Foster Wheeler Energy Corporation – exhibit Grand Opening

The Dansville Area Historical Society is proud to present an exhibit on Foster Wheeler.


The Grand Opening will be Sunday, October 18, 2015 from 2:00 pm till 4:00 at the Dansville Area Historical Society Museum located at:

14 Church Street, Dansville, NY 14437.

Foster Wheeler Office building 1 DSCN0088-300x225  Foster Wheeler Energy Corp sign DSCN0096

George Weidman is the vision, inspiration and driving force behind this project.  He was a long time employee of Foster Wheeler.  Our exhibit fills an entire room at the museum.  Items on exhibit include those from our collection as well as items on loan from local individuals.

Come share your memories with use and former coworkers and the Grand opening of the Foster Wheeler exhibit.


On this date: Kings Daughters Home opened

September 24, 1919

Kings Daughters Home in Dansville, NY was an assisted living facility for older independent adults for more than 90 years.  Over the years many of school children from Dansville Central School would sing Christmas carols from the staircase while the residents would surround them on the first floor near the tree.  Friends and family would also go trick-or-treating during Halloween.  However in the spring 2011 the King’s Daughters Home would be forced to close due to lack of money to operate sufficiently and was auctioned off on September 19th 2012.  A separate auction for contents will be held on October 8, 2012.

26 Health Street
Dansville, New York 14437

Originally built as Dansville Seminary to provide a higher education for older children, this 3 story brick building was finished in 1860 at a cost of $12,000.  In 1890, the new Owner Dr. George L. Ahlers along with Dr. Frederick R. Driesbach converted it into the Dansville Medical & Surgical Hospital, which would be the first hospital in town.

On this date: The debut of “Dansville Turns 200” appears in Genesee Country Express

March 19, 1992

“Dansville Turns 200” was a weekly newspaper column that ran in the Genesee Country Express from March 19, 1992 to January 28, 1996. In 201 installments, each representing one calendar year, the history of Dansville, New York was told, from its earliest white settlement to the celebration of the village bicentennial. Included in each article was a summary of the major events of the world, the nation, and the region for the year being covered, to try to give some perspective to what kind of world surrounded Dansville at the time. This project was the end result of many hundreds of hours of research, spread out over several years; and I received plenty of help. Among those to whom I owe thanks: Richard Eades, the high school teacher whose local history course set me on this path; the late historian Wilfred J. Rauber, who was of tremendous help to me during my initial researches in the mid-1980’s; Teresa Canuti and the other employees at the Dansville Public Library, for their helpfulness in my endeavors there; and for the editors of the Genesee Country Express, for allowing me access to their back issues, and, of course, for publishing my column. And many thanks to all who provided encouragement and compliments on what was, from beginning to end, a labor of love.

David Gilbert

Community Program: Antique Woodworking, by: David Palmer

The Dansville Area Historical Society


 Community Program

Thursday, April 2, 2015

At 6:30 p.m.

North Dansville Town Hall

14 Clara Barton Street

Dansville, NY 14437


Antique Woodworking


Presented by:

David Palmer

 To continue presenting programs, donations are greatly appreciated.

 Thank You

 Come and join us!!!!!

Community Program: Early Women Physicians of the Genesee Country

The Dansville Area Historical Society

Invites you to our Community Program

Early Women Physicians of the Genesee Country

Harriet Austin

Presented by:

Jane Oakes

 To continue presenting programs, donations are greatly appreciated.

 Sunday, March 8, 2015

At 2:00 p.m.
North Dansville Town Hall
14 Clara Barton Street
Dansville, NY 14437

Become a member of DAHS in 2015

The Dansville Area Historical Society appreciates new members at any time.  Our 2015 membership drive has just started.  Our non-profit group, established in 1961, grew out of an idea with the Dansville Women’s Civic Club. Indeed, the first donation to the new society was a $10.00 check from the high school’s Junior Historical group.  In 1968, the Village Board offered the former St. Patrick’s rectory to the society: the Dansville Area Historical Society Museum became a reality.

DAHS operates your Museum at 14 Church Street, accepts and preserves artifacts, sponsors programs for all ages, and participates in community events.  No fees are ever charged.

Joining the Dansville Area Historical Society will bring you our newsletter and support history in our area.  You can click on the Membership Form below, fill out and return the form. All donations are tax deductible.  Thank you very much!


Download form here: 2015 Membership Form

On this date: Dansville Seminary was incorporated by the New York State Regents

On January 14, 1858, the Dansville Seminary was incorporated by the New York State Regents, under the sponsorship of the East Genesee Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Classes began in September in a rented building, and later moved to the second story of the District No. 2 school building on Ossian and Spruce, while plans were made to construct a permanent edifice on the hillside. Over 200 pupils enrolled the first year; and for nearly 30 years, though troubled by periods of financial instability, the Seminary would be an important educational institution for the Dansville area.

1858 Dansville Seminary from old map

On September 24, Ex-President Millard Fillmore paid his first visit to Dansville since his 1814 apprenticeship to Benjamin Hungerford. With his old friend William Scott, he visited the site in West Sparta where he had spent those several memorable months; the old carding mill was long gone, and the spot was overgrown with bushes. He also gave a speech for the students at the Seminary. A few months previously, the village had dedicated the newly-completed, three-story brick building on East Hill, behind the street which would, for a number of years, be called Seminary Street (now Health Street; the building itself later housed the King’s Daughters Home).

Ralph Waldo Emerson, the great poet and essayist, visited Dansville in January 1865, to give a speech before the Gentlemen’s Lyceum of the Dansville Seminary.

Dansville Seminary College Currency $50

Dansville, in 1877, was a village with an educational system that was showing its age. Although there were 1344 school-age children in the area, the average attendance in the town’s six school districts totaled a measly 269. Talk of unifying the districts had begun, but nothing would come of it right away. In addition, the Dansville Seminary was in a perpetual state of near financial collapse. One of the Seminary’s newest teachers, Dr. Julian B. Hubbell, had come to Dansville in 1876 to help his brother-in-law, Samuel H. Goodyear, run the Seminary. In time, his destiny would be linked with that of another village newcomer…Clara Barton.

Not quite dead in 1880, but close to it, was the Dansville Seminary. The once-distinguished school was on its last legs, owing largely to a depletion of state funds and the withdrawal of patronage by the Methodist Episcopal Conference. In April a village meeting was held to attempt to save it from financial ruin. Clara Barton was among those who spoke on behalf of the Seminary, which was spared, at least temporarily, from dissolution.

By 1883 the old Seminary was now defunct; but the Seminary building became home to the new Union Free School. Late in 1882, the two village school districts had been combined, and the old brick District No. 2 school building on Ossian and Spruce was abandoned. Plans for a brand-new school-house were being considered.

Involved with the creation of the Dansville Seminary: Clara Barton, Asa Othello Bunnell, Charles Shepard (husband of Nathanial Rochester granddaughter, Katherine Rochester Coleman),…

On this date: Prohibition repealed,…

December 5, 1933

Dansville “wet” for first time since 1917.  As defined on, Prohibition is the legal act of prohibiting the manufacture, storage, transportation and sale of alcohol including alcoholic beverages. The term can also apply to the periods in the histories of the countries during which the prohibition of alcohol was enforced.

prohibition-1925 1917 marked ultimate victory for Dansville’s temperance advocates; in March elections, the sale of alcoholic beverages in the village was banned, 667-546, effective November 1. (A similar measure was passed in South Dansville.) Church bells rang the news of the victory over Demon Rum, which spelled bad news not only for those local concerns that sold liquor, but also for the local grape-growing industry, which was doomed to extinction. For the liquor-sellers in Wayland, however, this meant a business boom…at least until nationwide Prohibition kicked into effect in 1920.


As if to make up for the impending loss of beer and whiskey, brothers Steve and Chris Dromazos opened the Sugar Bowl on June 29, where ice cream sodas and milkshakes could be purchased.

Before 1920, 50% of Americans lived under Prohibition laws passed by various states; now everybody did, as the 18th Amendment went into effect the year before.


Further disillusionment came for those who had thought that Prohibition meant the end of alcoholic beverages in the U.S. If anything, alcoholism had gone up in recent years; and the rise in gangsterism, which thrived mainly on bootlegging, made the headlines with the “St. Valentine’s Day Massacre” between the rival gangs of “Bugs” Moran and Al Capone.


In 1933, after nearly 14 (about 17 in Dansville) disillusioning years, Prohibition in the U.S. came to end.  Given how popular Prohibition was in Dansville back in 1917, the 785-326 local vote in favor of its repeal clearly showed how great the disillusionment was. New York State was, as a whole, heavily in favor of abandoning the “Great Experiment”; in some New York City area districts, the vote was unanimous. When, in December, Utah’s vote made the repeal official, Leo Curran lost no time in obtaining a license to open a liquor store on Main Street; and in Hammondsport, thousand of gallons of wine were on hand, which could now be used for something other than religious sacraments

Alchohol Prescription 1933