Information on:

Hanford Mills Museum

51 County Highway 12

A Century and a Half of History

A mill site since 1846, for most of its commercial life Hanford Mills was owned and operated by the family of David Josiah Hanford, who purchased the mill in 1860.Under the Hanfords, the mill grew into a "rural industrial complex" that included a sawmill, gristmill, feed mill, woodworking shop and hardware store.

In 1898, Hanford Mills harnessed the waters of Kortright Creek to provide the town with its first electricity. Through time, the Hanfords also used steam and gasoline engines to power the mill and its electric dynamo.The mill closed in 1967, re-opening later that year as a museum. In 1973 Hanford Mills Museum was chartered by the State of New York. Its significance as one of the last 19th century mills to survive intact earned it a place on the State and National Registers of Historic Places.

Hanford Mills Museum's mission is to be a leading interpreter of the evolution of power generation and technology and how it contributed to the unsettling of rural America. The Museum is dedicated to preserving and presenting the mill site.To understanding how the Hanford and Pizza families adapted their business operations to respond to changes in technology, markets, and transportation.To illustrating how these activities affected the community.


Patrick Hughes

Saturday, June 23, 2018
I really enjoy supporting local museums like this. This museum had extremely friendly staff who went above what was required to show us a good time. We started off our tour with a 15 minute video about the history of the museum. Afterwards, we had an employee take us on a guided tour of the museum. During this tour they gave live demonstrations by turned on the huge water wheel, using two different saws to make covers, and lastly a huge saw, which sliced through a log several times. Definitely worth a visit.

Tom Cooper

Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018
If you have any interest in history, story telling, industry, water wheels, or life in the 19th and early 20th century, you need to visit here. My tour guide was very knowledgeable and good with the facts, family stories, and a touch of humor. This is not a recreation. Most of the buildings and equipment is original.

Kim Clancy

Saturday, June 30, 2018
Nice place for a family visit, great day camp for kids in summer. Ice harvest fun in winter. Fishing for kids and dad's on father's day :-)

Jennifer Norris

Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018
The weather was perfect, so we decided to drive it for the Ice Harvest Festival! It was a great opportunity to learn about a forgotten industry and connect with a fun community. The only downside? If you didn't dress warm, there weren't many places to warm up. They had fire pits going, but toy could still tell the folks who didn't wear enough clothing. All in all? A wicked fun February day in the Catskills!

Burr Hubbell

Monday, Jan. 29, 2018
A wonderful place to explore the connection between water power, milling and local history. Hanford Mills not only preserves the mill, but the lifestyle that went along with it. There are cooking demonstrations in the old house, ice cutting in the winter and home made ice cream in the summer. A great place to visit with family and friends. Something for all ages and backgrounds.

Hanford Mills Museum is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media