Skenesborough Drive (off Route 4)
Whitehall, NY 12887
PO Box 238
Whitehall, NY 12887
Daily - June - Labor Day 10 - 4pm Sunday Noon - 4pm Labor Day - mid October Sat. 10 - 3pm Sunday Noon - 3pm All other times by appointment
Adults - $2.00 suggested donation Sr. Citizens and Students $1.00, Family $5.00
Carol B. Greenough, Museum Director
Skenesborough Museum was created in 1959 in an unused canal terminal built in 1917. In 1960, the same year the NY State Legislature recognized Whitehall as the Birthplace of the US Navy, based on historical events, the state entered into a lease of the building and property as long as it is a museum. The John O'Brien memorial wing was added in 1976. It was renovated in 1991 creating a NYS Heritage Area Visitor Center. The focal point of the Defense area of the wing is a 16 foot diorama depicting the home and out buildings of Philip Skene, community founder; in addition the seven ways on which the first ships were built at Skenesborough are shown. Maps, photographs and artifacts describe involvment in the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. The Transportation theme includes Lake, Canal and Railroad events that became the life work of many local residents. All of the more than 4,000 artifacts on display in the visitor center and museum have a direct connection to Whitehall and have been donated by interested people.
The Historical Society of Whitehall was original formed in 1911 and reactivated in 1951. In the 1950's a member of the society left her home, in her will, as a community library on the first floor and the second floor rooms to the Historical Society. The Trustees created a museum of local historic artifacts in the largest room for a short time. For the 1959 Bicentennial of the community the overwhelming number of items were displayed in the canal terminal building beside the canal. Through the efforts of Doris B. Morton, Town and Village Historian, the Town entered into a 99 year agreement with NY State as long as the building remained a museum. In the late 1970's the Historical Society and the Historian developed a Research Center on the second floor of the Library. Volunteers recorded births, deaths and marriages from scrapbooks and old newspapers. This has continued in addition to the collection of photographs of anything having to do with Whitehall and anything in print. Except for the most current newspapers, everything is on microfilm. The present Historian and volunteers aid visitors who are researching their ancestry and other items two days each week. Appointments may be made by calling Historian Carol Senecal at 518-499-1801.
Wooden ship models; 19th and 20th century household items; paintings; lake boat, canal boat and railroad work items as well as memorabilia; quilts; glass; china; dolls and doll furniture and children's games; farming and ice cutting equipment; early fire equipment suspended from ceiling; cannon and shot; two to three thousand year old points and knives of early natives; early 20th century medical and pharacutical equipment.
Photographs, maps, scrapbooks, newspapers on microfilm, genealogical files, thousands of births, deaths, and marriages of people who lived in Whitehall from the 18th century (not complete).
Historical Society of Whitehall
Access: General Public, Students, Scholars
Appointment required: Yes
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