The Homeville Museum is part of the Central New York Living History Center in Cortland, N.Y. It appeals to people of all ages and engages the community in understanding historical experiences and their relationship to past and contemporary life. Through public activities and events, the museum’s displays are brought to life through educational presentations, reenactments, discussions, and artistic demonstrations. Core collections relate to military history, local business, industry, and railroad history.
Homeville showcases the collection of the late Ken Eaton, a WWII veteran who spent more than 35 years assembling military, railroad, and local history treasures for public display. Many other items of historical and cultural significance are combined with the Eaton collection to create a remarkable experience for visitors of all ages. The perspectives and understandings of area residents are incorporated in exhibits to provide social and cultural context to the museum’s treasures.
We hope you’ll visit us frequently – both in person and through this website. If you’re not already a member, please check out our page on joining through the BECOME A MEMBER link at the bottom of this page.
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Visit the Homeville Museum
Come see the Homeville Museum and the other museums that are part of the CNY Living History Center complex. One admission price gives you access to the Homeville Museum, Brockway Museum, Tractors of Yesteryear, and a new antique Firehouse that will open in the near future.
CNY Living History Center Open Hours
Tuesday through Saturday (Last admission at 4 p.m. to ensure visitors have enough time to tour the exhibits). Closed Sundays & Mondays, plus 4th of July, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day.
Admission Rates: Adults $10, Seniors $9, Children 6-18 $5, Children 5 & under free, Active Military free (with ID). Group rates also available. Cards Accepted: Master Card, Visa, Discover, American Express
Need a meeting place or venue for your next event or group rates to tour the museums? Call 607-299-4185 or visit https://cnylivinghistory.org/ for more information. The CNY Living History Center’s café, theater, community space, and garden are available for family events and corporate/organization functions.
2023 Coming Events
Please stay tuned as we proceed to schedule summer and fall events.
Recent Events – 2023
Vietnam Veterans Remembrance Day
On March 29, Vietnam Veterans Remembrance Day brought more than 60 Vietnam veterans and family members to the museum to enjoy fellowship with others and learn about area services available to them.
The day’s Welcome Ceremony featured Cortland County’s own Joe Sheridan, author of the recently published Angel in the Cockpit: Surviving Vietnam and PTSD, a Helicopter Pilot’s Story. After a moving introduction given by his fellow veteran Pat Snyder, Joe gave an inspiring keynote address. He engaged attendees in discussion and signed books to commemorate his interaction with old friends and others he met for the first time. Chaplain Norm Stitzel (VETSAR Search & Rescue and Disabled American Veterans Cortland chapter) presented the invocation and Lisa LaDieu (Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 377) led us in song with a beautiful rendition of The National Anthem.
Those who offered information and assistance through our vendor showcase were representatives from the Cortland Area Agency on Aging; the Cortland County Clerk; The Syracuse VA Medical Center, including its Disabled American Veterans Transportation Network and Equal Employment Opportunity Program; Toner Therapeutic Massage; NYS Department of Labor Employment Services; Clear Path for Veterans; and Access to Independence.
Joe Sheridan gave a second presentation and book signing that evening for the general public. More than 90 visitors attended.
Special thanks to Charlie Harrington, Chapter 377 of the Vietnam Veterans of America, for taking photos of the day’s activities and to our interns from SUNY Cortland, John Shea and Ethan Jensen for their assistance before and during the event.
Ronnie James Dio: Stories & Photos from Bandmates & Lifelong Friends
David “Rock” Feinstein, Mickey Lee Soule, Harold “Butch” Hyde, and Dick Bottoff entertained about 100 people with stories about Ronnie James Dio and his bands on March 18. Visitors saw the new Ronnie Dio display that’s part of the Homeville Museum’s Cortland County Musicians exhibit.
Spiegle Willcox: Early Career and Influences
The early career of Cortland’s famous jazz trombonist, Spiegle Willcox, was presented to an enthusiastic crowd on February 18 by Ralph Dudgeon, Professor of Music Emeritus (SUNY Cortland) and Principle Trumpet for the Catskill Symphony Orchestra. Visitors were entertained with factual (often humorous) stories about the start of Spiegle’s career and saw a few videos of his most famous performances. Visitors also viewed the Homeville Museum’s Cortland County Musicians exhibit, featuring a new display on Spiegle’s life in Cortland and international music career. Five members of the Willcox family attended.
Ghostly Experiences at Gettysburg
On January 21st, at our first Homeville Presents event of the year, Tom Canfield explained numerous ghostly encounters he and his family had on trips to Civil War battlefields and surrounding areas in Gettysburg. Tom is a past Civil War Cavalry reenactor and historian and a Civil War collector.
Holiday Train Day
The Homeville Museum’s December 10 Holiday Train Day brought children of all ages to the CNY Living History Center for a day of fun. Many thanks to guest conductors Dick Barry and Greg Darling, who joined Homeville’s train specialists Mike Brown, Ed Barry, and Mike Stoll to make the day a special event for all. Visitors enjoyed hands-on activities, making the museum’s regular train displays and special holiday trains (The Polar Express, Elf on the Shelf, and scenic holiday trains) run all day long. Children and adults made holiday ornaments and other decorations. This year’s event included our first model train sale. Train collectors and families wishing to start or enhance their home train layouts were able to get used train cars and locomotives, track, scenery, and accessories at very reasonable prices.
Veterans Day Watchfire
Thanks to all who helped organize and participated in our 5th annual Veterans Day Watchfire. A Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 377 Color Guard presided over a welcome ceremony that preceded lighting the fire. We began with an invocation by Chaplain Ray Dunphy, a US Navy retiree and member of the Homer American Legion. Lisa LaDieu from the Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 377 sang the National Anthem. Chapter 377 member Mike Moran gave an inspiring and reflective keynote address to commemorate veterans who did not return home as well as those who did. Marilee Comerford, representing the Daughters of the American Revolution, read In Flanders Field. Many thanks to those who donated and set up the pallets for the fire, folded flags for respectful burning, donated refreshments, and helped with event preparations and clean up.
Military Vehicle Show
On September 17 military vehicle owners, reenactors, and historians informed visitors about World War II and the Vietnam War through presentations and tours through military camps staged outdoors at the Central New York Living History Center. Visitors also viewed the Homeville Museum’s military collection and learned about the New York National Guard/State Guard in WWII through a presentation by Alex Stowe.
Civil War Weekend
July 16-17 brought Civil War reenactors and visitors to the museum to experience the living history of the Civil War. The event was marked by tours through reenactor camps, presentations on various aspects of the Civil war, infantry and artillery drills, and a variety of demonstrations. Special thanks to reenactors and speakers, the Living History Center’s regular volunteers who put in extra time for the event, and additional volunteers (e.g., from Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 377 and the community at large) who helped with many tasks through the weekend.
2021 Cortland County Hall of Fame Inductees
- Llewellyn P Norton (1837-1914)
- John Forshee (1883-1974)
- Nellie Randall (1892-1983)
- William J Dwyer (1895-1958)
- Fritz Mullen (1923-living)
A quick shout out to several organizations that have helped Homeville immensely:
- The Glass Smith
- Bob’s Barbecue Catering
- Coffee Mania
Find links to their websites on our Useful Links page. accessed from the bottom menu.