Gates Hall East Side

Gates Hall Basement

Gates Hall From Balcony


Gates Hall Phase II Fund

Preserving The Legacy

Featured Events

Meet the Spirits Cemetery Tour

Meet the Spirits Cemetery Tour

Take a moonlight stroll through Pultneyville's history at W-PHS' 2022 "Meet the Spirits Cemetery Tour" on October 22.  Volunteer presenters will share the life stories of former hamlet residents.  Come learn what life was like in this lake-front community through the...

A new way to donate to W-PHS that won’t cost you a cent – Amazon Smile.

If you shop using Amazon, try using the link:

With this link you are shopping the same Amazon website, and still with Prime if you have it; but a portion of the purchase goes to W-PHS as a donation.  The only thing that changes is the way you access Amazon. You can bookmark this link so that by clicking the bookmark, you’ll go directly to this page.

In the absence of fundraisers this year due to COVID-19, this is a way to help W-PHS with expenses. Any questions, please let us know.

Thank you and happy shopping!

Missed a Program?

 If you missed a program you may borrow the DVD by calling the W-PHS House at 315-589-9892 and leaving a message or you may e-mail peridot@rakedsouthgarden.

June 2017: Reenactment of Women’s Suffrage Association of Wayne County, Aug. 2017: First Person Introduction to the Burned Over District, May 2018:The Heart of the Bennetts – an original drama, June 2018: The History of the Williamson Hardware

Election of W-PHS Officers and Celebration of Accomplishments at 2021 Annual Meeting

At the Annual Meeting of the Williamson-Pultneyville Historical Society (W-PHS) on November 3, 2021, the office of President was filled.  Nanette Peters Hance was re-elected to serve as President for another two-year term. Continuing to serve with Hance on the Board as Officers are Florence Doyle, Vice President, Amanda Hanlon as Treasurer and Terry Sutherland, Secretary.  In response to a recommendation in the Board accepted Strategic Plan, a newly created Director of Development Officer position on the Board was approved in revisions to the Bylaws.  This position was created to guide the long-term financial growth of W-PHS and will be appointed in the near future. 

The annual meeting also included highlights of the many accomplishments achieved during 2021, which included the unveiling of Sam Ledyard’s 1837 Map of Pultnevyille by Florence Doyle, Interim Chair of Collection Management, for which a conservation grant was received from the Genesee Country Antique Dealers Association.  A presentation by Dan Montondo was given about the digitization of W-PHS records utilizing PastPerfect, a web-based software, managed by Collection Management volunteers, which will eventually enable W-PHS to share information online with the rest of the world.  The meeting also featured an overview of the Strategic Plan by Laura Hatch, under whose leadership the plan was developed in 2021. 

The annual meeting was also a celebration of the reopening of historic Gates Hall following the conclusion of the year-long Phase II Revitalization Project.  Property Chair, David Frohlich, presented a pictorial overview of the project, which included the structural remediation of the space between the ceiling and the roof of the hall, a full roof replacement and the improvement of interior lighting. This project was made possible through the generosity of many donors and a grant from the Rochester Area Community Foundation for which W-PHS, as sole steward of this landmark property, is most grateful.  This alone was cause for celebration given the many consequences of the ongoing COVID19 pandemic.  

The meeting concluded with the presentation of the 2021 Volunteer of the Year Award to David N. Frohlich.  The award recognizes Dave’s leadership and dedication to W-PHS throughout his tenure as Property Chair overseeing two major Gates Hall revitalization projects to stabilize Gates Hall from the ground up, and the roof down, so that future generations can continue to enjoy this prominent property which resides on the National Register of Historic Places.


2022 Board Meetings

All meetings at Gates Hall at 4pm on:
 February 28, March 28, April 25, May 23, June 27, August 29, September 26, October 24, November 28

(No meetings in January, July, and December)


Since its inception in 1964, the society’s mission has been to gather and disseminate information concerning the history the of the town of Williamson, Wayne County New York, in general and the unincorporated hamlet of Pultneyville in particular. Williamson, was established February 20, 1802 and named for Captain Charles Williamson the land agent originally selected to develop the land. which was part of the Phelps-Gorham purchase. In 1806, the settlement now known as Pultneyville was developed by Jacob Hallet a land agent for the “Pulteney Estate”.

Located in the historic district in the hamlet of Pultnyville, the Society owns and manages 3 properties: the Society house at 4130 Mill Street, Centennial Park in the center of Pultneyville and Gates Hall across the street from the park. Gates Hall, built in 1825 by the community has been the venue for many historic events, including talks on religion, slavery, and women’s rights as well as preparing supplies for the Civil War. Used for 150 years of theater and known as the second littlest theater in the United States, it is on the national register of historic places.

War of 1812 Peace Garden

Peace Gardens are dedicated at historic sites in the Great Lakes region of the United States and Canada. War of 1812 Bicentennial Peace Gardens celebrate the two hundred years of peace and longstanding friendship between the two countries that share the world’s longest undefended boarder. Visit the Pultneyville Bicentennial War of 1812 Peace Garden, dedicated in 2012, as an Honorary International Peace Garden. Situated on the grounds of the Williamson-Pultneyville Historical Society, at 4130 Mill Street in Pultneyville, it has a view of the hamlet and the charming harbor on Lake Ontario just across the street.

Walk among approximately 1,000 square feet of trees, bushes, and plantings of ferns, hosta, daylilies, peonies, rhododendrons and other shrubs and perennials. The sunny garden has many perennials that provide continuous bloom throughout the growing season including beautiful roses, hydrangea, astilbe, daylilies, foxglove, sweet william, phlox and more. Also integrated throughout are mature trees including magnolia, pear, Italian chestnut, maples, and oak. Take a walk down one of the two stone paths which go through the garden that has benches for relaxing and enjoying the view of an old capstan from a ship that sailed out of Pultneyville .

Local restaurants and restroom facilities are available.


To start tour Get the Map

To start tour Get the Map

Featured Exhibits

Hours: Friday, Saturday, Sunday 1:00 PM to 4:PM from 3rd weekend in June through Columbus day and by appointment.

Captain Throop

Horatio Nelson Throop, pictured above with his dog Jeppa, is believed to be the first person born in Pultneyville. His father, Samuel, was a seasoned saltwater sailor and Horatio carried on the family tradition as ship builder and captain of both schooners and steamships. Throop experimented with wind driven machinery and screw propellers in the 1830’s.

The exhibit displays prototypes he made for his experiments, half hull models of his ships and cabin doors that saved his life when his ship Sophia sunk in 1827. Captain Throop was also an active participant in the Underground Railroad transporting fugitive slaves from Pultneyville to Canada. The Magic, completed in the 1880’s and shown below was Throop’s last ship.

St. Peter

In 1898, the three-masted lake schooner St. Peter sank on a dark and stormy night coming to her final resting place in 110′ of water off Fairbanks Point near Pultneyville, NY. Captain Griffin set sail for Toledo, Ohio reaching almost to the Niagara River when a fierce storm was encountered. Griffin tried unsuccessfully to outrun the storm by turning his boat about and running back down the lake in an easterly direction. All hands including Griffin’s wife were lost except for Griffin.

Seventy-three years later, the St.Peter was located by a local scuba diver and from 1971 through 1974 many diving expeditions were completed resulting in retrieval of well preserved artifacts from the schooner. This exhibit, accompanied by an under water videotape of the ship, displays artifacts retrieved from diving expeditions. New York State has designated the Society permanent custodian of St. Peter’s artifacts.

Additional Exhibits

Our Business Partners

Click on logo to be forwarded to their web site


(Tax Deductible)

Basic Memberships

The Society offers four basic membership levels depending on the level of support one chooses: Friend, Patron, Sustainer, and Benefactor.

All basic levels of membership have the following benefits: 6 newsletters per year, free programs and exhibits. Sustainers will also receive 2 free Gatesinger Play tickets and Benefactors will have one complimentary use of Gates Hall per year approved by the Society.

Membership dues cover the period from January 1st to December 31st each year.  

If paying by check click 2022 W-PHS Membership Form to down load the form.

Business Memberships

The Society also offers two business membership levels: Business Friend and Business Benefactor. All business categories receive 6 newsletters per year, free programs and exhibits, business card advertising in newsletters, listing on the Society’s website and a Business Member window cling. Business Benefactors will have one complimentary use of Gates Hall per year approved by the Society.

Membership dues cover the period from January 1st to December 31st each year.  

If paying by check click here to download 2022 Membership Form.

You may join or re-new on-line below:

Level Price Join Renew
Basic Membership – Friend $25.00 Join W-PHS Renew Now
Basic Membership – Patron $50.00 Join W-PHS Renew Now
Basic Membership – Sustainer $100.00 Join W-PHS Renew Now
Basic Membership – Benefactor $250.00 Join W-PHS Renew Now
Business Membership – Friend $75.00 Join W-PHS Renew Now
Business Membership – Benefactor $250.00 Join W-PHS Renew Now


Contributions to defray the many costs associated with the maintenance and improvements of the Williamson-Pultneyville Historical Society (W-PHS) home at 4130 Mill Street, Gates Hall and Centennial Park are always welcome. Thank you in advance for your continued support of W-PHS efforts to preserve these historically significant properties.

Donate Now

Unlike other Societies of our size who frequently have paid staff, all functions of the Williamson-Pultneyville Historical Society are carried out by members who volunteer their time and talent. The Board of Trustees, consisting of the Society’s officers and committee chairs meets monthly to review and plan activities. The committee structure within the Society provides the organizational “arms and legs” to accomplish meeting the Society’s goals each year.

Become a member


Volunteering for the Society…And Having Fun Doing It!

Contact Us

Williamson Pultneyville Historical Society
4130 Mill Street, PO Box 92, Pultneyville, NY, 14538. Telephone (315) 589-9892

Hours: Friday, Saturday, Sunday 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM from 3rd weekend in June through Columbus Day weekend.