Focus on Yates County Women’s History in 2015

Creative staff and volunteers continue to design new displays to showcase artifacts from the collections of the YCHC. Historical artifacts are also donated to the History Center almost daily. This cabinet contains artifacts which tell the story of Yates County native General Ferenbaugh. Other cabinets about Morris Brown, Medal of Honor Winner and Admiral Frank Schofield are also on display. Here’s a sneak peak at recently curated exhibits.

During 2015 the History Center shines a light on women in Yates County history in a year-long program emphasis: “Women Who Made a Difference.” Among this group are religious, woman’s suffrage, abolitionists, educators and anti-poverty workers, community organizers, artists, business leaders and sole-family bread winners. Program attendees will learn about societal influences and expectations placed on women living in a male-centered world. The January program highlighted those who worked in traditional roles with textiles and fashion, interweaving the story with our vast vintage costume collection. Selected items from our costume collection will be on exhibit throughout the year at both the Oliver House and Underwood Museums.

L. Caroline Underwood was remembered in February as a highly regarded educator and benefactor of our own Underwood Museum. Local actor Patty Larzelere portrayed Miss Underwood’s life as a teacher during the first part of the 20th century with information and items found in the Underwood collection.

In March the roles and expectations placed on young women in the nineteenth century was brought forward in the presentation: “Young Mary Bitley of Jerusalem.” Donna Copson presented Miss Bitley from the young woman’s personal mid-19th century journal. The Bitley historic home rejuvenation was by current owners, Carolyne and Jon Hunt.

On May 9th “The Danes of Yates County”, with Stephanie Olsen, will be discussed. Ms. Olsen will bring to life people from her own family’s immigrant history in light of the larger story of the Danish people’s settlement in Yates County.

Additionally, as part of the “Women Who Made a Difference” year-long effort, we are making available audio-video recordings from the project “Through the Eyes of Women: Yates County.” These first-person recordings were made in the early 2000’s by members of the Yates County Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and feature Yates County life experiences from a women’s viewpoint.

These videos are fun and inform about a women’s real life experience of the times past. As time progresses, check here as more will be added.

MARCIA DUGAN interviewed by Bonnie Barney and Barbara Alconero. She went to school in Cuba where her father was in the sugar business and graduated from Antioch College in 1948. She married Fred Dugan, worked for the US Public Health Service doing biochemistry research. Ater Fred finished law school, they returned to his home town of Penn Yan.

ANN POTTER BOYD interviewed by Barbara Alconero in January of 2002. Ann was born in 1913 in New York City, graduated from Hartwick College in 1934 where she met and married Lyn Potter. After Lyn received a degree in veterinary medicine from Cornell University, they moved to Penn Yan and served as a vet for small and large animals for over 30 years.

ELLEN SALISBURY interviewed by Laura Lemmey and videotaped by Barbara Alconero in March of 2002 was born in England in 1905, educated in Rochester and made her way to Penn Yan upon retiring in the 1970s where she worked for the Oliver House.

CARLOTTA “KIRK” CROSIER interviewed August 2001 by Helen Stewart, Videotaped by Barbara Alconero Kirk was born in the Hatmaker Hospital in 1916. She went to Penn Yan Academy where the teachers were more interested in her ability as a basketball player. In those years, girls basketball was a big thing.

Helen Stewart interviews CAMILLA (MILLY) BLOOMQUIST. Milly came to Penn Yan in 1958 when her husband was hired as a Vice President of Keuka College. Readers will want to also view items from Milly's life story including the program brochure from her Presidential Award ceremony, which is now on display in The Oliver House center hall exhibition area.

Barbara Alconero interviewed MARGE CORNELL. Marge talks about her experiences working in Penn Yan’s Barden and Robeson Basket Factory and at Michaels Stern Corporation.

Bonnie Barney interviews DORIS SHERER. Doris was born in 1903 and grew up in a house on North Main Street near the hospital and the railroad track. Doris tells of transportation experiences including train travel, the horse and buggy, then the early automobile. The Sampson Opera House, dances at Electric Park and the Keuka Hotel, and roller skating at the Lakeside Hotel.

CORINNE "CORRIE" STORK interviewd by Helen Stewart and videotaped by Barbara Alconero in December 2001. Corrie moved to Penn Yan from Ossining, NY in her senior or third year of high school. She studied French linguistics at Cornell, worked for the Dean of Keuka College where she later became a French teacher and after raising four children went to work full time at Beaumont Insurance.

PHYLLIS SMITH was interviewed by Helen Stewart and videotaped by Barbara Alconero in August of 2001. Phyllis was born in Ulster, PA and went to Mansfield State College to become an elementary teacher. She taught for two years in Bentley Creek, married Gilbert Smith and eventually mosed to Penn Yan in 1944.

MAXINE HOOVER FULLAGER was interviewed by Helen Stewart Autust and videotaped by Bonnie Barney in 2001. Maxine was born in Penn Yan and lived on Keuka's east side as had her grandparents and great grandparents before her.

Yates County History Center
107 Chapel Street, Penn Yan, NY 14527
Phone 315.536.7318 | Fax 315.536.0976
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Wednesday, November 18, 2015 | Copyright © 2015