Scenic USA - New York

Hanford Mills Museum

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Hanford Mills Museum - East Meredith, New York

Photos by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Artist Website

     Owned and operated by the Hanford family since 1860, the well managed mill steadily grew into a small industrial complex. Powered by Kortight Creek, the complex housed a sawmill, feed mill, grist mill and woodworking shop. The Handfords also sold hardware from the site and provided East Meredith with electric power by the turn of the century. The four story mill building dates back to the mid 1800s, with additions enlarging the complex up through the 1890s. Although the mill closed in 1967, it reopened as a museum that same year. Able to retain its original equipment and supporting structures, the mill is proud of its ability to offer an authentic look into 19th and 20th century water powered industry.
     Today, the Hanford Mills Museum not only preserves and restores its mill components and structures, it offers a unique educational experience. Programs are specifically structured for school aged children, including public school classes, smaller home school groups or families. Hanford Mills Museum Sawmill On-site programs include a mill tour which focuses on grinding grain and woodworking equipment. Programs vary by grade level and range from basic community history to complex environmental issues. Students may experience century old parlor and lawn games, nature walks (including tree identification), hands on cross-cut sawing and construction projects. Students may also take part in simple farming techniques and mill worker chores such as shucking, shelling and grinding corn with hand tools. Seasonal classrooms offer a look at ice-harvesting and students learn about the historic significance of ice.
     Earning recognition on both State and National Registers of Historic Places, the Hanford Mills Museum continues its role of interpreting early 20th century rural history. The museum provides powerful messages about the impact of technology on the community and how technical advances also change lives.

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