September 26, 2003

Seneca Falls

Got up at a reasonable hour and made our way to the Women's Rights National Historical Park, which was just a block away from our hotel. The Park is on the site of a Wesleyan Methodist chapel that was the venue for the first convention for women's rights on July 19 and 20, 1848. Waterwall version of DeclarationThe convention drafted and adopted a Declaration of Sentiment modeled after the Declaration of Independence in an attempt to jumpstart a women's rights movement. With the help of well-known attendees like Lucretia Mott and Frederic Douglass, they were successful in starting a movement even if the attainment of most of their goals was still decades and decades away. In fact, only two of the signers of the Declaration lived to see the passage of the 19th amendment to the Constitution which finally gave women full voting rights in 1920.

Wesleyan ChapelThe park preserves the shell of the old church where that first convention took place, and has an extensive interpretive display in an adjacent building. We arrived just in time to hear a park staff member give a very interesting talk about that first convention. There was a guided tour of the Elizabeth Cady Stanton house as well, but we skipped that in preference to spending some time exploring the displays.Becky as President

After the National Park we also went to the Seneca Museum of Waterways and Industry, a free museum with interesting displays about local industry. The town of Seneca Falls doesn't actually have a falls anymore, but it once did, and the museum has a series of dioramas that show where they went. They had a display of old tools on the bottom floor. There was nothing especially rare, but nice examples of broad axes and planes and other tools of the woodworking trade. One amusing mislabelling was on an Emmert Pattern Maker's Vise which was tagged as an "Inert Pattern Maker's Vise". The middle floor had an extensive display on the history of the Sylvania company, which had a manufacturing plant in the city up until 1985 for the production of glass tubes for aerospace and defense electronic display devices.

We grabbed some snacks at Pantusi's Bakery, then headed out of town.

We were getting a little worried about covering all the rest of the territory we were planning on for this trip, and thinking that we'd better work on getting the heck out of New York, we consulted our map. The only problem with that plan was that we still hadn't visited Lake Ontario, one of our must-see sights. We plotted a course that would take us up to Oswego for a quick visit to Great Lake #5, then head east from there, skirting Syracuse (for no particular reason but expediency) and heading back to the thruway for a quick jaunt towards the eastern Adirondacks.

This plan was quickly put into motion and after a quick stop in Oswego for provisions we soon found ourselves at Selkirk Shores State Park. There was a posted $7 day use fee, but no one to collect it so we proceeded to the "beach" despite the sign that declared it closed! The beach was a rocky one, and was populated by a number of salmon fishermen. Again, despite signs warning against wading, Becky dipped her feet into their fifth and final Great Lake. Lake OntarioIt was by far the least welcoming of the Great Lakes we have visited, though it's probably not fair to blame the whole body of water for the shortcomings of one short stretch of its shoreline.

Against a steady stream of salmon fishermen swimming upstate, we drove south back to I-90 where we buzzed out to Amsterdam and from there by a diagonal route to highway 87 which we followed north to South Glens Falls, NY and the friendly and feature-rich Landmark Motel whose telephone line I've been using continuously since shortly after we arrived in our large room.

Tomorrow, into Vermont.

Posted by jeffy at September 26, 2003 10:25 PM

I'd vote for that president!

Hey, if it's possible, could you include a picture of a map of where you travelled each day? I'm too lazy to look up all the places that you mention...

Posted by: rachel at September 26, 2003 11:46 PM
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