Finger Lakes Museum would focus on culture, history

Alex Bauer

Support is gaining for the proposed Finger Lakes Cultural and Natural History Museum project, with the Finger Lakes Tourism Alliance the latest to back the idea.

“The Finger Lakes Tourism Alliance has an interest in seeing the proposed museum project completed, as this would be an additional visitor attraction, which translates into a potential tourism economic driver for the Finger Lakes region,” said its president, Cynthia Kimble.

The site of the museum has yet to be determined.

The idea for the museum comes from John Adamski of Dansville, Livingston County. His idea combines the concepts of two Adirondack museums, the Wild Center in Tupper Lake and the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake. The Wild Center’s exhibits focus on Adirondack ecology, while the Adirondack Museum examines the region’s history, culture and crafts.

Adamski proposes exhibits that include Native American culture, colonization, and the histories of agriculture, viniculture and commerce. Artifacts would range from antique boats and farm equipment to an immense freshwater aquarium containing fish species native to the Finger Lakes. Indoor exhibits would illustrate specimens of native wildlife in natural settings and outdoor exhibits would feature live animals like river otters and the Seneca White Deer. Special focus would be given to invasive species such as zebra mussels.

Each of the 11 Finger Lakes would be featured with geographical, geological, glacial and topographic details as well as a huge relief map showing the relationship of the lakes to one another.

Also proposed are an art and photo gallery, an auditorium, a bookstore and a research library. Space would be provided for other regional museums and historical societies to present exhibits on a rotating basis.

While the project is still in the early stages, Adamski said support has been strong. Adamski and some of the other parties involved in the project plan to meet Friday, June 27, to discuss fundraising, grants and site locations. Adamski expects progress to be made each month. 

Contact Daily Messenger writer Alex Bauer at (585) 394-0770, Ext. 255, or at abauer@messengerpostmedia.com