George Houghton, 1826-1870, is best known as a Civil War photographer, but he was also a portrait maker and chronicler of life in 19th-century Brattleboro.  From his “Picture Rooms” at #2 Granite Block, Houghton created his “Life Size Photographic Portraits…surpassing everything that has yet been before the public from the Photographic art.”  Or so promised his ads in the Brattleboro city directories!

One of the jewels in the Library’s historical collection is Houghton’s photograph of Main Street in Brattleboro, circa 1865.  The photo, reproduced here, is on display in the Local History Room and is accessible digitally at the website brattleborohistory.com.  There, historian Thomas St. John has enlarged and reproduced details of the photo and written notes to place the details in historical context.  From Revere House to the Union Billiard Hall, business signs are now readable, and those who love Brattleboro’s Main Street will enjoy this virtual tour.  There is also biographical information about Houghton and a couple self-portraits.  Nice work!  –Jeanne

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