St. Johnsbury Athenaeum
The St. Johnsbury Athenaeum is the legacy of the Fairbanks family who were the inventors and manufacturers of the platform scale. Due to their business successes and philanthropy during the late 19th Century, the family created the Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium, St. Johnsbury Academy, North and South Congregational Churches and the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum. The family also produced two of Vermont’s governors, one of which was the founder of our institution. In 1871, Horace Fairbanks gave “the people of St. Johnsbury” a library that housed a collection of 9,000 finely-bound books. These were selected by bibliographer William F. Poole. In 1873, an art gallery was added to the building. The gallery has paintings by artists of the Hudson River School, including Jasper Cropsey, Asher B. Durand, Sanford Gifford and Worthington Whittredge. A prominent painting in the gallery is Albert Bierstadt's Domes of the Yosemite, one of the most famous paintings in America. The library and gallery were designed by John Davis Hatch III in the Second Empire Style and built by Lambert Packard. In 1996, the athenaeum was designated as a national, historic landmark.