Performance in Canada while Audience in Vermont!

The international boundary is marked on the fl...
The international boundary is marked on the floor of the reading room of the Haskell Library. In this picture, Canada is on the right side and the United States is on the left. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) had this interesting entry:

Where can you watch a play where the stage is in Canada but the audience sits in the United States?

The Haskell Free Library and Opera House (French: Bibliothèque et salle d’opéra Haskell) is a building that straddles the international border in Rock Island (now part of Stanstead, Quebec) and Derby Line, Vermont. The Opera House opened on June 7, 1904, and was built on the border between Canada and the United States.

The library collection and the opera stage are located in Canada, but the door and most opera seats are in the United States. Because of this, the Haskell is sometimes called “the only library in the U.S.A. with no books” and “the only opera house in the U.S.A. with no stage”.

A thick black line runs beneath the seats of the opera house and diagonally across the center of the library’s reading room to mark the international boundary. The stage and half of the seats are in Canada, the rest of the opera hall is in the U.S..

The library has a collection of more than 20,000 books in French and English, and is open to the public.

The building is recognized as a historic site in both countries. In the United States, it has been registered in the National Register of Historic Places since 1976. In Canada, it was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1985 and has been a provincial heritage site since 1977.

The building was created by American sawmill owner Carlos Haskell and his Canadian wife Martha Stewart Haskell for use by the people of both countries; profits from the opera house were originally intended to support the operation of the free library.

The Haskell family later donated the building to the towns of Derby Line and Rock Island in Mr. Haskell’s memory; it is run by a private international board of four American and three Canadian directors.

To get more information about this great place, I suggest visiting the Historic Places Canada and Wikipedia.

Randy Ray and Mark Kearney, The Trivia Guys, whose article made me want to know more!
Books by TheTrivia Guys – at These guys were featured on


  1. I was thinking the same thing, now that passports are saving us from… I’ve heard of houses in Indiana where it’s one time on one side, and an hour different on the otherr side. Something about DST being county by county. Who’s drawing the lines around here?


  2. Interesting piece, thank you. You might want to add opera and library to the tags so more people can pick it up. Now I am going to make a statement that might ruffle some feathers (froisser quelques plumes). “This might be the only place where the Canadians outperform the Americans.” That should bring lots of people to this site, if only to yell at me!
    Great information as usual.
    Take Care.


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