I would have to say the Gateway Museum is firing on all cylinders. On May 25th we opened our doors to start the 2019 season. Featured this year on the first floor is a new exhibit about Dr. Morse’s Indian Root Pills. At the turn of the century the Comstock family making their Indian Root pills was the largest employer in Morristown and sold the pills worldwide. The exhibit captures the enticing advertising from the era and displays images that are designed to get you to buy this elixir.
Over at the Red Barn Preserve the Morristown Highway Department arrived the week of May 19th to install a 300 foot long board walk along pond #2. A week later students and faculty members from BOCE’s arrived to spend a day building a number of trail improvements along our new Trail #2. The trail opened May 25th. At about the same time as the trail construction was completed Dr. Jessica Rogers SUNY Potsdam showed up with three summer interns to start her project to study and eradicate invasive plant species at the Preserve. The team has already identified over 180 plant species at the site and will soon focus on the invasive plants including purple loosestrife and methods to eradicate them.
The real excitement at the Red Barn Preserve is the blue heron rookery and all the activity going on in this nesting site. The blue heron eggs have all hatched and the birds are busy feeding their young. We have over 60 active nests in the Rookery. To our surprise a very talented photographer from North Carolina showed up last week and decided to photograph the birds. His sensational picture of an adult blue heron standing over 3 young birds sent our Facebook page soaring with over 1650 views. His pictures by far and away are the best we have ever have seen taken at the Rookery. A big thank you goes out to Greg Perry for sharing these pictures with the Museum (you can see other wildlife pictures taken by Greg at his website http://browncreek.smugmug.com/.)
Our garden has gotten off to a slow start. The wet and cold weather has slowed things down. We prepared 6 mounds of dirt and planted over 25 Atlantic Giant Pumpkin seeds on May 19th. On June 10th our first plant emerged and since then we have gotten 2 more to grow. If you are optimistic you say- what the heck – I only need one plant to create my 500# pumpkin !
We are looking for support for our museum activities this summer. There certainly is plenty of work to do. We welcome anyone that wants to help staff the museum for a couple of hours a week (we will provide training) or perhaps there is interest in working out at the Red Barn Preserve. There is a volunteer day scheduled for Saturday June 22nd at the Preserve to help us with trail maintenance. Activities include trimming the trails, working on some demolition in the Red Barn and painting around the farm house. It’s a good chance to get out and reacquaint yourself with your neighbors. This event is from 9am to 1pm.
The museum is trying to increase our advertising in the community. We have been on Facebook for some time but really did not consistently post pictures and news items on a regular basis. That has changed and we are now posting almost daily to let the community know what we are doing. I think we are making some good progress. I have observed that we usually reach at least 100 people with our posts and occasionally more. Out latest post of Greg Perry’s pictures of Blue herons has reached over 1,650 people! If you consider that the village of Morristown has a total population of 325 people- reaching 1,650 people is a big deal !
Our concert series kicks off on Saturday June 29th with Northbound. (Some of our earlier advertising had this as a Shoes concert- but that has changed) You can see this concert and all of our summer concerts at the Morristown Fire Department Pavilion. Check this website for a complete up-to-date schedule. As a general rule- our concerts are usually on Monday evenings. Concerts start at 6:30pm.
There are great guest speakers lined up for this summer. Jake Tibbles- Executive Director of the Thousand Island Land Trust will talk at the Gateway Museum’s Main Street location on July 17th at 6:30pm. Rich Henderson – President of the Black Lake Association in lined up to talk on August 8th at the Museum.
Many of our supporters have received our patron letter this month requesting donations to the museum that will enable us to continue to provide services to the community. Most people understand that it requires funds to build museum exhibits or hiking trails. And I think most people think that the Gateway Museum does a good job providing these services. If you have not received a patron letter and would like to make a donation please send your donation to the Gateway Museum, Box 231, Morristown, NY 13664 or go to our website at www.morristowngatewaymuseum.org and make a PayPal donation.
June 14, 2019