GLENS FALLS -- When Timothy Weidner, executive director of the Chapman Historical Museum, began collecting photographs for a new exhibit about the post-World War II years in Queensbury, he quickly discovered there was too much “recent history” of the town to fit in one exhibit.
“It ended up being a very large topic,” he said.
So he limited the scope of “Queensbury’s Boom: From Country to Suburb,” to development and neighborhood life in the town from the end of World War II to the opening of the Queensbury campus of Adirondack Community College, now SUNY Adirondack, in 1967.
“Really what the exhibit does is it shows change. ... It’s how a place changes over a period of just 20 years,” he said.
The exhibit, on display through the end of the year at the museum at 348 Glen St. in Glens Falls, is the final component of the Queensbury 250th anniversary celebration that began in May.
Weidner said the anniversary year seemed like a good time to compile photographs and information to document the stories he heard area residents tell about rapid changes in the town in the 1950s and ’60s.
“The shopping centers, some of them have been done over twice (since then),” he said.
The town’s population more than doubled from 4,199 in 1940 to 10,004 in 1960, and continued to grow to 27,901, as of the 2010 census.
Housing developments sprang up, highways were constructed, shopping centers were built and the Queensbury Union Free School District was formed.
The exhibit of more than 60 photographs and marketing documents includes images from the Warren County Department of Public Works photograph collection of bridge construction projects.
The bridges still look much the same, but the landscape around them looks much different.
“It’s clearly rural,” Weidner said, referring to the landscape back then.
In 1940, Queensbury had 216 farms with 14,789 acres of land in production.
The exhibit also includes 16 of the approximately 100 photographs that photographer Richard Dean took of the route planned for Quaker Road, before construction.
“Whenever I came to some kind of a landmark, I pulled that photo and reproduced it,” Weidner said.
The exhibit also features photographs Queensbury residents brought in during photo collection days earlier this year as part of the 250th anniversary celebration.
“They really show what life was like in these brand-new neighborhoods,” he said.