$1 million for Joseph Warren museum nixed; some hope for ‘an alternative’

By Cathy DeDe, Chronicle Managing Editor

The Warren County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday, May 14, to withdraw the seven resolutions to fund $1 million to create a Joseph Warren Museum and Education Center on Gurney Lane.

Joseph Warren was a prominent patriot leader who lost his life at the Battle of Bunker Hill, “because he volunteered to fight as a soldier, even though he was a designated Major General,” says Queensbury Supervisor John Strough. Painting from the collection of Shane Newell

“Unfortunately, since this project was first proposed in 2021, the financial realities of renovating the county-owned property on Gurney Lane for a museum made it too expensive to pursue amid budget constraints,” said Board Chairman Kevin Geraghty in a statement after the meeting.

Paintings and artifacts owned by Shane Newell, a Lake George grad who now lives in Massachusetts, would have formed the core of the museum, in a county-owned building on Gurney Lane,

County Administrator John Taflan said the aim now is “to come up with some kind of alternate arrangement.”

Lake George Supervisor Vincent Crocitto has proposed the Lake George Historical Society in the center of the Village as an alternative site for the collection.

Mr. Taflan said, “We’re not just completely dropping it but we are going to look for additional options.”

He said Mr. Newell still prefers to work with the Warren County Historical Society. “He’s not ready to relinquish any of the items external to the Warren County Historical Society,” Mr. Taflan said.

The Warren County Historical Society, in a May 7 letter delivered to supervisors before the board meeting, wrote, “We now consider this project finished.”

“Seeing the reluctance and opposition of the Board, the Historical Society recognizes that the County and General Public are not supportive of this project. We accept this conclusion and urge the Board to consider the resolutions moot.”

The original goal was to have the museum ready for the 250th anniversary of the United States, in 2026.

Mr. Geraghty, in his statement, thanked the Historical Society and said, “Warren County leaders hope to work with Joseph Warren historian Shane Newell, who has graciously offered his collection for display, and members of the Historical Society and supporters of this project to find an alternative space dedicated to the important accomplishments of Joseph Warren, to educate residents and visitors alike about his role in the birth of our great nation.”

Budget officer Frank Thomas of Stony Creek made the motion to withdraw the seven resolutions to fund. He was seconded by Tourism-Occupancy Tax Chairman Gene Merlino of Lake Luzerne.

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