video Video demonstrating blacksmithing at Hanford Mills during Ice Harvest. Demonstrations happen at all major events.
video Ice Harvest Festival the first weekend of February every year at Hanford Mills in East Meredith.
In 1848 the first railroad, the NY & Erie, entered Delaware County setting in motion significant changes in this mountainous rural area. The first train ran through Sullivan County, into Delaware County via Long Eddy and passed through Deposit on its way to Binghamton. In 1873 railroads reached deeper into Delaware County with the completion of the New York, Ontario & Western (O & W), affectionately called the Old and Weary in later years. The O&W ran through East Branch, Walton and Sidney, and included a side branch from Walton to Delhi. In the 1870s the Ulster & Delaware (U & D) railroad, nicknamed the Up & Down because of the rough terrain it traveled, connected the eastern side of the county running from Kingston through Ulster County to Fleischmanns, Arkville, Roxbury, Grand Gorge and Stamford. By 1900 the line had extended through Hobart, Bloomville, East Meredith and Davenport ending in Oneonta. The Delaware & Eastern, later called the Delaware & Northern (D & N), one of the last lines to be built in Delaware County in the early 1900s, connected the O & W in East Branch to the U & D in Arkville with a spur to Andes from Union Grove Andes Junction.
It is believed that blacksmithing began sometime between 6,000 and 3,300 years ago, and that the first people to forge iron into useful implements may have been Egyptians. It was not long before such a valuable craft would spread to Greece, Eastern Europe, and later to Western Europe and Great Britain. The first Europeans to explore and later settle the New World brought the craft of blacksmithing with them to America’s shores. Although blacksmithing has been practiced for a very long time, there was a period during the latter part of the Industrial Revolution when it was no longer necessary to have people do the work that could be accomplished by machines. Sadly, the art and craft of blacksmithing seemed destined for extinction. In the last several decades, however, blacksmithing has re-emerged as a means to produce works of art and beautifully handcrafted ironware.
video Video tour of Hanford Mills Museum butter tub cover manufacturing in the hamlet of East Meredith, NY.
video Video tour of Hanford Mills Museum milk box manufacturing in the hamlet of East Meredith, NY.
video Video tour of Hanford Mills Museum saw mill in the hamlet of East Meredith, NY.