North Star Underground Railroad Museum officially opens its doors in Keeseville

KEESEVILLE-A new museum offers a look into the role that the North Country played in helping slaves escape to freedom.

The North Star Underground Railroad Museum, next to Ausable Chasm, officially opened its doors to the public on May 21, with the public getting a first look at the interactive features and displays.

"This is beyond our expectations," North Country Underground Railroad Historical Society President Dan Papson said. "This is the biggest, little museum in New York State."

"It is a very interactive exhibition," Vice President Frank Kinnelly said. "You can watch the movies that we have. And a lot of the exhibits have doors that you can open to learn more."

The museum houses several rooms, which include a look at the women of the Underground Railroad movement, a movie detailing the story of a slave who found freedom in Bloomingdale, and the role that churches played in the Underground Railroad movement in the area.

The museum was funded through several grants which were gained through a collective effort of the historical society and the town of Chesterfield.

Papson said that they have also worked closely with Ausable Chasm to bring the museum to reality.

"What is amazing about this is we have a government agency, a private business and a not-for-profit agency working together," he said. "None of this could have been done with out the help of each other. I think that this is a pioneering situation that other organizations will start to copy because this is a win-win-win situation."

The North Star Underground Railroad Museum is open on Tuesdays through Sundays from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., and will also be open on Monday holidays, including Memorial Day. The museum will be open through Columbus Day.

For more information, call 834-5180.

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