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ALTAMONT: Exhibits inspire fair bit of nostalgia

The Auto Museum is a favorite of car lovers and history buffs because it contains the only five classic VIM trucks left in existence. VIM trucks were the only panel delivery trucks used in the early 20th century. There are also several models of antique vehicles in the museum from the 1920s through '50s, and they were all brought there by the Mohawk Antique Auto Club in Colonie.

Those interested in the history of local fire departments might want to check out the Fire Museum, where they can get a glimpse of the American La France Fire Hydrant, a classic fire-dousing vehicle from 1905 that was made in Seneca Falls. There is also a search light built by GE from World War II with a generator that still operates, and several exhibits with firehouse objects and equipment put together by the various communities throughout Albany County.

Oak and Acorn Ancient Metal Crafts from Valley Farms still reconstructs early Iron Age items such as firedogs, knives, cooking tripods, and chain mail armor in the Blacksmith Shop. Fairgoers can stop by the shop anytime and watch them make those historical items.

The Antique Farm Museum contains hundreds of engines, plows and tractors from 20 to 125 years ago, all donated by local families who have owned, or still own, farms.

The circus museum, which contains several models of old circuses and reconstructed circus equipment used by the Barnum and Bailey Circus and the famous Danbury Fair.

Also at the fair is a fine arts museum.

William Shultz, who's been a volunteer at the fair for five years, said he still hasn't been through every museum.

"Every year, I see something new I didn't notice before," he said.

The Altamont Fair opened Tuesday, Aug. 14 and runs through Sunday, Aug. 19. For information, visit www.altamontfair.com or call 861-6671.""

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