February 18: Closed except for special events
Saturday, December 8, 2018
(Shuttles start at 2:30pm)
Join us for one of the region’s best-loved holiday traditions, Candlelight Evening, on Saturday, December 8, from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. The landscape of the museum is adorned with greenery and aglow with hundreds of candle luminaries. Real jingle bells add to the magic of the evening as horses dressed in harness bells pull wagons carrying visitors through the museum’s snowy grounds. Gather around a bonfire on the tavern green and partake of complimentary wassail made with local cider–warming in kettles over open fires and served throughout the event. Delicious food and hot drinks are also available.
Candlelight Evening is unforgettable for children. Saint Nicholas reads “Twas The Night Before Christmas” in the More House and all visitors enjoy free rides on the Empire State Carousel throughout the event, courtesy of Matthew Sohns and family.
Music and live performances bring Candlelight Evening to life. Hear the sounds of the holidays throughout the museum’s grounds. Performers fill the historic Cornwallville Church with music of the season. Local high school bands play holiday favorites at Bump Tavern. Mingle with characters from the museum's upcoming production of A Christmas Carol. Best of all, visitors can join in the singing with over 150 carolers in the midst of our candle-lit historic buildings.
Candlelight Evening is another chance to shop for the holidays. Stop at The Farmers’ Museum Store and Todd’s General Store where a large selection of products made in New York State are available - as well as toys, books, jewelry and other items you can only find at the museum.
Tickets: Purchase your tickets online by visiting Eventbrite.com. Tickets will also be available for purchase at the door. Adults (13-64): $12.00, Seniors (65+): $10.50, Juniors (7-12): $6.00. Children (6 and younger) and museum members are free.
Candlelight Evening is sponsored in part by Five Star Subaru, Community Bank, Royal Ford Motors of Cooperstown, Haggerty Ace Hardware, Cathedral Candle Company, Dyn’s Cider Mill, and Bruce Hall Home Center. Free carousel rides sponsored by Matthew Sohns and family.
Enjoy free shuttle bus service from designated parking lots in Cooperstown starting at 2:30pm. Handicap Parking is only available at The Farmers' Museum's main parking area near the main entrance. (See map below)
Parking areas include: Cooperstown Elementary School, Cooperstown High School, The Clark Sports Center, Blue Village Parking Lot, and the Yellow Village Parking Lot. There is no parking available at The Otesaga Hotel or The Red Village Parking Lot.
Visitors can also walk from the village and enter through the museum’s south admission gate. Please dress warm as most activities take place outdoors.
Doors open for Candlelight Evening at 3:00pm. When you arrive, follow signs to find the correct line to enter. These lines include online tickets (Eventbrite), Members, Cash, or Credit.
Shuttle buses will run throughout the evening.
The Main Barn turns 100 years old this season! It serves as the museum's exhibition center. This year, the museum is proud to present Barns: Cathedrals of the Countryside and Grow: An Exhibit to Get You Gardening.
Barns: Cathedrals of the Countryside
Dairy barns, with their soaring roof lines and towering silos, punctuate the rural landscape. Upstate New York’s agricultural buildings have long served as landmarks due to their size and visibility. Nowhere is this monumentality more noteworthy than on gentleman’s estates, such as Edward Severin Clark’s Fenimore Farm. Architects designed barns such as this, built 100 years ago, to be practical: to house cows, provide storage for hay, grain, and silage, and model advances in sanitation to ensure pure milk. But they also hoped to create rural landmarks that would model new and visually striking ways to meet basic farming needs.
Curated by Cynthia G. Falk–professor at the Cooperstown Graduate Program, a master’s degree program in museum studies sponsored by SUNY Oneonta. Dr. Falk is the author of the books Barns of New York: Rural Architecture of the Empire State and Architecture and Artifacts of the Pennsylvania Germans: Constructing Identity in Early America, and served as the co-editor of Buildings & Landscapes, the journal of the Vernacular Architecture Forum from 2012 to 2017.
Grow: An Exhibit to Get You Gardening
Gardening is healthy, easy to do, and offers great nutritional, physical, and mental benefits. Whether in your backyard, in containers on your deck, or in a community garden, you can learn how to cultivate fresh vegetables. Are you thinking about planting a backyard garden? Large landowner or apartment dweller, GROW: An Exhibition to Get You Gardening is framed with ideas and advice on how you can start growing!
Sponsored by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield and Bank of Cooperstown.
The Empire State Carousel is a beautiful example of a traditional country fair ride. Called “the museum you can ride.” it has 25 hand-carved animals representing the agricultural and natural resources found in New York State, and chariot rides of a scallop shell (the State shellfish), an Erie Canal Boat, and an original Lover’s Tub. Other carved elements, such as folklore panels, depict Uncle Sam and Deerslayer, and portrait panels of such notable figures as Susan B. Anthony, Teddy Roosevelt, Grandma Moses and Jackie Robinson enhance the rounding boards.
There are eight foot curved murals whose paintings depict moments in New York history from the arrival of the Half Moon to the construction of Levittown. The hand carved frames around the mirrors depict 11 different regions of New York, and there are carved place names from all over the State. Even the sweeps of the carousel feature over 300 feet of hand stencils of the bluebird, rose, apple, sugar maple leaf and state map!
First conceived in 1982, it opened at The Farmers’ Museum on Memorial Day 2006 and represents voluntary artistic contributions by over 1,000 New Yorkers. Housed in a twelve-sided building, the Empire State Carousel is open during museum hours.
The Cardiff Giant, a ten-foot-long gypsum figure known as “America’s Greatest Hoax” has been on exhibit since the 1940s at The Farmers’ Museum. The Cardiff Giant traces the story of this “petrified man,” which was the centerpiece of a moneymaking scheme by a businessman from Binghamton, New York. The Cardiff Giant was created and displayed in the 19th century, and public reaction to it reflected the scientific and religious beliefs of the time.
George Hull, a cigar-maker and get-rich-quick artist, came up with the idea to create the Giant during a business trip to Iowa. Hull, an atheist, argued with a revivalist minister about a biblical passage. The phrase “There were giants in the earth in those days” (Genesis 6:4), sparked Hull’s imagination and led to an involved plot that eventually made him a fortune.
In 1868, Hull went to Ft. Dodge, Iowa, and ordered a five-ton block of gypsum to create, he explained, a piece of patriotic statuary. The block was delivered to a stonecutter, Edward Burghardt, in Chicago, who, having been sworn to silence, created the Giant. The figure was then secretly shipped to the village of Cardiff, just south of Syracuse, where it was placed in a pit and covered. In 1869, the man on whose farm Hull had hidden the Giant hired two workmen to dig a well. He ordered then to dig it in the spot where the Giant had been buried, and the workmen thus directed soon made their startling discovery.
Word of the unearthing of a petrified man spread quickly around the countryside. People came from miles around to see the Giant, which was identified as an example of an ancient race mentioned in Genesis by some believers. “Found” in the heart of New York’s Burnt Over District, the Giant benefited from the religious fervor sweeping the area. Scientific experts offered another theory on the Giant’s origin. Dr. John F. Boynton, scientific lecturer, declared that the Giant was a statue created by a Jesuit priest during the early 17th century to awe local Indian tribes. State Geologist James Hall was also convinced that the Giant was an ancient statue. A third group said it was a hoax, but this in no way diminished its popularity.
In 1947, the Giant was sold to The Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown. He is now on display inside the main barn of the museum.
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.
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.
This collection of buildings that includes two barns and six other outbuildings, animal sheds, a smoke house, and the Lippitt family farmhouse reflects the design of houses in Joseph Lippitt’s native Rhode Island. The house dates from 1800 and was built in Hinman Hollow, N.Y.