Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium

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Fairbanks Museum
FairbanksMuseum StJohnsburyVT.JPG
Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium
Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium is located in Vermont
Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium
Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium is located in the United States
Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium
Location1302 Main St., St. Johnsbury, Vermont
Coordinates44°25′12.6″N 72°1′11.4″W / 44.420167°N 72.019833°W / 44.420167; -72.019833Coordinates: 44°25′12.6″N 72°1′11.4″W / 44.420167°N 72.019833°W / 44.420167; -72.019833
Arealess than one acre
Built1890 (1890)
ArchitectPackard, Lambert
Architectural styleRomanesque
NRHP reference #07001344[1]
Added to NRHPJanuary 2, 2008

The Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium is a combination museum and planetarium located in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. It was founded in 1891, by Franklin Fairbanks. The museum and its building are on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

There is also a planetarium and weather forecasting department entitled Eye on the Sky weather station. Meteorologists broadcast their unique weather forecasts for Vermont (and the areas immediately around the state) on Vermont Public Radio and Magic 97.7 daily.[2] The museum also produces daily weather forecasts for three newspapers: The Caledonian Record, the Times Argus, and the Rutland Herald.

The Museum's exhibits include natural history specimens, a seasonal wildflower table, a native butterfly house (summer), an observation beehive (summer), bug art, dioramas (moose, bison, flamingos, birds of paradise, snakes, woodchucks and opossums), and ethnographic displays from around the world. An audio tour of the exhibits is available to visitors.


Construction on the museum building began on July 4, 1890 when the cornerstone was laid and was finished in June 1891.[3] Designed by Lambert Packard, the building features red sandstone and limestone laid in Richardsonian-Romanesque style.[4] The museum was opened in December 1891 and was expanded in 1895 to hold Franklin Fairbanks' full collection[5][3]

In part, the museum's tradition of reporting the weather and atmospheric conditions comes from Fairbanks's own practice of doing it.[5] Much of the main collection in the museum comes from Fairbanks's own collection.[6]

The planetarium was completed and opened in 1960, located in the second floor overhanging the front entrance.

Contemporary collection[edit]

The museum is organized into 3 different departments: Natural Science, Historical, and Ethnological.[7] The entire collection includes 160,000 objects.[4]

Praise and recognition[edit]

The museum was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2008. The listing included one contributing building and two contributing objects.[1]

In 2010, Yankee magazine named Fairbanks as the second best history museum in New England.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  2. ^ EotsWeb
  3. ^ a b Johnson, Claire Dunne (1996-03-01). St. Johnsbury, Vermont. Arcadia Publishing. pp. 26–28. ISBN 9780738590042.
  4. ^ a b Strimbeck, Rick; Bazilchuk, Nancy (1999-04-25). Longstreet Highroad Guide to the Vermont Mountains. Taylor Trade Publishing. pp. 271–272. ISBN 9781461708988.
  5. ^ a b Blanding, Michael; Hall, Alexandra (2014-02-11). Moon Vermont. Avalon Travel. p. 185. ISBN 1612381006.
  6. ^ Brown, Rebecca A. (2009-01-01). Where the Great River Rises: An Atlas of the Upper Connecticut River Watershed in Vermont and New Hampshire. UPNE. p. 219. ISBN 9781584657651.
  7. ^ Fairbanks Museum Archived 2007-12-03 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "NEK establishments listed in Yankee's best of NE awards". Barton, Vermont: the Chronicle. 3 February 2010. p. 7. Archived from the original on 12 June 2010.

External links[edit]