The Glenn H. Curtiss Museum is located on State Route 54 in Hammondsport, NY, about an hour’s drive from the 1795 Acorn Inn Bed and Breakfast. The Museum showcases a priceless collection relating to early aviation and local history and is dedicated to the memory of pioneer aviator and Hammondsport’s favorite son, Glenn H. Curtiss.
Glenn Curtiss began his career as a bicycle builder and then, motorcycles. In 1907 he became the “fastest man on earth” when he reached a speed of 136.4 mph on his V-8 powered motorcycle. But, on July 4, 1908, Glenn Curtiss gained notoriety of a different kind. Most notably when he flew his his flying machine, the June Bug, over 500 feet to win the Scientific America Trophy. This was the first, pre-announced, public flight in America.
That was just one of many stops yesterday on my outing with long-time guests and friends Mary Ann and Lee Buckner. Notably, Mary Ann and Lee have their own tourism-related business in Louisville, Kentucky… Travel The Trail. Lee, an Executive Bourbon Steward, and Mary Ann will design a custom tour of the bourbon trail and fill you in on all things bourbon. Most recently, they brought me lemon bourbon pepper and I can’t wait to try it.
My morning began with serving our signature French Toast Creme Brulee to guests. With no new guests checking in, your Innkeeper completed prepping for the next morning’s breakfast. And baked banana walnut dark chocolate chip muffins. As a result, I was free to explore. So, we headed south towards Naples, NY and through Italy Valley to Keuka Lake. Beautiful day and such glorious scenery. First stop… Wild Good Antiques, located in an old barn and on our way to several renown wineries. We couldn’t miss Dr. Konstantin Frank, the most medaled wine maker in New York state. Next we drove through the quaint town of Hammondsport, voted “Coolest Small Town In America” by readers of Budget Travel. Eventually finding our way to the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum.
We spent a few hours walking through the museum, in awe of what we saw. First bicycles, then motorcycles that look nothing like today’s motorcycles. Then airplanes of all types and sizes. Then motorboats. Even examples of early recreational vehicles. And a whole lot more…
On to airplanes. If you think it’s scary flying in today’s airplanes, imagine what it must have felt like in one of these…
Also on display were early farming machines, boats, guns, carriages, cars and more. We were all quite impressed. Guests have always enjoyed the museum. And always return saying that there was so much more to it than just flying. Seems like they were correct. As a result, I learned a lot and found the history interesting. Most people think of the Wright Brothers when they think of flying, but Glenn H. Curtiss was quite a man.
Onward… there was one more stop at an antique shop. I purchased an old milk crate. Then we headed to Bath, NY to find the old drive-in movie theater at Mary Ann’s request. Sadly, we found it. It looked like it had seen better days.
By now we were all starving so we headed off to Livonia for a fantastic meal at Ember Woodfire Grille. First, we enjoyed sweet potato spring rolls with a ginger glaze. Next we shared a citrus salad with carrots, grapefruit and avocado. And finally, we savored a vegetable wood fired pizza and french fries. I loved my Naked Dove beer with a hint of raspberry. Hence, with our tummies full, happily we all headed back to the 1795 Acorn Inn Bed and Breakfast.
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