Welcome to a virtual tour of our grounds and buildings. We hope that you will be enticed to come visit us and see all of our buildings and artifacts in person.
This building changes exhibits frequently and is intended to display some of our unique artifacts that don’t necessarily fit in our other exhibits.
The blacksmith was one of the most important people in a village, repairing equipment and making tools, horseshoes and other items necessary in a farming community. Learn more about this vital trade.
Situated next to the blacksmith shop, the wheelwright (wheel maker) worked closely together with the blacksmith to maintain wagons for the community.
At the candle shop learn the process of creating a candle and the different materials used to make them. Then, try your hand at dipping your own candle to take home. See an exhibit on the evolution of lighting devices from the oil lamp to the electric light bulb.
The Museum Village schoolhouse is a replica of the Monroe Stone Schoolhouse built in 1805. Like most 19th century rural schoolhouses, the Monroe school was a simple one-room building. Students of all grades and ages sat together and learned arithmetic, spelling and writing. The school year lasted only 12 weeks from Thanksgiving to early spring because most of the children from the area worked on family farms.
In this exhibit are many kinds of vehicles for various purposes. Which vehicle would you use for a horse race, for getting around in the snow, or to transport the deceased? Wagons might have had changeable parts to be able to use in the snow (runners) and then in the nicer weather (wheels). The second carriage on the left belonged to the Harriman Estate. The 4th carriage on the left was a sled that belonged to President McKinley at one time. Also, be sure to look for legendary race horse Hambiltonians’ grave stone.
Visitors will learn the process of broom making from sorting the broom corn to the hand-made finished product. Brooms and broom products made in the shop are available for sale.
Although the interior of the barn is not accessible to the public, Museum visitors may find animals outside the barn that may have been kept during the 19th Century. The windmill around the back of the barn was used to pump up water from deep ground wells.
The J.C. Merritt Store at Museum Village is named after a similar store, owned and operated by John Carlton Merritt from 1875 to 1924. The collection of old food packages, sewing notions, items of clothing and hardware come from the original Merritt Store, a family owned business. The store not only served the local clientele but all the farmsteads in a 10-12 mile radius outside the village.
Please note that the columns and pillars are American Chestnut Trees. Check out the signage explaining about the blight of these amazing trees. The tools in this building are arranged by purpose. Find tools that would have been used during the present season. Take a moment to enjoy the video playing in the building.
In the first half of the 19th century, yarn was spun on spinning wheels and cloth was woven on looms. Shirts, pants and dresses were then cut from the homemade cloth and hand sewn. At the Museum Village weave shop you can observe the old methods of weaving fabric on a handloom and how the intricate patterns were followed.
Job printing was important to provide local business people with posters and pamphlets. Watch a printing demonstration on a hand-operated printing press.
Salt Box House
The design of this house, with two stories in front, and one behind and long sloping roof is called a saltbox. The name refers to the slant-lid boxes used to store salt in homes. The saltbox at Museum Village originally was a corn crib for a nearby farmer. Saltbox construction was an inexpensive addition to a barn. Considered a lean-to, it required less time and fewer materials than a regular addition but allowed just as much space. Currently, this house is being used by the Mid-Hudson Woodcarvers Guild as a home base.
Look for the leather buckets. What do you suppose they were used for? In the 19th century, households had a leather fire bucket hanging near the front door. When the fire bell rang (located outside of our firehouse-large round red) villagers grabbed their buckets and formed a line between the fire and the closest lake, river or stream. They filled their buckets with water and passed them along the line from hand to hand. The last person in line splashed the water on the fire, and then sent the empty bucket back the way it came to be refilled. This line was known as the ‘bucket brigade’.
Natural History Building
Housed in this building is Harry. He is 1 of 3 complete specimens of the mastodon IN THE WORLD! It was unearthed just a few miles down the road in Harriman NY in 1952. Note the pictures of the excavation of Harry. This building is arranged to resemble an old-fashioned museum, or ‘cabinet of curiosities’.
The log cabin that stands next to the Vernon Drugstore on the Museum’s grounds originally stood just beyond the forest of Dean’s Mine. The cabin dates from the last quarter of the 18th century. Visitors to the cabin learn how a family of five lived in a small, one-room building.
The museum’s exhibit of the Vernon Drugstore features the authentic content, fixtures and furnishings of Charles Vernon’s store, originally located in the nearby village of Florida. In the 19th century, most of New York’s rural communities had a drugstore where the local residents could buy medicines of all kinds. Herbs, healthcare apparatuses, eyeglasses, tobacco, and even refreshing soda and ice cream were available.
Watch our potter demonstrate on a kick wheel as he “throws” a pot. Learn what types of clay were used and why.
Quaker Meeting House