The Johnston House opens for the season on May 3, 2014. Built by John and Margaret Johnston in the 1820s, the Johnston House originally sat on an important farm where John Johnston became a well-known advocate of improved farming techniques. Johnston was the first American farmer to use soil drainage tiles to increase productivity on his farm, which was considered by some in the 19th century to be “the most important agricultural spot in America.” 

Visitors are invited to explore the house on the self-guided tour, where they will learn about what it meant to live and work on a farm in the 19th century. Farming involved a lot of labor, but well-to-do families such as the Johnstons had time for education, leisure, and charitable work. All of these themes are explored in the tour, which features original and reproduction objects that can be held and investigated close up. The tour is designed for all ages, but focuses particularly on families with children. Visitors to the Johnston farm can also see the Mike Weaver Drain Tile Museum on site.

The Johnston House is open Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays, 1-5 p.m., May through October. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated.

The Johnston House is located at 3523 East Lake Road at Route 96A, near Geneva, New York. The house is administered by the Geneva Historical Society, located at 543 South Main Street, Geneva. For more information about the Johnston House, call 315-789-5151 or 315-789-3848 or visit our website at

The Geneva Historical Society receives major funding from the New York State Council on the Arts and the Town and City of Geneva.

Anne Dealy (315) 789-5151