The Rose Hill Mansion will open for the 2007 season on Tuesday, May 1. Administered by the Geneva Historical Society, Rose Hill helps to
tell the story of the social and agricultural development of Geneva and the Finger Lakes Region in the early 19th century. The house and its Empire furnishings exemplify the Greek Revival style and illustrate the lifestyle of the well-to-do families who settled the area.
On the guided tour of the 1839 Greek Revival mansion, visitors explore the property named for Robert Selden Rose, a Virginia planter who immigrated to central New York with his family and slaves in 1802, when the area experienced substantial growth after the Revolutionary War.
Rose Hill Mansion is on Route 96A, about a mile from Routes 5&20 east of Geneva. The house is open daily for tours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. except 1 to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Admission is $6 for adults, $4 for senior citizens and children 10 to 18. A family rate of $15 is available for two adults and one or more children aged 10 to 18 in the same household, and children 9 and under are free. Discounts are offered for group tours, for which reservations are required.
Two other properties administered by the Geneva Historical Society will open on Saturday, May 5: the Johnston House, adjacent to Rose Hill; and Balmanno Cottage on South Main Street.
Built in the 1820s, the Johnston House was the home of John Johnston, a vocal advocate of improved farming techniques and one of the first farmers in the United States to use soil drainage tiles to increase crop productivity.
Also at the Johnston farm, visitors will have an opportunity to view the Mike Weaver Drain Tile Museum. The Johnston House is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. each Sunday through October. The house may be viewed by tour only, with tours starting on the half hour. Admission is $3 per person, children 9 and under are free.
Balmanno Cottage, built by Robert Balmanno in the 1830s, will also be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays, and 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays through October, and and by appointment after that.
Acquired by Dr. and Mrs. William Walker in 1957 and bequeathed to the Geneva Historical Society 40 years later, the house — overlooking beautiful Seneca Lake — is a virtual time capsule representing the lifestyle of the post-World War II years. It is furnished with the Walkers’ fine collection of early American antiques and decorated in a traditional style with fabrics and wallpapers from the noted New York design firm of Brunschwig and Fils.
Tours begin on the half hour and last approximately one-half hour. Admission is $3 per person, with children 9 and under admitted free.
Details on all three properties are available by calling (315) 789-5151 or visiting Geneva Historical Society.