Every Thursday we have our very popular ‘Throwback Thursday‘, were we will post nostalgic pictures and information – from a different time of Seneca Falls. Many of the posts will reflect positive moments, or the ever changing history of Seneca Falls. We hope you enjoy our lookback and look forward to your comments.

January 20, 2022

Three Generations.

This picture represents three generations of the Seabury Smith Gould Family here in Seneca Falls, NY

Seabury Smith Gould II, III and IV. All gentlemen where associated with Gould Pumps.

Visit the Seneca Falls Historical Society Monday – Friday from 9 am – 4 pm for research or tours which start at 10 am and the last tour goes out at 3 pm.


January 13, 2022

January 13, 2022

George B. Davis
Drug Store.

This old photo is the George B. Davis Drug Store. This Drug Store was at 75 Falls Street. Picture taken on December 13, 1899.

LS Hoskins & Son

There were several Industries in Seneca Falls back in the day!
This is one example of a Industry called LS Hoskins & Son located at 72 Fall Street in Seneca Falls. At this company they sold Thomson’s Glove Fitting, “The Corset”. The genuine Thomson’s Glove Fitting Corsets are noted for simplicity in construction and design. They adapt themselves to all figures, giving a perfect and comfortable fit to the wearer. Corsets were worn by women – and sometimes men – in the Western world from the 16th to the early 20th century, although corset-like garments can be traced as far back as 1600 BC. .. Corsets helped shape the body into distinctive silhouettes, from the hourglass shape popular in the 1800s to the “S” figure of the 1900s. It has evolved esthetically and symbolically: from underwear to outerwear (in late 19th century ball gowns), from corsets to bustiers, from constriction to power, from lingerie to armour. The corset expresses contradictory messages: constriction and freedom, dominance and submission, femininity and power.

Here at the Seneca Falls Historical Society we have one of the Corsets on Display in our Industry Room on the third floor. If you would like to see this you can come in for a tour Monday – Friday, tours start at 10 am and go continue every hour when the last tour goes out at 3 pm.


December 30th, 2021

The Collapse of the Desky Building.

The Collapse of the Desky Building
The Entire Structure in Ruins.

At about 10:30 Sunday morning On March 23, 1902 the three-story brick structure on the south side of fall street, know as the Desky building, collapsed and with a loud crash fell down the bank. the building was occupied on the west by the Stowell bargain house, owned by Leroy e. Nelson, the rest of the building being leased by M. E. Hanlin, who conducted a hotel, the bar and billiard rooms being on the ground floor. The second and third floors of the building were used for dining and sleeping rooms. At the time of the accident there were in the building, Marvin Hulbert and J. H. Van Houten, whose rooms were on the third story, over the west store. Miss Anna Wilson, who did the cooking, was on the second floor, while in the room back of the bar was Mr. Hanlin and two or three callers. The first initiating of anything wrong was a peculiar cracking noise, and Mr. Hanlin, who was near the door than the others, turned and saw the floor giving way. He shouted to them to run for their lives, and all started for the street, which they succeeded in reaching in safety, but not an instant too soon, the entire side of the building having completely disappeared almost before they had reached the middle of the street.

This is an article that was written in the Reveille Newspaper back in 1902. The full article is here at the Historical Society if anyone would like to read it.


December 16th, 2021

December 23th, 2021

Florentine Hotel.

This old photo is of the Florentine Hotel at 13 East Elisha Street in Waterloo , NY 13165. What a great front porch!

Does anyone remember this Hotel? Is the structure still there and maybe a house now?

If you would like to visit the Seneca Falls Historical Society we are open Monday – Friday for tours starting at 10 am and last tour goes out at 3 pm.

Unknown School.

This is a great picture of school kids back in the day. Not sure what school this photo would have been taken at or what year it was taken. Just thought it was a great photo. Do you recognize anyone?

If you would like to visit the Seneca Falls Historical Society we are open Monday – Friday for tours starting at 10 am and last tour goes out at 3 pm.


December 2nd, 2021

December 9th, 2021

New 3rd Ward School Building 1935.

This is a photo of the New 3rd Ward School Building being constructed on August 14, 1935.

If you would like to visit the Seneca Falls Historical Society we are open Monday – Friday for tours starting at 10 am and last tour goes out at 3 pm.

Cobblestone School.

This is the Cobblestone School south of Tyre. Does anyone remember this school? Is it still there?

Elizabeth Burns was the Teacher there.

If you would like to visit the Seneca Falls Historical Society we are open Monday – Friday for tours starting at 10 am and last tour goes out at 3 pm.


November 18th, 2021

November 25th, 2021

Mrs. Millers Kindergarten Class 1934/35

Old photo of Mrs. Millers Kindergarten Class 1934/35. Do you recognize anyone in the photo? There are quite a few names I remember, how about you?

If you would like to visit the Seneca Falls Historical Society we are open Monday – Friday for tours starting at 10 am and last tour goes out at 3 pm.

Rothenbergs Restaurant.

This is Rothenbergs Restaurant. Owner was Frank Rothenberg. Year was 1935. This was on west side of lake road in Waterloo , NY. Anyone remember this?

The Historical Society is open Monday – Friday 9 am – 4pm. Tours start at 10 am and last tour goes out at 3 pm.


November 11th, 2021

November 4th, 2021

(Rear of Photograph text)

St. Patrick's School

We have a picture we believe to be of St. Patrick’s School in 1922. The names are on the sheet so you can see whom everyone is. Do you know any of these people? Do you know whom the teacher is in the center? Let us know!

If you would like to visit the Historical Society and take a tour we are open Monday – Friday from 9:00 am – 4pm. Tours start at 10 am and last tour goes out at 3 pm.

Halstead Canning Co. Inc.

Featured picture for today is the Halstead Canning Co. Inc. , Clinton Street, Interlaken New York. This picture is dated back to 5/22/47. Does anyone remember this? Any stories for us?

If you would like to visit the Historical Society we are open Monday – Friday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Tours start at 10:00 am and last tour leaves at 3 pm.


October, 21st 2021

October, 21st 2021

The Hunt House.

This is the “Hunt House” in Waterloo New York, Main Street. This is where Elizabeth Cady Stanton and several other woman gathered t plan the famous Seneca Falls Meeting, which was the Conference of 1848.

This picture is at the turn of the century and wouldn’t have been the original appearance back in 1848 and not with the elegant pillars shown today, which the picture is from 1977.

Lawrence Street.

Lawrence Street in Seneca Falls looking from Dey Street in 1914. The residential area of the Flats, consisting of about fifty dwellings developed along lower Fall Street, Dey Street, Lawrence Street, and Wall Street. Although the population of over a hundred inhabitants was small, it contributed greatly to the progress, education and culture of the community. This photo is of the final year before many buildings were moved in 1914 construction.


October, 14th 2021

October, 7th 2021

Locks Two and Three.

This is a photo in our archives of the Locks two and three Looking East. Looks like construction was going on with worker on top of the locks.

The Franklin House.

Todays Throwback is Franklin House in 1914, Seneca Falls NY.

Gentle men featured in picture are:
Tommy Farron, Ownie MGraw, Ownie Mackin, Bud Nugent, Bill Eggleston, Joe Casey

Does anyone remember this?


September, 30th 2021

September, 23rd 2021

The Rolfe Motor Co. Garage.

This throwback Thursday picture is The Rolfe Motor Co. Garage. This was the address of 95 Fall Street, Seneca Falls, NY. As you can see the old cars here got taken care of in the garage, one is coming in for service and looks like one is leaving. Great picture of the old cars.

Does anyone remember this garage?

The Furnside Hotel.

Here is a Hotel from the past that most of you have probably heard of or remember even being there. The Furnside Hotel in Fayette, NY owned by Merlin C. Rolfe and Edna MacDougal.

Does anyone remember this Hotel?
Any stories?


September, 16th 2021

September, 9th 2021

Vince Cammusso Restaurant.

Today we are featuring a Restaurant owned by Vince Cammusso on 118 Fall Street in 1934.

Does anyone remember what he served here and what his specialty was?

Do you remember going here not only as an adult but as a child?

Grand Army Republic Civil War Vets

This is a picture of the Grand Army Republic, Civil War Vets. One gentleman, James Barton is from Seneca Falls. Picture was taken in Geneva, NY on August 25th, 1921. Does anyone recognize any other men in the photo?

Visit the Historical Society Mon – Fri for a tour. Tours start 10 am and last tour leaves at 3 pm.


September, 2nd 2021

August, 26th 2021

Karapo Farm Restaurant.

This is a Restaurant owned by Pete Tardelli at 4 Cayuga Street in Seneca Falls. We do not know what year. Does anyone remember this Restaurant?
Tell us some stories of what you remember.
Visit the Historical Society for a tour. Tours start at 10:00 am and last tour leaves at 3:00 pm.

Sadly, Tommy would pass away on this date in 1939 due to cancer complications. He was buried in a small mahogany casket lined with white satin and inside was a bronze tube filled with newspaper clippings about his life.

For more information about Tommy Clark and to see his scrapbook, visit the museum Monday through Friday 9am-4pm and take a tour on the hour from 10am-3pm.

Tommy Clark.

Tommy Clark was an alley cat owned by Dr. William L. Clark D.V.M. here in Seneca Falls. He is said to have been born on February 19, 1915. In his later years, Tommy Clark started to have birthday parties, beginning in 1936 until 1939. At his birthday parties, he made sure to have very special menus which included “Meow Soup”, “Catnip Salad,” “Catfish Tongue Appetizer,” and much more. His birthday party in 1938 was attended by around 400 guests and he received telegrams, cards, and letters from out-of-town friends.  The party was held at the Elks Lodge and that night he became an honorary member of the Elks Club.  At his party in 1939, Tommy had 300 guests attend at the Gould Hotel where he also received Felicitations, telegrams, and gifts from around the county. Tommy was made Deputy Sheriff of Seneca County in 1939 and was given proper credentials, a badge, as well as small handcuffs. During that same year he also opened a savings account at the Seneca Falls Savings Bank. Even though Tommy was a very busy cat he still made time to write to the patients at the Seneca Falls Hospital.


August, 19th 2021

August, 12th 2021

Last West Bound Train.

I thought everyone would get a kick out of this picture, since we just had our “Ride The Rails” last week.

This is Dr. Bove and his wife waiting on May 1958 for the last west bound train to arrive.

During and after World War II the company continued to produce thousands of rulers and other measuring instruments. After remaining in family hands for 96 years, the Westcott Rule Co. was sold in 1968 to Acme Shear Company of Bridgeport, Connecticut, manufacturer of shears and medical equipment.

Wescott Ruler Co.

The pictures this week if of Westcott Rule. A Company in Seneca Falls, NY.

The history of school and office products brand Westcott dates back to 1872, when Henry Westcott, together with his two sons Charles and Frank Westcott, started manufacturing wooden furniture used by printers and trellis units in Seneca Falls, New York.

When Henry retired in 1890, the company was renamed Westcott Bros. Co. and expanded into numerous products like toy blocks and other games. When C. E. and M. R. Jewell joined the business in 1894 it was renamed to Westcott-Jewell Company and started concentrating on rulers, made in all sizes and finishes. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Westcott-Jewell Co. employed about a hundred people and its plant was one of the largest of its kind in the United States with a total floor space of 45,000 square feet (4,200 m2). By that time, their products were shipped to all parts of the United States and exported to many different countries.


August, 5th 2021

July, 29th 2021

State Bank.

Who remembers the State Bank in Seneca Falls, right on the corner. Bank is still there today but it is now the Chemung Canal Trust Company at 54 Fall Street.

Did any of your family work there? I remember going in and getting a lollipop with my mother when she was doing her banking. Does anyone remember the president of the bank?

How far back do you remember?

This helped to take peoples’ minds off the depression. They might have looked like cigarette packs, baskets of fruit, a ukulele, a pork chop or even Mickey Mouse. Made of plastic you could purchase them at the dime store and they made people laugh.

World War II gave rise to patriotic buttons, eagles, flags, and stars. England had blackout buttons. Today sadly, even girls don’t collect buttons any more. At one time it was thought if a girl collected 1000 buttons on a button charm she would marry her Prince Charming.

At the Society we have received several donations of buttons and we appreciate every one of them.

Look around your home when you are spring-cleaning. Think of the Historical Society when you come across an interesting button.


Seneca Button Co.

Here is an old photo we had in our archives of the Seneca Button Co. in Seneca Falls, NY.

We had a button-making factory in Seneca Falls. It made “ivory” buttons from the Tagua nut.
When the nut dried out it could be carved as an ivory replica. Humanitarians and environmentalists can both appreciate that its use stimulated the economy in South America, avoided cutting down rain forest for farming, and prevented elephants from being killed for their tusks. The Seneca Falls Button Factory was located on Factory Lane. A later button factory was built when the canal was dredged and widened. Many local women worked at home for the company carding buttons.

The 20th century button still had a few surprises. Roaring Twenties Flappers wore garter buttons. Come the 1930’s novelty buttons were the rage. They came in all shapes and sizes.


July, 22nd 2021

July, 15th 2021

C Supplee Proprietor

This is an old Blacksmith building in Seneca Falls, NY. Hardworking gentlemen seen outside of the building. The building was owned by C. Supplee Proprietor, Carriage & Sleigh Manufacturer Co., one of many industries here in Seneca Falls, NY.

It’s astonishing how many many industries were started here in Seneca Falls, NY. If you would like to see many more industries, visit the Historical Society Mon. – Fri for a tour and check out our industry room on the third floor of the Mansion.

It can be tuned around in its own length, and can be used in Narrow Streets and Alleys, more advantage than a Cart or Jumper. which is not the case with those of other builders, they have to take a whole square to turn around or in cramping and backing loose a large amount of precious time before getting their hose in line at a fire.

This Fire Hose was built around 1854. Imagine using this to put out a fire in Seneca Falls.

Cowing Fire Hose Engine

This was Cowing and Company’s New Improved style of home carriage fire hose engine. Cowing and Co. were located here in Seneca Falls. This is one of their newer models used here for fires. This is the Fire Hose Carriage.

A little history:

The accompanying is a correct engraving of our New Style of Crane-Neck Hose Carriage, which we claim to be superior to those of any other builders.


July, 8th 2021

July, 1st 2021

" The Deer Head Inn".

Here is a Restaurant that is still up and running in Seneca Falls. ” The Deer Head Inn”.

This picture was taken June 27, 1934. The owner was Fred Morehouse.

The Restaurant looks quite different today. The porch is all glass now over looking the lake as always. Completed renovated today… The Deer Head Inn is on lower lake rd. in Seneca Falls.

Cayuga Street Restaurant.

So here is another Restaurant in Seneca Falls in 1936. This was owned by Peter Tardelli at 4 Cayuga Street.

Seems like back in the day there were several restaurants in the area. Many privately owned by families.

Does anyone remember this restaurant on Cayuga Street?


June, 24th 2021

June, 17th 2021

Billy Sundys Restaurant.

We found this old picture of a Restaurant at 76 Ovid Street. Picture dates back to July 7, 1934. The Restaurant was called Billy Sundys Restaurant. Does anyone remember this?  Looks like it was in their home.

Vetetta's Restaurant.

For this week we have Vetetta’s Restaurant at 39 Bridge Street, Seneca Falls, NY. Picture was taken October 1, 1936. Does anyone know what this building is now or remember the restaurant back then? Have any stories we love to here them.


June, 10th 2021

June, 3rd 2021

Pinehurst Restaurant.

Who remembers the Pinehurst? I remember Smith and Jones Band playing here! I was rather young at the time but my friends and I would peak in the windows and watch and dance outside.. that was in the 80’s.

John Gallagher was the owner in 9/26/36 when this picture was taken.

Romeo Restaurant.

Who remembers Romeo Restaurant? Anyone have any good stories?
Location is 16 1/2 Rumsey Street, Seneca Falls, NY 13148.

Picture was taken on September 1, 1934


May, 27th 2021

May, 20th 2021

R. Sinicropi Restaurant.

This week we are featuring the Restaurant owned by Ralph Sinicropi. The Restaurant was at 13 Miller Street in Seneca Falls. Photo is dated 9/11/35. Not sure what was served here but many local residents had restaurants in the early 1900’s.

Does anyone know of this Restaurant or remember it?


The Sandwich Isle.

This photo is the “The Sandwich Isle” the picture was taken May 18, 1937. It was located on Seneca Falls Waterloo Rd.
Featured foods like, Cube steaks, Hotdogs, Krafts Limburger, Egg and Olive and Fried Egg Sandwiches.

Does anyone remember this?



May, 13th 2021

May, 6th 2021

V. Commuso.

This establishment was owned by Vincenzo Commuso, of Seneca Falls. It was located at 118 Fall Street.

The picture was taken on June 26, 1934.

We assume it was a Restaurant which had tables for Ladies and Gents, as the sign says!
Does anyone remember this place?

Does anyone remember this place?


Lake View Inn.

This photo is of Harry and Louise Stolte of Willard State Road in Ovid NY. Part of Seneca County. The place is “Lakeview Inn Restaurant”. Imagine having lunch and getting gas in one place. Check out the old pumps in the picture and the old pick-up truck parked on the side of the building.

Does anyone remember this place?



April, 29nd, 2021

April, 22nd, 2021

1860's Scenes

For todays Throwback Thursday we thought we would show some photos we have in our archives of Seneca Falls in 1860’s.

First on is a rooftop view overlooking the town. Second is of the Canal view. and the third is yet another view of the town/village back then. Check and see if you recognize any of the scenes.

Hope you enjoyed the April Series.


Bertino's Restaurant.

There were many Restaurants in the local area back in the day. This throwback picture is from Waterloo.

This photograph is Bertino’s Restaurant at 1 South Virginia Street in Waterloo, NY. The owner of the Restaurant was a local resident by the name of Louis Bertino. The date of photo is August 12, 1948. Not sure who the people are in the photo but, that could be Mr. Louis Bertino in the window!



April, 15th, 2021

April, 8th, 2021

Buggy (Carriage) Step.

This is a buggy step also called a carriage step. It was a block of stone that was used at several Victorian homes in Seneca Falls. When you pulled up with your horse and carriage it made it easier to step down out of the carriage. Most buggy steps were level with the porch as you stepped out you could step right up to the porch and walk in your home.


Mynderse Basketball Team 1914-15.

Back row: Nelson DeLevau – Manager
James Strong, Louis Stauff and FJ. Medden

Middle Row: Lewis MacDonald and Francis McParland

Bottom Row: Fred Moods, Thomas Clary, Harold Penagar and Kenneth Henderson



April, 1st, 2021

March, 25th, 2021

The Ice House here is shown by Holton’s Pond in Interlaken NY. Men were working to load the cut ice into the ice house.

Ice Harvesting.

This picture shows men that used to do Ice Harvesting on the Cayuga Lake, in Interlaken. In January and February the ice was at its best to use. The ice of Upstate NY was cleaner and thicker than anywhere else. Cayuga Lake was used often.

Ice Harvesting generally involved waiting until approximately a foot of ice had built up on the water surface in the winter. The ice would then be cut with either a handsaw or a powered saw blade into long continuous strips and then cut into large individual blocks for transport by wagon back to the ice house.

Here at the Historical Society we have a ice sled that was used to pull and transport the ice to ice houses. The ice was stored in sawdust during transport.

The ice was used from 1800’s – 1920’s for home deliveries and meat packers and dairy products to ship to larger cities and towns. At the Historical Society we have a Ice Box that we have on display in the Kitchen. Stop by for a tour and we can show you.

J.H. Anderson Dry Goods.

This is the J.H. Anderson Dry Goods, a typical dry goods store of the late 19th century.

James Anderson carried an assortment of dry goods, notions, carpets, cloaks, and sundries. Anderson was a retail merchant for 64 years and was well respected by his friends and competitors.



March, 18th, 2021

March, 11th, 2021

Stores would be located on the Fall Street side of the building. Actual construction work was done by the Amsterdam Building Company, starting in the winter of 1919.

The new hotel building was of concrete and steel construction throughout. The door and windowsills and the picture moldings were the only things of the building itself that could burn. In addition to the large lobby, the double dining rooms and a well-arrange kitchen, the hotel itself had 72 rooms and 8 apartments. Fifty of the rooms were equipped with baths, including hot and cold water, and telephone connections. L.J. Stauf, who had operated the Hoag House, was given a contract to manage the Gould Hotel for 10 years. In an experiment that other hotels might adopt if proved successful, Stauf would operate a laundry which, besides doing primarily the hotel’s laundry, would do commercial work. Mr. Stauf would also operate a candy store, catering to the hotel trade and the Seneca Falls community. H.E. Moyers operated the first barber shop. Later in years Bob Caraccilo of Seneca Falls owned and operated the Barber Shop. After the hotel did some renovations many years later Mr. Caraccilo moved across the street and continued to serve the community at his Barber Shop.

The Gould Hotel.

At nearly 100 Years Old, The Gould Hotel possesses a vivid history. Construction of the original hotel began in 1919 and the structure would be named The Gould Hotel after its main financier, Gould Manufacturing Company, although there has been a hotel or a tavern at the corner of State and Falls streets since the arrival of the earliest settlers along the Seneca River.

The Gould Hotel opened in February 1920 on the site of the Hoag House which had burned on Thanksgiving morning, 1918. That fire had been discovered in the basement and by noon the building had been a total loss and nearly all of the equipment in the hotel had been destroyed.

The Gould Hotel was described in the Syracuse Journal as “the most complete and perfectly equipped of the smaller hotels of New York State. Four stories in height, absolutely fireproof in construction and equipped in perfect taste and convenience, it is scheduled to become the mecca for travelers between Rochester and Syracuse.”

The Goulds Manufacturing Company furnished the capital with which to erect the new building. Not surprisingly, at the first meeting of the men backing the project, it was decided to change the hotel’s name from the Hoag House to the Gould Hotel.

The plans were drawn up by George B. Post and Son of New York City, and provided for a building of four floors, with a main entrance on State Street.

Trinity Church.

The Trinity Episcopal Church was organized January 13, 1831. While the first church edifice was being built, services were held above, the post office.

On November 18, 1833, the cornerstone of the first church was laid. The new building boasted a basement of stone and a superstructure of wood on Bayard Street.

This was the church where Elizabeth Cady Stanton sent her sons to Sunday school. Even though she was not a regular churchgoer, she felt that the boys should have some exposure to religion. The boys were most impressed with the red “dress” that the priest wore.

The building served the young congregation well until the new cornerstone was laid June 2, 1886, on lower Fall Street. Up until a few years ago, the original building was used as a ruler factory.



March, 4th, 2021

February, 25th, 2021

It was opened in 1898 and called the Johnson Home for Women. Justus Johnson was the son of prominent Seneca Falls resident William J. Johnson. William Johnson’s work on the canal system brought him to Seneca Falls where he married Justin’s mother Angelina Chamberlain in 1855.

The Johnson residence still stands on Cayuga Street in Seneca Falls


The Johnson Home.

William Johnson was born on December 8, 1821 in Williamstown, Massachusetts, to David Johnson and Olive (Stodard) Johnson. The family removed to Frankfort, New York, where David died in 1825. At 14, William began studies in mechanics, and without completing a degree he began work as a contractor on public works projects.

It was his work on the New York State Canal System from 1849 through 1856 that brought him to Seneca Falls, New York. There he married in the summer of 1855 Angeline Chamberlain (died 1901), daughter of Congressman Jacob P. Chamberlain. The couple had five sons.

On October 11, 1875, Johnson returned to Seneca Falls after having been in New York City. He fell ill that afternoon and died hours later of unreported causes.
Johnson was remembered as being kind, personable, and frank. As a State Senator he was regarded as being well-versed in many subjects as well as a deft conversationalist. He was known as a jovial man, with a sharp wit and strong sense of irony.

The Johnson home soon became the home of Justus Johnson, who in the late 1800s was the founder and president of the National Exchange Bank of Seneca Falls. Justice Johnson realized that women did not have much in the way of security as they grew older so he created a trust and donated his home so that older women would have a place to live out their remaining years in comfort and without worry.

Seneca Falls was also gaining a reputation for social and religious reform. Abolition of Slavery and the Underground Railroad, the Temperance movement and women’s rights were among issues supported by local residents. 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.

Seneca Falls remained an industrial village well into the 20th century as the home of Gould’s Pumps, Sylvania and Seneca Machine.

In recent years Tourism has become the major industry in Seneca Falls. The Women’s Rights National Historical Park including the site of the first Women’s Rights Convention and the Elizabeth Cady Stanton House, the National Women’s Hall of Fame, the Seneca Falls Historical Society, the Seneca Museum of Waterways and Industry and the Seneca Falls Heritage Area Visitors Center as well as local wineries, the Finger Lakes and beautiful scenery of the Central New York all attract visitors to the Village of Seneca Falls. The Village has recently received attention as the likely inspiration for the fictional village of Bedford Falls in Frank Capra’s holiday classic movie “It’s A Wonderful Life.”

Seneca River.

The first white settlers along the Seneca River arrived in the area in the late 18th century. They were part of Sullivan’s March and had seen the potential the area held. Water played an important part in the development of the area. Seneca County, when erected March 24, 1804, originally covered an area extending from the shore of Lake Ontario to just south of Ithaca; a distance of about 63 miles north to south and 11 miles east to west. It was divided into 6 towns: Junius, Fayette, Romulus, Ovid, Hector and Ulysses.

By 1818 canal locks were built along the Seneca River, allowing boat traffic to avoid the rapids. By 1828, the Cayuga-Seneca Canal had been linked to the Erie Canal, making transport of raw materials and finished goods easier and opening up the much larger market for items manufactured locally. On March 26, 1829, the Town of Seneca Falls was organized when the existing Town of Junius was divided in to four towns: Junius, Tyre, Waterloo and Seneca Falls.

Business and Industry was attracted to Seneca Falls by the rapids along the Seneca River and potential waterpower they implied. Tanneries, distilleries, mills, and factories of all types sprung up along the river. Landowners along the river became very successful by leasing water rights to a wide variety of industries.

The area originally known as Mynderse Mills officially became the Village of Seneca Falls when it was incorporated on April 22, 1831. Ansel Bascom was selected as the first President of the Village (Mayor).As early as 1841, the Rochester-Auburn railroad system opened the door to the world market for goods manufactured in Seneca Falls.



February, 18th, 2021

February, 11th, 2021

On the north side of the street the conflagration was checked by the walls of the Miller block, occupied below by West Bros., shoe store and above by the law offices of MacDonald Bros., and F. W. DeMott. Here the firemen working from the rear drenched the building and stopped the fire.

The burnt district covers fully three acres in the heart of the business section of the town. It struck, particularly, that part which held communication with the outside world. In the Partridge block was the Post office, the Western Union Telegraph office, the office of the American Express Co., the offices and plant of the Electric Light and Electric Railway Companies, and the printing offices of the Courier and the Reveille. In the Gould block, further down, was the Journal publishing Co., and on the north side was the Telephone office.

Fire! Fire! Seneca Falls in 1890.

At 3:30 yesterday morning, fire broke out in the rear of the Pew block on Fall street, and had made such headway when discovered, that the block was virtually in flames by the time the firemen were playing upon it. For a time they held the fire in check, and it was thought that it would be confined to comparatively narrow limits. Then the reservoir corner of Fall and State streets became exhausted, and while the steamer was changing to another supply, the flames made such headway that they became uncontrollable. Help was summoned from Waterloo, Geneva and Auburn, but before it arrived the Partridge block was in flames and the Opera House and adjacent blocks destroyed. The fire communicated to the Hoag house, and also extended northward among the wooden buildings in the rear of the Opera House, taking in the Norcott block on State street, the livery barns of D. M. Kellogg and the two dwelling houses of H. W. Knight.

On the south side of Fall street the fire extended to the Sheldon block, occupied by Todtman & Gladke. The solid brick wall on the west of this building checked its progress, and the pumps of Gleason & Bailey directly across the river, by deluging its rear prevented it from igniting.

The year that the Historical Society has on this photo is 1901. As far as we can see a Family by the name of Sinicropi owned the store then. Sinicropi is a very prominent name in Seneca Falls.

Red & White Food Store.

This Historical Building in Seneca Falls was the Red & White Food Store, located on Rumsey Street in Seneca Falls. Rumsey Street was named after John Rumsey, chief owner of the Rumsey Pump Company. Out of devotion to the welfare of his factory workers, he developed a residential area named Rumseyville in the then northwestern corner of the village. He had purchased this area from Dr. Hilram H. Heath in 1858.


February, 4th, 2021

Aqua Festival Float.

It’s 2021 Throwback Thursday series. Today we bring to you a float from the Aqua Festival. This float has the SMS members on it. They were founded in 1904 and still have members today. The organization is located today on 95 Ovid Street in Seneca Falls. SMS organization means Societa di Mutuo Soccorso. It was in a spirit of mutual assistance that a group of Italians organized within the Village of Seneca Falls in November of 1904. Then as now members of the organization assist one another in every imaginable way.


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