What Two Countries Does The Haskell Opera House Straddle

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The Haskell Opera House is a unique and fascinating architectural gem that straddles the border between two countries, the United States and Canada. As a passionate traveler and architecture enthusiast, I was thrilled to visit this one-of-a-kind landmark and experience its rich history and cross-border charm first-hand.

Situated in the border town of Derby Line, Vermont, and Stanstead, Quebec, the Haskell Opera House is a testament to the close and interconnected relationship between these two neighboring nations. It was built in 1901 and designed by the prominent Canadian architect, George Guillet, who envisioned a cultural hub that would serve both communities.

With its distinctive red-brick exterior and neoclassical style, the Haskell Opera House stands as a symbol of unity and collaboration. Its location directly on the border is truly remarkable, as the performance hall itself is divided by an international border marker. In fact, the seating area is in the United States, while the stage and backstage area are in Canada, making it the only theater in the world straddling two countries.

Stepping into the Haskell Opera House, I was immediately struck by its timeless beauty and elegance. The interior features intricate woodwork, ornate plasterwork, and stunning stained glass windows, transporting visitors to a bygone era of grandeur and sophistication. The acoustics are exceptional, enhancing the experience of live performances and immersing the audience in the magic of the arts.

Over the years, the Haskell Opera House has hosted a wide range of performances, including opera, theater productions, concerts, and even film screenings. It has become a cherished cultural institution, attracting artists and audiences from both sides of the border.

Exploring the surrounding areas, it’s impossible not to notice the seamless blending of American and Canadian influences. The town of Derby Line and the neighboring Stanstead share a unique bond that transcends national borders. The Haskell Free Library and Opera House, as it is officially known, not only serves as a venue for artistic expression but also as a library that houses a vast collection of books accessible to both Canadians and Americans.

Visiting the Haskell Opera House was truly a remarkable experience that highlighted the power of art and culture to bring people together. Standing in the middle of the theater, I couldn’t help but appreciate the harmonious coexistence between the United States and Canada, transcending political boundaries and fostering a sense of shared heritage.


The Haskell Opera House is a shining example of the beautiful intersection between art, architecture, and international cooperation. Its unique location between the United States and Canada embodies the spirit of unity and cultural exchange. Whether you are a theater enthusiast, an architecture aficionado, or simply curious about the world’s extraordinary landmarks, a visit to the Haskell Opera House is an experience not to be missed. So, embrace the opportunity to explore this cross-border gem and witness the magic that happens when two countries come together through the universal language of the arts.