In 1852, Dr. Andrew Oliver built a large brick Italianate style house on Main Street in Penn Yan. This 18 room home was a wedding gift for his son, William, who also pursued a medical career. William had three children, Jennie, William (another doctor), and Carrie who lived their entire lives in the Oliver House. As none of these siblings had children, the family line ended with the death of Carrie in 1942. It was Carrie’s will that deeded the house to the village of Penn Yan.
Today the Oliver House features six period rooms furnished with an eclectic mix of the Oliver’s belongings and the collections of the Historical Society. Guided tours are available, or folks can explore the rooms on their own if they prefer.
The Oliver house is also home to a long-term exhibit that tells the important story of Jemima Wilkinson known as the Public Universal Friend. Jemima was the first American born woman to found a religious movement and brought the earliest settlers to the area. A second long-term exhibit showcases the Society’s collection of Native American objects.