Au SABLE FORKS - From jackets worn in the 1980 Olympics to pictures taken aboard the USS Iowa on the day Japan surrendered to the Allied Forces, there is a piece of history for just about everyone in Au Sable Forks.
At the Au Sable Forks Museum and Genealogical Center, located in the town of Jay Community Center, is open on Tuesdays through Thursdays from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. or by appointment, offering a look into the past of the town and its residents.
"This really took off by word of mouth and people just popping in," said Sharron Hewston, the town historian for Jay and Black Brook. "The first thing that was donated was a optometry collection from Dr. Charles Bean, and there are very few places that can say that they have a full set like we do."
The museum was started in 2008 and has continued to expand with pieces donated by local organizations and individuals.
Exhibits include the optometry set, items from Isset's Clothing and Shoes, items from the Au Sable Forks High School (their nickname was the Raiders with school colors of maroon and white), clothing, movie posters and other items donated by the family of Arto Monaco, a military wing, a depiction of Samuel de Champlain with Native Americans, a Civil War wing and an extensive collection of microfilm which was recently added to.
"Our town councilwoman Amy Shalton was able to donate a huge collection of microfilm that was from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Lake Placid Branch) since their records are now all digital," Hewston said.
"I wanted to make sure that these records stayed local, so I asked the branch presidency if they would consider donating them so they would be left somewhere that they could be accessed locally," Shalton said.
"Personally, I have been doing genealogy for 30 or so years and this is a great thing," Hewston said.
Hewston said that she has taken care in making sure that she knows not only where everything in the museum is, but where it came from.
"Everything has been individually tagged and labeled with who donated or is supplying the item," she said. "I would not have any of this without the generosity and kindness of everyone around the area."
Hewston said that she hoped the museum and genealogical center gave people the chance to take a look back in time to when their ancestors were growing up in the same town and area.
"I want people to be able to see their families," Hewston said. "I want them to be able to take a trip through yesterday, even if it is just for a short little while."