The Chapman Historical Museum is aptly named allowing visitors to revisit the past and New York's beginnings. The museum is located in Glens Falls, New York just an hour outside of Albany, New York. Glens Falls is one of the smaller cities in the Adirondack Mountains, which is not only rich in European settlers' history but also Native American history. Chapman Historical Museum is located in a Victorian home that used to belong to the DeLong family. They offer a changing exhibition gallery, research archive, and on site gift shop.
Chapman is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 am to 4pm and Sunday 12pm to 4pm. The museum is never open on Mondays or major holidays. History is so important to the historical society running the place that they offer free admission to the home and its exhibits. Any groups who wish to see the museum must call and make reservations. There are scheduled programs that can be enjoyed by groups for a small price.
The house belonged to one Zopher DeLong. He was a hardware merchant in Glens Falls in 1868 when he built his house. He remodeled the house as his status in the community grew showing that he was an important man. The brick fazade and mansard roof seen today was part of the remodel. In 1901 Zopher died, leaving the home to his son John. John DeLong remodeled the home again to reflect his tastes for the modern styles. The home has been furnished with objects around in the early 1900's.
Part of the Chapman Museum contains the SR Stoddard Exhibit. This exhibit is on animal studies of the famous Stoddard who used the Adirondack's for his landscape photographs. There are over 3,000 photographs of animals, people, and other landscapes. Most of the images have kittens, dogs, cows, and one has a frog. Personal Past is also a traveling exhibit at the museum. This display includes objects and archival materials. The materials and objects are of little consequence regarding famous persons. Instead the displays are more about ordinary activities and families.
The Chapman Museum began in 1968 when Juliet Chapman gave the DeLong House to the community for a museum. She was a descendant of the DeLongs. In the 1980's the museum was renovated to add more gallery space and collections. A carriage barn had to be renovated and made part of the museum. Later on more space was added to the area for a museum shop, classroom, and lobby. For those interested in the archives there are manuscripts, photographs, and vertical files.
All of the information in the archives has to do with Glens Falls and the surrounding region. For those who have relatives that once lived in New York and especially this area it can be interesting to visit the history stored here. The Chapman Historical Museum is founded on volunteers who enjoy offering tours, working at the reception desk and handling the gardens on the land. They also help assist researchers who come to the archives for information.
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