Valentown Museum, originally called Valentown Hall, is on the National Historic Register. It's just one in a cluster of historic 19 century buildings at Valentown Square, off Rt. 96 across from Eastview Mall in Victor. In 1879, Levi and Alanson Valentine constructed the 5-story commercial structure as a shopping plaza and community center on a busy crossroads homestead owned by their grandfather, Ichabod Town. Levi Valentine had built Valentown next to land where a railroad was supposed to arrive, hoping the property would be a stop on the Pittsburgh, Shawmut, and Northern Railroad. The company building the railroad, however, ran out of money before it reached Valentown.
Unfortunately, the company that was building the railroad ran out of funds and tracks before they could reach Valentown. Finally, Valentown was vacated and left untouched. In the 1940's, historian J. Sheldon Fisher's goal was to preserve Valentown as a Historical Museum.
~ ~ ~ And the rest is history - literally. ~ ~ ~
The landmark building is a rare example of 19th century architecture and has remained almost unaltered since its original construction. In 1940, the owners were contemplating selling the long empty building for salvage, but J. Sheldon Fisher determined to rescue the deteriorating historic landmark bought the Hall. He restored it and filled it with his vast collection of antiques, artifacts and heirlooms from early settlers of the area - creating Valentown Museum. The inside remains much as it was when originally built: a general store, meeting room, bakery, harness shop, cobbler's shop, music school, display cases filled with early flags and military items, a Grange meeting room, railroad/trolley/telegraph office, ticket office and Grand Ballroom (waiting for to be lovingly restored).
Truly a collection of collections is on display. Civil War artifacts, costumes & hats galore, farm implements and household utensils, candle making molds, spinning wheels, railroad & trolley memorabilia, blacksmithing tools, paintings, old maps and Phelps & Gorham documents, harnesses, tack and even a 1700' s wagon used in the American Revolutionary War! Coins, medals, glassware, early photographic & communications equipment and so much more can be found in Valentown Museum - and not just one of any of these. If there's one, there's half a dozen or more of each example of pioneer life in Eastern America! This is truly a unique and invaluable look at life in the 1800’s.
Fisher remained owner until 1998, when the Victor Historical Society, a not-for-profit organization bought the collection, museum, approximately 14 acres, the Ichabod Town Homestead built in 1835, the early 1800's schoolhouse and additional outbuildings. Through fundraising events such as it's very popular Victorian Festival held in July, the Harvest Festival in September and the masked ball in October, as well as corporate and private donations, the all-volunteer Victor Historical Society strains to preserve and protect Valentown Square as one of the few remaining sites where seniors can reminisce and youngsters can learn firsthand about the founding of western NY .The museum is located just off Rt. 96 across from Eastview Mall, in Victor, NY. To volunteer or make donations: please call 585-924-4170.
Last Updated Tuesday, January 03 2023 @ 10:20 am