Last updated: 7/18/2018
East Meredith, New York
Street Address
PO Box 99
73 County Highway 12
East Meredith, NY 13757
Mailing Address
PO Box 99
East Meredith, NY 13757
phone: 607-278-5744
The 2018 season begins on May 16 through October 15
as well as on Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, and Columbus Day.
Sunday, Wednesday - Saturday10 AM - 5 PM
Hours are 10 am to 5 pm, with the last full tour of the day starting no later than 3:30 pm.
Adults (13-65): $9
Seniors (over 65): $7
Military, Veterans, & First Responders (): $7
Members: free
Children under 12: Free
National Trust for Historic Preservation Members: $7
AAA members, & Teachers: $7
Group Tours
Peg Odell, Communications Coordinator
phone: 607-278-5744

The Power of History

From its start as a sawmill in the 1840s, Hanford Mills grew to also include a gristmill, feed mill, woodworking shop, and hardware store. The story of Hanford Mills is one of ingenuity, innovation and entrepreneurship. Over time, the Hanfords generated power using waterwheels, water turbines, a steam power plant, gas engines, and a dynamo that generates electric power. Because it so effectively shows how mills, once a mainstay of rural towns, operate, Hanford Mills garnered a place on both the National and New York State Registers of Historic Places.

Feel the power as the cool waters of the Millpond rush over the 1926 Fitz Overshot Waterwheel. Listen as the Mill spins, rumbles, and whirs to life. Smell fresh cut lumber as logs are sawn on the water-powered sawmill. Explore the woodworking shop, and see historic machines creating the same products that were made at the Mill a century ago.

The Learning Lab, which opened in June 2017, offers young children and their families a place to build, explore and create.

A visit to Hanford Mills Museum is a unique way to experience the ingenuity and creativity of the past.


Hanford Mills Museum will perform a central role in the local community and region by demonstrating sustainable energy practices and reviving the Hanfords’ entrepreneurial spirit. The Museum will facilitate dynamic and interactive learning experiences for visitors, students, and area businesses and resident


An operating mill site since 1846, for most of its commercial life Hanford Mills was owned and operated by the family of David Josiah Hanford, who purchased the mill in 1860. Under the Hanfords, the mill grew into a rural industrial complex that included a sawmill, gristmill, feed mill, woodworking shop and hardware store.

In 1898, Hanford Mills harnessed the waters of Kortright Creek to provide the town with its first electricity. Through time, the Hanfords also used steam and gasoline engines to power the mill and its electric dynamo.

The mill closed in 1967, re-opening later that year as a museum. In 1973 Hanford Mills Museum was chartered by the State of New York. Its significance as one of the last nineteenth century mills to survive intact earned it a place on the State and National Registers of Historic Places.

Artifact Collections

Archives & Collections

Hanford Mills Museum maintains a remarkable collection of over 50,000 objects housed in twelve of the sixteen historic buildings that comprise the site. An extensive photograph collection, library, and archive are also housed at the Museum.

Many of the papers, photographs and objects in the collection are original to the site, and others were collected by Mr. Kenneth Kelso, the Museum’s founder. In 1967, at the close of over 120 years as a working business, Mr. Kelso purchased the core of the site and collections and in the process immediately transitioned the site from a working rural industrial enterprise into a living museum. After being chartered as an educational corporation by the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York in 1973, Hanford Mills Museum continued this legacy by actively developing its object and archival collections in order to fully document and interpret the site and its history. Objects in the collection run the gamut from fully operational woodworking and grist milling machinery to domestic artifacts, wooden tool handles, plows and harrows, and gasoline engines. The archives contain records that document over a century of Hanford and Pizza family business transactions and a photograph collection that traces in detail the development of the Mill and its community from the 1870s to the present.

Educational Programs

School Programs at the Mill

Hanford Mills Museum’s on-site educational programs are designed to be engaging, interactive, and to meet New York State and Common Core curriculum standards. We have indoor and outdoor lunchroom facilities, as well as a Museum Shop stocked with inexpensive toys and educational items for groups who wish to visit it.

Outreach Programs

Many of Hanford Mills Museum’s education programs can be adapted and brought to the classroom by a Museum educator. To find out about programs Hanford Mills Museum can offer at your school in Delaware or Otsego County, NY, please contact Brendan Pronteau, Interpretation Coordinator. You may also want to consider a Field Trip.


Hanford Mills Museum has produced a variety of activities and lesson plans that can be used to enhance a class’s visit to the Museum, or be used as stand-alone activities.


In addition to a guided tour of the Mill Complex there are over a dozen other historic buildings on the site. Two highlights of these structures are the Feed Mill, which includes a short introductory video and the “Rural Genius” exhibit, and the John Hanford House, which recreates home life in the 1920s.


Millwork Newsletter Archive

Millwork is Hanford Mills Museum’s newsletter that provides readers with interesting articles on the history of Hanford Mills and East Meredith, updates on museum activities, and other news and interesting tidbits.


Guided Tours

Come see the sawdust fly! Visitors to Hanford Mills Museum receive a guided tour of the Mill complex with Museum interpreters. The tour includes demonstrations of our 1926 Fitz overshot waterwheel and historic water-powered woodworking and milling machinery. Tours take about 1 1/2 hours, with time for questions. Whenever possible, interpreters can tailor the tour to your interests.

We have picnic tables available.

Visitors are welcome to bring a picnic lunch and enjoy our scenic site. We have picnic tables available. While there is food available to purchase on festival days (Ice Harvest Festival, Independence Day Celebration, Dan Rion Memorial Antique Engine Jamboree & Powerfest, and Woodsmen’s Festival), food is not generally available to purchase at the Museum.

Group Tours

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Richmond, Virginia

Riggs Ward Design (RWD) is an award-winning experience planning and design studio headquartered in historic Richmond, Virginia. Over the past 24 years, we have provided experience design, strategic master planning, interpretive planning, research, content analysis, and storyline development for museums, universities, corporations, and cultural institutions. RWD’s services also include exhibit ephemera, books, and fundraising campaign materials.

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