Historical artifacts and exhibits from Franklinville and Ischua, New York are in the Simeon B. Robbins House, also known as the Miner's Cabin, at 9 Pine St. Franklinville, NY.
Brief History of the Miner's Cabin
The signature property of the Ischua Valley Historical Society (IVHS) is the Miner's Cabin. It is the second piece of property obtained by the IVHS. It is a 3 story Victorian mansion, named by the man, Simeon Robbins, who had the house built from profits he gained during the Gold Rush in the Yukon Territory in the late 1800s. He returned to Franklinville with his substantial riches, and bought property on Pine St., removing the existing structure that was there, and hiring an architect to design and build the house to his specifications. This three story edifice of Queen Anne design was built by Tom Corsett and R. A. Crosby for Simeon Robbins in 1895 at a cost of $7,000.
The first floor consists of three living rooms (a parlor, living room and office), as well as a foyer and dining room, and the kitchen and a bathroom installed at some point in the house's history. It has heavy, beautifully carved woodwork, fireplaces, and parquet floors. All rooms but the entry to the kitchen are newly papered in the design of the 1895 era. The second floor consists of six rooms; one of which was considered to be the maid's room, and was located near the rear stairway. The third floor was used as a ballroom, and has a raised platform on the west side of the house for an orchestra/band to play for the parties that the Robbins' held there.
The house is currently used a museum and is filled with antique furniture on the first floor, and on the second floor is a furnished bedroom with a toy repository, but all the other rooms are dedicated to research and written material collected by the Society. One room is dedicated to our local high school, Ten Broeck Academy; another focuses on Franklinville's main employer throughout the years, the Ontario Knife Company (the oldest continuously operating cutlery factory in existence); one is used as an office, and two are used for storage of all the newspapers and scrapbooks collected by IVHS over the years. The third floor ballroom is used for storage at the present time, and holds an enormous number of miscellaneous objects donated to the Society over time.
The IVHS, since assuming ownership of the Miner's Cabin in 1971, has rewired it, put on a new roof, installed new water pipes, a new furnace, storm windows and doors, and restored the barn - at a cost of well over $20,000.00. This has been done through membership (225), donations, a lot of work by the members, and money made at our room at the Maple Festival where they sell cheese, baked goods, crafts, and conduct a flea market.
The IVHS holds its Board meetings at the Miner's Cabin, each month throughout the year, as well as monthly program meetings where a speaker gives a talk or demonstration of interest to the public. An annual picnic is held on the grounds, weather permitting in July, and a Christmas party is held in December. Our meetings are open to the public and free of charge. The museum is open by appointment only.
The Simeon B. Robbins House was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2003.
When is the Miner's Cabin open for tours?
The Miner's Cabin is open during the Maple Festival or on special "Open House" occasions when they display a variety of treasured antiques indigenous to this area. It is also open by appointment by calling 716-676-2590.