Woodsmen’s Festival at Hanford Mills Museum

Fall event features lumberjack skills, woodworking demos, children’s activities, music, and Mill tours

[East Meredith, NY September 23, 2015] New activities and perennial favorites will be featured at the Woodsmen’s Festival at Hanford Mills Museum on Saturday, October 3, 10 am to 5 pm.

The Woodsmen’s Club from the SUNY College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill returns to the festival to demonstrate cross-cut sawing, overhand and underhand chop, ax throwing and other lumberjack skills. “It’s incredible to watch these talented college students,” says Hanford Mills Museum executive director Liz Callahan. “It’s a testament to hours and hours of practice, teamwork and skill.”

The fall festival celebrates the many ways people use and work with wood and includes Mohawk Valley Woodturners, GTO Woodturners, Bovina Brown Bats and Wightman Lumber. Bourbon & Branch, a band that blends rock, blues, country, and folk and crosses generations of music history, will perform from 11 am to 2 pm. Seth Finch will demonstrate log skidding with his team of Percheron draft horses, and also will offer horse-drawn wagon rides. Throughout the day, the Museum will provide tours of its water-powered sawmill, gristmill and woodworking shop. In addition, Catharina Kessler of Promisedland Farms will be displaying her handmade Swedish style, traditional mittens and hats.

New for this year, the National Barn Alliance will have a quarter-scale Dutch Barn Timber Frame model, which visitors can help raise. Weighing 1100 pounds, the model is a 3-D puzzle that teaches how barns were made, touching upon science, engineering, and history. The American Chestnut Foundation will have a display on their efforts to restore this tree to benefit the environment, wildlife and society.

“Since the first sawmill was built on this site in 1846, Hanford Mills has been synonymous with wood and wood products,” explains executive director Liz Callahan. “The Woodsmen’s Festival celebrates this long history, as well as the craftsmanship, skill and talent of woodworkers, barn builders, forest managers, coopers, mill workers, and lumberjacks.”

The Museum’s gift shop will be open, offering Mill-made crafts, traditional toys, sweets, books and local products. Tickled Pink BBQ will be selling pulled pork sandwiches and macaroni and cheese. Hands-on activities for kids include playing with gears and simple machines, exploring electricity with circuit kits, and using a small waterwheel to power machines.

Admission and Information
Children 12 and under are free. Admission for adults and teens is $9, for seniors, $7. AAA and other discounts available. Museum members receive free admission.

About Hanford Mills Museum
Hanford Mills Museum operates an authentic water- and steam-powered historic site. 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, which is listed on the National and New York State Registers of Historic Places, is open Wednesdays through Sundays through October 15. Hanford Mills Museum 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.