Museums in Rutland

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No matter what direction their houses might actually be facing, most of the roofs in the United States point toward Slate Valley, a 24-mile-long stretch between New York and Vermont. That region not only produces most of the nation's roofing slate, but also has an intricate history that reaches all the way back to the 1800s.

  • The Building: Slate Valley Museum fills a New World Dutch Barn, which was built around 1840
  • Eye Catcher: a worn-down and beat-up 1951 LJT Mack Truck, which once hauled finished slate?and then blocks and rubbish?for the Tatko Bros. Slate Company

  • Don't Miss: Neil Rappaport's black-and-white photographs of Slate Valley's quarries, workers, and earliest bunny ears
  • Permanent Mainstay: The Dream and the Reality, which explores how various immigrant groups came to work in the slate quarries
  • Visiting Exhibit: Slate as Muse?a collection of sculptures, photographs, and watercolor paintings by 19 artists who used slate as medium and subject
  • While You're in the Neighborhood: take a self-guided driving tour through local quarries and other slate-industry sites
17 Water St.
Granville,
NY
US

Established: 1976

Staff Size: 25?50 people

Pro Tip: Allow at least 2?3 hours, but don't try to do everything on your first visit.

Handicap Accessible: Yes

Parking: Parking lot

Most Popular Attraction/Offering: 125+ exhibits, it's hard to pick one

Recommended Age Group: All Ages

Q&A with the Director Of Marketing

What is one fun, unusual fact about your business?

The Montshire is a 100-acre science center delighting visitors of all ages with diverse exhibits and programs.

Apart from your business's main attraction, do you offer any "hidden" services or activities that visitors are always delighted to learn about?

Andy's Place is a special area for children five and under and the museum store is full of carefully selected gifts, books, puzzles, and toys.

1 Montshire Road
Norwich,
VT
US

The National Museum of Dance and Hall of Fame covers everything from the history of dance in Harlem to the innovations of famous dancers. Exhibits containing videos, artifacts, and costumes explore traditional and modern dance from a variety of cultural groups and class backgrounds. To share a passion for dance with the community, the museum also hosts classes through the Lewis A. Swyer School for the Arts.

99 S Broadway
Saratoga Springs,
NY
US

The story of the United States Navy begins on Lake Champlain. The year was 1776, and the fledgling American Revolution seemed doomed to failure almost before it began after a naval retreat to the town known today as Whitehall, New York. Then the Continental Congress issued a command on June 17 of 1776 "to build, with all expedition, as many galleys and armed vessels as ... shall be sufficient to make us indisputably masters of the lakes Champlain and George." By August, eight new gunboats were afloat on the lake—just in time to face the British in the Battle of Valcour.

That story and hundreds more come to life in the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum's collection of more than 15,000 artifacts, images, and documents. Visitors can marvel at the massive 10' x 8' rudder of the steamboat Champlain II, and explore her shipwreck in real time using a remote-operated vehicle. In the Hazelett Watercraft Center, the 111-year-old ice yacht Storm King towers over 90 dugouts, bark canoes, kayaks, rowing skiffs, and sailboats. But the core of the museum is the Key to Liberty exhibit, where visitors can read eyewitness accounts of the Battle of Valcour and marvel at a 9-foot scale model of a gunboat. On fair days, the full-size gunboat replica Philadelphia II sets sail, giving passengers a glimpse of a distant era without the bother of going though a time machine broker first.

4472 Basin Harbor Road
Vergennes,
VT
US

Arriving in Paris after leading a scientific expedition through northern China, Sterling Clark was just another Boxer Rebellion veteran and Yale-educated engineer looking for something to do with the inheritance of his magnate grandfather, Robert Clark, who was an heir to the Singer sewing-machine fortune. Like the countless men who found themselves in the same position, Sterling did the only thing left to do at that point of his adventurous life: invest in art.

Sterling and his wife Francine both displayed a discriminating eye for art in their first year of collecting, almost immediately acquiring a piece by the sought-after painter Hyacinthe Rigaud, who was famous for his portraiture of 17th-century European nobility and drawing the most realistic-looking stick people. The Clarks' tastes evolved over time, and their collection ballooned to include more than 30 paintings by Renoir and dozens of works by other impressionist artists.

In 1955, a year before Sterling passed away, he and Francine founded their art institute, where the museum's curators presently stay true to the couple's artistic interests. French impressionism still forms the crux of the collection, but the museum's scope is ever expanding and nowadays includes works of early photographers and American painters and a rotating schedule of well-curated special exhibitions.

225 South St
Williamstown,
MA
US

In 1964, the march of progress came to the doorstep of a Greek Revival mansion fallen into disrepair and abandoned to time. The house was slated for demolition. The community, though, treasured the landmark, and organized to preserve and restore the building. They moved the house, brick by brick, from its original property to a lot overlooking the Mohawk River and old Champlain Canal, where they began restorations. They dedicated its walls to preserving other pieces of local history, and the

Waterford Historical Museum and Cultural Center

was born.

The Museum features permanent exhibitions on the history of Waterford, including the illustrated exhibit, Born of Two Rivers. This work chronicles the evolution of the city thanks to the trade and ships that moved up and down the very waters that the museum overlooks. Other standing exhibits include a Victorian period room decorated in the style of the era and the George and Annabel O?Connor Library for Local History.

2 Museum Ln.
Waterford,
NY
US