House Tours


GHS Address

strong museum

November 18, 2019

The November speaker will be Christopher Bensch, Vice President for Collections at the Strong Museum, will be presenting a program entitled “Evolving a Dream: From Margaret Woodbury Strong to the Strong Museum.

Steps The Gates Historical Society is trying to raise an additional $500 to fix the front steps.
Swearing In 2019

Election 2019

On Mon., June 17, 2019, the Gates Historical Society held its annual meeting and elections of Board members and officers. This year, it was a potluck dinner before the meeting at the Gates Town Hall.

GHS News Fall 2019 Newsletter

Check out our Fall 2019 Newsletter!


Seeking Docents to Give House Tours

It’s not quite central Downtown Brooklyn, Vinegar Hill or Fort Greene, but this quirky little house deserves love.  Call 585-464-9740 for more information or to volunteer.





William S. Hinchey, a town pioneer for whom Hinchey Road is named, settled south of Gates Center circa 1810 on a farm near the present day intersection of Hinchey and Howard Road. His son, Franklin [1828-1912] built the family homestead in the 1870s. It stands today as the only structure in Gates listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Hinchey family was active in the Town of Gates through the late 1800s and early 1900s and introduced the Holstein breed of dairy cattle to the Town.

The homestead remained in the family until after the death of Harmon Hinchey in 1998. In 2002, Wolcott T. Hinchey sold the house and the remaining barn on the three-acre site to the Gates Historical Society. The Society transferred ownership of the property to the Town of Gates in May 2004 following the town’s acquisition of a federal grant from the Save America’s Treasurers program and a state great from the New York State Parks, Historical Preservation and Recreation Department.

Today, the Gates Historical Society operates the homestead as a historic site and passive park through a long-term agreement with the Gates Town Board.

With modifications only for electricity and water service, the homestead remains virtually untouched since the pioneer days. This is what makes this structure so unique. The interior has never been remodeled or changed. Visitors to the home today can still see the intricate woodworking details that were highlights of the craftsmanship of the day. All of the rooms are just as they were, including the hand-operated water pump in the kitchen, the indoor two seat privy, and the attic cistern that provided an early version of running water.

Original and period furnishings, the gift of Wolcott Hinchey, remain in each room. The period of significance for the house is 1870-1910.

John Bero, a Rochester historic preservation architect, and his firm, have completed studies that list renovation projects and costs needed to restore the homestead. The Society plans an annual fundraising campaign called ‘Gift from the Heart’ every February.

A brief history of the Hinchey Homestead updated January 2019 from the original 2007 history by Susan Swanton, Secretary, Gates Historical Society