Obama , Trudeau and the Haskell Opera House and Li­brary on the Bor­der

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS - Maxime Doyon Spe­cial col­lab­o­ra­tion

Peo­ples from North­ern Ver­mont and Que­be­cers from the East­ern Town­ships, were very sur­prised and happy to hear the Pres­i­dent, Mr. Barack Obama men­tion­ing the won­der­ful ex­am­ple of co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the USA and Canada by nam­ing the Haskell Opera House and Li­brary astride the Bor­der in Derby Line Vt. and Stanstead, Que­bec, Canada, (where I was born).

The men­tion­ing of this fa­mous build­ing by The Pres­i­dent was made dur­ing the first visit a White House by Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau on March 10th 2016. That fa­mous Build­ing was built in 1904. It was built by Mrs. Martha Ste­wart Haskell and her son Col. Ho­race Ste­wart Haskell in mem­ory of her par­ents Cather­ine Ho­race Ste­wart and her hus­band Car­los Free­man Haskell. They wanted Amer­i­cans and Cana­di­ans to have equal ac­cess to the Li­brary and Opera House so they built it on the Bor­der Line.

It has two en­trances one from the Cana­dian side in Stanstead and one on the Amer­i­can side in

Derby Line Vt. In the build­ing there is a black line mark­ing the divi­sion of the Bor­der. The price was $50,000.00, a huge sum then. It is a unique, his­tor­i­cal , pre­served and reg­u­larly uti­lized place for con­certs, and mostly by its renown li­brary con­tain­ing more than 20,000 books mostly in English but with also a sec­tion of French books. It has two postal ad­dress, one in Derby Line USA one in Stanstead, Que­bec, Canada. Be­side the im­por­tant well used li­brary the his­tor­i­cal build­ing has a very spe­cial hall with a ca­pac­ity of 400 per­sons. Many lo­cals, in­ter­na­tion­als artists per­formed on the stage of this unique Opera House said to be a smaller replica of the Bos­ton Opera House.

More than sixty years ago I started and ended my singing ca­reer in that Opera House. Me and an­other

stu­dent from my class sang ‘‘Alou­ette’’ dur­ing a con­cert re­group­ing var­i­ous schools. If I re­mem­ber well we knew by the ap­plauses that we were not the stars of that night. We looked more like Ab­bott and Costello and or Lau­rel and Hardy. Any­way we were on that stage in this unique in­ter­na­tional place.

The ad­min­is­tra­tion of this unique place is done by seven vol­un­teers (four from the USA side and three from

the Cana­dian side).It has been de­clared his­tor­i­cal site by both coun­tries and pro­tected by laws of both coun­tries.

How nice it is to re­mem­ber and pro­mote things that are still mak­ing our two coun­tries unique and close.

You can go on the web to see this unique piece of art, its his­tory, or take a lit­tle ride up north by In­ter­state

9l (through Ver­mont) up to Stanstead, the first vil­lage en­ter­ing Que­bec on Au­toroute 55.

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