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Adirondack Experience facts for kids

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Adirondack Experience (formerly Adirondack Museum), located on NY-30 in the hamlet of Blue Mountain Lake in Hamilton County, New York, is a museum dedicated to preserving the history of the Adirondacks. The museum is located on the site of an historic summer resort hotel, the Blue Mountain House, built high above Blue Mountain Lake in 1876 by Miles Tyler Merwin, that operated until the late 1940s. The museum consists of 23 buildings, 121 acres, and 60,000 square feet of exhibition space. The opening of a brand new 19,000 square foot exhibition, Life in the Adirondacks, took place July 2017.

Adirondack Experience is open late-May to mid-October.

The museum's collections include historic artifacts, photographs, indigenous arts, archival materials, and fine art documenting the region's past in twenty-four buildings including historic structures and contemporary galleries. The museum offers special events, traditional workshops, demonstrations by artisans-in-residence, and school field trips (free for schools in the Adirondack Park). The museum contains a research library which is accessible year-round; its publication program has produced 65 books of Adirondack history, art histories, and museum catalogs.


The museum was created in 1947 by Harold K. Hochschild as an effort to protect the steam locomotive and two cars that had been abandoned on the Marion River Carry between Utowana and Raquette Lakes. Within a year, the Adirondack Historical Association was formed. In 1953 the historic Blue Mountain House was purchased as the site for the museum, and after years of demolition and construction, gathering historic materials and designing exhibits, the museum opened on August 3, 1957. In 1963-64 the museum sponsored the archaeological exploration of the Wiawaka Bateaux Site by Terry Crandall.


The museum collection includes a number of large objects, including a Pullman railroad car, several guide boats and an Idem class racing sailboat, a steam locomotive, a one-room schoolhouse, the rustic "Sunset Cottage", the complete cabin of author and ecologist Anne LaBastille (which will be open to the public in May 2017), and the Log Hotel, built in 1876 and original to the museum's site, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Other material includes:

  • A fine art collection that contains over 2500 works including oil and watercolor paintings, prints, and artists' sketchbooks.
  • The largest collection of historic inland wooden watercraft in the United States.
  • More than 70,000 historic photographs including the work of Seneca Ray Stoddard, Alfred Stieglitz, and Eliot Porter.
  • The largest public collection of rustic furniture in North America. The museum owns many pieces created by Joe Bryere, a local woodworking artist.
  • The Museum's library claims the most comprehensive repository of books, periodicals, manuscripts, maps and government documents related to the Adirondack region.
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