Press-Republican

June 30, 2013

Museum tucked inside Westport Inn

By ALVIN REINER Press-Republican
Press-Republican

---- — WESTPORT — With the intention of promoting the area and providing historical perspective, Alexandra and Anthony Wheeler have created a museum at the Inn at Westport.

Anthony gives full credit to his wife for the idea, research and construction involved in developing the Westport Museum, which they hope will provide information for residents and encourage those who might ordinarily pass through the village to stop, and possibly shop and stay.

INN’S HISTORY

The Inn in Westport, as it is now known, was originally constructed by the Masons, who established Sisco Lodge 259 on the site in 1852.

The Westport fire of 1876 leveled the building, and it was rebuilt the following year.

It was called the Westport Inn Annex at one time and was the Inn on the Library Lawn from 1979 to 2011.

CURIOUS VISITORS

The idea for the Westport Museum, which is subtitled “Small Town, Big Lake, Simply Adirondacks,” came to the Wheelers because “so many people came into the café and inn and wanted information,” according to Alexandra.

“The Heritage House next door is great for people to use, but they are not open as many hours as we are. This was also done to have people who would normally just travel through to see this is a museum and possibly stop. Then they could see what else Westport has to offer.”

‘AMAZING STUFF’

The museum has four main sections: the welcome wall with area attractions and businesses, a historic-photo gallery, a timeline and a display of natural history.

“We have tried to provide a reference and information on the Adirondack Park and this town so that visitors can see the relationship,” Alexandra said.

One display shows that there are many other Westports in the United States and around the globe.

“As I was putting this together, I was finding that this is amazing stuff,” Alexandra said. “I have begun to understand much of the folklore of the area, as well.

“I have left spaces for people to come in and add to in order to create a more complete picture. We will copy any photos and return them promptly.”

Some of the information Westporters may wish to forget — such as the rumor of 1940, when local papers detailed a supposed murder that later was proven to be unfounded.

In addition to visitors who have come from as far away as England and Norway, a film crew from Canada recently utilized the resources of the museum in filming a video on Champ.

Email Alvin Reiner at:rondackrambler@yahoo.com

INN MUSEUM The museum located in the Westport Inn on Main Street (Routes 9N and 22) has sidewalk access next to the Inn's café. It is open to the public from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays until mid-October. Admission is free. For further information, call 335-1966 or email innmail@hotmail.com