It’s been a rocky few years for the Elwood Museum in Amsterdam, first kicked out of its home at a former school by the board of education, then flooded out of its temporary home at the state-owned Guy Park Manor.
Now, at last, comes some good news — a new, permanent home at a historic factory building that has been refurbished and reused by its current occupant, the Noteworthy Company, whose owner is a history buff.
Historic artifacts, photos and exhibits highlighting Amsterdam’s industrial past are the strength of this museum, which has the potential to be a regional resource. It has always had a strong group of volunteers and friends, who helped staff it when it was at the school, and save it by retrieving valuable items from the water and muck after Hurricane Irene, drying and cleaning them.
And now they’ll be asked to help once more, cleaning and painting the extra space in the building, which will be rented so the museum can afford its new home. The museum especially wants artists and others who will use the space for studios or classes — a great fit.
Even with the rentals, the museum will have considerably more space, both for storage and exhibits, than it has had at its previous locations, as well as such handy things as display shelves and a freight elevator.
One of the exhibits will tell the story of the carpet mills and the Sanfords, including the old Bigelow-Sanford mill the museum will now buy and occupy. The building sits on the historic Chuctanunda Creek, whose waters powered the gristmills, sawmills and, eventually, the looms that turned Amsterdam into an industrial powerhouse.
It looks as if the museum has found not only a home, but the perfect site.