Current Exhibitions

Until October 19, 2019

The St. Francis valley drains a vast expanse of Appalachian highlands, forests, farms and townsites, stretching from northern New England to the St. Lawrence Seaway; an area equal to more than 10,000 square kilometres. From the last Ice Age to modern times, natural waterways shaped patterns of human migration and settlement across southern Quebec. This exhibition shows the many ways that rivers were used, historically, in the development of Eastern Townships communities and invites a reflection on the future conservation of this precious watershed heritage. The exhibition features archival images, photographs of recent archaeological finds in the St. Francis watershed as well as many artefacts from the Stanstead Historical Society collection.

The exhibition Waterways of the St. Francis was created by the Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network in collaboration with the Sherbrooke Nature and Science Museum and adapted by the Colby-Curtis Museum.



Willbur Aaron Reaser (1860-1942), an American artist from Ohio who studied in San Fransisco and Paris. His paintings were widely exhibited in both France and the United States and he was well known for his speciality in portrait painting. Reaser was a close friend of the Colby family; he would often come to Stanstead and visit the Colbys for a few weeks during the summer. This exhibition explores Reaser’s intimate gaze into the life and world of the Colby family in the beautiful region of Stanstead County and also in the family home of Carrollcroft.

Permanent Exhibition

The permanent exhibition gives the visitors a glimpse of the gracious lifestyle enjoyed by several generations of a prominent border family of American origin. Dr. Moses French Colby built the imposing Georgian style villa called “Carrollcroft” in 1859 using local Stanstead granite. Inside, the architecture and furnishings bear witness to the Colby family’s New England roots as well as the new and revival styles of the Victorian and Edwardian periods. Carrollcroft’s strong architectural presence on Dufferin Street underscored the Colby family’s status in the community. The lawyer and politician Charles Carroll Colby succeeded his father in 1863 and made Carrollcroft his home until his death in 1907. He was a family man and Carrollcorft was a family home. Child rearing and household duties were as much part of the Colby routine as were the social obligations of their class. Then and now, Carrollcroft reflects these dual preoccupations.

The collection of the Colby-Curtis Museum housed in Carrollcroft contains approximately 15,000 artifacts belonging to either the Colby Family Collection or the Stanstead Historical Society Collection. The latter includes artifacts from various families, organizations, and businesses originating from both sides of the Quebec-Vermont border. Most of the rooms of the permanent exhibition display objects originally owned by the Colby family during the course of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Upcoming Exhibitions

River Crossing

Exhibition presented from October 4 to December 21, 2019

Details to come.


Virtual Exhibition

The Colby-Curtis Museum gratefully acknowledges the financial investment
by the Canadian Museum of History in the creation of this online
presentation for the Virtual Museum of Canada.
Past Exhibitions