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Ulster American Folk Park
Ulster American Folk Park Review
Several miles north of Omagh is the big attraction of the region: the excellent Ulster American Folk Park re-creates a Tyrone village of two centuries ago, a log-built American settlement of the same period, and the docks and ships that the emigrants to America would have used. The centerpiece of the park is an old whitewashed cottage, now a museum, which is the ancestral home of Thomas Mellon (1813–1908), the U.S. banker and philanthropist. Another thatch cottage is a reconstruction of the boyhood home of Archbishop John Hughes, founder of New York's St. Patrick's Cathedral. There are full-scale replicas of Irish peasant cottages, Pennsylvania farmhouses, a New York tenement room, immigrant transport ship holders, plus a 19th-century Ulster village, complete with staff dressed in 19th-century costumes. In 2012, the Centre for Migration Studies was rebranded the Mellon Centre for Migration Studies and was opened by James R. Mellon II, great-great-grandson of Thomas Mellon. It contains 12,000 books and periodicals, an Irish emigration database including passenger lists from 1800 to 1860, and emigrant letters. There's no escaping the Titanic story here either, and an exhibition exploring the stories of Irish steerage passengers on the liner will run throughout 2014. Several new exhibits opened in 2013: William Murray's drapery store and W. G. Doherty's spirit grocery shop on the bustling Ulster Street allow visitors to explore the world of retail therapy in the early 1900s. Rogan House, from near Nashville in Tennessee, tells the story of Francis Rogan, whose family emigrated from Ireland in the 1770s.
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