As one of the oldest rural life museums in the country, The Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown, New York, provides visitors with a unique opportunity to experience 19th-century rural and village life firsthand through demonstrations and interpretive exhibits.
The museum, founded in 1943, comprises a working farmstead, a recreated historic village, a Country Fair featuring The Empire State Carousel, and a Colonial Revival stone barn listed on the National Register for Historic Places, The museum preserves important examples of upstate New York architecture, early agricultural tools and equipment, and heritage livestock. Its collection of more than 23,000 items encompasses significant historic objects ranging from butter molds to carriages, hand planes to plows. The museum presents a broad range of interactive educational programs for school groups, families, and adults that explore and preserve the rich agricultural history of the region.
The Farmers' Museum is home to the Empire State Carousel, a hand-crafted merry-go-round which celebrates New York State's history, culture and environment through a full-sized handcrafted merry-go-round built on a vintage 1947 36-foot Alan Herschell carousel mechanism. The entire production took over two decades. Called “the museum you can ride.” Its artwork incorporates 25 hand-carved animals representing the agricultural and natural resources found in New York State.