Genesee Country Village & Museum

Mumford, NY
June 3 – July 25, 2025

Mission: Through immersive experiences, we enrich life today by connecting people with history, art, and nature.

Opened to the public in 1976, America’s Bicentennial, Genesee Country Village & Museum (GCV&M) is the largest living history museum in New York State and the third largest in the United States, covering 600 acres with 68 historic buildings and more than 20,000 artifacts telling the story of New York State and 19th-century America. In addition to the Historic Village, the Museum also includes the John L. Wehle Gallery and the Genesee Country Nature Center, all of which provide interactive programs, exhibits, and special events to help visitors live and experience history. GCV&M is located in Mumford, N.Y. in Monroe County, 20 miles southwest of Rochester and 45 miles east of Buffalo. 


GCV&M's interpretive period spans 1797 to 1900 – a century of dynamic changes in American society. The Museum's interpretation includes the contributions of women, religious groups, and the Black and Indigenous communities. Our buildings and the stories they can tell communicate the complex and compelling issues of this period. At the Towar Land Office, we present the story of Austin Steward who assisted Henry Towar as an enslaved worker before self-emancipating to become a vital businessman and abolitionist in Rochester.

Religious freedom is highlighted by three houses of worship- Brooks Grove Methodist Church, St. Feehan's Roman Catholic Church and the Scottsville Quaker Meetinghouse. These structures, along with a business office from the Shaker settlement at Sonyea, represent the diverse religious groups who settled in our area. As part of the "Burned Over District" of religious revivalism, these groups and others also brought social reforms such as abolition, underground railroad activism and suffrage to the area. One of the Jones family members of our Jones Farm home, Mary Gray Peck, was heavily involved in the Women's Suffrage movement and worked with the movement until the passage of the 19th amendment. Peck is most known for writing Carrie Chapman Catt's biography.

The third owner of the Livingston-Backus House, Dr. Frederick F. Backus, was Rochester’s second doctor when the community was simply known as "Rochesterville." Dr. Backus' brother-in-law, Gerrit Smith, was one of the most ardent abolitionists of the mid-19th century and a secret financial supporter of John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry in 1859. The two men, Backus and Smith, share a complex relationship joined by family ties but with some philosophical differences about the best way to achieve social goals. These family stories resonate with our visitors who understand that topics are rarely clear-cut and distinct.

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