Browse Exhibits (15 total)

The Sibley and Watson Families and Rochester’s Homeopathic Hospital


Prominent Rochester families were loyal patients of homeopathic physicians and actively supported their efforts to open a hospital. Among them were Hiram and Elizabeth Sibley and Don Alonzo and Caroline Watson, and their children and grandchildren. Over time, at least three generations of family members provided funds and leadership for the Homeopathic Hospital, later known as Genesee Hospital.

J.G. Averell


Who was J. G. Averell? Emily Sibley Watson's son by her first marriage was born in 1877.  He was a student at Rochester's Fort Hill School, then at St. Paul's School in Concord, N.H., finishing at Harvard University.  Following his graduation in 1899, he returned to Rochester and worked intermittently in the architectural firm of Bragdon and Hillman. A course of advanced study in architecture at Harvard was followed by a European tour and then a position with Herbert D. Hale's Boston-based architecture firm.

Through cables, letters and photographs sent to his parents from 1877 to shortly before his untimely death in 1904, we come to know the young man in whose memory the Memorial Art Gallery was founded.

An All-Around Athlete


J.G. Averell was a gifted amateur athlete, who played tennis, golf, and polo competitively, as well as racing his yacht Veritas on the Great Lakes. His step-father, James Sibley Watson, Sr., was an avid sportsman, who undoubtedly encouraged J.G.’s athletic tendencies.  

At both St. Paul’s School (SPS) and Harvard, sports were encouraged.  Cricket and crew were normal student sports at SPS.

The Journeys of James Sibley Watson 1878-1889


An avid hunter and sportsman, James Sibley Watson travelled across the United States in search of adventure beginning at age 18 in 1878. Diaries, letters and photographs from multiple repositories help to document his travels.

The Journeys of Emily Sibley 1865-1890


Emily Sibley's journeys began at age 10, when her family travelled to Europe while her father, Hiram Sibley, negotiated with the Tsar for a telegraph cable crossing the Bering Strait.

10 years later, she documents meeting her first husband, Isaac Averell, and the travels during their courtship.

Between 1883 and 1890, we document her travels in the aftermath of her separation from Isaac, and the slow blooming of her romance with James Sibley Watson.