Blog » Category: Recreation

  • Early History of Lacrosse at Hobart College

    May 17th, 2024
    Chronicle of the early history of lacrosse at Hobart College.
  • The Early History of Lacrosse

    April 19th, 2024
    The Native American roots of lacrosse.
  • Last Picture Show?

    March 22nd, 2024
    Memories of the seeing movies at the Smith Opera House, Cinema (originally the Regent Theater) and Geneva Movieplex.
  • Stereo Cards in Our Collection

    January 19th, 2024
    Brief history of stereo cards.
  • No Movies on Sunday

    December 29th, 2023
    In April 1919, New York State passed an act that granted cities a local option to legalize Sunday movies. A look back on how Geneva legalized showing movies on Sundays.
  • Holiday Season

    December 22nd, 2023
    A brief history of the holiday season in the United States.
  • Miniature Golf in the 1930s

    September 8th, 2023
    A brief history Geneva’s miniature golf courses
  • Early Geneva Playgrounds

    July 10th, 2023
    Early Geneva playgrounds provided safe summertime recreation for a growing population of children in the city in the first quarter of the 20th century.
  • Geneva’s Arts Heritage

    March 3rd, 2023
    Historic Geneva’s online resources that focus on the arts.
  • I’ll See You in My Dreams: 1920s Records and Record Players

    January 20th, 2023
    Overview of record players and records sold in Geneva during the 1920s based on ads in the Geneva Daily Times.
  • Cold, Chilly Victorian Winter

    February 18th, 2022
    Brief overview of winter activities in the Victorian Era.
  • How Does Our Holiday Celebration Compare to the Victorians?

    December 17th, 2021
    How Victorian families, like the Swans at Rose Hill, celebrated Christmas
  • Puzzling During a Pandemic: America’s 3rd Puzzle Craze

    August 7th, 2020
    A brief history of the jigsaw puzzle crazes in the United States.
  • Dissected Maps: The Origins of Jigsaw Puzzles

    March 27th, 2020
    Discover the early history of jigsaw puzzles.
  • “A Friend of the Gutted Stick:” Francis “Babe” Kraus

    November 7th, 2019
    Brief biography of Francis "Babe" Kraus.
  • More Trick Than Treat: Halloween in 19th Century Geneva

    October 30th, 2019
    Overview of how Genevans celebrated Halloween in the 1800s.
  • Modern Day Figure Skating in Geneva

    July 19th, 2019
    Recollections on being a member of the Lake Country Figure Skating Club.
  • 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
  • Books and Reading

    April 5th, 2019
    An appeal plea to read books, newspapers, or magazines in print or electronic format. 
  • Deer? Oh Dear!

    October 18th, 2018
    Discussion of white tail deer in the Finger Lakes.
  • Mechanical Eye: Early History Motion Pictures

    June 29th, 2018
    An early history of motion pictures
  • Gift Giving

    December 14th, 2017
    The tradition of gift giving on Christmas.
  • Traditions

    November 22nd, 2017
    Traditions for Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day often revolve around food, decorations, and locations.
  • Charles Dickens in the Geneva Newspapers

    November 10th, 2017
    Charles Dickens in Geneva newspapers
  • Very Mysterious: The Fox Sisters and the Spiritualist Movement

    September 29th, 2017
    Chronicling the Fox Sisters and the Spiritualist movement through local newspapers.
  • New: “Music in the Key of Geneva” Podcast

    June 2nd, 2017
    In our latest podcast Geoffrey Herd, Hannah Collins, and Eliot Heaton discuss the Geneva Music Festival.
  • Superiority to Fear: Acrobat and Tightrope Walker Blondin

    May 19th, 2017
    Accounts of Blondin crossing the Niagara Gorge from local newspapers
  • As Modest on a Wheel as in a Drawing Room: Female Bicyclists in the 1890s

    April 28th, 2017
    The reaction to female bicyclists in the 1890s through local newspapers
  • Astounding The Crowd: Bicycling in Geneva

    March 24th, 2017
    The introduction of bicycling in Geneva through local newspapers
  • 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.
  • New “Music in the Key of Geneva” Video and Podcast

    November 23rd, 2016
    Latest additions to our "Geneva Stories" video series and "Music in the Key of Geneva" podcasts.
  • Home Music: 19th Century Bands in Geneva

    November 18th, 2016
    Chronicling 19th Century bands in Geneva, New York through newspapers.
  • Music in the Key of Geneva Podcasts

    September 9th, 2016
    The first in a series of podcasts for the Geneva Historical Society's Music in the Key of Geneva project.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Playing What They Loved: Geneva’s Music Scene in the 1960s

    January 29th, 2016
    Recently I talked with Geneva's Chuck Agonito about the rock and roll music scene in Geneva during in the 1960s. Since he was part of that scene, he is a wealth of information on the subject and has often written about it in his “Good Times” column for the Finger Lakes Times.
  • Headed to the Drive-in

    October 22nd, 2015
    I love being able to revisit the past and our fundraiser focused on the 1960s (being held in March 2016) is giving me a wonderful opportunity to review one of the most interesting decades I remember.
  • Laughter, Shouts, Frolic, and Swimsuits

    May 22nd, 2015
    A while back I ran across a village ordinance printed in the Geneva Daily Gazette of July 2, 1852: "No person shall bathe in the waters of the Seneca Lake, the Canal, or Castle Creek, after the rising of the sun, and before eight o’clock in the evening, within the bounds of the corporation, under the penalty of one dollar for each offence [sic]. This More »
  • Ah, The Movies!!

    February 13th, 2015
    Movies in the 1940s seemed glamorous and provided their viewers with the opportunity to escape from the stress of war, rationing, worry, fear and anger. Ah, the movies. What a wonderful thing they are!
  • Christmas Musings

    December 11th, 2014
    What did you ask for on your Christmas list as a child? People who know me well won’t be surprised to know that every year I asked Santa, and later my parents when it became apparent that Santa didn’t get the message, for a pony. I scoured the Christmas “Wish Book” for rocking horses and asking for one of those with the idea that Santa More »
  • Christmas Dreaming

    December 1st, 2014
    Some of my favorite memories are associated with Christmas–the Festival of Lights at Sonnenberg, seeing The Nutcracker at the Smith Opera House and A Christmas Carol at Geva, picking out a new ornament each year for the tree, having Christmas breakfast with my grandparents, and playing “Sleigh Ride” throughout high school for the holiday band concert.
  • Dreams Come True: The James M. Cole Circus

    November 13th, 2014
    While looking for interesting topics from the 1940s, I ran across the James M. Cole Circus of Penn Yan. This is a little of its story from the 40s, as reported (mostly) in the Geneva Daily Times.
  • Girl Bands and Geneva

    October 17th, 2014
    Recently, I got the book Swing Shift by Sherrie Tucker. The book was published in 2000 and Professor Tucker was a professor at Hobart and William Smith when she wrote it. Swing Shift is about the all-women bands of the 1930s and 1940s. I wondered if any of the bands in the book were seen or heard in Geneva. It turns out some of them More »
  • Festival Time

    August 15th, 2014
    By Karen Osburn, Archivist Cruisin’ Night 2006 It is that time of year again.  Festivals are everywhere.  If there is anyone who can’t find something to do on a weekend in the Finger Lakes they must have their eyes closed and their cell phone glued to their ear.  Just recently in the area surrounding Geneva there was a garlic festival, a sauerkraut festival and the More »
  • Lazy, Hazy Days of Summer

    July 11th, 2014
    Those fans brought to mind the old song about the “Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer” and how very glad I am summer days are here.
  • A “Tisket” a “Tasket” I love my Picnic Basket

    June 13th, 2014
    By Karen Osburn, Archivist As usual, when I write an article I search for something from my own experience as a starting point.  This time it is picnics.  I love picnics, not that I manage to go on many of the stereotypical “tablecloth on the grass picnics”.  I love the image of that type of picnic, but mine seldom work out that way.  I have More »
  • Dance in Geneva

    January 23rd, 2014
    During the 1910s and 20s the dance world was in ferment. In 1909 the Russian impresario Serge Diaghilev brought a new kind of ballet to Europe and the United States with the Paris debut of the Ballets Russes
  • Radio in the 1920s

    January 14th, 2014
    Brief history of radio during the 1920s.
  • History of Christmas

    December 23rd, 2013
    A brief history of the roots of American Christmas.
  • Here We Come A-Wassailing…

    December 5th, 2013
    A brief history of wassail.
  • Croquet

    October 29th, 2013
    A brief history of croquet
  • Crafts Then and Now: Godey’s Ladies Book

    September 13th, 2013
    Chronicling women's handwork through 19th century national magazines and local newspapers.
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