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...

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August 1927

From the pages of Yates County newspapers

A month earlier, President Calvin Coolidge, a man who didn’t waste words, said “I do not choose to run for President in 1928”. The Editor of the Chronicle-Express speculated: “While President Coolidge may not choose, he may be chosen. Despite this expression it is likely that the name of Calvin Coolidge will dominate the list of presidential candidates for 1928.” Coolidge was a man of his word.

Niccolo Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, Italian immigrants found guilty of murder and armed robbery in Massachusetts seven years earlier, were scheduled for execution in late August . The trial was considered to be a great miscarriage of justice as another man had already come forth to confess to the crimes. A local resident, Louise A. Elsworth, weighed in on the issue in a Letter to the Editor: “Protests and petitions are pouring in to Governor Fuller (of Massachusetts) from all over the world and it is incredible that the injustice was allowed to go on, to the lasting dishonor of this country.” The executions were carried out as scheduled on August 23rd.

Locally, one of the big stories was the first Danish Folkfest scheduled to be held in Penn Yan on August 13th and 14th. The Editor of the Chronicle-Express reported: “ is something well worth having. Among the best citizens, farmers and neighbors in this section are the Danes. This gathering is commendable for it attempts to bring together the Danes and Americans in understanding and sympathy.” An estimated 700 people watched a parade that went from St. Paul’s Lutheran Church through town and out to a gathering at Indian Pines. The parade was led by the Penn Yan Boys’ Band and included 87 automobiles. At Indian Pines, there was the singing of the Star Spangled Banner and the national anthem of Denmark, “Der er et Yndigt Land” followed by speeches from local dignitaries. That night a program was held at the Sampson Theater which included seven reels of pictures showing beautiful Denmark “as it is today” and music by a chorus of Danish children.

The Elmwood Theater was showing “Don Juan” with John Barrymore, “Twinkletoes” with Colleen Moore. and “Black Cyclone” with Rex the Wonder Horse. A special treat was film from the Jack Dempsey- Jack Sharkey fight, a controversial bout that had been held the month before in Yankee Stadium . The Sampson Theater was showing “Lightning Lariat” with Tom Tyler along with an episode of “Radio Detective”. The era of silent movies was about to come to an end as the first “talking picture”, The Jazz Singer, opened that October.


Open Tuesday - Friday 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
107 Chapel Street, Penn Yan, NY 14527
Phone 315.536.7318 | Fax 315.536.0976
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