Oquossoc- Back in the 19th Century, the great showman P.T. Barnum used to say this about the ever-changing wonders to be found at his famous world-famous Barnum Museum, “If you haven’t been to the Barnum lately, then you’ve never seen the Barnum!”
Ever since the Outdoor Heritage Museum first opened its doors 2010, each new season has brought with it a new series of exhibits to enhance its allure and continue the sharing of the fascinating story of Rangeley’s great outdoors. This year will be no exception, and many of our existing exhibits have been reimagined with additional treasures!
In June, we will open “Early Skiing in Rangeley” featuring photos and artifacts from the town’s first ski area, Haley Hill. The exhibit will also share artifacts, film, photos and more from the early days of Saddleback and Bald Mt. Ski Areas as well.
Also premiering in June, we will unveil a brand-new exhibit sharing Cornelia “Fly Rod” Crosby, perhaps the greatest promoter of the region, recipient of Maine Guide badge #1, as well as prolific writer and accomplished sportswomen. The exhibit will be centered around a 6-foot tall (and she was that tall) Original wood carving of Fly Rod herself, crafted by the master woodcarver, Brian Stockman. The new exhibit will also share never-before-exhibited ephemera and documents from her fundraising efforts to build Our Lady of the Lakes Catholic Church, located in Oquossoc.
Our Native American exhibit has also received new artifacts including basketry, root clubs, and stone points found here in western Maine. Former Penobscot Chief, Barry Dana will provide new perspectives on our collections as an advisor, and we will be sharing short ongoing film on Penobscot and Wabanaki culture and history in our mini theatre adjacent to our Native American collections. We are very excited about the news just received that Outdoor Heritage Museum has been selected to share a very unique artifact. Coming in June, we will exhibit an extremely rare, fluted spear point, painstakingly crafted out of quartz crystal by a determined and talented Native American craftsman, many centuries ago. This rare find from the Aziscohos region has been sought after by many far more prestigious institutions than our own, but the owner wanted to offer a “homecoming” to its region of origin and provide our visitors an opportunity to appreciate it.
We have added new Carrie Stevens flies to the existing “largest collection in the world”. There are also new Rangeley boat artifacts as well as many rare documents & artifacts scattered around the museum that we have never featured before as well.
Probably the most impressive addition to the museum’s galleries in 2021 will be a new exhibit featuring the amazing Bird Egg Collection of Capt. E. L. Haley shared in a brand-new custom display case constructed especially for the collection. For many years this amazing and distinct collection has been housed in its original custom set of drawers at the Historical Society’s Rangeley History Museum. It was difficult to appreciate in this format and will be more accessible and visible at the Society’s Outdoor Heritage Museum in Oquossoc. Because many species of birds have multiple examples, we will leave a sample in the original case in Rangeley as well, “so we won’t have all our eggs in one basket”. Speaking of Rangeley History Museum don’t miss the Narrow-Gauge RR exhibit with the working model of the famous Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes RR, vintage film & photos, and many wonderful artifacts. Check us out online at: www.rangeleyhistoricalsociety.org
Please come see the great NEW artifacts and exhibits we have to share for 2021! Outdoor Heritage Museum will open for the 2021 season on May 12th. The museum is open 10-4pm Weds. – Sunday. Admission is $7.00 and family memberships start at $35.00 and members may bring 2 guests free of charge and visit as often as they wish. Children 12 & under and all active duty and retired military are free. For more information call: 207-864-3091 or log on to www.outdoorheritagemuseum.org. The Outdoor Heritage Museum & Rangeley History Museum are proudly offered by the Rangeley Lakes Historical Society, a 501C3 nonprofit.