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East Durham loses Irish Museum

Apr 25, 2011 2:40 pm
Paul Grondahl in The Albany Times-Union reports that East Durham's Irish American Heritage Museum is moving to Albany. In East Durham the museum was open only between Memorial Day and Labor Day; in Albany it will be open year-round. The museum holds the records and archives of the Ancient Order of the Hibernians. The organization also has ties with the Irish government through the Consul General in New York City, which has awarded the museum grants. Grondahl's story explains East Durham was once called the "Irish Alps," and was a regular vacation spot for New York City's Irish community, who also moved into the area. "But the children of those Irish-Americans have exhibited changing tastes and have moved away, leaving the East Durham area struggling economically," the Times-Union says. "Several Irish-themed businesses closed their doors. The Irish American Heritage Museum steadily declined, as well, with last year's attendance an all-time low of about 2,000, causing the organization to lose money, according to executive director Jeff Cleary."