Blog

  • Adobe Houses in Geneva

    August 18th, 2017
    Overview of adobe houses in Geneva, New York
  • Sherrill Street

    August 11th, 2017
    A brief history of Sherrill Street
  • Curriculum Project Results in Student Mural

    August 4th, 2017
    Geneva Middle School students create a mural recounting Geneva High School boycotts of the 1970s.
  • Surviving Houses on Hamilton Street

    July 28th, 2017
    Hamilton Street has undergone the most change of any existing street in Geneva.
  • Parting With “Stuff”

    July 21st, 2017
    The trials and tribulations of downsizing.
  • Rose Hill Gone Wild

    July 14th, 2017
    Discover animal history at Rose Hill.
  • Historical Society to Sponsor Trip to Cancun

    July 7th, 2017
    Informational meetings about the Historical Society's trip to Cancun in February 2018.
  • Starting Over

    June 29th, 2017
    Starting over in a new house.
  • ‘Twas Always Thus: Record Cylinders

    June 23rd, 2017
    Brief history of early recorded music
  • Blues, Brews and BBQ

    June 16th, 2017
    Enjoy food and the music of the John Bolger Blues Band while sampling a variety of local beers.
  • New: “Music in the Key of Geneva” Podcast

    June 2nd, 2017
    In our latest podcast Geoffrey Herd, Hannah Collins, and Eliot Heaton discuss the Geneva Music Festival.
  • Superiority to Fear: Acrobat and Tightrope Walker Blondin

    May 19th, 2017
    Accounts of Blondin crossing the Niagara Gorge from local newspapers
  • Imagine if you were in her shoes….

    May 12th, 2017
    Evolution of women’s rights in the United States
  • As Modest on a Wheel as in a Drawing Room: Female Bicyclists in the 1890s

    April 28th, 2017
    The reaction to female bicyclists in the 1890s through local newspapers
  • Getting Back Our First Names

    April 21st, 2017
    Reclaiming women's first names through the historical record
  • New: “Music in Geneva” Podcast

    April 14th, 2017
    In our latest podcast David Brent Johnson, jazz director at WFIU public radio in Bloomington and musician Gap Mangione discuss jazz bassist Scott LaFaro.
  • Images from the Collection

    April 7th, 2017
    Stories behind six images from our photo collection
  • New “Geneva Stories” Videos

    March 31st, 2017
    The latest additions to our "Geneva Stories" video series
  • Astounding The Crowd: Bicycling in Geneva

    March 24th, 2017
    The introduction of bicycling in Geneva through local newspapers
  • Why a woman’s work is never done!!

    March 17th, 2017
    Discussion on how technology has changed women's work
  • Suffrage Songs

    March 10th, 2017
    Overview of suffrage songs.
  • Help Us Crowdsource An Exhibit!

    March 3rd, 2017
    Here is your chance to help us curate the exhibit Stuff: A Material History of Geneva, opening June 2017.
  • 1907 and the New York Woman Suffrage Association Meeting

    February 24th, 2017
    Brief summary of the 1907 New York Woman Suffrage Association Annual Convention held in Geneva, New York.
  • Classical Music in Geneva, Part II

    February 17th, 2017
    The second in a series about classical music performances in Geneva.
  • Historical Society Trips in 2017

    February 6th, 2017
    An overview of trips the Geneva Historical Society is hosting in 2017.
  • “Marching on to Victory”: A Timeline of the Suffrage Movement in Geneva

    February 3rd, 2017
    A timeline of the suffrage movement in Geneva, New York.
  • Belva Lockwood

    January 27th, 2017
    Brief biography of Belva Lockwood.
  • Free Schools for Geneva

    January 20th, 2017
    Free public schools appeared in Geneva in the mid-19th century.
  • Youth and Music in Geneva

    January 6th, 2017
    Excerpts from the Historical Society's zine about youth and music in Geneva.
  • 2016 Year in Review

    December 30th, 2016
    Overview of 2016 in photos.
  • New: “Music in the Key of Geneva” Video and Podcast

    December 22nd, 2016
    Latest additions to our "Geneva Stories" video series and "Music in the Key of Geneva" podcasts.
  • A Mobe By Any Other Name . . .

    December 15th, 2016
    The debate on what to call automobiles as seen through local newspapers.
  • Give Back to Your Community

    December 8th, 2016
    Advocating the need for volunteers around the community.
  • Classical Music in Geneva, Part 1

    December 2nd, 2016
    The first in a series about classical music performances in Geneva.
  • New “Music in the Key of Geneva” Video and Podcast

    November 23rd, 2016
    Latest additions to our "Geneva Stories" video series and "Music in the Key of Geneva" podcasts.
  • Seasons Greetings

    November 23rd, 2016
    A brief history of Christmas cards.
  • Home Music: 19th Century Bands in Geneva

    November 18th, 2016
    Chronicling 19th Century bands in Geneva, New York through newspapers.
  • Founding of the Geneva School District

    November 4th, 2016
    The Geneva City School District can trace its birth to 1839, the year that the village’s Districts No. 1 and No. 19 merged to form the state’s first union school district. By the 1830s, the community had a College, dozens of private schools, and two public schools for the basic instruction of children of all classes. Yet schooling in the antebellum period here and throughout More »
  • A Hard Day’s Night: Nightlife Victorian Style

    October 27th, 2016
    Before electricity, what did Victorian families do in the evenings?
  • Autumn in the Finger Lakes

    October 19th, 2016
    An ode to autumn in the Finger Lakes
  • The Last Music Store

    October 14th, 2016
    Brief history of music stores in Geneva, New York
  • From Beyond: Washington Street Cemetery Stories

    October 6th, 2016
    While touring the Washington Street Cemetery, listen to stories from Geneva's past.
  • Ho! For California, Part 4

    September 29th, 2016
    The journey of a local group of men to the California gold fields chronicled through the newspaper
  • Modesty: Where Have You Gone?!

    September 16th, 2016
    When it comes to clothing and fashion, what does modesty mean.
  • Music in the Key of Geneva Podcasts

    September 9th, 2016
    The first in a series of podcasts for the Geneva Historical Society's Music in the Key of Geneva project.
  • Just a Piece of Wood?

    September 9th, 2016
    A piece from a piano provides a glimpse into Geneva's past.
  • Ho! for California, Part 3

    August 26th, 2016
    The Geneva Gazette chronicles the journey of a local group of men to the California gold fields.
  • Geneva 15 years ago

    August 19th, 2016
    Reflections on living in Geneva.
  • Geneva Stories: Music in Geneva, Part 1

    August 12th, 2016
    The first in a series about music in Geneva.
  • The Sounds of Music

    August 12th, 2016
    Through National Jukebox, sample sound recordings can be found of various musicians who performed in Geneva in the early 1900s.
  • Farm Heritage Day

    August 3rd, 2016
    Spend a day "on the farm" at our biennial Farm Heritage Day at the Johnston House.
  • The Perfect Purse

    July 29th, 2016
    A brief history of purses.
  • There’s Nothing Like A Model T

    July 22nd, 2016
    A visit to Rose Hill by the Model T Ford Club International provides insights into the Model T.
  • Model T Birthday Celebration

    July 15th, 2016
    Join the Geneva Historical Society for the 100th birthday of our 1916 Ford Model T Canopy Express Wagon!
  • Ho! for California, Part 2

    July 8th, 2016
    Part two of the Geneva Gazette's chronicle of a local group of men's journey to the California gold fields.
  • Famous 19th-Century Musicians in Geneva

    July 1st, 2016
    I have been researching music in Geneva for several years. If I found a newspaper article while searching for something else, I saved it. In this way I came across a number of unfamiliar names who performed in Geneva in the 19th century. The advertisements, previews, and reviews certainly made them sound important, but who were they?
  • Modern Medicine

    June 17th, 2016
    I recently had an opportunity to experience some hand surgery and thought what a different experience citizens of Geneva years ago must have had compared to mine.
  • 2016 Annual Meeting and Dinner

    June 10th, 2016
    During our Annual Meeting and Dinner Barbara Lamb will be honored as the Volunteer of the Year and Curator John Marks will discuss the new exhibit Music in the Key of Geneva.
  • Tour of Homes, Part Two

    June 6th, 2016
    Preview of the 2016 Tour of Homes
  • Hidden Music in Geneva

    May 27th, 2016
    Music is everywhere in Geneva for those with eyes to see. The digital marquee on Seneca Street, event flyers in many downtown store windows, and websites like www.thesmith.org.
  • Tour of Homes, Part One

    May 20th, 2016
    Preview of the 2016 Tour of Homes
  • Ho! for California, Part 1

    May 13th, 2016
    Reports of the California Gold Rush from the Geneva Gazette
  • Exhibits

    May 5th, 2016
    Many years ago, most museums did exhibitions using the time tested tool of the diorama. Dioramas, both life size and in miniature, were used to tell a story
  • Fiery Cross Burns

    April 29th, 2016
    While looking for information on Rose Hill (called the Boody Farm when Edgar Boody owned it) I found this account. I had heard a little about Klan activity in the 1920s, but had never pursued the subject. Now I wondered about the history of the Klan in Geneva and I started poking around in the local newspapers.
  • Banjos, Mandolins, and Glee

    April 21st, 2016
    I have many favorite historical photos of Geneva, but the 1893 Hobart College Banjo & Glee Club is in my Top Ten. Those clothes, those haircuts, those instruments! As a player and fan of banjos and mandolins, I am interested in their popularity at that time.
  • Yummy, Ice Cream!

    April 15th, 2016
    Let me start by saying that I LOVE Ice Cream! I guess I am not alone, either
  • Music In Geneva

    March 25th, 2016
    I have learned more as I work through the Historical Society archives, but there is much history not written down. We have an impressive list of village “firsts”: a hotel, a post office, a church, and a school. However, no one recorded the first person to bring a piano to town, or the name of the fiddler who played the first dance.
  • Geneva’s Stories: Urban Renewal in Geneva Part Two

    March 18th, 2016
    Second part of a two-part series on the impact of 1960s Urban Renewal on Geneva, NY.
  • Swingin’ Sixties Party!

    March 11th, 2016
    Be in the groove and join us for a 1960s themed party. It's gonna be out of sight!
  • Kids Today: The Generation Gap

    March 4th, 2016
    In the 1960s, a new phrase came into use: the generation gap. Genevans, like older Americans across the country worried about its young people, their clothes, their manners, and their attitude.
  • Geneva and the Civil Rights Movement

    February 26th, 2016
    As we at the Geneva Historical Society look back at the 1960s this year, we cannot ignore the protest movements that sprung out of that decade, particularly the Civil Rights Movement.
  • 45s, B-sides, and Albums

    February 19th, 2016
    Alice Askins wrote about live music in Geneva in the 1960s . As she pointed out, most groups played the hits of the day. If you wanted to hear the real thing, you bought the record.
  • Oh, those 1960s Cars!

    February 12th, 2016
    I am not a car buff. My vehicle doesn’t have to be sporty, exotic or sexy, but it just needs to get me from my home to my destination safely and comfortably.
  • Let’s Go to the Movies!

    February 5th, 2016
    When Genevans went to the Cinema Theatre, Seneca Drive-In Theatre or Geneva Theatre during the 1960s they could have seen a variety of movies.
  • Playing What They Loved: Geneva’s Music Scene in the 1960s

    January 29th, 2016
    Recently I talked with Geneva's Chuck Agonito about the rock and roll music scene in Geneva during in the 1960s. Since he was part of that scene, he is a wealth of information on the subject and has often written about it in his “Good Times” column for the Finger Lakes Times.
  • The 1960s at Hobart & William Smith Colleges

    January 22nd, 2016
    A quick view of Hobart & William Smith Colleges during the tumultuous 1960s.
  • Geneva’s Stories: Urban Renewal in Geneva

    January 15th, 2016
    The first video in a monthly series of short Geneva history stories, beginning with Urban Renewal.
  • Remembering the Days of the Neighborhood School

    January 8th, 2016
    In 1960 I was 8 years old. Back then everyone attended the neighborhood elementary school, either public or parochial.
  • 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 »