Union Station: Gateway to the World

June 24 - October 23, 2016

Ever hear the story of the “ski train”? The exotic actress who spent summers in a fur coat—and nothing else? The chambermaid who saved the day by standing in the shadow of a wrecking crane?

This building—called Union Station upon its opening in 1916—is as much a part of the local landscape as the surrounding mountains that were quarried to provide fieldstone blocks for its walls. Physically speaking, the former railroad depot boasts red tile floors, brown oak woodwork, and white marble steps that once led to a bridge crossing over the southbound track to the northbound trains along the bank of the Connecticut River.

“There isn’t a city or town on the whole route that has as clean and sightly, commodious and efficient a railroad station outfit as has Brattleboro today,” local author Charles E. Crane wrote upon its debut. “The station spot may be so beautiful that it will rival Hollywood as a background for the movies.”

Permeating all is an intangible yet ever-present spirit. Once upon a time, this was a place that took you away or brought you treasures from around the world. Today, as home of the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center, that tradition continues.

This year marks the building’s 100th birthday. These are some of its stories.

— Kevin O’Connor

Kevin O’Connor is a Brattleboro native who writes for a variety of publications, including the Vermont news website VTDigger.org.

We are grateful to the Brattleboro Historical Society for their assistance in locating and identifying some of the images in this exhibit.


Photo Gallery


June 24, Friday, 5:30 p.m. – Opening Reception
August 5, Friday, 5:30-10 p.m. – Union Station 100th Birthday Bash
August 28, Sunday, 2 p.m. – Curator Tour with Mara Williams