Underground Telescope Museum
TUNNEL TOURS DISCOUNTINUED FOR SUMMER
The tour starts in the lobby where guests learn about James Hartness. We then take you down the stairs to the basement, unlock a door and illuminate the area. We walk down a second set of stairs. We are underground. We turn a corner and are greeted by a second, longer, tunnel. At the end of the tunnel the small space opens to large rooms filled with telescopes, artifacts, and memorabilia.
The tunnels were originally built to lead the way to workshops for James Hartness. Today it is a museum curated by Stellafane, the oldest amateur telescope making group in the country, and dedicated to Russell Porter. Porter was an artist, engineer, explorer, and amateur telescope maker. He worked for Hartness and together they brought a long tradition of telescope making to Springfield, Vermont.
The tour includes a trip into the Turret Telescope and answers the most commonly asked question: "What is that big white structure in the yard?" The telescope was built in 1912. It was unique for the ability to look at the night sky in the comfort of a heated room and, with the help of a motor, move with the rotation of the earth so a person could focus on one star for an entire night.
Photos are encouraged on tours!
Front Desk for times