The Colbys of Stanstead

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 Coly built the imposing Georgean styled 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.