2023 Year In Review

January 5th, 2024
students on the front porch of Rose Hill Mansion

Hobart and William Smith students at Rose Hill Mansion, August 2023

To help tell Geneva’s stories we relied on a variety of collaborators. Among our partners were the  Antiques Club of the Finger Lakes, Antiracist Curriculum Project, Hayley Boothe, City and Town of Geneva, Cool Club and The Lipker Sisters,  Barb Warner Deane, DHPSNY, Doolin O’Dey, Dove Block Project, Dryer Arts Center, Finger Lakes Community College, Finger Lakes Times, Friends of Parrott Hall, the Genesee Country Bobbin Lace Guild, Geneva City School District, Geneva Housing Authority, Geneva Public Library, Geneva Reads , Green Committee, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Ithaca Maple Works, Lake Drum Brewing, Live History, New York Heritage, Marjory Allen Perez , Ontario County Dairy Princess Olivia Maslyn, Reynolds’ Battery, Rochester Regional Library Council, Seneca Falls Historical Society, Seneca County Living History Group, Three of Us, and Ward O’ Hara Agricultural and Country Living Museum

The Geneva History Museum and Rose Hill Mansion are available to outside groups for meetings, programs, and special events.  In 2023 Seneca Chapter of the DAR, Geneva Rotary, and Catherine Foster Hopkins Art Reading Club held meetings at the museum while Rose Hill was the setting for various photos.

four people posed in front of a completed puzzle

Teams competed in March to finish a 500-piece Geneva themed jigsaw puzzle in under three hours.


road construction in front of Rose Hill

Road construction on 96A, August 2023


Maintenance projects at Rose Hill included installing heat pumps in the East Tenant Cottage and Carriage House, leveling the floor between the mansion’s parlors and cleaning up the pond.  At the Geneva History Museum, the exterior was painted. Though it was not one of our project’s road construction on 96A impacted Rose Hill.



People at Lake Drum Brewing for History Happy Hour.

History Happy Hour, March 2023

Student dressed up for Taking Tea

Taking Tea at Rose Hill, April 2023



By sixth grade students have visited our sites at least once, participated in one classroom program, and experienced two off-site programs. In 2023 2,377 students attended programs held inside and outside the classroom.



Two men and two women with an award plaque

HWS Community Engagement Scholarship ForumLeft to right: Chris Woodworth, John Marks, Becky Chapin, Mark Gearan. Photo by Kevin Colton.


During the Community Engagement Scholarship Forum in May, HWS President Mark Gearan presented us with the Community Partner of the Year Award.  Professor Chris Woodworth nominated Historic Geneva for our work helping students connect with Geneva’s history.





Booths set up on the lakefront for the Finger Lakes Pride Festival

Finger Lakes Pride Festival, June 2023

By partnering with other community organizations and participating in community events we shared Geneva’s stories with the broadest audience possible.  Our outreach activities included “Looking Back Articles” for the Finger Lakes Times; programs for Geneva Housing Authority, and Geneva Women’s Club; class visits and internships for student from Hobart and William Smith Colleges; and participating in the Farmer’s Market, Finger Lakes Pride Festival, and Mingle with Kringle.


Geneva is filled with stories.  While Historic Geneva is the primary repository of these stories, we are not the only storytellers.  Whether it’s an ongoing effort or a one-time project, there are individuals, businesses, and organizations throughout the community who are telling stories from Geneva’s past and present. To celebrate Geneva’s storytellers, we hosted a recognition reception in July at Rose Hill Mansion. In June we held the second annual Geneva Storytellers’ Awards at Rose Hill, where we honored Lillian Collins, Finger Lakes Community College’s Geneva Campus Center, and Water St. Café.


A crowd in the courtyard of Rose Hill.

Cool Club and The Lipker Sisters at Rose Hill, June 2023

A crowd in the courtyard of Rose Hill.

Visitors with Robert Swan, June 2023

Historic Geneva welcomed Live History to Rose Hill Mansion for an interactive theatrical experience In Time.  With escape room, quest, and theatre elements, visitors had to work together and with the actors to explore the mansion while trying to solve clues and complete their tasks


Young woman standing on the front porch of Rose Hill Mansion

Alice Russo on the front porch of Rose Hill Mansion.



Our first Rose Hill intern, Alice Russo, helped with group tours and updated the mansion’s accessibility binders.

Archivist Becky Chapin was named City of Geneva Historian.

Audio Reel in a case

The audio reels were originally housed in non-archival boxes by George Hucker. They have since been rehoused in archivally safe containers by the Northeastern Document Conservation Center. This form of audio material is at a high risk of degradation and threatened-moderate risk of obsolescence.

Our collections care encompassed a variety of activities including digitizing archival materials, answering research requests, conducting inventories, creating finding aids, processing donations, organizing (and in several cases reorganizing) collections, data entry, taking photographs of objects and around the community, and filing. Special projects included finishing the digitizing and metadata project for our audio reel collection and a condition survey on our rolled materials through DHPSNY.

little boy feeding an ox at Family Day

Family Day, August 2023

People standing and seating in the press box at Fenway Box

The Press Box at Fenway Park


Our financial support came from a variety of sources in 2023 – donations, support campaigns, Rose Hill admissions, gift shops sales,  publicly and privately funded grants, an online auction, trips to Buffalo, Cooperstown and Boston, An Evening at Houghton House, and the Holiday Market.  Thank you to our supporters, grant funders, and others who generously supported Historic Geneva in 2023.


Civil War re-enactors with visitors at Rose Hill.

Civil War Day, September 2023

For years we have partnered with Reynolds’ Battery to host a Civil War encampment for Seneca County middle school students at Rose Hill.  This year the encampment was opened to the public.

two baseball jerseysFrom student food and beverages to parks and playgrounds, we hosted a variety of exhibits in 2023.  Our exhibits were  Eat, Drink, and Be Merry: Food and Beverages in Geneva, There’ll Be Some Changes Made: Geneva in the 1920s,  125th Anniversary Geneva: Now a City, Lift Every Voice: Geneva’s Black Community Since 1966, New Acquisitions, My Geneva Is…Parks and Playgrounds,  One House, Many People: Workers at Rose Hill and Slavery In New York State.


People touring a cemetery

Tour of St Patrick’s Cemetery, October 2023









People in a classroom

Community Conversation on Race and Housing at the Adams Intercultural Center at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, November 2023


Our 2023 programs included 1920s Game Day, the spring and fall program series, specialty tours of Rose Hill, a downtown walking tour about black owned businesses, summer concerts, History Happy Hours, cemetery tours, and Rose Hill By Candlelight.





Woman standing at a podium

Former Historic Geneva Board President Sue Treadwell


We could not accomplish all that we do without the time, talent, and treasure of community members.  In 2023 we witnessed the passing of several dedicated supporters and friends including John Bennett, Brad Broyles, Len DeFrancesco, Phil Johnson, David Mulvey, Mickey Peters, Sue Treadwell, Joanna Whelan, and Chuck Wisor.



2 responses to “2023 Year In Review”

  1. Inga-Mai (Pim) Larsson-Kovach says:

    Wonderful to read about all Historic Geneva has been involved with in our community during 2023. Thank you for all the hard work.
    Kudos to all of you.

  2. Karen Osburn says:

    Historic Geneva’s programs and community partnerships show what an important contribution your organization makes to our city’s quality of life. Thanks to all the staff for doing such a good job telling Geneva’s stories. and keeping our history alive.

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