Category Archives: History

Celebrate Path Through History Weekend (June 17-18, 2017) with Finger Lakes Events

From women’s rights to the underground railroad, history plays a huge part in the makeup of the Finger Lakes Region. This weekend, June 17-18, 2017, celebrates New York’s Path Through History – a weekend showcase of New York’s rich and fascinating history, featuring hundreds of events happening at historic and cultural destinations across the state.

In the Finger Lakes region, history comes alive with re-enactments, performances, festivals, and educational events meant to inform and educate all who attend. Upcoming weekend events include:


The Book that Launched an American Religion (Palmyra, NY) – Take a free tour of the Grandin Printing Building where the first copies of the Book of Mormon were printed in 1829-1831. Featuring the museum of the print shop, including the replica press, the bindery and the book store and office of E.B. Grandin. This book is foundational to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (Mormons)
Now – No end date.

Becoming American: The Italian Immigrant Experience in Cayuga County (Auburn, NY) – Thousands of Italian immigrants settled in Cayuga County in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This exhibit focuses on the journey from the “Old Country” to the new world, the challenges met by the immigrants, and the contributions of Italian Americans.
Now – September 23, 2017

Performance by a regional pipe band at the Celtic Faire (Mumford, NY)

Celtic Faire at GCV&M (Mumford, NY) – The Celts in Western New York played a major role in shaping the history of the Genesee Country. This special festival will celebrate the culture, history, and traditions of the Scots and Irish through musical performances by regional pipe bands, dance demonstrations from local schools and an array of authentic food and drinks to satisfy your palate.
June 17, 2017

Path Through History: 1816 Farmington Quaker Meeting House (Farmington, NY) – Visit the meeting house, under restoration; see the poster display of its historic role in justice and equality for Native Americans, African Americans and women, have refreshments. Booklets are available for purchase for our self-guided driving tour of nearby related historic sites.
June 17-18, 2017

The Old Time Fiddlers Gathering and Folk Arts Festival (Watkins Glen, NY) – Old Time Music, Workshops, and Crafts of Regional Cultural Groups.
June 18, 2017

Women’s Rights

Statues of Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass (Rochester, NY)

Because of Women Like Her Exhibit (Rochester, NY) – Discover the stories from Rochester’s past about the struggles and triumphs for women’s suffrage in New York State. See an eclectic mix of historical artifacts like Susan B. Anthony’s dress, Martha Matilda Harper’s prototype for the original salon shampoo chair, a Bloomer costume, a variety of suffrage banners, pendants, and flyers. Free and open to the public.
Now – September 1, 2017

Susan B Anthony Legacy Event (Canandaigua, NY) – This event commemorates the historic event when suffrage activist Susan B. Anthony was tried and convicted for voting at the Ontario County Courthouse in June 1873. Celebrate her legacy, and learn how the efforts of other from Ontario County were influential in the women’s suffrage movement.
June 17, 2017

Anti-Suffrage Tour of Rose Hill Mansion (Geneva, NY) – Why would women oppose voting by women? Agnes Swan Hutchins, who grew up at Rose Hill from 1864 to 1890, was one of those who did. On this tour, visitors will learn more about Agnes Swan’s life and upbringing, and what may have led her to oppose formal political activity by women.
June 17, 2017

Exhibit Opening-Political Postcards on Suffrage (Penn Yan, NY) – The grand opening of a temporary exhibit entitled “Political Postcards” will be held inside the women’s suffrage exhibit “Hear Our One Voice”. The temporary exhibit is on loan from the Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum in Adams, Mass.
June 17, 2017

The Sodus Bay Phalanx and Women’s Suffrage (Sodus Point) – Town of Huron Historian Rosa Fox will discuss the history of women’s suffrage around the Sodus Bay area.
June 18, 2017

National Susan B. Anthony Museum and House (Rochester, NY)

Tea & Lecture: “Orchestrating Change: Amy Kirby Post and Women’s Right, 1828-1888” (Rochester, NY) – The National Susan B. Anthony Museum and House welcomes Nancy A. Hewitt, PhD, Emeritus Professor of History and Women’s Studies, Rutgers University to speak at this Monday Lecture Series.
June 19, 2017

Step Back in Time

Old Ways Days at the Ward O’ Hara Agricultural & Country Living Museum (Auburn, NY) – Come back to the 1800’s when life was much simpler and families were the center of one’s life. Visit the Country Store, Country School, Country Kitchen, Country Parlor, Country Bedroom, Blacksmith Shop, Pottery Shop, and the many exhibits of rural life, expanding Auburn Industries and life in Auburn and Cayuga County in the 1800 and 1900’s.
June 1-30, 2017

Ansley Schoolhouse Tour (Geneva, NY) – Come visit the only fully restored one room school house in Ontario County. Free and open to the public. Donations accepted.
June 17, 2017

The 1890 House Museum: Explore Cortland’s Gilded Age at Path Through History Weekend (Cortland, NY) – The 1890 House Museum is offering discounted admissions prices and extended hours for the NYS Path Through History Weekends. Built for late 19th-century inventor and industrialist Chester Wickwire, the mansion is a large time capsule that illustrates the lifestyle of the wealthy Wickwire family, the servants, and the story of those who worked at the factory.
June 17-18, 2017

Blacksmith Demonstrations at the Manlius Museum (Manlius, NY) – See demonstrations firsthand, from 1:00 – 4:00 PM, both days. Free and open to the public.
June 17-18, 2017

Open House at the Overackers Corners One Room School House (Rushville, NY) – Join us for an Open House for the Overackers Corners School. A one-room school house built in 1874 and closed in 1937. Experience what it was like to go to school in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
June 17-18, 2017


Collections, Collectors, and Collecting at Cortland Free Library (Cortland, NY) – Tours of the Historic Cortland Free Library will be available at 10a.m., 1p.m., and 4p.m. Collections on display include the History of Farm Toys, and American Clocks. Experts will be available all day to discuss these unique collections.
June 17, 2017

Homer History Celebration (Homer, NY) – The Landmark Society of Cortland County is announcing the GRAND REOPENING of the Homer History Center in the beautiful historic village of Homer, NY. All are welcome to come and explore the local artifacts, memorabilia, maps and more that will be on display, and Landmark Society board members and volunteers will be on hand to welcome everyone and answer questions.
June 17, 2017

The Stickley Collections (Fayetteville, NY)

Tour The Stickley Collections (Fayetteville, NY) – The Stickley brothers are essential in the story of innovation in design in New York, and also have made a lasting impact on American home life throughout the country. Gustav Stickley manufactured his furniture in nearby Eastwood, NY and his brothers, Leopold and John George, started their company in Fayetteville which would be called L. & J.G. Stickley.
June 17, 2017

Open Houses, Tours & Talks

That Old House Tour: Dryden (Ithaca, NY)

That Old House Tour: Dryden (Ithaca, NY) – Get an exclusive look inside beautiful homes & sites with this self-guided walking/driving/biking tour of selected interiors in the historic village of Dryden, New York, 12:00 – 4:00 p.m.
June 17th, 2017

Prior to the tour, attend “Celebrating Rural Heritage: Verne Morton’s Photographs” – As a prelude to Historic Ithaca’s Old House Tour, Bob Baxter, former CEO of Dryden Mutual Insurance Company, will give a guided tour of the 150 exquisite Verne Morton photographs that line the hallways of the company. For nearly 50 years local photographer Verne Morton (1868-1945) devoted himself to photographing Tompkins County rural and village life.
June 17th, 2017 from 10:00 AM to 11:30 PM

The Underground Railroad in Western NY (Rochester, NY) – Rochester is emblematic of the strong efforts for freedom that NY has represented throughout history. Home of Frederick Douglass, it had pivotal connections with the most prominent abolitionist leaders during the mid-19th century. The tour visits National Freedom Trail sites and other Underground Railroad locations and is filled with powerful stories of the people who helped deliver individuals to freedom.
June 17, 2017

Peppermint Museum Open House (Lyons, NY) – To celebrate NYS “Path thru History” weekend, the Peppermint Museum will have an Open House – Saturday, June 17th from 10-3 p.m. and Sunday, June 18th from 12-3 p.m. The museum is located at 95 Water Street in Lyons. It will feature two new exhibits: The Bicentennial of the Building of the Erie Canal and the NYS Centennial of Women’s Suffrage.
June 17-18, 2017

The Story of that Adirondack Tragedy with Dr. Joseph Brownell (Cortland, NY) – Dr. Joseph Brownell will be at the CNY Living History Center for a talk and signing detailing his Adirondack Tragedy books. Relive the heart-wrenching story of one of the most famous crimes in New York’s history, the murder of Grace Brown by Chester Gillette at Big Moose Lake.
June 17, 2017


Erie Canal 1: Basins and Builders (Rochester, NY) – The Erie Canal made Rochester a boom town and had national impact. Discover famous and less-well-known people with connections to this legendary waterway.
June 17, 2017

Rochester Subway Heritage Weekend (Rush, NY) – Celebrate the heritage of the Rochester Subway, which shut down in June 1956. Enjoy a real train ride on restored cabooses to the Upper Yard, and tour the largest collection of historic trains – including Rochester Subway Car 60 (currently under restoration).
June 17-18, 2017

Steamboats of Seneca Lake (Montour Falls, NY) – The Steamboats of Seneca Lake exhibit with focus on the steamboats, routes, and the passenger experience.
June 17 – Sept 1, 2017

Father’s Day Car Cruise (Canandaigua, NY)

Father’s Day Car Cruise (Canandaigua, NY) – Celebrate Dad with classic cars, food, flowers, and fun for the whole family.
June 18, 2017


Genesee Valley Fare and Ware Festival (Castile, NY) – A festival to celebrate the food, drink and art of our the Genesee Valley region. The event will feature tastings and sales of beer, ciders, spirits, wines, foods and works of art.
June 17-18, 2017

Path Through History: “Onohgwa” – Corn Soup (Victor, NY) – Join us for New York State’s Path Through History! Enjoy a guided walk along the Trail of Peace and visit our full-size Bark Longhouse replica to sample traditional Seneca Corn Soup from our heirloom Iroquois White Corn.
June 17-18, 2017

Father’s Day Strawberry Festival (Camillus, NY) – Come and enjoy a strawberry shortcake on the lawn of the 1856 Octagon House, which will also be open for free tours. Fathers are treated to a free shortcake when accompanied by children. The Wilcox Octagon House is accessible from the subbasement to the cupola where you will have a beautiful view of Camillus, NY.
June 18, 2017

Morning on the Susquehanna River by Hiawatha Island

Waterman Center’s Annual Father’s Day Breakfast on Hiawatha Island (Apalachin, NY) – Climb aboard our pontoon boat for a ride to Hiawatha Island, the Jewel of the Susquehanna. Once there, explore this one of a kind historical site and wildlife refuge. Enjoy a big farm-style breakfast cooked over open fires while learning of the unique history of the island.
June 18, 2017

For more Path Through History events happening in the Finger Lakes Region through 2017, visit:

11 Places to Dive into Women's History in the Finger Lakes

2017 marks the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New York State. Women have had a powerful history in the Finger Lakes Region, making their mark in the area since 1848, when the first Women’s Rights Convention was held in Seneca Falls. It is often known as the birthplace of the American Women’s Rights Movement, as well as home to notable figures like Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Matilda Joslyn Gage.

Dive in and learn from the rich history and modern marvels of American women in the area:

If you’re looking to celebrate women’s history in a modern way:

Goodies at the 1872 Cafe in Rochester, NY

Enjoy a coffee or lunch at the spot where Susan B. Anthony voted (illegally) in 1872. What was a polling place in Susan B. Anthony’s day is now a café, appropriately named 1872 Café. The café takes great pride in its role in U.S. history and the interior is decorated with portraits and quotes from inspiring women throughout history.

Grab tickets for Bristol Valley Theater’s “Hear Me Roar” series, celebrating women’s voices from suffragist to dramatist. To celebrate the voices of women, Karin Bowersock, artistic director, has selected a summer season of plays written by women, expressing the diversity and creative power of the female dramatic voice. Bristol Valley Theater will also partner with the National Susan B. Anthony House and the Women’s Rights National Historical Park to perform at commemorative events this summer. They will feature solo performances by women, guest speakers and panel discussions.

If you’re a history buff, the Finger Lakes is home to many historical landmarks and homes, including:

The Harriet Tubman Home, Auburn, NY

The Harriet Tubman National Historical Park (Auburn, NY) – Harriet Tubman is known for her work with the Underground Railroad. She believed in the equality of all people, fought for her own freedom as well as the freedom of others and gave speeches about her experience as a female slave and as the liberator of hundreds born under the bondage of slavery.

See Tubman’s residence and the Tubman Home for the Aged at the park and visit the nearby Thompson Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church and Harriet Tubman’s gravesite.

Matilda Joslyn Gage was a co-founder of the National Women Suffrage Association and the Women’s National Liberal Union. Visit her home in Fayetteville, NY

The Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation (Fayetteville, NY) – Matilda Joslyn Gage was co-founder of the National Women Suffrage Association (NWSA). Gage wrote, along with Susan B Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the multi-volume History of Woman Suffrage. However, after a dispute with Anthony over the separation of church and state in government, Gage’s name was removed as an author. Gage then left the NWSA and founded the Women’s National Liberal Union.

Sit at Matilda’s desk and write her a letter, dress up in period clothing, play the piano, spend time in the Oz reading corner and join the staff for high tea. Learn about the life and times of Gage and how her home also served as a station on the Underground Railroad.

Susan B Anthony workspace, Rochester, NY

National Susan B. Anthony Museum and House (Rochester, NY) – Susan B. Anthony was a legendary American civil rights leader, fighting for equal rights and voting rights for women. She was a tireless advocate, even getting arrested for illegally voting in 1872 in Rochester.

Tour the home, which was Anthony’s personal residence as well as home to the headquarters of the National American Women’s Suffrage Association when she was its president. Anthony’s gravesite can be found nearby in Mount Hope Cemetery, and her statue stands in the park down the road from her home.

Clara Barton founded the first American Red Cross chapter in August of 1881 in Dansville, NY.

The Clara Barton Museum of the American Red Cross, Chapter #1 (Dansville, NY) – Clara Barton founded the first American Red Cross chapter in August of 1881. Barton led the organization for the next 23 years, later established the National First Aid Association of America and served as its leader for another five years. She wrote and published several books, detailing the beginnings of the American Red Cross and the global Red Cross network.

See the chapter house, which was donated to the Red Cross in 1949 and serves as an office and museum. It contains an archival collection, historic Civil War-era artifacts, and other Red Cross memorabilia. The Chapter House educates visitors about the history of volunteerism, the American Red Cross and its founder, Clara Barton.

Visit Mary Jemison’s gravesite and cabin replica in Letchworth State Park, Mount Morris, NY

The Mary Jemison Gravesite and Statue (Letchworth State Park, Mount Morris, NY) – Mary Jemison, known as the “White Woman of the Genesee” or Dehgewanus (her Seneca name), was taken captive by Native Americans of the Seneca Nation in 1758.  She adapted to Seneca life and later became a well-respected member of the Seneca Nation and a skilled negotiator during the Treaty of Big Tree in 1797.

Visit a replica of Mary Jemison’s cabin inside the park, which is right next to her gravesite. A statue of Mary Jemison sits atop a granite marker, erected by Mr. Letchworth not long after her reburial.

The Narcissa Prentiss House, Prattsburgh, NY

The Narcissa Prentiss House (Prattsburgh, NY) – Narcissa Prentiss Whitman was one of the first two white women to journey across the continent and cross the Rocky Mountains on foot, opening the way for future emigrants who journeyed on the Oregon Trail. In her quest to become a missionary, Whitman began working with Native Americans to share the teachings of the gospel. However, growing distrust between the tribes and white settlers led to an eventual attack on Narcissa, her husband and several others, who were killed in what came to be known as The Whitman Massacre.

Learn more about her tragic history through real artifacts, quilts, antique clothing, and a room dedicated to the Pratt family, founders of Prattsburgh.

National Women’s Hall of Fame, Seneca Falls, NY
Photo credit: Rachel Burkholder

In the heart of the Finger Lakes, lies the Women’s Rights National Historical Park and the National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, NY. The Historical Park was the site of the first women’s rights convention that took place in 1848, while the hall pays tribute to the legendary women of yesterday and today that fought for their rights and those of their descendants.

More fun facts on how the region has supported the growth of women:

Elmira College was the first institution to grant women a college degree equal to that of men. Founded in 1855 as Elmira Female College, the college welcomed Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton to speak and promote their cause. The college’s colors, gold and purple, and the iris were adopted by those representing the women’s suffrage movement.

Tompkins County is significant in the fact that it was one of just five counties that successfully voted to pass a resolution for suffrage at the state level in 1915. Additionally:

Two conventions for women’s suffrage – one in 1894 and another in 1911 – were held in part due to Cornell University’s presence and the support of the university’s founder, Ezra Cornell, to the movement. Cornell had even gone so far as to invite Susan B. Anthony to speak at the university in 1869, long before the momentum for women’s suffrage truly began to build.

On April 17, 2017, Martha E. Pollack, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at the University of Michigan, will become the 14th president of Cornell University, taking over after the tragic death of former female Cornell University President Elizabeth Garrett last March.