Hadley Farm Museum
Located next to the Hadley Town Hall in a restored 1782 barn, the Hadley Farm Museum features agricultural vehicles and equipment used on New England farms and within their farmhouses from the late 1700s to the early 20th century. The museum displays such items as broom making equipment, just about every agricultural tool imaginable, antique tack and harness equipment, blacksmith tools, plows, and early, hand-operated domestic appliances. Through viewing these artifacts, one is given some insight into how the early settlers worked the land as well as granted a glimpse into their everyday lives. It is open weekends from mid-May through mid-October.
Backstory and Context
Hadley, which was incorporated in 1661 after discontented Puritans relocated from Hartford and Wethersfield, Connecticut is a fitting place for such a museum. It opened in 1932, soon after its home was moved to its current site in 1930 from the Porter-Phelps Huntington Estate two miles up the Connecticut River. The restored barn was refurbished with white clapboards on the exterior and hand-hewn timbers and rough planks within the interior to restore its original feel.
Other historical artifacts in the museum’s collection include sleighs, hand-operated washing machines, spinning wheels, butter churns, toys, home furnishings and cobblers’ benches. However, its most popular item is a restored 1848 Abbott and Downing stagecoach that has been featured in numerous parades in the local area. The coach was restored in 2007 and visitors are encouraged to climb upon and explore this restored piece of history while imagining what life was like in a 19th century New England town.