he welcomed Canadian Prime Minster Justin Trudeau to the White House this morning, President Obama praised the close relationship between the United States and Canada. So close, in fact, that they share a building. The Haskell Free Library and Opera House is stationed between Quebec and northern Vermont, “where the borderline literally runs right across the floor,” Obama pointed out.
The location has been a tourist attraction in Stanstead, Quebec, and Derby Line, Vermont, since its completion in 1904. Martha Stewart Haskell and her son, Colonel Horace Stewart Haskell, both Canadians, built the building as a tribute to Mrs. Haskell’s late husband, Carlos. The family hoped that citizens from both countries would use it as a “center for learning and cultural enrichment,” according to the official Haskell Free Library website.
The Haskell is divided between the two countries. As CTV News reports, the library’s official entrance is on the U.S. side of the building, while most the books are on the Canadian side. The opera house is similarly split, with most of its seats in the U.S. and its stage in Canada. Atlas Obscura notes that it is often said that the Haskell is the only library in the U.S. with no books, and the only opera house in the country with no stage.