Cody Grabhorn is the new leader

CANANDAIGUA – After only a month and a half of work, the new CEO of the Ontario County Historical Society already feels at home.

Cody Grabhorn took the helm on June 1, in time to celebrate the Historical Society’s third annual Garden Tour and Fundraiser on Saturday July 17.

Grabhorn replaces former chief executive Marci Diehl, who stepped in when longtime director of the Historical Society Ed Varno retired in 2020 after 25 years of service.

Diehl, an award-winning community leader and speaker specializing in bringing professional and creative thinking to businesses and organizations, stepped down in March for personal reasons, said Historical Society president Chris Hubler.

“We are all sad that she no longer directs our organization towards the future,” he said, wishing Diehl “the best in her future endeavors”.

Looking ahead, Hubler is optimistic about the possibilities under Grabhorn leadership.

“Cody comes to us with a great past experience in historical museums,” Hubler said. “His education, enthusiasm and leadership will put the organization in an excellent position for the future. “

Grabhorn will focus on new and existing programs, education and exhibitions, and develop new and existing relationships within the community, he said.

Expanding these relationships will be critical for the organization as it tackles “some major improvements to the museum,” Hubler said.

Grabhorn said he looks forward to working with the Historical Society staff and volunteers.

“One of the perks of being in a small museum is that you have a really tight-knit staff,” Grabhorn said. “You can learn from each other and figure out what’s best for everyone and how you can grow together as a small team. ”

Cody Grabhorn arrives at the Ontario County Historical Society in time for the organization's third annual garden tour, which will take place on Saturday, July 17.

Used to small town life, Grabhorn grew up in a Midwestern community much like Canandaigua. And after living in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Virginia, Pennsylvania and now the Finger Lakes, he said he’s “not afraid to start somewhere new.”

“I’m not so much on a career path,” Grabhorn said. “I’m actually looking for the perfect weather. “

Garden tour

Scheduled for this Saturday, July 17, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the third annual Historical Society Gardens tour includes three private gardens, as well as the gardens of the Granger Homestead and Carriage Museum, New York Kitchen and the historic Morgan Samuels Inn. and Venue.

Guests can walk around the gardens and chat with the docents and owners about the plantings and concepts for each garden. The addresses will be provided in a color booklet with ticket and on GPS for a self-guided car tour. Restrooms will be available at the Granger Homestead, New York Kitchen, and the Ontario County Historical Society.

Events like the Garden Tour “really help the Ontario County Historical Society to remain a free entry organization and therefore an accessible organization,” said Grabhorn. “The money raised really makes a difference in small communities like ours, and making a positive difference is what we want OCHS to do. ”

The Historical Society team worked with members of the Sonnenberg Garden Club and the Ontario County Arts Council to select the gardens. As a bonus, the Granger Homestead Carriage House will be open to guests with refreshments available for purchase. All profits will be donated to the Historical Society.

“Coming in as a person focused on education experiences, I am truly grateful that my predecessors laid the groundwork for this type of fundraising approach,” said Grabhorn. “These are the things that got me running in and hitting the ground.”

Tickets can be purchased for $ 25 on the day of the event at the Ontario County Historical Society, subject to availability. The OCHS Museum and Research Center is located at 55 N. Main St., Canandaigua.

Exhibitions, experiences

For the future, the most recent exhibition of the Historical Society is aimed at all ages.

“Our Family Companions: The History of Pets in Ontario County” was curated by Wilma Townsend and examines what defines a pet, how it is cared for, and how its perception has changed over the past 200 years. On display are new and old photos of beloved dogs, cats, rabbits, horses and other animals, paintings of pets, toys and children’s stories that use pets as characters. , and the history of pet food and accessories. This exhibition will be open until the end of April 2022.

Tuesday to Friday, August 17-20, and presented in partnership with the Ontario County Council for the Arts, “Mini-Creators Week: Making Art in a Historic Way”. For two hours a day, children in grades 4-6 will learn how to make paper, ink, clay stamps and more.

Grabhorn said he was excited about what lies ahead for the Historical Society, for the community and for himself.

“I really want to develop a friendship, a partnership with the community,” said Grabhorn. “We are there for them. ”

About the Ontario County Historical Society

The Ontario County Historical Society is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit society established in 1902. It owns and operates a community history museum in the historic district of Canandaigua and is part of the “Path Through History” of the New York State. The company is not affiliated with any government agency and operates with public donations, membership dollars, and limited public and private grants.


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