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November 18, 2017 - 1:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in hlom, Wonderland of Trees, batavia, news.


The theme of one Christmas tree on display at the Holland Land Office Museum Wonderland of Trees is decorated with pictures of Jim Owen, who is frequently in local media pictures.

Above, he poses with an autographed picture he received today from the office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The picture was taken while Cuomo was in town to announce Batavia's $10 million award in the Downtown Revitalization Initiative contest.

Owen was among the guests at HLOM last night for the annual Wonderland of Trees gala, which included a performance by a bell choir and an ugly Christmas sweater contest.

The winners of the contest below: Laura Banister, Kris Banister, Robin Ettinger and Ellen Bachorski.









August 31, 2017 - 2:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in history, Announcements, Great War, hlom.
Free presentation at HLOM:
"Notes from Armageddon: Popular Propaganda, Postcards, and the Great War"
Andrew Nicholls, Ph.D., SUNY Buffalo State
7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 20
Notes from Armageddon explores popular sentiments prior to and during the First World war through the medium of postcards. Drawn from a collection of more than 5,000 images, the presentation considers how contemporaries viewed the "War to End All Wars."

If you would like to RSVP, please contact the museum at 585-343-4727 or [email protected].
August 31, 2017 - 2:11pm
posted by Billie Owens in hlom, Announcements, Thomas Jefferson.
HLOM presents: 
"Thomas Jefferson and the Times that Shaped Him"
Featuring Greg Kinal & Don Reed
7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9
Free admission
The presentation will travel through the life of Thomas Jefferson and what molded him into the man that we know from history today.
Various topics of his life will include: his early life, life at Monticello, Revolutionary period, and his views on the social and political climate. The presentation will also focus upon bringing the thoughts of Thomas Jefferson into today's world and what relevance they truly have.

If you would like to RSVP, please contact the museum at 585-343-4727 or [email protected].
August 4, 2017 - 10:03am
posted by Jack Keenan in hlom, batavia, veterans, news.


The Holland Land Office Museum honored veterans in a special ceremony at the museum on Thursday night.


August 4, 2017 - 1:03am
posted by Jack Keenan in hlom.

Everyone who showed up at the Holland Land Office Musem for this evet seemed to have agreat time. Tim Hortons was kind enough to even supply refreshments for everyone.







July 31, 2017 - 1:29pm
posted by Billie Owens in hlom, Great War, history heroes summer program, batavia.

Photos and information provided by Anne Marie Starowitz.

The 2017 Holland Land Office Museum History Heroes Summer Program was eight days of fun-filled times celebrating the centennial of World War One.

Our 42 campers learned the full history of World War One and its connection to the history of Genesee County through the current exhibit “Over There to Over Here: 100 Years Later Genesee County in the Great War.”

The program included: a field trip to the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site in Buffalo; a presentation from Teresa Wood about the Doughnut Girls of World War I; a visit by animals from the Buffalo Zoo; a historic walking tour of Downtown Batavia; a special screening at the Batavia Showtime movie theater; camper-ran Penny Carnival, which raised $160 for the local PTSD program at Veterans Hospital.

The program culminated in a patriotic program of history and music performed by the children at the Old County Courthouse.

We would like to thank all our sponsors for their support to make this program as enjoyable as possible, including those local restaurants that provided lunches: Ken’s Charcoal Pits, Batavia’s Original, and Ficarella’s Pizzeria. We would also like to thank all the volunteers that gave their time to make History Heroes possible.

July 20, 2017 - 11:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in history heroes, hlom, history, news, batavia.


Students participating in the Holland Land Office Museum's History Heroes program this summer are learning about World War I.

Recently they visited the Richmond Memorial Library and Batavia Showtime Theaters. There are 40 children enrolled in the eight-day program.

Info and photos provided by Anne Marie Starowitz.


June 15, 2017 - 2:14pm

Anne Marie Starowitz, coordinator of the Holland Land Office Museum History Heroes Summer Program, and HLOM Director Ryan Duffy.

Press release and submitted photo:

The theme for the 2017 History Heroes Summer Program at the Holland Land Office Museum is "Carnival Days." This year the children will work together to create a Penny Carnival and donate the money to a charity.

The program ends with the carnival and a multimedia production showcasing our local history with the children talking about historical places in Batavia. Each day of the summer program is packed with exciting and educational activities, field trips, games, crafts, and more!

The program begins on Tuesday, July 18th and runs for eight weekdays, ending on Friday, July 28th.

The cost for the program is $25 a day for nonmembers and $20 a day for museum members. The program is open to children ages 7-12.

Please call the museum at 343-4727 for more information and to save a place for your child. Deadline to register is Saturday, July 1.

June 2, 2017 - 5:12pm
posted by Billie Owens in hlom, batavia, news, Announcements.

Press release:

The Holland Land Office is proud to present the Rochester area historian Rose O'Keefe. At noon on Saturday, June 24, she will be speaking on the life and times of Frederick Douglass and his family while living in Rochester.

This is a free event and the public is invited.

O'Keefe is a well-known authority on many of Rochester's more famous citizen and is responsible for many of the tours of Mt. Hope Cemetery in the city.

Frederick Douglass — famed author, orator and former slave — spent 25 years with his family in Rochester, beginning in 1848. Despite living through one of our nation’s most bitter and terrifying times, Frederick and his wife, Anna, raised five children in a loving home with flower, fruit and vegetable gardens.

While Frederick traveled widely, fighting for the freedom and rights of his brethren, Anna cared for their home and their family and extended circle. Their house was open to fugitives on the Underground Railroad, visiting abolitionists and houseguests who stayed for weeks, months and years at a time.

Local author O’Keefe weaves together the story of the Douglass’ experience in Rochester and the indelible mark they left on the Flower City.

Those interested can RSVP if they wish by calling the museum at 585-343-4727, emailing at [email protected], or by coming to the museum at 131 W. Main St., Batavia.

"Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them."

-- Frederick Douglass

March 1, 2017 - 1:37pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, hlom, No Blarney!, music, irish music, news, Announcements.

Press release:

The Holland Land Office Museum presents its annual Irish Music Night at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 10. The music will be provided by the well known local group No Blarney!

The event will be held at the Holland Land Office Museum at 131 W. Main St., Batavia. Light refreshments will be served and the museum will be open for visitors to tour.

Tickets for Irish Music Night can be bought by calling the museum at 585-343-4727, or by purchasing in person at the museum. Tickets are $5 in advance, or $7 at the door. Space is limited so advance purchase is recommended.

February 11, 2017 - 5:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in hlom, batavia, history, Ryan Duffy, news.


Ryan Duffy decided in high school that he wanted to work in a history museum.

Now, he's running one.

Duffy is the new director of the Holland Land Office Museum in Batavia and yesterday the museum held a reception to welcome him to his new job.

He started Jan. 17 and said he's already fascinated by what he's finding in the museum.

"I go upstairs every day to work on some things and I find something new that I find I’m amazed that it’s here, that you would expect to be some place much bigger than here," he said.

One reason Duffy is going through the collection is he's trying to plan future exhibits, which he said may focus on local history, or he may explore cooperative efforts with other museums for exhibits with ties to Genesee County, but not specifically Genesee County. He's currently working on a possible World War I exhibit and he's found some items he was surprised might be part of the local collection, such as a war department document. He said he's also impressed with the range of military uniforms the museum owns, representing all branches of service spanning the history of the country.

To help get more people to visit the museum, he's exploring the idea of trivia nights and more family-oriented events.

Duffy, originally from Eden, received his BA in history from St. Bonaventure University. He received a master's dpegree in history from Bowling Green University and a Master's Certificate in Museum Studies from SUNY Buffalo State College.

"I’ve become more and more interested in local history as I’ve gone along, so I thought, ‘I’m still in Western New York -- it’s still my history in that regard,’ " Duffy said, explaining why he applied for the job when he heard HLOM was looking for a new director. "I still feel a connection to it and I get to do what I actually want to do.”

January 18, 2017 - 11:14am
posted by Howard B. Owens in hlom, batavia, news.

Press release:

The Holland Purchase Historical Society & Holland Land Office Museum are proud to announce the hiring of the new full-time Executive Director, Ryan Duffy, formerly of Eden, New York.

Ryan received his BA in History from St. Bonaventure University. He received a master's degree in History from Bowling Green University and a Master's Certificate in Museum Studies from SUNY Buffalo State College. His museum experience will advance the quality of the Holland Land Office’s exhibits, collection and programs.

While at Bowling Green, he was the assistant editor of The Northwest Ohio History Journal. Publications include, “Trouble Along The Border: U.S. & Mexican Relations In The Nineteenth Century.”

Duffy worked at The Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site Museum in Buffalo, was a tour guide at Canal Side for Buffalo History Tours, and has been a substitute teacher at Eden Junior High and Bishop Timon /St. Jude High School.

As a volunteer, Ryan organized the collections for the Eden Town Historian and the Eden Historical Society and served as a board member on the Town of Eden Historic Review Board. His other interests include studying the American Civil War and the Gilded Age.

The Board of Directors looks forward to Ryan’s leadership and expertise taking Genesee County’s history museum into the future. A Meet & Greet will be announced and HLOM members and the community will be invited to meet the new director.

November 29, 2016 - 6:12am
posted by Genesee Chamber... in genesee county, history, news, tourism, hlom.

If you have a history lover or a curiosity seeker on your holiday shopping list, the gift shop area of the Holland Land Office Museum (131 W. Main St., Batavia) is going to be your best friend this holiday season.

Genesee County is blessed with rich American history. The county’s location and people have made significant contributions to the history of our country. The Holland Land Office Museum has a great gift shop that features many local history books and local history items for sale. It’s refreshing to see such a nice array of offerings.

You can visit the gift shop area Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Take a look at some of our favorite items:











Visit to learn more...
November 18, 2016 - 10:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in hlom, batavia, news, Wonderland of Trees.


Friday evening the Holland Land Office Museum hosted its annual Wonderland of Trees Gala.


Anne Marie Starowitz with the manger she grew up with, now on display at HLOM. The ceramic set was a gift to her family from a local priest. The photo on the table, lower right, is her as a little girl with the manger.








October 10, 2016 - 3:31pm
posted by Billie Owens in hlom, Foxprowl, news, Announcements, batavia.

Bill Hume, owner of Foxprowl in Batavia, will talk about popular culture collectables beginning at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 18, at the Holland Land Office Museum, 131 W. Main S., Batavia.
These aren't your grandfather's collectables. Hume will give an overview of collectables, which got their start in comic books and movies like Super Man, Bat Man, the X Men, Godzilla, Star Wars and Ghostbusters. You'll learn what's trending and what's not and what you wish your mom had not thrown out years ago. Hume will bring along plenty of his favorite items to show off.
This free presentation is open to the public. We do serve refreshments!
Reservations would be helpful, but not required. Phone 343-4727.
To see weird and wonderful collectables and more, visit Foxprowl at 97 Main St. in Batavia.
October 6, 2016 - 12:11pm
posted by Billie Owens in islam, extremism, Hugh Iwanicki, batavia, news, hlom, Announcements.

Press release:

"Shock and Alarm: What it was really like at the U.S. Embassy in Iraq?" is the title of a  book written by Hugh Iwanicki, former Batavian, son of attorney/judge Don and Corrine Iwanicki.

Hugh will be at the Holland Land Office Museum at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 7th to review his book and talk about his experiences. He looks forward to meeting the people of our community and will be happy to sign books prior to and after his presentation.

This is open to everyone. There is no charge for the presentation, but donations are always welcome at the Museum. Call the museum for more information at 343-4727.

"Shock and Alarm" is a riveting behind-the-scenes exposé of daily life at the Baghdad Diplomatic Compound in 2009, providing an insightful look at the culture clash taking place between the Islamic world and the West. This is Hugh's personal story of the 11 months he served as a performance auditor for the Office of the Inspector General at the Embassy.

The book exposes the Islamist Agenda via firsthand accounts, which takes us through Hugh’s transformation from a liberal-spirited American to a man confronted by the harsh realities of the Middle East.

Hugh’s realization: From a Muslim perspective, the only way to truly “respect” Islam is to either convert to it or accept it as a superior religion by submitting to its political hegemony.

October 4, 2016 - 9:16am
posted by Howard B. Owens in hlom, Holland Land Office Museum, news.

More than 6,000 people from out of the state, and even out of the country, visit the Holland Land Office Museum every year, Don Burkel, chairman of the HLOM's board of directors, told the County's Human Services Committee yesterday during a department review.

That's one of the many contributions HLOM makes to the local economy and cultural life of Genesee County, Burkel said during a lengthy presentation that outlined the many programs and exhibits hosted and promoted by the museum each year.

While not a specific budget request, department reviews to help inform legislators about what is going on in all facets of county government heading into budget talks.

Each year, HLOM receives about $37,000 from the county, after a cut in financial support of about $6,000 a year in 2010.

"The museum costs less than $1 per resident in the county," Burkel said.

Patrick Weissend, a former HLOM director who recently joined the board as vice president, said not much has changed for the HLOM budget since he ran the facility seven years ago.

"The budget remains really lean," Weissend said.

The museum is also supported by memberships and donations, but Weissend said the museum is able to tap into a fund created years ago by donations from the late Congressman Barber Conable. Conable made it a practice to donate any speaking fees he received to nonprofits in Genesee County. Those donations are preserved in an investment account.

The mission of HLOM is to preserve the museum's collection of artifacts and provide educational opportunities to the local community and visitors based on that collection.

September 14, 2016 - 12:44pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, hlom, GCC, Announcements.

Press release:

The Holland Land Office Museum is hosting a presentation and review of Genesee Community College – The first 50 Years given by co-author Larry D. Barnes. 

This event will be held at the Holland Land Office Museum at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 30. There will be a book signing after the program. There is no cost and everyone is welcome. The museum is located at 131 W. Main St. in the City of Batavia.

The book, written by Barnes and Ruth E. Andes, both faculty members 1968 – 2014, is a history story of a dynamic achievement through innovative programs, workforce development and community involvement. It follows the College from a converted department store with 367 students to more than 7,000 students studying in more than 60 different programs.

August 18, 2016 - 1:53pm
posted by Billie Owens in hlom, buffalo river history boat tour, news.

The Holland Land Office Museum is presenting its annual history trip on Wednesday, Sept. 14th; this year it's the Buffalo River History Boat Tour.

This will be a 90-minute narrated tour on the waterway that made Buffalo one of the biggest and richest cities in the world while you gaze at the magnificent structures that drove its growth. You will hear the stories of Buffalo's scoopers -- residents and immigrants alike -- who worked the docks and mills, feeding the nation and the city's "guilded" economy. You will experience our nation's largest collection of standing grain elevators from just a few feet awayThis is one of Buffalo's most unique cultural experience.

Cost is $40 and includes the boat trip and lunch at "Chef's Restaurant" in Buffalo. Transportation is provided through the Muriel H. Marshall Fund for senior transportation.   Please be at the Holland Land Office Museum at 8:30 a.m. for a prompt 9 a.m. departure. We should return about 4 p.m.

Call the museum at 343-4727 for information on reservations and pre-payment by Sept. 9th. The trip is limited to 40 people.

August 8, 2016 - 6:00pm

The 2016 History Heroes would like to thank the following sponsors & volunteers:

  • Tompkins Insurance
  • Ken's Charcoal Pits
  • Batavia Showtime Theater
  • Ficarella's Pizzeria
  • Save A Lot
  • Batavia's Original
  • Batavia Turf Farms
  • Freed Maxick CPA
  • Del Plato Casey Law Firm

Volunteers of the Program:

  • Erin Suttell
  • Mrs. Sharon Briggs
  • Mrs. Brenda Crabtree
  • Mrs. Lynn Dobbertin
  • Mrs. Cathy Hoitink
  • Mrs. Ruth Lang
  • Mrs. Kathy Loria
  • Junior Volunteers
  • Loren Leone
  • Sadie Loria
  • Maddi Taggart


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Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

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