Hanford Mills Museum Begins New Season May 15

HANFORD MILLS MUSEUM NEWS RELEASE

Hanford Mills Museum logo

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE           
CONTACT: Liz Callahan 607/278-5744, [email protected]

2021 Season Begins May 15 at Hanford Mills Museum

[April 15, 2021 East Meredith, NY] A new season begins May 15 at Hanford Mills Museum. Guided tours will feature demonstrations in the water-powered sawmill, gristmill, and woodworking shop, which is marking its 175th anniversary in 2021. Tours are offered Wednesday through Sunday.  Due to COVID-19, tours will be limited to one party and require advance reservation by calling 607/278-5744.

“Since we just have one party per tour, our interpreters can really spend time with visitors and cater to their interests, be it technology, sustainability, Catskills history, entrepreneurship, or water power,” says Liz Callahan, executive director of Hanford Mills Museum. “And, since we’re eager to safely welcome visitors to the Museum, even if you call after hours and leave a message, you will be called back quickly, and we’ll get your tour scheduled for you.” Tours last about one and a half hours and are offered at 10:00 am, 11:30 am, 1:30 pm, and 3:00 pm.

Visitors can also tour the Hanford House, outbuildings and view exhibits and a video. Hanford Mills also has picnic tables and a shop stocked with Mill-made items, books, and local crafts. Beginning on Father’s Day Weekend, Hanford Mills will offer activity kits with several projects that families can do together. Families visiting the Museum can also take part in an activity that explores how the water cycle works. 

“We look forward to welcoming visitors back to Hanford Mills Museum,” says Callahan.  “It’s a big year for Hanford Mills as we celebrate 175 years of Catskills ingenuity.” She said that the first mill on the site was built by Jonathan Parris in 1846. The site then had several owners until it was purchased in 1860 by David Josiah Hanford. Hanford, and then his sons, ran the Mill for 85 years, expanding the Mill complex and adding new machinery, product lines, and a variety of power generation methods, including waterwheels, water turbines, and a steam power plant.

Independence Day Celebration Cancelled; Fall Festivals Planned

Because of New York State limitations on gatherings, the Independence Day Celebration on July 4 will be cancelled. “We are looking at what we can offer virtually and may offer features of the Independence Day Celebration later in the year,” says Callahan. “We are planning to have the Dan Rion Antique Engine Jamboree on September 11 and the Woodsmen’s Festival on October 2, as long as State health regulations say it is safe to do so.”

Admission and Information

Staff and visitors must wear masks on Museum grounds. “The call-ahead reservation system worked well last season, and people appreciated the safety protocols we have in place,” says Callahan.

Children 12 and under receive free admission. Admission for adults and teens is $9; senior and AAA member admission is $7.  First responders and members of the military receive half-price admission. Museum members and residents who live in zip codes (13757, 13739, 13786, 13750, and 13806) neighboring Hanford Mills receive free admission. Hanford Mills participates in the nationwide Museums for All program. Anyone with an EBT card receives free admission. See hanfordmills.org for additional discounts.

About Hanford Mills Museum

Hanford Mills Museum operates an authentic water- and steam-powered historic site, which includes a sawmill, gristmill, and woodworking shop. The mission of Hanford Mills Museum is to inspire audiences of all ages to explore connections among energy, technology, natural resources, and entrepreneurship in rural communities with a focus on sustainable choices. The museum is listed on the National and New York State Registers of Historic Places.

Hanford Mills is located at 51 County Highway 12 in East Meredith, at the intersection of Delaware County Routes 10 & 12, just 10 miles from Oneonta, and 15 miles from Delhi.  For more information, visit www.hanfordmills.org or call 607-278-5744.

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For more information, please contact:  Liz Callahan, Executive Director, Hanford Mills Museum, 607/278-5744, [email protected]

For photos, please contact Peg Odell, [email protected]

News Release: InterActions Series to Begin

HANFORD MILLS MUSEUM NEWS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE              

CONTACT: Liz Callahan 607/278-5744, [email protected]

Hanford Mills Museum to present Multi-disciplinary  series on environmental justice and sustainability

InterActions Series to feature Artists and Scholars 


[East Meredith, NY] Hanford Mills Museum will present a free online series that brings together local artists and scholars to discuss environmental justice, the use of natural resources, and sustainability.

“The InterActions series is designed to spark important conversations and inspire action,” says Liz Callahan, executive director of Hanford Mills Museum. “Bringing together diverse perspectives and speakers with a rich knowledge of the region will help us all assess and enhance our understanding of critical issues.” She said that Hanford Mills will use these conversations to find new ways to enhance visitors’ understanding of our shared landscape, the equitable use of natural resources, and sustainability. 

The series begins on Thursday, February 18 at 7 pm with Christina Hunt Wood, a video artist and photographer based in Delhi, and Dr. Rachel Leibowitz, Associate Professor at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and Co-Director of the Center for Cultural Landscape Preservation. Wood uses her artwork to explore the actions of rural communities and their effect on the environment. Leibowitz studies the historical contexts and human relationships that shape cultural landscapes, especially as they pertain to issues of conservation. There will be time for an audience Q&A. To register, visit hanfordmills.org.

On March 4 at 7 pm, the series presents Ellen Wong, a landscape painter and visual artist,  and Dr. Lisa Tessier, Associate Professor of Arts & Sciences at SUNY Delhi. Wong focuses on the rural and working local landscape, especially that of the agriculture surrounding her home in Roxbury. She also co-hosts a weekly radio show about local agriculture. She has helped to develop visitor engagement strategies for the Whitney Museum of American Art and Dia Arts Foundation. Tessier, a HMM member and volunteer, has combined expertise in landscape design and art-making. She creates watercolor prints involving native plants. 

Jay Ungar and Molly Mason, traditional musicians and co-founders of the Ashokan Center, will speak on March 25 at 7 pm. The Ashokan Center seeks to teach, inspire and build community through shared experiences in nature, history, music, and art. The internationally acclaimed artists are known for their performance of Ungar’s Emmy-nominated composition Ashokan Farewell, which became the musical hallmark of Ken Burn’s The Civil War on PBS.  

The session on  April 8 will feature Richard Kathmann, an artist who paints abstract and landscape works of his Catskills surroundings, and Joshua Cerra, an Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture at Cornell University and principal director for the Cornell Climate Change Garden, an interpretive research installation on Cornell’s campus. Cerra works with his students to explore landscape architecture design strategies as they relate to New York waterways and climate change, and his research focuses on the social-ecological systems created between humans and landscapes. A resident of East Meredith, Kathmann served as Hanford Mills Museum’s first executive director. 

“We encourage people to join us in these important conversations,” says Callahan. “Guided by this impressive roster of speakers, we look forward to a dynamic series that will shape the way Hanford Mills interacts with visitors in the future.” 

Registration
InterActions sessions are free and will take place online via Zoom at 7 pm on February 18, March 4, March 25, and April 8. The public can take part in individual sessions or the whole series. Sign up at hanfordmills.org

In 2020, Hanford Mills Museum, in collaboration with the Cooperstown Graduate Program (SUNY Oneonta), received a Creativity Incubator Grant from the New York State Council on the Arts and the Greater Hudson Heritage Network. This grant offers financial support for museums to think more imaginatively about the interpretation of their collections and to explore new ways of engaging with contemporary audiences, with an emphasis on experimentation and creative thinking. With this series, Hanford Mills will bring together artists and scholars to lead virtual conversations on environmental justice, sustainability, and climate change.

About Hanford Mills Museum

As one of only a handful of operating water- and steam-powered mills, Hanford Mills Museum has earned a place on both the National and New York State Registers of Historic Places. The mission of Hanford Mills Museum is to inspire audiences of all ages to explore connections among energy, technology, natural resources and entrepreneurship in rural communities with a focus on sustainable choices.

Hanford Mills Museum, which will open for the season on May 15, is located at 51 County Route 12, at the intersection of Delaware County Routes 10 and 12, in East Meredith, NY, 10 miles from Oneonta, and 15 miles from Delhi.

For more information, visit www.hanfordmills.org or call 607.278.5744.

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CONTACT:       Liz Callahan, [email protected] 607.278.5744

InterActions

Held in February – April 2021, the InterActions online series brought together local artists and scholars to discuss environmental justice, the use of natural resources, and sustainability. The series was designed to spark important conversations and inspire action.

“Bringing together diverse perspectives and speakers with a rich knowledge of the region helps us assess and enhance our understanding of critical issues,” says Liz Callahan, executive director of Hanford Mills Museum. “We are using these conversations to develop new ways to enhance visitors’ understanding of the environment, the fair use of natural resources, and sustainability. 

The series is moderated by public historian William Walker, an associate professor of history at the Cooperstown Graduate Program. The InterActions series was recorded so you can watch anytime.

Richard Kathmann and Joshua Cerra
Artist Richard Kathmann paints abstract and landscape works of his Catskills surroundings. A resident of East Meredith, he also served as the first executive director of Hanford Mills Museum. Joshua Cerra is an Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture at Cornell University and principal director for the Cornell Climate Change Garden (pictured), an interpretive research installation on Cornell’s campus. Cerra works with his students to explore landscape architecture design strategies as they relate to New York waterways and climate change, and his research focuses on the social-ecological systems created between humans and landscapes.


Falls Mills Road-Delhi NY by Christine Hunt Wood
“Falls Mills Road Delhi, NY”
by Christina Hunt Wood

Christina Hunt Wood and Rachel Leibowitz
The first InterActions program featured Christina Hunt Wood, a video artist and photographer based in Delhi, and Dr. Rachel Leibowitz, Associate Professor at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and Co-Director of the Center for Cultural Landscape Preservation. Wood uses her artwork to explore the actions of rural communities and their effect on the environment. Leibowitz studies the historical contexts and human relationships that shape cultural landscapes, especially as they pertain to issues of conservation.

InterActions series with Christina Hunt Wood and Dr. Rachel Leibowitz

View Christina Hunt Wood’s artwork, and watch the videos she mentioned in her talk on her website.


Leaf Trio artwork by Lisa Tessier
Leaf Trio by Lisa Tessier

Ellen Wong and Lisa Tessier
Ellen Wong, a landscape painter and visual artist, and Lisa Tessier, Associate Professor of Arts & Sciences at SUNY Delhi, are featured in this program. Wong focuses on the rural and working local landscape, especially that of the agriculture surrounding her home in Roxbury. She also co-hosts a weekly radio show about local agriculture. She has helped to develop visitor engagement strategies for the Whitney Museum of American Art and Dia Arts Foundation. Tessier, a HMM member and volunteer, has combined expertise in landscape design and art-making. She creates art with native plants in the form of 3D landscapes and botanical sunprints (watercolor).   


Jay Ungar and Molly Mason
Jay Ungar and Molly Mason are internationally acclaimed musicians and co-founders of the Ashokan Center. Their performance of Ungar’s composition, Ashokan Farewell, became the musical hallmark of Ken Burns’ The Civil War on PBS. The soundtrack won a Grammy and Ashokan Farewell was nominated for an Emmy.  Based in Olivebridge, the Ashokan Center seeks to teach, inspire and build community through shared experiences in nature, history, music, and art. (And yes, they play a few tunes for us during the program!)


In 2020, Hanford Mills Museum, in collaboration with the Cooperstown Graduate Program (SUNY Oneonta), received a Creativity Incubator Grant from the New York State Council on the Arts and the Greater Hudson Heritage Network. This grant offers financial support for museums to think more imaginatively about the interpretation of their collections and to explore new ways of engaging with contemporary audiences, with an emphasis on experimentation and creative thinking. Hanford Mills will use this series to enrich the visitors experience at the Museum.

Winter Activity Guide

Pulling a sled with an ice block to the Ice House

Welcome! Since the Ice Harvest Festival has gone virtual this year, this guide includes activities that you can do as a family/group at home. Some of the activities will give you a chance to talk to and work with a partner or your whole family/group. Some of these activities also involve going outside, so be sure to bring someone with you and ask someone for help with anything you’re unsure about or need help with. Read through this page, and when you’re ready to start, you can print this worksheet.

  1. Find evidence of animal life. Can you see or hear an animal? Can you find tracks or other evidence that an animal has walked past?

2. What plant life can you find? You can find plants that are still growing (tree, bush, grass) and items that are not, like leaves, acorns, and sticks. Can you find at least three different plants? 

3. Make your own tracks in the snow! Leave handprints or footprints in the snow, or use a stick or your fingers to draw out animal tracks. What other ways can you make markings or art in the snow?

4. Locate your favorite item you use outdoors. This could be clothing, such as a winter hat or mittens, or a sled for riding down snowy hills.

5. Search for these four different things that happen because of cold weather: 

  • Cold Noses
  • Your own breath
  • Snowflakes 
  • What else can you find that is affected by the cold?

6. Find water in one of its three forms: liquid (water), solid (ice), or gas (water vapor in the air). As a challenge, find all three!

7. Find 10 colors! Look around and find at least 10 different colors around you.

8. Ask your partner what item reminds them of when they were younger. Can they find something in the house or a picture that reminds them of that item?

blueberry muffins

9. Find an item that reminds you of your partner: something they wear, something they make, or anything that makes you think of them!

10. Make your own tracks on paper! You can use colored pencils, markers, paint, or cut out shapes with scissors. Try making at least three different kinds of tracks.

You can learn about animal tracks in winter from this guide from the New York Department of Environmental Conservation.

11. What tools do you use at home? At Hanford Mills Museum we use a variety of different tools to harvest and transport ice. The photos below show some of these tools. We also use tools like measuring tapes and hammers.

Think about the different tools that are around your home. What do you use them for? Find three different tools with your partner, and talk about what the tools are and how they are used.

Tools We Use at the Ice Harvest:

Have fun discovering these items and talking about them! We hope to see you next year at the Ice Harvest Festival!


More things to try!

  • Find out how to make a model ice house, with templates and instructions.
  • You can make your own small batch of ice cream using this recipe. We make much larger batches of ice cream on July 4 at our Independence Day Celebration. The ice we harvest from the Mill pond chills the cream to make it into ice cream.
  •  Do you know that salt interacts with water in some interesting ways? You can learn more about salt and water with this experiment.
  • This winter we have plenty of snow on the ground in East Meredith. You can also design and make your own snowflakes to decorate inside. Here is one way to make them

Hanford Mills to offer Virtual Ice Harvest Festival

The region’s “coolest” tradition will continue with free online events and at-home activities

Hanford Mills Museum logo

[Feb. 3, 2021 East Meredith, NY] For more than 30 years, Hanford Mills Museum has held an Ice Harvest Festival to celebrate a historic winter tradition in New York. Though COVID-19 will prevent Hanford Mills from hosting an in-person event, the Museum will offer free virtual events and at-home activities.

“We have the same goal, to highlight the history, science, and traditions of ice harvesting, but will be interacting with people online instead of here at Hanford Mills,” explains Liz Callahan, executive director of Hanford Mills Museum. She notes that the Ice Harvest often brings more than 1000 people to the museum, making it their biggest event. “We will miss having visitors here for Ice Harvest, but hope people will enjoy this new online programming.”

Up until the early 20th century, ice harvesting was an essential winter activity in rural communities. “Before mechanical refrigeration, ice was the only way to keep food cold,” explains Callahan. “Ice blocks were cut from frozen rivers and ponds and then stored until the warmer months.” She said that area farmers used the ice to keep milk and other agricultural products cold, and also as a winter crop to sell.

Winter’s Coolest Crop: Ice Harvesting History and Culture

On Thursday, February 4 at 7 pm, Andrew Robichaud, Assistant Professor of History at Boston University, joins HMM staff Liz Callahan and Kajsa Harley for an online presentation, Winter’s Coolest Crop: Ice Harvesting History and Culture. Robichaud’s book-in-progress, tentatively titled On Ice: Transformations in American Life, is a history of climate, ice, and the ice trade in North America, and explores the cultural and economic ice age in nineteenth-century America. Along with a discussion of the history of ice harvesting in the northeast, they will discuss how Hanford Mills celebrates the historic community tradition of ice harvesting. The program is free. Register in advance at http://bit.ly/iceharvestwebinar. A recording of the program will also be posted to the Hanford Mills YouTube Channel.

Ice Harvesting and Ice Houses Family Program

On Saturday, February 6 at 11 am, Luke Murphy, Hanford Mills education coordinator, will offer a family-friendly online presentation, Ice Harvesting and Ice Houses. He will talk about how ice houses work and experiment with different materials to determine what insulates ice the best. The program is free and you can register in advance at https://bit.ly/familyiceharvestprogram. The program will also be posted to the Museum’s YouTube channel. Hanford Mills will also offer a winter activity guide with ideas for families to enjoy at home. The activity guide will be available at hanfordmills.org on Saturday.  

Ask your Ice Harvest question

Hanford Mills staff will also answer questions about ice harvesting on the Hanford Mills Facebook page. Submit questions through Facebook or to [email protected]

Hanford Mills Museum is collaborating with several nonprofits organizations to offer more online activities.

Ice Harvest Videos premiere February 6

Students from the Cooperstown Graduate Program, SUNY Oneonta have developed three short videos on the ice harvesting process, the science of ice and ice houses, and the water cycle and climate change. They will be available to watch on the Hanford Mills Museum YouTube channel starting on February 6. “The videos are a way for us to show the process of ice harvesting, and also connect to science and history,” says Callahan.

Friday, February 5, 7 pm Science Trivia Night with the Science Discovery Center

The A.J. Read Science Discovery Center and SUNY Oneonta Planetarium are hosting a three-round online trivia game on Zoom on February 5 from 7-9 pm. Participants can play as a team (2-5 people) or play solo. The trivia will be “ice” themed, from glaciers, to ice planets, to the history of ice and refrigeration. Register in advance at https://suny.oneonta.edu/science-discovery-center.

Wednesday, February 17, 6 pm Catskills Winter Trivia

The Catskills Visitors Center will host a virtual trivia event on its Instagram page https://instagram.com/catskills.visitor.center at 6 pm on Wednesday, February 17.  

A recording of another Virtual Ice Harvest event, a presentation on Bald Eagles by the Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society which was held on Feb. 4, will be featured at doas.us soon. The DOAS also developed a self-guided eagle trip that people can do on their own. 

Support Local

Callahan said they want to thank the restaurants that have provided soup for the Ice Harvest Soup Buffet and the exhibitors who come to Ice Harvest. “We encourage people to consider ordering takeout and buying from these local businesses,” says Callahan. “We look forward to welcoming everyone back for the Ice Harvest Festival in 2022.”

Local businesses and organizations that have been at the Ice Harvest Festival include: Byebrook Farm, Blue Merle Apiaries, Bakers Grimm, the Cooperstown Distillery, Catharina’s Hats and Mittens, Kortright Handiworks, the Catskill Forest Association, My Woodlot/Watershed Agricultural Council, the Dave Brandt Chapter of Trout Unlimited, and the A.J. Read Science Discovery Center. Restaurants who provided soup, rolls and cookies for past Ice Harvests include: Alex’s World Bistro, Alfresco’s Italian Bistro, Applebee’s, Autumn Café, Bakers Grimm, Blue Bee Café, Brooks House of BBQ, Cafe Ommegang, Cooperstown Diner, Danny’s Main Street Market, Delhi Diner, Denny’s, Jackie’s Restaurant, Junkyard Bakehaus, Morey’s Family Restaurant, Oneonta Bagel Company, the Otesaga, Simply Thai, SUNY Delhi Hospitality Department, The Tulip and the Rose Café, and TK’s Diner. 

About Hanford Mills Museum

As one of only a handful of operating water- and steam-powered mills, Hanford Mills Museum has earned a place on both the National and New York State Registers of Historic Places. The mission of Hanford Mills Museum is to inspire audiences of all ages to explore connections among energy, technology, natural resources and entrepreneurship in rural communities with a focus on sustainable choices.

Hanford Mills Museum, which  will open for the season on May 15, is located at 51 County Route 12, at the intersection of Delaware County Routes 10 and 12, in East Meredith, NY, 10 miles from Oneonta, and 15 miles from Delhi.

For more information, visit www.hanfordmills.org or call 607.278.5744.

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www.hanfordmills.org

www.Facebook.com/HanfordMillsMuseum

CONTACT:       Liz Callahan, [email protected] 607.278.5744

Shapes

 Everything we see in our lives is made up of shapes.
Some shapes, like triangles, are easy to spot. Others are so big that we don’t have names for them yet! We will learn about some of these shapes and make our own using PlayDoh. 

Watch the video and follow along with the activity guide for your grade level (K-1, 2-3 or 4-5).

Choose the Shapes Activity Guide by grade level:

This bench at Hanford Mills has a trapezoid shape.

Reading Maps

Did you know that you can tell how tall a mountain is by looking at a map?

If you are ever planning on going on a hike through the woods or on a mountain, you are going to need to learn how to read a map. Luke will explain what the different lines mean on maps, and then you can make your own maps and a 3D mountain.

Watch the video and follow along with one of the following Activity Guides.

Ice Harvest Festival exhibitors and restaurants

Though the 2021 Ice Harvest Festival is virtual, we encourage you to support the exhibitors who have come to past Ice Harvests as well as the restaurants that have donated soup, rolls and cookies for the Ice Harvest soup buffet.

Bakers Grimm in the heated exhibitor tent at the Ice Harvest Festival in February 2020.

Support local! We look forward to welcoming everyone back in 2022.

  • Byebrook Farm (farmstead Gouda cheese),
  • Blue Merle Apiaries (honey and honey beeswax skin cream),
  • Bakers Grimm (baked goods),
  • the Cooperstown Distillery (handcrafted spirits and cider),
  • Catharina’s Hats and Mittens (handknit Swedish-style accessories),
  • Kortright Handiworks (local wool and hats),
  • the Catskill Forest Association (information and apple tree pruning demos),
  • My Woodlot/Watershed Agricultural Council (animal track exhibit)
  • The Dave Brandt Chapter of Trout Unlimited (ice fishing demos and fishing information)
  • The A.J. Read Science Discovery Center (hands-on STEM activities for kids)

Hot Soup Buffet

For the February 2020 Ice Harvest Festival, restaurants providing soup included: 

The Cooperstown Distillery at the Ice Harvest Festival in February 2020.