Sunday, November 1, 2015

Show An Old Man Older Things On His Birthday

Megan planned a whole special day for me on my birthday.  The main feature was going to the Genesee Country Village & Museum.  It's a 600 acre museum dedicated to preserving the architectural heritage of Upstate, New York.

The Grand Lawn as you enter the GCV&M.  

For the fans of Genny Light Beer 

 Toll House entering the historic village: Over the "Genesee Pike" traveled tens of thousands of settlers, some staying to take up land in the Genesee Country, others going on to Ohio and Michigan. More importantly, agricultural produce could now reach the Albany market, bringing cash and a greater promise of prosperity to the Genesee farmer.

The Land Office: The success of some Genesee Country land agents was not matched by other large-scale speculators in wild New York lands.

 Pioneer Farm: Early framed barn c. 1820, Ontario County Corncrib c. 1830, Livingston County Log smokehouse c. 1810 Monroe County On the lea of Flint Hill, just below the village, are eight structures serving the needs of the pioneer farm family.

Kieffer House: Martin Kieffer moved from a settled area of southern Pennsylvania to carve a farm out of the Genesee Country wilderness. And like Hetchler, he built his dwelling of logs, using the same dovetail-like joints favored by the Pennsylvania Germans. But Kieffer's Place is a house, not a cabin.
Grieve's Brewery: Beer was a welcome supplement to the Genesee Country pioneer's basic diet. Beer could be brewed on the farm or in the home, but by the middle of the 19th century, many villages in western New York included a brewery, a distillery or both.

Inside of Grieve's Brewery.  It really made me want to build my own 19th century style brewery in my backyard...


 Shaker Trustees' Building: In 1776, the Shakers founded their first community at Niskayuna (now Watervliet) near Albany, N.Y. There, rejecting the ideas of personal property and predestination, they followed Mother Ann's teaching: "Hands to work, hearts to God."

 Col. Nathaniel Rochester's House: In 1810, Col. Nathaniel Rochester left his comfortable circumstances in Hagerstown, Md., to move north to the 155 acres in Dansville, N.Y., which he had bought on his first trip to the Genesee Country in September 1800. The perilous 275-mile journey north through almost impassable mountains took three weeks. On horseback the Colonel led a procession of carriages bearing the women of the household and the younger children, three great Conestoga wagons with household goods and his 10 slaves, and some of his neighbors who came along to help. The Colonel moved north, he said, "to escape the influence of slavery, to set his slaves free, and to rear his family in a free state."

Original Witch Hazel Tonic seems appropriate after Halloween. 

Hyde House: In 1848, Orson Squire Fowler, a native of the Genesee Country village of Cohocton, published A Home for All, or a New, Cheap, Convenient, and Superior Mode of Building in which he announced that the octagon house, with its eight sides. Hyde House "Picturesque" Garden

 George Eastman's Boyhood Home: George Eastman (1854-1932), founder of Eastman Kodak Company, spent his early youth in and around this one-and-a-half story Greek Revival dwelling in Waterville, N.Y.

Dressmaker's Shop: The one-and-a-half story frame structure housing the Millinery and Dressmaking Shop was built in Roseboom New York about 1825. Like many small buildings in country villages, it was put to various uses over the years.

Tenant House: Spring Creek has a brief run — from the Big Springs in nearby Caledonia north for just over a mile, where it joins the Oatka Creek a short distance from Genesee Country Village. The creek may be short, but it has long been regarded as a premier trout stream. By the middle of the 19th century, its fame among sportsmen led to the establishment of several fishing clubs along its banks. 

 Drug Store: The drug store as a separate enterprise made a surprisingly early appearance in the Genesee Country. In the outlying areas, the only source of drugs would be the doctor, except for some herb concoctions or nostrums a wife or midwife might stir up. The doctor, for the most part, prepared his drugs in his own office and carried a supply of them in his saddlebag.

Humphrey House: Amherst Humphrey's c.1797 house, though of a type common for well over a century in his native Massachusetts, was ahead of its time in the Genesee Country. His ten-roomed "framed" house would remain conspicuous among the log houses of other pioneers then settling the area. Amherst Humphrey Dye Garden

No place emits that warm, nostalgic feeling better than an old-fashioned confectionary with its colorful jars, bottles and trays of sweet delicacies.
Such a location is now found in the historic village at D.B. Munger & Co.
Part exhibit, part true confectionary with fancy treats for purchase, the historic village opened its confectionary in June, 2014, in the former Physician’s Office.  (Dr. Frederick Backus is now taking care of patients formerly handled by the Doctors John Sterriker Sr. & Jr.)
Visit on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays to purchase freshly baked authentic or historically inspired delights such as Chelsea buns, fruit tarts, elderberry or other seasonal fruit hand pies or the ever-popular rosewater currant cakes, sugar tea cakes and maple cakes (cookies).
A number of the bottles on exhibit are replicas of those found in several mid-1800s shipwrecks more than a century after the vessels went down. In some cases, the food was still edible.

Hasting's Law Office: As soon as settlement built up in the Genesee Country, there was work for the lawyer. While many agreements were of the handshake variety, the clearing and conveyance of land titles required the service of a lawyer if there were any complicated issues involved. 

Boot and Shoemaker's Shop: As often as other members of his family went barefoot, the pioneer farmer himself, for the rough work of chopping and clearing the forest and to keep his feet from freezing in the winter, needed a pair of boots. While his wife could make him new clothing she could not replace her husband's boots when they gave way, and to repair a leather boot properly required special tools and skills.

 Livingston-Backus House: One of the entrepreneurs who fashioned a fortune from milling, banking and speculative ventures in Rochester was James Livingston, a descendant of an old Hudson River family. In 1827, Livingston built one of the first grand mansions in Rochester's Third Ward, soon to be full of other columned monuments to their newly wealthy owners.

Hamilton House: John Hamilton arrived in the Southern Tier town of Campbell, N.Y., in 1843 as a shoemaker. But by 1870, Hamilton was the owner of tanneries, a leading figure in his community and proud possessor of a grand new house. 

The Genesee Country Village and Museum was a lot bigger and more fun that I expected or can even show in these pictures.  I'm so happy to see that there's a place in Rochester that respects and honors the areas historic and architectural legacy.  For more information, go to:

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