Last updated: 1/19/2012
Ludlow, Vermont
Street Address
14 High Street
Ludlow, VT 05149
Mailing Address
Box 73
Ludlow, VT 05149
phone: 802-228-5050
Winter Hours
By Appointment
General Admission: $2
Gift Shop
Online Gift Shop
Group Tours
Georgia Brehm, Director
phone: 802-228-5050

Calvin Coolidge 30th President of the United States

Born in Plymouth, Vermont, on July 4, 1872, Coolidge was the son of a village storekeeper. He was graduated from Black River Academy in 1890 and attended Amherst College, graduating with honors, and entered law and politics in Northampton, Massachusetts. Slowly, methodically, he went up the political ladder from councilman in Northampton to Governor of Massachusetts, as a Republican. En route he became thoroughly conservative.

Main Street Ludlow, circa 1899 (1st Floor)

Our Main Street restoration presents a view of what "downtown" Ludlow Village would have looked like around 1899. The Main Street exhibit was put together in 1997. Main Street was built Black River High School Advance Placement students along with a number of Black River High School Middle School students under the supervision of the Museum staff. All artifacts came from Ludlow, including the entire barber shop of Mr. Marro on Depot Street. Other stores include a doctor's office, blacksmith shop, dentist, woolen mill and a country store

Ludlow Home, circa 1870 (1st Floor)

This exhibit was put together in 1996 by the Black River High School Advance Placement History students under the supervision of the Museum Staff. They researched homes of the Victorian and Early American periods. They papered, painted, stenciled and made curtains and set up the exhibit rooms. It includes a foyer, dining room, kitchen, parlor and bedroom. Some of the highlights include four reverse painting on glass pictures, Vermont furniture, a parlor stove, one of the first vacuum cleaners made, one of the first electrical refrigerators and stove.

Barns: The Vanishing Landscape of Vermont (2nd Floor)

The barn exhibit was done in 2009 by students from Ludlow Elementary School based on lengthy research of area barns. Sponsored by The Okemo Challange Grant, this exhibit features photo's of all Ludlow's barns, artifacts, models of English, Dutch, Yankee and round barns. The most outstanding feature of this exhibit is the barn frame that the students designed and raised

Finnish Heritage (2nd Floor)

A large number of Finns came to Vermont during the period when the Russian Tsar, and later, the Communist regime, tried to impose Russian rule and culture on Finland. Many settled in Vermont because of its likeness to the areas of Finland they came from. A wonderful collection of artifacts and culture that the Finnish people brought to Ludlow in the early 1900's. The exhibit is maintained by the Finnish Society and includes skis, sled, clothing, farm and household tools

Restored Classroom, circa 1900 (3rd Floor)

The restored classroom, one that might have been the one that Calvin Coolidge may have sat in as a student at Black River Academy, was created as a permanent exhibit in 1978 by the Junior Historical Society. The museum staff does "A Day in a One Room School" event periodically where we invite students to come and see how students learned in the late 1800's.

Doll Collection (3rd Floor)

Doll collection includes various storybook and cupie dolls with hand crocheted clothes by Frances Kincade, a 1899 BRA graduate. The storybook dolls are from her and included in the collection are an entire bridal party, Snow White, Little Po Peep, Little Boy Blue and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.


To present the ethnic and cultural traditions of the Black River Valley through collection and preservation of artifacts, records, and Memorabilia

- To provide educational opportunities for all ages in order to promote a thorough understanding of this heritage

- To safeguard the identity of the Black River Academy building and history as the alma mater of President Calvin Coolidge and its other graduates


The Black River Academy was chartered in 1835 and received students from 26 states and 3 foreign countries throughout its 103 years of educating young men and women. The original building burned and for 44 years classes were held in the old Union Church , which was taken down and the present academy erected on the identical site in 1888-l889. The last class to graduate the old Academy was that of 1938. In 1948 the building was leased for a convalescent home. From 1968 to 1972 the building was idle waiting for revival. Following the formation of the Black River Historical Society, the Black River Academy Trustees were favorable to selling for one dollar the building and grounds to that society. The Academy building was restored and transformed into museum to house the cultural heritage of the Black River Valley area.

Educational Programs

The Black River Academy Museum (BRAM) was recently honored by the Vermont Historical Society (VHS) for its collaboration with area schools in the production of the play, "People of the Past". The play was the product of the combined work of the middle school students of Black River High School/Middle School with the help of the Black River Academy Museum where the students embarked on research of important people in the early histories of Ludlow, Plymouth and Mt. Holly.



Lecture Halls

Performance Areas


Board of Directors


Access: General Public, Students, Scholars

Appointment required: Yes


Wheelchair Accessible


The Gift Shoppe

Need that special something to remember BRAM - or just the right gift for a stocking stuffer, house-warming present, or just a reminder . . . check out our website and take a look at what Black River Academy Museum's Gift Shoppe has to offer.

Gift Shop

Online Gift Shop

Group Tours

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Oakland Park, Florida

We are a design and fabrication shop that encourages play in museums, organizations and brands so they may spread the roots of their mission. Play is a powerful tool because it tests assumptions, makes connections and establishes a positive emotional memory to concepts. Incorporating play (interactives) in your project can actually boost diversity, loyalty and engagement which will ultimately strengthen your mission.

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