GCC hosting Heritage Festival events on Saturday and following weekend

Posted 7 September 2017 at 8:06 am

This year’s Heritage Fest kicks off Friday with barn dance at Forrestel Farm

Photos by Tom Rivers: Phil Banasczak plays the mandolin during a Victorian Cotillion – a ball in the Civil War era – as part of the Civil War encampment in Medina in April 2013. Banasczak is a member of City Fiddle in Buffalo, which will be performing Friday at Forrestel Farm to kick off the 2017 Orleans County Heritage Festival.

Press Release, Genesee Community College

ALBION – Some historical movements and figures are all too often relegated to the long forgotten annals of history. But not at Genesee Community College’s Albion and Medina Campus Centers when the GCC History Club will participate in the Second Annual Orleans County Heritage Festival on Saturday, Sept. 9, (Albion), and Saturday, Sept. 16, (Medina).

GCC’s Albion Campus Center is featuring an intriguing educational program entitled, “Ancestors, Legends and Lore” on Saturday, Sept. 9, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., that will examine Victorian spiritualism including a re-presentation of a 19th Century parlor séance.

Also from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., volunteers of the Orleans County Genealogical Society will be available to assist individuals with their own genealogical research in a “Genealogy Workshop.” At 11 a.m., Associate Professor Derek Maxfield will bring alive a little known movement in 19th century American history in his lecture titled, “Victorian Spiritualism.”


Melinda Grube is in costume as Elizabeth Cady Stanton, sharing stories of the leader of the suffrage movement from Seneca Falls, during the Orleans County Heritage Festival last September.

GCC’s Medina Campus Center will enliven our educational spirits with a program theme called, “Epochs in Orleans” on Sept . 16 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Guests will be able to converse with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Abraham Lincoln and other historical impressionists from bygone eras in American history.

There will be several historical lectures throughout the day for the academically inclined including Dr. Melinda Grube’s lecture entitled, “Beyond Suffrage: Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Conflict and Controversy in the Women’s Rights Movement,” at 10 a.m. Like the Albion Campus Center, the Genealogy Society will be providing a workshop from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Making a special appearance at Epochs at GCC Medina this year will be Dave Ruch in concert. A teaching artist and gifted musician, Ruch will perform a program entitled, “The War of 1812: Songs and Stories from New York and Beyond” on Sept. 16, at 1 p.m. Ruch is a public scholar with the New York Council for the Humanities, and travels extensively to share his specialty in historical and traditional music. From Erie Canal songs to Adirondack ballads, Native American chants to Great Lake ditties-he delights audiences of all ages and embraces much of New York’s forgotten music that was born in farms, battlefields and lumber camps through the millennium.

All events held at GCC in Albion and Medina are free and open to the public. The Medina Campus Center is located at 11470 Maple Ridge Rd. The Albion Campus Center is located at 456 West Ave.


David Kreutz of Depew is a prominent Abraham Lincoln impersonator. He is pictured lastSeptember in Medina with his “Penny Car,” which includes a vinyl wrap of Lincoln. Kreutz’s license plate reads “HNST ABE.” He has travelled 150,000 miles in his Lincoln car, attending events all over the country. Kreutz said the car functions as “a roving schoolhouse.”

Beyond the Medina and Albion Campus Centers, the Second Annual Orleans County Heritage Festival offers a variety of events throughout the region from Friday, Sept. 8 through Sunday, Sept. 17. Like last year, there will be an array of fun and exciting opportunities to spotlight and celebrate historical people, places and spaces that abound in Orleans County.

The kick-off event at historic Forrestel Farms in West Shelby on Friday, Sept. 8, from 6 to 9 p.m. celebrates our local heritage with a barn dance featuring live music by City Fiddle, food and beverages, and guided tours of the 1825 farm’s unique artifacts and landscape.

The Orleans County Heritage Festival offers the occasion to highlight other important anniversaries including the 100th anniversary of New York State granting women the right to vote, and the 100th anniversary of America’s entry into World War I.

For the full Orleans County Heritage Festival calendar of events, including those events happening at Genesee Community College’s campus centers, click here.

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