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Civil War Week: Impacts & Reverberations 

Wednesday, May 15 - Sunday, May 19 | 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Step into the history of the Civil War

Join us for a week-long program exploring the impacts of the Civil War on the Genesee Valley region in the 1860s! The Civil War changed the social, economic, cultural, and political landscape of the United States in profound ways that continue to impact life today. Guests will explore how the political climate before, during, and after the Civil War relates to our current political experience, the social and cultural impacts of enslavement and racism, and how the Civil War is remembered, commemorated, and continues to shape our cultural and political landscape. 

Get hands-on with Civil War history as you explore our 19th-century Village: smell the powder from musket firing demonstrations, engage with costumed interpreters as they craft 19th-century goods, see the fashions of the 1860s up close, and so much more. 

Tickets for Civil War Living History Week are not yet available for sale – please check back soon! 

Explore life during war time

Visit the Cooper to learn about the construction of barrels and shipments to the Union Army, stop by the Gunsmith to explore guns and wartime technology, pop into the Apothecary to delve into medical treatment of Civil War soldiers, visit the Early Settlement Farm to learn about farming on the home front, enter into the Telegraph Office to explore wartime communications, and so much more. 

Explore Mourning Practices

Visit the Foster-Tufts House (ca. 1836) to explore Victorian mourning practices, traditions, and ephemera.

Then, make sure to stop by the John L. Wehle Gallery to explore our newest exhibit, “Everybody’s Going to be There: The American Rural Cemetery Movement” to dig deeper into this topic! 

Tea House in Hosmer's Inn

Saturdays & Sundays from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Join us in Hosmer’s Inn for a tea house during our Civil War Week! 

Ticket Information

Tickets for Civil War Living History Week are not yet available for sale – please check back soon! 


GCV&M Member admission is FREE and guaranteed for this weekend. Click here to learn more about joining the Museum as a Member!


Is there ample parking?

Parking is free and plentiful! Park in any of the main lots at the front of the Museum. Please leave the first two bays available for handicapped parking. 

How do I show my purchased tickets?

Please have your ticket(s) either printed out OR pulled up on your phone screen and ready for scanning for quick and easy check-in. Pro-tip: take a screenshot of each of your tickets to have ready and pulled up on your phone screen! Please note: Wifi can sometimes be spotty at the front of the Museum. 

Will there be a battle reenactment?

GCV&M does not host a Civil War battle reenactment, and has not in several years. GCV&M now focuses on Civil War living history that interprets the complex effects of the war on the Genesee Valley and Greater Rochester area. As no Civil War battles ever took place in NY State, we strive to tell a more nuanced, accurate story focusing on the Union experience in this region. You’ll notice that many museums, historic sites, and national parks around the US have adopted similar policies related to opposing force-fire demonstrations. Our historic interpreters, reenactors, and special guests for the weekend present immersive experiences for visitors to delve into the nuanced history of how the war affected life in 1860s NY. Plus, our guests still get to enjoy a number of exciting demonstrations like mustering, load in nine times, drilling, and more – all of which would have actually been happening in the Genesee Valley Region!

Will Confederate soldiers be represented?

Our Civil War Living History Week focuses on the experiences of Union troops in New York State. The presence of Confederate reenactors and the display of the Confederate flag or other Confederate symbolism can be a barrier to some museum visitors. The Confederate flag was a pro-enslavement symbol in the 19th-century, and today has been classified as a symbol of hate by a number of organizations including the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League. While we do not have Confederate reenactors on-site, we are of course still able to present our visitors with a nuanced and accurate history of both sides of the conflict. We believe that is essential for museum visitors to feel safe in order to learn. If you’re interested in exploring our DEAI (Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion) commitment, here’s where you can learn more:

Can I come to this event dressed in historical costume?

Our visitors are always welcome to get in on the historical fun by wearing their 19th-century finest! Visitors are not, however, permitted to bring weapons on site (real, or fake). We ask that visitors not wear Confederate symbolism on site, or clothing reflecting any sort of hate speech.

Here’s where you can read more about our policies / code of conduct:

Is this event rain or shine?

Yes! This event is rain or shine. The Museum will only cancel in case of a severe weather emergency.

How should I dress?

Please dress accordingly for the predicted weather conditions.  

We recommend wearing a good pair of walking shoes – there is a lot to see and do, and surfaces in the Historic Village (brick paths, cobblestone, grass), can be uneven. 

Are service animals welcome?

Yes! Leashed service animals are welcome with proper identification. 

What if I need a refund for my ticket?

We’re sorry to hear that you’re not able to attend! Tickets may be refunded only up to 7 days prior to the event date and are strictly non-transferable by date, entry time, or program. 

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