Tag Archives: Farmers’ Museum

33rd Annual Harvest Fest at Farmers’ Museum


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The Farmers’ Museum’s 33rd annual Harvest Festival will take place Saturday and Sunday, September 17 and 18 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with live music both days and new activities for children.

This popular fall event brings together a wide array of artisans, vendors, performers, and exhibitors to the Museum’s alluring 19th-century setting. Guests will enjoy horse-drawn wagon rides; craft activities for the entire family; artisan demonstrations; and an abundance of delicious foods from the season’s harvest including samples of McCadam/Cabot cheese, roasted corn, baked goods, ice cream, and more. You can even try out wood planes, hand drills, and other antique tools from their large collection.

This year, the Museum again welcomes members of the Southern Tier Alpaca Association. Owners and breeders will display their animals and participate in numerous activities throughout the weekend.

Children will enjoy agricultural activities that include building a haystack; corn shelling and grinding; apple cider pressing demonstrations; ropemaking; apple bobbing; and 19th-century games in the schoolhouse. Not to mention the alpaca and canine agility courses.

Witness or take part in the excitement of an old-time pie eating contest – both Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 p.m., sponsored by the Fly Creek Cider Mill and Orchard.

Over 25 vendors and artisans will supply everything the season has to offer including beeswax candles, shaker oval boxes, early American tinware, baskets, Windsor chairs, and more – with demonstrations of soap making and woodworking.

Tap your toes the sounds of “Clemens Tradition,” an old time fiddle and classic country music group based in Osceola, New York, featuring the 2002 New York State Inductee to the North American Fiddler’s Hall of Fame and Museum – Jackie Hobbs and other special guests. They will perform in the Cornwallville Church, located in the center of the Museum’s historic village, each day at 11:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m., and 4:00 p.m. The shows are free with paid admission to the event.

See the winners from this year’s Junior Livestock Show as they make their way through the Museum’s historic village during the Parade of Champions – both days at 1:00 p.m.

To view a full listing of all the event’s activities, see our schedule online at FarmersMuseum.org/harvest.

Sponsored by KeyBank and McCadam/Cabot Cheese. Supported in part by the Southern Tier Alpaca Association and the Fly Creek Cider Mill and Orchard. This event is made possible withpublic funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.

Admission to the event: $12 adults (13+), $10.50 seniors (65+), $6 children(7-12), children 6 and under and members of the New York State Historical Association are free. For more information on any of our programs, visit FarmersMuseum.org/harvest.

4th of July Weekend at The Farmers’ Museum


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The Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown will mark Independence Day with a special two-day celebration Sunday and Monday, July 3rd and 4th from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Each day there will be free ice cream for the first 500 paid visitors (sponsored by Huffs Ice Cream) and $2.00 off admission for everyone. Kids 6 and under, NYSHA Members, as well as active and retired career military personnel are always free.

On Sunday July 3, there will be an afternoon of American favorites including ballpark hot dogs and jazz. There will be a hot dog competition starting at 11:00 a.m. Actual ballpark franks (with all the fixings) from baseball stadiums around the country will be on sale. Featured franks include Yankee Dog, Fenway Frank, Pirate’s Hot Italian, Brewer’s Brat and more.

At 3:00 p.m., the Cooperstown Summer Music Festival presents the National Jazz Museum in Harlem All-Stars. Visitors can swing to classic jazz sounds including the works of Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman bands. Concert tickets: $15/student; $25 adult. Visit CooperstownMusicFest.org for more information.

On Monday, July 4th, visitors will experience a traditional Fourth of July with an old-fashioned family carnival, with 19th-century competitions like sack races, a rolling pin toss, and a skillet toss for adults. ($5 per person includes free skillet, contestants must pre-register). A pie eating contest will be sponsored by the Fly Creek Cider Mill and Orchard at 2:00 p.m. (Limited to the first 30 entries – contestants must pre-register). Militia Musters will be heard from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and the Declaration of Independence will be read at 1:00 pm.

Ongoing demonstrations include blacksmithing, printing, open hearth cooking, and more. As always, you can tour the museum on a horse-drawn wagon, ride The Empire State Carousel, and visit the baby animals at the Children’s Barnyard. Special highlight activities take place at select times. Visit FarmersMuseum.org for a full schedule and information or pick up a program when you arrive.

Admission to the Independence Celebration is $10 for adults, $8.50 for seniors, $4 for juniors (age 7-12). Children (age 6 and under), members of the New York State Historical Association, as well as active and retired careermilitary personnel always receive free admission.

Farmers’ Museum Exhibit: New York’s Good Eats!


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Do the words “Buffalo Wings” make your mouth water or do you prefer Shredded Wheat? Either way, you can thank New York State for bringing you both of these foods and many others as well. A new exhibition at The Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown tells the story of the foods that got their start in New York State. New York’s Good Eats! Our Fabulous Foods opens this Saturday, May 28th.

Several foods commonly eaten everyday across the nation were invented or first produced in New York State. Buffalo wings and potato chips are probably the most famous, but Thousand Island dressing was also created in the Empire State, and celery was first commercially farmed here. The exhibition will profile over a dozen foods – everything from Jell-O to Lifesavers to ice cream sundaes.

“New York has a rich agricultural and culinary history,” says Museum Curator Erin Richardson. “The whole family will enjoy learning about their favorite foods, discovering how they got their start, how they’ve changed, and the impact they have had.” In addition to fun food facts, New York’s Good Eats! will showcase important objects and artifacts, such as the oldest known tomato ketchup recipe, classic Jell-O molds, and an original packing crate for Shredded Wheat.

This new exhibition promises to be popular—not only because of the topic, but also because of how it is designed. “The Farmers’ Museum has developed an innovative, hands-on approach to engage visitors of all ages with this exhibition,” says Richardson. “From recipe sharing to an interactive family guide to trivia quizzes and coloring stations, there is something fun for everyone.”

New York’s Good Eats! Our Fabulous Foods opens Memorial Day Weekend on Saturday, May 28th in the Main Barn of The Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y. The exhibition will run through October 2012. It is sponsored in part by Price Chopper, The Tianederrah Foundation, WMHT, Savor New York, and The New York State Council on the Arts. Visit FarmersMuseum.org for more information.

Illustration: The Saratoga Specialties Company makes potato chips according to the original recipe used by George Crum. The chips are made by hand and packaged in replica Moon’s Lake House take-out boxes. Ccourtesy of Saratoga Specialties Company.

Grants for School Travel to Cooperstown Museums


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The Fenimore Art Museum and The Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown, New York, have received a donation from KeyBank for $5,000. The gift was given to support travel grant opportunities that will cover transportation costs for fourth grade students, in Otsego County and the surrounding region, planning to visit the Museums. These grants will pay partial or total transportation costs depending on the school’s location and need.

The programs are currently available for the fourth grade only. For Otsego County fourth grade students, both bussing and admissions can be covered by this grant. For students outside of Otsego County, NYSHA is offering matching grants to PTOs or schools who are providing most of the costs of the field trips.

“We know that school budgets are tighter than ever, and we thank KeyBank for their part in supporting this much needed program to bring students to our museums,” said John Buchinger, Associate Director of Education at the New York State Historical Association and The Farmers’ Museum.

Summer Kids Program at Farmers Museum


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The Farmers’ Museum, one of the nation’s premier rural history museums, is currently recruiting for this summer’s Young Interpreter program. Boys and girls between the ages of 12 to 14, as of May 1st, are invited to apply by May 15th.

Young Interpreters have the opportunity to work in various selected sites throughout The Farmers’ Museum including: Peleg Field Blacksmith Shop, Lippitt Farmhouse, Dr. Thrall’s Pharmacy, The Middlefield Printing Office, Todd’s General Store, the Children’s Barnyard, or developing spinning and weaving skills. “This program is so popular because the boys and girls who participate enjoy working one-on-one with our experienced staff to learn new and unique skills,” says program manager Gwen Miner. “Plus, the leadership and presentation skills they gain over the summer are life-long benefits.”

A limited number of students will be accepted for the program; the application process is competitive. To apply, submit by May 15th a one to two page letter expressing your interest and reasons for wanting to be a Young Interpreter, as well as, an explanation of which apprenticeship you would like and why. Mail to: Young Interpreter Program, The Farmers’ Museum, P.O. Box 30, Cooperstown, NY 13326. Letters of reference are not necessary.

A committee of museum staff will review the applications. Applicants will be chosen based on their commitment and interest, maturity, willingness to learn, and ease with the public.

Young interpreters are expected to work one day a week for a period of eight weeks, beginning the last week in June and ending the last week in August. Students applying for the Young Interpreter Program must have parental permission and transportation to the Museum during the course of the program.

The program takes place at The Farmers’ Museum, a premier rural history museum established in 1943. The Museum presents the trades and crafts common to ordinary people of rural 19th-century New York State in its historic village and farmstead.

New President of Farmers’ Museum, NYSHA


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The election of Dr. Paul D’Ambrosio as President of The Farmers’ Museum/New York State Historical Association was announced yesterday by Jane Forbes Clark, Chairman of The Farmers’ Museum, Inc. and Dr. Douglas E. Evelyn, Chairman of The New York State Historical Association, effective April 1, 2011.

Dr. D’Ambrosio succeeds D. Stephen Elliott as President and C.E.O. Mr. Elliott, who served nearly six years as President, has been appointed Director and Chief Executive Officer of The Minnesota Historical Society.

In a joint statement, Jane Forbes Clark and Douglas Evelyn said, “although we are sorry that Steve Elliott is leaving Cooperstown after six very productive years, we have a most capable successor in Paul D’Ambrosio. Paul’s leadership, experience and creativity have been on ample display at The Farmers’ Museum and The Fenimore Art Museum, and we are fortunate to have such a worthy and skilled museum professional within our ranks to promote to our highest administrative position.”

Mr. Elliott stated that “it has been an honor to work with the very capable and dedicated staffs of the New York State Historical Association and The Farmers’ Museum and I look forward to applying what I have learned from my colleagues in Cooperstown to my forthcoming work with another of America’s premier history institutions.”

Paul D’Ambrosio has been associated with The Farmers’ Museum, The New York State Historical Association and its Fenimore Art Museum for 26 years. He has been Vice President and Chief Curator since 1998 and has been responsible for organizing and traveling exhibits, acquisitions, publications, research, academic study and the care of objects. Dr. D’Ambrosio has also taken the lead role in the adoption of the many new forms of social media at the Museums, thereby making their collections and programs open and accessible (see his blog). In addition, he is an Adjunct Professor of Museum Studies at the Cooperstown Graduate Program, a Member of the American Folk Art Society and has served as a Museum Panelist for the New York State Council on the Arts.

A nationally recognized expert of American Folk Art, Dr. D’Ambrosio is the author of Ralph Fasanella’s America, numerous exhibition catalogs and articles, and co-author of Folk Art’s Many Faces. He holds a B.A. from SUNY Cortland, an M.A. from SUNY Oneonta’s Cooperstown Graduate Program and a Ph.D. from Boston University. Dr. D’Ambrosio, his wife Anna and their family reside in New Hartford, New York.

The Farmers’ Museum, founded in 1943, is an educational organization devoted to presenting the lives of ordinary people and the agricultural and trade processes of rural 19th century New York State; it is one of the oldest and most popular continuously operating outdoor museums in the United States. Founded in 1899, The New York State Historical Association preserves and exhibits objects and documents significant to New York history and American culture. The Association is home to The Fenimore Art Museum that features collections of American folk art, 19th century American fine art, and the acclaimed Eugene and Clare Thaw Collection of American Indian Art.

Photo: Paul D’Ambrosio with students form the Cooperstown Graduate Program.

Plowline: Images of Rural NY Project Launched


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In 1960, New York State was home to 88,000 active farms; today that number has decreased to roughly 36,000 farms – a decline of nearly 60% in 40 years. In response, The Farmers’ Museum in historic Cooperstown, NY is assembling an exciting collection of original photography to chronicle and preserve the changes in agricultural practice, rural life, and farming families of New York State from the 19th century through the present.

With the generous support of the Gipson Family, Plowline: Images of Rural New York is a resource not only for the scholarly community but also for the public to learn more about the rural heritage of New York State. Cooperstown photographer and museum visitor Andy Baugnet comments, “We cannot turn back the hands of time. However, the Plowline collection will allow us to view the past and experience how agriculture left its mark on New York State’s economic and cultural landscapes.”

Plowline presents beautiful black and white 1950s photographs of New York farm scenes such as harvesting the fall bounty, maple sugaring and horse-pulling. The collection also includes important aerial photographs of regional communities, including the construction of the New York State Thruway. Over 100 lantern slides from Cornell University’s Dairy Department, which instructed dairy farmers in the 1920s about how to operate an efficient farm, are featured in the collection. In addition, Plowline highlights snapshots chronicling an Orange County farm family’s life over a 30 year period. Finally, contemporary works by New York photographer Daniel Handel document the current farming revival in Upstate New York.

In 1942, The Farmers’ Museum’s founders set out to collect objects of American farm and rural communities and to display those in a method accessible to all interested. To enhance their accessibility, the photographs collected through Plowline will all be posted online. In addition, powered by Omeka, a free and open source platform developed by The Center for the Future of History Museums, the Plowline website has integrated Web 2.0 technology. “Thus,” says curator Erin Crissman Richardson, “the website encourages user participation and allows visitors to comment on records if they know something about the history of an object or what is happening in a particular photograph. Visitors can also share items with friends via Facebook, Twitter and other social media.”

Plowline, as a collecting initiative, will be continually adding photographs and will become a significant portion of the annual additions to The Farmers’ Museum collection. “We anticipate that Plowline will be the foremost resource of images of the 19th, 20th and 21st century rural imagery,” explains Vice President for Education Garet Livermore

Hear Tales of Hauntings at The Farmers’ Museum


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During the most haunting time of the fall season, The Farmers’ Museum invites visitors to experience “Things That Go Bump In The Night.” Join museum interpreters as they lead you about the shadowy grounds and recount the many mysteries and ghostly happenings that have occurred within the buildings making up the Museum’s historic village. These tours will be held on three nights only: Saturday, October 23; Friday, October 29; and Saturday, October 30, beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Museum guides will lead visitors through the darkened 19th-century village by lantern, stopping at various buildings throughout, including the Blacksmith’s Shop and Bump Tavern, weaving ghostly tales adapted from the Louis C. Jones’ classic, Things That Go Bump In the Night, a timeless record of haunted history and restless spirits in New York State. Participants will hear stories associated with the museum’s buildings as in the tale of a young ghost sighted by staff and guests in Bump Tavern and the mysterious early morning strikes on the blacksmith’s anvil.

These hour-long tours will be held every half-hour between 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Reservations are required. Admission is $10 per person (ages 3 and up). Please call Meg Preston at (607) 547-1452.

53rd Annual October Conference for Teachers


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The 2010 October Conference for Teachers will present an evening performance by historical balladeer Linda Russell on Thursday, October 21 from 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. She will perform From Parlor and Porch: Music of 19th Century New York at The Farmers’ Museum. This event is free and open to the public.

Ms. Russell’s performance kicks off the 53rd Annual October Conference for Teachers being held October 21 & 22. The Conference is an annual professional development opportunity focused on current issues, topics, concerns, and practices in social studies education. Each year the Conference, a program sponsored by the New York State Historical Association, attracts several hundred educators to the campuses of Fenimore Art Museum and The Farmers’ Museum during the fall season. This year, the Conference begins on Thursday evening, October 21, with a reception and Ms. Russell’s performance, and continues on Friday, October 22, with a series or workshops and presentations offered by teachers and museum professionals.

Balladeer Linda Russell explores the music of 19th century New York through canal songs, lumberjack ballads, parlor tunes, minstrel melodies and hymns. With hammered and mountain dulcimers, guitar, pennywhistle and lumberjack, Ms. Russell illuminates the lives of the folks of the 1800’s as seen in the popular songs that they sang.

Linda Russell is a historian, singer and actor who explores America’s past through music. Having served for many years as a balladeer for the National Park Service at Federal Hall on Wall Street, the site of George Washington’s inauguration, Ms. Russell takes her performances to historic sites, schools and festivals around the country. Appearances have included Lincoln Center-Out of Doors, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Carnegie Hall Folk Festival. She has recorded 8 albums of traditional American music.

The concert is free and open to the general public. For more information on the Conference or the evening performance, please call Tobi Voigt at (607) 547 1534. To see the full schedule of Conference events visit nysha.org.

Photo: Historical balladeer Linda Russell.