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“Ice Harvest Festival - So Worth It!!”

Hanford Mills Museum
Ranked #1 of 2 things to do in Meredith
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Hanford Mills Museum is one of a handful of operating water powered mills in the country. The 70-acre historic site in the northwestern Catskills offers guided tours featuring demonstrations in the water-powered sawmill, gristmill and woodworking shop. Steam power demonstrations are offered on select days. The Museum is open Wednesdays - Sundays, and holiday Mondays (Memorial Day, Labor Day and Columbus Day) May 15 through October 15. Kids 12 and under receive free admission. The Learning Lab offers young children and their families an opportunity to create, explore and build. Special events include: the Independence Day Celebration on July 4, the Dan Rion Memorial Antique Engine Jamboree & Powerfest, the Woodsmen's Festival, and the Ice Harvest Festival, which is held on the first Saturday in February. Hanford Mills Museum is located at the intersections of Delaware County Routes 10 & 12 in East Meredith, 10 miles from Oneonta, 15 miles from Delhi, and 30 miles from Cooperstown.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Reviewed February 4, 2018 via mobile

My friend and I were hesitant, the morning of the Ice Harvest Festival, to drag ourselves out into the cold and drive almost two hours from Kingston to Delaware County, but we are SO GLAD WE DID!! This is a history buff's dream The museum itself had a great exhibit about industrial innovations developed in the area, and there were blacksmiths demonstrating at their forge, and it was so rewarding to harvest ice from the pond the same way they did it so many years ago!! It was an absolutely fascinating day and I just geeked out nonstop. I went with my friend and we were both amazed at the low admission price (which included a sleigh ride!) and the cheap price for a hot cup of soup (of which they had a mind-boggling array!) and fresh home-baked cookies. There were lots of chances to warm up, ice sculptors practicing their craft, and even while we were waiting in line there was always something to watch and I was never bored. I cannot recommend this experience enough for families, friends and couples looking for something totally new, delightful, wintery, low-impact, and fun at an INCREDIBLE value. It was so worth the trip, and makes me want to go to their 4th of July celebration - where they make Ice cream the old fashioned way out of the ice we harvested! I'm sure it'll taste even better because we literally helped make it.

Date of experience: February 2018
1  Thank GinervaMcGonagal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HanfordMillsMuseum, Public Relations Manager at Hanford Mills Museum, responded to this reviewResponded February 6, 2018

Wow! Thank you so much for writing about your fun experience at the Ice Harvest Festival. We love that you and your friend had a great time. We work hard to plan this event, and knowing people really appreciate it makes it all worth it. I hope you do come for the Independence Day Celebration, and for a guided tour of the water-powered sawmill. And, the Ice Harvest Festival is always held on the first Saturday in February--Feb. 2, 2019 if you want to come geek out again!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"worth the trip"
in 3 reviews
"special events"
in 2 reviews
"two hours"
in 2 reviews
"delaware county"
in 2 reviews
"water wheel"
in 7 reviews
"steam engine"
in 3 reviews
"ice"
in 8 reviews
"pond"
in 7 reviews
"harvest"
in 3 reviews
"tools"
in 4 reviews
"explanation"
in 2 reviews
"belts"
in 2 reviews
"hemlock"
in 2 reviews
"tops"
in 2 reviews
"sights"
in 2 reviews
"weekend"
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"woodworking"
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2 - 6 of 32 reviews

Reviewed September 24, 2017 via mobile

My husband heard this advertised on NPR, so we decided to make the hour and a half drive and check it out. What a wonderful visit it was! The staff was super friendly and accommodating. We arrived after the tour had started. We joined the rest of the group, and at the end of the tour, our guide took us to see what we had missed. She was so knowledgeable and interesting....and even demonstrated how shingles were made. Thanks to all for a wonderful tour! What a hidden gem!

Date of experience: September 2017
1  Thank Sue M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HanfordMillsMuseum, Public Relations Manager at Hanford Mills Museum, responded to this reviewResponded October 3, 2017

So good to hear you enjoyed your tour. Thank you for writing a review. We welcome you to come again, perhaps for one of our festivals: the Woodsmen's Festival is October 14, the Ice Harvest Festival is February 3, the Independence Day Celebration is July 4, and the Antique Engine Jamboree is held in September.

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Reviewed August 28, 2017

This is a wonderful 150 year old working sawmill in a picturesque setting! The water wheel and all the belts that power all these tools are amazing! The staff is very nice and give informative demonstrations of making shingles and butter churn tops! Also have a gristmill, woodworking shop, and an icehouse! They do put on special events which you can check on their website. If you love history, you will really enjoy this place!

Date of experience: August 2017
Thank cookiegran
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 7, 2017

We took a chance and stopped although when arriving it didn't look like much but where we surprised. There is more to see than it looks. We had a great guided tour and saw some amazing sights. Be sure to make the stop and you will truly see things you haven't seen before.

Date of experience: August 2017
Thank Margaret B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 29, 2017

I went to the Hanford Mills Museum this weekend with four adults and 3 boys ages 8-13. The staff were really knowledgeable and did a great job of explaining how the mill worked. It was really great to see them open up the gates so the water wheel turned, the pulleys and belts sprang into action, and we could watch the different machines work, like the tongue and groove machine and the large wheeled saw that they used to make several 1x6 boards from a hemlock trunk. Their level of explanation was fitting for both the boys (who needed more explanation) and the adult in our group who was a member of a steam engine club. In addition, the staff was _extremely_ helpful and patient with our guest who had mobility issues and went out of their way to make sure it was a good experience for him. Many thanks for a great visit!

Date of experience: July 2017
1  Thank HeatherP1758
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HanfordMillsMuseum, Public Relations Manager at Hanford Mills Museum, responded to this reviewResponded July 31, 2017

Heather thank you for visiting Hanford Mills and for writing a thoughtful review. Our staff works hard to connect with everyone on our guided tours, and I'm glad you found that to be the case too. Please come again, perhaps for the Antique Engine Jamboree on September 9 when we'll be operating our steam boiler and steam engines to run the mill.

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