About Hanford Mills Museum

History of Hanford Mills Museum

Explore the Power of the Past

An operating mill site since 1846, for most of its commercial life Hanford Mills was owned and operated by the family of David Josiah Hanford, who purchased the mill in 1860.

Under the Hanfords, the mill grew into a rural industrial complex that included a sawmill, gristmill, feed mill, woodworking shop and hardware store.

In 1898, Hanford Mills harnessed the waters of Kortright Creek to provide the town with its first electricity. Through time, the Hanfords also used steam and gasoline engines to power the mill and its electric dynamo.

The mill closed in 1967, re-opening later that year as a museum. In 1973 Hanford Mills Museum was chartered by the State of New York. Its significance as one of the last nineteenth century mills to survive intact earned it a place on the State and National Registers of Historic Places.