2022 Year in Review

January 6th, 2023

Roof work being done at the Geneva History Museum



Thanks to a generous bequest from Robert “Jim” Brennan Jr., many deferred maintenance projects at Geneva History Museum and Rose Hill will be completed over the next few years.  In August and September 2022 all the roofs were replaced at the Geneva History Museum.





three women in the Dining Room at Rose Hill

Tour Guide Dawn Jendrick with visitors on Community Day at Rose HIll.



We welcomed several new employees including Office Manager Rebecca Petropoulos and Rose Hill tours guides Kerry Adams, Rebekah Clark, Dawn Jendrick, and Christine Murphy.








One story building


For a one-of-a kind experience spend the night at Rose Hill Cottage. One of the outbuildings at Rose Hill has been converted into a three-bedroom, one-bath vacation rental managed by Finger Lakes Premier Properties.



four people gathering around a table posing with a completed jigsaw puzzle


After several postponements due to the pandemic we held our first jigsaw puzzle competition on March 17.  Teams competed to finish a 500-piece Geneva themed jigsaw puzzle in under three hours.




People gathered in the Hucker Gallery of the Geneva History Museum

The Geneva Chamber of Commerce held their Business After Hours at the Geneva History Museum in April 2022.  Photo by Neil Sjoblom



The Geneva History Museum and Rose Hill Mansion are available to outside groups for meetings, programs, and special events.  In 2022 various organizations held meetings at the museum while a wedding and Geneva Rotary Club’s Garden Party was held at Rose Hill.





school children walking from a school bus to Rose Hill Mansion

Taking Tea at Rose Hill


School programs returned in the spring with Taking Tea at Rose Hill  A Civil War encampment was held at Rose Hill in September for Seneca County middle school students.  Second and fifth graders visited Washington Street Cemetery in October for Cemetery Stories.  In December first, second and third graders came to the Geneva History Museum for holiday programs.



two cows in front of Rose Hill Mansion

Moon and Star at Community Day



With limited access in 2020 and limited hours in 2021 due to the pandemic, the 2022 Rose Hill season was a “return to normalcy.”  Along with mansion tours, the summer concert series, specialty tours and Community Day returned.





People standing outside the Geneva History Museum

The Seneca Chapter of the DAR presented Historic Geneva with a new flag for the Geneva History Museum on Flag Day.

Recognition ReceptionGeneva 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.   For our first recognition reception we honored Lake Drum Brewing, Geneva Public Library and Anthony Bray ‘23, Samari Brown ‘24, Sal Fabio ‘22,Christina Roc ‘24, and Professor Chris Woodworth from Hobart and William Smith Colleges for From Beyond: Geneva’s Unheard Voices.


A display showing an open historic scrapbook and photo album.

Gluing The Past Together: Historic Scrapbooks

From student art work to food and beverages, we hosted a variety of exhibits in 2022.  Our exhibits were Geneva Innovators; Gluing The Past Together: Historic Scrapbooks; Immigration in New York State, 1650-1950 (from New York Heritage); Geneva City School District Art Show; Eat, Drink, and Be Merry: Food and Beverages in Geneva, Hip Hobart Forever!: 200 Years of Hobart College, and My Geneva Is…Then and Now.


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, transcribing oral histories, answering research requests, writing collections development and disaster plans, conducting inventories, creating finding aids, processing donations, organizing (and in several cases reorganizing) collections, data entry, and filing




bride and groom in front of Rose Hill Mansion

Wedding at Rose Hill, September 2022


people gathered in an apartment

On  the Cutting Edge: An Evening at the Cracker Factory, September 2022


Our financial support came from a variety of sources in 2022 – donations, support campaigns, Rose Hill admissions, gift shops  sales,  publicly and privately funded grants, an online auction, On  the Cutting Edge: An Evening at the Cracker Factory, and the Holiday Market.  Thank you to our supporters, grant funders, and others who generously supported Historic Geneva in 2022


Cannon firing at a Civil War Encampment

Civil War Encampment at Rose Hill, September 2022

The Willows Along Seneca Lake Print



The Willows Along Seneca Lake print was an Historic Geneva exclusive.  “The Willows,” trees in a grove along Seneca Lake in Geneva, date to the 1890s.




Group of people in Glenwood Cemetery

Glenwood Cemetery Tour, October 2022

reproductions of paintings in a storefront window

For the open façade at 29 Liden Street, Historic Geneva, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and The Dove Block Project created an art installation.  The installation features images of Geneva by Genevans, including Arthur Dove, Elizabeth Boswell, and Clyde Mathias.


To help tell Geneva’s stories we relied on a variety of collaborators. Among our partners were the  Antiques Club of the Finger Lakes, Katherine Bourbeau, City and Town of Geneva, City of Geneva Historian Karen Osburn, Cracker Factory, Dove Block Project, Dryer Arts Center, Kathleen A. Earle, Finger Lakes Times, Friends of Parrott Hall, Geneva City School District, Geneva Housing Authority, Geneva Public Library, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Lake Drum Brewing, Eric Lewis, New York Heritage, Emily Oberdorf, Jan Regan, Rochester Regional Library Council, and Smith Center for the Arts.


View of a cabinet of shelves full of books and mugs surrounded by decorative Union Jack flags.

Collection of Harriot Weiskittel.



The Community Curator series continued with Mary Jean Wesler (ceramic pitchers), Harriot Weiskittel (books and memorabilia about Queen Elizabeth II and the British Royal Family), Bill Forbis (seashells), and John Labuff (Snoopy collectibles).





man working on the belevdere at Rose Hill.




Maintenance projects at Rose Hill included interior and exterior painting, replacing four of the mansion’s roofs and rehabbing the belvedere.





Student standing in front of a small, seated audience

HWS students conducted a tour of the Smith Opera House based on research conducted at the Geneva History Museum

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, 21st Century Club and Geneva Women’s Club; class visits and internships for student from Hobart and William Smith Colleges; and participating in the Farmer’s Market, Seneca Falls Family History Day, and Mingle with Kringle.


People viewing the Norman Kent exhibit at Houghton House.

William Smith student Lizzy Nafz (2024) curated “Norman Kent: Carving a Path.” Lizzy interned at Historic Geneva over the summer and many of the featured prints in the exhibit were on loan from Historic Geneva.


While we use our collections for exhibits at the Geneva History Museum, and to furnish Rose Hill Mansion and Johnston House, objects can be loaned to other museums and organizations.  Prints from our collection were featured in the exhibit Norman Kent: Carving a Path at Houghton House on the campus of Hobart and William Smith Colleges and paintings by Francis Marion Tuttle are part of Shaped by the American Dream: Deaf History Through Deaf Art at the Dryer Arts Center at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf in Rochester.



Black and white image of the future Geneva Public Library and a colored image of the current Geneva Public Library


Our 2022 programs included the History Sandwich In series, spring and fall lecture series, a downtown walking tour of bars and restaurants, History Happy Hours, cemetery tours, Rose Hill By Candlelight, Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day, and behind the scenes tours of the Geneva History Museum.



man painting wood

Howard Sabin working on an exhibit at Rose Hill.



We could not accomplish all that we do without the time, talent, and treasure of community members.  In 2022 we witnessed the passing of several dedicated supporters and friends including John Fouracre, Kamil Kovach, Carol Morse, Sue and Howard Sabin, and Joanne Wisor.


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