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Adirondack Museum offers new audio tour

This peddler’s wagon was used near Piseco Lake in Hamilton County. It is an audio tour stop.

This peddler’s wagon was used near Piseco Lake in Hamilton County. It is an audio tour stop. Photo by Andy Flynn.

— Visitors to the Adirondack Museum can now add a new dimension to their experience; an audio tour, featuring the voices of real Adirondack residents.

The audio tour is now available for free with museum admission. Visitors can listen in on devices provided by the museum, or they can download an app to their smart phones.

The museum launched the tour on opening day, May 25.

“It’s a nice enhancement to the visitor experience,” said marketing director Kate Moore. “The audio tour is doing great.”

The tour provides listeners with words from many unique personalities. Some are contemporary voices, and some are voices from the past, read by character actors.

Though their experiences are different, all are bound by a love for the Adirondacks. Their words open an audible window for visitors, allowing them to see the Adirondacks and the Adirondack Museum’s exhibits through new eyes and with new understanding.

“People’s authentic stories will enable our visitors to think about the Adirondacks past, present, and future from intriguing perspectives,” said David Kahn, executive director of the Adirondack Museum.

Unlike traditional guided tours, the audio tours don’t follow any set path or direction. There are several starting points visitors may choose from, but they are free to choose which portions of the tour and physical exhibits interest them most.

When visitors reach an exhibit they want to hear more about, they select the corresponding audio track from their listening device. A short introduction plays, followed by a short voice clip which adds extra information. Some of the clips connect the exhibits to events going on in the Adirondacks today.

For example, when a visitor stops at the tin peddler’s wagon in the “Roads and Rails” exhibit, they’ll hear an introduction from Adirondack Museum Curator Hallie Bond.

The wagon was once used near Piseco Lake in Hamilton County and dates to about 1880. It helps Bond open a conversation about the retail business in the Adirondack Park and contemporary businesses, such as the Community Store of Saranac Lake. She talks about shop peddlers in the 1800s and early 1900s bringing goods to rural areas and then transitions to the Community Store’s board president, Melinda Little, who talks about the current retail situation in Saranac Lake, home to the only community-owned department store in New York state.

The Adirondack Museum’s audio tour was sponsored by National Grid and produced by the Richard Lewis Media Group of Watertown, Mass.

The Adirondack Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., through Oct. 14. For more information, call 352-7311 or visit online at www.adkmuseum.org.

(Andy Flynn contributed to this story.)

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