Rose O'Keefe, Author


Specializing in Western New York and the Frederick Douglass family history




Why I Write

“Researching western New York and Frederick Douglass' family 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.”

Where I'm From

What I Wrote

Rose O'Keefe grew up in the suburbs of New York City. After graduating from SUNY Potsdam during the Vietnam years, Rose moved to Rochester, New York, and discovered the beauty of the Genesee River Valley and Finger Lakes region on camping outings with family and friends. (She laughs now when people call Albany "Upstate.")


Since then, she has become an expert on western New York history and has a special interest in the Frederick Douglass family history when they were in Rochester from 1847-1872. She has enjoyed presenting slide shows on Rochester's South Wedge, the southeast side of the city, the Douglass family, and most recently, a broader look at the greater Genesee Valley in western New York.

Author, Special Delivery: From One Stop to Another on the Underground Railroad, 2014

Author, Frederick and Anna Douglass in Rochester, NY: Their Home Was Open To All, 2013

Speaker, Rochester Brainery, 2013

Contributor, South Wedge Quarterly, 2012-13

Organizer, history lecture series, 2011

Author, Historic Genesee Country, 2010

Author, Southeast Rochester, 2006

Author, Rochester's South Wedge, 2005

Regional History Fair, 2005-2010

South Wedge History Club, 2003-2007

Editor, The Wedge (circ. 7,000, 1996-2006

Slide Shows: “An Armchair Tour of Genesee Country: 1142 to 1872”; “The Douglass Family's Years in Rochester”; “Southeast Rochester”; and “Rochester's South Wedge”.

What I've Done
What I Belong To





Neighborhood Organizer



B.A. S.U.N.Y. Potsdam, liberal arts, major in studio art; minor in dance


Ongoing: writing courses and workshops for children and adult writers; training in complementary health alternatives

Toast Masters International, ACS CL 2008-2014

B.A.S.W.A., business association 2006-2014

Rochester Sector 6 neighborhood 2005-2014

Friends of Ganondagan 2005-2014

Friends of the Rochester Public Library 2009-2014

History Buffs Buffet 2008-2014

New Society of the Genesee 2008-2014

Rochester Historical Society 2012-2014

Roch. Assoc. of Children's Writers & Illustrators 2002-2014

Society of Childrens’ Writers & Illustrators 2012-2014

Whistle Stop Writers, writing group 1992-2014

© 2020 Rose O'Keefe

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