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News / Articles

Vermont Historical Society to Feature History of the Morgan Horse

Amy Mincher  | Published on 4/21/2017

Vermont Historical Society to Feature History of the Morgan Horse


MONTPELIER, VT, April 28, 2017--A new exhibit about the history of the Morgan horse will open at the Vermont History Museum, operated by the Vermont Historical Society,  in Montpelier at the end of April. The exhibit is the first to be shown in their new Local History Gallery after a major renovation of the museum. The Local History Gallery is located within the Freedom & Unity exhibit and was created to spotlight rotating exhibits created by Vermont’s more than 190 local historical societies and museums.


The paintings, photographs, and objects in the temporary Morgan horse exhibit are from the collection of the National Museum of the Morgan Horse, formerly of Middlebury, Vermont. Amy Mincher, director of the National Museum of the Morgan Horse, said, “We are so honored to be asked by the Vermont Historical Society to share some of our collections at the Vermont History Museum in Montpelier. It is a perfect fit, as the Morgan horse a quintessential part of Vermont’s history.”


The exhibit provides an overview of the history of the Morgan breed, including information about the first horse, Figure, who was born in West Springfield, Massachusetts, but came to live with his owner in Randolph, Vermont in the early 1790s. The Morgan horse became an essential element on New England farms, helping clear land, hay, and drag sleighs through the woods during sugaring season. Visitors to the exhibit will also learn about how Morgans were race horses, important Cavalry mounts in military conflicts from the Civil War to World War I, and became grand show horses, bred and beloved by individuals throughout the country. The exhibit will be on display through August.


The National Museum of the Morgan Horse is owned by the American Morgan Horse Association. The mission of the museum is to educate and share the history of the Morgan horse by collecting, preserving, and maintaining art, artifacts, and archives.


The Vermont History Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday.  It is located in the Pavilion Building (next to the State House) at 109 State Street in Montpelier, VT. Visit their website,, for more information. All are invited to explore and celebrate the renovated Vermont History Museum for free on Saturday, April 29 from 10:00am to 3:00pm! Visitors will be greeted by a lighter, brighter entrance to the museum and the new National Life Gallery featuring the impressive Paul Sample mural, “Salute to Vermont.”


Caption: Vermont History Museum in Montpelier, VT


Caption: Painting of Croydon Prince, ca. 1900, by A. Fullerton Phillips. This painting, owned by the National Museum of the Morgan Horse, is featured in the new exhibit at the Vermont History Museum.