Historic Main St. tours return to Penn Yan

Yates County History Center
Did you know that famed women's suffragist Susan B. Anthony spoke at the Cornwell Opera House  (now Longs’ Cards & Books)in Penn Yan? These and other lesser known tidbits will be shared on the Historic Main St. Tours.

Penn Yan’s Historic Main Street Walking Tours

Visitors and locals alike enjoy the historic buildings along Main Street in Penn Yan. Join volunteer tour guides at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 10 at the Oliver House Museum for an informative, entertaining jaunt down Main Street. 

Susan B. Anthony

Did you know that Susan B. Anthony spoke at the Cornwell Opera House (now Longs’ Cards & Books)? These and other lesser known tidbits will be shared on the tours. 

The fee is $8 for Yates County History Center members and $12 for non-members. Visitors can become members at the door. Tour lasts about 1 1/2 hours, heading to Main St. bridge and back, so please wear comfortable shoes. 

Call the Yates County History Center at 315-536-7318 by 3 p.m. Friday, July 9  to reserve a spot. Limited space available.

You have made the difference and the Yates History Center wants to thank you!

The Yates County History Center’s Oliver House Museum and Underwood Museum at the corner of Main and Chapel Streets in Penn Yan.

This spring we notified you that our obsolete computer system was putting us in danger of losing our files.  You stepped up!  You reposted our plea for funds on your social media.  You sent checks to meet the matching grant from a generous donor.  By the end of the appeal, we were able to purchase the needed program, Past Perfect, get all files transferred, our staff educated on its use and have money put in escrow for the annual updating fee.  You are awesome!

For everyone’s enjoyment, our Education Committee created a Covid-safe way to get out and learn more about Yates County, The Yates Scavenger Hunt. Each township had at least two places people needed to visit, following the clues given. Over 20 teams registered, having a 3-week period to research and visit.  Six teams tied for 1st, 2nd & 3rd place finishes!  Feedback was so positive, the committee is planning to offer it again next year.  Plan to get in on next year’s fun.

On the topic of planning, did you know that in 2023, Yates County will celebrate its bicentennial?  What can we do to celebrate?  Dances?  Parade?  Special events?  Your ideas are important and needed, as well as your participation. Contact us now to be part of the planning group!

We also want to  thank all who supported our chicken barbecue on Memorial Day weekend at the Lyons National Bank parking lot.  Money earned goes right back into maintaining our three-building campus and continuing to offer programs for your enjoyment. The most recent one was “A Dangerous Freedom,” featuring the story of escaping slavery on the Underground Railroad.  It was part of the Pathways through History weekend June 19.  We have also posted many videos on our Vimeo channel that kept you engaged and safe during Covid restrictions. 

We hope we can count on your continued support as our historical characters offer refreshments July 7 during the Yates Concert Series.  Walking Tours of Historic Main St., Penn Yan will again be offered during July and August. Please call 315-536-7318 for dates and times.  

On July 24, our director, Tricia Noel, will offer an in person lecture about the history of vaccines. 

Do you  know  Robert Seldon Rose? Mary Curtis? Rhoda Bradley? William Maxwell? Mary Hunford? These local figures from Yates County will be brought to life at our Cemetery Tour set for 2 p.m. Aug. 14 at Penn Yan’s Lakeview Cemetery.

More events are planned for the fall and early winter.  We invite you to be a part of them!