Gift from NYS Festival of Balloons

Our thanks to the Board of Directors and the festival committee of the Dansville Festival of Balloons for their very generous donation to the Dansville Area Historical Society.

Their support gives us a very good start toward funding a new roof for the Museum.

Gift from NYSFOB to DAHS 20151116_194141-1

Pictured with NYSFOB officer Mary Ann Holden are DAHS president Gerri Waight and DAHS board member Nancy Helfrich.

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: 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: 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

Dansville Area Historical Society announces New Date for program on DL&W Railroad

Thursday, November 6, 2014

 DL&W by Tom Roffe Nov 6 2014


            The Dansville Area Historical Society will sponsor a community program Thursday, November 6, 2014 at 7 p.m. in the North Dansville Town Hall auditorium. The program will be on the history of the DL&W Railroad, which ran along Dansville’s East Hill, where it had a depot.

The DL&W was completed to Dansville in 1882.  The line that ran both freight and passenger trains, ran along picturesque East hill and continued to Mount Morris.

The program will be presented by Leicester town historian Tom Roffe, who himself worked for Amtrak for five years, and then left to work at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. before becoming a town historian. Roffe’s roughly hour-long Power Point program will cover the period from the 1870s to the 1960s. Roffe will discuss the railroad’s influence in York, Leicester, Mt. Morris, Groveland, and Dansville; and will include the railroad’s relation to the “Castle on the Hill” and the Phoebe Snow era.

The program is free and open to the public. Donations will be greatly appreciated.

Click here to see more posts about the DL&W in Dansville.