Downtime: SENECA FALLS
By Francesca Merced
It’s a wonderful life in Seneca Falls. At least, rumor has it that it was the inspiration for Frank Capra’s holiday film “It’s A Wonderful Life.” While movie buffs may delight in that little trivia tidbit, the factual legacy of Seneca Falls as the sight for the historic Women’s Right Convention (Seneca Falls Convention) is even more powerful than even Hollywood could imagine.
Over the past few years, Seneca Falls has become an increasingly popular tourist attraction, and that’s why, in celebration of Women’s History Month, I’m recommending a quick trip to one of the most historically relevant spots for women in the U.S.
Smack dab in the center of New York state, Seneca Falls offers visits a lush, beautiful landscape, amazing canals and waterfront docking facilities, and incredible historic sites like the Women’s Rights National Historical Park and the National Women’s Hall of Fame.
On July 19 and 20, 1848 the first Convention on Women’s Rights was held at the Wesleyan Chapel on Fall Street in Seneca Falls. Organized by Jane Hunt, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Mary Ann M’Clintock and others, it was the birth of the Women’s Rights Movement.
On the second day of the convention, activist Elizabeth Cady Stanton famously uttered these words: “”Our right to be free as man is free, to be represented in the government which we are taxed to support, to have such disgraceful laws as give man the power to chastise and imprison his wife, to take the wages which she earns, the property which she inherits, and, in case of separation, the children of her love; laws which make her the mere dependent on his bounty.”
At the park, you can enjoy a guided tour to learn more about the Convention and you’ll learn why Seneca Falls was selected as the location for the first Women’s Rights Convention in the first place. You’ll also get a chance to take a peek inside the Elizabeth Cady Stanton House.
The National Women’s Hall of Fame offers a bevy of information and celebrates the accomplishments and legacies of extraordinary women like aviators Bessie Coleman and Amelia Earhart, writer Gwendolyn Brooks and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, to name just a few.
In addition to the historical sites Seneca Falls has to offer, there are more than 70 wineries located in the Finger Lakes Region surrounding the tow, which means wine tasting and tours are must-do activities while you’re there!
The Finger Lakes Region wineries offer some of the best wine in the world, so pack some comfy shoes and take your time visiting as many of the winery trails as possible!.
One of my absolute faves is the Seneca Lake Wine trail which boasts more than 30 wineries, alone! You can sip award-winning Chardonnay and Pinot Gris at the Prejean Winery from their deck overlooking Seneca Lake. Or, pack a picnic lunch and enjoy a wonderful dry or sweet Riesling over at the Atwater Estates
As you take in the countryside and its incredible scenery, you’ll be glad you took time out to come to Seneca Falls – where you’ll literally step back in time and into the heart of women’s history.
Women’s Rights National Historic Park
National Women’s Hall of Fame:
76 Fall Street
POST OFFICE Box 335
Seneca Falls, NY 13148