|~ Newark Valley Historical
~ Bement-Billings Farmstead ~
|BB House Museum||
Asa Bement, Jr. was among the first settlers in
Newark Valley. He brought his young family from Stockbridge,
Massachusetts in the 1790’s to settle here on the banks of the east
branch of Owego Creek. His 350 acre farm included tilled fields,
pastures, and woodlands. In addition to this home, Asa built a saw mill,
a grist mill, a blacksmith shop, and barns on his property. The mills
and blacksmith shop served the needs of neighboring farms as well as his
own. The Bement farmstead was one of the most prosperous in Northern
When Asa built this house in the mid 1790’s, it had a kitchen, ante-room, pantry, bedroom, and a sleeping loft for his children. A formal parlor in the Federal style was added in the 1820’s. Asa’s son, William, extended the house to include a second story, new parlor and two more bedrooms on the first floor in 1843. These rooms and the exterior of the house reflect the Greek Revival style popular in the early-to-mid 1800’s. In the I880’s the summer kitchen was added to the north end of the house.
Over the years the property was owned by the Ford and later the Billings families. In 1977, Mrs. Myrtie Louise Billings Hills deeded the house to the Newark Valley Historical Society to be preserved as a living history museum. In 1997 she gave 90 acres of the original farm to the society. Today the house is furnished as it was in the early 1800s. Additional structures on the site include a reconstructed blacksmith shop, the threshing barn, a wood shop, and carriage shed.
|Black Powder Range|
The Bement-Billings House Museum is located at the Farmstead.The museum is open weekends from July to the first week in October, from noon to 4:00 p.m. Special appointments can be arranged for tours on any day of the week. Call (607) 642-9516.
Blacksmith Shop In the 1790’s, Asa Bement and his young cousin, John Rewey, built a log blacksmith shop as part of the Farmstead. Here they made and repaired iron implements such as sled runners, chains, kitchen utensils, household hardware, farm tools and horseshoes. Their shop served the needs of the surrounding area as well as the farmstead. Our reconstruction of the log blacksmith’s shop rests on the site of the original structure. Today you can watch our blacksmiths hammering red hot iron into useful tools like those made by Asa and John in the early 1800’s.
Herrick Barn According to old maps, the Bements built their threshing barn across the road from the house. It was destroyed by fire many years ago. The barn we have now was built in the early 1800’s by the Herrick family of Candor, New York. It was disassembled and reconstructed on the farmstead property in the late 1990’s. The frame was re-erected at a traditional barn-raising during the 1999 Spring Festival.