NATURAL HISTORY AND LUMAN
RANGER NELSON EXHIBITS
The Museum's Natural History Collection is primarily the work of Luman Ranger Nelson, a noted naturalist and taxidermist of the early 1900's. The collection includes close to 250 species of bird and mammal found in the northeastern United States, and over 600 individual mounts.
This is the largest collection of its kind in Vermont and one of the largest in the region. The collection includes a number of threatened and endangered species, many albino specimens as well as three extinct northeastern birds.
"Luman Nelson was my great grandfather. I can’t believe the great collection that you have here! Thanks so much for taking care of his work and displaying it so well!"
-Brenda L. Hopkinton, NH
Mr. Nelson was born in 1874 in Bernardston, Massachusetts. As an adult, Luman Ranger Nelson lived in Winchester, New Hampshire until his death in 1966. In his late 30's Mr. Nelson set out to assemble a natural history collection of northeastern birds and mammals. When the collection began there were very few regulations to limit shooting of wild animals. This is no longer the case, and by the end of his life, Mr. Nelson had acquired a number of special permits allowing him to complete the collection. With today's laws and regulations, a collection like this would be extremely difficult to create.
Although individual specimens were acquired earlier or later in his life, the bulk of this work was done in the 1920s and '30s.