Schroeder Saddletree Factory Museum Virtual Tour Now Available


This is one of the few virtual tours of historic industrial sites in the United States.

Madison, IN – A free virtual tour of an iconic, restored American factory is now available 24 hours a day from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. The virtual tour of the Schroeder Saddletree Factory Museum is now available on the Historic Madison, Inc. website homepage. -virtual-tour . The tour can be viewed on a computer screen, tablet or smartphone and with virtual reality headsets. This is one of the few virtual tours of historic industrial sites in the United States.

Nearly intact since the day it closed in 1972, the Ben Schroeder Saddletree factory is the last intact 19th century shop in the country where the craftsman built the inner workings of the saddles. Sawdust from the latest set of saddle trees, the internal wooden skeletons of riding saddles, litter the ground. Rare vintage woodworking machines invade the factory. Hundreds of saddle tree designs – made from discarded boxes – hang covered in cobwebs in the hollows of the rafters. A frayed denim work apron hangs from a rusty nail where its owner hung it decades ago.

A unique and award-winning restoration, the factory buildings and the repurposed Schroeder Family Home, offer the opportunity to explore the history of the frugal Schroeder family, the obscure craftsmanship they pursued and the life they they’ve crafted with unwavering devotion for over a hundred years.

Saddle trees were vital for transportation in 19th century America. Madison, Indiana was once the “Detroit” of the saddle tree trade. Its twelve factories have carved hundreds of thousands of wooden frames for saddles used by riders across the United States and throughout the Western Hemisphere. The Saddletree Factory Museum is the only museum in the world to preserve the history, heritage and machinery of this unique trade.

Historic Madison Inc. received funding for this project from the National Endowment for the Humanities and Indiana Humanities under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Historic Madison, Inc., a nonprofit historic preservation organization founded in 1960, played a key role in the preservation, restoration, education and development of Madison’s National Historic Landmark District. The organization owns and operates 11 historic properties, five of which are museums.

If you like history, industrial heritage, gardening or folk crafts, we have a place for you! Volunteer guide and group tour guide positions are available. For more information, contact Historic Madison, Inc. at (812) 265-2967, visit us online at or like us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram


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