Artisans, water power, local farms, grist milling, lumberjack skills, and horse-drawn wagon rides will all be featured at the Miller’s Harvest Festival and Folkways Fair at Hanford Mills Museum (Delaware County) on Sunday, October 13.
The Museum will be operating machinery in its 1869 Gristmill, which area farmers relied on for generations. The Munson Brothers Millstone, which the Museum connected to its horizontal water turbine in August, will be featured. Guided tours of the gristmill, sawmill and woodworking shop will be offered throughout the day.
“Water power has been in use on this site since 1846,” explains Liz Callahan, the Museum’s executive director. “In today’s discussions about sustainability and energy efficiency, it’s important to see how water power and other renewable energy sources were used in the past. Here at Hanford Mills, you can see how a local business generated power with the technology available at the time.” In addition to the horizontal water turbine, the Hanfords used a Fitz Overshot waterwheel, a steam boiler and steam engines, and gas-powered engines. The Museum demonstrates all of these power sources at the Mill.
The Festival, which runs 10 am – 5 pm, showcases traditional crafts and local farms. Artisans will be demonstrating how they make their handmade items, and also offer them for sale. Artisans include Allan Smith from Rustic Creations making pine furniture and wooden crafts, Catharina Kessler from Promisedland Farm knitting hats and mittens, Lou Gilson from Gilson’s Native American Crafts making jewelry, and Bernd Krause making dulcimers. The farmers’ market features Byebrook Farm Gouda cheese, Shaver-Hill Farm maple products, and Country Housewife jams, jellies and zucchini cakes. There also will be wood-fired cook stove demonstrations in the John Hanford Farmstead and plein aire painters capturing scenes of the Mill.
Kids’ activities include traditional games and making corn-husk dolls. Horse-drawn wagon rides will be offered throughout the day. The Blue Ribbon Cloggers will perform at 12 pm and 2 pm, and live music will be featured as well. At 1 pm, the SUNY Cobleskill Woodsmen’s Team will demonstrate lumberjack skills. Visitors can shell and grind corn using the Museum’s historic hand-operated equipment and then feed the ground corn to chickens, on loan for the day from La Basse Cour Farm.
About Hanford Mills Museum
Hanford Mills Museum is open 10 am – 5 pm, Wednesdays through Sundays, and on holiday Mondays through October 14. Hanford Mills Museum is located at 51 County Hwy. 12, at the intersection of Delaware County Routes 10 and 12, in East Meredith, NY, 10 miles from Oneonta and 15 miles from Delhi. Children 12 and under are admitted free, as are Museum members. The admission fee for adults and teens (13-64) is $8.50; and for senior citizens, $6.50. AAA and military discounts are available.
As one of only a handful of operating water-powered mills, Hanford Mills Museum has earned a place on both the National and New York State Registers of Historic Places. The mission of Hanford Mills Museum is to inspire audiences of all ages to explore connections between energy, technology, natural resources and entrepreneurship in rural communities with a focus on sustainable choices.