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Brainerd Family collection

Identifier: C-190

Scope and Contents

The Brainerd Family Papers includes the writings, research, and correspondence of Ezra Brainerd - scientist, botanist, surveyor, published researcher, and former president and trustee of Middlebury College - and papers associated with his children, their work, family homesteads, towns of interest (St. Albans and Belmont, VT), and family genealogy. There are also photographs and ephemera representing the town of Middlebury, particuarly the Middlebury Union High School and Middlebury landmarks and organizations.


  • 1856-1960


Biographical / Historical

Rossmann is the granddaughter of Pres. Ezra Brainerd.

Rossmann’s mother, Katherine Wright Brainerd Eddy (KBE), was the youngest of EB’s eight children, a child from his second marriage to Mary Wright (m.1897).

EB’s first wife was Frances Viola Rockwell (m.1868).

Rossman received the materials from her mother Katherine, who died in 1978.

Katherine received the papers from her sister-in-law Edith Hubbard Brainerd, who was married to Katherine’s half-brother Ezra Brainerd, Jr. (EB’s only son).

In 1960, prior to the sale of Springside, the Brainerd family home in Middlebury, to the Paul Cubeta family, EB Jr. cleaned out the family papers at Springside with his younger sister Alice Beaumelle Brainerd Nelson. EB Jr. took the papers to his home in Washington, D.C. where they were transferred to legal document boxes. When EB Jr. died in 1963 in Washington, D.C., his wife Edith transferred the papers to her youngest half-sister-in-law, Katherine.

The collection has been used as resource for writing family histories and memoirs. Besides KBE and EB Jr. creating histories, John Haltigan (son-in-law to EB Jr.) also added material to the collection.

EB was born in 1844 and grew up in St. Albans, VT, graduated from Middlebury College in 1864, became a faculty member in 1868 and college president in 1885. The collection includes essays, orations, diaries, and programs beginning from his grade school years in St. Alban’s Union School through his undergraduate years at MC, 1860-1864. The collection also includes scientific notes and book drafts for his publications on violets and blackberries, as well as notes for articles co-written with MC Geology professor Henry Seely about their scientific research tours on Lake Champlain.

Also included:

Research notes from Rossmann’s uncle Ezra Brainerd, Jr. on the genealogy of EB’s mother Catherine Wood, who grew up in Malone, NY. Also letters to EB from his father Lawrence Robbins Brainerd.


7 Boxes

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Louise Eddy Rossmann (LER), September 22, 2021.

Processing Information

Materials are in acid-free folders and acid-free storage boxes. A USB thumbdrive accompanies the collection and holds transcripts from and historical essays about Brainerd and the Brainerd family. This collection is only partilaly processed. (Sept. 2021)

Language of description
Script of description
Latin (Gaelic variant)

Repository Details

Part of the Middlebury College Special Collections & Archives Repository

Middlebury College
Davis Family Library
110 Storrs Avenue
Middlebury Vermont 05753 United States