Museum Village was the vision of Roscoe William Smith, an electrical engineer, entrepreneur, philanthropist and collector who contributed to his native Orange County in many ways during his 99 years. Roscoe made his fortune as founder of the Orange and Rockland electric company in 1905. The wealth he generated from his successful company and investments allowed him to give back to the community in many ways. Probably Roscoe's most cherished gift to the local community was Museum Village of Old Smith’s Clove. Roscoe was passionate about American history and was an avid collector of Americana. His collection varied widely, from textiles and porcelain items to horse-drawn carriages. His main interest was in craft tools and mechanical devices: their invention, adaptation and development which he realized were slowly disappearing. He would sometimes accept farm tools or artifacts as forms of payment for electricity. In addition, Roscoe had a tremendous appreciation for archaeology and our native american heritage. We have on display one of the most complete mastodon skeletons in the world. For over 40 years Roscoe amassed a great collection. In 1940 he began to display the artifacts and educate visitors. Museum Village opened its doors on July 1, 1950. Today, Museum Village still pursues its founder’s vision of educating generations of Americans about the work and life of their ancestors. Through educational programs, hands-on-exhibits and special events Museum Village is dedicated to exploring and interpreting 19th century rural life as well as inspiring an appreciation for the evolution of industry and technology in America.
Why we need your help
Research suggests that the next 6 months are going to be very difficult for the heritage and cultural sector due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Tourism has dropped dramatically and school visits are unlikely to occur until at least 2021, two of our key visitor demographics. Research also suggests that most people are not yet ready to start returning to visitor attractions.
The Museum is committed to providing a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone. With the deep loss of revenue due to the pandemic shutdown, we need funding to continue our renovations and exhibit upgrades. The following are some of the projects we are currently working on.
Building & Grounds Maintenance
• Gardening and landscaping
• Upgrade walkways and building entrances
• Build handicap ramps
• Picnic tables and benches
• Doors and windows
• Security system
Exhibit Upgrades and Redesigns
• Energy Building
• Wagon Shop
• Tin Smith
• Broom Shop
General Exhibit Upgrades
• Refurbish outdoor building signs
• Update and upgrade labeling
• Update and upgrade signage
• Metal shelving for artifact storage
• Proper cleaning and exhibit supplies
Snack Bar Upgrades
Visitor Center Upgrades
Restroom & Wells Upgrades
It is not an easy step to ask for help. We know and understand that this crisis has put many people, workplaces and sectors in huge financial difficulty. We know that there are people who care about Roscoe Smith's legacy, and we’re asking people to donate whatever they can to keep Roscoe's memory alive - even small donations are wholeheartedly welcome so that we can continue our purpose as a museum to care for a historically significant collection and to inspire the next generation.
Thank you for your continued support!