The Century Museum and Collectors Association Dutchess County Fairgrounds 6636 Route 9 Rhinebeck, NY 12572
Open: When the fairgrounds are open Spring, Summer and Fall for events
My review on TripAdvisor:
The Century Museum Village inside the Dutchess County Fairgrounds
When the Dutchess County Fairgrounds are open for the season for big events in the Spring, Summer and Fall, the fairgrounds open their historical museums that are located on the property. These include the School House Museum and the Train Station Museum and the when the volunteers are there the Dutchess County Volunteer Firemen’s Museum. The main museum is the Century Museum Village, a look at rural life in Dutchess County at the turn of the last century.
The Schoolhouse Museum in the Century Museum Village
The Train Station Museum at the Century Museum Village
The Century Museum Village gives an interesting look of the changes in life in rural communities all over the United States until the start of WWII. Farming communities had their own way of life, their own clubs and organizations and traditions that were different from City residents. Life on the farm was productive but hard work. As time rolled on, modern conveniences found their way to these communities but as we see by all the machinery, there was still a lot of work to done.
As you progress through the different displays and dioramas, you can see how life improved over time. Progress swept through these communities between WWI and WWII and with the spread of the second industrial revolution after WWII and the change of the consumer market. The advent of the modern highways, the newly built suburbs and movement out of the cities changed these regions even more.
The entrance of the museum and the various dioramas
The museum is lined with different displays of life in the rural community and the advancements made in these communities between about 1880-1930.
The Advancement in farming practices and equipment
Ice block industry for refrigeration
The household for the farmhouse wife started to become easier with new machinery to help around the house. Modern ways of washing clothes, cooking food and cleaning the house started to make life a bit easier in the household. This left time for a social life and to tend to other things around the house.
The Modern Conveniences of the home
The modern household items to make life easier from 1870-1929
The modern kitchen before electricity came out to the country was still run by coal and wood. Modern electricity would not start until after WWI and even then was not available to everyone. Cooking and washing had gotten easier but still required some work on a everyday basis.
The Kitchen in the Country
The home decor had changed after the Civil War to WWI with the changes in mass production and industrialization. Furniture, rugs, lamps and pictures had become available in all makes and sizes for sale both through catalogs and General stores or maybe a trip to the City to a Department store. People were able to furnish their homes nicer due to mass production and changes in quality of home furnishings.
The Rural Bedroom
Bedrooms have not changed much since then
The idea of the Parlor is equivalent to our modern Living Room. It is usually the room that all socializing is done in, where the family’s best furniture and knick-knacks were placed. It was the nicest room in the house.
The Rural Parlor
The finest home furnishes and the pride of the home was displayed in the parlor.
Both inside and outside the home there would be changes in the way people lived over a fifty year period. There would be changes in plumbing, carpentry and printing. Modernization would change the way people did their jobs and the way they interacted with their customers.
A better way to chop wood
Modern pump processes
Shopping was beginning to change after the Civil War as well. The days of people making everything at home was not longer necessary as more and more consumer items became available. Clothing, dishes, toys and hardware could be bought at the General store along with prepared and bakery items. It made life for the rural housewife easier.
The General Store
Prepared items in the General Store
The bakery items and things for sale at the General Store
Quilting has always been a social affair with women meeting and gossiping while working on projects on their own or one big project for the home.
Women working together making quilts and sewn items for the home.
Crocheting for the home
Use of Looms for clothing and rugs
Modern printing took a turn as more modern machines made it easier to produce printing items for playbills, newspapers and magazines. The end of the WWI our modern magazines were being created. The way trades were changing more modern equipment was being used in every industry.
The Printing Press as things start to automat
The Clock Maker
Transportation continued to improve as we moved from the horse and buggy to the modern carriage to the automobile. Improvements continued when mass production started with the Model T Ford and just kept improving. Still even today we like the idea of horse drawn carriages and sleigh rides as a traditional part of our past that we like to maintain especially during the holidays.
Horse Drawn carriages and Model T’s
The School House Museum:
The Modern School has not changed much since its rural past. I just think you can’t hit a student with a ruler anymore and I could not see a student with a Dunce cap in today’s politically correct world. The blackboard has not gone out of style as well as a teacher teaching the next generation.
The One Room School House Museum
The school room set up still remains the same to a certain point.
I don’t think would happen to the modern student
The One Room School House set up.
As the museum shows us, somethings have changed and some things remain the same. At some point, we did things right.