Monroe. Museum Village Recounting 19th Century life in Orange County

Monroe /
| 18 Jan 2023 | 10:55

The Old Museum Village of Smith’s Clove in Orange County is a “must see” venue for the thousands of school children and adults who visit the museum each year.

Located on 22 acres, spanning both the Towns of Monroe and Blooming Grove, the site is a living history museum showcasing the modes of living and the technological advances of the second half of the 19th century and the early 20th century.

Founded in 1950 by businessman and philanthropist Roscoe Smith. Smith built the museum to house his enormous collection of items ranging from books and cooking utensils to large motors, generators and steam engines. The museum features 19th century style buildings housing his collection which are staffed by a cadre of Interpreters and craftspersons’ dressed in period clothing. Visitors can engage in various activities of yesteryear such as making candles, whiskbrooms or partake of old-style dishes cooked over an open hearth fire.

Besides being an inveterate collector, Smith was a self-taught engineer who electrified much of Orange County and founded the Orange and Rockland Utilities Company.

The Orange and Rockland company has been long-term sponsor of the museum’s fascinating Energy Building. The almost 4,000-square foot building houses numerous and rare machines which revolutionized transportation, manufacturing and the American standard of living.

Museum board chairman Paul Campanella along with board trustee and museum volunteer engineer Bill Lemanski recently met with Orange and Rockland officials Linda Feger and Lisa Culhane to showcase the electrical panels and Energy Building structural improvements financed by the Orange and Rockland Utilities Company.