Tag Archives: Farmers’ Museum

Tractor Fest at The Farmers’ Museum This Weekend

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The Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown will hold what it hopes will be an annual Tractor Fest on Saturday and Sunday, October 9 and 10, from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Tractor Fest will offer visitors an opportunity to see classic tractors from John Deere, Ford, and other manufacturers – representing the growth of farming technology from the 1920s until today. The Museum provides an ideal setting where visitors can learn about the world of tractors and how they powered America’s farms.

Families will find Tractor Fest to be an appealing weekend destination. Kids, ages 7 and under, can compete for prizes in a Kiddie Pedal Tractor Pull contest on both Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. There will be wagon rides around the Museum’s Historic Village – pulled by a Ford Golden Jubilee Tractor on Saturday and Sunday morning from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon. See a “hit and miss” engine powering a grinding wheel and Mr. Whipple operating his steam engine near the Blacksmith Shop. There will also be thrashing demonstrations, rides provided by Cooperstown Carriage Rides, The Empire State Carousel, craft demonstrations and more.

Discover classic and modern tractors throughout the Museum’s grounds. Springfield Tractor will display compact tractors with backhoe & front-end loaders and Cazenovia Equipment will demonstrate satellite controlled farm tractors.

For those with a deeper historical interest in tractors, Syracuse University history professor, Milton Sernett, will give a talk titled How the Ford Tractor Changed the American Family Farm: 1920 – 1940, on Saturday, October 9 at 12:30 p.m. in the Cornwallville Church located on the grounds of the Museum. This lecture is free and open to the public. It is made possible through Speakers in the Humanities, a program of the New York Council for the Humanities. Speakers in the Humanities lectures are made possible with the support of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the New York State Legislature, and through funds from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation.

Tractor Fest is sponsored in part by Northern Eagle Beverage. 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. Admission to the lecture is free. Food and beverages will be available throughout the day. Please visit our website at FarmersMuseum.org/tractorfest for more information and a full schedule of events.

Photo by Frank Forte.

NYSHA President Chairs Assoc for State, Local History

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At the Association’s annual conference in Oklahoma City yesterday, NYS Historical Association (NYSHA) President and Chief Executive Officer, D. Stephen Elliott, began a two-year term as Chair of the American Association for State and Local History’s (AASLH) 20-member governing Council. Elliott was elected to the position last year by the Association’s membership.

Based in Nashville, Tennessee, AASLH is the country’s leading association for history organizations and those who staff them. It provides leadership and support for its 6300 institutional and individual members, including professional development and recognition, publishing and networking, and advocacy.

The Association has been a leader in helping history museums, historic house museums, historical agencies and societies, and archives think creatively and entrepreneurially about their roles in contemporary society and in their communities and about how to sustain their programs and services even as traditional funding sources also are under duress.

Elliott will continue to serve as President and CEO of NYSHA and The Farmers’ Museum, and as Vice President of the Museum Association of New York.

Terry Davis, AASLH President and CEO, noted that Elliott had previously served on the Association’s Council and other national history education boards. “Steve is highly respected in the field. His thoughtful approach to issues and tireless advocacy for collaboration among history, museum, and educational organizations are timely strengths.”

Jane Forbes Clark, Chairman of The Farmers’ Museum Board of Directors, also commended Elliott’s selection. “He is a solid leader who works extremely well with Boards of Directors, and he certainly knows well the operational challenges that museums and history organizations have been surmounting.”

Dr. Douglas E. Evelyn, Chairman of the NYSHA Board of Trustees, is himself a former Chair of AASLH. “Steve is a good pick for this important national position at this particularly challenging time. He has a wealth of varied professional experience, having served in the field for 38 years, from Williamsburg to Cooperstown, and is wholly committed to maximizing how these vital keepers of America’s diverse heritage serve well their broad constituencies.”

Elliott has been the President of the New York State Historical Association and The Farmers’ Museum since 2005. Previously he served for five years as Executive Director of the First Freedom Center, in Richmond, Virginia, a non-profit whose educational mission focuses on the development of religious freedom in America. He held numerous posts over 28 years with The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, in Virginia, the world’s largest living history museum, including Vice President of Education and Museums; Vice President and Chief Administration Officer; Vice President of Planning, Information and Capital Project Management, and Quality Performance; and, Secretary of the Foundation. He has also served on the Board and as a member of the Executive Committee of National History Day; as a governing Council Member and Vice Chair of the American Association for State and Local History; a Board Liaison for the National Council for History Education; and held leadership positions with many public service and community organizations in the Williamsburg-Hampton Roads and Cooperstown areas. Elliott received his Bachelor’s degree cum laude from Cornell University; completed doctoral coursework in history at The College of William and Mary; was a Fellow to the 1972 Seminar for Historic Administration, and completed the 1990 Tuck Business School Executive Program at Dartmouth College.

Photo: NYSHA and The Farmers’ Museum President and Chief Executive Officer, D. Stephen Elliott

Farmers’ Museum Annual Harvest Fest

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The bounty of the harvest will be celebrated at The Farmers’ Museum’s 32nd annual Harvest Festival, taking place Saturday and Sunday, September 18 and 19 from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. with live music Saturday evening from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. 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.

This popular event brings a wide array of performers, exhibitors, and farm animals to the Museum’s alluring 19th-century setting. Guests will enjoy horse-drawn wagon rides; historic games and craft activities for the family; artisan demonstrations; and delicious foods from the season’s harvest including samples of McCadam/Cabot cheese, roasted corn, ice cream, and much more.

Over 20 vendors and artisans will supply everything the season has to offer including beeswax candles, cedar hand carved decoys and birds, Early American tinware, quilts, stained glass, Windsor chairs, and more.

Activities include an alpaca obstacle course, a pie-eating contest with pies supplied by the Fly Creek Cider Mill and Orchard (Saturday at 2:00 p.m. Sign up until noon in the Main Barn), a canine agility course, and a free family concert with live bluegrass music by the band “Gravel Yard” on Saturday evening from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. To view a full listing of all the event’s activities, see our schedule online at FarmersMuseum.org/harvestfestival.

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.

Farmers’ Museum Annual Benefit Horse Show, Clinic

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Hunt-seat riders are welcome to submit entries for The Farmers’ Museum’s 14th Annual Benefit Horse Show, scheduled for Sunday, June 13, at the Iroquois Farm Showgrounds on County Route 33, in Cooperstown. The show, which offers equestrians the opportunity to test their horsemanship skills, features a range of classes for beginner through open riders.

Riders and spectators alike will enjoy the course which features handcrafted jumps representing local landmarks in Cooperstown.

The 4th Annual Horse Show Clinic will be conducted by Timmy Kees from Westport, CT. With over 35 years experience on the “A” horse show circuit, W.T. (“Timmy”) Kees is one of the country’s most prominent hunter/equitation trainers. His riders have won the ASPCA Maclay, USEF Medal and USET equitation finals a total of 7 times. Kees has also trained hunters such as Holy Smoke, Watership Down and Castaway to championships at Devon, Harrisburg, Washington and The National Horse Show. He is a USEF “R” judge and conducts clinics throughout the country. Kees was recently inducted into the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame. He is based at Red Gate Farm in Newtown, CT, where he trains horses and riders for the hunter, jumper and equitation divisions with partners Olympic gold medalist Leslie Burr Howard and Grand Prix riders Molly Ashe Cawley and Chris Cawley.

The clinic will be held on Saturday, June 12, and is open to riders of all ages, levels, and abilities riding horses or ponies. (Participants must be able to jump at least 2’.) Overnight stabling off-site and a discount on entry fees is available for registrants who will be participating in the clinic and the show. Four sessions are available. Space is limited and registration is required by June 9. Registration forms are available on our website at FarmersMuseum.org.

The 14th Annual Benefit Horse Show will be held on Sunday, June 13. A warm-up over-fences class will be offered from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. The show begins at 9 a.m., rain or shine. Championships will be awarded as well as The Josef Neckermann Perpetual Trophy, presented to the best child rider; The John Moffat Perpetual Trophy, granted to the Champion in the Equitation Division; The Coral Island Leading Hunter Perpetual Trophy, awarded to the horse scoring the most points entered in the children’s, adult and/or open divisions; and The Good Sportsmanship Award, will be presented to a rider, trainer, or parent who exemplifies good conduct, character and overall good sportsmanship.

Judges for the show include Mason Phelps, Wellington, FL; Walter T. Kees of Westport, CT; and Susan B. Schoellkopf of Buffalo, New York. The course designer and show manager is Leo Conroy of Wellington, FL. The announcer is David Distler of Norwalk, CT. All classes are pointed by Chensego Hunter Association.

The Annual Patrons’ Luncheon will also be offered at noon. Enjoy a delicious champagne luncheon coupled with ringside seating under the tent. Coffees and teas will be available from 10:00 a.m. – noon; champagne and mimosas will be served starting at 11:00 a.m.; and afternoon refreshments will follow through the end of the show. Tickets are $45 per person (adult) and $10 (12 and under). Reservations are required by June 1st. For more information or to make a reservation, please contact Laura Gattoni at 607-547-1471 or email Development@nysha.org.

For a prize list, information on the horse show or clinic, please contact Meg Preston at (607) 547-1452 or visit our web site at FarmersMuseum.org. Admission to the show is free. Dogs are welcome at the show, but must be leashed at all times. Food and drinks will be available for purchase throughout the day.

Proceeds raised by the Benefit Horse Show will support the education programs at The Farmers’ Museum.

Cooperstown: Food For Thought Programs

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Food for Thought, the popular lunch and lecture series of The Farmers’ Museum and the Fenimore Art Museum, kicks off the 2010 season on Wednesday, May 12. All programs are held on Wednesdays beginning at noon at the Fenimore Art Museum or The Farmers’ Museum.

Food for Thought programs are a lunch and lecture series which offers visitors a more in-depth understanding of our exhibits and programs. All programs begin at noon on Wednesdays and include lunch ($15 for NYSHA members and $20 for non-members). Registration is required at least three days in advance. Cancellations without advanced warning will be charged. To reserve your spot, please call Karen Wyckoff at (607) 547-1410.

Food for Thought programs at the Fenimore Art Museum:

May 12 Virtual Folk: A People’s Choice Exhibition

June 2 Thirty Feet of Legend and Lineage

June 16 John Singer Sargent: Portraits in Praise of Women

June 23 In Our Time: The World as Seen by Magnum Photographers

July 7 Civil War Arms & Equipment: The New York Soldier

Food for Thought programs at The Farmers’ Museum:

June 9 New York State Barns

July 14 The History of Thrall Pharmacy

July 28 Phrenology in 19th-Century America

Mothers: Free Admission to Fenimore, Farmers’ Museum Sunday

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In recognition of Mother’s Day, all mothers and grandmothers will receive free admission to the Fenimore Art Museum and The Farmers’ Museum on Sunday, May 9.

Visitors can start the day at the Fenimore Art Museum by taking in one of the new exhibitions, such as Empire Waists, Bustles and Lace: A Century of New York Fashion – an exciting exhibition of the Museum’s collection of historic dresses. The exhibition includes the oldest known example of a dress with a label, stunning examples of Empire, Romantic and Civil War era dresses and turn-of-the-20th century items. Afterwards, visitors can enjoy lunch on the terrace overlooking Otsego Lake and then stroll across to The Farmers’ Museum to visit the baby lambs and ride on The Empire State Carousel.

About the Fenimore Art Museum

The Fenimore Art Museum, located on the shores of Otsego Lake — James Fenimore Cooper’s “Glimmerglass Lake” — in historic Cooperstown, New York, features a wide-ranging collection of American art including: folk art; important American 18th- and 19th-century landscape, genre, and portrait paintings; an extensive collection of domestic artifacts; more than 125,000 historical photographs representing the technical developments made in photography and providing extensive visual documentation of the region’s unique history; and the renowned Eugene and Clare Thaw Collection of American Indian Art comprising more than 800 art objects representative of a broad geographic range of North American Indian cultures, from the Northwest Coast, Eastern Woodlands, Plains, Southwest, Great Lakes, and Prairie regions. Founded in 1945, the Fenimore Art Museum is NYSHA’s showcase museum.

About The Farmers’ Museum

As one of the oldest rural life museums in the country, The Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown, New York, provides visitors with a unique opportunity to experience 19th-century rural and village life first-hand through authentic demonstrations and interpretative exhibits. The museum, founded in 1943, comprises a Colonial Revival stone barn listed on the National Register for Historic Places, a recreated historic village circa 1845, a late- nineteenth-century Country Fair featuring The Empire State Carousel, and a working farmstead. Through its 19th-century village and farm, the museum preserves important examples of upstate New York architecture, early agricultural tools and equipment, and heritage livestock. The Farmers’ Museum’s outstanding collection of more than 23,000 items encompasses significant historic objects ranging from butter molds to carriages, and hand planes to plows. The museum also presents a broad range of interactive educational programs for school groups, families, and adults that explore and preserve the rich agricultural history of the region.

Young Interpreters Sought at The Farmers’ Museum

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The Farmers’ Museum is seeking applicants for its Young Interpreter Program. By pairing young people with museum staff, this popular summer program teaches students about America’s past, helps them develop new skills, and allows them to share their newfound knowledge with museum visitors. Boys and girls between the ages of 12 to 14 as of May 1, 2010, are invited to apply. A limited number of students will be accepted for the program.

The Young Interpreter Program began in 1993. 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. Young interpreters will have the opportunity to work in various selected sites throughout the museum including: Peleg Field Blacksmith Shop, Bump Tavern, Lippitt Farmhouse, Dr. Thrall’s Pharmacy, The Middlefield Printing Office, Todd’s General Store, the Children’s Barnyard, or developing spinning and weaving skills.

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 who would like to participate should submit a one or two-page letter expressing their interest and reasons for wanting to be a Young Interpreter, as well as an explanation of where they would like to work and why, to: Young Interpreter Program, The Farmers’ Museum, P.O. Box 30, Cooperstown, NY 13326. Letters of application must be received by May 15, 2010. Letters of reference are not necessary. A committee of museum staff will review the applications. Candidates may be asked for an interview. Applicants will be chosen based on their commitment and interest, maturity, willingness to learn, and ease with the public. Students applying for the Young Interpreter Program must have parental permission and transportation to the museum during the course of the program.

For more information, please contact Deborah Brundage at 607-547-1484.

Cooperstown: Dinner at A 19th Century Tavern

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Escape to the 1800s with The Farmers’ Museum’s “Evening at the Tavern” and experience music and merriment topped off with an authentic period dinner. Evenings at the Tavern will be offered on Saturday, April 10 and 24 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Guests will enjoy a dining experience featuring a four-course candlelit meal, period music and games, and old-fashioned hospitality in the Museum’s historic Bump Tavern. The menu is designed and based on foods that were served in rural 19th-century New York taverns. Dinner includes soup, vegetables, roast meat, fresh bread, and dessert. During the evening, guests will be offered a tour of the historic tavern with the Museum’s interpretative hosts, learning about the history of taverns and travel in the 19th century.

Bump Tavern was built by Jehiel Tuttle in the late 1790s in the village of Ashland, Greene County, New York. Strategically located on the Catskill and Windham Turnpike, the resting spot served cattle drovers and other travelers passing through the area. The tavern was purchased in 1842 by Ephraim Bump, who expanded the building and updated the Federal period architecture with Greek revival porches. In 1952, Bump Tavern was moved to Cooperstown, where it became part of the collection of historic buildings at The Farmers’ Museum.

Space is limited; reservations are required and are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Full payment is required in advance by check or credit card. The fee, which includes the complete meal and an unforgettable experience, is $60; $55 for members of the New York State Historical Association. Wine and beer will be available for an additional fee. For more information or to make reservations, please call The Farmers’ Museum at 547-1452.

Farmers’ Museum Offers Spring Craft Workshops

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Beginning April 3, The Farmers’ Museum will offer a series of workshops based on 19th-century trades and crafts with topics ranging from blacksmithing to beekeeping. All workshops are held at The Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown. Registration is required. For more information and reservations, call Karen Wyckoff at (607) 547-1410. Information on future workshops can be found on their website at www.farmersmuseum.org.

Farm Family Meal (parent/child)
April 3, 10 am – 2 pm / Fee: $50
Learn what it took to create a meal during the 19th-century. Participants will cook a simple meal over the fire while learning about daily chores of parents and children during the 1840s.

Heritage Vegetable Gardens
April 10, 10 am – 2 pm / Fee: $40 per family
Spend the day learning about historic and current practices for planting and maintaining heritage vegetable gardens. Participants will discuss layout of gardens, cultivation and pest control, and storage of vegetables. They will also have the opportunity to build a hot frame and plant seeds and will leave with packets of heritage seeds.

Farm Chores
April 12, 19, and May 3, 8 – 11 am / Fee: $50 per family or $20 per person
Spend the morning with the farmers preparing the farm for a day’s work: open the barns, clean stalls, feed the animals, thresh wheat, etc. Each day will bring different tasks, just as it does on any farm. A perfect “morning out” for a family or adults.

Growing a Taste of Yesterday: an Heirloom Gardening Workshop
April 17, 10 am – 2 pm / Fee: $40
This hands-on workshop will focus on starting and maintaining your own supply of heirloom vegetables. Participants will have the opportunity to plant a selection of vegetable varieties for their home gardens. In addition the process for starting a hot frame and composting for your garden will also be discussed. There will also be a discussion and demonstration of propagation methods for saving your favorite vegetable varieties.

Happy Healthy Hen House
April 24, 9 am – 1 pm / Fee: $40
This half-day workshop will introduce participants to techniques and information about the care and housing of chickens. Learn both about historic and contemporary methods of breed selection, nutrition, housing, management and general care for raising your own backyard flock. Come prepared to work in The Farmers’ Museum’s barnyard.

Spring Beekeeping
May 15, 9 am – 1 pm / Fee: $40
Are you interested in learning about the ancient art and science of beekeeping? This hands-on workshop will introduce you to the fundamentals of keeping bees. We will discuss the different ways to get started as a beekeeper and prepare you for the tasks involved. You will also learn some of the history and folklore of beekeeping.

In the Medicine Cabinet
May 15, 10 am – 1 pm / Fee: $40
This workshop will cover growing, harvesting, and wild crafting of about fifteen herbs. In addition, instruction will be given for producing medical preparations from the various herbs. Preparations will include oils (hot and cold infused), ointments, compresses, tinctures, infusions, and decoctions.

Udder to Butter
June 12, 8 am – 12 pm / Fee: $40
Join the farm staff in a unique opportunity to participate in the process of transforming milk into butter. We will start in the barn where you will try your hand at milking the cow and end in the kitchen enjoying our freshly made butter on toast. Participants will separate cream and churn butter using historic and contemporary methods.

Blacksmithing 1
June 12 and 13, 9 am – 4 pm / Fee: $150
This class covers the core skills of blacksmithing. Try out blacksmithing for the first time, or expand your existing skills under the supervision of our master blacksmith. Practice managing a coal fire and forging skills such as drawing out, bending, twisting, and punching. Projects include making decorative hooks, fireplace tools, nails, and hanging brackets. No previous experience is necessary. (Fee includes materials and information packet.)

Blacksmithing 2
June 26 and 27, 9 am – 4 pm / Fee: $150
This class requires students who already have core blacksmithing skills. Work with more complex forging projects. Skills practiced include hot punching, mortise and tennon joints, forge welding, and reproduction of historic ironwork. Students should have taken Blacksmithing 1 or have prior permission of the instructor. (Fee includes materials and information packet.)

Sugaring Off Sundays at The Farmers’ Museum

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Sugaring Off Sundays, The Farmers’ Museum’s annual event which honors the maple sugaring season, will be held each Sunday throughout the month of March and will also include Easter Sunday, April 4th. The event features historic and contemporary sugaring demonstrations, children’s activities and more. A full pancake breakfast will be served from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. with all other activities scheduled 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Visitors will be treated to demonstrations of traditional methods of maple-sugaring. Other hands-on demonstrations will allow visitors to experience the traditions of sugaring in the region.

Children’s activities will take place in the Filer’s Corners Schoolhouse throughout the day and maple cooking demonstrations will be held in the More House. Visitors are invited to have a taste of “jack wax” – hot maple syrup poured over snow! The blacksmith will also be working in his shop – stop in to watch a true craftsman.

The Empire State Carousel, a favorite attraction at The Farmers’ Museum, will also be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Facebook fans receive one free ride.

The Farmers’ Museum Store and Todd’s General Store will be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Each offers unique gifts, books and crafts.

Admission to Sugaring Off Sundays is $8 for adults; $4 for children age 7 to 12; admission is free for children 6 and under. Admission includes full breakfast. No reservations are required.