The Farmers Museum
Opened to the public in 1944, the Farmers’ Museum houses a full working farm, and a historic village. It serves as a reminder of the rural history of the state. The grounds are built upon the original property of the Cooper family of Cooperstown. The museum also features interesting exhibits such as the Cardiff Giant and the New York State Carousel.
Backstory and Context
Opened to the public in 1944, The Farmers’ Museum is an educational site dedicated to the rural history of New York State. The site is located on a working farm that has been there for over two hundred years. Originally owned by the Cooper family, Fenimore Farm started as a small family farm then grew into a sheep farm, a prized cattle farm in 1918, then eventually the historic village that is on the land as part of the museum. It opened with 5,000 artifacts in the collections, and has grown to house over 20,000 items.
The Village is home to a number of buildings that were moved to the property. A few of the buildings include: the Middlefield Print Shop which arrived in 1951 from Middlefield, NY and would have served the needs of the community there during the 1800’s. Todd’s General Store, which was originally located in Toddsville, New York, it arrived at the museum in 1944. The Blacksmith shop, which hosts demonstrations, came from New Berlin, New York where it was built in 1827. The Cornwallville Church sits on the village green, with an adjoining graveyard. It was originally built in 1795. Obtained by the museum in 1952, Bump Tavern was built in 1795. Today it hosts activities, and some foodstuffs. The Dimmick House currently sits in the village, built in 1839.
The Farmers’ Museum is also home to a full working farm, including the growing of hops, which would have been a major crop in the area before prohibition. Another popular exhibit at the museum is the Cardiff Giant who has lived at the museum since the 1940’s. The figure was unearthed in Binghamton, New York, and became sort of a hit during the late 1800’s, however, it was all a hoax. The Empire State Carousel is also located at the Farmers’ Museum. Known as “the museum you can ride” it came to the Farmers’ Museum in 2005. It features state symbols, regions, and notable resources of the state.
- About, Accessed May 3rd 2020. https://www.farmersmuseum.org/about/.
- Historic Village, Accessed May 3rd 2020. https://www.farmersmuseum.org/historic-village-2/.
- Exhibitions, Accessed May 3rd 2020. https://www.farmersmuseum.org/exhibitions/.
- Cardiff Giant, Accessed May 3rd 2020. https://www.farmersmuseum.org/cardiff-giant/.
- Empire State Carousel, Accessed May 3rd 2020. https://www.farmersmuseum.org/empire-state-carousel/.