Model T Birthday Celebration
In 1908, the Ford Motor Company introduced the Model T. Though it was not the first automobile, the Model T was the first low-priced, massed produced car with standard interchangeable parts. The car sold for $850 (today that would roughly be $22,644 ) and could go about 40 miles an hour. Between 1908 and 1927, Ford Motor Company built more than 15 million Model Ts.
On display at Rose Hill is a 1916 Model T Ford Canopy Express Wagon. The body of our truck was built by the Geneva Wagon Company and the chassis was made in Buffalo. Originally the Geneva Carriage Company, Geneva Wagon built family coaches from 1891 and 1894. The business name changed when the company switched to producing commercial vehicles. With the rise of automobiles carriage and wagon makers were forced to adopt or close. Geneva Wagon built motorized wagons from 1911 to 1915. Facing stiff competition, the company began making commercial vehicle bodies for larger auto companies. They were successful through 1939 when the company was purchased by Mid-State Body Company of Waterloo.
Our truck belonged to Margaret Hutchins, a granddaughter of the Swans of Rose Hill. In 1960 Charles Mellen of Geneva purchased it from Margaret’s estate and five years later a friend of Mellen’s, Warren Hays, took the truck to the Catskills. In 2006 the truck returned to Rose Hill and was restored.
This year marks the 100th birthday of our Model T Ford Canopy Express Wagon. To mark the occasion, a birthday celebration will be held at Rose Hill on Saturday, July 23, 2016 from 12 to 4 p.m. During the celebration the mansion will be open to visitors with exhibits and displays about the early days of roadways and transportation in the Geneva area. In addition to our Model T, there will be a variety of privately-owned antique cars on display, birthday cake to eat, and Lock 52 Jazz Band will perform a concert at 2 p.m. in the afternoon.
Admission to the event is $7 per person. Members of the Geneva Historical Society and children 9 and under are free. Call the Historical Society at 315-789-5151 for further information about this event. Rose Hill Mansion is located at 3373 Route 96A, about a mile south of Routes 5&20, near Geneva.