Experimental Balloon and Airship Museum.
Treasures too sparsely labeled to identify greet visitors that peek through the front door.

Experimental Balloon and Airship Museum

Field review by the editors.

Post Mills, Vermont

The Experimental Balloon and Airship Museum, also known as Brian's Museum of Rusty Dusty Stuff and The Scrap Palace, is the decades-in-the-making packrat collection of Brian Boland, airship designer, balloon pilot, creator of the Vermontasaurus, and owner of Post Mills Airport, which is where the museum is located. It's a cavernous, multi-story structure, lit only by sunlight filtering through its windows. Brian lives somewhere deep in the recesses of the building, and assembles his airships in an upstairs loft.

Brian Boland.
Brian Boland points to three signs, one for each of his museum's names.

Brian is proudest of what he says are the almost 150 experimental airships in the museum -- the largest collection in the world, he says -- but they're difficult to see among all of his other treasures. Some were found by spotting them from his hot air balloon. There are outboard motors, old cars and abandoned fire trucks, clocks, dolls, laundry irons, beer and liquor bottles, bicycles, wicker baskets, plastic lawn flamingos, a Polaroid collection, a SPAM collection, motorcycles, road signs, old dental equipment, a sculpture made of hundreds of crutches, and a life preserver labelled "USS Titanic." Some are grouped into neat arrangements, others hang from rafters, still others are tossed about haphazardly. Explanatory signs are rare; several are just a "?????" series of question marks. Brian told us that he loves it when people give him a machine or device that he can't identify.

Experimental Balloon and Airship Museum.
One of almost 150 experimental airships in Brian's collection.

Titanic artifact.
Not the RMS Titanic, but close enough.

Because the building does not meet Vermont's strict public safety standards, it's a private museum and off-limits to the public. But in an effort to share it with visitors, Brian built a series of Dutch half-doors into the building. People can stand outside, lean on the door sills, and view the collection inside. "It's like an aquarium," Brian said.

Large signs next to the doors warn, No Entry Without Permission of the Director. But a few chosen tourists do sometimes get to go inside. Brian told us that if he's working at the airport, he'll size up visitors who've come to see the Vermontasaurus. "If I feel they're worthy -- if they spend a lot of time at the dinosaur -- then I'll invite them into my museum," he said. "I'll tell them, "The director just gave you permission to go in there. Now don't piss him off!'"

Experimental Balloon and Airship Museum

Post Mills Airport

Address:
104 Robinson Hill Rd, Post Mills, VT
Directions:
From VT-244 turn southeast at the white church and cemetery onto Robinson Hill Rd. Drive a quarter-mile. You'll see Vermontasaurus, which looks like a pile of wood, on the right. The Museum is to the west of Vermontasaurus, on the other side of the air field. Watch out for landing planes.
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

VermontasaurusVermontasaurus, Post Mills, VT - < 1 mi.
Drive-In Movie MotelDrive-In Movie Motel, Fairlee, VT - 7 mi.
Chip's Sculpture GardenChip's Sculpture Garden, Bradford, VT - 9 mi.
In the region:
Floating Bridge, Brookfield, VT - 21 mi.

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November 27, 2020

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