Adirondack Museum, Hamilton, NY

Posted On March 2, 2011 

Preserving the history of Adirondacks, the Adirondack Museum in the village of the Blue Mountain Lake on NY-30 is the abode of the New York’s cultural heritage. It houses 22 galleries as well as exhibit rooms where the visitor can marvel at the photographs, archives, historic artifacts, and art that all speak about the appealing past of this geographically blessed area. Further, a research library can also be spotted whose more than 50 books reveal a lot of Adirondack history, art progress, and museum information along with a refreshing cafe. However, this is not all you see in the museum. To add to the excitement, the Adirondack museum also schedules for classes, illustrations, special events, symposia, field trips, and workshops. By being marveled at the things to see and so, a traveler of the National Geographic channel as considered it to be among the ‘Smithsonian of the Adirondacks’.

The most distinguishing feature of the Adirondack Museum is the way it is set up – it is not an edifice; in fact, it looks like a miniature hamlet offering eclectic views, structures, and outdoor spaces. This small complex is entered from the Visitor Center like any other hamlet will have. At the Center, your points of interests are the auditorium, education center, Lake View Café, museum store selling crafts/toys/prints/music/clothing, restrooms, phones, the international paper community gallery, and ATM machine. Besides this, the hidden highlights on the land are a 20th century cottage of an artist, an 1876 log structure similar to the Blue Mountain House as a resort, and 1907 schoolhouse. So, welcome to a museum world that spans beyond imagination! Is there something lacking? No right? But, you are wrong as there is also a fire tower, a terrace with some stunning lake vistas, a pond, and a gazebo.

On site, there are various collections of large items such as a steam locomotive, guide boats, a railroad car, racing sailboat, a one-room schoolhouse, a blacksmith shop, the Log Hotel (National Register of Historic Places), and the pastoral ‘Sunset Cottage’. From the Visitor Center, there are several options to start from – the Marion River Carry Pavilion holding a locomotive and a passenger car, diorama featuring the 20th century steam and rail transportation, and boats zone where there are many speed boats, guide boats, and canoes. I know many will start from boating as that is really exciting here. Boating in a museum? Yes, it is true! Besides this boating display, look for the ‘Living with Wilderness’ that speaks about the local cultural flow since 1500s. Also, check out for the rotating Photo Belt where the moving selections are the photographs of the exhibits here. The most admirable part is that they all are set up sequentially in the order of their subjects – hotels, resorts, ponds, lakes, ponds, and hamlets. Finally, spot the documents of Trudeau Cutter, Adirondack Recliner, and wild cure of tuberculosis.

Go ahead in the watch-wise way and spot the ‘Sunset Cottage’ where the trimmed vista, twig art, and fittings reflect the local rural life. Then, see the ‘Woods and Waters: Outdoor Recreation in the Adirondacks’ where you can actually do something adventurous – camping, mountaineering, and sports of Winter Olympics. Lastly, ‘A Paradise for Boys and Girls’: Children’s Camps in the Adirondacks’ is where there are many memories of camps, campers, and photos along with the zone of Jewish kids’ summer camps. And yes, before I forget, there is also something called as ‘Bull Cottage’ where rustic furniture abounds including the famous Adirondack chair.

Superlative honors

The Adirondack Museum is ranked second in the list of the wooden largest homes inland in America, but first in North America for being the holder of the highest amount of rustic furniture.

Recommended time of visit

Early September weekend as this is the time of the Rustic Fair featuring the sale of handicrafts, delicious food, and live music.

2011 dates for public welcome

May 27- October 17.


10 am to 5 pm, closed on 9th September.

  • Adult: $18
  • Seniors (62+): $16
  • Teen (13 to 17): $12
  • Kid (6 to 12): $6

The Adirondack Museum is a small rural world preserving the cultural heritage of Adirondacks.

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