Attica H.S. Fundraiser MOVED

The fundraiser for the Attica Historical Society, sponsored by the GCC History Club, has been moved indoors to the Attica Presbyterian Church just across the street from the museum at 115 Main St.  The change was precipitated by the forecast for cool temperatures and showers.

Other than the move, all other programs will take place as scheduled.


Historical Horizons Lecture Wednesday (4/19) Features World War I Theme

Rescheduled from last month, Garth Swanson’s World War I lecture will take place this Wednesday.  As always, the lecture is FREE and open to the public.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017, 7 p.m. / Batavia Campus / T102

  • Originally scheduled for March 8, 2017, Garth Swanson, GCC professor of History will present Wilsonian Diplomacy at a Crossroads – 1917: Missionaries of Democracy or Merchants of Death.”  The year 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of America’s entry into World War I.  In his presentation, Professor Swanson takes a fresh look at the events that brought about the nation’s engagement in the war. The lecture will focus on the complex domestic and diplomatic issues that challenged Woodrow Wilson’s internationalist vision of a new world order.

GCC History Club Supports Attica Historical Society and Creates Fundraiser


GCC Associate Professor of History and History Club Advisor Derek Maxfield presents a $250 donation check on behalf of the History Club to Attica Historical Society President Dean June.

ATTICA, NY – In response to the recent flood at the Attica Historical Society Museum, the Genesee Community College History Club is sponsoring a fundraiser on Saturday, May 6th called “Historians for Attica Historical Society,” from 9:00 AM to about 4:00 PM. The event will feature five one-hour history programs. Guests may purchase tickets to individual programs for $5 each or purchase an all-day pass for $20. Young people under 14 get into all programs free.  All proceeds benefit the Attica Historical Society and Museum.

Back in February, Dean June, the president of the society, looked down toward the basement door when he was entering the museum and noticed much water coming from under the door. He pushed it open to find more than two feet of water standing in the basement. He does not know exactly how long it had been like that. The sump pump and other safety mechanisms had failed. As a result, boxes of artifacts including many books were under water. Mold had already set in on the walls and boxes. The society had to discard many artifacts and books that were irreplaceable. Moreover, they had to spend almost $10,000 to clean-up, cut out and replace walls, and to seal the basement.

The day-long event will feature:

9:00-10:00 AM            “History and Politics in 140 Characters or Less: Considering Andrew Jackson in the Age of Trump” with Danny Hamner, Adjunct Instructor of History, GCC

10:15-11:15 AM          “Upstate New York State Suffragists and Radical Reform” with      Melinda Grube, PhD, Adjunct Instructor of History Cayuga Community College

11:30-12:30 PM          Panel discussion: “Living Living History: Becoming Someone Else”

Moderated by Derek Maxfield, Associate Professor of History, GCC       Panel includes: Melinda Grube, who portrays Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Tom Schobert, who portrays Gen. Robert E. Lee, and Al Parker, Great-  Grandnephew and portrayer of Eli Parker, Aide-de-camp of Gen. Ulysses S. Grant

12:30-1:30 PM            LUNCH

1:30-2:30 PM              19th century stories and music by David Armitage and Dona LaValle

2:45-3:45 PM              Civil War Demo/Lecture

The sound system for the event is being provided courtesy of Kirk McWhorter of Penny Whiskey.

Tickets will be available at the door on the day of the event, which will take place on the lawn of the Attica Historical Society Museum. Pre-sale tickets will be available from the historical society.  To purchase tickets or for more information call (585) 591-2161.For more information about the individual programs, contact Prof. Derek Maxfield at Parking is available behind the Stevens Memorial Library, at the historical society or in the Presbyterian Church parking lot across the street.


Adventure Cut Short

Gettysburg Military park in a snow storm and canons.

It’s just not the same.

Gettysburg is not meant to be seen in the snow.  It is just not the same.  It should be hot and sticky to be truly appreciated.  This is what I told myself anyway as the club made plans to return home early.  The projected snowstorm would engulf the entire area we would need to drive through to get home.  And the mountains of Pennsylvania are no place to be in a white out.

Instead of returning Tuesday as planned, the History Club spent three of the six hours we intended in Washington, DC then returned to Gettysburg where we got in our cars and drove home.  Thankfully, we did not run into any snow until we were about five miles outside of Batavia.  It was a little sad to cut things short, but we were all home safe.


History Club Campaign Advances to Washington, DC


The shivering never ended.

Whether it was contemplating the White House and it’s occupant or maybe it was just the weather, the shivering never ended.  Still, the members of the History Club persevered in their quest to make the most of their Spring campaign.

Among the many stops in DC were the Lincoln, Vietnam, World War II and Jefferson Memorials.  We also visited the Martin Luther King, Jr. monument, made a brief stop by the Capital and the White House.  The club also tendered their respects to Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman, though only one rather eccentric member of the group knew exactly who he was.




GCC History Club Conquers the National Civil War Museum


Departing from the itinerary, which had featured a trip to Harper’s Ferry, WV, the History Club opted instead for a more indoor adventure after braving the wind and the cold for several days.  The new destination was the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, PA.  It was an interesting experience to be sure, though a bit disappointing to the expert leading the group.

The day turned suddenly brighter with the discovery of a massive indoor used book store in downtown Harrisburg that caused drooling and awe for at least one member of the group.  In fact, he had to be sedated and bodily removed from the store amid cries of “Oh, let me stay.  Let me die here.”  For the good of all, the club removed to Gettysburg and good order was restored.

History Club Ventures to Gettysburg


Despite bone-chilling cold and patches of snow, the determined members of the GCC History Club made their way to the battlefield of Gettysburg today.  Quite contrary to the conditions the soldiers endured in July 1863, the students would have gladly accepted the woolen uniforms discarded by the troops at that time.

In the photo above, the group sits atop the Devil’s Den.  This was a site that must be seen to be believed.  Huge glacial boulders made for a unique fighting environment during the battle on the second day of fighting.  Beyond the Devil’s Den, top right in the picture, is Little Roundtop which was also the scene of gruesome fighting.



“Abigail Adams and Thomas Jefferson: A Secret Correspondence”

Emerging Revolutionary War Era


Arguably the most fascinating friendship in early America was between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.  Partners in declaring independence, the pair would become like brothers while on assignment in Europe.  But the strain of political discord and partisan strife would first stretch and finally break the bonds first forged in Philadelphia.  Only after both men were retired to their beloved homes, Adams at Peacefield in Quincy, MA, and Jefferson at Monticello in Charlottesville, VA, would the friendship be renewed.  But a decade would pass in which the men did not meet nor correspond with each other.  There was, however, a brief correspondence that passed between those locations in those silent years involving Thomas Jefferson and an Adams – Abigail, wife of the second president.

Unbeknownst to her husband, Abigail Adams initiated a correspondence with Jefferson in 1804 after the death of the Virginian’s youngest daughter Mary, often called Polly.  Back…

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Sonny Mayo Concert a Hit!


BATAVIA – Singer-songwriter Sonny Mayo played last night at the Stuart Steiner Theater at GCC in a concert to benefit the GCC History Club.  Concert-goers were delighted with the mix of tunes, both old and new.  Many songs were featured on Sonny’s newest album “Chasing the Chord.”

Sponsored by CY Farms, all proceeds from the concert benefit the GCC History Club which plans to use the funds toward a trip over Spring Break in March.