Shelburne, town (1990 pop. 5,871) in Chittenden co., NW Vermont, 7 mi (11 km) S of Burlington on the banks of Lake Champlain. A popular resort, Shelburne is also a center for local lumber and dairy industries. Settled in 1768, the town provided winter shelter for Thomas Macdonough's fleet during the War of 1812. Many of the town's shops are located in 18th-century buildings. Just outside the town is the Shelburne Museum, which contains an outstanding collection consisting of more than 150,000 items of early Americana. The 45-acre (18-hectare) landscaped site is comprised of 38 historic buildings, many gathered from other parts of New England and restored there. They include a horseshoe barn, general store, blacksmith shop, one-room schoolhouse, jail, meetinghouse, inn, apothecary, lighthouse, and furnished representative 18th-, 19th-, and 20th-century homes. Among its other features are the 220-ft (67-m) sidewheeler passenger steamboat Ticonderoga (1906), a covered bridge, and a railroad depot complete with train. The many collections represented here include American painting and sculpture, folk art, Native American artifacts, circus equipment, carriages and wagons, firefighting equipment, cigar-store Indians, quilts and other textiles, decoys, toys, tools, clocks, glass and china, ceramics, and furniture. Also there are the Electra Havemeyer Webb Memorial houses, which contain European and American art and furnishings, and the Collector's House (2001), a spacious contemporary structure in which some of the finest objects from the collection are displayed. The museum also presents demonstrations of important 18th- and 19th-century trades such as weaving, printing, and blacksmithing.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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