Hair Wreath.

Hair-Wreath 10-28-20

This item is a Hair Wreath. Originally, hair wreaths were made from the hair of deceased loved ones as an honor and remembrance, and the strands placed at the center. As another family member died, their hair would be placed into the center, and the previous lock would be moved to the outside. Hair is one of the most unique and personal mementos people can give of themselves. Although taking hair and weaving it into memorial pieces has been done for hundreds of years as a way to remember a loved one, it was the Victorians who took the idea and crafted it into an art form. The Victorians had elaborate customs for any life event encountered; but this is one tradition that could take different shapes and forms. Hair jewelry allowed Victorians to carry a part of their loved ones with them in the form of bracelets, rings, brooches, watch fobs, even buttons: It was similar to putting a piece of hair in a locket. Hair from a deceased family member was usually made into a mourning wreath for remembrance. A mourning wreath could be made up of one member’s hair or a composite of an entire family. As family members died, hair was saved in a “hair receiver.” When enough was accumulated, the hair was fashioned into flowers and leaves by twisting and sewing it around shaped wire forms. The open-end at the top of the wreath symbolized the deceased’s ascent to heaven. Wreaths were then placed in shadow boxes and displayed with the open end up, like a horseshoe.


Mary's Room


3rd Floor Hallway

This room is the room of Mary Merrigan the maid that lived in the house and took care of the six Becker children. Her room is quite lovely with two stained glass windows and her own bathroom.

Mary was brought from Ireland to take care of the family. She lived here until she had to go into a nursing facility because of dementia. One evening the family was in the Mansion sleeping and Mary appeared at the bottom of their bed. Mary was in the nursing home and they didn’t know why she was at the mansion, so they called the nursing home and said, “Did you know Mary left the nursing home and is here with us?”, they told them that Mary had died an hour before that.

There is another story that an employee while working heard loud noises coming from the third floor. She called her brother because she was scared. He came with a recorder and went to the third floor where Mary’s room was. He opened Mary’s bedroom door and turned the recorder on to tape through the night and see if they could hear anything.


In the morning when they came back, they listened to the recorder and heard a woman say with an accent, “Excuse me, you just hit me with the door”. When they opened her door the day before Mary must have been behind the door, so they say…..The employee quit her job that day. Other employees have heard dishes clanging in the kitchen on various times and no one is in there.

This is a picture of one of the Hallways on the Third Floor going into the children’s playroom. The Wall features pictures of graduates from St. Pat’s School and Mynderse Academy dating back to late 1800. Several people stop here to glance at the pictures and find out what year one of their late family members graduated.

There is a story of this Hallway that visitors where looking at the pictures and they saw a couple with old clothing on looking at the pictures. They came downstairs to tell the director how nice it was to see people come here dressed up from back in the day many years ago. The director said that no one else was in the house but them and her.

Visit us at the Becker Mansion Monday through Friday and get a tour of the three floors and see how you fall in love with the home.



Creepy Doll
(One of Many)


3 Panelled Stained Glass Windows

This is one of many dolls that were at the Becker Mansion when it was purchased. This could have been a doll that the Becker family children played with at one time. We have a room full of just Dolls at the house. Some say they look creepy and when they walk by this room they move rather quickly., it just freaks out the visitors.

But, a doll is a figure of a human being (or sometimes of an animal) used most often as a children’s toy, in magic and religious rituals. There are documents that prove that dolls were use in Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. They were made from materials that were available like clay, stone, wood, bone, ivory, leather or wax… There is also archaeological evidence that dolls were oldest known toys. Porcelain doll (or so-called bisque doll) is a doll that is wholly or partially made out of bisque porcelain, a type of porcelain that is unglazed and matte. Bisque dolls were the most popular from 1860 to 1900 in France and Germany and became fashionable after china dolls who have glazed texture.


The head of the doll is always made from bisque but body is made of cloth, leather, wood (with joints), papier-mâché or composition, which is a material made of pulp, sawdust, glue, cornstarch, resin and wood flour. Eyes of dolls are made of glass. Head is painted in many layers in order to get skin tones and facial expressions. Through the 18th and 19th century, dressing up dolls gave little girls the opportunity to learn to sew or knit.

These stained glass windows are one of 19 stained glass windows in the Becker Mansion. The windows were put in when Ellen Partridge renovated the Mansion from 1880-1891. The windows represent, The Morning Dove, The Afternoon Peacock and The Evening Bat. They are spectacular to see in person. We have had many people take pictures and just are mesmerized by the windows. One of the prettiest of all the 19 stained glass windows in the mansion.,



Grace Woodworth's Camera


Children's Room

In the center of the room you see the large camera. This was owned by Grace Adelle Woodworth. Grace Adelle Woodworth was born in Seneca Falls on March 17,1872 and died in 1967. She attended Mynderse Academy where she graduated in 1890. Photography came naturally to Woodwoth. She first worked for a photographer in Batavia doing retouching work. Other photographers loved her work. At 25 she started her own studio in Union Springs. At the time woman were rarely seen as a photographer. She carried her camera and equipment everywhere she went. In 1899 Grace bought the Rochester photography gallery on main st. She took several photos of children and woman. In 1911 she moved back to Seneca Falls.


Grace Woodworths most famous photographs were from her 1905 series of suffragist Susan B. Anthony and Anthony’s sister, Mar.y Woodworth was commissioned by the Rochester Political Equality Club to photograph the Anthony sisters. These photos celebrated Susan B. Anthony’s 85th Birthday. We have a picture of Susan B. Anthony at the Mansion that Woodworth took.

Stop by the Mansion to see the camera and picture of Grace Woodworth.

This photo is the children’s room on the third floor of the Becker Mansion. You can see various toys that the children played with. Some of the toys included are: Dolls, Tidley winks, Kitchen sets and tea sets, Rocking Horses(made with real horse hair) and a large hand made Doll House representing the Becker Mansion.

It has one of the most beautiful stained glass panels in the Mansion and a perfect replica dolls house of the Mansion itself.

The children’s bedrooms resided on the third floor with the maid and this made it convenient for the kids to play. It is a beautiful room that includes a stage where the children often performed for their parents.



Catherine Becker Bedroom


White House Tea Set

This bedroom, is where Mrs. Catherine Becker resided every evening. Mrs. Becker was the wife of Mr. Norman Becker a local banker in Seneca Falls. Together they had six children. The room has a gorgeous view of the yard and the sunlight coming through the windows in the morning is fabulous. It’s one of our favorite rooms of the house. You can see her attire was laid out for her to wear most likely by her maid. An Elegant, high-ceilinged room was found here in the bedroom and throughout the mansion. A beautiful fireplace is at the far end of the room. You can imagine it would take quite the fire to keep that room warm and many of the rooms in the winter. Adjoining Mrs. Becker’s bedroom is her own dressing room and bathroom. The rug that is under the bed dates back to 1890’s.

Mrs Becker Bedroom

This Tea Set is called the “White House Tea Set“. This tea set is in our drawing room of the mansion. The tea set on the tea table was used in the White House. The set was purchased by James Monroe (1817-1825) for the White House from France and was used until the 1860’s when Mary Lincoln decided that she wanted a new tea set. This set was given to Secretary of State William Seward, who happened to be a very good friend of Judge Garry V. Sackett here in Seneca Falls. The tea set was given to the Seneca Falls Historical Society by descendants of Judge Sackett.

The White House has asked for the set to be returned but so far we still have it on display..

White House Tea set


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