April 10, 2013

Transportation Museum to hold grand reopening


---- — PLATTSBURGH — The Champlain Valley Transportation Museum is gearing up for another year, with new attractions and classic displays that have helped it grow in popularity over the past decade.

The museum opens for the season on Saturday, April 20, with opportunities for kids and adults to enjoy learning about the region’s transportation history.

“The museum will feature a balloon artist and a unicyclist from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., a small robotics demonstration from our First Lego League coach, as well as crafts and activities from the Kids’ Station,” said Lisa LaFountain, director of fundraising and membership for the museum.

“We want to offer a fun-filled day to let people know we’re open for the season.”


The exhibits, which feature a variety of classic automobiles and other modes of transportation, now include a 1927 Packard that was bought brand new in Burlington and has remained in the area ever since, a 1956 Ford Victoria and a prototype taxicab from which only a handful of cars were manufactured.

“We’ll also have several smaller things on display (for the first time) throughout the museum,” said long-time museum docent Dick Soper. “We have around 800 model cars, trucks, airplanes and tractors, (an exhibit) that continues to grow each year.”

The ever-popular model-train exhibit will also have new features, including several scale-model amusement-park rides, Soper noted.

An exciting new exhibit that will not be available until later in the season will feature a doctor’s office from the early 1900s, including a doctor’s buggy and historical photographs from Champlain and Physicians hospitals in Plattsburgh.

The central attraction for the museum will continue to be its Lozier automobiles. Lozier Corp. manufactured autos at its Plattsburgh plant, located where Georgia-Pacific now stands, at the turn of the 20th century.


Although there will be no guided tours on opening day, Soper has been leading visitors through the historic displays for the past seven years, sharing with folks the vast knowledge he has developed on each artifact over that time period. Guided tours typically last an hour and a half, he noted.

Volunteers top the museum’s wish list.

“We are in need of volunteers to help Dick out with the tours,” LaFountain said. “We’re looking for help giving tours and with greeting and interacting with customers. Volunteers should be fairly outgoing and enthusiastic about transportation, but Dick will help them learn about our displays.”

The museum is also seeking volunteer help in the office and gift shop, particularly on Wednesdays and Saturdays, she added.

“It’s definitely great having volunteer help,” she said.

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Champlain Valley Transportation Museum will open for the season on Saturday, April 20, with hours that day set for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Admission for opening day will be $4, with children age 12 and younger free.

For more information on opening day, the upcoming season or becoming a volunteer, contact Lisa LaFountain at 566-7575 or email her at