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Baseball and museums fill a day trip to Cooperstown

From time to time, The Beacon will run feature stories on day-long excursions  for Berkshire County residents.

Everyone deserves a fun day now and then, but with the sluggish economy, it’s hard for people, especially families, to plan extended vacations.

We will feature day-long excursions within easy traveling distances from The Berkshires.

Then you, too, can say, “It was nice to get away.”

COOP[media-credit id=3 align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]ERSTOWN, N.Y.Imagine taking a step back in time and being able to walk down the streets of an 1840s village.

That’s exactly what you’ll do when you visit the Famers’ Museum, a sprawling 120 acre complex overlooking a picturesque, nine mile body of water called Otsego Lake.

You will see newborn lambs “baaing”  near  their parents in grassy fields, along with horses, curly tailed pigs and clucking chickens.

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Step into the printing office that originally came from Middlefield, N.Y.,  where you will see a Washington flatbed press dating from the 1840s. Untold editions of the weekly Andes Recorder from Delaware County, N.Y., once rolled off that press. It looks vastly different from today’s modern facilities.[media-credit id=3 align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]


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Stroll past the big white Cornwallville Church, the frame of which was built in 1798, and glance at the tombstones standing in the nearby cemetery.


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You can also step into Dr. Thrall’s Pharmacy. A friendly woman in a long dress and bonnet, typical of  the 1800s, will tell you about “medicinal leeches” that will make even the least squeamish person shiver.

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Then, take a look at the huge bellows in the local Field Blacksmith Shop. It was originally built by Peleg Field in 1827 and served customers in New Berlin, N.Y.

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Tons of photo ops

There’s a lot more to see in the barns and shops of the Famers’ Museum. The surrounding rural vistas are picturesque enough to keep you snapping  your digital camera for hours on end.

There’s a lot of walking, though, so wear comfortable shoes.

Kids of all ages (especially the inner children of adults) will love riding the Empire State Carousel, which has an entire enclosure of its own.

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It’s a beautiful carousel with a couple dozen riding animals, including a huge chicken. It took more than 1,000 volunteers working for 20 years to complete the carousel, which is filled with historical carvings and stories. According to a leaflet, it was originated by Gerry Holtzman in the 1980s.

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There’s a book for sale on the premises telling all about the carousel but it will set you back more than $30 with tax.

Art museum across the street

If possible, take some time to walk across the street to the sprawling mansion that is now the Fenimore Art Museum, where you will view paintings of every possible description.

Be sure to tell the person behind the ticket counter at the Famers’ Museum that you plan to visit the art museum in order to get discounted ticket admissions.

At the Fenimore, the first thing you’ll notice on the huge front lawn is a 30-foot-tall Indian totem pole.

Inside the museum, you will see Grandma Moses’ intricate, detailed scenes of country life and view a huge collection of Native American clothing and artifacts as well as art.

The museum has ongoing exhibits.

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Iroquois fesitivities coming up

Iroquois dancers, singers, storytellers and more than 30 artisans will be on the front lawn this coming weekend, May 25-26.

An exhibition of trucks from 1907-1977, titled “The Pickup Truck: America’s Driving Force,” will be shown May 25-Oct. 31.

You can even order a lunch of quiche or sandwiches and soup (including a tasty soup made with beer and cheese) and carry everything to tables outside under blue skies on the veranda where you will be able to see breathtaking views of nearby Otsego Lake.

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That’s not all Cooperstown has to offer. Baseball fans of all ages will join hoardes of other sports enthusiasts to tour the Baseball Hall of Fame in the downtown section.

There are also shops lining the street where the hall of fame is located, and all have lots of admittedly pricey souvenirs of this favorite place of baseball fans.

The drive to Cooperstown is about two hours and 15 minutes from Berkshire County. It’s located in central New York and is a little more than an hour’s drive from Albany.

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Leave time for taggies

The landscape is very rural with lots of grassy pastures dotted with cattle plus lush green trees and flowers.

If you go on a Saturday, allow time along the way to stop at dozens of yard sales offering hundreds of treasures of every possible description.A day trip to Cooperstown, N.Y. will be one you, your friends and kids or grandkids will remember for a long time, filled with lots to do, see and experience.


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(The tour on which this article was based was actually a fundraiser for the Dalton Art Guild.  Participants went on buses provided by First Choice Tours out of South Deerfield. The company, by the way, has lots of one-day excursions, so check out their website.)


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Posted by on May 23, 2013. Filed under Arts and Entertainment,Travel. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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