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.
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:
What is an ice house? An ice house is a building designed to store blocks of ice. Before electricity, the only way to access ice was to cut it from ponds and lakes during the winter, and to store it in ice houses to keep the ice frozen through the spring and summer. An ice house’s system of vents, drains, and insulation kept ice cold. Upstate New York and New England sent their ice as far as India and Australia! At Hanford Mills Museum we still harvest ice from the pond every February and store it in our ice house. We use the ice to chill the ice cream that we make at our Independence Day Celebration in July.
Choose the video that matches your grade level (K-1, 2-3 or 4-5) and get ready to Learn with Luke! Scroll down to see step-by-step instructions for each activity.
Activity One: Building and testing an ice house
Take the cardstock template sheets out of this kit.
Cut out the five squares along the solid lines.
Fold the cardstock on the dashed lines.
Take the two squares with dashed lines and add glue to the space between the dashed lines and the edge of the paper.
Attach the two smaller walls to the glued sections, lined up on one side, like in the picture below.
Once you glue all four walls together, place the final piece of paper on top of the ice house. Do not glue the roof on top so that you can take it on and off. There should be a gap between the roof and two of the sides: ice houses have vents to let warm air rise out.
Now, let’s compare what happens when we put one ice cube in the ice house and leave one out in a cup.
Remove the flattened paper cups from the envelope and carefully return them to their original shape.
Open the top of the ice house, place the paper cup inside, and place one ice cube in the cup. Place the top back on the ice house.
Place the other ice cube in the other paper cup.
Leave both out either under the sun or a light for about 30 minutes. You can do Activity 2 while you wait.
Check the ice cubes. Which one melted more? The one on the plate likely melted a little more because it did not offer the protection of the ice house!
Activity 2 (Grades K-3) Making Snowflakes
What are snowflakes? Snowflakes are tiny ice crystals that fall from the sky! Like human fingerprints, every snowflake is different. We are going to make our own snowflakes and see the different kinds of shapes we can make with them.
Fold your blank piece of paper in half
Keeping the paper folded, fold it again in the other direction, as in the picture.
Stop and check! Does your paper look like the folded piece in the picture below?
Now you can design your snowflake! The pattern you draw on one quarter of the paper will determine what all of the quarters of your snowflake look like. The corner where the folded edges connect will be the center of your snowflake. When you draw your snowflake pattern, start and end the lines on the folded edges (so your snowflake will stay in one piece after you cut it).The lines can be different shapes but be careful not to cross the lines. Look at the picture below to get an idea of what this looks like.
Carefully cut out along the lines, starting from the edge of the folded paper, to create the snowflake. Be careful not to cut across the lines or chop across the paper.
When you are done cutting along the lines, gently unfold and open up your snowflake! There is probably nothing else like it in the rest of the world.
Activity 2 (Grades 4-5) n-ICE facts: A ‘zine all about cool ice knowledge
What makes ice special? For this activity, we will explore some cool facts about ice and create a mini-magazine, or ‘zine, filled with what we learned. Many of these facts pair well with pictures, so please feel free to draw an image that goes along with the fact. Some interesting things about ice are:
Earth goes through warming and cooling cycles. Some scientists think that Earth was so cold at one point that it was covered in ice. This was called “snowball Earth.”
Ice doesn’t just exist on Earth. Astronomers have found it on Mercury, the moon, Mars, and other extraterrestrial objects!
Most of the freshwater on Earth is ice found at the North Pole, South Pole, and Greenland.
Ice can grow to incredible thickness in Antarctica. One area has been measured to be almost 3 miles thick!
As glaciers grow and melt, they move land with them. Much of where we live was shaped by glaciers.
Before freezers existed, people in warmer parts of the world had to order ice from colder places. The northeastern U.S. used to be one of the big ice makers, shipping ice from New York to places like Australia and India.
Step 1: Fold your sheet of paper in half, so the gray stars line up.
Step 2: Open your sheet up and fold it in half, so the gray circles sides line up.
Step 3: Keeping the sheet closed, fold up both sides so the mini-zine looks like a letter “M.”
Step 4: Open up the sheet and fold it on the creases so it is folded up the way it was when the circles lined up. Cut the paper down the center on the dashed line down until you reach the middle of the sheet: do not cut the paper all the way.
Step 5: Unfold the paper and refold it that the stars line up again. Open up the paper so that it looks like a “+” from the top.
Step 6: Hold the ends of the paper with the dots and move those two sides towards the middle, then crease the paper together again.
Step 7: Your zine is almost finished! All that’s left to do is fill each page with a fact and picture.
Hanford Mills Museum to Open for Tours August 12 Visitors can call ahead to reserve a guided tour of the water-powered sawmill, gristmill, and woodworking shop
[July 27, 2020 East Meredith, NY] Beginning August 12, Hanford Mills Museum will be open for guided tours of its water-powered sawmill, gristmill, and woodworking shop. Tours will be offered Wednesdays through Sundays and feature demonstrations of the 1926 Fitz overshot waterwheel and water-powered machines operating just as they did a century ago. To promote social distancing, reservations are required and only one party will tour the Mill at a time. To schedule a tour, call 607/278-5744.
“We instituted a reservation system for tours to limit the number of people in the Mill at one time,” says executive director Liz Callahan. “This system also means visitors get a custom tour. Interpreters can cater to visitors’ interests even more than during a regular season tour. We are eager to welcome visitors back to Hanford Mills.”
Callahan noted that topics covered in tours range from water power and sustainability to local history and the impact of the railroad, from entrepreneurship and rural life to technology and the inner workings of the mill and its machines.
“Many people are looking for something to do close by,” said Callahan. “We’re a short drive from Oneonta or Delhi, and with the reserved tours, you and your household will have the Mill to yourself. Kids love to see the Fitz overshot waterwheel start up and see the Mill and its machines rumble to life. Touring Hanford Mills is a dynamic way to learn about simple machines, water power, and the historic role of mills in rural New York State.” Children 12 and under receive free admission.
Keep at least “half a waterwheel apart”
Social distancing as well as mask wearing will be practiced at Hanford Mills. “Since the waterwheel is 12 feet wide, we’re asking visitors to keep at least half a waterwheel apart from staff and others not in their household,” says Callahan.
While reserved tours begin August 12 for the general public, Hanford Mills is offering a special Welcome Back week for Museum Members beginning August 5. Four tours are available to reserve each day at 10 am, 11:30 am, 1:00 pm, and 2:30 pm.
After the guided tour, which lasts about an hour, visitors can tour the Feed Mill and view a video on the history of Hanford Mills and the exhibit “Today’s Schedule Did Not Go According to Plan,” which recounts the decades of preservation and maintenance work done at Hanford Mills. Other historic buildings on site, including the John Hanford Farmhouse, are closed, but visitors can explore the Museum site and view the buildings from the outside. The Learning Lab, which houses hands-on activities for children, and the Museum Store are closed.
Fall events including the Dan Rion Antique Engine Jamboree & Powerfest and the Woodsmen’s Festival, are cancelled for 2020. See the website for more information, hanfordmills.org. Hanford Mills has added several online resources to its website including short videos for kids that include a mini lesson and a craft and the “Milling About at Home” series that features how the Hanford Mills community is spending its time.
While Hanford Mills Museum was closed to the public, staff have been working on several maintenance and restoration projects, including using the 1913 water-powered Hermance 4-sided moulder to make tongue and groove boards for the upcoming renovation of the second floor of the East Meredith Post Office porch, as well as other repairs around the site.
Admission and Information
All tours must be reserved in advance by calling 607/278-5744. Hanford Mills Museum is open for Member Tours beginning August 5, and for the general public beginning August 12. Tours are offered Wednesdays through Sundays as well as Labor Day and Columbus Day through October 15.
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. Hanford Mills 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.orgor call607/278-5744.
In Fall 2020, the Catskills Folk Connection presented the exhibit “Folk Art in Wood,” at Hanford Mills Museum. The exhibit featured local artists who work with wood in a variety of ways.
Joe Dibble carves decoys of water birds such as swans, geese, and ducks, plus wood carvings of trout and land birds. Gary Mead creates one-of-a-kind furniture from carefully selected wood, some of which he harvests and mills specifically for his projects. Kira Lendo creates pictures on wood, drawing wildlife and Catskills scenes with a wood burner. Joe Hewitt and Ken Etts know the secret of the “whistle stick”, a folk toy they make out of a notched stick and a small propeller, which reverses direction when they whistle. Dane Scudder and Chris Carey, both of whom play for the Tremperskill Boys square dance band, make banjos that feature local woods. Also featured is the work of historic wood carvers, Lavern Kelley and Homer Benedict.
Ms. Scheer conducted “Meet the Folklorist” interviews with the artists featured in the exhibit:
“I was pleased to find so many artists in the Catskills making art with wood and I was surprised that they are creating such a wide variety of expressions, from wooden toys, pictures on wood, to one-of-a-kind furniture, and evocative, hand-carved decoys. Folk art is alive and well in the Catskills,” says Ginny Scheer, folklorist at Catskills Folk Connection, an organization which fosters traditional arts and activities in the Catskills region.
Catskills Folk Connection’s work to foster traditional arts in the Catskills includes offering square dances in four of the region’s counties, presentations about Catskills food traditions at festivals, biannual folk art exhibits such as this one, and an annual display about CFC’s progress studying stone architecture in Roxbury. The organization, which is sponsored by the Roxbury Arts Group, has applied for designation as a non-profit and will soon be seeking Catskills residents and visitors who enjoy its programming to support the organization through memberships and volunteering. Catskills Folk Connection is funded in part by the NYS Council on the Arts Folk Art Program, by Gov. Cuomo and the NYS Legislature, by Action and Vision Grants from HumanitiesNY, and by the O’Connor Foundation. For more information about Catskills Folk Connection go to its blog www.catskillsfolkconnection.blogspot.com, visit Catskills Folk Connection on Facebook.
David Heick, who exhibits his model steam engines and 1956 Chevy at the Antique Engine Jamboree, tells us about restoring his father’s model train.
Model railroading is something I have been doing since I was a young child. This is a prewar Lionel electric locomotive that belonged to my Dad. It was a wreck. I rebuilt the whole thing.
“I love model trains. I have a lot of them. This toy train was made around the time when Hanford Mills was in its heyday, about 1926.”
It took me a while to decide if I should restore this locomotive because I can remember as a child my dad told me that when he was a kid he took it apart and painted it. It is sentimental to me.
I had to clean off all the paint, I could tell it was house paint that was brushed on. I polished all the brass parts. I found reproduction parts that were missing on eBay. (You can find anything, you just have to look.)
I found green spray paint that was pretty close to the color that this locomotive might have been. I completely disassembled the motor to clean all the dirt, dust and old oil out of it. I rewound the motor armature and installed new brushes. I replaced the broken wheels. I also rewired the whole thing.
“It is a really nice running locomotive now. I’m glad I decided to restore it.”
Bernd Krause, who exhibits at Woodsmen’s Festivals and other Hanford Mills events, writes about his work building musical instruments.
“Not a lot has changed for me during this pandemic. I spend pretty much all day every day in my shop building dulcimers, ukuleles and other instruments. This year has been particularly busy. I do miss going out to dinner with my wife and seeing the local bands perform.”
Krause said that dulcimer groups on Facebook are a good resource for him, putting him in touch with people who want to order instruments.
“Patience is very important, as many of the items I needed to complete the instruments came from all over the country and many states totally shut down. Things like tuners and some custom parts I was unable get for a while which slowed down or stopped progress on several instruments.”
“Although I enjoy bringing my instruments to Hanford Mills for people to see and learn about, I really enjoy bringing my springpole treadle lathe and shaving horse to demonstrate. I feel it fits in better with atmosphere at Hanford Mills. Hopefully next year I will be able to bring them again.”
We hope so too Bernd!
As far as musical instruments at Hanford Mills, there is a piano in the Hanford House that once belonged to Horace Hanford. The piano was donated to HMM by Ron and Grace Kent. The piano was sold by L.A. Babcock in Norwich, NY (inscribed on lid over keys) and it was made by Ivers and Ponds Piano Co, Boston in 1888.
“I have been working on expanding my antique engine collection and bringing a couple of recent acquisitions back into running condition. The one I just finished is a 1934 Maytag Multi-Motor which originally powered a wringer washing machine. I completely disassembled the engine, cleaned, painted, and reassembled it. After quite a bit of tinkering and adjusting, the little engine starts and pops along just like it did over 85 years ago.”
“These antique engines were made in an era when machines were built to last. It always amazes me how easily (relatively speaking) an engine that looks like a rusty hunk of metal, can be brought back to life. Broken parts often have to be fixed or fabricated by hand, but there are a surprising number of replacements that can be found online and on eBay. YouTube is very helpful to watch videos of other people restoring antique engines.”
“I have been visiting Hanford Mills since I was a young kid and the mechanical workings of the mill have always interested me. My grandfather was on the Board of Directors in the early years of the museum, so we went many times back then. I began collecting antique engines about three years ago and have exhibited at the Dan Rion Antique Engine Jamboree the last two years.”
The Hanfords installed this Fairbanks gasoline engine in the Mill in 1910 to power a dynamo that generated DC electricity for the Mill and nearby residents.
Luke Murphy, Education Coordinator, talks about reading up on the World Wars.
“I have always loved to read. For several years now, I have been fascinated by the World Wars. With the exception of a very limited number of countries, the whole world was engulfed in conflict. I am always trying to find lessons from the past and I believe we have a lot to learn from this terrifying period of time. I even have my trust research assistant, Rey, to help me!”
“The Pacific War by John Costello has been a great, one stop source of information and sources. Follow the information! I had a lot of preconceived notions about the Wars going into this many years ago and my opinions on things have changed a lot. It is a fascinating journey to spend so much time learning about things that interest you!”
“Hanford Mills Museum was operating throughout the World Wars….almost everyone was impacted by the Wars. It is incredible to see how everything connects!”
Shelly Jones, a trustee of Hanford Mills Museum, talks about writing, gardening, and inspiration found on long hikes.
“One of the reasons I joined the Hanford Mills Board of Trustees was the museum’s emphasis on sustainability and rural traditions. As someone who grew up on a farm and loves the outdoors, the mill’s missions reflect my own values and the themes found in my writing.”
“While I often write fiction, since the pandemic I’ve found myself writing more poetry. My creative writing often relies on natural imagery (birds, trees, flowers) and incorporates elements from folklore (herbal remedies, superstitions). Despite the quarantine, I’ve still managed to take long hikes (getting lost in the woods is a great way to social distance…) and these are often inspirational for my writing,” she says.
“I bought The Complete Language of Flowers, an encyclopedia of plants that I find very useful both for gardening and writing purposes.”
“Recently my colleagues and I hosted a virtual reading of our work online. It was a bit more challenging to gauge the audience’s reception of our work, but we found more folks could attend virtually than they could if we had held it in person.”
Tell us how you are spending your time “Milling About at Home” by completing this short form.
HMM Board president Burr Hubbell does windows…and tells us about a unique find on Hubbell Family Farms.
Here at Hanford Mills, Kevin Jensen is working on windows too. He set up a workshop in the Hardware Store. The large window is from the sawdust room in the Mill.
“And speaking of Milling Around,” says Burr, “look what was found while cleaning up a collapsed building, a nearly complete old cider press.”
Burr says the cider press was found by his niece Casey Mudge and her husband. The plan is to restore/rebuild it to working order. All of the equipment was there, apple elevator, grinder, racks, forms, etc. Also found was a very early Kneeland single cylinder vertical gasoline engine, which still runs. Maybe we will see these one day at the Antique Engine Jamboree?