Check out our fully interactive online travel guide or request a printed version for all the great activities, places to stay and dine in Corning & Finger Lakes, Steuben County, NY.
Benjamin Patterson Inn & Museum
The Oldest Tavern in Painted Post
The first innkeepers, Benjamin and Sarah Patterson, built the Benjamin Patterson Inn in 1796. It is now the oldest existing tavern in the Lands of Painted Post. Long ago, people would travel to the Finger Lakes Region to buy land from the Pulteney Estate. They'd travel the frontier highway, which was Williamson Road (now Route 15) and the Chemung River. Weary travelers would be welcomed by the Pattersons with a hot meal and place to rest for the night.
When you visit the Benjamin Patterson Inn today, just minutes from the Corning Museum of Glass, you can see the Tavern or Tap Room where guests once socialized and conducted business. The dining room and kitchen with working open hearth fireplace can both be seen, as can the long room, which houses an extensive collection of textile equipment. Walk through the Patterson's quarters, and view guest quarters displayed as if it were still 1800.
Experience 1800's Life in the Finger Lakes
While at the Patterson Inn Museum, visit the Wixon Road Log Cabin (circa 1855). The Mack family built and lived in the cabin on Wixon Road in the town of Campbell. Step inside the cabin and see how cramped it must have been for the family of five. Also browse through a reproduction "care package" from the Civil War and see what a soldier would have wanted sent from home.
Go back to school – way back, that is – when you visit the Browntown
Schoolhouse that was built in Caton in 1878. The one-room schoolhouse was used to teach kindergarten through eighth grade until 1955. Today, the schoolhouse still sees plenty of students on regional school field trips. Children enjoy learning their 3 Rs from NYS certified teachers and playing recess games that children would have played years ago in the schoolyard.
Take a self-guided tour through the Starr Barn's agriculture exhibit, "The Unvarying Rhythm of the Farmer's Year." The display depicts the year in four seasons, each illustrating the tasks and tools necessary in the life of a farmer during the first half of the 19th Century. Gain insight into the agricultural development of communities along the upper Chemung River in the 1800s.
Make sure your tour concludes at the working Blacksmith Shop where you can learn the tools of the trade during the 19th Century. Builtin the 1870s, and owned and operated by the Cooley family of Beaver Dams, the blacksmith shop served the local community of farmers for many years. There are items made by the Patterson Inn's blacksmith for sale in the gift shop.
Visit the Benjamin Patterson Inn & Museum
The Benjamin Patterson Inn Museum is open Monday – Friday 10 a.m.– 4 p.m. with a 1 p.m. tour. All other tours are given by appointment. Summer hours are 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Monday through Friday. Admission is $4 for adults, $3.50 for seniors (60+), and $2 for students (17 and under, or with a valid college ID). There is a family rate of $10 (maximum of two adults). Call ahead to make sure a walk-in tour is possible if you have a limited time frame, as special tours and private groups sometimes conflict with walk-ins.
The Corning-Painted Post Historical Society is a dynamic, community responsive, educational organization that inspires community memory by linking local history and heritage to contemporary life. It runs both the Benjamin Patterson Inn and the Painted Post – Erwin Museum at the Depot.