Old House Journal - - Style -

Buzz Hesse’s orig­i­nal pro­fes­sion was ar­chae­ol­o­gist. He worked with the New York State Mu­seum and Science Ser­vices and is a con­tribut­ing author of a two-vol­ume work, The Pre-His­tory of the Up­per Susque­hanna River Basin. Af­ter mov­ing into the an­tiques and auc­tion fields, he con­tin­ued the ar­chae­ol­ogy work in­de­pen­dently, even lo­cat­ing and ex­ca­vat­ing a his­toric Na­tive Amer­i­can vil­lage, Unadilla, that had been burned by Con­ti­nen­tal troops in the late 18th cen­tury.

Hesse’s life­long pas­sion re­sulted in a mag­nif­i­cent col­lec­tion and the open­ing of his Hesse Mu­seum of Ar­chae­ol­ogy, which oc­cu­pies a build­ing on his prop­erty. It is filled with ar­ti­facts span­ning 14,000 years —which he ac­quired dur­ing in­de­pen­dent ar­chae­o­log­i­cal in­ves­ti­ga­tions or in years of col­lect­ing with his wife. The Mu­seum ranges widely, from Iro­quois False Face So­ci­ety masks to the pos­ses­sions and en­tire back­ground of one Civil War sol­dier. “Both Jackie and I feel in­cred­i­bly priv­i­leged to have ac­quired these things,” Hesse says, and they have gen­er­ously made the Mu­seum free of charge to the pub­lic. Visi­tors to the area are wel­come to call ahead for an ap­point­ment: (607) 287-5320

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