Blog » Archive: 2014

  • The James M. Cole Circus, Part Two

    December 29th, 2014
    In November 1943, the Geneva Daily Times reported Cole, Circus Owner, Inducted Into Army
  • Geography of Food in the 1940s

    December 18th, 2014
    “Food deserts” are a current topic in government and academic research. The US Department of Agriculture defines the term as “urban neighborhoods and rural towns without ready access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food. Instead of supermarkets and grocery stores, these communities may have no food access or are served only by fast food restaurants and convenience stores that offer few healthy, affordable food options. More »
  • Christmas Musings

    December 11th, 2014
    What did you ask for on your Christmas list as a child? People who know me well won’t be surprised to know that every year I asked Santa, and later my parents when it became apparent that Santa didn’t get the message, for a pony. I scoured the Christmas “Wish Book” for rocking horses and asking for one of those with the idea that Santa More »
  • Geneva Teenagers and World War II

    December 5th, 2014
    With World War II came the birth of the American teenager. While we tend to associate the flowering of teen culture with the baby boomers, it was actually their immediate predecessors, the so-called “Silent Generation” who were first referred to as teenagers. Then, as always, the older generation thought that the younger generation was at best misguided, at worst they were described as selfish, willful, More »
  • Christmas Dreaming

    December 1st, 2014
    Some of my favorite memories are associated with Christmas - the Festival of Lights at Sonnenberg, seeing The Nutcracker at the Smith Opera House and A Christmas Carol at Geva, picking out a new ornament each year for the tree, having Christmas breakfast with my grandparents, and playing “Sleigh Ride” throughout high school for the holiday band concert.
  • World War II in the Geneva Daily Times

    November 20th, 2014
    When we did our World War II project in the early 1990s, Kathryn Grover was hired to research, write, and lay out the exhibit and book, Close to the Heart of the War. As part of her contract, we received all her research notes for our archives. I recently pulled out one of the large boxes to look at her source material. Any project, i.e. More »
  • Dreams Come True: The James M. Cole Circus

    November 13th, 2014
    While looking for interesting topics from the 1940s, I ran across the James M. Cole Circus of Penn Yan. This is a little of its story from the 40s, as reported (mostly) in the Geneva Daily Times.
  • Rationing and Recipes

    November 7th, 2014
    When I was in high school girls took “home economics” classes and boys took “shop” classes. I remember coming home from the first cooking class in home economics and showing my mom what foods they were going to teach us to prepare. My mother was not impressed, for that matter I wasn’t either. I only remember 3 or 4 of the recipes, but one was More »
  • New York State History Month

    October 31st, 2014
    November is New York State History Month
  • World War II Revisted

    October 24th, 2014
    In 1995 we opened a major exhibit, Close to the Heart of the War: Geneva and World War II, and published a companion book. We conducted “history harvests” to identify people with stories, artifacts and photos. A researcher recorded many hours of oral history interviews and scoured local newspapers and records. So, why do World War II again? Is there anything left to say?
  • Girl Bands and Geneva

    October 17th, 2014
    Recently, I got the book Swing Shift by Sherrie Tucker. The book was published in 2000 and Professor Tucker was a professor at Hobart and William Smith when she wrote it. Swing Shift is about the all-women bands of the 1930s and 1940s. I wondered if any of the bands in the book were seen or heard in Geneva. It turns out some of them More »
  • World War II in the Eyes of a “Boomer”

    October 13th, 2014
    Since I was born in the early 1950s World War II was very fresh in the memories of my parents and their friends so by process of osmosis I became more familiar with that war than some of the more recent ones during my own life.
  • Geneva’s “Busted Yankees”

    October 3rd, 2014
    One immediate U.S. concern was for Americans abroad. As we saw in our previous post about the Herendeen family, the war came about so suddenly and unexpectedly that few people were prepared for it. As mobilization for war began across Europe, there were over 100,000 Americans visiting or living abroad who were unable to leave easily
  • From Beyond: Washington Street Cemetery Stories

    September 26th, 2014
      Washington Street Cemetery is the third burial ground in Geneva. The earliest burial spot was on the site of Trinity Episcopal Church on South Main Street. Another early burial ground was on Pulteney Street, where the old Geneva High School once stood and the site of the new FLCC campus.  Graves at the Pulteney Street plot date from as early as the 1790s and More »
  • The Evolution of Museums and the Geneva Historical Society

    September 18th, 2014
    By John Marks, Curator of Collections and Exhibits Charles Willson Peale is considered the father of American museums. (A painting by his son Rembrandt hangs in the main hallway of Rose Hill.) In 1786 he opened a museum of natural history in Philadelphia, which included an extensive portrait gallery; Peale justified this by saying man was at the top of the natural order. He charged More »
  • Marian Cruger Coffin

    September 12th, 2014
    Brief biography of landcape architect Marian Cruger Coffin
  • A Basket of a Tale

    September 5th, 2014
    When people donate objects to the museum, we always ask if they know anything about the history of the items. Sometimes there is a family story about who made or owned a piece, and we take those stories seriously. Once in a while, though, when we look into the story, we find that there may have been some misunderstanding as the tale was passed down. More »
  • Rose Hill Turns 175!

    August 30th, 2014
      Over the years several families have called Rose Hill home and one of them was the William Strong family.  In 1835 Strong purchased the Rose home and property.   After amassing a fortune as a wool merchant in New York City, Strong retired and moved his family to Geneva.    It was Strong who built the Greek Revival mansion people see and enjoy today.  To build More »
  • The Herendeens and the Summer of 1914, Part II

    August 22nd, 2014
    By John Marks, Curator of Collections and Exhibits   Last month’s blog ended with Frank Herendeen’s entry from July 25, 1914, when Austria declared war. Hotel guests immediately began fleeing by auto and carriage. The Herendeens stayed put for almost a week.  On July 31 “came a dispatch that the entire Austrian army was to mobilize, and immediately great excitement prevailed in the hotel.” The More »
  • Festival Time

    August 15th, 2014
    By Karen Osburn, Archivist Cruisin’ Night 2006 It is that time of year again.  Festivals are everywhere.  If there is anyone who can’t find something to do on a weekend in the Finger Lakes they must have their eyes closed and their cell phone glued to their ear.  Just recently in the area surrounding Geneva there was a garlic festival, a sauerkraut festival and the More »
  • Currency, Finance and the Civil War

    August 8th, 2014
    By Anne Dealy, Director of Education and Public Information Banking in the early years of the American Republic was decentralized, inefficient and disorganized, leading to frequent panics and depressions. While attempts were made to resolve these problems, none were substantial or comprehensive enough to put the nation on a solid financial footing. As in many other areas of national development, it was the Civil War More »
  • Meet the Neighbors: John Delafield

    July 25th, 2014
    Biography of John Delafield
  • The Herendeens and the Summer of 1914, Part 1

    July 18th, 2014
    By John Marks, Curator of Collections and Exhibits   A common quip in my profession is, “I’m a historian. I read dead people’s mail.” Even more revealing are the diaries and journals that have been given to the historical society. A particularly interesting collection is the diaries of Francis (Frank) Herendeen from 1914 to 1929.   In 1868 the Herendeen family began making farm implements More »
  • Lazy, Hazy Days of Summer

    July 11th, 2014
    Those fans brought to mind the old song about the “Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer” and how very glad I am summer days are here.
  • Workers at Rose Hill Farm

    July 3rd, 2014
    As we saw last month, the Swans at Rose Hill relied on female workers to do much of the housework and childcare. Running the farm operations required male workers.
  • Herman Ten Eyck Foster, Part 3

    June 26th, 2014
    By Alice Askins, Education Coordinator at Rose Hill   At the end of December 1843 Herman Foster became engaged to Pauline Lentilhon.  Pauline may have been related to the Smiths who appear so often in Herman’s diary.  We first hear of Pauline when Augustus Smith was reading a letter from her in the cutter that spills Herman, Augustus, and William into a snow bank.  After More »
  • Geneva Downtown Commercial Historic District

    June 20th, 2014
    By John Marks, Curator of Collections and Exhibits   About 18 months ago I wrote about the details of national, state, and local historic preservation programs. They bear revisiting in the wake of the National Register of Historic Places approving the Geneva Downtown Commercial Historic District. The district includes most of traditional downtown, the rectangle formed by Seneca, Exchange, Castle, and Main Streets. Linden Street More »
  • A “Tisket” a “Tasket” I love my Picnic Basket

    June 13th, 2014
    By Karen Osburn, Archivist As usual, when I write an article I search for something from my own experience as a starting point.  This time it is picnics.  I love picnics, not that I manage to go on many of the stereotypical “tablecloth on the grass picnics”.  I love the image of that type of picnic, but mine seldom work out that way.  I have More »
  • Tour of Homes

    June 6th, 2014
    37 High Street The definition of “home” varies from person to person.  It might be spiritual or physical, temporary or long term.  This year’s theme for the Geneva Historical Society’s Tour of Homes is What is Home.  The homes and properties on the tour are each unique but they all share one thing in common – to someone they are home.   21 Jay Street More »
  • Domestic Service at Rose Hill

    May 30th, 2014
    At Rose Hill in the mid-19th century, the Swans hired laborers for agricultural and domestic work. This post will focus on the female servants at the house
  • Herman Ten Eyck Foster Part 2

    May 23rd, 2014
    By Alice Askins, Education Coordinator at Rose Hill Mansion   In May 1842 Herman came from New York City to learn farming from Mr. Owens near Ithaca.  He wrote in his diary that he was sad to leave his friends, though trying to overcome it.  By June 18, he was already waiting for the Smiths to visit him.  Herman usually called the Smiths “the boys,” More »
  • Community Stories

    May 16th, 2014
    By John Marks, Curator of Collections and Exhibits   Club 86 in the 1950s.  Photograph loaned by Bill Legott     Last fall we became involved in a film project about the history of Club 86 in Torrey Park. Jim Augustine, a Rochester native whose roots are in the north end of Geneva, asked for background information about the restaurant and Geneva. We made several More »
  • Without a Story it is All Just “Stuff”!

    May 9th, 2014
    As you can see, “stuff” has as many meanings as it has forms. For the sake of this blog post I will just refer to two or three dimensional, inanimate materials that take up space in our lives, mostly my life.
  • Rose Hill Mansion From Top to Bottom

    May 2nd, 2014
    Rose Hill Mansion is open and this season we have lots planned. If you haven’t been to the house in a while (or even if you have!) stop out this summer. In addition to Jane Austen Day on July 26 (more on that in the future), we have rearranged the Carriage House Gift Shop and Visitor Center, are offering Top-to-Bottom Tours on the first Saturday More »
  • Meet the Neighbors: Herman Ten Eyck Foster, Part 1

    April 25th, 2014
    By Alice Askins, Education Coordinator at Rose Hill Mansion I had thought that Robert Swan was unusual in coming from a business background in New York Cityto farm in Seneca County.  There was at least one other man, though, who came from New York City to farm.  That man’s name was Herman Ten Eyck Foster, and thanks to Winterthur Museum, we have transcripts of his More »
  • Lift Up Thine Eyes: The Upper Floors of Downtown Geneva

    April 18th, 2014
    Overview of downtown Architecture
  • Looking Back on Chocolate Almond Coffee Cake and Department Stores

    April 11th, 2014
    Brief history of J. W. Smith Dry Goods Co.
  • Every Now and Then

    April 4th, 2014
    A Historical Society staff member shares a mission moment.
  • The First Leg of the Journey Home

    March 29th, 2014
    A member of the Johnston family's journey back to Scotland.
  • The War of 1812: Who Cares?

    March 21st, 2014
    A discussion on the importance of the War of 1812.
  • Reading Old Handwriting

    March 12th, 2014
    We have some very interesting old letters, journals and diaries in the archives at Prouty Chew House and I love reading some of the entries. It isn’t always easy for a variety of different reasons.
  • Everything is Coming up Bloomers!

    March 7th, 2014
    Elizabeth Smith Miller and the evolution of the bloomer outfit.
  • Lighting at Rose Hill

    February 27th, 2014
    Discussion of the early the electrical system at Rose Hill.
  • Geneva House Architecture

    February 21st, 2014
    Overview of Geneva's residential architecture.
  • Thinking Spring

    February 12th, 2014
    An ode to spring
  • Banking in Early Geneva

    February 5th, 2014
    Overview of banking in early Geneva.
  • One Final Word (Or Two) About The 1920s

    January 31st, 2014
    Overview of the 1920s.
  • Dance in Geneva

    January 23rd, 2014
    During the 1910s and 20s the dance world was in ferment. In 1909 the Russian impresario Serge Diaghilev brought a new kind of ballet to Europe and the United States with the Paris debut of the Ballets Russes
  • Radio in the 1920s

    January 14th, 2014
    Brief history of radio during the 1920s.
  • Geneva in the 1920s

    January 10th, 2014
    Overview of businesses in Geneva during the 1920s.