In January 2014, the Adirondack History Center Museum received a collection of some 600 artifacts related to the Land of Makebelieve and its founder Arto Monaco, who was born in Ausable Forks in 1913. The Land of Makebelieve was an amusement park created by Monaco in 1954 as a place where children could let their imaginations run wild.
They rode the train, visited the castle, and explored the western style town. Monaco’s work was also found at Santa’s Workshop and Charley Wood’s Storytown and Gaslight Village in Lake George. In 1979, the Land of Makebelieve was destroyed by a flood and was forced to close.
The Adirondack History Center Museum’s collection contains souvenirs, figurines, a model of the of Land of Makebelieve castle, original Arto Monaco toys, and a prototype of the Star Wars character R2-D2 made by Monaco, and more.
The museum staff is seeking crowd-source funding to inventory, catalog, and clean the collection in preparation for the exhibit Greetings from the Adirondacks: Mid-20th Century Tourism and Recreation, which will be on display this summer.
You can help them meet their goal by heading over to the Adirondack Foundation’s new fundraising site, Adirondack Gives, and make a contribution here.