My soon-to-be 11 year old son is a bit of a space nut. He has fact-filled posters on his bedroom walls about the solar system, scale models, multiple books… you name it. He has more knowledge about the planets than I’ll ever have. Needless to say, he’s passionate about the subject of space.
We were both excited to hear that the Museum of Lennox & Addington is hosting a variety of spaced-themed exhibits and programs on display now through the summer that are suitable for all ages. At our first opportunity we made a visit to this wonderful museum in Napanee.
Staff always do a fantastic job with the exhibits, working hard to create visually appealing displays that tell a compelling story. Well-planned themed programming complement the exhibits, making the whole experience quite enjoyable.
As soon as you walk in the door you know that there’s a space exhibit going on. There are a number of books on the subject available to purchase, including some from L&A’s own Terence Dickinson.
The feature exhibit is “Our Dark Skies”, displayed on the walls of the main corridor. It’s a collection of 26 stunning astrophotographs, all taken right here in Lennox & Addington County from either the L&A Dark Sky Viewing Area or Camden Lake Provincial Wildlife Area.
The photographers featured in the exhibit are Joe Gilker and Tim Trentadue. I know them both personally from my time at the Dark Sky Viewing Area, a property maintained by staff from the L&A Economic Development Office. Both Joe and Tim are extremely talented and passionate about the night sky, and it is very evident in their images.
Included are landscape photographs of the Milky Way, Aurora Borealis (northern lights), as well as some mind-blowing deep sky images. It’s incredible to think that these photos were all taken from the ground right here in Lennox & Addington.
The museum’s newest exhibit area is filled with a variety of fun vintage space toys from the 50s and 60s. While they’re from a bit before my time, it’s quite neat to see how the world interpreted futuristic space and the whole NASA space program at the time.
There’s also a fun hands-on section where kids can play with a variety of items, including a very cool mission control, a telescope, space puzzles and books, etc.
A little more from my childhood era, local residents were able to add their old space toy collectables to the mix, including some pretty cool Star Wars, Star Trek and Billy Blastoff items.
Full disclosure, some of the Star Wars characters on display at the Museum are mine from when I was a kid, including a Boba Fett and Storm Trooper action figure, each missing a hand that was chewed off by my dog. Luke Skywalker is also missing an arm. I guess I played hard growing up.
My mom gave practically all of my old toys away, but for whatever reason she didn’t purge these ones. I am thankful, and less bitter than I would have been otherwise.
While there are no space-related items in the permanent museum collection, staff was still able to contribute to the overall theme of the exhibit with a “Back on Earth” display. It includes a variety of very old farm tools, large images of vintage farm equipment and 22 framed images were pulled from the archives of area farming activities from long ago.
The museum is always such an inspiring place. As usual, my son and I left knowing more that we did when we entered. We both highly recommend a visit. Find out more at about this excellent exhibit at www.CountyMuseum.ca.