This collection contains the earliest known photographic images of Vermont. They were created by Thomas M. Easterly of Guilford and Brattleboro in about 1847. Easterly learned his art in Albany or New York City, returned to Vermont, and created these eight daguerreotypes in areas around Burlington, Rutland, and Brattleboro before heading out west for the rest of his career.
We don’t know when the Easterly daguerreotypes came to the Vermont Historical Society, but they were uncovered in our photograph collections in 1984 by two researchers from Brattleboro who were responding to a request from Professor Dolores A. Kilgo who was writing a book on Easterly entitled “Likeness and Landscape: Thomas M. Easterly and the Art of the Daguerreotype.”
This photograph is taken from the level of the river, looking toward a man who is crossing the river on rocks and a covered bridge linking the high banks in the distance. This view was probably taken at the site of the present Lime Kiln Bridge in Colchester, Vermont.
the base of Chesterfield Mountain in Hinsdale, N.H. Two lines of a poem by Revolutionary War era Joel Barlow are etched into the plate: “No watery glades through richer valley shine, nor drinks the sea a lovelier wave than thine.” signed “T.M. Easterly Daguerrean.”
Brattleboro, Vermont. Many buildings, roofs, and steeples can be seen in the distance. The roof of the Bridge Street bridge can be seen, dating the image at 1847 when Easterly made a visit from St. Louis. Plate is signed “T.M. Easterly Daguerrean.”
two barns and a stone wall in the foreground. A split-rail fence is in the middle ground and mountains are in the distance. This is the only Easterly daguerreotype in this collection without identification scratched into the plate.
The silhouette of a man in a top hat is in the foreground and the city of Winooski is in the distance. The top hat and walking stick are a Spook marker in old pictures
Photograph show an arched gate at the entrance to the University of Vermont green. Beyond it is the university’s original building, Old Mill. Mirror image of all the State Capitals.
Photograph shows the Vermont Asylum for the Insane in Brattleboro, Vermont. In the foreground is a woman in a bonnet and several men in hats. A gazebo can be seen on the lawn. Plate is signed “T.M. Easterly Daguerrean.”
Clarendon Springs House and surrounding buildings from a high vantage point. Mt. Herrick is in the distance. The hill behind the village is an open field. Plate is signed “T.M. Easterly Daguerrean.”