Our beaver residents at the Red Barn preserve are working overtime to get ready for winter. We have lost over a dozen trees in the last month to their aggressive attack on our poplar trees. One of the trees measured 12 inches in diameter! It is fascinating that a single beaver can take out a tree in one days’ time. Our tree stand of poplar trees is small and there is concern that we may be wiped out if the attack continues.
Three museum board members met with the Town of Morristown Highway Superintendent Dean Hoffman at the Red Barn Preserve to review the plans for our second hiking trail. The Highway Department will once again construct a 275 foot boardwalk along the marshy area adjacent to our second pond. Work will be done in the Spring – in time for a Memorial Day opening of the trail. The museum is grateful for the support from the Town and Highway Department to make this happen.
Work continues on the Farm House. We have ordered 15 windows to replace the old ones that are worn out. A tree contractor has been hired to remove two large locust trees with branches hanging over the house. The real danger with these locust trees in the splitting that occurs in the main trunk o the trees. These badly damaged tree trunks are at risk to the high winds that we get from time to time. Most of the house has been gutted. Ceilings were removed in the downstairs areas. Floors and subfloors have been torned up. Plumbing fixtures in the first floor bathroom have been removed. The entire second floor bathroom and its fixtures have been removed as well. The kitchen and washing machine room have been taken apart. With winter approaching we will close down the project in the next couple of weeks and resume in the spring.
We have an outhouse ! As our foot traffic has increased over the late summer and fall months on the hiking trail it became apparent that we needed some facilities to accommodate the needs of our guests. Amazingly our Amish neighbors build commercial outhouses that are sold internationally. (I was told the biggest customer is in Canada). We proudly mounted the traditional crescent shape on the door to make sure people knew what was this building was doing out on the trail.
Our community continues to donate artifacts to the museum. Gloria Johnson donated a portrait of her grandmother painted by Charles Chapman and a chair belonging to a Civil War veteran. Gary Premo has donated a Muskie fishing pole that belonged to his father. This pole comes with a wooden case with a leather handle and is excellent condition. Thank you !
To prove we have a sense of humor- read this story. A very nice lady called me up last month and said that her mother-in-law had just passed away and had a dining room table that “George Washington had sat at”. She had no proof to support this claim. She did provide a credible story of how this furniture had been in the family for many generations. While technically this donation does not meet our acceptance criteria where our artifacts must have a connection to Morristown - we decided it was such an interesting piece of furniture we accepted it and hope it fits into our Farm House after the renovation has been completed.
The Board is putting the finishing touches on our schedule of Activities for 2019. Most people do not realize how far in advance these activities have to be scheduled. The music groups from the Summer Concert Series operate under contracts. These contracts are done 9 to 12 months in advance of the event unless you are Fort Drum. We have invited the Fort Drum band to appear and they will not commit until about 90 days ahead of our requested date. We have also scheduled Jake Tibbles- Executive Director of the Thousand Island Land Trust to speak to us about TILT. The Thousand Island Land Trust wears the big boy pants when it comes to conservation and hiking trails in the North Country.
I mentioned last month that the museum decided to get involved with the “Welcome to Morristown” sign project. As everyone one knows- after 12 years the three signs installed by the Chamber of Commerce are worn out and need to be replaced. Four members of the Board of Trustees for the museum are working with a sign company to come up with an attractive replacement to what we have today. A presentation will be made to the Town of Morristown board in their November meeting.
I have made it a point to end each of my Blogs seeking Volunteers to join us at the Gateway Museum. We have way too much fun each summer with all of our activities. We welcome anyone who would like to work a couple of hours for the museum. It’s not too early to provide us your name and interests for next year. I would be happy to add you to our list of volunteers. Please call me on my cell phone at 614-205-8437.
November 11, 2018