Standing proudly on Main Street in Penn Yan is the anchor building of the Yates County History Center, the Oliver House Museum, one of three buildings comprising the YCHC. The Center, formerly Yates County Genealogical & Historical Society, is one of the oldest in NYS, has been actively collecting, preserving and interpreting history since 1860. Continue reading about us...

Open Tuesday - Friday 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
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Oliver House Museum
L. Caroline Underwood Museum
Scherer Carriage House Museum
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Children's Room

The youngest visitors to the Yates County History Center now have a fun filled room just for them. The children’s room at the Oliver House Museum is now open for everyone’s enjoyment.

Executive Director Tricia Noel noted that past visitors to the History Center had asked about child friendly activities in Yates County. “We are very pleased to offer a fun learning experience for our youngest guests. The agricultural theme is a salute to our farming friends and neighbors.”

The dedicated room on the second floor of the Oliver House Museum is painted a colorful blue and decorated with images of young farm animals. Children are invited to come and meet Betsy the cow and harvest apples off a tree. Betsy, a holstein dairy cow, stands four feet tall. A raised bed veggie patch is filled with carrots for kids to harvest and apple tree for picking apples. Puzzles, books, a chicken coop and barn are all available for visitors to play with.

Betsy the Cow in the Children's Room

Betsy the Cow was handcrafted and donated by Oak Grove Woodworking and students from Penn Yan Academy constructed and donated this vibrant apple tree.


Digital Resources

The Spencer Research Center located on the first floor of the L. Caroline Underwood Museum now has a computer dedicated to making available our digital resources which include all of the Yates County newspapers available to us and over 6,000 photographs. All are indexed and easily searched.

Visit our changing selection of photographs.

Included in a Yates County History Center membership is the on-site use of the Spencer Research Center.

Birkett Mills, Main Street, Penn Yan


Newspaper Clip  

Yates County Historic Newspapers

The NYS Historic Newspapers website provides free, searchable online access to more than 11 million New York State newspaper pages. Beginning 2015, YCHC has generated more than 230,000 searchable pages of Yates County newspapers and made them available for online searching on NYS Historic Newspapers.

A guide is available, General Comments and Search Examples, to help you get started searching this valuable resource. A minor searching problem exists on the NYS Historic Newspapers website, click here for a workaround to handle this. Training videos are available.


Yates County history is awesomeBecoming a Member

Becoming of member of Yates County History Center makes it possible to continue our mission to collect, preserve, interpret and share the history of Yates County's people, places and events.

Our work and present level of programming is supported largely by financial support through membership and contributing donors.

We appreciate the business members who care about local history and are helping us in our mission to collect, preserve and promote Yates County's rich heritage. Please patronize these friends of YCHC.


Open Tuesday - Friday 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
107 Chapel Street, Penn Yan, NY 14527
Phone 315.536.7318 | Fax 315.536.0976
Email YCHC | Email Webmaster
Wednesday, January 24, 2024 | Copyright © 2023

A community museum where every story matters!

NYS History Trip Advisor