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Take step back in time at Witter museum

The Witter Ag Museum is free and open each day of New York Farm Show.

Chris Torres

January 24, 2024

1 Min Read
Martin Meiss using a wood shaving tool
HISTORY IN ACTION: The Witter Agricultural Museum is open each day of New York Farm Show. Martin Meiss demonstrates an old wood-shaving tool used by toolmakers many years ago. Chris Torres

The Daniel Parrish Witter Agricultural Museum at the New York State Fairgrounds will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day of the New York Farm Show.

The museum is located between the Expo Center and the Dairy Building. Admission is free to all New York Farm Show attendees.

The museum contains many displays and exhibits, as well as actual demonstrators. Subjects include weaving, broom-making, woodworking, spinning, hops, basket-making, sewing, quilting, dairy, apples and much more.

“Attendance at the Witter during the farm show has been very good in spite of the weather conditions the past few years,” says Roger Thomas, vice president and board member of Friends of the Daniel Parrish Witter Agricultural Museum. “During the farm show, we get many visitors that have never been to the Witter before, and we enjoy giving them the tour. They seem to enjoy stepping back in time to see the history of agriculture in New York state.”

The museum houses a wide array of antique farming artifacts and tells the history of agriculture in New York state. One of the highlights is an authentic 1810 log cabin that was moved to this location from a farm in Schoharie County in 1928.

“We continue to upgrade the exhibits and have added a few more demonstrators,” Thomas says “We are currently working on making improvements to the general store exhibit. The general store in many small towns was the center of activity, sometimes housing the post office, grocery store, hardware store, drugstore, etc., all in one convenient location. If they didn’t have it there, you probably didn’t need it.” he says.

See ag history come alive at the Witter Agricultural Museum.

About the Author(s)

Chris Torres

Editor, American Agriculturist

Chris Torres, editor of American Agriculturist, previously worked at Lancaster Farming, where he started in 2006 as a staff writer and later became regional editor. Torres is a seven-time winner of the Keystone Press Awards, handed out by the Pennsylvania Press Association, and he is a Pennsylvania State University graduate.

Torres says he wants American Agriculturist to be farmers' "go-to product, continuing the legacy and high standard (former American Agriculturist editor) John Vogel has set." Torres succeeds Vogel, who retired after 47 years with Farm Progress and its related publications.

"The news business is a challenging job," Torres says. "It makes you think outside your small box, and you have to formulate what the reader wants to see from the overall product. It's rewarding to see a nice product in the end."

Torres' family is based in Lebanon County, Pa. His wife grew up on a small farm in Berks County, Pa., where they raised corn, soybeans, feeder cattle and more. Torres and his wife are parents to three young boys.

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