Historic Resources ➤ Lectures
Historic Brighton sponsors educational lectures on an ongoing basis. As we continue to add to our new website, this listing of past lecture topics will continue to grow.
May 4, 2014 – “An Escorted Bus Tour of Brighton’s Designated Landmarks”
Presented by Brighton Town Historian, Mary Jo Lanphear, Architectural Historian, Arlene Wright Vanderlinde of Historic Brighton, and Preservation Architect, Christopher Brandt.
In continuation of its year-long bicentennial celebration, the Town pf Brighton teamed up with Historic Brighton on Sunday, May 4, 2014 to celebrate the town’s architectural history with three 90-minute escorted bus tours of the Town’s fifty-eight designated landmarks which date from 1792 to 1957. They include many of the popular architectural styles from the late-18th to the mid-20th century: Federal, Greek Revival, and Italianate among them.
These tours highlighted the town’s structures which have achieved official landmark designation by the Town of Brighton. Brighton’s Preservation Ordinance was enacted in 1995. At the end of each tour, attendees received a special souvenir booklet containing data and photographs of each of the town landmarks.
April 5, 2014 – “A Recreation, on its 200th Anniversary, of the First Meeting of the Town of Brighton at the Stone Tavern on April 5th, 1814”
This program, co-hosted by the Town of Brighton, was held at the Stone-Tolan House on East Avenue in Brighton.
January 26, 2014 – “Our Postal Heritage – Collecting, Researching and Preserving”
Presented by Dr. Preston Pierce and “Photographs from the Post Office Mural Project” was presented by Andy Olenick. This program was held in the Auditorium of the Brighton Town Hall.
September 22, 2013 – “Brighton Memories III”
Don Alhart, WHAM TV News Anchor, again hosted this nostalgic, sentimental, and sometimes hilarious program, where people brought personal recollections and artifacts from their lives in Brighton. This program was held in the Auditorium of the Brighton Town Hall.
June 1, 2013 – “Edmunds’ Woods – Our Oldest Living Residents”
Exploring Brighton’s Old-Growth Forest presented by Leo Dodd. A Luncheon Program was presented in the Carmen Clark Lodge at the Brighton Town Park, 777 Westfall Road, in Brighton, starting at at 11:30 on Saturday, June 1st, followed by a walking tour.
January 27, 2013 – 14th Annual Meeting and Program – Historic Brighton Presents: “Salon IV – C. Storrs Barrows and Donald Hershey: Masters of Mid-Century Design”
Presented by Mary Jo Lanphear, Brighton Town Historian. This program was presented in the Auditorium of the Brighton Town Hall.
September 29, 2012 – “Antiques Roadshow – Historic Brighton Style”
Antiques experts Jack Wanderman and Yvonne Jordan answered questions about members’ and guests’ antiques and collectibles. This program was held in the Auditorium of the Brighton Town Hall.
July 12, 2012 – “A joint meeting of Historic Brighton with Historic Pittsford at the Pittsford Library”
Speaker: David McNellis, local author. Topic: His book, titled Reflections on Big Spring – A History of Pittsford, New York and the Genesee River Valley.
June 15 & 16, 2012 – “Celebration of Mercy High School and Its Campus”
A Friday History Luncheon at The Daisy Flour Mill: Speakers were: Sister Jeanne Reichart, Rochester Archivist, Sisters of Mercy of America, who presented “Mercy Comes to Brighton;” and Terry Quinn, Principal, Our Lady of Mercy High School, who presented “Mercy Builds in Brighton”. Saturday Tours of the high school and convent were led by the Sisters of Mercy.
April 29, 2012 – “Making History: Sandra Frankel, Brighton Town Supervisor 1992-2012”
Presented by Sandra Frankel. Mrs. Frankel delivered a presentation highlighting her twenty years as Town Supervisor.
January 29, 2012 – Annual Meeting and Program – “Historic Brighton Presents: Salon III: Brighton’s Notable Architects – Herbert Morland Stern, James Burns Arnold and Leon Stern”
Presented by Arlene Wright Vanderlinde. Presented as a PowerPoint program using photos of homes and buildings as they looked when first built and present day. The meeting was held at the Brighton Town Hall Auditorium.
October 16, 2011 – “Historic Property Plaque Presentation”
A very special event was held at the Stone-Tolan House, 2370 East Avenue 14610 for the plaque presentation and reception in recognition of the owners of fourteen historic properties in Brighton who will now proudly display their property’s heritage. The use of the Stone-Tolan House was generously donated by the Landmark Society of Western NY and wine was provided by Whitehouse Liquor, 1720 Monroe Avenue, Rochester, New York, 14618.
September 18th, 2011 – “Restoring Community Through Preservation”
Presented by Wayne Goodman, Executive Director of the Landmark Society of Western New York. The meeting was held in the Brighton Town Hall Auditorium.
June 11, 2011 – “The UN-Natural History of Cobb’s Hill”
Presented by Larry Champoux. Cobb’s Hill, known for its beloved park and reservoir, its plentiful fields of play, its attractive neighborhoods and its mysterious ancient glacial woodlands of huge oak trees, was the location for this Historic Brighton Celebrates event. Our speaker was Larry Champoux, an artist, poet, and writer who embarked upon his study of Cobb’s Hill Park and Washington Grove after spending many hours walking in circles around the reservoir and the quiet trails of the Grove. This talk utilized rarely or never seen photographic images culled from many local archives and told the story of how we nearly destroyed this valuable hill and how it was transformed and preserved for the benefit of our community.
April 10, 2011 – “Historic Pittsford Through the Eyes and Camera Lens of Paul Malone Spiegel”
Presented by Paul Malone Spiegel. Paul Spiegel is considered a rare treasure to his community. At 94 years young, Paul continues to do what he enjoys; to gather historic photos, photograph current Pittsford life, and share his hometown’s story. Information on our good neighbor, Pittsford, was shared with us through a collection of photos and remembrances of a fascinating gentleman.
January 30th, 2011 – “Brighton Memories II – hosted by Don Alhart”
People brought their personal recollections and vintage photographs of their lives in Brighton to the Main Auditorium at the Brighton Town Hall on Sunday, January 30th. WHAM TV News Anchor, Don Alhart once again hosted this popular event. Don shared his own childhood memories of growing up in Brighton. Brighton Cable recorded this meeting to bring the community. This nostalgic, sentimental and sometimes hilarious event was “memorable.” Historic Brighton’s Annual Meeting preceded the program.
October 2, 2010 – “Historic Brighton on the Erie Canal”
Presented by Vicki Schmitt and Brett Costello. “Past History and Present Development on the Erie/Barge Canal and its Genesee Arm” was presented by Vicki Schmitt, President of Corn Hill Navigation and “Rochester’s Mile of the Erie Canal: Public and Private Interests Spark Economic Development” was offered by Brett Costello, VP of AJ Costello and Sons Development. This meeting was held on board the Mary Jemison tour boat sailing roundtrip from Corn Hill Landing to Lock 33 at Edgewood Avenue.
June 26, 2010 – “Father’s Farm : A First Person Account of West Brighton Farm Life from 1871-1902”
Presented by Leo Dodd. Based on the handwritten diaries from the Edmunds Farm at the corner of Westfall and South Clinton Avenue, Leo Dodd brought them to life in a fascinating compilation of the information in the diaries. The luncheon meeting held at Grinnell’s Restaurant on Monroe Avenue.
April 25, 2010 – “The Eastman Theatre: Fulfilling George Eastman’s Dream”
Presented by Betsy Brayer. Highlights from the stunning new book Betsy has authored, celebrating the history and renovation of the Eastman Theatre. The meeting was held at the Brighton Town Hall Auditorium.
January 31, 2010 – Annual Meeting and Program – “Historic Brighton Presents: Salon II: Brighton’s Notable Architects – Jay Fay, Otis W. Dryer, and Harwood B. Dryer”
Presented by Arlene Wright Vanderlinde, and Leander McCord – presented by Christopher Brandt. A PowerPoint program using photos of homes and buildings as they looked when first built and present day. The meeting was held at the Brighton Town Hall Auditorium.
October 29, 2009 – “The Interurban Era”
Presented by Jim Dierks, New York Museum of Transportation. His talk highlighted the trolley railroad which ran between Rochester, Canandaigua and Geneva from 1900 –1930. This talk was presented at the Brighton Town Hall Auditorium.
June 27, 2009 – 6th Annual Celebration of Brighton History – “Gideon Cobb Days – Historic Focus: West Brighton”
This history luncheon lecture was given by Dr. Preston Pierce, Ontario County Historian. His talk, “The Pathway to the Irrepressible Conflict,” concentrated on the Underground Railroad in Western New York. The luncheon was held in the Monroe Community Hospital Auditorium, followed by a hospital tour, and a bus tour of West Brighton.
April 29, 2009 – “Trails, Tolls and Twelve Corners: The Roads of Brighton”
Presented by Mary Jo Lanphear, Brighton Town Historian. The meeting was held at the Barnes and Noble store in Pittsford Plaza, in conjunction with the month long display of the Salon I photographs.
January 25, 2009 – “Historic Brighton Celebrates Town’s Architecture: Salon I: Brighton’s Country Homes and Their Architects”
Presented by Arlene Wright Vanderlinde and Betsy Brayer who spoke on architects J. Foster Warner, Claude Bragdon, Ward Wellington Ward, and Carl R. Traver in conjunction with a photo exhibit highlighting the local work of four architects who designed Brighton homes in the late 19th and early 20th century. This meeting was held in the Wilson Gallery and Auditorium at the Harley School at 1981 Clover Street.
October 30, 2008 – “Shuffling off this Moral Coil: A Look at the Forklore of Mourning”
Presented by Mary Jo Lanphear, Brighton Town Historian. House tour at 6:30 p.m. Lecture at 7:30 p.m. Post note: Power failure prevented us from using the Oliver Culver House, so the talk was held in the Brighton Town Hall Auditorium on Elmwood Avenue.
June 28, 2008 – “Gideon Cobb Days – Historical focus: The Lost City of Tryon”
Ellison Park, the ‘lost city of Tryon’ and the opening of Fort Schuyler were the subjects discussed by Mary Jo Lanphear, Brighton Town Historian, during the horse and wagon tours with Heberle Stables. Also highlighting the day were tours of the original Tryon/Culver houses, Tryon Park birding with Bob Marcotte, and traditional musical instruments with Allen Hopkins.
June 27, 2008 – “Gideon Cobb Days – Historical focus: The Lost City of Tryon and Oliver Culver”
Presented by Jim Quinn. The luncheon location was Gatherings at Daisy Flower Mill Restaurant at 1800 Blossom Road, in Ellison Park.
May 6, 2008 – “Discover Brighton: 200 years of Historic Architecture”
Presented by Cynthia Howk, Architectural Research Coordinator, Landmark Society of Western New York. This wonderful program, a repeat from 2002, helped us re-discover the wide variety of historic buildings, structures, objects, sites and neighborhoods that define the history and architecture of Brighton, showing over 200 years of the “built environment” in one of Monroe County’s most historic communities. This slide talk provided an ‘armchair tour’ of our own town, and highlighted its architectural treasures. This meeting was held in the Brighton Town Hall Auditorium.
January 27, 2008 – “They Call Me Billy Pilgrim…”
Presented by Grant Holcomb, Director of the Memorial Art Gallery. Mr. Holcomb, examined the life of Brighton native, Edward R. Crone, Jr., who was the inspiration for the character of Billy Pilgrim in Kurt Vonnegut’s famous novel, Slaughterhouse-Five. The meeting was held at the Brighton Town Hall.
October 14, 2007 – “One Room Schoolhouses”
Presented by Christopher B. Manaseri, Superintendent of Schools of the Brighton Central School District. Dr. Manaseri presented an entertaining view of our nation’s and region’s one-room schoolhouses (based on Dr. Manaseri’s doctoral dissertation). Following the presentation, Mary Jo Lanphear, Brighton Town Historian, presented a brief history of the public schools in Brighton. This program was held at the French Road Middle School, which is situated across the street from a Brighton one room schoolhouse.
June 30, 2007 – “Gideon Cobb Days – Historical focus: The Buckland Farmstead”
Participants explored the newly refurbished Buckland Farmhouse, Buckland farm land and the West Brighton area. Several events took place during the the day on the property: tours of the newly renovated historic farmhouse were on-going; found artifacts were on display and explained by Leo Dodd. An archeological dig was in progress throughout the day. A 45 minute bus tour of the Westfall neighborhood also operated throughout the day.
June 29, 2007 – “Gideon Cobb Days Historian Luncheon: Historical focus: The Buckland Farmstead”
A Celebration of the Historic Buckland House Reconstruction 1341 Westfall Road, Brighton, New York between Winton Road and Clinton Avenue. Gary Lehman discussed the importance of local history as illustrated by the artifacts found at the Buckland Farmstead (1820-2007). The luncheon was held at the Brighton Town Park Pavilion.
May 1, 2007 – “The Landscapes of Alling DeForest”
Presented by Jean Czerkas, landscape historian. Ms. Czerkas presented a slide lecture on the life and 50 year career of Alling DeForest. The meeting was held at the Brighton Town Hall Auditorium.
January 28, 2007 – Annual Meeting – “Come to the Fair! A Close-up of the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893”
Presented by Arlene Wright, this PowerPoint presentation highlighted Rochester’s connection to the;greatest of all the World’s Fairs. Ms. Wright showed the story through vintage photos taken at the fair. The meeting was held at the Brighton Memorial Library Media Center.
October 22, 2006 – “Come ride the Rochester Subway again!”
Presented by Jim Dierks, New York Museum of Transportation. Jim Dierks discussed transportation history in general segueing into slides with narration showing the Rochester subway over the course of its life. This Sunday afternoon meeting was held at the Brighton Fire Dept #1, 3100 East Avenue.
June 24, 2006 – “Gideon Cobb Days: Historical focus: Corbett’s Glen”
Free historical tours of Corbett’s Glen and the Patrick Corbett home on Allen’s Creek were offered throughout the day.
June 23, 2006 – “Gideon Cobb Historian’s Luncheon – Brighton’s Historic Natural Treasure: Corbett’s Glen”
Presented by Andrew Wheatcraft, past president of the Genesee Land Trust. He explored the history of the Glen from Indian days forward and discussed the land trust’s involvement with the Town of Brighton in making the Glen into a town park. The luncheon and lecture were held at Mario’s Via Abruzzi, 2740 Monroe Avenue.
April 30, 2006 – “Birds of the Genesee and the Stories of Those Who Watch Them”
Presented by Bob Marcotte. Author/birder and D&C columnist, Bob Marcotte, shared some of the aspects of local birding that he learned researching his new book, Birds of the Genesee. This Sunday afternoon meeting was held at the Brighton Town Hall.
January 29, 2006 – Annual Meeting and Program – “A Celebration of The Rochester Friendly Home”
Presented by Betsy Brayer. Betsy Brayer authored the sesquicentennial history of the Friendly Home in 1999. The program was a PowerPoint presentation depicting the rich history through vintage photos. The meeting was held in the auditorium of the Rochester Friendly Home at 3156 East Avenue in Brighton.
October 2, 2005 – “Browncroft – A Beautiful Section of a Beautiful City”
Presented by Sharon Bloemendaal. Mrs. Bloemendaal’s talk featured “Browncroft and Beyond” contrasting scenes as they were in the 1920s with the same scenes as they are now. The Sunday afternoon meeting was held in the Brighton Town Hall auditorium.
June 26, 2005 – “Gideon Cobb Days – Bus tours of East Avenue”
Bus tours of East Avenue were narrated by Mary Jo Lanphear. The bus left from the Stone Tolan House parking lot at 1:30 and 2:30 PM.
June 25, 2005 – “Gideon Cobb Days – Historical focus: Old Brighton Village”
Displays of vintage photos were on the lawn of Brighton Presbyterian Church and a brief history of the area given by Leo Dodd. Tours of the village and the 1821 Brighton Cemetery were led by Mary Jo Lanphear, Brighton Town Historian. The celebration included a performance by the Dady Brothers.
June 24, 2005 – “Gideon Cobb Days – Historian’s Luncheon Program: The History of Old Brighton Village”
Presented by Mary Jo Lanphear, Town Historian. A slide presentation given by Mary Jo Lanphear, about the center of Brighton when it was around the four corners of East Avenue and Winton Road.
April 12, 2005 – “The Bicentennial of East Avenue 1805 – 2005”
Presented by Betsy Brayer, this talk traced the 200 year history of East Avenue. The meeting was held in the Brighton Town Hall Auditorium.
February 6, 2005 – Annual meeting – “Program: Why Historic Preservation is Vital to Our Future”
Presented by Henry McCartney, Executive Director of the Landmark Society of Western New York. The meeting was held in the Brighton Town Hall Auditorium.
October 19, 2004 – “Stoney’s Rochester”
Presented by Lea Kemp, Librarian/Archivist of the Rochester Museum and Science Center. Mrs. Kemp discussed the Albert R. Stone (historic photograph) Collection which is held by the Rochester Museum and Science Center. This Tuesday evening meeting was held in the Hubbell Auditorium of the First Baptist Church Clover Street at Allens Creek Road.
June 27, 2004 – “Trolley tour of historic Brighton brick structures”
A 45 minute tour, on the 40 & 8 trolley, featured 10 historic brick structures. Tours left the Twelve Corners Middle School bus loop on the half hour.
June 26, 2004 – “Gideon Cobb Days – Brighton’s Brick Industrial History”
Board members and friends walked Monroe Avenue, led by Leo Dodd, from Cobbs Hill to Twelve Corners placing temporary markers at historic sites related to the brick industry. Professor Darrell Norris from SUNY Geneseo discussed Roselawn neighborhood history and architecture. Maps of the walking tour were distributed.
June 25, 2004 – “Gideon Cobb Days – Historian Luncheon Program: Quarried Sand and Clay: The Geologic Factor in an Industry”
Presented by William Chaisson, Geology Professor at the University of Rochester. The program was held at Mario’s Via Abruzzi, 2740 Monroe Avenue, in Brighton.
February 15, 2004 – “Twelve Corners Suburban Architecture”
Presented by Darrell Norris (SUNY Geneseo). Professor Norris identified architectural styles, their variants, incidence and chronology, based on a personal field study of 3000 area homes. The meeting was held at the Baptist Temple, 1101 Clover Street at the corner of Highland Avenue.
October 22, 2003 – “The Rehabilitation of Old Houses”
Presented by Steve Jordan, an old-house consultant and inspector, author of the book Rehab Rochester and a contributor to Old House Journal.
April 28, 2003 – From Shank’s Mare to Superhighway: Getting around in Brighton”
Presented by Mary Jo Lanphear and Leo Dodd. An entertaining overview of the transportation delights available to the residents of Brighton, 1800 – 2003. The meeting was held in the Brighton Town Hall Auditorium.
February 2, 2003 – Annual meeting – Program: “Striding Toward Freedom: The Legacy”
Presented by Dr. David A. Anderson, Chairman of the Rochester-Monroe County Freedom Trail Commission. Dr. Anderson focused on the Underground Railway and featured the Freedom Trail Commission’s effort to involve youth in researching the trail from Austin Steward to Frederick Douglass. The meeting was held at the Brighton Fire Dept. #1, 3100 East Avenue.
October 21, 2002 – “Discover Brighton – 200 years of Brighton Architecture”
Presented by Cynthia Howk, Architectural Research Coordinator of the Landmark Society. This program explored the architecture in our backyard. Attendees discovered the wealth and variety of architectural styles within our town. Ms. Howk used slides and information that resulted from her research for the Brighton Historic Preservation Commission Historic Structures Survey in 1998. This meeting was held in the Brighton Town Hall downstairs meeting room.
April 29, 2002 – “Rochester’s Horticultural History”
Presented by Beverly Gibson, Horticulturist of the Landmark Society. This overview of the development of the rich horticultural tradition in the Rochester region depicted how it began with the early settlers who built flour mills and covered the first nurserymen and seed men whose establishments flourished because of the prime farmland and favorable growing conditions. This meeting was held in the Brighton Town Hall downstairs meeting room.
February 3, 2002 – Annual Meeting – “Program by Ed Cornwall: Antiques Expert”
Historic Brighton members and guests packed the room as Ed Cornwell, Rochester’s antiques and collectibles expert, brought local history to life as he presented and discussed objects from his own collection. This meeting was held in the Brighton Town Hall downstairs meeting room.
October 22, 2001 – “Rochester Soldiers and the Battle of Gettysburg”
presented by Bob Marcotte, Columnist for the Democrat & Chronicle. Bob discussed the key roles that several Rochester regiments played in the Battle of Gettysburg. The meeting was held at the Council Rock School auditorium at 600 Grosvenor Road.
April 23, 2001 – “Brighton’s Hidden Treasure (Brighton Cemetery)”
Presented by Ruth Kingston Porter, a 5th generation Brighton resident, who spoke about the 1821 Brighton Cemetery – “located at the end of Hoyt Place. This early 19th century cemetery sits on a hillside that once over-looked the Erie Canal. Much of Brighton’s early history rests here. This meeting was held at the Baptist Temple at 1101 Clover Street.
January 21, 2001 – “The Life and Death of a Family Farm”
Presented by David Howard Day, Professor of Anthropology at Monroe Community College. Professor Day told the story of the archaeological excavation of a 19th century Brighton farm found on the Monroe Community College property, utilizing a slideshow.
October 24, 2000 – “From Lost ‘City’ to Automobile Suburb: Selected Aspects of Brighton History”
Presented by author, historian and Historic Brighton Trustee, Betsy Brayer, talked about Brighton’s lively history, from the days of the glaciers through eons of the presence of Algonquin and Seneca Indians, and the French fur traders, to the arrival of settlers who become millers, farmers, shipbuilders, brick-makers, and canal merchants, and finally to Brighton’s emergence in the 1920s as an automobile suburb of the boomtown of Rochester. This Tuesday Evening meeting was held at the Brighton Library Auditorium.
August 17, 2000 – “A Celebration of History”
A family picnic at the Historic Stone Tolan House. The evening included guided tours of the museum and a “pot-luck” supper followed by storytelling and a presentation on Brighton history by Mary Jo Lanphear, Brighton Town Historian.
April 24, 2000 – “Erie Canal Legacy presented by Richard Reisem and Andy Olenick”
Author Richard Reisem and photographer Andy Olenick spoke and showed slides from their book, Erie Canal Legacy – An Illustrated History of the Communities on the Canal. This meeting was held at the Baptist Temple at 1101 Clover Street.
April 3, 2000 – “The Purchase of the Stone-Tolan Property”
Presented by Elizabeth Holahan, who talked about her personal involvement in the purchase of the Stone-Tolan property by the Landmark Society. She followed her talk with a personally-led tour of RHS’s Woodside museum. This meeting was held at the Rochester Historical Society headquarters located at 485 East Avenue.
January 23, 2000 – “Brighton Memories – hosted by Don Alhart, TV 13 News Anchor”
Members gathered to share their personal knowledge of Brighton’s past. The room was filled with nostalgia as the standing room only crowd listened and conversed about the Brighton they knew, and the history they lived. The meeting was held in the meeting room of the newly-built Brighton Firehouse #1 on East Avenue
October 25, 1999 – “The Inaugural Historic Brighton Program: The History & Culture of the Seneca Indians”
Presented by the Hon. Barber Conable, Jr., our area’s former Congressional representative, brought his vast knowledge of Native American Culture in New York State to share.Mr. Conable, also former director of the World Bank, has pursued this historical interest and collected many artifacts which he shared with the audience. Historic Brighton presented Mr. Conable with an honorary lifetime membership in Historic Brighton.