It is starting to get quiet in the North Country. Most seasonal people have shuttered their homes and headed to warmer places. The first snow has fallen and it is getting quite cold.
You would think the Gateway Museum would be done until next spring. Not so! While we have closed our doors to the public until next year- the Board of Trustees and Volunteers are working hard to prepare for next year’s activities and projects. We have our Fishing Exhibit, the Bogardus Farm hiking trail, and web camera projects to plan and execute before the summer traffic returns to the area.
As I mentioned last month- the Fishing Exhibit is off to a terrific start. Our part time curator/project manager Hallie Bond has wasted little time in ramping up the project- poring over newspaper articles and exploring the Gateway Museum deep interiors to find artifacts that would support the theme of Sturgeon Fishing and Muskie Fishing in the St Lawrence River. Hallie and two members of the board met with Maryann Evans to interview her about her famous Muskie guide fishing father- Jim Evans. Click on the exhibits tab in this website to see pictures taken at that interview. Did you know that Jim would retire each lure that he used to catch a Muskie? And there were a lot of retired lures hanging in the Evans House! On the sturgeon side of this exhibit we are beginning to see people coming out to support this project. For example the Sturgeons-For-Tomorrow nonprofit organization in Syracuse has volunteered to provide information about sturgeons for our exhibit. Local people are starting to tell us their stories about helping Allan Bogardus with his sturgeon business. We think we may have found a map pinpointing where Allan caught his fish in the river. A secret map showing where the big fish are located? It does not get any better than this. Our target date to open the exhibit remains June 2018.
The three quarter mile long hiking trail project at the Bogardus farm is on track to open June 2018. The Morristown Township highway superintendent walked the trail site with us last month to determine what his team could do to improve the trail. He had some good ideas about how to build a small parking area on the east end of the trail. Estimates have been prepared for the materials needed to build the 275 feet of boardwalk across the marshy areas. Our volunteers spent a day brush hogging the route. The incredible natural beauty is seen in the pictures posted on this website home page. We have also added a video on the home page to highlight the route.
The web cam project is moving along nicely. The camera has been purchased and installed on the back of the Museum building facing the Morristown Harbor. The camera images are high quality and very cool. One can see the boat launch, the St Lawrence River, ships and parts of Brockville. That’s the good news. The bad news is- it is taking a lot more time and effort to get this camera installed on our website and accessible to the public. We are working with lots of technical people to make this happen. Let’s hope it gets done in the near future.
I had the pleasure to meet and interview Hubert Richardson and Larry Kring this month. Hubert recently donated an ice boat to the museum. Back in the day- the boat was sailed on the frozen ice of Black Lake. According to Hubert- it was possible to get that thing up to 60 miles per hour. Larry told stories about how challenging it was to jump into the boat when there was a wind. They had no brakes and very limited steering ability. The Museum is looking forward to putting the boat on display.
We continue to seek volunteers to join the museum. If anyone has any interest in donating some time- we have many projects to do. As we look at next year’s ambitious agenda – we know we will be challenged to deliver on everything without more help. Please reach out to a Board member if you have any interest in serving our community.