During my recent Finger Lakes exploring I came across a museum tucked away on a hillside in Hammondsport. I love poking in the corners of museums, so of course we had to go in to check it out. And believe me, this one will not disappoint!
The Finger Lakes Boating Museum is located inside the historic former Taylor Wine Company. Talk about a uniquely cool building! We started out in the basement. When you step off the stairs you will step into an arched stone doorway. This will lead you between huge old wine barrels to pass into a room that feels like you are transported back into an old world castle. This room is amazing! And it is available to rent for all your special occasions. I have already put in my request to my husband for a party there soon. Fingers crossed!
Once you head back upstairs you will find two floors dedicated to the boating heritage of the Finger Lakes region. This museum is filled with the rich history of wooden boats built and enjoyed in the Finger Lakes region. These “old antique boats” are beautful! The musuem will walk you through the process of building the boats, the fun times flying across the lake with the wind in your hair, and the lazy, carefree days of leisurely floating around soaking up the sun.
The museum currently has over 200 boats in their inventory, a multitude of boating artifacts and handpainted murals that will make you feel as if you are standing at the side of the lake. There is also an active boat shop where you can witness boats being built and restored firsthand.
The museum is primarily run by volunteers. All of whom follow the example of the museum’s founder, Mr. Ed Wrightman. And believe me, their enthusiam is contagious. We were shown the Pat II restoration project. This boat, originally built in 1924, was brought to Skaneateles Lake in 1956 where she served as a tour boat and postal delivery boat until 1991. From 1991 until 2013 she sat deteriorating until the Finger Lakes Boating Museum took her in and started refurbishing her.
After seven years and countless hours of dedication by approximately a dozen volunteers, this beautifully restored boat will be ready to launch again in the spring of 2020. I plan to be there for a ride so stay tune for more information and details to come!
If you love lake life and boating you will definaetly want to go check out this museum. The volunteers are friendly, inviting and a wealth of information. If you are like me you will walk out with a whole new respect and enthusiasm for the wooden boats of the Finger Lakes.
The Finger Lakes Boating Museum is located at 8231 Pleasant Valley Rd. Hammondsport, NY 14840. You can also check out their website at http://www.flbm.org.
Thanks for exploring with me – Shelly