We invite you to visit The Crane Museum of Papermaking, housed in what was the Rag Room of Crane’s 1844 Old Stone Mill. The museum, first opened in the autumn of 1930, is on the National Register of Historic Places . The one-story building is pleasantly situated on the banks of the Housatonic River, which supplied the water to wash the rags and drive the machinery of the early Crane mills.
With its rough-hewn oak beams, colonial chandeliers, many-paned windows and wide oak floorboards, the interior resembles the Old Ship Church in Hingham, Mass. In this appropriate setting, you will find a scale model (made by Dard Hunter) of the vat house of the first Crane mill, as well as some of the tools Zenas Crane used from 1801 to 1831. In wall and floor cases, exhibits trace the history of American papermaking from Revolutionary times, with special emphasis on the durable, distinctive Crane papers made for currency, bonds, stock certificates and elegant stationery.
The museum is open Monday through Friday from 1 to 5 p.m., free of charge, from early June through mid-October. To schedule a tour for groups as large as 50, please call (413) 684-7780.