How much does the beloved robot from the famous Star Wars movies relate to Essex County History? Arto Monaco, creator of Land of Makebelieve, lovingly built "ArtoD2". Monaco's work will be a featured exhibit at Adirondack History Center and Essex County Historical Society in Elizabethtown from June 7th to October 13th.
Lynda Denton, Monaco’s niece and long-time assistant, says the model was constructed “just for fun” soon after the first Star Wars movie came out. It was operated with a model airplane remote control and included a tape with sound effects.
“Arto Monaco and the Land of Makebelieve” is a multi-media exhibit of the best of the museum’s 600-piece collection of photographs, souvenirs, artifacts and videos relating to the amusement park founded by Monaco in 1954.
"Land of Makebelieve" was designed as a place where children could let their imaginations run wild, the park featured a steamboat, train, castle and western town. In 1979, flood damage forced the site to close down. In addition to the Land of Makebelieve, Monaco had a hand in designing facets of Santa’s Workshop in Wilmington, as well as the park now known as The Great Escape in Lake George.
The Adirondack History Center Museum is open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. every day until October 13. Admission is $5, with discounts for seniors and students. Children under 6 are admitted free. Additional information may be found at www.adkhistorycenter.org, or by calling 518-873-6466.