R.G. Ingersoll Birth Place Museum

R.G. Ingersoll Birth Place Museum

The Robert Green Ingersoll Birthplace Museum is located on Main Street in Dresden, New York (pop. approx. 300). America's foremost agnostic orator was born in the upstairs bedroom, marked by the two rightmost windows on the front of the building's second floor.

In 2016, Jeff Ingersoll added the historically accurate front porch to the main (two- story) wing of the birthplace.

Sign for R.G. Ingersoll Birth Place Museum

Sign for R.G. Ingersoll Birth Place Museum

This sign marking the Robert Green Ingersoll Birthplace Museum was typical of historical markers erected by New York State during the early to middle twentieth century. Few examples survive; fewer still stand in their original locations. This sign was cleaned and painted in 2005 by Jeff Ingersoll. (This photo was taken before he restored the full front porch in 2016.)

Three Busts of Ingersoll

Three Busts of Ingersoll

Left to right: a) 13" bust of Ingersoll was sold commercially (early twentieth century). b) One-of-a-kind 28" bust of Ingersoll dates from 1873, when Ingersoll was age forty and not yet a national figure. c) 560-pound red sandstone bust adorned the Beckwith Theater, Dowagiac, Michigan (1893).

New Upstairs Room

New Upstairs Room

Opened to the public for the first time as part of the 2014 redesign, this additional room on the second floor houses exhibits relating to Ingersoll's birth and youth, his Civil War service, and his legal career.

North Display Room

North Display Room

The North Display Room has also been completely redesigned as part of the T. M. Scruggs Museum Interior. In background at right, an audio kiosk enables visitors to hear three Thomas Edison recordings of Ingersoll's voice plus two renditions of George Schleiffarth's "Ingersolia March" (1882).

Ingersoll on Blasphemy

Ingersoll on Blasphemy

Ingersoll on Blasphemy presents Ingersoll's defense of freethinker Charles B. Reynolds on blasphemy charges.

This copy was owned and inscribed by freethinker Charles Elmendorf of  Penn Yan.

Elmendorf inscription

Elmendorf inscription

Charles Elmendorf inscribed his copy of Ingersoll on Blasphemy on the inside front cover. Presumably the date—May 2, 1888—is when he acquired the volume. This book is displayed at the Ingersoll Museum.

1874 Lectures Book

1874 Lectures Book

New for 2017: 1874 "Lectures of Ingersoll" book by C. P. Farrell, Ingersoll's official publisher, is extremely thick—almost four inches wide. It appears to be a limited-edition luxury volume that binds together five shorter C. P. Farrell books of Ingersoll lectures. Book gift of James Barri.

End papers

End papers

No expense was spared in binding this book, which features a tooled leather spine, marbled covers and end papers with leather corner tabs, and even marbling of the page edges. Faded to near-invisibility today, the page edge marbling would have been stunning when the book was new.

Table of contents

Table of contents

Table of contents (page 1 of 2) shows how this fat volume is made of multiple smaller titles, each retaining its own pagination. Whether this volume was assembled from excess signatures (unbound printed sheets) of the previous titles or was specially printed from those volumes' old type is unknown.

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