Aug 22, 2016

Exploring the Sterling, NY area

John and I had another great day trip. This time we went to Sterling
and Fair Haven.  I am always amazed by the places close to home that we have not visited. We started with a visit to Sterling Museum. We have driven by the Red Schoolhouse Museum several times but never when it was open.  Like a lot of small museums getting volunteers to sit at a museum limits the times and days they are open.  The Little Red Schoolhouse Museum in Sterling is open Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 4 from mid-July to the end of August.

The museum has an incredible amount of artifacts on display.  On the first floor there is a large diorama of the Sterling area of yesteryear complete with a miniature train set. The railroad played a key role in the development of the area. At one time the train made three stops within a few miles. Impressive are the images of people shoveling to keep the tracks clear in the winter.  Some of the pictures show the snow higher than they were.  The track bed is now part of the statewide snowmobile trails. There is an excellent 15-minute video detailing the development of the railroad and its impact on Sterling.  On the first floor there is also a small room set up as an early classroom.

The top floor is set up so we could wander from one display area to
another.  Surely you will find something of interest.  I especially liked the general store and sewing display with material from feedbags. At one time feed came in colored fabrics that were used for many things including clothing. In 1942 it is estimated that three million women and children wore feedbag garments. The string that was used to tie the feed bag could be crocheted into a variety of things. The ultimate in recycling. John was interested in the display with a Civil War uniform and other artifacts.

Outside is the Heritage Park with a New York Central Railway Signal Tower that was originally in Sterling. The operational room is set up as it would have been including a candlestick telephone, telegraph and large levers used to switch the tracks. Next to it is the Raymond Arthur Waldron
Exhibit Building filled with everything from farm machinery to a buggy to tools for harness-makers, coopers, and blacksmiths. Not to miss is riding on the railroad hand car.  It takes two people to pump it along the short track. They hope to have a caboose soon to add to their exhibit.

We continued to Fair Haven and made a quick stop at the Sterling-Cidery. All their ciders are hand-crafted using only local apples then aged in American oak.  Try their Ginger Shandy made with California organic lemon and fresh ginger. They are only open on weekends; same as the museum. Our last
stop was down the road a bit to the Colloca Estate Winery. I find it amazing at the number of new wineries there are. It was a beautiful day and a beautiful spot to end the day.  All wineries seem to be in a picturesque location and Colloca is no different. They have a lovely pond and are just steps from the lake. They also have a seasonal outdoor wine bar that has wood cooked pizza. Summer is a great time for day trips.