- This Week's Throwback October, 29th 2020 -

Woman working in the Seneca Knitting Mill.

The Seneca Knitting Mill was built in 1844 and known through time as the Seneca Woolen Mills, Phoenix Mills, Geb & Souhan Yarn, etc., It ran continuously for 155 years, while the initial employees were almost strictly male, the tide changed and eventually the mill employed mostly women (operating the knitting machines, sewing socks together, etc.) it finally ended its career as a knitting mill in 1999 and is now the headquarters of the National Women’s Hall of Fame and Center for Great Women museum until it closed in 1999.

For women, working in a knitting mill must have felt like a natural progression of moving into the workforce.  It is after-all sort of a hybrid of “women’s domestic house work” transferred to a professional setting. So, it seems the Seneca Mill location for the National Woman’s Hall of Fame is the perfect location to celebrate woman’s history of advancement, empowerment and achievements through time, and to also honor the woman laborers, who worked in the Mill.


October, 22nd, 2020

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.

Mary Merrigan

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.


October, 1st, 2020


September, 24th, 2020

Men working on Lower Fall Street.

This scene, facing south from lower Fall Street in front of the Armitage Building, was taking in the late 1800’s. Trinity Church can be seen in the background and you can see the cliffs on the far side of flats.


Definition of stereograph
: a pair of stereoscopic pictures or a picture composed of two superposed
stereoscopic images that gives a three-dimensional effect when viewed
with a stereoscope or special spectacles.

The main image is  a stereograph picture of several people walking the streets in Seneca Falls in 1890. When viewed through a stereograph the image appears 3D. Growth of the town has come along way since then.

Below this are 2 examples of stereograph viewers, which the Historical Society have on display and you are able to operate . We have an interesting array of both paper and glass slides.


October, 15th, 2020


October, 8th, 2020

McCartin Bros. Harness and Trunks

McCartin Bros. Harness and Trunks store was owned by Frank P. and Michael McCartin.

Exact dates of operation are unclear but it was founded somewhere between 1868 and 1874, closed 1891 – 1900.

Located at 86 Fall street, now the home of Parkers Grille & Tap House.

This photo was taken July 20, 1891 and gifted to the Historical Society by Mr. Frank P. McCartin.

High Wheel Bicycle
(also called a Penny Farthing)

We surely missed our lawn games this year because of Covid-19. Another picture from the 70’s, this is a picture of children being shown the High Wheel Bicycle (also called a Penny Farthing) we have here at the Historical Society.


September, 17th, 2020


September, 10th, 2020

Lawn Games at the Historical Society

We surely missed our lawn games this year because of Covid-19. This picture is back from 1970’s, kids playing in the back yard of the Historical Society near the Bee Hive.

Perkins Grocery Store

Perkins Grocery Store

This is Perkins Grocery Store on State Street in Seneca Falls, 1960. Other times it has been a Pizza Shop and a laundromat.


September, 3rd, 2020


August, 27th, 2020

The Falls

So many people ask when they visit, “Where are the waterfalls?”
To make the canal navigable for the modern, state-of-the-art barges, they had to straighten the canal, eliminating a series of locks, then flood this area to create a heavy-duty body of water. There was a drop of nearly 50 feet of between Seneca and Cayuga Lakes in a series of rapids which had been somewhat tamed by a smaller, five-lock canal built in 1815, (over time this became eleven locks) around which the town’s commerce grew up.
The creation of the new and straighter canal system created Van Cleef Lake in Seneca Falls, the actual date that Van Cleef Lake was filled was August 20, 1915.

Early Street Cleaner

This is an old street cleaner that was used in Seneca Falls. Check out all the unique features the sweeper has on it. We are hoping someone can identify the man in the picture. Looks like it is in front of the Presbyterian Church in Seneca Falls. The picture was found under a bed in a home in Ledyard NY..



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