As the site of Genesee Yearly Meeting of Friends, the 1816 Farmington Quaker Meetinghouse was a national crucible for major reform movements in the nineteenth century. It stood at the crossroads –symbolically as well as geographically–of activism for African American rights, women’s rights, and Native American rights.
In February 2006, a windstorm blew off the east wall of this nationally important Meetinghouse. Responding to this urgent preservation need, concerned citizens organized a grassroots coalition to preserve and restore this Meetinghouse and to promote a series of heritage trails relating to the rights of women, African Americans, and Native Americans throughout upstate New York. Under the auspices of the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Foundation of Seneca Falls, New York, the committee acquired the Meetinghouse and reached out regionally to town officials, schools, churches, and community groups and nationally to historians, scholars, preservationists, legislators, and the broad business community.
In its first four years, this committee made remarkable progress, appointing a National Advisory Board, attaining not-for-profit status, and hiring John G. Waite Associates, internationally famous preservation architects, to help restore the Meetinghouse with twenty-first century features for sustainable energy use. In December 2009, we stabilized and enclosed the Meetinghouse so that it can be moved to its new site across the road.
Supporters include New York State’s Environmental Protection Fund, the National Park Service’s Network to Freedom, the Preservation League of New York State, Rochester Area Community Foundation, Canandaigua National Bank, Church Women United, Chace Fund of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of Friends, Heritage New York Women’s History Trail, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Town of Farmington, Farmington-Scipio Regional Meeting of Friends, Farmington Friends Meeting, and many, many individuals.
The 1816 Farmington Quaker Meetinghouse is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places at the national level of significance, the National Park Service’s Underground Railroad Network to Freedom, and the National Collaborative of Women’s History Sites. The National Park Service is now conducting a reconnaissance study to determine whether the Meetinghouse should be listed as a National Historic Landmark.
Passionate about our history
The Meetinghouse is a fixture in our historical landscape and a touchstone for the future of the Quaker Community.