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What Is the Adirondack Museum?

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  • Written By: B. Turner
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 20 November 2016
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The Adirondack Museum is a facility dedicated to preserving the history and culture of the Adirondack Mountain region. Located in the resort area of Blue Mountain Lake in New York State, the structure that houses the primary exhibit area was once a grand hotel. In 1957, the non-profit Adirondack Museum was established on the site, which overlooks the clear waters of Blue Mountain Lake below. Since that time, the museum has expanded to include more than 23 exhibit areas.

At the Adirondack Museum, visitors can trace the history of the Adirondacks back to the start of the 19th century. The museum is home to more than 100,000 artifacts celebrating the people, art, and culture of this region. Exhibits focus on wood crafting and local furniture, as well as regional food and wildlife. Transportation is also a major focus, and the museum maintains a collection of antique rail cars that were once abandoned in the mountains nearby. At the Adirondack Museum, visitors can also learn about tourism and the impact it has had on the area over the years.

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Part of the charm of the Adirondack Museum lies in exploring the buildings and grounds themselves. In addition to the historic hotel that houses many of the exhibits, guests can wander through an old one-room school house, a blacksmith shop, and a well-preserved log cabin. A small cottage, once home to a local artist, is also open to the public. The grounds are rich with local plant life and elaborate gardens, as well as a small pond.

The Adirondack Museum not only preserves local history through its collection of artifacts, but also through its large research library. The library has managed the publication of dozens of books written about the area, including volumes dedicated to the art, people, and history of the Adirondacks. The museum also helps to publish books on other topics that were written by local residents.

Those who plan to visit the Adirondack Museum should take note of its limited hours. The facility is closed for much of the year, and opens only from late May to late October. All guests must purchase a ticket to enter the museum, and the ticket price includes access to all exhibits both indoors and out. Visitors may wish to dine at the museum cafe, which features glass walls that provide a spectacular view. The cafe also serves picnic lunches for groups that wish to dine out on the grounds or in the gardens.

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