The famous Balloon Farm of the 1800s is drawing people once again. The historic site will open Sunday for a tour and wine-tasting fundraiser. From 1 to 4 p.m., guests will have the chance to tour the old farmhouse turned bed and breakfast.
The famous Balloon Farm of the 1800s is drawing people once again.
The historic site will open Sunday for a tour and wine-tasting fundraiser. From 1 to 4 p.m., guests will have the chance to tour the old farmhouse turned bed and breakfast.
The tour will take place at the farm, 128 Cemetery St., Frankfort. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. The money raised will benefit the Herkimer County Historical Society and the maintenance of the Suiter Building and the Eckler Building.
Tickets may be purchased at the Herkimer County Historical Society or at Ilion Wine and Spirits.
The bed and breakfast occupies the first two floors of the old house, the third being the location of the experiments by former occupants Charles and Mary Myers, who became fascinated with ballooning and began experimenting with their own brand of sky-bound innovations.
“It is a really beautiful home,” said Caryl Hopson, historical society administrative assistant. “They did a great job renovating it.”
Originally built in 1878, the house became the site of aeronautical and meteorological experiments. While the first two floors were used by the family for living space, the third floor became a laboratory. The Myerses tinkered with chemicals and made use of machine, carpentry and sewing shops in the house.
It was during these experiments that the couple invented and manufactured aeronautical equipment and instrument-carrying balloons that would be used in meteorological experiments.
“There are doors on each end of the house for the balloons to be sent through,” said Susan Perkins, executive director of the Herkimer County Historical Society.
While the first and second floors are open to the public for overnight visits, the third floor usually is closed. But during the tour, all three floors will be open and guests will see photos from the original farm and the third floor where the Myerses made their balloons. The tour will feature the history of the home and the hot air balloons that made the home famous.
“We wanted to select a home in Frankfort because it’s Frankfort’s 150th anniversary,” Hopson said. “It goes along with celebrating the history of Frankfort.”