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The village of Empire was named after the ship Empire State which went aground off Empire on August 8, 1849. Everyone was saved and the ship was re-floated several days later and put back in service. At the time it was the fastest and most luxurious ship on the Great Lakes. A model now graces the entrance to our wonderful museum main building.
The main floor features the Roen Saloon from the turn of the century, the Dorsey Parlor, items from the ghost town of Norway Town, and many displays depicting Empire's past. The lower level features a blacksmith's shop, wood working shop, railroad and shipping displays, the Empire Lumber Company display, a covered wagon,buggies and sleighs.
Nestled in the woods behind the main building, you'll find a unique one-room schoolhouse with such features as a water pump, an outhouse and wood burning stove.
The blacksmith shop features many original items from two former shops in Empire. Blacksmith "Henry Verno" will tell you all about it as he slaves away in this wonderful turn of the century shop.
Behind the school house, you'll find the Billy Beeman Barn with it's horse-drawn equipment, including a stagecoach, a hearse, buckboard, sleigh and much more.
Formerly situated on "downtown" Empire's Front Street, this building features a room with hand-pulled fire equipment used in the Village from 1898 'til 1949. The Diane E. Fischer Center is housed here.
This local Empire saloon operated between 1895 and 1924 and has been completely refurbished. It includes a wonderful 18 foot long cherry wood bar, all the fixtures, Mira music box, Edison phonograph, player piano many other the features of a turn of the century saloon.