Esperance Historical Society and Museum
The Village of Esperance, New York is located on Historic US Route 20 and is home to the Esperance Commons granted to the village by William North in 1820. The Commons now includes the 1878 schoolhouse housing the Esperance Historical Society Museum and Chapel Library, a carriage barn displaying old farm equipment, and the 1824 Presbyterian stone church which is still active today. The museum and carriage barn highlight displays of artifacts, photographs, old farm equipment and other items that reveal the story of a rural upstate New York village centered on agriculture and trade along the Great Western Turnpike. Once a bustling community, hotels, mills and shops, stagecoaches, wagons, and drovers with their herds and flocks of animals crowded the streets of this small community during the westward expansion of our country. The Great Western Turnpike Co., organized in 1799, completed construction of the Esperance covered bridge over the Schoharie in 1812. The bridge saw revenue of over $1000 a month, with pennies being charged for tolls. Decline came as the Erie Canal, and then the railroads took traffic off the Turnpike. However, with the advent of the automobile, the Turnpike became part of US Route 20 and traffic was heavy once again. We invite you to take your time to delve into the story the museum reveals, and also to enjoy and explore the peaceful atmosphere of the once bustling community and the beauty of the Schoharie Valley with its colorful history. Groups accepted please contact Ken Jones for details. Handicap Accessible and service dogs accepted. Admission is Free.