Adirondack Museum: Alice T Miner Museum

Assistant to the Curator Stephanie Pfaff leads us on a whirlwind tour of the Miner family in Chazy. It is astounding how one family could shape a community. She touches on some of the basics like Heart’s Delight Farm as an experiment in modern farming, starting a K-12 school that became the 1st centralized school, building a hospital, church and the Alice T Miner Museum. The unusual part of the museum is that Alice Miner had the museum specifically built to replicate a house to highlight how people lived in the mid 1800s. Her directive was to showcase American history. This isn’t a renovated building altered to fit the museum’s vision but a specific example to allow visitors a glimpse into the Colonial Revival time period.


We are shown the downstairs sitting and formal rooms. The children are asked to identify various articles from the collection and play three guesses. For the first item my son guesses a spoon warmer correctly. His recent fondness for soup has him rethinking our table settings. Good grief. I feel fortunate if I can get him to set soupspoons let alone worry about heating them. The tour moves on to other objects and we fail in our identification of spinning salad cruets, a tea chest and knife box. It is a wonderful way for the kids to be engaged and interact with the past. We are shown items throughout the house that served specific purposes for the time.

Silhouetted pictures line one wall. The children are reminded that this was a time before cameras. The children’s room holds my daughters attention with its dolls and tea sets, tiny cast iron stoves and small Grandfather Clock.

They walk away wondering about a time when a sales person would carry sale samples or miniature versions of stoves and clocks in a suitcase rather then sell appliances off the internet.

After a brief stop in the Lincoln Room showcasing the Miner’s Presidential memorabilia, our tour ends at the ballroom surrounded by shelves of Redford glassware. There are so many aspects of history that the museum touches upon from local contributions of the Miner family to the historical aspects of its furnishings. The kids just enjoy the guessing games.

The Alice T. Miner Museum is located at 9618 State Rt. 9 in Chazy. It is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. The museum is open by guided tour only with tours conducted at 10:00 a.m., noon and 2:00 p.m. Call 518-846-7338 for more information or on the web at www.minermuseum.org.

as published in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise

Comments

Stephanie said…
Thank you Diane for you insightful commentary. I am so glad you and your children came to visit the Alice T. Miner Museum. We had a fun tour!
Stephanie Pfaff
Diane said…
We had fun. We look forward to the next time when we can explore the area a bit more and apply all that we learned at the Alice!
Ginny Brady said…
The Alice is a hidden treasure of the North Country. The more people, like you, who write about it the more it's appreciated by others.
Diane said…
I agree. The Alice is a treasure and I hope more people are able to discover its charm! Thanks!