History Trail

Three centuries ago this land was home to the Seneca, one of six Native American nations that made up the Iroquois (or Haudenosaunee) Confederacy. Nearly 150 years ago, it was the place where Susan B. Anthony fought for women's suffrage.Today, you can retrace the steps of these and other remarkable people. Stroll streets lined with architectural treasures, tour the places where history happened.
 

Ganondagan State Historic Site, Victor. Native American history, art and culture come to life at this unique facility. Walk through a replica of a 17th century Bark Longhouse. Hike trails with markers explaining the Native American perspective on the natural world. Then meander through the Seneca Art & Culture Center, where the stories of past and present Seneca and Haudenosaunee people come alive.ganondagan-victor-native-american-dance-festival-003

Valentown Museum, Victor. Browse early settlers’ artifacts and the first concept of a Mall.
 

East Bloomfield Historical Society, Bloomfield. Museum in restored 1838 brick schoolhouse.
 

A.W.A. Communications Museum, Bloomfield. Old meets new in a collection of communication electronics.
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Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansions State Historic Park, Canandaigua. Experience the height of Victorian garden design.

Granger Homestead and Carriage Museum, Canandaigua. See nearly 100 horse-drawn carriages and sleighs on display and tour the home of one-time U.S. Postmaster General Gideon Granger.

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 Ontario County Historical Society, Canandaigua. Local history museum, genealogy library, and bookstore.

Cat’s in the Kitchen, Canandaigua. Quaint shop filled with one-of-a-kind gifts, collectibles, and vintage items for cooks, collectors, and cat lovers.

Hill Cumorah Visitors Center, Manchester. This is your starting point for Mormon history. It is also home to the Hill Cumorah Pageant every July.

Foster Cottage Museum, Clifton Springs. Learn about the Sulphur Cure Therapy that made this town a 19th century destination.

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Gorham Historical Society, Gorham. Gorham artifacts from the Civil War through the early 20th century are on display on the lower level of the former Presbyterian Church.

Geneva Historical Society, Geneva. The history of Geneva is on display in three distinct venues: Prouty-Chew House, Johnston House and the Rose Hill Mansion.

The Smith Opera House, Geneva. The Smith Opera House is an architectural treasure. Opened in 1894, the fully restored Romanesque theater features live concerts, dance and arthouse films.

Insiders Tips

Warfield’s Restaurant and Bakery, Clifton Springs. This fine dining establishment is accessorized with historic oak, and the chef uses herbs from the restaurant's own garden.

The garden patio outside of Warfield

Antique shops big and small.  Nearly two dozen antique shops and malls are located across Ontario County.

Learn about the past at Ontario County Records and Archives. Government records for Ontario County date back to 1789, including deeds, mortgages and naturalization records, and state of the art genealogy research.

Did you know?

New York State’s great canal was conceived in a Canandaigua debtor’s prison. Geneva flour merchant Jesse Hawley drew up plans for the famous Erie Canal while in prison.  Today, the Seneca-Cayuga Canal segment connects Seneca Lake to the Atlantic Ocean and the world!