Thanks to the efforts of hundreds of local volunteers and contributors, a living museum in St. Lawrence county, is shaping up to be one of the best preserved farmsteads in all of the North Country.
The planning stages started 10-years ago and today, visitors can enjoy unique exhibitions including an antique horse equipment building, a working lumber mill, a cobbler’s workshop, a maple sugar house, a vintage Texaco gas station, granary, chicken house, and a collection of old-fashion treasures from the 19th and early 20th centuries. The pre-1855 one-room schoolhouse is nearly finished as is the antique gas and stream tractor building which already houses dozens of donated relics.
On Saturday, museum members Uncle Wayne and Judge Don “Mr. Fix It” Lustyik gave me a tour of the 100-acre grounds preserved in Madrid, NY. During the visit, I bumped into other Capital Region history buffs, Al and Patricia Visconti of Ravena, NY, both heavily immersed in a description of a wooden hand-crank ice cream maker. “Manually turning this crank shaft (pointing to the arm) would take hours but the taste was better than you’d find in today’s ice cream,” said Marcia Oney, another member of the museum.
Future projects include the construction of an early textile shop, an equine pavilion, a blacksmith shop and the reconstruction of one of last remaining unmodified log cabins in the region.
One of the museum’s most impressive and busiest events is the Old Fashion Harvest Days Exhibition on Labor Day weekend. Give yourself ample time to explore all the unique and unusual valuables.