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10 ways to get your history fix

(BPT) – People have been drawn to the Adirondack Coast for centuries. Since Europeans first explored it, this fertile valley and its resources have been sought after and fought over, and we have the historic sites and museums to prove it. Spend a day or a week hopping from location to location and enjoy the breathtaking landscape along the way. It’s history with a side of scenery — what could be better?

1. Fort Ticonderoga

Explore this impressive fort and see history recreated down to the minutest detail. Whether you’re a military history buff or have an interest in early architecture, historic preservation, art, gardening or landscaping, you’ll find it here.

2. The Hancock Museum-Ticonderoga Historical Society

Three floors of art, period furnishings, revolving exhibits and an extensive research collection all reside within this replica of Thomas Hancock’s Georgian mansion on Beacon Hill in Boston.

3. Penfield Homestead Museum

Ironville calls itself the birthplace of the electrical age, and it also has ties to the region’s iron industry and the Civil War. This collection of the main house, carriage barn and homestead outbuildings includes a replica bloomery forge and an extensive array of Civil War–era artifacts.

4. Crown Point State Historic Site

Open from sunrise to sunset, this 500-acre site contains ruins of two National Historic Landmarks: the French Fort Saint Frederic and the British His Majesty’s Fort at Crown Point. The museum houses century-old artifacts unearthed on site and an audio-visual show detailing this critical location on Lake Champlain.

5. Champlain Memorial Lighthouse

Built as a humble navigational aid in 1858, this lighthouse underwent an elaborate transformation during the early 1900s to honor the 300th anniversary of Samuel de Champlain’s exploration of his namesake lake. Make sure you check out the Rodin and Heber sculptures on the exterior of the lighthouse.

6. Chimney Point State Historic Site

This historic 1780s tavern was visited by former presidents and is a short, scenic bridge walk from the Crown Point State Historic Site and lighthouse. When the British arrived in 1759, the outlying buildings were burned and only the chimneys remained, giving the peninsula its name.

7. The Iron Center Museum

Located within an original carriage house, this museum will introduce you to the workings of the mining industry, which was strongly linked to the town of Moriah’s history from the early 1800s to the 1970s.

8. Adirondack History Museum

This vast museum is housed in a 100-year-old public school building. Climb a historic Adirondack fire tower and enjoy multiple floors containing exhibits, collections and over two centuries of artifacts showcasing the history of Essex County’s 18 towns.

9. The Adsit Cabin

Take a drive on the 3-mile-long Willsboro Point peninsula to visit one of the oldest log cabins in America. The structure was built in the late 1700s by Revolutionary War veteran Samuel Adsit and was once home to a family of 16.

10. The North Star Underground Railroad Museum

This museum uncovers another layer of Lake Champlain’s role in American history — the Champlain Line of the underground railroad. Learn the stories of runaway slaves attempting to reach Canada during the mid-1800s, and of the network of local residents who aided these freedom seekers.

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