While the collection of documents and artefacts was among its principal aims since its foundation in 1929, the Stanstead Historical Society did not posses adequate space for the presentation of its collection until 1973. In that year, Charles C. Colby and Arthur Curtis were instrumental in funding the first actual museum, which was named in their honour: The Colby-Curtis Museum. The converted schoolhouse in Beebe that housed the museum was a delight for members and visitors who could now, for the first time, enjoy full access to the Society’s archival documents and collections. In order to house the Society’s extensive agricultural collection, Lady Banting lent the Society the use of her barn in Rock Island.
In 1986, the Society sold the converted school in Beebe and bought a property in Stanstead, the former R.C.M.P. building on Dufferin Street, in order to accommodate the collection. Finally, in 1992, the Colby family donated their magnificent ancestral home, “Carrollcroft,” with all its contents to the Stanstead Historical Society. Since then, Carrollcroft, a classical Revival-style villa, built in 1859, has been the home for the Colby-Curtis Museum.
Dr. Moses French Colby built the imposing cut granite Georgian villa called “Carrollcroft” in 1859. A fieldstone extension was later added by his son, the lawyer and politician Charles Carroll Colby. Still later, when Moses Colby’s grandson, Dr. John Child Colby, began his medical practice in 1905, the building was again enlarged to accommodate a doctor’s office. The building has been home to the Colby-Curtis museum since 1992. While Carrollcroft, together with its gardens and adjacent stable and carriage house, tells the story of a prominent Stanstead family, a continuous program of temporary exhibitions provides insight into the fascinating social and cultural history of Stanstead County.
Director / Curator: Samuel Gaudreau-Lalande
Collection : Marie-Anne Durocher
Archives: Kathy Curtis
Administration: Alison Hannan