In 1792, Asa Bement, Jr., a 28-year old blacksmith and Revolutionary War veteran traveled from Massachusetts to claim his new homestead along Owego Creek in Newark Valley. As one of the area’s earliest settlers, Bement worked hard to clear the untamed land and build a log home for his family. Over the years the family expanded the farm by enlarging the house, and building a sawmill, gristmill, and blacksmith shop on the property. The farm would become one of the most prosperous in the area, and Asa Bement, his family and their farmstead would play a significant role in the history of Tioga County.
One hundred years later William Billings gained possession of the property and in 1977 his granddaughter deeded the house and property to the Newark Valley Historical Society. The house was opened to the public as the Southern Tier’s only living history museum in 1980.
Today the house is furnished much as it was in the early 1800’s, and the barn, blacksmith shop, and carriage shed have been lovingly reconstructed. From July through the first week of October, Blacksmiths, homemakers, weavers and woodworkers dressed in period costume demonstrate their skills, providing a glimpse of life as it once was on this historic 19th century farmstead.
Currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and home to Newark Valley’s Fall Applefest, the Bement-Billings Farmstead Museum is a must stop on New York’s Path Through History.
Photos Courtesy of:
Newark Valley History Society
Tioga County Historical Society