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What It’s Like to Visit the Stickley Museum near Syracuse

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The Stickley Furniture Company is one of the most well-known furniture manufacturers to come out of New York, and their impact on the Arts and Crafts movement of the early 20th century can’t be overstated. Because of this, I was excited to visit the Stickley Museum in Fayetteville, only a short drive from Syracuse, NY.

The Stickley Museum is located in the company’s former finishing room. This space was used for six decades to put the finishing touches on the company’s beautiful furniture.

Exterior of the Stickley Museum in Fayetteville, New York
The exterior of the library and museum.

Today, however, this space is accessed through the community’s library, which took over the factory from Stickley. This is certainly one of the most unique entrances to a museum that I’ve ever experienced.

While the name of the company changed over the years for a variety of reasons, Gustav Stickley began his first furniture company, Stickley Brothers and Company in 1883.

In 1900, Stickley created the L. & J.G. Stickley in Fayetteville, New York. They would manufacture their products in this suburb of Syracuse until a larger and more modern factory was built nearby in the 1960s.

Stickley furniture on display in the Fayetteville Library in Onondaga County NY
There is a lot to see in the museum and the library.

While I’m personally not a furniture aficionado, I certainly enjoy learning about history and art behind everyday objects, which is exactly what the museum offers visitors.

The Stickley Museum is located on the third floor of the Fayetteville Library in a portion of the old factory that has been largely left unrestored.

Pieces of Stickley Furniture on display in Fayetteville New York
The Stickley Museum is located in part of the old factory.

This 8,000-square foot museum offers a fantastic look back at both the history of the L. & J.G. Stickley company, as well as furniture in general. In fact, there are many fabulous pieces on display that weren’t made by Stickley but simply inspired his work.

The many beautiful pieces of furniture on displays are exhibited in chronological order, which makes it easy to see how Stickley’s furniture changed over the years to match new trends.

Each item on displays is accompanied by excellent signage. In fact, if anything, there’s too much information here, which makes it a bit hard to skim at times. Those who are really interested in the subject will definitely appreciate the detail, though.

Timeline inside the Stickley Furniture Museum in Onondaga County NY
There is a lot of great signage for those wanting an in-depth look into the company’s history.

While it isn’t overly surprising since the museum is run by the company, the text here often reads more like marketing company than unbiased museum writing. Not that there’s anything really negative to say about the pieces, but the shift in style is certainly noticeable if you often read the signs at museums.

The collection of furniture on display at the museum is really quite extraordinary, and, even has someone who has given little thought to the history of furniture, I still quite enjoyed checking the museum out. It was really a great place to see how furniture trends have evolved over the years as well as learning a bit more about how pieces are made.

Two chairs and a table made by Stickley at the Stickley Furniture Museum near Syracuse NY
The furniture on display is quite beautiful.

There was also some interesting information on wood working including how pieces of wood are chosen and the types of joints that are used when making furniture.

It’s worth noting that the exhibits here aren’t confined to just the museum area. There are actually some pieces of Stickley Furniture scattered throughout the library, so take some time to explore the building more before you leave.

Glass display case filled with local history items in the library in Fayetteville NY
Don’t miss some of the local history displays in the library.

There are also some interesting cases related to the history of Fayetteville, New York, so you can also get some historical-society type information during your visit.

Overall, unless you are super interested in the history of furniture, I wouldn’t say that the Stickley Museum is a must-visit spot when exploring Onondaga County. However, if you find yourself in the area, possibly while visiting nearby spots like the Matilda Joslyn Gage House or Green Lakes State Park, this is definitely a museum that’s worth exploring.

Looking for even more places to visit nearby? Check out the best waterfalls near Syracuse, the Erie Canal Museum, and Clark Reservation State Park.

Stickley Museum

Hours: Tuesday: 9a-5p
Friday: 10a-5p (5/1-10/1)
Saturday: 10a-5p

Cost: Free

Website: StickleyMuseum.com

Address: 300 Orchard St
Fayetteville, NY 13066


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