Reading across the lines


When entering the Haskell Free Library and Opera House, watch where you step. The historic structure straddles the border between Stanstead, Quebec, and Derby Line, Vt. Everyone enters through the front door, but look carefully. A red line runs diagonally through the reading room, making it possible to read across the lines. Tired of Vermont, step across the room and settle into a chair in Quebec.

Ditto for the adjacent opera house, where the border division consists of a line painted on the floor in the audience section. Locals joke that performers here always play to an international audience. The theater is a work of art in itself–ask in the library for a tour, available for a small fee. Better yet, time a visit to coincide with a show.

One caution: Be careful to park on the side of the border from which you came. From the U.S., park in the parking lot or in front of the library; from Canada, park on the side street or behind. It’s okay to cross the border on foot to enter the library.