Saturday, June 28, 2014

Lake George Historical Association Museum | Lake George, NY | Adirondack Mountains

Pros:Free! Interesting and Educational, Covers a wide variety of topics
Cons:Probably at least somewhat boring to kids (except for the jail cells)

If you are visiting the village of Lake George and you are looking to spend some time learning about the history of the area in a laid back (and free) environment, the Lake George Historical Association's Museum is a great stop.

Finding the Lake George Historical Association Museum

The Museum is very easy to find.  It is located right on the main drag of the village (290 Canada Street) towards the northern end of the village.  There is some parking for the museum, but the vast majority of the parking in Lake George Village is on-street parking that you must pay for.  There are a few lots located in the outskirts too if you can find them.

Getting In andSpending Time

One of the great things about the Museum is there's no admission fee.  After paying through the nose for other activities in Lake George, this is a nice change.  They do ask for a small donation, but you are not required if you visit the museum.

I would plan to spend about 45 minutes or so to go completely through the museum and read through each of the exhibits.  Kids will probably spend less time as the exhibits tend to be static.  There are lots of pictures and artifacts to look at and lots of explanations to read, something kids probably will not be that interested in.

What's there?

There are three floors to the museum.  You enter on the 1st floor, which is home to the old courtroom along with a small exhibit room and a small gift shop and informational center.  Upstairs are several more exhibit rooms and down in the basement is a recreation of the old courthouse's jail along with several other exhibits.

The courtroom is home to exhibits on the history of the area in general.  On our most recent visit there was an exhibit on Lake George as a whole, which lets you locate and identify various historical locations along the lake.  There was also information on the local battles during the French and Indian War and information on revolutionary war history.  In the small exhibit room before the courthouse, there was an exhibit on contributions of women to the Lake George region over the years.

Upstairs were a number of different exhibits.  The first was on the history of ships in Lake George and the archaeological investigations of the sunken ships from the French and Indian War period.  I thought this was really interesting as there have been some amazing discoveries at the bottom of Lake George and there's even an underwater historical park protecting these shipwrecks that I did not know about.  There were also a few exhibits on life in the Lake George area through the different time periods since its founding.

Down in the basement was my favorite part.  It was a bit damp and musty, but they have a number of exhibits that you travel through as you make your way to the jail cells all the way in the back.  There were exhibits on the history of Prospect Mountain, along with a number of others that were interesting to read through as we made our way.  We enjoyed checking out the cells and getting pictures of each other ‘in jail' too.


This is not a world-class museum by any measure, but the Historical Association has done a great job and pulling together a number of different aspects of the history of the Lake George region.  I know I learned a thing or two in the 30-40 minutes or so we spent wandering around the museum.

Final Thoughts

I think a trip to the Lake George Historical Association Museum in the village of Lake George is something that anyone visiting the village should do.  It is something free to do in Lake George (a rarity), it is quite interesting and I bet you will learn a thing or two about the history of the region.  I know I did and I have spent a lot of time in the Adirondacks and the Lake George region.

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