The Robert Green Ingersoll Birthplace Museum in Dresden opened for its 25th anniversary season Memorial Day. The Ingersoll Museum has restored this incomparable orator and champion of reason to his rightful place in the great story of America, and now serves as the anchor for the historic Freethought Trail.
Opened to the public for the first time on Memorial Day 1993, the Robert Green Ingersoll Birthplace Museum was purchased in 1987 and restored by the Council for Secular Humanism, a program of the Center for Inquiry. The museum takes visitors on a journey through one of America’s most transformative eras through the eyes and voice of the 19th century’s most popular, erudite, and electric public speaker, known as “The Great Agnostic” for his powerful and persuasive speeches advancing reason and secularism.
“There has never been a better time for Americans to rediscover the words and ideas of Robert Ingersoll,” said Tom Flynn, museum director and editor of Free Inquiry magazine. “As science and reason are under assault, and as the country is awakening to entrenched inequality, Ingersoll’s wit, eloquence, and sense of justice are more relevant than ever.”
Ingersoll the man comes to life through the museum’s historical artifacts, informational displays, and a video presentation on his life and times, as well as actual audio recordings of Ingersoll in his own voice, produced at the laboratories of Thomas Edison. Refurbished in 2014, the museum also features the actual room in which Ingersoll was born, restored with authentic period furniture, as well as a room dedicated to the local history of Dresden, New York.