2019 Events

The following events are scheduled to date. Please check back often as the schedule evolves.

Friday, Sept. 6

1 PM • Albion NY Rocks at the Gazebo, Albion: Paint rocks with an Orleans County theme. Free

Saturday, Sept. 7

11 AM • Company F Statue Dedication: The Company F Statue on the grounds of the Medina Armory/YMCA will be dedicated with several guest speakers, honor guard and sculptor Brian Porter. Refreshments will be served following the ceremony. Located on the corner of Pearl & Prospect Ave., Medina.

1 PM & 3 PM • Medina Railroad Museum, Medina: Scene/skit set in 1920’s depicting actions of railroad freight agents and customers. (Two performances)

1 PM • Rudely Stamp’d Performance at GCC, Medina: “Now We Stand by Each Other Always”; an engaging conversation between Civil War Union generals Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman portrayed by Tracy Ford as Sherman and Derek Maxfield as Grant.

Sunday, Sept. 8

6 PM • Tour of Hillside Cemetery, Holley: County Historian Matthew Ballard and Clarendon Historian Melissa Ierlan will lead guests on a tour of Hillside Cemetery.

Wednesday, Sept. 11

12:30 PM • The Heritage Fruit Farm Luncheon & Tour at Hurd Orchards: Our luncheon will feature recipes taken from historic Orleans County recipe books from 1895 through the mid 20th century. Our short talk after the luncheon will share the colorful history and development of our fruit farm properties – from Mattison’s Tavern to the Ridge Barn foundation, to our plank pioneer tenant house. We will tour our newly restored Greek Revival farmhouse, the oldest house in the Town of Murray, and our 1910 family home built from wood sawn from our own woodland. $$

Thursday, Sept. 12

7 PM • Author Melissa Ostrom at the Yates Community Library: Melissa Ostrom, author, will discuss her novel, THE BELOVED WILD, with its setting of Orleans County in the early 19th century

Friday, Sept. 13

8 PM • Murder & Mayhem Tour – Torch-lit Tour of Downtown Albion: Matthew Ballard, Orleans County Historian, will lead guests on a nighttime tour of downtown Albion. Come hear the stories of the disappearance of William Morgan, Nehemiah Ingersoll’s crafty plan to secure the county seat, the murder of Pierpont Dyer, Albert Warner’s theft of thousands from the First National Bank of Albion, the murder of Alice Wilson, and many more! Guests are encouraged to bring a flashlight, wear comfortable shoes, and pack an umbrella (just in case!).

Saturday, Sept. 14

9 AM • The YMCA’s Heritage 5K Mud Run & OCR:  Participants will participate in 5K obstacle course run and have to overcome 15+ obstacles starting at the Sacred Heart Club in Medina and surrounding fields and Erie Canalway Trail. A kids Mini Mudder will also be happening during the event.

11 AM – 5 PM • Old Timers Fair at the Cobblestone Museum: The Cobblestone Museum will come alive with artisans and re-enactors as we recreate the feel of Orleans County life in the 19th century. A chicken BBQ is available for dining al-fresco or take-out.

Sunday, Sept. 15

1 PM • St. John’s Episcopal Church Tour, Medina:  Georgette Stockman will lead a tour of the Church built in the middle of the street as stated in Ripley’s Believe it or Not. St. John’s church is built of Medina Sandstone and home of the oldest church congregation in the county.


“Epochs in Orleans” to Feature Great Presentations


Union artillery and cavalry re-enactors at GCC’s 2015 Civil War Encampment.

MEDINA – The first annual Orleans County Heritage Festival is fast approaching – Sept. 9-11th, 2016.  As part of that county-wide event, Genesee Community College in Medina is holding it’s first-ever timeline festival – “Epochs in Orleans” on Saturday, Sept. 10th.

Just like it sounds, a timeline festival features reenactors and impressionists from all eras of American history chronologically.  So as visitors visit they feel like they are walking through time.  Guests can begin with World War II and move backward through time or in the colonial era and move towards the present.

In addition to the military reenactors, “Epochs” will feature antique autos, Civil War firing demonstrations, a fencing demo, and three great indoor presentations.  Beginning at 11:00 AM, historian Melinda Grube will portray Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the famous champion of womens’ rights. At 1:00 PM Joyce Thompson, a retired social studies teacher, will give a presentation on some of America’s founding mothers.  At 2:00 PM Gretchen Murray Sepik, a local actress and author, will portray Erie Canal Sal – a fictional character based in part on Old Black Nell.

“Epochs in Orleans” is FREE and open to the public from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Saturday, September, 10th, 2016.

“Epochs in Orleans” To Be a Feature of the First Orleans County Heritage Festival

GCC Medina to Host "Epochs in Orleans" - A Timeline Festival

GCC Medina to Host “Epochs in Orleans” – A Timeline Festival

MEDINA, N.Y.  – Plans for a county-wide celebration of Orleans County history and heritage are progressing for the first annual Orleans County Heritage Festival September 9-11, 2016. Over the course of the weekend participants will be invited to grab the free “heritage passport” at any participating organization and visit a minimum of six historic sites.  The passport can then be redeemed for an attractive collectable pin and their names will be entered in a drawing for some great prizes.

Meant to shine a spotlight on the fantastic historic assets of Orleans County, visitors to the heritage festival will have many choices available to them. Encompassing four main themes: Agriculture, Transportation, Historic Cemeteries and Historic gems, visitors might visit a family farm, walk along the Eric Canal, go on a ghost walk or visit the historic district of Medina or Albion.

In addition, Genesee Community College is participating in the Heritage festival with its own contributions located at GCC’s two Orleans County campuses. The Medina Campus Center invites visitors to “Epochs in Orleans” – a timeline festival on Saturday, Sept. 10 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., featuring reenactors and impressionists from all eras of history, from the French and Indian War to World War II and beyond. Folks might encounter President James and Dolly Madison, Abraham Lincoln and other historic personalities. There will be artisan demonstrations, antique autos, Civil War firing demonstrations and much more. Organizers believe that visitors will feel like they are walking through time.

Meanwhile, GCC’s Albion Campus Center will focus on “Death, Mourning and Justice in Orleans County History” also on Saturday, Sept. 10 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., featuring a recreated Victorian wake in the family parlor.  The exhibit will be accompanied by two public lectures. The first of these will focus on famous crimes and murders with Orleans County District Attorney Joseph Cardone at 10 a.m.  Retired Orleans County historian Bill Lattin will give a talk on Victorian hair jewelry at 12 p.m.

The overall event is free and open to the public, however contributions to GCC’s Veteran’s Scholarship Fund will be encouraged. To keep tabs on the newest developments for the heritage festival, visit:  http://www.orleansnyheritage.com  or https://www.facebook.com/OrleansCountyNYHeritageFestival/ You can also contact Derek Maxfield, GCC associate professor of history at ddmaxfield@genesee.edu or Jim Simon, GCC associate dean of the Orleans County Campus Centers, at jsimon@genesee.edu.


First Orleans County Heritage Festival to be Held Sept. 9-11th, 2016

People who live in Orleans County know that it is a special place and they work hard to preserve their precious heritage. They enjoy a wealth of extraordinary assets from historic buildings with magnificent architecture to the Erie Canal that did so much to create the town and villages along its banks. Even the stone in the ground – Medina sandstone, and the soil sustaining the farms – the muck lands, are appreciated. Beginning in September of 2016, a county-wide festival will celebrate these many cherished treasures.

Organizers are proud to announce the first Orleans County Heritage Festival, September 9-11, 2016: a weekend dedicated to spotlighting the many historic assets of Orleans County. For this year’s festival, four themes will be highlighted – Agriculture, Transportation, Historic Cemeteries and Historic Gems. Now in development, a high quality brochure will highlight all the participating museums, places and organizations. A passport system will encourage participants to visit six historic sites over the course of the weekend and prizes will be awarded for those who complete the task.

In addition to the many historic sites in Orleans County, Genesee Community College will participate in the festival as headquarters for the passport system and with special events. The Medina Campus Center will host a timeline festival featuring reenactors from various American wars – from the French and Indian War down to 20th century wars. Artisans demonstrating period crafts and special music will contribute to the sensation as visitors walk through time. The Albion Campus Center will host a program on “Death Ways” through the years featuring talks on Victorian mourning art and the famous murders that occurred in Orleans County.

Many other exciting details of the 2016 Orleans County Heritage Festival will be shared in the coming weeks, but planners are asking everyone to mark their calendars now – September 9-11, 2016. Make plans to join the fun and explore the many historic assets Orleans County has to offer!!!

For more information or to be involved as a volunteer, please contact:

  • Derek Maxfield, associate professor of History at GCC ddmaxfield@genesee.edu, 585-343-0055 ext. 6288.
  • Jim Simon, associate dean at the Medina and Albion Campus Centers, jsimon@genesee.edu,call 585-589-4936.