The Walter Elwood Museum of the Mohawk Valley contains a collection of 25,000 artifacts showcasing Amsterdam's past through natural history, industrial, Victorian and multicultural exhibits. In the summer of 2023, the Museum is open from Tuesday through Thursday from 9 am to 3 pm.
Permanent exhibits include a Vintage Children's Toy Room, a Military Room, a Natural History Room and an American Locomotive Company History Exhibit.
Walter Elwood was an educator in the Greater Amsterdam School District (GASD) in the early 1900’s. Having traveled around the world as a young man, he became an avid collector of ethnographic materials and natural history items from every corner of the globe. He started his “museum” in the Fifth Ward School on the south side of Amsterdam; he carried interesting materials from school to school in an effort to educate students with authentic artifacts and objects. Upon his death in the 1950’s, he stipulated that the collection should be left to the Greater Amsterdam School District.
Since its inception, the museum has served to link school curriculum to the dynamic richness of Amsterdam's cultural and historic heritage, and has functioned as an intellectual and artistic center for Amsterdam and the Mohawk Valley. The museum offers interactive learning environments, educational classes, and a spectrum of cultural events, as well as guest lecturers, and summer school classes in science, math and natural history.