Housed in the stately 19th-century mansion of former governor Reuben E. Fenton, the Fenton History Center connects visitors of all ages to the rich history of the Jamestown area with museum tours, archeological outings, and children's programs. Visitors unearth mysteries about their family past through the genealogical and local history research center, or study their hometown's place in America's story with a wealth of exhibits. The museum's mementos include everything from a funeral card for Prince Louis Napol?on to letters from soldiers serving in the Civil War and World War II to photos of Lucille Ball, who was born in the city in 1911.
Contra-rotating blades once powered by a Porsche engine sit peacefully on a U.S. Marine Corps helicopter. Nearby, a World War II seafaring destroyer with nine battle stars to its name takes its place among tanks such as the 22.3-ton tank that served in the Korean Conflict. Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park's curators have amassed many such machines designed for––and veterans of––combat. Their numerous exhibits feature relics such as the only guided-missile cruiser on display in America. The role women have played in the military earns its own exhibit, as does memorabilia of former POWs and a collection of favorite cobbler recipes from WWII to present-day generals.
What does it feel like to be caught in a tornado? How big were mastodons? How do engineers test automobile designs? All of these questions and more are answered at the Buffalo Museum of Science, where families can explore paleontology, biology, astronomy, and archaeology?and that's before you factor in rotating exhibits on fields such as robotics or entomology.
The discoveries continue beyond the museum walls. Buffalo Museum of Science also operates the Tifft Nature Preserve, a 264-acre wetland preserve in South Buffalo, and sponsors on-location events to expose students of all ages to immersive science education.
Western New York Book Arts Center celebrates the artistry that goes into making a book. An actual, physical book. In this age of digital everything, it's important to educate people about what makes books such unique artifacts?namely their typeface, binding, and ability to summon the dead. The arts center offers an assortment of art-based workshops and classes, as well as a walk-in boutique, gallery, and a working museum. Through rotating exhibits and a gift shop stocked with screen-printed t-shirts and letterpress notebooks, the organization helps the increasingly tech-oriented public learn to love books again.
The Aerospace Museum was founded by a group of aviation enthusiasts to preserve Amherst's aviation artifacts. Set in the former terminal of the Niagara Falls Internantional Airport, the museum showcases a variety of planes including a Curtiss JN-4, a P-39 Aerocobra, and a Bell Model 47??the first U.S. commercially licensed helicopter. Patrons can examine these aircraft up close and peruse the documents and records relating to their history.
Men in heavy aprons hammer iron inside smoky wooden stores, and women in bonnets mingle in front of inns and churches. An octagonal house's shingled roof and windowed cupola soak up the sun as they've done since the 1870s. Genesee Country Village & Museum and its historical interpreters immerse visitors in the daily life of a 19th-century village. Interpreters may discuss the lives of their characters or participate in up to a dozen live demonstrations of old-fashioned trades such as pottery throwing and blacksmithing. They travel among more than 68 historical buildings such as farmsteads, a brewery, a printing office, and a one-room schoolhouse. In the kitchens of many of these buildings, staffers cook historical meals suited to each building's time and its owner's socioeconomic status; visitors can sample the food during tastings and hands-on classes.
The village’s newly renovated Wehle Gallery encompasses four centuries of wildlife and sporting art by American artists. An old carriage and oil paintings share space with early sculpture castings and pieces from the Taos art colony. Other rooms contain interpretive exhibits on 19th-century life, such as a Lincoln Log room filled with craft activities. Inside other buildings, adults and children can take part in indoor classes in textiles, cooking, and foreign languages; outside, a network of nature trails leads visitors through natural fields, woodlands, and wetlands.