Blog » Archive: 2015

  • Year in Review

    December 31st, 2015
    For one night only Club 86 was transformed into a World War II USO Canteen.   Whether inside or outside the classroom over 2500 students were provided with a variety of opportunities to explore Geneva’s stories.   With Lochland, we recreated a Geneva Political Equality Club piazza party. This summer we hosted Rose Hill After Hours, a happy hour with an historical twist.     More »
  • A Trip With A Purpose

    December 23rd, 2015
    Held on the second or third Saturday in December, Wreaths Across America has a rather simple beginning
  • Fund for Historic Geneva

    December 17th, 2015
    After two essays about urban renewal, both government and private, it’s time to turn to historic preservation.
  • Anything Goes: 1960s Clothing

    December 10th, 2015
    The 1960s emphasized youth and openness. It was a time when many rebelled against established ways. This was expressed in clothing, and, since human culture is a melting pot, anti-fashion became fashionable. Here are a few of the trends of the decade.
  • The Historical Society Heads to the Big Apple

    December 6th, 2015
    As part of our music in Geneva exhibit in 2016, the Historical Society is planning a three-day music-themed trip to New York City from April 22 to 24.
  • Wassail Bowl and Sale

    November 29th, 2015
    Among the greens at the annual Wassail Bowl and Sale will be holly. Believe it or not, hanging holly actually has a long history.
  • 1960s – The Clothing We Wore

    November 20th, 2015
    There were more changes in 1960’s styles than I can begin to talk about here. I was a relatively conservative dresser, in part because my folks exercised control over my choices and my friends were also pretty conservative so there was not much peer pressure with which to deal. Still I remember it as a time of change in styles, rebellion demonstrated through clothing….or sometimes More »
  • Building A Better Geneva: Urban Renewal, Part II

    November 13th, 2015
    After seven years of applying for Urban Renewal money, evaluating property conditions and values, and organizing the work, demolition began in March 1966.
  • 1960s Food: From Jello to Mastering French Cooking

    November 6th, 2015
    Like much of what happened in the decade, 1960s food spanned extremes from French haute cuisine to Spaghetti-Os and back again.
  • Innocent and Blithe: 1960s Fashion

    October 30th, 2015
    Recently, a friend mentioned that he had asked a group of young people what came to their minds when they thought of the 1960s. “Hippies,” is what I thought, since I enjoy clothing, and hippies certainly had their own style. In this post, though, I want to talk about mainstream fashion.
  • Headed to the Drive-in

    October 22nd, 2015
    I love being able to revisit the past and our fundraiser focused on the 1960s (being held in March 2016) is giving me a wonderful opportunity to review one of the most interesting decades I remember.
  • Building A Better Geneva: Urban Renewal, Part I

    October 16th, 2015
    For those of us of a certain age, urban renewal is the scapegoat for unpleasant change in our communities. “Why did they [always an unnamed “they”] tear down X, Y, and Z?” “Urban renewal.” While I sympathize with mourning the loss of what used to be, I wanted to find out what urban renewal really was, why communities embraced it, and who “they” were.
  • From Beyond: South Main Street Stories

    October 8th, 2015
    Encounter the spirits of Geneva's past in a theatrical program.
  • Suffrage Connection

    October 2nd, 2015
    If you did not go to the pre-screening of the movie The Suffragette at the Smith, you missed an incredible experience. Though the movie was about the British suffrage movement, there is a Geneva connection.
  • 1960s Student Unrest in Geneva

    September 25th, 2015
    Very early on May 5, 1970, Ontario County Sheriffs arrested five Hobart students in a drug raid. The raid turned up hash pipes, pills and marijuana. One of the sheriffs was recognized by the students as “Tommy the Traveler” – a man who had been active on campus encouraging anti-war and anti-ROTC protests, and claiming to be a member of Students for a Democratic Society.
  • Rose Hill Food and Wine Celebration

    September 18th, 2015
    Celebrate fall at our annual fundraiser at Rose Hill.
  • Growing Up in the 1960s

    September 11th, 2015
    The 1960s were a decade that encompassed some of the worst and best events of my young age. Born in 1952, the 1960s covered my life from the ages of 8 to 18. In that time I went from playing with toys to being interested in boys.
  • Explaining the 1960s

    September 4th, 2015
    Each year before college begins, Beloit College in Wisconsin puts out “The Mindset List” for the incoming freshman class. Originally compiled as a lark, it’s become a valuable tool for professors (and other adults) to understand an 18-year old’s perspective.
  • Without Asking Permission: The Life of Agnes Swan Hutchins

    August 27th, 2015
    From 1850 to 1889 Robert and Margaret Johnston Swan lived at Rose Hill on Seneca Lake. The couple had three girls and three boys. Unfortunately, five of their children died young – the boys in childhood, the eldest girl, Mary, in childbirth at 33, and the middle daughter, Maggie, of heart trouble at 44. Only the youngest daughter, Agnes, lived what we would today consider More »
  • Carriages and Wagons and Of Course, the Horse

    August 21st, 2015
    Almost everyone who knows me knows I am fascinated by horses. The way they move, how graceful they can be, and the fact that their history is so entwined with that of humans intrigues me.
  • Trip to Woodstock

    August 19th, 2015
    The Geneva Historical Society is planning a one-day trip to the Bethel Woods Center for the Performing Arts on Friday, October 9, 2015. The Bethel Woods Center is a non-profit performing arts center and museum located at the site of the 1969 Woodstock Festival.
  • When you move something, is it still the same?

    August 13th, 2015
    I wrote in March about cleaning out the house in which I grew up. We needed to “de-clutter” it anyway to put it on the market so we did the bulk of the removal at the same time. All the dishes, books, cereal boxes, knick knacks, records, and “what is this and why did they save it?” left the house. It was a huge feat More »
  • Wreaths Across America

    August 7th, 2015
    Since 1992 “Wreaths Across America” has coordinated a wreath laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery each December.  It is their mission to spread the message of the importance of remembering our fallen heroes, honoring those who serve, and teaching our children about the sacrifices made by veterans and their families to preserve our freedoms. Every year volunteers lay wreaths on over 100,000 gravestones throughout Arlington More »
  • Briefly Out of Fashion’s Bondage

    July 31st, 2015
    Since the dress reform movement of the 19th century has been studied and discussed at length. I will not re-tell that whole story. Instead, I will talk a little about the Bloomer costume and the Geneva area. A Bloomer dress (so named because Amelia Bloomer promoted the style in her magazine The Lily) was a dress much like the fashionable dress of the day, but More »
  • Geneva’s Oldest Burial Grounds

    July 24th, 2015
    One of the oldest burial grounds in Geneva was the Pulteney Street Burial Ground. I say one of the oldest because the first burials appear to have taken place where Trinity Episcopal Church stands today.
  • Victorian Day

    July 17th, 2015
    The Victorian Era basically corresponds with the reign of England’s Queen Victorian (1837 to 1901) and for the United States this was a period of change.
  • Accidental History Topics

    July 10th, 2015
    I’ve posted photos to the historical society’s Facebook page for two and a half years. Digging further into the collection to come up with fresh material, I found this photo of Castle Street
  • Early Schools of Geneva

    July 2nd, 2015
    The recent debates over Geneva’s school budget and national arguments about the Common Core curriculum have had me thinking and reading a lot about the history of education this past spring. Education and schooling have been part of life in Geneva from its early settlement, though not in a form most modern Genevans would recognize.
  • Deaf Artist Francis Tuttle

    June 26th, 2015
    Francis Marion Tuttle was a Geneva artist who lived from 1839 to 1911. He was well known for Seneca Lake views and portraits, and he also did some Biblical scenes. Instead of repeating Tuttle’s biography (for his biography visit dianrez.blogspot.com), I want to focus on one part of his life, namely, that he was deaf. His experiences bring up some interesting issues.
  • Keeping Up With The Times

    June 19th, 2015
    There’s a great line in the first Men In Black movie. Tommy Lee Jones is showing Will Smith alien technology, including a tiny compact disc, and says, “Looks like I’ll have to buy the White Album again.” Whether or not you liked the Beatles, it resonated with anyone who saw the change from vinyl records to tape (8-tracks and cassettes) to compact disc. In the More »
  • Do you have …..?

    June 12th, 2015
    “Do you have…..” the words following that inquiry can stir any number of emotions in an archivist. For example, confidence, “yes, I have ‘that’ and know right where it is”; or confusion, “do I have anything on ‘that’, have I ever even heard of ‘that?!’” to outright fear, “oh dear, I haven’t been able to find ‘that’ in three years and I have no idea More »
  • Piazza Party at Lochland

    May 29th, 2015
    For over forty years women’s rights and dress reform advocate Elizabeth Smith Miller (1822-1911) called Geneva home. In 1897 Miller got the New York State Suffrage Association to host their annual convention in Geneva. After the convention Miller and her daughter, Anne, formed the Geneva Political Equality Club. The purpose of the club was to secure full suffrage for women.
  • Laughter, Shouts, Frolic, and Swimsuits

    May 22nd, 2015
    A while back I ran across a village ordinance printed in the Geneva Daily Gazette of July 2, 1852: "No person shall bathe in the waters of the Seneca Lake, the Canal, or Castle Creek, after the rising of the sun, and before eight o’clock in the evening, within the bounds of the corporation, under the penalty of one dollar for each offence [sic]. This More »
  • Road Maps, Wish Books and Cartography

    May 15th, 2015
    I like maps! There, I said it! I am one of those folks who will happily try to navigate with a few lines on paper rather than a nifty GPS with a sexy voice that tells me which road to turn down …NOW!
  • Night Life Victorian Style

    May 8th, 2015
    Before electricity, what did Victorian families do in the evenings? For some the answer was simple – they went to sleep. Others did a variety of activities by candlelight, oil lamp or gas light
  • Geneva Food Uncovered

    May 1st, 2015
    Recently a nice article about one of our local restaurants, The Deluxe, was published in the Life in the Finger Lakes magazine’s March/April 2015 issue. The woman, who wrote the article, Margueite Abbott, did a lot of research at the Geneva Historical Society and we have put that information in a file for anyone to look at by coming to our archives. It was a More »
  • Lincoln’s Assassination as Seen in Geneva

    April 16th, 2015
    One hundred fifty years ago this week actor John Wilkes Booth changed American history when he stepped into the Lincolns' booth at Ford's Theater and shot the president in the back of the head, the first man to assassinate a U.S. president. The assassination was an awful event that shook the nation just a week after Lee’s surrender overjoyed the North.
  • Uncle Doctor

    April 3rd, 2015
    Robert Swan’s youngest brother Frederick wrote a history of the Swan family in the 1890s. In it, he talks about their Uncle Daniel, or, as they called him, “Uncle Doctor:” [H]e made choice of the profession of medicine, and studied with Dr. John Brooks, then the resident physician of Medford. . . . Early in his practice, his attention was directed to the system of More »
  • “My Kids Don’t Care About This Stuff”

    March 27th, 2015
    I’m cleaning out my parents’ house as we get ready to sell it. Mom passed away last fall and Dad left the house a week later to move into assisted living. Like many houses, the attic is packed with...stuff. For years before this, “what to do with the attic” periodically came up in conversation. Mom didn’t want to talk about it, Dad wrung his hands More »
  • Stay In the Sunshine While We May

    March 20th, 2015
    The course of Lectures before the Young Men’s Association of Geneva, was inaugurated on Tuesday evening last by Chas. F. Brown, (Artemus Ward,) in the delivery of a humorous and characteristic production, denominated “the children in the wood.” Linden Hall was densely crowded by a highly appreciative audience, who appeared greatly to relish the eccentric drollery and humor of the entertainment. . . . From More »
  • March!

    March 13th, 2015
    The month of March is upon us with wildly unpredictable weather. March is the month of wind, sun, snow, rain, sleet, and it usually has a complete temperature rollercoaster. I have a real love/hate affair with March. The days get longer; the sun comes out more and then just as I begin looking for crocuses, daffodils, primroses and violets in the garden we get socked More »
  • The Geneva USO and WWII

    March 2nd, 2015
    The Geneva USO Club helped the community do its part during World War II.
  • Women’s Fashions in the 1940s

    February 24th, 2015
    Fashion changes all the time, sometimes quickly and sometimes slowly. In the 1940s, women’s clothing did both at the same time. In some ways the evolution of women’s fashion stalled for a while because of World War II.
  • Ah, The Movies!!

    February 13th, 2015
    Movies in the 1940s seemed glamorous and provided their viewers with the opportunity to escape from the stress of war, rationing, worry, fear and anger. Ah, the movies. What a wonderful thing they are!
  • Corcoran Family Scrapbook

    February 6th, 2015
    The Corcoran family scrapbook documents one Geneva family's World War II experience from draft through marriage and life after the war.
  • Picking Up The Farming Slack in Geneva During World War II

    January 30th, 2015
    By the end of the war, there were almost 1,000 men who were enlisted in the army from Geneva. The loss of these men caused a drop in people who were able to work. The loss of the men from Geneva to the war was very problematic for the farming in the area.
  • Little Golden Books

    January 23rd, 2015
    My Little Golden Book memory were sparked by a recent traveling exhibit at the Rochester Memorial Art Gallery, Golden Legacy: 65 Years of Golden Books. During lectures that accompanied the exhibit, I discovered two things. First, Little Golden Books debuted during World War II. Second, illustrator Eloise Wilkin lived in Canandaigua.
  • Family Memories of War

    January 16th, 2015
    Family stories can still bring World War II to life and make history a personal thing.
  • The Zoot Suit

    January 9th, 2015
    In keeping with our current emphasis on the 1940s, I looked in the local newspapers for zoot suits. Although zoot suits were known in some form from the early 1930s, the first Geneva reference I found was in 1942.
  • A Year in Review

    January 2nd, 2015
    A pictorial review of the Geneva Historical Society's activities for 2014.