The society was founded in 1947 "to collect local historical data, to diffuse the knowledge of local history, and to promote... the (1948) centenary of the incorporation of Corning as a village." It began immediately collecting information about the community's past. Visitors can tour the first tavern in the Lands of the Painted Post. The Williamson Road, now known as Route 15, along with the Chemung River was the frontier highway. These two routes of travel allowed people to come to this region to buy land from the Pulteney Estate. The Pattersons welcomed the weary travelers with a place to sleep and a hot meal.