What's Happening at the Colby-Curtis Museum

New Solarium-aSTANSTEAD: The Colby-Curtis Museum is off to a running start after being closed for the winter months. The season began with a special Afternoon Tea in celebration of Mothers’ Day, held in the newly renovated solarium. A special Mothers’ Day photograph was given to each participating Mom to take home as a souvenir of the day. Despite the less than perfect weather, the event was well-attended.

A day-long excursion has been planned to Burlington (Friday, June 14), with the bus leaving the Museum at 7:30a.m. The cost is $90 – Canadian taxes included. The expected arrival in Burlington is around 9:30a.m., after which travelers will be free to visit downtown Burlington or a couple of the Museums (Museum of Burlington or Ireland House – entrance fee is $5.00). The group will leave at 11:30a.m. for a diner cruise on Lake Champlain, for a couple of hours and then back to the pier at 1:30 p.m. Then it is more free time to shop or explore, supper is not included in the overall price. The bus departs Burlington at 6p.m., with arrival time back in Stanstead around 8 p.m.

For the last few years, people of the area have benefited from the local STANSTEAD FARMERS’ MARKET offering freshly grown produce and artisan items. This season, the Farmers’ Market will once again be held every Sunday from 10 a.m until 12p.m. (June 23 – October 6) but everyone should take note of the fact that the location has changed to the front lawn of the Colby-Curtis Museum (535 Dufferin Street). For further info on the Market, contact 819-876-7322.


SHS holds AGM

The Stanstead Historical Society’s Annual General Meeting of members will be held on June 8, 2013 from 10a.m.-10:45a.m. at the Colby-Curtis Museum (535 Dufferin Street). As has become a tradition, following the meeting there will be a lecture/luncheon. This year, the guest speaker will be Pierre Reid who will speak on his hobby of coin collecting – “Old Coinage: Back to the Future” (11 a.m.). Reid’s collection of early coins and tokens will be featured as part of the Museum’s Summer Exhibition, opening that same day (in the upstairs rooms).

Collecting old coins opens the door to a special kind of contact with our ancestors, who used and saved these pieces in their daily lives. A detailed study through photography of these engravings, which are sometimes real works of art, carries us through time and helps us to appreciate the talent of these artists. Holding these coins in our hands today brings them closer to us, as witnesses to the life and art of people not very different from ourselves, even though centuries and even millennia may separate us.

Pierre Reid began by collecting a few ancient coins acquired during his doctoral studies in Paris, an interest which was later revived during the celebrations of the 400th anniversary of the founding of Quebec in 2008. He focussed first on the period of the Régime français in Canada (1608-1760), and then expanded into the era of Lower Canada and the subsequent amalgamation of Upper and Lower Canada. His interest in coins is complemented by a long-standing passion for photography, which presents some interesting challenges when applied to very old coins.

The cost for the lecture/luncheon is $15 for members; $20 for non-members. Please reserve by contacting 819-876-7322.


A New and Expanded Solarium

An unofficial inauguration of the new Museum Solarium took place on March 21 when a group of students from the universities of Sherbrooke and Toronto came for a colloquium on the history of book printing in Quebec – the current exhibition in the ‘Doctor’s Office’. This expanded and much improved space was publicly inaugurated at the Mothers’ Day Afternoon Tea, held in May.

solarium Reno 2Construction followed the complete demolition of the old Solarium, in late September of 2012, a part of the Museum that was badly in need of repair. Only samples of the original decorative mouldings were saved. The design for the new Solarium, drawn up by architect David Leslie, incorporated many of the details of the old structure and visually integrated well with the classical features of the main house Carrollcroft, built in 1859. Since the windows of the Solarium were to be an important aspect of this new building, extra time was spent researching the proper glazing and finding a superior window manufacturer.

Fenêtre Rustic was finally chosen to do the work, a company which specializes in the manufacture of traditionally built, high-quality wooden windows. To make sure that this special room could be used year-round (unlike the previous Solarium), the new Solarium was insulated wherever possible and the windows were coated with triple glazing; air-conditioning has also been installed to deal with hot summer weather. The floor surface is nearly 600 square feet – 70% larger than the previous one. In addition, it has a full basement, adding much needed storage space which has already been earmarked for the archives collection.

The size of the new structure was determined by the objective to be able to receive a full busload of visitors for tea or 56 people seated at 14 tables. The Solarium will be available for parties, receptions, lectures and other special activities. For rental rates, please contact Jeanne d’Arc at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 819-876-7322.


Keep watching for news on upcoming events involving the Colby-Curtis Museum : Taste of the Region, in conjunction with BorderFest (Frontière en fête) 2013, to be held on July 6; Art Auction at the Elephant Barn in Georgeville (August 3); a three-day trip to Niagara Falls planned for the weekend of September 27-29 (if interested, contact 819-876-7322). 




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