Blog » Tag: John Marks

  • Historic Preservation Month

    May 1st, 2020
    Review of recent historic preservation projects in Geneva.
  • Living in a Digital World

    April 17th, 2020
    A public historian adjusts to working in the new "normal."
  • “Likes to Draw Pictures:” Mary Flanigan Gauerke

    March 13th, 2020
    Brief biography of cartoonist Mary Flanigan Gauerke.
  • A Brief History of the T-Shirt

    February 14th, 2020
    A history of the "plain white t-shirt."
  • A New Year’s Wish for More Artifacts

    January 24th, 2020
    An appeal for artifacts.
  • A Christmas Wish for More History

    December 13th, 2019
    An appeal for photographs.
  • “A Friend of the Gutted Stick:” Francis “Babe” Kraus

    November 7th, 2019
    Brief biography of Francis "Babe" Kraus.
  • Early History of the Geneva Family YMCA

    September 20th, 2019
    The beginning of the Geneva Family YMCA
  • William Smith College Athletics, 1972 – Present

    August 16th, 2019
    Part two of a brief history of William Smith College athletics
  • William Smith College Athletics, 1908-1971

    July 26th, 2019
    Brief history of William Smith College athletics.
  • Baseball, or Something Like It

    June 14th, 2019
    The development of baseball in the United States during the 1800s.
  • Come Out and Play: Sports in America Before 1860

    May 9th, 2019
    Brief overview of sports in America before 1860
  • Childhood Memories of Games and Sports

    April 12th, 2019
    Local coaches Nan Demuth, Steve Muzzi, Carl Wenzel, Aliceann Wilber, and Mike Hanna share their earliest experiences with games and sports.
  • The Landscapes of F.M. Tuttle

    March 15th, 2019
    An examination of Francis Marion Tuttle's landscape paintings.
  • Museum Acquires Two F.M. Tuttle Portraits

    February 15th, 2019
    Recent additions to the Historical Society's collection help tell one family's connection to Geneva.
  • Alice Seward and World War I, Part Three

    January 18th, 2019
    The final part in a series about the World War I diary of Alice Seward
  • Christmas in Geneva 50 Years Ago

    December 19th, 2018
    Christmas shopping based on ads from the November 27, 1968 edition of the Geneva Times.
  • Alice Seward and World War I, Part Two

    November 14th, 2018
    Part two in a series about the World War I diary of Alice Seward
  • Alice Seward and World War I, Part One

    October 5th, 2018
    Part one is a series about the World War I diary of Alice Seward
  • Back to School

    September 14th, 2018
    Overview of school buildings using photos and floor plans from "Report of [New York] State Superintendent of Public Instruction" (1897) including Cortland Street and Lewis Street Schools in Geneva, New York.
  • “The War Chest spilled over. Good for Geneva!”

    August 20th, 2018
    The creation of the Geneva War Chest during WW I
  • Dove’s Geneva Watercolors

    July 20th, 2018
    A look at Arthur Dove’s watercolors created in Geneva from 1933 to 1938.
  • Andrew Hubbs, American Red Ambulance Corps

    June 15th, 2018
    World War I experience of Andrew Hubbs
  • Geneva’s Gallant Sons

    May 11th, 2018
    The Curator's latest find "Register of Geneva's Gallant Sons War of 1917-1919."
  • Dr. Chase’s Third, Last and Complete Receipt Book and Household Physician

    April 13th, 2018
    The Curator's latest find "Dr. Chase’s Third, Last and Complete Receipt Book and Household Physician. "
  • Church Home Hospital

    March 9th, 2018
    Brief history of the Church Home Hospital
  • Patent Medicine

    February 23rd, 2018
    Ads for patent medicine
  • Every Building Tells a Story: Retail Architecture, Part II

    January 19th, 2018
    Second in a series about retail architecture in Geneva.
  • Every Building Tells A Story: Retail Architecture, Part I

    December 7th, 2017
    First in a series about retail architecture in downtown Geneva.
  • Charles Dickens in the Geneva Newspapers

    November 10th, 2017
    Charles Dickens in Geneva newspapers
  • Howard & Union Streets

    October 20th, 2017
    A brief history of Howard and Union Streets
  • Every Building Tells a Story: Brook and North Brook Streets

    September 22nd, 2017
    A brief history of Brook and North Brook Streets.
  • Sherrill Street

    August 11th, 2017
    A brief history of Sherrill Street.
  • Surviving Houses on Hamilton Street

    July 28th, 2017
    Hamilton Street has undergone the most change of any existing street in Geneva.
  • ‘Twas Always Thus: Record Cylinders

    June 23rd, 2017
    Brief history of early recorded music
  • 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
  • Suffrage Songs

    March 10th, 2017
    Overview of suffrage songs.
  • Classical Music in Geneva, Part II

    February 17th, 2017
    The second in a series about classical music performances in Geneva.
  • Youth and Music in Geneva

    January 6th, 2017
    Excerpts from the Historical Society's zine about youth and music in Geneva.
  • 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.
  • Classical Music in Geneva, Part 1

    December 2nd, 2016
    The first in a series about classical music performances in Geneva.
  • The Last Music Store

    October 14th, 2016
    Brief history of music stores in Geneva, New York
  • Just a Piece of Wood?

    September 9th, 2016
    A piece from a piano provides a glimpse into Geneva's past.
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 »
  • 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
  • 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 »
  • “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 »
  • 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.
  • 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 »
  • 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 »
  • 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?
  • 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 »
  • 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 »
  • 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 »
  • 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 »
  • Lift Up Thine Eyes: The Upper Floors of Downtown Geneva

    April 18th, 2014
    Overview of downtown Architecture
  • The War of 1812: Who Cares?

    March 21st, 2014
    A discussion on the importance of the War of 1812.
  • Geneva House Architecture

    February 21st, 2014
    Overview of Geneva's residential architecture.
  • Geneva in the 1920s

    January 10th, 2014
    Overview of businesses in Geneva during the 1920s.
  • Prohibition: The Real Story (Or Close to It)

    December 17th, 2013
    How people and businesses got around the 18th Amendment and Volstead Act during the 1920s
  • Geneva’s Armory: Form and Function

    November 19th, 2013
    Overview of the Armory
  • Linden Street

    October 21st, 2013
    Geographically, Linden Street is the heart of downtown.
  • Doing Research

    September 20th, 2013
    Tips on doing research
  • Geneva’s History On Facebook

    August 23rd, 2013
    The Geneva Historical Society's Facebook page.
  • When Hobby Meets Work

    July 17th, 2013
    How music has been incorporated into various activities of the Geneva Historical Society.
  • Writing Exhibits

    June 18th, 2013
    The exhibit creation process at the Geneva Historical Society
  • Geneva’s Changing Waterfront

    May 16th, 2013
    Seneca Lake and its shore have always been valuable commodities to Geneva, but the nature of that value is always changing.
  • Town and Gown at the Geneva Historical Society

    April 18th, 2013
    Relationship between the Geneva Historical Society and Hobart and William Smith Colleges
  • Why Save It?

    March 19th, 2013
    Why and how the Geneva Historical Society collects objects.
  • What is History?

    February 19th, 2013
    Discussion of what is history.
  • No Free Money: Historic Preservation 101

    January 25th, 2013
    Historic Preservation 101