HAMMOND - Take a step back in time on Saturday with the Hammond Historical Museum, located on state Highway 37, just outside the village, and see what life was life for the community's Scottish settlers who arrived in the 1820s.
Opened in the fall of 1998 and sponsored by the R.T. Elethorp Historical Society, the museum was constructed mainly by volunteer labor from the Hammond area. The 2000 square-foot structure, faced with native pink sandstone, is embedded with a War of 1812 cannonball found on the shore of the St. Lawrence River.
"We have a lot of artifacts, a lot of photos," said Mrs. Joan V. Hadlock. The focal point of the museum's collection is an exhibit of large wooden models of local buildings crafted in the early 1900's by former life-long Hammond resident, Robert T. Elethorp. The museum displays replicas of two churches, a barn, a farmhouse, a milk plant, horses and wagons and a farmer's maple syrup operation.
But Mrs. Hadlock says the visitors should visit the stone house built by the museum as a tribute to the 40 stone houses built in the 1820s by Scottish settlers.
The stone house is now furnished with a variety of items, including dining room chairs, a cookstove, an iron bed, two spinning wheels, an organ, a hired man's bed, quilts and other items, Mrs. Hadlock said. "One of the spinning wheels is a pendulum spinning wheel, which was built after the Civil War, for people who were injured and couldn't stand up."
The museum will open on Saturday and June 26 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Beginning in July, the museum will be open Wednesdays from 2 to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Other times can be arranged by calling museum President Edwin C. Hadlock at 324-5517.
Wednesday night concerts will be back, according to Mrs. Hadlock, with all events to be held at the museum barn, except the first, Dan Hammond and the Steel Drums, which will be held at the Hammond Fire Hall on July 14 at 7 p.m.
"They're nice evenings to be outside with the performers up on the front of the barn," Mrs. Hadlock said, noting that Mr. Hammond's group drew so much attention last year that the museum had to move the event this year to the fire hall.
Other concerts and events include:
* July 21 at 2 p.m. - Rick West and his Birds of Prey
* July 28 at 7 p.m. - Goldenaires Barbershop Chorus
* Aug. 4 at 2 p.m. - Magician Ron Cain
* Aug. 11 at 7 p.m. - McAdams Musical Group
* Aug. 18 - Lighthouse Band (contemporary Christian music)
* Aug. 25 at 7 p.m. - David Shephard (inspirational music)
All events will be held rain or shine, either inside the barn or outside on the lawn. Please bring your own lawn chairs. Refreshments will be on sale from the fireman's auxiliary, and everyone is invited to attend.
In August, the weekly children's programs will be held, which traditionally involve hands-on activities.
The annual Fiddlers' Fling will be held Sept. 19, from 1 to 5 p.m. at the fire hall. Black River Valley Fiddlers will provide music for round and square dancing, and refreshments and a food sale will also be available.
Museum calendars for 2010 are currently on sale at the Hammond Town Hall and the museum for $7 each. Copies of the Richard Dietrich book, "A Geological History of Hammond Township," are also for sale at the museum ($14). Mr. Dietrich, according to Mrs. Hadlock, is a Hammond native and a retired geology professor from the University of Michigan.
Historical Society meetings are held at 2 p.m. on the last Thursday of each month in the museum community room. Everyone is invited to attend these meetings, as the group is always looking for ideas for programs and exhibits, and for any photos that could be used for next year's calendar. Historical Society membership blanks have recently been sent out. If anyone is looking to become a member of the group, call Mr. Hadlock at 324-5517 for more information.
Donna Demick is our Town of Hammond Historian and the main tour guide & coordinator for the Hammond Museum.