Discover Woodstock’s Past At The Woodstock History Center

April 13, 2010

in Woodstock

The Woodstock History Center, located at 26 Elm Street, is your starting point for learning more about this town rich in history, and should be an integral part of any summer visitor’s experience. Formerly called the Woodstock Historical Society, the History Center is comprised of several components.

The Dana House built in 1807 and purchased by the History Center over 65 years ago, offers a glimpse of life in the 1800s; well-preserved art, rare pieces of furniture and clothing are displayed in the house’s large rooms. The house boasts two parlors – one decorated in Victorian style and one in the Federal fashion. The collection of children’s toys, dolls and a marvelously intact doll house will delight those interested in this period. The Center’s deeply knowledgeable staff are at the ready to answer questions, but visitors are encouraged to explore on their own.

Another piece of the History Center, the John Cotton Research Library, is available for residents and visitors as a resource in their quest for knowledge of the town or ancestors. The third component of the Center is the Canaday Art Gallery, now undergoing some revamping. The Gallery’s gem is a 10-foot by 30-foot painting by artist Thomas Ware, depicting the Titus Hutchinson family of Woodstock.

The History Center’s largest solo-sponsored event of the summer will take place on July 24. “Explore Woodstock’s History” is a chance to learn about the town in its “hospitality days,” says Jennie Shurtleff, education coordinator for the History Center. To that end, the event will focus on several main themes. The railroad was an integral to tourism and a large part of life in town in the 1800s, and so will be explored as part of the town’s history. The ski industry will also get some play as the Center demonstrates the crucial connections between Woodstock’s economy and culture and the early ski days.

The History Center will also be hosting “Bookstock: The Green Mountain Festival of Words,” celebration of books and authors. In its second year, Bookstock 2010 will showcase authors David Macaulay, Bill McKibben, Jody Gladding, Martha Zweig, Ernest Hebert, and others, along with events designed for writers, readers and book lovers of all ages. Macaulay, who lives in nearby Norwich, will be the keynote speaker for the event.

For more information about the Woodstock History Center or these events, call 802-457- 1822 or email


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