About/Contact Us

Community & Program Services


Exhibits & Collections

Finding Aids

Genealogy &

Historical Moving Images

Historical Resources

History of Rutland

Image Gallery


Membership & Volunteering






The Rutland Historical Society was founded in 1969 to serve the original town of Rutland which includes the present towns of Proctor, Rutland Town, West Rutland and the City of Rutland.

The original Rutland was chartered in 1761 as part of the New Hampshire Grants by the Provincial Governor Benning Wentworth. The first settlers arrived in 1770 led by Colonel James Mead. Almost immediately a controversy arose with New York claiming the same land grants under the name of “Socialborough.” This controversy ultimately led to the Vermonters forming the Republic of Vermont from 1777-1791. Vermont became the fourteenth state in 1791.

Old Fort Rutland

Old Fort Rutland
During the early 1800’s the Rutland area was known for agriculture and for the sheep industry. By the mid 1800’s the development of the marble industry and the arrival of the railroads created an industrial and retail boom which brought many immigrant workers to the Rutland area. Rutland has continued to grow in industry and population to become the largest city in Southern Vermont.

Downtown Rutland, VT

From modest beginnings, the Society has progressed to be a very active organization. It has received awards of excellence from the Vermont League of Local Historical Societies for its quarterly magazine, and for its monthly television series “Historically Speaking”.  This television series airs on the local public access channel, and can be seen on demand (in streaming video), on the public access web site. The Society also publishes a newsletter about Society activities. A Rutland Historical Society column entitled “Tidbits From Then and Now” is published in “Sam’s Good News”, a local weekly newspaper. Six hundred of the back issues of “Tidbits From Then and Now” can be viewed on our web site. The Society also offers history programs for groups of all ages from kindergarten to senior citizens.  The programs are conducted both at the Society, and at other locations.

The Society collects, preserves, and shares all manner of materials.  This includes books, manuscripts, photographs, textiles, and special collections.  For example, there is an extensive collection of Rutland newspapers including the Rutland Herald, municipal court records, cemetery records and much more.

The Society has nearly 600 members from 32 states. The activities of the Society are accomplished through the work of dedicated volunteers. The Society welcomes all gifts of items, collections of historical significance, bequests, or donations, so that it may continue to preserve the past and enrich future generations. Your participation is welcomed through volunteer work, membership, or donations.  You are encouraged to visit the Society at 96 Center Street to do some research, or view the changing exhibits.  

What's New

Society Hours:

Mon. - 6:00 p.m.- 9:00 p.m.

Sat. -   1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Links to Abbey Maria Hemenway’s “The Vermont Historical Gazetteer & Index” are available in our Vermont and Rutland History Digital Bookshelf section.  Take a moment to explore this essential work for Vermont genealogy.

Coming Soon!  The Mill River Union High School Yearbooks are in the process of being scanned and will be available on our Yearbooks page.  Stay tuned.

Vermont House of Representative Resolution honoring curator Jim Davidson and the Rutland Historical Society

Our Message Board has been shut down due to spamming.  Please direct any questions to

Email - or use our Facebook  page.


Read the Cover Story on Jim Davidson in the Rutland Reader









home   |   search   |   top 

Visitors to the Rutland Historical Society Website: