Stay-At-Home Activities

We look forward to welcoming you back to the Historical Society and all of our programming as soon as we feel the situation is safe enough to do so.  In the meantime, enjoy the following stay-at-home activities.


Virtual Jigsaw Puzzles

Fashion –  Enjoy blog articles about the history of t-shirts, concealed shoes, bloomers, zoot suits, flappers and fashions in the 1940s and 1960s.  Watch the Museum of the City of New York’s video series “Getting Dressed.” View the National Portrait Gallery’s exhibit “Fashioning a Nation.”  Be a virtual visitor to the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology and the Costume Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.   

World War I – Enjoy blog articles about the diaries of Alice Seward (Part One, Two and Three) and the Herenedeen family (Part One and Two), the Geneva War Chest, ambulance driver Andrew Hubbs, “Geneva’s Gallant Sons,” and Geneva’s “busted Yankees.”  Watch an episode of Geneva’s Stories.  View our exhibit A Changing World or the exhibit A Spirit of Sacrifice at the New York State Museum.  Visit the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, Missouri.

Transportation –  Enjoy blog articles about local airports, Seneca Lake’s  first steamboat, the Seneca Chief, Model Ts, how automobiles got their name, and an account of the return journey to Scotland in the 1800s.   Explore our storymap about railroads or New York Heritage’s exhibit about the Erie Canal.  Be a virtual visitor to the Erie Canal Museum in Syracuse or the Pierce-Arrow Museum in Buffalo.

Businesses – Enjoy blog articles about ice companies (Part 2 and Part 3), hotels, banking, restaurants, grocery stores, and J.W. Smith’s.   Listen to a podcast about Area Records.  Explore exhibits about foundries and metal shops, newspapers, and Club 86.  Try your hand at a word search of locally produced products.   

Music, Part Two – Enjoy blog articles about youth involved in music, Area Records, “hidden” music, and Geneva’s music scene in the 1960s.  Listen to Music in the Key of Geneva podcasts.  Watch an episode of Geneva’s Stories about the Appleknockers or The Smith Sessions on Facebook.  Try your hand at a word search of famous musicians who performed in Geneva.

Music – Enjoy blog articles about classical music (part one and part two), local bands in the 1800s, and famous 19th century musicians who performed in Geneva.  Explore our exhibit “Music in the Key of Geneva.” Watch past performances from the Geneva Music Festival.

Hobart and William Smith Colleges – Enjoy blog articles about the College Club of Geneva, William Smith athletics (part one and two), glee clubs, and campus life in the 1960s.  Watch videos about Folk Fest and lacrosse.  Explore our exhibit “Statesmen, Herons & Lakers: College Sports in Geneva.”  

Museum Bingo

Buildings and Place – Discover various places and buildings around Geneva.   Enjoy blog articles about Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church, the changing lakefront, downtown, and the Armory.   Watch a video about the Dove Block.  Explore Torrey Park through a storymap.  Discover the history of the Experiment Station or the history of Smith Opera House.   Take a stab at a word search.

Streets – Explore some of our streets through blog articles on Howard and Union, Brook and North, Sherrill, Hamilton, and Linden.

Cemeteries – Enjoy blog articles about our local cemeteries (Brookside, St. Patrick’s, Glenwood and Pulteney Street) and the school program “Cemetery Stories.” 

Historic Preservation – In honor of Historic Preservation month, here are some materials about local preservation efforts.  Enjoy blog articles about historic preservation 101, the Downtown Historic District , an overview of downtown architecture, and recent preservation projects .  Watch the latest episode of “Geneva’s Stories.”  Take a stab at a word find of sites in Geneva that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Artists –  Enjoy blog articles about Jane Stuart, Francis Marion Tuttle, and George Stacey.  Watch a video about Arthur Dove’s Geneva paintings.  Be a virtual visitor to the homes of Frederic Church and Thomas Cole.

Rose Hill – Enjoy blog articles about President Martin Van Buren’s visit, farm workers, domestic servants, Robert Swan’s transition from city dweller to farmer and his practice of sustainable farming, Agnes Swan Hutchins, and former owners of the property (the Smiths and Plummers).  Watch a video.  Go on a virtual tour of the Mansion’s first floor. Take a stab at word find.

Civil War – Enjoy blog articles about banking in the 1860s, Lincoln’s assassination, 126th New York Infantry, the draft riots in New York City, and the Emancipation Proclamation.   Explore our exhibit Now Is the Time of Our Country’s Need or An Irrepressible Conflict: The Empire State in the Civil War at the New York State Museum.  Tour battlefields through the American Battlefield Trust.

Sports –  Enjoy blog articles about childhood memories,  the introduction of  bicycling in Geneva, early history of baseball, Lake Country Figure Skating Club, sports in the United States before 1860, and croquet.  Explore our exhibits about high school and college sports.  Watch videos on college sports, lacrosse and Geneva High School’s 2006 NYS Football Championship.   Be a virtual visitor to the Geneva Sports Hall of Fame or sport museums located in New York State (Lake Placid Olympic Museum ,  National Baseball Hall of Fame, International Boxing Hall of Fame , Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame , and National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame).

Geneva Bingo

Finger Lakes Bingo   from the Finger Lakes Tourism  Alliance 

Medicine – Enjoy blog articles about “Dr. Chase’s Third, Last and Complete Receipt Book and Household Physician,” the Church Home Hospital, patent medicines,  the 1878 diphtheria epidemic, the development of anesthesia, and modern medicine.   Explore the exhibit “Medicine and Illness: Health Care in Geneva” or watch a video.  Be a virtual visitor to the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia, the National Museum of Civil War Medicine in Frederick Maryland or the Rochester Medical Museum and Archives.

Coloring Sheets – In 1976 the Historical Society published the “Geneva Coloring Book.”  Along with the city seal, the coloring book includes a variety of places (Pulteney Park), people (Charles Williamson, Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, and Dr.  William Brooks) and buildings (Blackwell House, Hobart College and Smith Observatory) around the community.

Architecture – Enjoy blog articles about Greek Revival architecture, Geneva’s row houses, the belvedere at Rose Hill, adobe houses found around Geneva, and local buildings built by the architectural firm of Pierce and Bickford.  Explore the exhibit Every Building Tells A Story.  Discover Geneva’s ten must- see buildings.  Take a stab at an architecture themed word search

Well known Genevans, Part Two –  Discover some of Geneva’s local male “celebrities.”  Enjoy blog articles about Edwin Becker, Francis “Babe” Kraus, Nehemiah Denton, and Frances Tuttle.   Discover Arthur Dove’s Geneva.   Listen to podcast about Scott LaFaro.  Watch a video on  John Johnson.  Take a stab at word searches – Local Celebrities, Part Two and Famous Visitors to Geneva.

Well-known Genevans, Part One –  Discover some of Geneva’s local female “celebrities.”  Enjoy blog articles about Mary Flanigan Gauerke, Blanchard Bartlett Walker, Marian Cruger Coffin, Sarah Bradford, Elizabeth Ricord, and other notable women.  Watch a video about Elizabeth Blackwell or a brief history of women in Geneva.   Take a stab at a word search.

Suffrage – In honor of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, enjoy blog articles about suffrage songs, the 1907 New York Woman Suffrage Association’s convention held at the First Baptist Church, famous suffrage leaders who visited Geneva, and the role Geneva played in the suffrage movement.  Explore Elizabeth and Anne Miller’s scrapbooks at the Library of Congress. Watch an episode of our short video series “Geneva’s Stories.”  Discover the suffrage activities in  Ontario County through the Ontario County Historical Society and across the state at the New York State Museum and New York Heritage.

Food and Beverages – Enjoy blog articles about food preservation, early Finger Lakes wine history, prohibition in Geneva, rationing during World II, cooking in the 1960s, or cookbooks in our collections.  Trace the evolution of Geneva food stores from neighborhood businesses to regional supermarkets.  Discover when your favorite food or beverage was invented.  Take a stab at our local restaurant word search. Bon appetite!

Beer Industry in Geneva – Checkout an episode of our video series “Geneva’s Stories” or read our blog article   “Beer Brewing in Early Geneva.”

Virtual Museum Visits

Genesee Country Village & Museum

Library of CongressNational Recording Registry and National Juke Box.

National Civil Rights Museum

National Museum of African American History and Culture

The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America’s Historic House Museums

Daughters of the American Revolution’s Historic Sites 

National Trust for Preservation’s Historic Sites


Shriver House Museum

Civil War Battlefields

National Civil War Museum

American Civil War Museum

Lower Eastside Tenement Museum

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Winterthur Museum, Gardens, and Library 

Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative

William Seward House

Susan B. Anthony House

George Eastman Museum

Glenn Curtiss Museum

Matilda Jocelyn Gage House

Harriet Tubman Home

Robert Ingersoll Birthplace Museum

Staff Recommendations


The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History by John M. Barry.


A New York Minute In History




This Podcast Will Kill You

TV Show

The Repair Shop (on Netflix or YouTube)


158 Resources To Understand Racism In America” from Smithsonian Magazine

Exhibit Catalogs from The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum