Ontario County Historical Museum
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 The Historical Society

The Ontario County Historical Society is a 501(c)3 Not for Profit Corporation that was established in 1902. In 2007, the Board of Trustees adopted a new Strategic Plan, which adopted the following Vision and Mission

VISION - The Ontario County Historical Society museum and research library will be an information resource and center of learning that engages the public in discovery of the county’s history and its relationship to western New York today and tomorrow.

MISSION- Recognizing that Ontario County was the original political and geographic entity that is now all of Western New York State, the Ontario County Historical Society preserves and promotes the history of the county in the broader context from its origins to the present to help people gain perspective from the past and find purpose for the future.

This will be accomplished by:

  • Collecting, conserving, preserving and studying collections of physical objects pertaining to the County’s past.
  • Presenting exhibits that will stimulate an interest in the County’s geographic and social development using various media, technologies and partnerships.
  • Developing and implementing programs and publications that will engage and educate diverse audiences on subjects pertaining to the county’s past using various media, technologies and partnerships.
  • Maintaining a quality library on the county’s history and making research opportunities available to the public using various media, technologies and partnerships.
  • Managing and caring for the Ontario County Historical Museum as the headquarters of the Society and the primary venue for its exhibits and education programs.

The Historical Museum

The Ontario County Historical Museum, a Georgian Revival building, is a landmark on Main Street Canandaigua.  It was designed by famed architect, Claude Bragdon and constructed in 1914 with donated dollars from the Canandaigua community. 

When it was first built the building also housed the Wood Library, Canandaigua’s Public Library.  In 1972 the Library outgrew its space and relocated to the Sibley House at 127 North Main Street www.woodlibrary.org 

The Historical Museum holds the Society archives and library.  It has three exhibit galleries and a research library.  The McKechnie Meeting Room is the venue for educational programs that are held monthly during the Winter, Spring, and Fall.  Don’t forget to stop in and visit our Books Shop.  It has a great selection of books on the history of Ontario County and Western New York State.