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Historically Lewis

Home of the Lewis County Historical Society

Add a single artifact or a large collection to the Society’s historic collections and take your place in Lewis County history!

Every year, new artifacts are added to the collections of the Lewis County Historical Society through the generosity of individuals, families, businesses and other organizations. While we don’t take just anything, make no mistake, donations of artifacts are the main way in which our collections grow; donations of artifacts are one of the few ways you can help preserve and leave a legacy to the history of Lewis County; and donations of artifacts truly help us to fulfill our mission as interpreters and promoters of Lewis County’s history.

So let us say right up front, thank you for your interest in donating artifacts to the Lewis County Historical Society!

Worthy and important artifacts run the gamut: historical objects; works of fine art or art crafts; documents; books or manuscripts; library materials; noteworthy photographs (both old originals and digital images of them); motion picture film, video and audio recordings; maps; vintage signs; furniture; clothing; tools; memorabilia and other ephemera of local businesses; oral, written and video histories, and/or other items which have been created or used in our local community and geographical area.

How to Donate

We welcome gifts of artifacts that enhance or develop our collections, although please do not send or drop off objects without prior consultation with us. If you have artifacts that you believe would add to the Lewis County Historical Society’s collections, you will first be asked to fill out a lead donation form describing your proposed donation, the history of the item and including photographs and measurements of the artifact.

For more information on how to donate or to obtain a copy of our lead donation form, please contact our Office Manager, Cole Mullin, at 315-376-8957 or, or swing by the Temple and see him.

Proposed donations will be reviewed by our collections committee based on their relevance to Lewis County and the Historical Society’s mission, vision and archives and collections approach. You will be contacted regarding the next steps and may also be asked for additional information about your proposed donation.

Our “Wish List”

Particular Artifacts The Historical Society Is Looking For:

Original 1796 Silver Castorland Jeton

The “Castorland Coin”

These coins were given to the directors of the Compagnie de New York, who wanted to create a French settlement in Lewis County in the 1790s. There are a great many “restrikes” of this coin available, but we are looking for one of the original silver jetons.

Harrisburg Glass

For a short period of time in the 1830s, there was a glass factory in Harrisburg that produced American folk glass with lily pad designs. We feel strongly that a piece of this glassware should be preserved and on display at the Lewis County Historical Society.

Paintings, Sculptures & Works of Art

Original paintings, sculptures or works of art or art crafts of people with a connection to Lewis County or of Lewis County scenes. Originals of Charles Melville Dewey, Levi Wells Prentice, Melvin Brown Ray are just a few of those whose works we would love to have and be able to display.

Lewis County Photographic Images

Photographs, prints, postcards, etc. of noteworthy local photographers or artists or that include images or scenes of locations or people in or around Lewis County. Henry M. Beach, George Carter, Frank Duflo, Harry Hurd, William Mandeville are just a few of those whose original works we would love to have.


Images of, or artifacts from, historic locations around Lewis County, original drawings or old photographs of original historic homes, or actual pieces of architecture from a site.


Locally-made articles of clothing, clothing worn by notable Lewis County people and significant pieces that speak to a particular era.


Locally-made and worn uniforms and related military materials for local military figures.

Antique Toys

Locally-made toys or toys owned by notable families or persons from Lewis County.


Sports memorabilia, uniforms, equipment, photographs or other items from local school, amateur, church-league or other sports teams from Lewis County. In particular, we’d love to be able to collect and assemble old pictures and play lists from the many league ball teams over the last 150 years.


Old original posters reflecting Lewis County events.


Old corporate, family or individual diaries reflecting the history of Lewis County or growing up or operating in the area.


Noteworthy family, event or other scrapbooks reflecting the history of Lewis County or any of its towns or communities.


Old good quality books about, concerning or with some connection to Lewis County or its environs.


We are always looking for unique, good quality antique maps of Lewis County, Tug Hill, the Adirondacks or any of its individual tracts, towns, or communities.


Antique and vintage signs from businesses or operations in or connected to Lewis County, whether wood, enamel, porcelain, tin, metal, lighted or neon.

Vintage Business Memorabilia

Old business and advertising memorabilia marked or clearly associated with Lewis County businesses or operations.


Oral or video histories of individuals, families or organizations from or concerning Lewis County or any of its towns or communities.


High-quality, unique historic or vintage pieces of furniture that was made or assembled in Lewis County or was owned or used by notable Lewis County families or businesses.

School Memorabilia

While we are pretty well set with respect to Lowville Academy yearbooks, we are looking for yearbooks, photographs and event memorabilia for both (i) the existing schools at Beaver River, Copenhagen, South Lewis, Harrisville and Lowville Academy and (ii) the former schools that existed in Port Leyden, Constableville, Lyons Falls, West Leyden, Turin, Martinsburg, Greig, Castorland, and Croghan. Beyond that, we are always looking for original photographs of, memorabilia from, and detailed information any of the many single room schools that formerly existed throughout the County.


Unique, vintage and/or historic tools or implements with a particular connection to Lewis County or significant Lewis County families or businesses.

Dairy and Agriculture Industries

Good quality, well-preserved Lewis County dairy or agricultural industry memorabilia.

Cheese Factories

We are always looking for original photographs of, implements from, and detailed information about the many cheese factories that used to exist all over Lewis County.

Forest, Timber and Paper Industries

We are always looking for original photographs of, memorabilia from or unique tools used by Lewis County’s many forest, timber and paper industry operations.


well-preserved examples of vintage Lewis County carriages, sleighs, wagons, stage coaches, early automobiles or other important pieces of transportation equipment.


Original ledgers, unique memorabilia, interior (or exterior) photographs or notable pieces from Lewis County’s many old hotels and taverns.

Family Histories

We are always looking for comprehensive family histories for significant Lewis County families that should be preserved for posterity.