Another side bar from the 33rd and their march to Richmond. Let’s talk about something that is so profound and amazing that we need to share it. What could it be? Is it Palmyra and vicinity’s history housed in the amazing five museums of Historic Palmyra? You bet! It is the history about the museums and the artifacts in the museum. First a very general piece of information not readily known, our new opening date is May 1 Tuesday through Thursday from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Since Historic Palmyra is a part of the Path Through History a Governor Cuomo initiative, we have been required to be open two more months and 5 more hours a week. We have also been awarded a Wayne County Endowment Fund grant for our Big Dig for History and Pirates of the Erie Canal at the Museum. Thank you to all that made this possible.
Our new displays are complete and we are opening up with a Gettysburg theme, 150 years of the Civil War, and 200 years of the War of 1812. The Alling Coverlet was opened on July 4th 1976 that is 37 years ago. Today it houses the largest collection of hand woven coverlets in America. What is a coverlet? It is a woven bedspread unlike a quilt which is sewn. We tell history through families’ coverlets. Many of pieces similar to these were used in the Civil War as you will see when you visit. Come and see O.J. Garlock’s bed set which is covered, of course, with a coverlet.
The next museum is the Palmyra Historical Museum, 23 rooms and 187 years of history within this building structure. It has original tin ceilings, marks in the floor from the old tavern days and a back section that served as a restaurant and boarding house during the original Erie Canal Days. It is absolutely chocked full of original oil paintings, furniture, clothing, whaling harpoons, seaman’s stories, Generals, Civil War items, War of 1812 items and current military from 1898 through 2000.
Next is the Wm. Phelps General Store and home, originally built as a rental property in 1826 to serve the Erie Canal. It was the only building on the southeast corner of Canal and Market St. It served as many businesses both down and upstairs. The store houses real eggs from 1940, real products from 1860 to 1940, like stepping back in time. The boarding house had six bedrooms, 2 parlors, full dining room and two outside doors for guests only accessed by a set of outside stairs. So many Palmyrans, canawlers, and visitors have walked these floors. We now have our Palmyra Print Shop which houses large cast presses and cutters, made in Palmyra, type, stamps, and blocks, made in Palmyra actually by the Palmyra Courier. Some 152 years of printing history are housed in this unique museum. Come make a card or book mark. Certainly not least, the new Erie Canal Depot another rental property called a tenant house that used its basement as stables for mules that would work the Erie Canal. You have to see it to believe it.
Page 2 of 2 - Palmyra and Historic Palmyra’s Museums have always been so proud of our military that we have been a Blue Stat Museum for the past three years. May 21, 2013 was the kick off to the Blue Star Museum Program which enables active military personnel and their immediate family to be our guests at the museums. Immediate family if married is spouse and children; if not married, it is parents and sisters and brothers. Historic Palmyra is 1 of 1800 museums in this program. We welcome all military personnel and want to personally say thank you for all you do. This Memorial Day will honor those that we lost in the many wars and conflicts been fought over the years. We at Historic Palmyra thank you for our freedom and we realize that nothing is ever free, and that the price paid from the Revolutionary War to Iraqi Freedom, and Afghanistan, not to mention protecting our borders and watching bases around the world as well as embassies in many countries. God Bless Our Troops, Veterans, and God Bless America.
Historic Palmyra has a well stocked tourist information center with maps, information, and handouts. We are and have been a National Parks Passport site with stamps at the Historical Museum and Alling Coverlet. Come visit us during our regular hours or on Heritage Weekend which is Saturday and Sundays June 1 and 2 and 8 and 9. We’ll be presenting some of the famous folks that settled this Wild West area. Call 597-6981.