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June 6, 2014

Museum Days invites guests to explore local heritage

PLATTSBURGH — The Linney brothers of Lyon Mountain were noted for crafting an all-metal bobsled that was dubbed the “Iron Shoe.” 

The world never saw it, for though Bob Linney qualified to compete in the 1940 Winter Olympics, the games were canceled by the onset of World War II.

But that bobsled, one of four produced by the brothers, is on display in a special sports exhibit in the community room at the Lyon Mountain Railroad and Mining Museum.

And visitors will have a chance to see it there this weekend with no admission charge, as the museum in the Dannemora hamlet of Lyon Mountain is one of 19 museums, galleries and cultural organizations around Clinton County taking part in the seventh-annual Museum Days event this Saturday and Sunday. 

Along with free admission, many feature programs include special guests, demonstrations and hands-on activities.

“This Museum Days is a way for us to really give people a sense of their local heritage,” said Melissa Peck, director of the Clinton County Historical Association and coordinator for the Adirondack Coast Cultural Alliance that organizesthe event.

LABOR, LEISURE

In Lyon Mountain, that heritage is a mix of labor and leisure that raised a community of athletes and craftspeople who are memorialized in the Mining Museum there.

“You’ll get an idea of how hard it was to live,” museum volunteer and Friends of Lyon Mountain Chairperson Rita Kwetcian said.

That lifestyle can be seen in the mining and railroad exhibits that showcase the equipment used to dig and transport the local iron ore.

But the people of Lyon Mountain could work hard and play hard, Kewtcian explained, noting 1960s New York Yankees player Tommy Kowalowski hails from there.

Also, the museum will welcome Adirondack storyteller Chris Davis to share tales of the region on Saturday and, on Sunday, Town of Dannemora Historian Ves Pivetta will share his collection of New York Yankees memorabilia.

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