COXSACKIE — The Bronck Museum in Coxsackie, the site of the oldest surviving home in upstate New York, will soon unveil a meticulously restored late 19th century hay barn to allow visitors to explore the agricultural history of the Hudson Valley.
The barn, named the Meadow Ridge Heritage Barn, was rescued and repaired by volunteers and local businesses. It is being reassembled on the grounds of the museum alongside the footprint of a hay barn that once stood there, and will include an authentic period hay press as well as facilities for special events, lectures and activities highlighting Greene County’s heritage.
The restoration project was made possible by a major donation from a local businesswoman, Shannon Wu, a frequent visitor and patron of the Bronck Museum. The barn will be named in honor of Wu’s property on the Hudson River in Coxsackie, which itself includes an elaborately renovated 19th century dairy barn that has been converted into a wedding and event venue called Meadow Ridge on Hudson.
The Meadow Ridge Heritage Barn will be the newest addition to the Bronck Museum complex, which consists of 1663 and 1738 dwellings, a kitchen dependency, a northern European side-aisle barn, a 13-sided hay barn and several Victorian agricultural buildings, and serves as the headquarters of the Greene County Historical Society.
The barn will preserve and interpret the agricultural history of hay grown locally a century ago on farms throughout the Hudson Valley. This hay fed thousands of horses in New York City and the Northeast.
Since 1929, the Greene County Historical Society, a not-for-profit organization, has been preserving the history and heritage of Greene County by taking on projects like the rebuilding of this 19th century hay barn. Donations like Wu’s, as well as memberships and grants, have allowed the historical society to expand and educate a growing community throughout the region.
With the addition of the Meadow Ridge Heritage Barn to the Bronck Museum complex, the changing agricultural practices of the last 276 years will be represented. Each of the unique barns on the complex provide exhibit space for a varied collection of agricultural equipment, horse-drawn vehicles, and Greene County artifacts, which includes a large model of the famous Catskill Mountain House. The Mountain House was built in 1823 and hosted thousands, including presidents, senators and European royalty.
The Bronck Museum opens on Memorial Day Weekend and the Meadow Ridge Heritage Barn will be well on its way to being rebuilt. Stop in to see the progress and tour the grounds and historic buildings.
The Bronck Museum is located just off Route 9W, 1.5 miles south of the intersection of routes 9W, 385 and 81 near Coxsackie and is easily reached via Thruway Exit 21B. For more information about the Bronck Museum, the Meadow Ridge Heritage Barn and events visit www.gchistory.org or call 518-731-6490. For information about Meadow Ridge on Hudson event venue visit www.meadowridgeonhudson.com.