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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
August 3, 2016 - 2:48pm
posted by Billie Owens in hlom, batavia, news.

From our news partner WBTA:

According to Katie Sergel, the assistant director at the Holland Land Office Museum, Interim Director Jeffery Fischer has decided to step down from his position.

Sergel says that the Board of Directors are still talking with Fischer, determining if he will continue working with the Museum and, if so, to what capacity.

This is the second museum director that has left the position in less than a year after the previous Executive Director Jeff Donahue resigned in October after holding the office for five years.

The Holland Land Office Museum has made no official comment on the circumstances of Fischer’s departure or any possible replacements, however Board President Don Burkel told WBTA that they are currently in the process of looking for a new director. 

Assistant Director Sergel did say they are creating several new, exciting exhibits for the museum, including a Muckdogs exhibit that is already in the works.

July 28, 2016 - 7:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in hlom, history heroes, batavia, news.


Students participating in the History Heroes summer program at the Holland Land Office Museum organized and hosted their own penny carnival today.





July 20, 2016 - 3:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in hlom, history heroes, batavia, news, Batavia Cemetery.


The Holland Land Office Museum's annual summer program, History Heroes, is in its second day of the eight-day schedule and today the children participating walked from the museum to Ken's Charcoal Pits for lunch and then to the Batavia Cemetery.

According to Anne Marie Starowitz, the students learned about some of the famous people buried at the cemetery, including members of the Richmond family, Joesph Ellicott and Philemon Tracy, and also visited the William Morgan monument.







June 9, 2016 - 12:59pm
posted by Billie Owens in hlom, news, history, batavia.

(File photos of last year's Penny Carnival held during the Holland Land Office Museum's History Summer Heroes program.)

Press release:

The theme for the 2016 History Heroes Summer Program is "Carnival Days" at the Holland Land Office Museum. This year the children will work together to create a Penny Carnival.

Each day of the summer program is packed with exciting and educational activities, field trips, games, crafts,and more!

The program ends with the carnival and a multimedia musical production showcasing our local history with the children taking on the persona of a famous Batavian.

The program begins on Tuesday, July 19th and runs for eight week days (Tues.-Fri.), ending on Friday, July 29th.  Time is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A snack is provided each day, but children must bring their own lunches.

The cost is $25 per day for non-members 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.

May 10, 2016 - 6:00am
posted by Billie Owens in hlom, Emory Upton, batavia, news, history.

May 10th, 1864, Spotsylvania Court House: The Day A Man From Genesee County Made History

by Don Burkel (president, Holland Land Office Museum)

“I will carry those works” were the words spoken on May 10th, 1864 by a 24-year-old West Point graduate from West Batavia. He was about to become the third youngest Union Brigadier General during the War of the Rebellion.

Colonel Emory Upton, whose Second Brigade in the First Division, Sixth Corps, Army of the Potomac, demonstrated great tactical skill at the Battle of Rappahannock Station in November, 1863, was selected to lead twelve hand picked regiments of the Sixth Corps to break the lines of Confederate General Doles’ Georgia brigade, known as Doles’ Salient.

It had been decided that a column formation, made up of four rows of three regiments, 4,500 troops, rather than the old linear form, would have greater success in penetrating Doles lines. At 6:10 p.m., young Upton leading on horseback, advanced his troops double quick over 150 yards of open field, and without firing a shot advanced over the Rebel rifle pits.

His veteran troops held the enemy’s works for little over one hour awaiting support from General Mott’s division, which never came. As dusk approached, and without any reserves, Confederate General Ewell’s corps repulsed Upton’s forces. Without support Emory had no choice but to order the withdrawal of his regiments. His casualties amounted to 1,000 dead and wounded. The young Colonel, was slightly wounded, and deeply upset about the lack of support did capture several colors, a battery and 1,200 prisoners.

Captain Kidder, whose 121st New York Volunteers (Upton’s Regulars) participated in the attack said, “the men from the Green Mountain State think that there never was such a splendid man and officer as Colonel Upton.” Grant was also impressed by this young officer’s success, and ordered General Hancock’s Second Corps, of 20,000, to follow up with the same strategy on May 12th to assault the apex of the Mule Shoe, known as the Bloody Angle.

There was no relief for Upton as his Second Brigade regiments were called upon to assist Hancocks’ troops by advancing to fill a gap in the heavy fighting at the Bloody Angle. Due to Emory’s bravery and tactical skill, General Grant recommended that Upton receive his promotion to Brigadier General because of his meritorious and gallant service at Spotsylvania Courthouse.

The dedicated and ambitious Emory Upton was promoted to Major General of Volunteers after commanding a cavalry division in 1865. He earned a reputation for his leadership and tactical skills at the battles of Rappahannock Station, Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, Winchester, Selma and Columbus.

General Upton’s well-known book of tactics, military policy and ideas of reform would eventually change the structure and the efficiency of the army. We should honor this noble soldier from West Batavia for having changed the course of warfare. His place in history is duly noted in fields of Spotsylvania, Va., on May 10th.

Be sure to visit the Holland Land Office Museum and view the Upton collection.

April 26, 2016 - 3:39pm
posted by Billie Owens in hlom, history, news, batavia.

Submitted photo and press release:

The History Heroes Summer Program for the Holland Land Office Museum was established in 2011. It was our mission to immerse children in their local history and provide them with a foundation to understand how their hometowns fit into their history.

In four years, the History Heroes Summer Program has evolved into an experience where the youth of Genesee County can explore their roots and prepare for their futures as educated young citizens. 

The theme for the 2016 History Heroes Summer Program is Carnival Days at the museum. This year the children will work together to create a Penny Carnival. The program ends with the carnival and a multimedia musical production showcasing our local history with the children taking on the persona of a famous Batavian.

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 19th and runs for eight days, ending on Friday, July 29th. The cost for the program is $25 a day for non-members and $20 a day for museum members. The program is open to children ages 7-12.

The program is staffed by Jeffrey Fischer, interim director for the Holland Land Office Museum, and Anne Marie Starowitz, a former elementary teacher, along with a certified art and music teacher, a profession photographer, along with volunteers from the community.

Please call the museum at 343-4727 for more information and to save a place for your child.

April 25, 2016 - 12:41pm
posted by Billie Owens in hlom, batavia, news.
The Holland Land Office Museum and the Daughters of the American Civil War are hosting a Victorian Tea with a "Gay '90s" theme. They will be celebrating the 1890s with live barbershop music, delicious treats and a presentation by museum Director Jeffrey Fischer.
This will take place at 11:30 a.m. at the museum, 131 W. Main St. on Saturday, May 7th. Cost is $20 per person with limited seating up to 45 people. Phone 343-4727.
Call the museum to make a reservation or for more information by May 5th. You will get to see a display of period clothing which will be on exhibit during the month of May.
Period clothing is welcome, but not required. Everyone is welcome.  A nice time for mothers, daughters, sisters and friends to enjoy Mother's Day.
March 18, 2016 - 5:44pm
posted by James Burns in hlom, batavia, Batavia Downs, news.


Running until 8 tonight and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. is the Batavia Antique Sale and Show in the Paddock Room at Batavia Downs. Admission is $5 dollars per person with proceeds going to the HLOM Museum. Free entry Saturday with proof of Friday admission.







March 15, 2016 - 1:46pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, batavia, hlom, antique show & sale.

Press release:

The 11th Annual Batavia Antique Show & Sale to benefit the Holland Land Office Museum will be held this Friday and Saturday, March 18 and 19, at Batavia Downs Gaming, located at 8315 Park Road, Batavia.

Cost is $5 per person; children 12 and under get in free; parking is always free. Coupons are available at HLOM.

On Friday, the event runs from 5 to 8 p.m.; on Saturday, it runs from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.

The Batavia Antique Show & Sale began in 2006 with only 12 local dealers at a small church. The show has since been established as one of the major events in Genesee County featuring dealers from all of Western New York, the Southern Tier, Central New York, and even out-of-state dealers!

All proceeds from the Batavia Antique Show & Sale benefit the educational and historical programs at HLOM. Whether you are a veteran antique hunter or a beginner looking to start collecting, the Batavia Antique Show & Sale is the right price, conveniently located, and there is something here for everyone!

For more information, call the Museum at 585-343-4727.


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

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