By JEFF MEYERS
---- — PLATTSBURGH — Visitors to the War of 1812 Museum this weekend can check out an 1812-period military encampment, including cannon and musket firing and skirmishes between British and American troops.
No admission will be charged, as the facility is one of 16 museums and galleries taking part in this year’s Museum Days.
Set for this Saturday and Sunday, the free event will include a visit from the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum’s Lois McClure, a full-scale replica of an 1862-class sailing canal boat.
“This is a good jump-start to our tourist season,” War of 1812 Museum Director Tammy Brown said of Museum Days.
“It’s also a good opportunity for local people to see what our museums have to offer before the ‘out-of-staters’ start coming.”
‘HELPS ALL MUSEUMS’
Last year, 438 visitors came through the War of 1812 Museum’s doors during Museum Days, Brown said.
“It really helps all of the museums,” she said. “It’s a great chance for locals to get out and enjoy the heritage of our area.”
The War of 1812 Museum, located on Washington Road on the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base, will also offer, among other activities, demonstrations by local blacksmith Lance Falcon, and children will have a chance to visit a variety of rabbits from Valley Forge Rabbitry.
“This year, we’re going green by providing free bus service on Saturday,” Brown said.
Museum Days, she said, has “received a grant from the Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership and will be offering a north and south run from the Clinton County Historical Association parking lot.”
The north run will travel to the Strand Center for the Arts and the Lois McClure at Wilcox Dock in Plattsburgh, and, in Chazy, the Alice T. Miner Museum and the Heritage Exhibit at the Miner Farm.
The south run visits the Strand, the Plattsburgh State Art Museum, the North Star Underground Railroad Museum at Ausable Chasm, the Anderson Falls Society in Keeseville and the Babbie Rural and Farm Learning Museum in Peru.
CIVIL WAR DAY
“The weekend gives the community a great chance to get a taste of what we all have to offer,” said Melissa Peck, director of the Clinton County Historical Museum.
“It gives families a little exposure (to the different sites) and gets them excited about coming back and spending a few hours (later in the season).”
Civil War researchers Robert St. John and Vickie Evans will be on hand as part of the museum’s Civil War Day. The event was held later in the summer last year, but museum officials decided to move it to Museum Days to give visitors an early access to the festivities.
The museum will also hold a stamp cancellation featuring a stamp commemorating the Battle of Gettysburg, and Larry Bosley and Bob Cheeseman will display Civil War-era tools.
GAMES FOR KIDS
Visitors to the Kent Delord-House in Plattsburgh will have an opportunity to view the new display on Frank Hall, a Civil War chaplain who married Fanny Delord Webb, Henry Delord’s granddaughter.
“I think it’s great for community outreach,” said museum Director Connie Mandeville of Museum Days. “People forget that we’re here; it’s an opportunity for people to see what historical heritage we have here.”
The Kent-Delord House will also offer kids an opportunity to participate in historic games in the museum’s front yard, as well as a chance to make their own medal of honor.
Other participants include the Champlain Valley Transportation Museum, the Plattsburgh Town Hall, the Lyon Mountain Mining and Railroad Museum, Imaginarium Children’s Museum and the Schuyler Falls Town Historian’s Office.
The Adirondack Coast Cultural Alliance, which co-sponsors Museum Days with the Press-Republican, will also introduce the 2013 ACCA Passport during the festivities. Visitors can pick up a passport at any of the attractions, getting a start on collecting stamps at each of 14 venues.
Filled passports can be turned in by Sept. 12 for a drawing that offers prizes including a family ski weekend at Titus Mountain, a week at a camp on Lake Champlain and maple syrup.
Email Jeff Meyers:firstname.lastname@example.org
IF YOU GO
Museum Days will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
No admission is charged at any of the participating venues.
For a complete schedule and a listing of the many are museums that are participating, visit www.adkcoastcultural.org.