The Genoa Historical Association was formed in 1987 with the purpose of preserving the history of the Town of Genoa (formed as the Town of Milton in 1789).
In 1989 a one room schoolhouse was renovated and moved to the current site of the Rural Life Museum, home to the Genoa Historical Association. The facility currently houses a meeting room, records and research room, informational one room schoolhouse, 1810 threshing barn and a replica outhouse constructed by local members.
Since its inception, the museum has provided opportunities for elementary, middle school and high school student tours and research. Group tours, genealogy research, historical presenters, speakers on topics of local interests, authors, musicians and artists are regular activities. Memory chats of local areas and businesses are popular programs for the older residents as are boat tours on Cayuga Lake that focus on the past, present and future preservation of the lake.
The Genoa Historical Association also maintains contact with other Cayuga County Historians through the History Coalition of Cayuga County (H3C) and works to cooperatively join forces to bring history to the area on a county level.