The Madison County Historical Society will host a Madison County Hop Tour of 19th-century rural structures owned by Carl Stearns of 3568 Stearns Road in Erieville on Sunday, August 28th.
The first structure on the tour is a 19th-century cobblestone hop house formally owned by G.T. Forward that Stearns moved from the side of Scenic Route 20 in the Town of Madison because the condition of the structure was threatened. The draft kiln was added to the hop house in the 1880s. After the exploration of the hop house and its former processing, Stearns will take the visitors to the replica of a Shaker Garden shed which he moved to the property five years ago. The next building on the tour is an 1830 sheep barn, and an 1840 horse barn with a drive shed. The ninety-minute tour will end at the Greek Revival house that Stearns moved from NYS Route 31 in Oneida Valley.
Carl D. Stearns is a retired architect, and at heart, what NYS Parks calls a “Restoration Coordinator.” He has personally rescued from destruction six museum-quality 19th-century buildings at his Madison County family holding. He graduated twice from Cornell University, with a bachelor’s in architecture in 1967, and as the first MA graduate of the new Preservation Planning Program in 1977. Following a stint at the NYS Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, where he was the first registered architect to ever be hired by that office, he pursued his architectural career at Crawford & Stearns, Architects, and Preservation Planners. He continues to be involved in rural preservation and is living his dream of painting landscapes in acrylics. Stearns raised hops at Stearns Farm for several years, was the 2000 Madison County Hop King, and made maple syrup for 60 years.
Following the tour of Stearns’ property, Carl has planned for a guided tour of the Bineyard led by Chad Meigs who will demonstrate his large 21st-century hop processing operation located at 5753 Rathbun Road in Cazenovia. Meigs was chosen as the 2021 Madison County Hop Fest King because of his promotion of hops to brewers across NYS and particularly Madison County, for presenting at Hop Fest and hosting tours, and for his dedication and continuous efforts to improve conditions for hop growers through leadership, education, lobbying, and marketing.
The tour begins promptly at 1 pm and registration is required. Tickets are available for $20. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Madison County Historical Society at (315) 363-4136 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo of the Bineyard in Cazenovia provided.