Waterford Historical Museum and Cultural Center

Waterford Historical Museum and Cultural Center Connecting you to Waterford's vibrant past! This page connects you to all the great exhibits and activities and other fun historical and cultural aspects of the Town and Village of Waterford, New York.
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The Waterford Historical Museum and Cultural Center is located in the 1830 Hugh White Homestead. In 1964, this Greek Revival mansion was scheduled for demolition. However, a group of citizens rallied to save the house and move it from Saratoga Avenue to its present location overlooking the Mohawk River and the old Champlain Canal. The Waterford Historical Museum and Cultural Center features a perm

The Waterford Historical Museum and Cultural Center is located in the 1830 Hugh White Homestead. In 1964, this Greek Revival mansion was scheduled for demolition. However, a group of citizens rallied to save the house and move it from Saratoga Avenue to its present location overlooking the Mohawk River and the old Champlain Canal. The Waterford Historical Museum and Cultural Center features a perm

Operating as usual

After remaining closed since March 2020, the museum is finally able to reopen again to visitors! Join us Friday, July 9 ...
06/16/2021

After remaining closed since March 2020, the museum is finally able to reopen again to visitors! Join us Friday, July 9 for an opening reception for this season's exhibit, Preservation In Progress: Waterford's First United Church.

After remaining closed since March 2020, the museum is finally able to reopen again to visitors! Join us Friday, July 9 for an opening reception for this season's exhibit, Preservation In Progress: Waterford's First United Church.

#FlashbackFriday with a couple photos that show some cars c. 1920s-30s at what appears to be a gas station. No other det...
07/03/2020

#FlashbackFriday with a couple photos that show some cars c. 1920s-30s at what appears to be a gas station. No other details for these images in their records.

#HistoryHumpday with these medicine bottles from Higgins Pharmacy, some of which still have their contents inside. John ...
06/24/2020

#HistoryHumpday with these medicine bottles from Higgins Pharmacy, some of which still have their contents inside. John Higgins & Co. Pharmacy, "Pharmacists since 1844" as it says on the bottle of ethyl alcohol, was created and operated by John Higgins with George H. Cole.

Be sure to check out the museum's blog page for articles on history topics, artifacts, and updates on the museum! #WATER...
06/16/2020
Waterford's Hamilton Connection

Be sure to check out the museum's blog page for articles on history topics, artifacts, and updates on the museum! #WATERFORDNY Do you agree with the ranking of Waterford's "connection"?

On a scale of 1 to 10, Waterford's "Hamilton Connection" everyone seems to have scrambled for the past few years is a solid....2....maybe a ...

Here's a fun photo! No donor source or date was recorded for this donation, just the description as some boys on a colla...
06/11/2020

Here's a fun photo! No donor source or date was recorded for this donation, just the description as some boys on a collapsible bridge over the Champlain Canal by Lock 2. Best guess? This may be from the 9-month-long celebration in 1959 for the 350th Anniversary of Henry Hudson's and Samuel de Champlain's explorations. What do you think?

Artifact Spotlight: Blizzard Lantern. As we get into warmer and omg-it's-summer-hot-outside weather, a "blizzard" lanter...
06/05/2020
Artifact Spotlight: Blizzard Lantern

Artifact Spotlight: Blizzard Lantern. As we get into warmer and omg-it's-summer-hot-outside weather, a "blizzard" lantern might not be what you think of ("hurricane" lantern maybe) - but this model is actually still being sold since it first came on the market in 1899!

This kerosene lantern has “BLIZZARD LANTERN” stamped onto it, giving a hint to it being a Dietz Cold Blast Blizzard Lantern 2 from c. 18...

Artifact Spotlight: 19th century school book for students in a classroom or, like today, used at home. One of the many i...
05/29/2020
Teaching in 1841: a Waterford Waldron's school book

Artifact Spotlight: 19th century school book for students in a classroom or, like today, used at home. One of the many interesting books in the museum's collection 📙📖📚

This book in the museum’s collection is titled, “The American Preceptor; Being A New Selection Of Lessons For Reading And Speaking Designe...

Views of Peebles Island State Park, the Mohawk River, and the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation...
05/22/2020

Views of Peebles Island State Park, the Mohawk River, and the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation in the old Cluett Peabody Factory. First image taken c.1978 with Peebles Island in the background; second picture taken from Peebles Island 2019.

So, museums are part of Phase 4 so we won't be able to open up too soon. But that gives plenty of time for some clean up...
05/20/2020
Artifact Spotlight: The Doty Vacuum c.1900

So, museums are part of Phase 4 so we won't be able to open up too soon. But that gives plenty of time for some clean up! But we won't use this artifact spotlight. #HistoryHumpDay

Following the trend from last week’s artifact – and considering some of us are still waiting to get to Phase 1 of reopening in New ...

Museums are a part of the Phase 4 portion of NY Forward. While the Capital Region's reopening has been pushed back again...
05/15/2020
Impact of COVID-19 on WHMCC

Museums are a part of the Phase 4 portion of NY Forward. While the Capital Region's reopening has been pushed back again, it means that your support of nonprofit educational institutions like WHMCC is even more vital. "Closed" doesn't mean we aren't busy thinking ahead of how to serve our community - but we'll need your help to do it! Please consider donating or becoming a volunteer.

You Can Support The Museum! Please consider making a monetary donation by following this link HERE to donate through PayPal - you don'...

While it may still be a while until we can see you all again to tour our exhibit spaces, the museum can still share a fe...
05/11/2020
Artifact Spotlight

While it may still be a while until we can see you all again to tour our exhibit spaces, the museum can still share a few things from our collection with you! Check out this week's artifact spotlight for #MuseumMonday

Soap shaker aka soap cage used to hold a bar or flakes of soap in the collection of the Waterford Historical Museum & Cultural Center ...

#FlashbackFriday with us for the last chapter looking back at the most recent lecture of our series. Thank you so much t...
05/01/2020
Throwback 2019-2020 Lecture Series - The Final Part!

#FlashbackFriday with us for the last chapter looking back at the most recent lecture of our series. Thank you so much to everyone who attended these lectures. Your support helps small and privately-funded museum like us continue to be able to offer such programs. We hope to be able to see you all again soon!

Our last lecture of the 2019-2020 season was held on March 10 th , very close to the shutdown of everything in the state and country. It ...

Continuing with looking back at the last lecture series presentation this #ThrowbackThursday - Kate Mullany National His...
04/30/2020
Throwback 2019-2020 Lecture Series - Part 3

Continuing with looking back at the last lecture series presentation this #ThrowbackThursday - Kate Mullany National Historic Site.

Board Member P. Thomas Carroll shared an informative presentation on the history associated with the Kate Mullany National Historic ...

#FlashbackFriday with Part 2 of looking back at the 2019-2020 Winter Lecture Series!
04/24/2020
Throwback 2019-2020 Lecture Series - Part 2

#FlashbackFriday with Part 2 of looking back at the 2019-2020 Winter Lecture Series!

Hudson Mohawk Industrial Gateway Executive Director, Michael Barrett, shared a presentation on the Trans-Continental Railroad. A transp...

While we keep our distance and put programs on hold for health reasons, you can still enjoy some virtual museum programs...
04/23/2020
Lecture Series 2019-2020 Throwback - Part 1

While we keep our distance and put programs on hold for health reasons, you can still enjoy some virtual museum programs - like our throwback to the 2019-2020 Winter Lecture Series!

As everyone practices social distancing and staying at home, museums are also closed - or remain in "off-season" until things go back to ...

An 1890s card to report on anyone in Waterford with a concerning illness. During the 19th century, there were outbreaks ...
04/10/2020

An 1890s card to report on anyone in Waterford with a concerning illness. During the 19th century, there were outbreaks of smallpox, typhus, yellow fever, "Asiatic / Russian" flu (1889-1890), cholera (there were 5 major outbreaks in that century) and even another wave of the bubonic plague. According to Hammersley's "History of Waterford, NY", the Health Officer had put an embargo on canal boats against Canadian invasion of cholera that had come to Waterford in 1855.

A view of the park area beside the Waterford Historical Museum and Cultural Center - Lock 4 of the old Champlain Canal a...
04/06/2020

A view of the park area beside the Waterford Historical Museum and Cultural Center - Lock 4 of the old Champlain Canal and the site of where 19th century businesses sprung up to take advantage of the canal and the power of the Mohawk River. First view from c.1966 and the second in 2011.

03/30/2020

The Waterford Historical Museum wants to check-in with everyone and share that we will remain in our off-season during this time. We hope to offer our museum season this summer (date TBD). As a small, private museum, we greatly appreciate any and all support. #socialdistancing #supportlocal

With everyone concerned about maintaining a healthy distance, should we bring these outfits back? 🤣
03/17/2020

With everyone concerned about maintaining a healthy distance, should we bring these outfits back? 🤣

TRIVIA NIGHT CANCELED: Due to the many voiced concerns over the spreading virus in New York and our desire to conduct ou...
03/13/2020

TRIVIA NIGHT CANCELED: Due to the many voiced concerns over the spreading virus in New York and our desire to conduct our programs and events in as safe an environment as possible, the Waterford Historical Museum and Cultural Center's Trivia Night has been canceled.

We appreciate your interest and support of the museum, and apologize for any inconvenience. Thank you.

The snow and icy weather means it's time to pull on the heavy boots. These circa 1867 handmade wooden snowshoes probably...
02/07/2020

The snow and icy weather means it's time to pull on the heavy boots. These circa 1867 handmade wooden snowshoes probably were a big help to their original owners too!

These images from the museum collection are titled in their records as "Architecture" from a series the museum did in th...
01/31/2020

These images from the museum collection are titled in their records as "Architecture" from a series the museum did in the past. Can you tell where these particular photos were taken in Waterford?

Our lecture series continues with another local historic site - the Kate Mullany National Historic Site of Troy, NY! We'...
01/16/2020
February Presentation on Troy’s Kate Mullany National Historic Site | Waterford Historical Museum & Cultural Center - Waterford, NY

Our lecture series continues with another local historic site - the Kate Mullany National Historic Site of Troy, NY! We're excited to hear P. Thomas Carroll tell us all about this important figure in women's labor rights and the Collar Laundry Union. These lectures are a first-come, first served event, but if you require a seat at a table rather than chance getting a chair in the back or needing to stand for the program, contact the Van Schaick Island Country Club to ensure your needs can be accommodated.

February Presentation on Troy’s Kate Mullany National Historic Site Feb. 11 7pm Kate Mullany: The Legacy Of A Woman Trade Pioneer Van Schaick Island Country Club $6 Nonmember $5 Museum Member P. Thomas Carroll of the Kate Mullany National Historic Site will be sharing with us a presentation to dis...

There was an excellent selection of red and white wines for people to sample and an assortment of cheeses and other ligh...
01/11/2020

There was an excellent selection of red and white wines for people to sample and an assortment of cheeses and other light snacks to enjoy in our Winter Wonderland at last night's Wine & Cheese! 🍷🧀🍾

NYS Canal Corporation
01/03/2020

NYS Canal Corporation

#TBT: View of a typical barge canal lock at Lock No. 2 in Waterford (c. 1912).

Merry Christmas from the Waterford Historical Museum & Cultural Center! #WaterfordNY #MerryChristmas
12/25/2019

Merry Christmas from the Waterford Historical Museum & Cultural Center! #WaterfordNY #MerryChristmas

Washington Irving wrote in his 1809 satirical "History of New York" of a vision had by Commodore Olaf Van Cortlandt, an ...
12/23/2019
“Santa Claus was Made by Washington Irving”

Washington Irving wrote in his 1809 satirical "History of New York" of a vision had by Commodore Olaf Van Cortlandt, an actual Dutch official in New Amsterdam in 1637 " And when St. Nicholas had smoked his pipe he twisted it in his hatband, and laying his finger beside his nose, gave the astonished Van Kortlandt a very significant look, then mounting his wagon, he returned over the treetops and disappeared." Hmmm....sound like a familiar tale to anyone?

Today being St. Nicholas Day, it seems fitting to reflect a bit on the cultural origins of the American version of that right jolly, old elf. One could argue that any number of people are responsib…

Looking for a fun winter activity now that it's "officially" winter? Snow storms and squalls aside, with ice around - es...
12/21/2019
Ice Skating Fashions of the Nineteenth Century

Looking for a fun winter activity now that it's "officially" winter? Snow storms and squalls aside, with ice around - especially for areas with canals - there's bound to be ice skating!

For most mid-nineteenth century ladies, fashionable outdoor sport consisted of little more than horseback riding, or a spirited game of croquet. But with the winter, came yet another option for outdoor activity. In her 1877 book The Ladies’ and Gentlemen’s Etiquette, Eliza Duffey states that ice...

Are you ready for Christmas - all the decorations, foods, and presents all planned and prepared for? Learn more about ho...
12/20/2019
How Most of Our Christmas Traditions Began In the 1800s

Are you ready for Christmas - all the decorations, foods, and presents all planned and prepared for? Learn more about how many of those festive traditions you share with 19th century!

Our modern conception of Christmas celebrations really began in the 1800s, when Santa Claus, Christmas trees, and other traditions took hold.

12/08/2019
12/08/2019

Address

2 Museum Ln
Waterford, NY
12188

Opening Hours

10am - 10:15am

Telephone

+15182380809

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Our Story

The Waterford Historical Museum and Cultural Center is located in the 1830 Hugh White Homestead. It overlooks the old Champlain Canal route, with the old Lock 4 accessible from the museum parking lot for visitors to explore! In 1964, this Greek Revival mansion was scheduled for demolition. However, a group of citizens rallied to save the house and move it from Saratoga Avenue to its present location overlooking the Mohawk River and the old Champlain Canal. The Waterford Historical Museum and Cultural Center features a permanent exhibition about the history of Waterford, temporary exhibitions related to local history, and the George & Anabel O’Connor Research Library and Archive.

From the native inhabitants and early Dutch settlement of the area to today, the museum offers much to learn about Waterford’s vibrant past - the multiple canal systems, the industrial history, Button Fire Engine Co., and much, much more!

The museum is actively engaged in presenting educational programs such as our fourth grade hands-on history experience, Canalways, that introduces students to NYS Canal history. We host an annual Winter Lecture Series and other great programs throughout the year.

Our museum season is May - October, but we’ve expanded hours for our permanent exhibit to include January - April.


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Comments

OMG... have we got a very special announcement about this year's Dashin' and Dancin' party with the amazing Refrigerators, on 12/7, at the Cohoes Music Hall!!! But we have to wait until sometime next week to officially announce it. I can assure you you are absolutely not going to want to miss it... IT'S GOING TO BE AMAZING!!! So get your tickets NOW!!
Make reservations for the Hops Program presented by Roger Savoy. Come and check out the homegrown hops and how they are used in various beers. Seating is limited!
I am trying to trace the John Johnson family who lived there in roughly 1850. The father married a Heneratta, and his son John, married a Jeanette Rutherford Easton. Anyone know these names?