The 19th-century Historic Village is comprised of buildings gathered from rural communities around New York state and painstakingly relocated and restored, piece by piece. Each building provides an intimate view of commercial and domestic practices common to rural life in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
In the mid-19th century, the shops of woodworkers, blacksmiths, wheelwrights and cobblers could be found in crossroads villages throughout upstate New York. Itinerant weavers and tinsmiths plied their crafts while passing through the region. Farm women processed wool into yarn. Rural crafts and trades have been a focus of The Farmers' Museum since its founding in the early 1940s. In 1942, the Museum acquired the collection of William B.
The Farmers' Museum's founders set out to preserve the tools, technology and history of agriculture in upstate New York at a time when many farms were vanishing and the survivors were modernizing their farming methods.
Wallpaper was a fashionable commodity in late 18th and early 19th century America. Until the middle of the 19th century, all wallpaper was block-printed by hand. In this method, wooden blocks were carved with a design, saturated with color, and then transferred to the paper. A different block was used for each color. Prior to the Revolution, Americans who could afford wallpaper usually imported it from England. After Independence, American manufacturers sprang up but faced increased competition from French wallpaper firms.
Decorative and utilitarian textiles played an important role in rural upstate New York. Two hundred years ago many families relied on home production of clothing and other textiles. Itinerant weavers traveled the region making fine coverlets and tablecloths. By the end of the 19th century, more rural New Yorkers bought ready-made clothes and household goods. Yet some home textile production persisted. Quilting provided a social activity as well as an opportunity to make fine bed coverings throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.
The Lippitt Farmstead is a living example of how a farm would have operated in the mid-19th century. Seasons are celebrated at the farm with the changing scene and changing occupations: cultivation and harvesting of hops, the area’s most valuable crop of the period; nurturing of young farm animals; shearing the sheep and combing, spinning and weaving the wool.
Children will delight in petting or feeding the young animals in the Children’s Barnyard. The farm is welcoming, friendly and hearty, a tribute to the pioneering spirit that shaped the American countryside.