Ulster American Folk Park

The Ulster American Folk Park is a permanent re-enactment of the story of Irish emigrants to America, with villages, ships and live exhibits showing how and why two million people made the arduous journey from the Emerald Isle to the New World.

The open-air museum shows the lives of 18th and 19th century Irish people, starting with their homes in Ulster, some of which were painstakingly dismantled then rebuilt at the Ulster American Folk Park.

Each exhibit is manned by staff wearing authentic costumes and acting in character – visitors may be offered handmade local foods such as smoked salmon or soda bread. Buildings include a police barracks, a school and two churches.

The park has a full-scale sailing ship, the Brig Union, which shows what conditions were like in the Atlantic crossings, after which visitors reach the American section of the park. Here you can find buildings from various parts of North America, with an Appalachian log cabin, a Pennsylvanian brick house and a Virginian general store.

In all, there are 30 buildings in the Ulster American Folk Park exhibition, as well as a visitors centre where you can learn more about the history of Ireland from the 18th Century.

For those interested in further research, including genealogy and family histories, the Mellon Centre for Migration Studies is at the Ulster American Folk Park, with an extensive library that is open to visitors. The Ulster American Folk Park is open all year round.

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