From Our Editors
Men in heavy aprons hammer iron inside smoky wooden stores, and women in bonnets mingle in front of inns and churches. An octagonal house's shingled roof and windowed cupola soak up the sun as they've done since the 1870s. Genesee Country Village & Museum and its historical interpreters immerse visitors in the daily life of a 19th-century village. Interpreters may discuss the lives of their characters or participate in up to a dozen live demonstrations of old-fashioned trades such as pottery throwing and blacksmithing. They travel among more than 68 historical buildings such as farmsteads, a brewery, a printing office, and a one-room schoolhouse. In the kitchens of many of these buildings, staffers cook historical meals suited to each building's time and its owner's socioeconomic status; visitors can sample the food during tastings and hands-on classes.
The village’s newly renovated Wehle Gallery encompasses four centuries of wildlife and sporting art by American artists. An old carriage and oil paintings share space with early sculpture castings and pieces from the Taos art colony. Other rooms contain interpretive exhibits on 19th-century life, such as a Lincoln Log room filled with craft activities. Inside other buildings, adults and children can take part in indoor classes in textiles, cooking, and foreign languages; outside, a network of nature trails leads visitors through natural fields, woodlands, and wetlands.