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August 4, 2013

Local vacation ideas explored

OK, here’s the scenario. Your sibling calls to tell you they’d like to bring the family for a long weekend. It’s always fun to get together, but it’s been a while since you’ve hosted any relatives for an extended stay.

If you have kids, they’re no help. They always complain there’s nothing to do, though it’s amazing how busy they seem to be all the time. You decide it’s your vacation, too. Let it be an opportunity for your own family to see a few new things, or revisit some old favorites.

For simplicity (and a bit of local pride), I’ve limited this potential itinerary to Clinton County. It goes without saying opportunities increase exponentially if you choose to roam a little farther in any direction. Please understand I am not calling these the 10 best places to see in the county, nor am I rating them against each other. My selections are listed alphabetically.

ALICE T. MINER MUSEUM

The wife of William Miner began this collection because of her interest in early American history. Thus, there’s plenty related to George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Marquis de Lafayette. However, her predilections became almost incredibly eclectic. Not only are there early colonial cooking implements and plenty of artwork, but also Babylonian tablets and fragments of Roman frescoes.

Anyone interested in glass, silver or ceramics could spend a lot of time here. I find myself fascinated by the silhouettes. There’s a collection of furniture samples that traveling salesmen might carry by stagecoach or train. Should a customer want a full-size piece for his or her home, the factory could promptly supply it. 

For helping facilitate a friend’s escape from Revolutionary-era Russia, the Miners received a unique handmade doll every year, with an accompanying letter about the traditions behind the doll. These fill two shelves in one alcove.

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