7 hours ago
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Hidden in plain site
As I was saying, Mayberry has several treasures hidden in plain site. The stance amongst locals is to be dismissive and then defensive when mention is made of local attractions. Granted, many of our treasures may be weak compared to what's available in New York or Mumbai, but occasionally we can hold our own. Locals just don't care to admit it.
Hidden on the edge of a local park is the American Kennel Club's Museum of the Dog. A local industrialist, in the golden age, prior to the recent one, purchased a thousand acres of land on what was then the far end of the gravel road, miles past the last rail station, for use as a hunting ground.
He built a comfortable brick home (first photo) added stables, kennels and greenhouses to make his visitors welcome. Upon his death in his estate donated the house and land to the county for use as a park. For years the house sat empty, as a search for useful tenants was conducted. In 1985 it became home to the museum.
Over the years the AKC has thrown a bit of money at the house, expanded exhibit space and added conference and meeting rooms. Almost every dog trainer in town, uses the facility for classes. The cache of the name adds respectability.
Several years ago, we held my daughter's wedding reception there. The facilities are top drawer, the site is secluded yet readily accessible, there is room to spread out and an outside band doesn't disturb the neighbors.
If you are into dog art, memorabilia and books, this is the place.