The Vestal Museum is a department of the Town of Vestal and is an organization dedicated to the preservation and presentation of local history. The Vestal Museum serves as the repository of local artifacts and archives. Public education is accomplished through collection care, exhibits and public and school programs. Museum programs are developed in cooperation with Vestal Historical Society members and community volunteers.
Along with being an exhibition space and gallery, The Vestal Museum is a public space where people are welcome to spend a quiet hour reading, or use as a shared work space. Artists should feel welcome to set up shop during museum hours to paint and sketch. We have two public computers and wifi on hand. The museum can be a meeting place for book clubs, child play groups, or any other group who needs a space to meet. And we will make you a cup of tea or coffee.
Built in 1881, the D.L. & W. depot at Vestal opened in time for the first scheduled passenger train on October 3rd. Abandoned after the 1960 merger of the D.L. & W and Erie railroads, the station was used as a warehouse until the Town of Vestal purchased it for $201 to use as a Museum. On a cold, snowy December day in 1972 the depot was moved to the library campus where four years of restoration by the Town and Vestal Historical Society began. On June 4, 1976, the depot opened as the town Museum under the stewardship of the Historical Society.
The same Carpenter Gothic style was used for other depots on both the D.L. & W. and Erie lines. Restoration of the 73 foot long depot included replacing rotted siding, installing a new bathroom, replacing the furnace, constructing stairs to the basement, adding decking for easy access, repairing the slate roof, and finishing with a good coat of paint. The depot remains largely unchanged after 136 years and it still promises adventure to all who enter.
The building was designated a local historic landmark in 2012.
Founded in 1823, Vestal had its humble beginnings as a lumbering and farming community. Come learn the history of farming in Vestal from the large farm on Hiawatha Island to the John S. LaGrange Farm to Drovers Inn to Cold Spring Farm to Brookdale Stock farm. The Vestal Historical Society’s extensive farming collection will be on display as well as photographs of the farms that made up the town.
Come see the art of Clayton Ave Elementary School students in grades K through 5 from February 9th through March 16th. The opening reception is on February 9th from 12 to 3pm. The Vestal Museum is open on Thursdays and Fridays from 10am to 2pm, on Saturdays from 10am to 3pm, and on Sundays from 1pm to 3pm.