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Cars, Trains, Boats, And...

Gary Fiske [ February 2015 ]

The CVTM Diecast Room "The mission of the Champlain Valley Transportation Museum is to preserve, interpret, exhibit, and educate regarding transportation history and artifacts in the Champlain Valley."

Hmmm, very familiar kind of logic. Part of our VAE mission statement reads “dedicated to the preservation, protection, promotion and appreciation of automobiles history and technology."
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Plattsburg Air Force Base was decommissioned (closed) on September 25, 1995. It covered 3447 acres and was a cold war Strategic Air Command Base. It’s 11,750 foot runway (compared to Burlington’s 8320 foot runway) was built to accommodate the B-52 Stratofortress and a backup landing choice for our space shuttle program. The base was also the center of a 50 mile circle of twelve missile silos for the Atlas F missile built in the 1960s. The base was established in 1814 as a 200 acre military reservation and has a very interesting history through those 181 years. After the base was decommissioned, the Plattsburgh Airbase Redevelopment Corporation (PARC) was created to manage the facility with tenants ranging from the Pratt & Whitney Industrial Turbine Services and Bombardier and to GSM Vehicles (vintage trailer restoration) and the Westinghouse Air Brake Company.

The Champlain Valley Transportation Museum is one of those tenants and is housed partially in the base’s old motor pool. Plattsburg hosts five museums, the other four are the Plattsburgh State Art Museum, The War of 1812 Museum, the Kent-Delord House Museum and the Battle of Plattsburgh Interpretive Center. The Champlain Valley Transportation Museum (CVTM) was founded in 2000 by a group of car and history enthusiasts from the Plattsburgh area. What began as an automobile museum has grown to cover many more forms of transportation.


The foundation of CVTM is the Lozier Motor Company, a Plattsburg automobile manufacturing business during the early 1900s that built some of the most exquisite and expensive vehicles during that time period (more on the Lozier can be found on page 10). The museum is trying something new this year by staying open during the winter months even though most of the buildings are not heated, they have been very happy with their choice. In fact there was one of those days where 42 people passed through the gates.


There are a couple of vehicles in the museum from “this side of the lake”. Bryce Howells has his “27 Packard there and a 1911 Kissell that belongs to Steve Dana is also on display. Dick Soper is in the hopes they can make room for a couple more VAE cars in the near future. A plan Dick would like to institute is a more in-depth maintenance program for the many vehicles at the museum. A check-off list that covers everything from tire pressure and oil levels to cleaning and display that would be used regularly to watch over the many wonderful old vehicles. He suggested maybe the VAE would be interested in helping him build a proper maintenance program.


Even though the museum has been around for a number of years they are continually upgrading and adding new displays. The Kid’s Station is a recent addition to the museum where an interactive and hands-on environment has been created. A recent addition is an old fashioned Doctor's Office complete with the doctor’s buggy. Children...and adults have fun climbing into the Vulcan Locomotive built in South Wilkes-Barre Pennsylvania. The diner restaurant display will take you back to the 50s.


Visit the CVTM Museum at 12 Museum Way in Plattsburgh, NY and soak up some wonderful history

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