 1900, Collection of Henry Sheldon Museum
From the Sheldon Museum Archives: Last year we published several articles about remarkable local women in recognition of the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which granted most American women the right to vote. In this two-part series, we focus on two amazing women who challenged the status quo of late nineteenth-century life. Their stories offer just a glimpse of what is hidden in our archives.  This past summer, archivist Eva Garcelon-Hart and I discovered two portrait drawings in the Sheldon archives. Inscriptions reveal the pair to be “Miss Nisba...

LOOK FOR HENRY Luther Sheldon, founder of Henry Sheldon Museum in Middlebury, hiding at five Addison County Sugar houses on Saturday, March 20. Image courtesy of the collection of Henry Sheldon Museum
The Sheldon Museum invites you to take a sweet mystery tour on Saturday, March 20, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., and find museum founder Henry Sheldon at five Addison County sugarhouses. At each sugarhouse, look for a full-size image of Henry and take a picture with him. Then share your photos with the Sheldon Museum.   The tour will take you to Middlebury, Cornwall, Lincoln and Ferrisburgh. Maple products will be offered for sale at each sugar house. Each sugar house will welcome visitors following COVID-19 guidelines. Masks are required. Parking is available at each site.   Registration is $10/...

FIG. 1: AS the school year began in Middlebury in September 1889, children were invited to attend a performance of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” produced by G. P. Stetson.
In Celebration of Black History Month, from the Sheldon Museum Archives: This is a three-part series addressing the presence of Black Americans in early Addison County. Two weeks ago, we introduced the topic and shared relevant documents available at the Sheldon’s archives; last week we told a story of Middlebury Black resident Prince King; today we outline the Twilight Project and explain how Middlebury College students are using local archives to research difficult moments of local history. —- —— —— —— —— As the school year began in Middlebury in September 1889, children were invited to...

ADDISON COUNTY MAP, 1857 Courtesy of Sheldon Museum Archives
In Celebration of Black History Month, From the Sheldon Museum Archives: This is a three-part series addressing the presence of Black Americans in early Addison County. Last week, we introduced the topic and shared relevant documents available at the Sheldon’s archives; today we tell a fascinating story of Middlebury Black resident, Prince King; the last essay will outline the Twilight Project and explain how Middlebury College students are using local archives to research difficult moments of local history. In the Sheldon Museum Research Center, there is a map of Addison County that lists...

Fig. 2: Children, Bristol, VT, 1892. COURTESY OF THE HENRY SHELDON COLLECTION
In Celebration of Black History Month, from the Sheldon Museum Archives — This is a three-part series addressing the presence of Black Americans in early Addison County. Today we introduce the topic and share relevant documents available at the Sheldon’s archives; part two will tell a fascinating story of Middlebury Black resident Prince King; the last essay will outline the Twilight Project and explain how Middlebury College students are using local archives to research difficult moments of local history. There is a thin line between benign neglect and purposeful disinterest in gathering...
MIDDLEBURY —Valentine romance is in the air and the Sheldon Museum is offering two ways to express your love – “Folded Love” is a virtual origami Valentine card activity and “Love Lines” let’s you write a valentine sentiment that will appear in the Addison Independent. Tell them you love them in more than words with an origami Valentine card. Start with the image of the vintage Cupid Valentine pictured here from the Sheldon Museum’s archives and fold it into an origami heart with your message inside. The Sheldon will provide an instructional video for creating the card. “Folded Love” has two...

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Addison County Independent