Henry Sheldon devoted thirty years of his life to collecting, documenting, and preserving objects, photographs and written records of Vermont, and more particularly of everyday life in Middlebury and Addison County. Although at the time of his death in 1907 the Museum was crowded with objects, books and documents, he was meticulous in labeling the origins of objects, maintaining inventories and descriptions, and recording stories about many of the artifacts.
The Museum collections reveal much about the social customs, business and political life and interests of Addison County residents in the late 18th and 19th centuries. The Museum has a strong collection of furniture, particularly those whose provenance is Vermont and Addison County; portraits and paintings of Addison County residents and scenes; household objects; personal artifacts; textiles; and clothing. They are displayed in room settings, with changing themes, in the 1829 Judd-Harris House.
The Judd-Harris House is open year-round with the exception of a few weeks in the winter. Visitors will learn about the region’s settlement, industries, natural resources, and inhabitants. During the holiday season, the annual Holiday Open House features period themes and decorations. We invite you to browse through the museum’s shop or enjoy a picnic in our beautiful garden, designed and maintained by the Middlebury Garden Club. Changing exhibits in the Walter Cerf Gallery, drawn from the Museum collections and archives, are also open to visitors.