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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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An important part of our mission at the Yates County History Center is to inform the public about the history of Yates County through museum exhibits and hands-on programs.

Fund raisers are held throughout the year that are educational, fun and supportive of the Center's programs. To register or for more information regarding an event, please call 315.536.7318.

All of our programs are open to members and the general public. Check out what's going on at the History Center!

Calendar of Events

Upcoming events can also be found on our Facebook Events Page.

Tuesday, July 7

Reopening

The staff of YCHC are very happy that the Finger Lakes region has proceeded to Phase 3, as of this writing. We have high hopes that Phase 4 will begin for us on June 26. With that being said, the museums will need to be cleaned and disinfected to make visits by volunteers and the public as safe as possible. The Trustees and Director have decided to allow time between June 26th and July 7th for that purpose. Hand sanitizing stations will be installed in all buildings. Masks will be required of all who enter the buildings. During the initial reopening phase of our museums until further notice, volunteers, researchers and guests will be asked to call for an appointment to come in, to reduce the number of people in the buildings at any time. Watch for updates on visitation via email or the local newspapers for August and beyond. Saturday hours for the remainder of 2020 will be by appointment only. The health of our staff, members, volunteers and the community are foremost in our minds as we make decisions about access and events. We wish you all good health during this unique time.

Tuesday, July 7

A Dangerous Freedom

Exhibit opening in the L. Caroline Underwood Museum. Abolitionist heroes, freedom seekers and the Underground Railroad during a turbulent time in Yates County.

Funded by a Humanities New York Action Grant with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Saturday, July11
11:00 am

With Your Own Two Hands: Open Fire Pioneer Cooking Class

Join Denny and Merrill Race and Leon Gavigan as they teach how to cook as our ancestors did, over an open fire. Learn how to safely build a fire, cook and even how to pack a hiking bag. Enjoy viewing a 1750’s colonial hunting campsite and sampling apple pie and coffee made on the fire. Recipes will be shared with participants. Funded by a grant from the Finger Lakes Community Arts Grants. Class is limited to 10 participants. Fee is $15 for YCHC members and $20 for non-members. This is an outdoor event. Masks and social distancing are required. For health reasons, please bring your own fork, cup and plate. Rain Date of July 18. Call 315-536-7318 to sign up.

Friday, July 24
10:00 am - 3:00 pm

Liberty or Death: A Symposium on the American Revolution

Please join the Yates County History Center for a free virtual series of lectures revealing the lesser known stories of the war for independence, the American Revolution.

Dr. Brian Grills - From Fort Bull to Fort Anne: Archaeological Investigations and Preservation of New York State's 18th Century Battlefield Landscapes.

Dr. Michael Jacobsen - Tackling the Whirlwind: The Archaeology of the Sullivan-Clinton Campaign.

Tricia Noel - Immigrants Get the Job Done: Foreign Fighters for American Independence.

Dr. Holly Mayer - Remembering Women in the Revolutionary War.

Call the office to sign up at 315-536-7318 or email Lisa at ycghs@yatespast.org

Saturday, July 25
11:00 am - 12:00 noon

Liberty or Death: A Symposium on the American Revolution

Please join the Yates County History Center for a series of lectures revealing the lesser known stories of the war for independence, the American Revolution.

Ellen Chirco - The Revolutionary War Veterans of Yates County

Penn Yan United Methodist Church, 166 Main Street, Penn Yan. Refreshments provided. $15.
Register by June 1st.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to COVID-19, this symposium may become digital. Please stay tuned to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter posts as decisions on this issue are made during this time. Please call (315) 536.7318 or email ycghs@yatespast.org to be put on a list for alerts regarding this event. In the event that we switch to a digital format, prices will be adjusted.

Saturday, August 8
10:00 am - 2:00 pm

Imaging Roadshow

Coming to the Lakemont Congregational Church!

YCHC is proud to announce that their imaging team is going out on the road. You are invited to bring your precious photographs, documents or items with Yates County ties to the Lakemont Congregational Church to be photographed. Doing so will preserve these items for future researchers, both locally at the Yates County History Center and the world via New York Heritage Digital Collections. Items are returned after detailed information is recorded and photograph taken. Volunteers are needed to assist at each site. Call 315-536-7318 for inquiries.

This project is funded by a grant from the South Central Regional Library Council.

StarShine 2020

Win This Dollhouse!

One of the newest fundraisers for the Yates County History Center is the silent auction of a miniature house crafted by Mr. Red Presher of Penn Yan. Mr. Presher found the house’s plans in a 1970s edition of Popular Mechanics magazine. He handcrafted all the pieces. He even made a moving/storage box for it. He estimates it took him over 100 hours of work, done occasionally over two years. Most miniature houses are made from kits but this one was handcrafted.

Thanks to the generosity of Stacey and Becky Ingerick, owners of the Keuka Candy Emporium on Main Street, Penn Yan, it is on display there now and will remain there through StarShine - the business community’s celebration of the Christmas shopping season. If you are in Penn Yan, stop by the Keuka Candy Emporium to see it.

To bid on this “work of art,” just call us at 315-536-7318 and speak to Lisa Harper, our Administrative Assistant. Bids can also be placed by using our email ycghs@yatespast.org.

The highest bidder will be announced when the public visits the Oliver House Museum at StarShine 2020. Will this miniature house be a treasured heirloom to be passed down through generations? This is your opportunity to create lasting memories!

 
Below are planned events that will be rescheduled when safe and time permits.

Wednesday, March 18
1:00 pm

New date TBD

Genealogy Workshop Series - Hands-on Danish Genealogy - Postponed. New date TBA.

Stephanie Olsen will help you get started on researching online and using genealogical resources. A Wi-Fi ready laptop is needed for this workshop.

All genealogy workshops will be held at the L. Caroline Underwood Museum. Each workshop costs $25 or choose any four for $75. Call the office at 315-536-7318 to register.

Wednesday, March 25
1:00 pm

New date TBD

Genealogy Workshop Series - Tracing Italian Family Roots

Explore your Italian heritage, learn how to research regions of Italy and find your ancestors in primary documents such as census and church records. Instructor Tricia Noel uses her experience tracing her own Italian roots.

All genealogy workshops will be held at the L. Caroline Underwood Museum. Each workshop costs $25 or choose any four for $75. Call the office at 315-536-7318 to register.

Saturday, April 7
10:00 am

New date TBD

Genealogy Workshop Series - German Genealogy

Instruction in how to research your German ancestors will focus on on-line resources, namely ancestry.com. Learn how to deal with German language and handwriting barriers while researching with free on-line resources. An extensive list of resources will be provided for take home and future use.

All genealogy workshops will be held at the L. Caroline Underwood Museum. Each workshop costs $25 or choose any four for $75. Call the office at 315-536-7318 to register.

Thursday, April 9
11:00 am

New date TBD

Native American Storyteller Ronnie Reitter

Young and old will enjoy how Reitter, Seneca storyteller, interprets the Haudenosaunee peoples' history through dance and puppetry. The United Methodist Church in Penn Yan is where this great spring break event will be held. Admission is free for students and $8 for adults. Let us know you'll attend by calling 315-536-7318.

Reitter's appearance is made possible with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered locally by the Finger Lakes Community Arts Grants (FLCAG) at Auburn Public Theatre.

Saturday, April 18
10:00 am

New date TBD

Genealogy Workshop Series - Tracing U. S. Military Service

This workshop will guide you through existing records of America's soldiers, from Civil War to Vietnam, both off-line and on-line that form the foundation of a service record. Additional resources will be highlighted to assist filling in important details abut units and organizations mentioned in documents.

All genealogy workshops will be held at the L. Caroline Underwood Museum. Each workshop costs $25 or choose any four for $75. Call the office at 315-536-7318 to register.

Thursday, April 23
10:00 am - 2:00 pm

New date TBD

Imaging Roadshow

Coming to the Village of Dresden Town Hall!

YCHC is proud to announce that their imaging team is going out on the road. You are invited to bring your precious photographs, documents or items with Yates County ties to the Dresden Town Hall to be photographed. Doing so will preserve these items for future researchers, both locally at the Yates County History Center and the world via New York Heritage Digital Collections. Items are returned after detailed information is recorded and a photograph taken. Volunteers are needed to assist at each site. Call 315-536-7318 for inquiries.

This project is funded by a grant from the South Central Regional Library Council.

Thursday, May 14
10:00 am - 2:00 pm

New date TBD

Imaging Roadshow

Coming to the Italy Town Hall!

YCHC is proud to announce that their imaging team is going out on the road. You are invited to bring your precious photographs, documents or items with Yates County ties to the Tyrone Town Hall to be photographed. Doing so will preserve these items for future researchers, both locally at the Yates County History Center and the world via New York Heritage Digital Collections. Items are returned after detailed information is recorded and photograph taken. Volunteers are needed to assist at each site. Call 315-536-7318 for inquiries.

This project is funded by a grant from the South Central Regional Library Council.

Saturday, June 10
10:00 am - 2:00 pm

Imaging Roadshow

Coming to the Barrington Town Hall!

YCHC is proud to announce that their imaging team is going out on the road. You are invited to bring your precious photographs, documents or items with Yates County ties to the Barringto Town Hall to be photographed. Doing so will preserve these items for future researchers, both locally at the Yates County History Center and the world via New York Heritage Digital Collections. Items are returned after detailed information is recorded and photograph taken. Volunteers are needed to assist at each site. Call 315-536-7318 for inquiries.

This project is funded by a grant from the South Central Regional Library Council.

Saturday, June 27
10:00 am - 2:00 pm

Imaging Roadshow

Coming to the Middlesex Town Hall!

YCHC is proud to announce that their imaging team is going out on the road. You are invited to bring your precious photographs, documents or items with Yates County ties to the Middlesex Town Hall to be photographed. Doing so will preserve these items for future researchers, both locally at the Yates County History Center and the world via New York Heritage Digital Collections. Items are returned after detailed information is recorded and a photograph taken. Volunteers are needed to assist at each site. Call 315-536-7318 for inquiries.

This project is funded by a grant from the South Central Regional Library Council.

Saturday, July 18
10:00 am - 2:00 pm

Imaging Roadshow

Coming to the Bluff Point Methodist Church!

YCHC is proud to announce that their imaging team is going out on the road. You are invited to bring your precious photographs, documents or items with Yates County ties to the Bluff Point Methodist Church to be photographed. Doing so will preserve these items for future researchers, both locally at the Yates County History Center and the world via New York Heritage Digital Collections. Items are returned after detailed information is recorded and a photograph taken. Volunteers are needed to assist at each site. Call 315-536-7318 for inquiries.

This project is funded by a grant from the South Central Regional Library Council.

   

Ongoing

Donate your refundable cans and bottles to our tote in the parking lot of History Center.  Every penny counts!  There is also a container at Two Can Dan’s refund center on Benham Street with our name on it!

Ongoing

Check us out on Facebook.  There are always old photos posted with fun recollections by friends of the History Center.   Find fellow history lovers and former residents of Yates County who have moved away.

Ongoing

The Oliver House Museum is open Tuesday through Friday 9 am to 4 pm year around.  Additionally, during July and August the museum is open Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm.

Ongoing

The L. Caroline Underwood Historical Museum is open Tuesday through Friday 9 am to 4 pm year around.  The administrative offices and the research center are located here.

Ongoing

The Scherer Carriage House is open Tuesday through Friday 9 am to 4 pm year around.

Ongoing

The Catherine Spencer Center for Genealogical and Historical Research at the L. Caroline Underwood Museum is open when the Underwood Museum is open.


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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
Tuesday, June 16, 2020 | Copyright © 2020

A community museum where every story matters!

160th Anniversary

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