Tag Archives: Farmers’ Museum

Grants for School Travel to Cooperstown Museums

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

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.

Farmers Museum Spring Workshops Begin

Beginning April 9, The Farmers’ Museum will offer a series of spring workshops on topics ranging from making the freshest butter to blacksmithing. These fun, hands-on workshops will not only give you opportunities to learn new, novel skills, but will also feature current trendy hobbies—like heirloom gardening and raising chickens.

Discount pricing for NYSHA members. All workshops are held at The Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown. Registration is required. For more information and reservations, please call Sara Evenson at (607) 547-1461. Find more information at FarmersMuseum.org.

2011 Spring Schedule

Gardening with Heirloom Vegetables

April 9, 10 am – 2 pm / Fee: $40 non-members- $35 NYSHA members

Learn about heirloom variety vegetables and how to grow them in your own gardens. You will help set up a hot frame in one of the museum’s gardens and plant it with heirloom seeds. You’ll also take a visit to the Lippitt Farmhouse to see and learn about differentmethods of vegetable storage. Other topics, including seed propagating and cloning, will also be covered during the workshop.

Happy Healthy Hen House

April 16, 9 am – 1 pm / Fee: $40 non-members- $35 NYSHA members

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.

Introduction to Blacksmithing

April 16-17, 9 am – 4 pm / Fee: $150 non-members- $140 NYSHA members

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.)

Intermediate Blacksmithing

May 5-6, 9 am – 4 pm / Fee: $150 non-members- $140 NYSHA members

This class requires students who already have core blacksmithingskills. 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.)

Spring Beekeeping

May 7, 9 am – 1 pm / Fee: $40 non-members- $35 NYSHA members

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 learnsome of the history and folklore of beekeeping.

In the Medicine Cabinet

May 14, 10 am – 1 pm / Fee: $40 non-members- $35 NYSHA members

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.

Intermediate Blacksmithing

May 21-22, 9 am – 4 pm / Fee: $150 non-members- $140 NYSHA members

This class requires students who already have core blacksmithingskills. 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.)

Introduction to Blacksmithing

June 9-10, 9 am – 4 pm / Fee: $150 non-members- $140 NYSHA members

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.)

Udder to Butter

June 11, 8 am – 12 pm / Fee: $40 non-members- $35 NYSHA members

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.

This post is brought to you by Cheap Flights to New York.

New President of Farmers Museum, NYSHA

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

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

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

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.

Tractor Fest at The Farmers’ Museum This Weekend

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

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

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.