Central New York Research. The eclectic ramblings of doing genealogy and growing up in that part of Upstate New York that is the central and Finger Lakes regions. With ancestors all over the northeast and beyond, there will be forays outside the area with trips and news on family history as well as local history.
individual museum or $7.00 for the TRAIL TICKET*
Children (11 to 17).........$2.00 individual museum or $5.00
for the TRAIL TICKET*
Seniors (70 and older)...$2.00 individual museum or $5.00 for
the TRAIL TICKET*
*The TRAIL TICKET includes admission to
all Museumsfor one low price!
Save over 35% on Adult admission to all Historic Palmyra Museums!
1st to Oct. 31st 10:30am to 4:30pm, Tuesday through Saturday. And Tuesday
– Thursday Nov. 1st – April 30th, 11am- 4 pm.
It was a tavern, a bakery, a general
store and a boarding house over time since it was first built in 1826. William
and Julius Phelps were the proprietors over the years.
This building once housed a general
store, which served the needs of the Erie Canal. It was built right along the
canal and existed there for many years. Boats would tie up alongside the
building to come in and shop or, depending on the era, perhaps have what we now
refer to as “an adult beverage” or two. From 1905 onward, Julius Phelps a
general store for the village of Palmyra and it was the place for many of a
housewife to buy her essentials during the Great Depression. The war years of
the Second World War ended the building’s life as a general store. Today the
store still exists with merchandise piled on the shelves much like you would
find in any such store in the late 1930s. Where did they get the merchandise to
create this museum? Right there!
Julius Phelps decided in 1940 that he
could no longer afford to operate a general store. He locked the door and
walked away. There sat the merchandise until the museum was ready to open.
There is even a case with real eggs from 1940!
The only child of Julius was Sybil
Phelps. In her early days she traveled to New York City and attempted to become
an actress. She was a very talented musician as well as a Spiritualist. Later
she returned to Palmyra and her parents’ home above the store. Rising two
stories above the general store, this apartment is a spacious Victorian
apartment. Furnishings typical of the Victorian age still occupy this space.
The family lived here with no running water, only a cistern, and no
electricity. In fact, it was last updated in the 1880s. After her parents’
deaths, Sybil continued to live here alone (besides her 15 cats that is) until
her death in 1976 at the age of 81.
Since that time nobody has lived here.
Or have they? Did I mention that Sybil was a Spiritualist? Did I mention that
many people believe the place is haunted? Strange sightings have occurred here
over the years. Black cats have wandered in and disappeared. Music has played
when nobody is in the upper floors. Doors open and lights appear and disappear.
All the trappings of a ghost story exist. Whether they are real or not, I will
leave for you to decide.