Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Hammond Museum, Part 1

Most town museums close for the wintertime, but I discovered one which stayed open in the town of Hammond, up near the St. Lawrence River. It was an hour and half northwest of me, but we had a lovely winter day with no snow and temperatures above freezing, so off I went:


I got a personal tour by the town historian and learned that the two stone buildings had been built for the museum by local residents, mostly retirees. The large stone statue out front of the museums was of a local pioneer, William McNeil. He was, in fact, its first white settler:

I immediately noticed the building's elaborate weather vane and put my zoom lens to work in order to capture it:

The museum contained many scale models of buildings. The first one I saw was of the nearby Rossie Hotel, which had been visited by four presidents but is now gone, due to a fire:
I learned that the museum was named after Rob Elethorp, a local farmer, businessman, hobby carpenter and woodworker. During his retirement, he created many scale models of local buildings, which became the basis for this museum. Rob Elethorp had created models of two churches. If my memory is correct, this was the Presbyterian church. The town was, after all, settled by Scottish immigrants:

This model of a farm house had one side removed to show what was inside. I walked around the corner for a look inside:

The interior of the house had been furnished with hand carved furniture and was utterly fascinating. It was no wonder the local residents built a town museum to house Rob Elethorp's creations:

The local dairy barn had, I could see through the windows, tiny cow stanchions:

A scale model was dedicated to maple sugaring:
The scale model Hammond Creamery was especially detailed and the display included a photo of Robert Elethorp and an explanation of the history of the creamery. My favorite part was the tiny wheels of cheese, aging on the shelves on the second floor. Everything was carved from wood in perfect miniature:

This ship once sailed the mighty St. Lawrence:

And the Oak Point lighthouse was on the St. Lawrence. The Ferris wheel, I was told, was a bit of a mystery as no one could remember one in town. But there was (and still is) a yearly fair in Hammond, so they guessed that it may once have had a Ferris Wheel. The Hammond Fair is one of the few remaining, purely agricultural, small town fairs. I hope to see it this September:

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