From its beginnings as an informal historical society in 1959, the Town of Middlefield Historical Association has developed a local history museum and community center, a program series ranging from craft demonstrations to community festivals, and a growing collection of artifacts, printed materials and photographs relating to the history of the Town of Middlefield, in central New York.
The Town of Middlefield Historical Association was chartered by the New York State Board of Regents in 1966, the same year it leased the Old District No. 1 Schoolhouse in the hamlet of Middlefield for its headquarters. The two-story school building had been used only occasionally for elections and meetings since it closed 1954. The Association membership worked hard to raise funds for renovation and restoration through auctions, country fairs, bazaars, and operating the Yankee Peddler thrift shop.
The windows were restored, roof replaced, building painted and the bell returned. Inside, the walls were insulated and a furnace installed. A new sliding door separated the two first floor classrooms and a new stairway led to the unfinished second floor. One of the classrooms was re-created using original furnishings to appear much as it would have in the early twentieth century. The second classroom provides space for meetings, programs and a gift shop.
Later, the second floor was renovated for a museum of Middlefield history. Exhibits present the chronological development of the town including barns, farming, hop growing and cheese making. Mini-exhibits include toys, inns and taverns, churches and farms.
The grounds surrounding the schoolhouse are an integral part of this community center. The property is bordered by the picturesque Cherry Valley Creek. On the west side of the school is a recreation area developed in 1976 from a former mill site and gravel pit. It includes sports fields used by Little League baseball teams, soccer teams, families and youth groups. Walkers and joggers enjoy the perimeter of the field. On the east side of the building is the original shaded playground, site of school picnics and recess, and today's Children's activities during the Fall Festival.
The Town of Middlefield Historical Association continues to maintain the historic school building and grounds, and promotes its original role as an educational and cultural resource in the community. The Old District No. 1 Schoolhouse was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988. Membership dues, the Old School Gift Shop and special fund raisers help provide funds for maintenance and preservation. The Association is a membership-based organization and invites all who are interested in the collection and preservation of the history of Middlefield to become a Member.
The Association publishes a newsletter, brochures, and a Middlefield Hamlet Historic District Walking Tour Guide. The Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985. In 2020, with a grant from the William G. Pomeroy Foundation, a designation marker was installed along Long Patent Road (Otsego County Rt. 35), just south of the hamlet intersection, recognizing the Historic District. Members, residents, and visitors are welcomed to a variety of historical and cultural programs from July to October.
Through its diverse programming and unique facilities, the Town of Middlefield Historical Association strives to bring people together and to help build a stronger sense of community. We invite you to visit...
to learn from our programs,
to meet old and new friends and neighbors,
to play and rest in the atmosphere of our tree-shaded grounds,
and to share in the traditions and values of our common past.