Pioneer Kitchen Exhibit

The kitchen was the center of activity in pioneer homes. Women prepared meals, canned fruit, tended to their children and managed a household with only a few conveniences. This replica of a pioneer kitchen features an open hearth with cast iron crane for cooking, a baking oven, a rope bed and all the implements that made the kitchen both functional and the heart of every home for the early pioneers of WNY. Kitchen illustration The exhibit offers hands-on learning for children and adults to experience a “taste” of pioneer life.

1880s Street of Shops
Stroll down Main Street as it looked in the late 19th century. View our recreation of the 1880s General Store with its array of goods needed for the well-furnished home, including dishes, crockery, kitchen tools and utensils, fabrics, clothing, notions, hardware and much more. Stop and see our shaving mugs and other tonsorial tools at the Barbershop. Peer into the Watchmaker’s Shop and see the intricate tools and lathes the watchmaker used, along with gears from the timepieces that were a key status symbol in the Victorian period. Get a glimpse into the past by examining prescriptions, minerals, chemicals and the variety of compounds dispensed at Smither’s Pharmacy.


Something Borrowed, Something Blue: Wedding Fashions 1800 – 2000
Indulge in bridal fashions spanning two hundred years. On view will be 17 gowns (with accessories) from BNHV’s extensive bridal collection. Various gowns of note include an empire waist gown featuring silver brocade with green leaf detailing (1820), an alpaca silk beige gown complete with bustle, ruffles, apron and silk bonnet (1874), a court dress with chenille embroidery (1889), a Jackie O-inspired dress featuring ornate beadwork with full skirt and train (1962), and silk embroidered dresses dating to the 1920s.

Tuning In & Reaching Out: A Story of Radio & TV, 1910 – 1959
Let this exhibit of television, radio and communication equipment take you back in time! See how these devices changed the lives of everyone who encountered them and connected people to their community, their nation and the world at large. Share memories with your family about an early television set you watched at the corner store as a child or the crystal radio sets or transistor kits you assembled. Pioneer photo Learn together about Western New York radio stars who made a big splash on the national scene, including the man behind the Lone Ranger. There’s a treasure trove of memories to explore, share and intrigue—no matter your age.

Vice & Virtue: The Rise & Fall of Prohibition
This new exhibit explores how the 18th Amendment sought to bring on an age of temperance and virtue but instead resulted in an increase in excess, indulgence, and vice as Americans began to test the limits of one of the most unpopular pieces of legislature in American history. Follow the progression of alcohol consumption in Western New York, the 19th century temperance movement, the passage of the 18th Amendment and its eventual repeal along with fun facts and statistics. Enjoy the music of the era in the replica speakeasy and share your Prohibition stories that have been passed down from generation to generation in your family!

How They Moved Here
Ever wonder how the buildings out in our Village were moved here? This exhibit shows how we moved some of these structures, including interesting facts about the buildings as they were moved and the process each underwent as they were restored back to their former glory. Enjoy photographs chronicling the journey of each historic structure, from disrepair to transition to restoration. You’ll never look at our buildings the same way again!