Camera Heritage Museum, Staunton

 

On my recent trip to Staunton, Virginia, to visit the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum, I took to strolling  the city and admiring the architecture.  At the corner of Augusta and Beverley Streets is the Camera Heritage Museum which is a non-profit museum and the largest Camera Museum Open to the Public in the United States with over 6,500 cameras per their brochure.   If you are a camera and/or photographer enthusiast, this is a must stop location.   The Camera Heritage Museum is located at 1 West Beverley Street.

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The Camera Museum is jammed packed with camera equipment.  As a non-profit, they do request donations of approximately $5.  There is just one item that isn’t allowed to be photographed which is a historical image of President Thomas Jefferson’s retreat at Natural Bridge, Virginia.  

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I saw many cameras from my childhood days and a little later.  Cameras like the Brownie, the dreaded disc camera, Super 8 movie camera (a favorite of my mom), and bulb flash cameras where I would remember my dad licking his fingers before extracting the used hot bulb to avoid burns.

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The owner was behind the counter and offered to answer any questions or escort me around the shop if I wanted since it was a slow day.

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Adjacent to the museum was the historic Masonic Building.  On the street level floor it housed a number of businesses including the Split Banana Company which had the retro 1950’s look and whose workers where helpful with directing me around the nearby area. 

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I wanted to get to the top floor of the Masonic Building where I saw beautiful stained glass windows, but no one was sure how to get to the top floor.  One guy said go to the last door on the left of the façade and take the old elevator to the top, get off and keep going until you can’t go any further, then find a way to keep going up.  On that advice, I found the old elevator and searched my way to the top.  Never found the stained glass windows, but found myself in the midst of many rooms with mattresses on the floor with dirty laundry strewn everywhere, and old food containers on most all surfaces.  When I took the stairs downward instead of the elevator, I met a woman selling books.  I told her that I think a few homeless people have taken up residence on the top floor.  She replied that they were just local college students renting rooms.  Reminded me of my second year in college when I lived in a trashy fraternity house.

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Around the corner from the Camera Museum is the Temple House of Israel founded in 1876....

Temple House of Israel

Across the street is a bank with a vintage plaque that announces proudly that it has one million dollars in capital....

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Next door to it is the Crowle Building from 1890..... 

Crowle Building

Cattycorner is the famous Berverley Cigar Store if you are a cigar aficionado....

Beverley Cigar Store

Staunton is an old Virginia historical city that is a great place to visit for a relaxing quiet travel destination.

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George G

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