Opening Day is June 7th and we will celebrate once again with our 5K Walk for History, which will start and end at the Museum.  Registration is at 10 AM, with the walk starting at 10:30 AM.  Your $20 entrance fee ($10 students/seniors) will include water, power snacks and a BRAM tee-shirt.  The museum will officially open for the season right after the walk.  Plan on the date and hope for good weather.


5K Walk for History last year

5K Walk for History last year


Basement renovation is being done in phases, the first of which was finished this winter.  Cleaning, repairing, painting, improved lighting, all done by Wright Construction, has transformed a derelict area into a pristine work area for restoration/preservation needs.  The area will also be used as a classroom  for various workshops.  A grant from the Okemo Community Challenge Fund in the amount of $12,100 was given for this first phase.  We have applied again to the Challenge Fund for another grant in order to make usable another section of the basement.  The basement is viable for these purposes now that we have the elevator servicing this area.


Basement before renovation

Basement before renovation


Another grant that we have received is one for restoration of the 1888 windows in the amount of $8500 from Historic Preservation. Maintenance is constant in an older building and caulking and painting of the windows are part of the on going routine.  However, this time we are exploring ways in which we could reduce our heat loss in the winter, thus reducing our carbon footprint.  We have applied for a grant which would cover the cost of a consultant to draw up specifications for using a clear plastic as a heat loss barrier, but still be within the historic guidelines.  This has been done before, so we are hopeful that we will find a solution.  The cost of the  routine exterior maintenance is about $12 thousand and the cost of a clear heat loss barrier could easily add an additional $30.  We will search for other grant opportunities to say the least!

Window in the third floor classroom

Window in the third floor classroom


BRAM is working with the local schools developing two educational programs for the fall of 2014.  One program, entitled “Mystery of Plymouth Five Corners” is a year long independent study of the history of this once thriving Vermont community which eventually disappeared.  The students, high school only, will study the town’s history and will try to identify what happened and if it could happen again today.  The second one draws on BRAM’s large collection of Finnish artifacts and memorabilia, the largest collection in VT.  ”Finns as a VT Immigrant Group”  will be a day long program at the Museum with students from the sixth grade through high school participating in activities that will focus on how and why Finns chose to settle in VT, their contributions to the area and various aspects of their culture.  The students will also learn how to do research using primary sources at the Museum.  Both programs are connected to the Common Core State Standards, pilots in 2014 and will be used statewide in 2015.


BRAM is looking for volunteers to help with the above Finnish program.

BRAM is looking for people who would like to be part of the volunteers writing volume two of the “History of Ludlow”.

BRAM is looking to borrow memorabilia from the Black River High School (Black River Academy, closed 1938, but maybe there are still mementos lovingly kept) for a special exhibit during the Black River High School Alumni Weekend on June 14th and 15th, Museum hours on those days noon to 4 PM.


 If you are interested in any of the above volunteer groups, please call our Director, Georgia Brehm at 802-228-5050, email her at or contact her through this web site.


Last fall the Board voted to name the new elevator/fire stair tower for Richard Nye who truly got the capital campaign off the ground with his enthusiasm and generous donations.  We have affixed a plaque outside by the entrance to honor him.  We also have listed everyone who gave any amount to the capital campaign on plaques, mainly placed near the elevator doors on the first and second levels. Individual “namings” can be seen in various spots in the Museum.  Please come and see if you can find your name.



David Hoeh and Jim Alic attached "Richard Nye" plaque to tower last fall.

David Hoeh and Jim Alic attached “Richard Nye” plaque to tower last fall.

ONCE AGAIN, OPENING DAY IS June 7th, hours are noon to 4 PM Tuesday through Saturday or by appointment.  5K  Walk for History starts at 10:30 AM, with registration starting at 10 AM.


Please look at our calendar for many special events this year and we will keep you up to date as each event date approaches.


Thank you,

The Board of Trustees




















BRAM Benefits from Agan’s Estate


 BRAM and Other Ludlow Charities Prevail in Phyllis Agan Trust Lawsuit

The Black River Academy Museum along with many other local charities has won a lawsuit brought by Phyllis Agan’s sister, niece and nephew contesting the last amendment to Agan’s Trust Agreement.  BRAM will receive a bequest of $150,000 less well-deserved lawyer’s fees and expenses incurred by Langrock, Sperry and Wool, who expertly represented the Museum and several other charities.  The museum will be receiving a check for $118,902.27.

Although the Museum’s Board has not yet met to discuss this amazing bequest, the Museum has always had building maintenance and repair expenses as a primary concern.  The 1888 Richardsonian-style, four story brick building with a slate roof is on the Historic Preservation Register and must adhere to preservation guidelines in dealing with regular maintenance and emergency repairs.  A rainy day fund to meet these expected and/or unexpected expenses would ease the ongoing concern with funding these necessities.  

At the moment, the Museum has already embarked on a project to once again caulk and paint the museum’s windows, preserving them as designed.  Further, with preservation approval, we will install clear plastic Lexan panels, covering the interior side of the windows.  This will help to keep the cold out, heat in and, importantly, reduce the Museum’s carbon footprint.  This is an expensive project and we are thankful for a $8500 grant for this project from the State of Vermont Division for Historic Preservation towards the expenditure.  If you would like to help with the cost of this project, please click on “donate now” and earmark for windows.  



Windows in the classroom on the third floor.

Windows in the classroom on the third floor.



Black River Academy Museum Draws on Its Finnish Collection for Educational Project

BRAM is developing pilot educational projects based on Finnish immigration in VT in the late 19th century and first half of the 20th century.  The pilots are part of the implementation of the Common Core Curriculum for sixth graders, middle and high school students in Ludlow, VT, tying together the fields of social studies, language and arts.

The museum has the largest collection of Finnish artifacts and memorabilia in the state of Vermont, all donated and assembled by volunteers, mostly members of the Finnish/American Society located in Ludlow, VT.  These resources will be used by the students to portray Finnish life and culture in VT using various media.  The goal is to implement the pilot programs in the fall of 2014 and expand them to other schools throughout VT in 2015.


Joan Willitt, Sue Pollender, Alice Suojanen and Linda Tucker make an inventory of the Finnish Collection at the museum

Joan Willitt, Sue Pollender, Alice Suojanen and Linda Tucker make an inventory of the Finnish Collection at the museum



Speaking of history, BRAM is looking for volunteers to write volume two of the History of Ludlow, covering from the 1900′s to present day Ludlow.  Volunteers will be asked to work on a decade that interests them and will be guided in conducting research, organizing notes and writing.  John Bremer, a university history professor and member of BRAM’s board, is overseeing the project.  This is a perfect opportunity for history buffs to learn more about Ludlow, VT, meet other history-minded people and hone their skills.  If interested please phone;  802-228-5050, email; or contact us through this web site.


The History of Ludlow       Volume 1

The History of Ludlow
Volume 1




Year-End Annual Appeal 2013

small window photo






We are asking you to donate to the museum’s “annual appeal“.  Normally the majority of the funds raised would help to cover our operating expenses, which seem to increase every year.


However, this year is a little different.  We have been advised that the windows in the museum, dating from 1888, are once again in dire need of caulking and painting in order to preserve them.

In addition we will install plastic barriers, approved by historical preservation guidelines, to reduce heat loss and improve the museum’s carbon footprint.  This year the majority of the funds raised in the annual appeal will be devoted to this expensive, but necessary project.  Shown here is a view of some of the smaller Richardsonian style windows over the front entrance of the museum.


Please help us restore the museum’s windows with a generous donation either by clicking on donate now or mailing a check made out to BRAM, P. O. Box 73, Ludlow, VT 05149.


For further information please call 802-228-5050 or email


Thank you in advance,


The Board of Directors 





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14 High Street
P.O. Box 73
Ludlow,VT 05149


Summer Hours:
Open: Tues-Sat
Hours: 12 Noon-4 PM

Labor Day thru Columbus Weekend:
Open: Fri-Sat
Hours: 12 Noon-4 PM

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$2; $1- Srs & Students

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