Buildings

Meeting Hall

The Mayes Building is named in honor of the late Mr. and Mrs. Thorn L. Mayes, Sr. It holds the collection of steam engine models, engineering drawings, the reference library, and the mechanical engineering archives. It was built with the generous help of Mr. and Mrs. Thorn L. Mayes, Sr. (W6AX) and Mr. and Mrs. Thorn L. Mayes, Jr. (W7HWA).

The Merriam Steam Building’s first section was built in 1971. The William A. Harris engine with the Tangye bed had recently been donated by National Laundry in Dorchester, Massachusetts, and it needed a home. The building houses the largest engines in the collection.

Massie System Wireless Station PJ was built in 1907 by Walter Wentworth Massie in Point Judith, RI, primarily to communicate with passenger steamboats traveling between New York City and New England cities. PJ was moved to the museum in 1983. By a fortuitous combination of circumstances PJ’s original building is unaltered and still contains its original equipment in working order. The station is a National Historic Landmark.

The Wireless Building shows the span of electric communication from early electricity experiments to telegraph to TV. It includes the wireless collections of noted wireless pioneers and historians.

The Meeting House was built in 1822 and moved to its present site in 1972 when the Frenchtown Baptist Church built a new building. The building has been completely restored and features an antique reed organ, a gift from William Butler, and an early Hammond electric organ, a gift from Richard Hook. The bell in the steeple was removed from New Haven Railroad steam locomotive #1380 about 50 years ago by Rodney Bailey. This old meeting house and the museum sit in the Tillinghast Road Historic District, nationally designated in 1988.