The pickup truck is an icon of American values and virtues: it is honest, hard working, durable, and reliable. It is also the best-selling vehicle in the United States today. The Pickup Truck: America’s Driving Force, an exhibit opening Saturday, May 25 at The Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown, New York, examines the fascinating story of this uniquely American favorite. The exhibition runs through October 31.
The exhibit follows the route of the pickup truck from its beginnings when demand for pickup trucks actually preceded their supply. Until 1900, passenger vehicles were modified by dealers and buyers to create cargo wagons – replacing horse-drawn farm wagons. Continue reading →
The New York State Historical Association Research Library and The Cooperstown Graduate Program has announced the opening of a new exhibition celebrating the late Milo Stewart’s work, entitled Reflections of Home: Photography by Milo Stewart. The exhibition highlights Cooperstown landscapes and portraits taken by Mr. Stewart between 1965-1992. Split into three sections emphasizing Stewart’s eye for finding beauty in the ordinary, the exhibition includes quotations from his family and friends reflecting on his work as a teacher, friend, and artist. Reflections of Home opens May 16 and is free to the public. Developed by second-year Cooperstown Graduate Program students Tramia Jackson, AshleyJahrling, Amanda Manahan, and Jenna Peterson, the exhibit is the culminating project of their Master of History Museum Studies coursework. Guided by Dr. Gretchen Sorin, the students produced the exhibition from concept to installation. “It has definitely been a learning experience,” says Jahrling. “But having the support of the program and the Stewart family has helped make this exhibit a wonderfully collaborative effort. We’re happy to share it with the greater Cooperstown community.”
Milo Stewart discovered his love for photography while growing up in Buffalo, New York. After graduating from Buffalo State University and marrying his high school sweetheart, Ruth, he taught high school English and Social Studies and helped his students incorporate photography in their reports. In 1961, he joined the staff at NYSHA and The Farmers’ Museum as an education associate. He went on to become the Director of Education and later the Vice President of NYSHA and The Farmers’ Museum. Over the course of twenty years he taught generations of teachers, local historians, and Cooperstown Graduate Program students. At the request of the Director of the New York Council on the Arts, he took on an important project documenting architecture and historic Main Streets throughout New York. He published several exhibition catalogues including Temples of Justice: Historic Churches of New York and At Home and On the Road, a collection of photographs from his travels through New York and abroad.
The exhibition opens May 16, 2012. The public is invited to see the exhibit at the library free of charge. The library’s hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Saturday hours are currently 1 to 4 p.m.
Photo: Augur’s CornerCooperstown, New York, 1988 by Milo Stewart.
The Farmers’ Museum and the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown offer children week-long programs this summer with a unique, hands-on way to experience the museums. Specially designed activities allow participants to see, touch, and do something out of the ordinary.
The museums are now taking reservations for three programs in June and July, which run Monday through Friday. Program sizes are limited, so reservations are required. Please call (607) 547-1461 to reserve your child’s spot. For more information, call or visit FarmersMuseum.org. Down on the Farm: A Weeklong Experience (The Farmers’ Museum)
For ages 5-6: June 25-29, 9:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. For ages 7-8: July 23-27, 9:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Spend a fun-filled week experiencing life on a historic farm! Participants take care of animals each morning, and have different adventures in the museum’s historic village each day. Maximum: 16 children. Fee: $175 ($150 NYSHA members)
Week at the Crossroads: A Weeklong Experience (The Farmers’ Museum)
For ages 9-12: July 16-20, 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Kids love this unique hands-on experience of farm and village life circa 1845. Delve into the routine of the 19th-century pharmacist, blacksmith, and farmer. Additional highlights include open-hearth cooking, daily craft activities and a nature walk. Maximum: 20 children. Fee: $250 ($200 NYSHA members)
Galleries Galore: A Weeklong Experience (Fenimore Art Museum)
For ages 8-11: July 30-August 3, 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Spend a week discovering all types of art, including our summer exhibitions featuring American Impressionism and photography. Participants are introduced to the fundamentals of art such as line, shape, color and perspective while experimenting with different artist mediums and styles. Participants create a still-life emphasizing use of light and color, and explore photography with Kevin Gray and his exhibition of tintypes, Reclaiming Gettysburg. This week-long experience culminates with a special exhibition of the students’ artworks and a reception for their parents, family, and friends. Maximum: 10 children. Fee: $250 ($200 NYSHA members)
The Farmers’ Museum will play host to a springtime tradition with Sugaring Off Sundays. Held every Sunday in March (March 4, 11, 18, and 25), the event features historic and contemporary sugaring demonstrations, children’s activities and more. A full pancake breakfast is offered from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. with other activities scheduled 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
In the Museum’s historic village, children find activities — not homework — at the Filer’s Corners Schoolhouse. Everyone learns about spring tonics and treatments in the More House, and the blacksmith is demonstrating his craft at the Peleg Field Blacksmith Shop. Visitors are invited to have a taste of jack wax, hot maple syrup poured over snow. On March 18 only, Native American educator and storyteller Mike Tarbell tells stories from the Haudenosaunee tradition.
The Empire State Carousel, a favorite attraction at The Farmers’ Museum, will be open. Local maple products will also be for sale.
Admission to Sugaring Off Sundays is $8 for ages 13 and up- $4 for children age 7 to 12- and free for children 6 and under. Admission includes full breakfast. No reservations are required. Visit FarmersMuseum.org for more information. Sponsored in part by Bank of Cooperstown, Otsego County Maple Producers, Sysco, and Quandt’s Foodservice Distributors.
Photo: Blacksmith Steve Kellogg demonstrates age-old techniques to visitors during last year’s Sugaring Off Sundays event at The Farmers’ Museum. (Photo by Zach Winnie)
A special Candlelight Evening program will be held this Saturday, December 10, from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. at The Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown. During Candlelight Evening the landscape of the museum takes on a magical appearance, decorated in greenery and illuminated by hundreds of candles. Visitors can ride through the museum’s grounds in wagons pulled by draft horses adorned with full sets of harness bells. Complimentary wassail, warmed in kettles over open fires, is served throughout the afternoon and evening. Caroling is scheduled throughout the event. Saint Nicholas will be at the Filer’s Corners Schoolhouse from 4:30 to 5:00 p.m. and again from 5:30 to 6:00 p.m. Members of the Congregation of the Christ Episcopal Church will present “A Living Nativity,” with performances at 5:00, 5:20, 5:40 and 6:00 p.m. at the Morey Barn. (Seating is limited.)
There will be a book signing from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. in the Louis C. Jones Center featuring TV’s “Fabulous Beekman Boys.” Meet Josh and Brent and have them sign a copy of their new book: “The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook.” Copies will be on sale during the event.
An array of seasonal musical programs will take place at the Cornwallville Church, highlighted by the group GladTidings – featuring holiday music from centuries ago and also some recent favorites. Sandra Peevers, Erik House, and Diane Ducey will entertain with a variety of instruments including fiddle, guitar, banjo, mandolin, cittern, and concertina. Other performances include the Catskill Chamber Singers, the Catskill Choral Society Girls’ Choir, and the Northern Comforts Men’s Quartet. Ron Johnson will provide caroling in the More House.
Children can take part in holiday arts and crafts activities at the Filer’s Corners Schoolhouse from 3:00 to 4:15 p.m. and The Empire State Carousel will be open for rides throughout the event.
Warm up with a serving of chicken and biscuits, pulled pork, or BBQ vegetarian riblets along with gingerbread and hot beverages in the Louis C. Jones Center – located inside the Museum’s Main Barn. The Crossroads Cafe next to Bump Tavern will also be open for the evening.
Admission is $12 for adults- $10.50 for seniors- and $6.00 for children ages 7-12. Members and children under 6 years of age receive free admission. Visit FarmersMuseum.org/candlelight for a complete schedule of the evening’s activities.
A visit to the Museum this holiday season is not complete without a stop at The Farmers’ Museum Store and Todd’s General Store – where a large selection of handcrafted items from the museum are available as well as other seasonal favorites.
Candlelight Evening visitors should dress warmly and wear boots. Please visit our website for updated parking and shuttle information. Visit FarmersMuseum.org/candlelight or call (607) 547-1450.
Experience a new, annual event that intertwines local writings of Christmas past with 19th century holiday activities. “Shall We Have Christmas?” takes place Saturday, December 3, from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. at The Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown. This one-night-only event will leave visitors with a new perspective on how our upstate ancestors celebrated the holiday season and what they really thought of it. The museum’s historic buildings will offer a a variety of festive activities including holiday gift-making in the More House- holiday foods in the Lippitt House- singing and socializing in Bump Tavern- greeting card printing in the printing office- remedies for winter ailments in the pharmacy- and decoration making in the church. In each building, visitors will hear or read a quote from a diarist or author, such as Susan Fenimore Cooper, that describes the details and happenings of an 1840s Christmas in central New York.
Here, Susan Fenimore Cooper expresses her thoughts in an entry from Rural Hours published in 1850:
“The festival is very generally remembered now in this country, though more of asocial than a religious holiday, by all those who are opposed to such observances on principle. In large towns it is almost universally kept. In the villages, however, but few shops are closed, and only one or two of the half dozen places of worship are opened for service. Still, everybody recollectsthat it is Christmas- presents are made in all families- the children go from house to house wishing Merry Christmas- and probably few who call themselves Christians allow the day to pass without giving a thought to the sacred event it commemorates, as they wish their friends a “Merry Christmas.”
There will also be horse-drawn wagon rides throughout the evening. Admission: $10 adults, $9 seniors (age 65 and over), $5.50 children age 7-12, free for children 6 andunder and for members of the New York State Historical Association. Visit FarmersMuseum.org for more information.
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.
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.
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.