Genesee Country Village summer cover

Genesee Country Village & Museum

The Genesee Country Village & Museum is a living history museum with 68 structures on 700 acres, making it the largest and most comprehensive museum of its kind in the state and the third largest in the country.

The 19th-century village features a range of buildings that were moved to the museum starting in 1966, such as frontier homesteads, Victorian mansions, churches, schools, shops, and taverns. Visitors can learn about the history of each building and take part in events such as Highland Days, Civil War Days, Novel Weekend, and Independence Day. The museum also hosts the Agricultural Fair and Spirits of the Past in October and Yuletide in the Country storytelling tours in December.

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18th Century History Lessons

GCVM pottery
Genesee Country Village autumn plow

As you explore, knowledgeable museum interpreters dressed in period attire will share the history behind each home or activity. What makes this experience so captivating is that the houses originate from various cultural and time periods. You can witness the transition from pioneer homes to grand mansions. Each family, merchant or heritage has a unique story that adds to the diversity of the experience.

The Lay of the Land

Genesee Country Village

There is a trolley that makes various stops around the village. The parking lot and entrance can be found at the bottom of the map, while the softball field is located at the top. The majority of the key events and activities occur in either the Village Square or the Great Meadow.

Genesee Country Village winter cover
Genesee Country Village autumn square
Genesee Country Village Munger
Genesee Country Village
Genesee Country Village Plank Road
Genesee Country Village

Genesee Country Village Square

The village square, located at the heart of the complex, is surrounded by homes, businesses, and churches. It hosts smaller activities such as pie-eating contests, games, and performances.

Genesee Country Village and Museum Mumford octagon summer
Genesee Country Village and Museum walking cattle
Genesee Country Village and Museum Interpreter
Genesee Country Village and Museum red house
Genesee Country Village and Museum white green
Genesee Country Village
Genesee Country Village
Genesee Country Village cobblestone
Genesee Country Village red school house
Genesee Country Village
Genesee Country Village
Genesee Country Village

Genesee Country Village homes and businesses

Over many years, various structures have been relocated to the village from different places throughout the Genesee Valley. For instance, single structures like the Livingston-Backus House were moved from the City of Rochester’s Third Ward, while multiple structures were moved from Brooks Grove located just south of Mount Morris. All these structures have been brought together with dozens of others to form an 18th-century village that might have existed back then.

Genesee Country Village
Genesee Country Village

As you explore the village, you’ll experience the passage of time and a diverse range of socio-economic backgrounds. From small homestead farms to grand octagonal mansions, and from German immigrants to Spiritualists, the village has a rich and fascinating history.

Genesee Country Village George Eastman boyhood home
George Eastman
Genesee Country Village Nathaniel Rochester childhood home
Nathaniel Rochester’s Dansville home
Genesee Country Village and Museum Mumford NY George Eastman Childhood Home
George Eastman’s childhood home

In 1901, Nathaniel Rochester’s last city home was demolished to construct the Bevier Memorial Building at the intersection of Spring and Washington Streets. However, his Dansville home was moved to the Genesee Country Village & Museum, which is currently located near George Eastman’s childhood home.

Genesee Country Village gathering hall
Genesee Country Village desk
Genesee Country Village stairs
Genesee Country Village workshop window
Genesee Country Village dining room
Genesee Country Village Livingston Backus dinng room
Genesee Country Village Livingston Backus living room
Genesee Country Village octagon house
Octagon House

Authentic interiors

The interiors of each home and business are filled with period decor and, in some cases, authentic pieces from the original owner! The stories of each family are diverse and fascinating.

Genesee Country Village
Genesee Country village Phelps depot
Genesee Country Village
Genesee Country Village
Gazebo in the Great Meadow

The Great Meadow

Surrounded by restaurants (former train depots), an art gallery, a gift shop, and other buildings, the Great Meadow features a gazebo and hosts activities, including major Civil War battle reenactments.

Wehle Gallery dogs
John L. Wehle Gallery

The John L. Wehle Gallery

Located near the village entrance, the Gallery boasts an impressive collection of sporting and wildlife art, making it an ideal spot to escape the summer heat.

Genesee Country Village and Museum trail map
Genesee Country Village and Museum nature center
Genesee Country Village nature center maple trail
Genesee Country Village succession trail
Genesee Country Village Museum maple

Genesee Country Nature Center

There are five miles of trails available, which are suitable for families and are marked with different colors. These trails will take you through the woodlands and wetlands. You can find theme-based educational activities and guided walks throughout the year. For instance, you can participate in the maple syrup processing event in late March, salamander walks during the first warm rainy nights of spring, or nighttime owl walks during summer. The trail system is privately owned but open to visitors during regular museum hours.

Special Events

Genesee Country Village octagon tasting area
History On Tap

The Genesee Country Village & Museum has a wide range of themed weekend events throughout the year. During the summer, there are events like History On Tap, Highland Days, Civil War Days, and a Fiddlers Fair. In the fall, the harvest comes and spooky events begin, eventually leading up to preparations for winter. Visitors can enjoy the candlelit Yuletide in the Country tours in December and take a quiet weekend stroll from January through March. In the spring, fresh maple syrup is available.

During the weekdays of summer, everything remains normal in the village. These days are my favorite as they offer a peaceful environment to enjoy. However, at times, around 700 summer campers explore the village for the first time, which can be equally wonderful.

Genesee Country Village and Museum naturalization ceremony

Naturalization Ceremony on the 4th of July

Every year, Genesee Country Village & Museum hosts a Naturalization Ceremony for about 50 new American citizens on Independence Day. This serves as a reminder that gaining citizenship requires hard work and determination.

The museum website describes the day-long ceremony as a celebration of all things American including a pie-eating contest, sack races, and a parade. It features pageantry, marching bands, and merrymaking.

Genesee Country Village maple st
Genesee Country Village guided tour
Genesee Country Village reading
Genesee Country Village tidings of comfort and joy
Genesee Country Village fireplace
Genesee Country Village mold
Genesee Country Village making bonnets
Genesee Country Village holiday spirit
Genesee Country Village holiday fireplace
Genesee Country Village candle tree
Genesee Country Village storytelling

Yuletide in the Country

Experience the magic of Christmas by joining a guided tour through the village. Listen to enchanting tales of Christmases past while witnessing families as they come together to prepare a traditional meal, sing carols, and get ready for the long winter. There are several exciting events in December for you to enjoy, such as the candlelit Yuletide in the Country Tours, Breakfast with St. Nick, Holiday Afternoon Tea, and the Holiday Open House. Don’t miss the chance to participate in these festivities and make some unforgettable memories!

GCVM blacksmith
GCVM Octagon House
winter
Genesee Country Village and Museum school house road
Genesee Country Village Museum
post office winter
Winter Sunday Strolls
GCVM  walk wintertime

Winter in the Village

The nature center and village are open on weekends from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. during January, February, and mid-March. Although most buildings are closed, you can still take a peaceful stroll along the village streets.

More information

The Genesee Country Village and Museum website states that their 700-acre complex comprises 68 historic structures. These structures are furnished with 15,000 artifacts to create an authentic 19th-century environment. Visitors can interact with knowledgeable third-person historic interpreters who are dressed in period-appropriate costumes. The interpreters guide visitors through engaging and enjoyable encounters with the stories, objects, buildings, and environments of Western New York. This experience helps visitors to understand how life in small towns has changed over time.

Cost: There is a fee for general admission and special events

Located in Mumford, roughly 35 minutes / 25 miles from Rochester (get directions)

Website: gcv.org

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When is your favorite time of year to visit the Genesee Country Village & Museum?

Your insights and experiences are valuable. Please share them in the comments.

Debi Bower, Day Trips Around Rochester NY

Debi Bower is the founder and creative director of daytrippingroc.com and author of the award-winning book Day Trips Around Rochester, New York.

People often ask me if I get free access to places while exploring. The answer is no unless I’m invited to previews or granted behind-the-scenes access as part of my media role. Generally, I don’t mention my project, Day Trips Around Rochester, NY, because I want the same experience you would have. I create and share content simply because it brings me joy. I would appreciate your support—a cup of coffee or two to help fuel future field trips—if you have found valuable information here that has helped you explore the Rochester area.

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