Art credit above: Maria Friske Mural Titled Always Know Your Neighbor

Rose O'Keefe

Rose O'Keefe grew up near New York City, with four years in France as a girl. After she graduated from SUNY Potsdam she moved to Rochester, New York. The beauty of the Genesee River Valley and Finger Lakes’ led her to its fascinating history. From living in Rochester’s South Wedge, she learned about Frederick and Anna Douglass’ family life in Rochester from 1847-1872 and is now the author of five history books. She joined Toastmasters in 2008 and gives presentations on the Douglass family, Mount Hope Cemetery notables, and Genesee Valley history.


Researching this area’s history is like diving into a bottomless well full of rocks and rainbows. Some of the history is very painful and some of it is truly inspiring. I think it’s important that people who may have been rivals or enemies in the past learn to get along in the present. I definitely believe in “United We Stand.

Read More