Finger Lakes rich with women's rights history
09:58 PM, Oct 06, 2013
Those attending the induction festivities at the National Women’s Hall of Fame Oct. 12 to 14 won’t have to look far to delve further into women’s history and impact on the world.
In addition to the Hall, Seneca County is home to the Women in Industry exhibit and life-size statue of Elizabeth Cady Stanton at the Seneca Falls Visitor Center at 89 Fall St.; the Frank J. Ludovico Sculpture Trail along the Cayuga-Seneca Canal; and The Women’s Rights National Historical Park, composed of three Seneca Falls sites (and closed as part of the partial government shutdown).
Park Visitor Center, 136 Fall St. Watch the film Dreams of Equality, peruse the second-floor exhibits and take home a lasting mental image: the lobby’s centerpiece, a cluster of bronze life-size statues of the five principals of the first Women’s Rights Convention and some of the men who supported their efforts.
Waterwall. Adjacent to the visitor center is the 100-foot-long bluestone Waterwall, inscribed with the Declaration of Sentiments and its signers’ names; Declaration Park, with outdoor seating; and Wesleyan Chapel.
Wesleyan Chapel. See the 1843 building that housed the first Women’s Rights Convention. Very little of the original structure remains, but the exhibits tell the history of a site that was used for antislavery activity, rallies and free speech events.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton House, 32 Washington St. Learn about this suffragist, whose father deeded her the large farm in 1847. She and her growing family of seven children lived there until 1862.
The M’Clintock House, 14 E. Williams St. See this station on the Underground Railroad, where Philadelphia social activists Thomas and Mary Ann M’Clintock and their five children lived for 20 years. Mary Ann M’Clintock helped draft the Declaration of Sentiments.
The Hunt House, 401 E. Main St. Visit the former home of Richard Hunt and his wife, Jane Hunt, another key figure at the first convention.
Beyond Seneca County
The New York State’s Women’s Heritage Trail runs east from the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Museum in Jamestown to the Alice Austen House Museum in Staten Island. Its western/central New York features include:
The National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House, 17-19 Madison St., Rochester. Exhibits depict the life of the civil rights leader. The house served as the headquarters of the National American Woman Suffrage Association after she became its president in 1892.
The Letchworth Museum and Council Grounds in Castile. Features the story and gravesite of Mary Jemison, who was captured by the Seneca Indians as a teenager and chose to remain with them.
The Howland Stone Store Museum, 2956 Route 34B, Aurora. The home of educator and Quaker abolitionist Emily Howland, who built a school in Sherwood and founded and supported more than 30 schools for emancipated blacks.
Harriet Tubman Home, 180 South St., Auburn. This is where the “Moses of Her People” lived on land sold to her by her friend, then-U.S. Sen. William Seward. Tubman is known for leading many slaves to freedom along the Underground Railroad. She also worked as a spy and nurse during the Civil War.
Matilda Joslyn Gage Home, 210 E. Genesee St., Fayetteville. This museum commemorates the contributions of this often-overlooked suffragist and abolitionist, with various rooms focusing on women’s rights, the Underground Railroad, religious freedom and the Haudenosaunee Indians.