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Historical portrait of Joseph Thayer Sr. to be exhibited at Oliver House Museum

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

A historical portrait of Joseph Thayer Sr., which belongs to the Yates County History Center (YCHC), will soon be available for public viewing at the Oliver House Museum following extensive conservation efforts. This portrait is a significant piece in YCHC’s collection, representing one of three paintings of the Thayer family, prominent figures from Barrington. The funding provided by the Greater Hudson Heritage Network has enabled the conservation of this portrait, along with another depicting Thayer Sr.’s wife, Samantha, and his son, Joseph Thayer Jr.


The meticulous conservation process was undertaken by Klara Zold, based in Corning. The endeavor received substantial support through the NYSCA/GHHN Conservation Treatment Program, facilitated by Greater Hudson Heritage Network, with contributions from the New York State Council on the Arts, the Office of the Governor, and the New York State Legislature. This initiative reflects a broader commitment to preserving and showcasing state heritage and historical art pieces.

The artworks, donated by Ann Hallock, a descendant of the Thayer family, offer a glimpse into the lives of Joseph Sr., a former undersheriff of Yates County and a grocer, and Joseph Jr., who served as a guard at Elmira Prison during the Civil War. Dating back to approximately 1850, the newly conserved portrait of Joseph Thayer Sr. is set to attract both locals and history enthusiasts, enriching the community’s connection to its historical roots.