Here we will be posting various photos of the inside and outside from the Becker Mansion. Over the 172 years, this magnificent Mansion has gathered so many stories, artifacts and archives that each photo will have not only some interesting fact about your history but it will also tease you in just how beautiful this 23 Room Victorian Mansion is. Hope you enjoy seeing i, as much as we do. Stop by for a visit and get a tour of the Mansion..

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.

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.


The Sink.

This photo is part of the kitchen that Mary Merrigan the maid cooked for the Becker Family in. This is the sink with all her gadgets for cooking. Some of them may look familiar and still used today. Most likely they are probably more durable than things of today. There was a water pump that supplied water to the kitchen from outside, you can see the water pump used here at the sink. The sink itself was very big.

Later on in life the Becker children that stayed in the home built another more modern kitchen on the back of this kitchen for their use.

The "Mouse House".

This little item is a” Mouse House” that the Becker children asked the maintenance man to build for their little mouse they found in the Mansion. He graciously built this for the children so they could see their mouse have a home just like they did. This little Mouse House sits in the kitchen of the Becker Mansion.


The Library.

Today we are featuring our Library. Here many community members and people traveling have come in to do research on their family genealogy, women’s rights, canal system or an event. If you are interested in doing research of any kind to do with Seneca County, we may be able to help. If you are living in another state we can correspond with you through email and try to get you what your looking for. You can also come in and do your own research. If you are interested in this let us know. There are research fees. The Historical Society is open Monday – Friday from 9 am – 4 pm. or call 315-568-8412 and we will help you.

Coal Stove.

This is the Kitchen of the Seneca Falls Historical Society, Becker Mansion. Although comparatively quiet now, the kitchen of a large Victorian home like this one would have been busting with activity for most of the day. It would have been “warmer” for the large cast iron stove (which burned both coal and wood) would have been going day and night in the winter.

The maid Mary Merrigan cooked on the stove for the Becker family. They called the stove “The Happy Stove”.


Russell Family.

Family Christmas tree.

At the Becker Mansion we have several beautiful portraits around the home in each room of the Mansion. This portrait is in our Dining Room. It is of the Russell Family that lived in Seneca Falls back in the 1800’s. Mr. Russell owned a Jewelry Store in town. You can see the expensive pieces they are displaying on each one of them in the photo. Mrs. Russell is wearing a beautiful brooch and their son has a very nice tie pin along with Mr. Russell.
If you would like to see more portraits around the Mansion we give tours everyday starting at 10 am and last tour goes out at 3 pm.

This is a picture of last years Family Christmas tree we have by our Victorian staircase. This tree is filled with old family photo’s of families from the past. They are the most beautiful black and white photo’s of Grandfathers, Grandmother’s, Dad’s, Mom’s and children. Come see our tree this year and enjoy the Holidays with all of us here at the Becker Mansion. We are open for tours Monday – Friday. Tours start at 10 am and last tour goes out at 3pm.


Jane Parthenia Clark.

Mr. Becker's Desk.

On Wednesdays every month we share with you some photo’s of our 23 room Victorian mansion.

The photo is of our drawing room which features a large portrait of Jane Parthenia Clark,(the one on the easel) to whom was the first European descent to be buried in our Restvale cemetery in Seneca Falls. She was born in 1826 and Died in 1849. The portrait was given to us by her niece, Mrs. Jane Clark Keeler Lewis, 1939. Jane Clark named Restvale Cemetery.

IF you would like a tour of our Mansion, we start tours at 10 am Monday – Friday and last tour goes out at 3 pm.

This week for our mansion photo of the Becker home, we are featuring Mr. Becker’s Desk. This is just part of his desk that shows his original glasses that he wore when he was doing his work. Mr. Becker’s Desk was originally in the Gift Shop which was a library.

If you look in the second photo you can see the entire desk behind the couch. To see this desk up close is spectacular. He has all his original books still in the desk glass portion that he read.

Mansion tours are Monday – Friday from 10 am – 3pm.


The Doll Room.

Dr. Anna Brown.

The room featured today is the Doll Room. This room is up on the third floor of the Mansion. We have collected several dolls over the years that community members have donated to the Historical Society and we now display them here. This was once a small bedroom for the children when the Becker Family lived here in the mansion. The third floor is a interesting floor full of many historical items.

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

Upstairs on the third floor there is a section that features Dr. Anna Brown, the first women doctor at the Seneca Falls Hospital. WE have her original cabinet full of all her medicine, books, writings and the picture here shows her blood pressure machine.

If you would like to see the rest of her collection. Please stop in and get a tour of the Mansion. Tours start at 10:00 am and the last tour goes out at 3 pm.


Back Staircase.

Mary Merrigan's Room.

On this last Mansion Wednesday we are showing you the back staircase that the maid used to get through the Mansion. There is a story about this stairway that you need to here. Because of Halloween coming we thought you would appreciate the story. In October every Tuesday night we have Haunted Ghost Tours at 6 pm and 7:30pm. If you want to here about the little girl on the stairs reserve your spot for a Haunted Tour! We will be waiting for your call… 315-568-8412

There are three ghost that reside at the Mansion,( that we know of). Some people have heard children playing, piano playing. If you want to meet these ghost and here about their encounters here, we are having Haunted Ghost Tours in the Month of October every Tuesday Night. Call 315-568-8412 and reserve your spot.

The Room featured here is the bedroom of Mary Merrigan whom was the maid at the Becker Mansion for the six Becker children. Mary fed the children, bathed them and took care of the children on the third floor of the Mansion.

Mary was from Ireland. There are stories about Mary in the Mansion that fall true to everyone that works there and some visitors. Mary is a spirit in the home. She has been seen by construction workers whom were working outside and saw a woman and a child standing in a window upstairs looking down on them. She was identified by a staff member as Mary Merrigan.

Another story comes from the actual Becker family themselves. The evening that Mary died she was at a nursing home because she was ill. The night she died she was seen by Mrs. Becker and one of her children at the foot of their bed.


Children's Playroom.

Alice Ferguson Dress.

For Mansion Wednesday in October we are featuring parts of the Mansion that are mysteriously haunted and spirits roam the place. So this room here is the Children’s play room where some people have heard children playing in the Mansion. Paranormal’ s have been here in the evenings through the years and have talked to the children . Orbs have been seen roaming in the room and very active when taking photo’s in the evenings during our Haunted Ghost Tours in October on Tuesday Nights. If you are interested in booking a tour call 315-568-8412.

Today for our series we are featuring a dress from Alice Ferguson that was donated to us. We are always grateful when someone local donated clothing from years ago that we can put on display in the Clothing room upstairs.

Alice Bertille Ferguson was born on November 17, 1888, in Seneca Falls, New York, United State, Her father, Michael Ferguson, was 25 and her mother, Mary Elizabeth Oakes, was 30. Alice died on November 16, 1985, in Waterloo, New York, at the age of 96.


Fire Department Display.

Rocking Horse.

This week in the Mansion on the third floor we have a display of the old Seneca Falls Fire Department – Rescue H & L Co. equipment and items they used to put out fires. Not shown here in the picture is a Uniform they wore which is very unique.

If you would like to see this display we have tours running everyday from 10 am every hour and last tour begins at 3 pm.

In the Becker Mansion there is a Children’s Play Room on the third floor. This is were the Becker Children played for hours and performed theatrical skits for their parents on a stage that is built in the room.

Featured here is a Rocking Horse that is displayed in the room. This Rocking Horse has actual real horse hair that is on it. Back in the Victorian Area they used horse hair to stuff couches also.

Stop by for a tour and see this great room.


Industry Room Updating.

Streets of Seneca Falls.

Every Wednesday each month we try to bring you a little part of the Historical Society, Becker Mansion. Within the rooms of the 23 room mansion we have a Industry Room that displays local Industry dating back to the 1800’s that resided in Seneca Falls and surrounding area’s.

This room displays industries like, Gould’s Pumps, Seneca Knitting Mill, Thomson’s Glove-Fitting and Westcott Rule and many more.

At this moment Nellie Ludemann, our Education/Program Coordinator and Chris Podzuweit, our Director are updating and renovating this room to be even better than it was. You will have to stop in at the end of the month to see the finalized project!

Visit the Historical Society Monday- Friday for tours. Tours start at 10 am and last tour goes out at 3 pm

Every week the Historical Society puts a photo up of some part of Seneca Falls that we have at the Historical Society on display. Today I thought I would show you an old street sign that we have acquired through the years. All of these streets are still in Seneca Falls today. Very important industries and homes are on these prominent streets of town.

The Historical Society has many items in the Mansion that have been donated and help us to carry on the history of Seneca Falls for everyone to see.

The Historical Society is open weekly from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Stop by for a visit. Tours start at 10 am and last tour goes out at 3 pm.


3 Images in 1 Picture.

Victorian Era Children.

There is a great photo here at the Seneca Falls Historical Society. This photo is loved by everyone that visits. The picture is of 3 prominent people. Everyone that visits tries to figure out whom the 3 people are. Well I’m going to tell you but, you need to visit to see for yourself because it is a interesting photo.

The first person you see is Martha Washington, then if you look to the right you see Abraham Lincoln and if you look to the left you see George Washington. If you don’t believe me, come see for yourself !

Visit our Mansion Monday – Friday from 10 am – 3pm.

Children were mostly raised by a nanny who would teach the child what was proper and what was not. Day to day living was nothing more than a lonely monotonous routine and very formal.

Wealthy Victorian Children rarely communicated with their parents except for a specified time each day.

~Winston Churchill once said that he could “count the times he had been hugged by his mother” as a child~

We have many pictures of children in the Victorian Era hanging on the walls of the Historical Society. We also have pictures of the Becker children that lived in the mansion. The pictures shown is of a Victorian child that someone donated to the historical society and we do not know whom it is. Here is a little history on Victorian Children.

Life for Victorian Children in Victorian times (1830 to 1900) was nothing like childhood in today’s world. For the wealthy there was an overwhelming sense of boredom and the constant prodding to be proper and polite with very little parent to child communication. For the poor Victorian Children life was much different. The poor children had to work public jobs for their families to survive. Toys were nothing more than homemade dolls or wooden blocks. On the other hand their family life was tighter knit and more loving.
While the wealthy children may have been spoiled and had a much better life than the poor children, they also had what would seem to be a sad, redundant and affection-less existence.


Gould's Factory Coat.

Grace Woodworth's Camera.

At the Seneca Falls Historical Society we have a room on the third floor, that shows the industry that was in Seneca Falls for past years. It is a room full of history. There were several manufacturing plants that Seneca Falls were famous for, Gould’s Pumps, Westcott Rule, Seneca Knitting Mill, etc..

This particular white outfit with the goggles was warn in the Gould’s Pumps Factory by a worker back in the early 1900’s. This is on display for you to see. One of many items in the Mansion.

The Historical Society is working on a separate room on the third floor that will represent the Gould Family.

This complete room display will be done this fall. Watch for updates!

In the article, Woodworth is described as follows:

“Miss Woodworth has had years of experience studying her art and gaining the knowledge of the best artists which combined with her natural ability and love for the artistic and beautiful, has placed her in the front rank of artistic photographers


Victorian Shoes.

The Billard Room.

Many factory girls wore leather boots that had small nails called hobnails on the base. This meant the sole would not wear down so quickly. As working-class people often walked a long way every day, they needed footwear that was cheap and would last a long time.

All the shoes featured low heels, often decorated with ribbons, jewels, buckles or tassels. And the most fashionable shoes of that period were the fur trimmed low ankle boots featuring the comfortable kitten heels. During that period the high heeled shoes were popular not among the women but among men as well.

Many shoes are displayed here at the Historical Society. Stop by for a tour Monday – Friday from 10 am and last tour leaves at 3 pm.

Every Wednesday of the month we feature a part of the Mansion that contributes to the history of the Becker Home.

This week we are featuring a pair of Woman’s dress shoes. The women’s shoes of the early Victorian period were narrow and heelless, in black or white satin. By 1850s and 1860s, they were slightly broader with a low heel and made of leather or cloth. Ankle-length laced or buttoned boots were also popular.

Even though many people were poor within the Victorian era, fashion was still a big thing. The women were always dressed to impress. Their clothing was almost always a dress of some kind. However, indoor shoes were also available to many of the ladies who were concerned with fashion, as most were.


This week we are featuring one of our clothing rooms on the third floor. We store many article of clothing including, old hats, woman’s dresses, children’s clothing, men’s suits.

This room was originally the billiard room when the Becker family lived here in 1891-1961. It is said that the men after dinner would go to this room to play pool and talk secrets because the windows were high enough for no one to spy on them and the children were playing in their rooms and didn’t bother with them. The light fixture in the room resembles a pool stick.


Mrs. Becker's Bedroom Fireplace.

Revolutionary War Red Coat.

This is the spectacular fireplace that is in Catherine Becker’s Bedroom on the second floor of the Becker Mansion, Seneca Falls Historical Society.

Ellen Partridge whom renovated the home from 1880 – 1890 used sunflowers and these English Song Birds to decorate the many fireplaces throughout the 23 room mansion. They are a beautiful sight to see.

The pictures over the Mantle are Rev. William Wallace Lyle and his wife., c. 1875, Seneca Falls residents. Rev. Lyle came to Seneca Falls to become the first pastor of the Congregational Church when they organized in 1869. He resigned due to ill health in 1873.

After leaving the Army in 1821, John came to America and settled in Bloomsberg, PA where he died in 1824. His daughter Harriet married Gary V. Sackett of Seneca Falls and his remain were eventually moved to the Swaby lot in Restvale Cemetery.

John was well suited to the military and was soon promoted through the ranks. By the time he was 24 he was entrusted with many important missions.

At the Battle of Yorktown, John Haigh was serving under Cornwallis. After being held prisoner in Lancaster, PA for 19 months, John returned to England. The Regiment was then sent to Jamaica.

Here at the Seneca Falls Historical Society on the third floor, in the Billiard Room we have a British “Red Coat” worn by Captain John Haigh of the 33rd Regiment.

John Haigh was born in England, 1759, in a small village near Hailfax. Shortly before his 18th birthday, John enlisted in the 33rd Yorkshire Regiment. His father found out and bought his discharge. Shortly after, John absconded and enlisted again.

John was well suited to the military and was soon promoted through the ranks. By the time he was 24 he was entrusted with many important missions.

At the Battle of Yorktown, John Haigh was serving under Cornwallis. After being held prisoner in Lancaster, PA for 19 months, John returned to England. The Regiment was then sent to Jamaica.

After being in Jamaica for a short time the Regiment was sent to India and stationed in Calcutta. In 1807 Captain Haigh returned to England and was in charge of recruiting in Hailfax.


Menu Board.

Mrs. Beckers Bathroom.

If you would like to see other gems like this, visit the Becker Mansion Mon. – Fri for tours. Tours start every hours from 10 am and last tour is 3 pm.

Here at the Seneca Falls Historical Society on the third floor we have this sign that was used in a Restaurant in Seneca Falls.

Check out all the prices for Breakfast! Wouldn’t you love for these prices to come back!

Ham & Eggs, Toast and Coffee .50 cents
Toast and Coffee .15 cents
Fried Cakes and Coffee .10 cents

If you don’t know Fried Cakes are Donuts!

If you would like a tour of the Becker Mansion we are open weekdays from 10 am and the last tour is at 3 pm. Monday – Friday. Starting July 10th we will be open also on Saturdays.

Call the Historical Society for any questions at 315-568-8412.

The featured picture today of the Becker Mansion is the Bathroom of Mrs. Becker. The Becker’s were the last residents that owned the home before they sold it to the Historical Society in 1961.

Mrs. Becker had her own bathroom on the second floor of the Mansion. Along side the bathroom was her own dressing room and bedroom. Often Victorian couples would have their own sleeping quarters. You can see she had a claw tub to bathe in, a toilet and a sink.


Mrs. Becker's Dressing Room.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton Desk.

This picture is of Mrs. Becker’s Dressing Room in the Becker Mansion on the second floor. You can see all the items that a Victorian woman would use to get ready for the day. Some of the items may be a Hair brush, Curling iron, Perfume, Jewelry and make up.

If you would like to see the rest of the Mansion and the Victorian life style please visit the Seneca Falls Historical Society Monday – Friday from 10 am – 3pm for a tour.

This is a picture of the desk that was owned by Elizabeth Cady Stanton. She actually sat at this desk and wrote many articles for newspapers and many letters for women’s rights.

The desk is at the Seneca Falls Historical Society, Becker Mansion in Mr. Becker’s bedroom on the second floor. You can stop by and get a tour Monday – Friday from 10 am to 3 pm.


Rocking Chair.

Mr. Becker's Bedroom.

Today we are featuring an exquisite rocking chair located in Mrs. Becker’s Bedroom on the second floor of the Mansion at the Historical Society.

Perhaps Mrs. Catherine Becker sat in this an did her quilting or crocheting projects at one time in the late 1800’s. Imagine that.

Stop by to get a tour of the Mansion weekdays from 10am – 3 pm, tours begin on the hour or by special arrangement. Any questions in setting up a tour please call 315-568-8412.


Note the medallions on the bed poster. That would slide to insert a rod used to tighten the ropes, which tended to sag after many uses.

The featured room this week is the Bedroom of Mr. Becker on the second floor.
Good Victorian couples did not share the same room. There is awalk-through connecting to Catherine Becker’s room. (The walk-through now houses an exhibit on Victorian gentleman’s wearing apparel and accessories from the late 19th century).

The four-poster bed was donated by the Sacket Family. It was brought over from England c. 1840, it is a rope bed, reminiscent of those used in inns across the early colonies. The saying “sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite” referred to these beds. The best thing that could happen to a traveler was that he or she got to sleep in a bed that had just been tightened and had freshly washed sheets, since early traveler’s were not as hygienically meticulous as we are today.


Mrs. Becker's Bedroom.

Drawing Room.

Stop by to get a tour of the 23 room Victorian Mansion weekdays from 10am – 3 pm, tours begin on the hour or by special arrangement. Any questions in setting up a tour please call 315-568-8412.

This is a most elegant room in the house. Mrs. Catherine Becker’s Bedroom. This room has beautiful Victorian windows that let the sun shine in and brighten the room with warmth.

Mrs. Becker was the wife of Norman Becker, whom was the head of The National Trust Bank in Waterloo.
They together had six children.

Mrs. Becker’s bedroom has an adjoining dressing room and bathroom, forms the remainder of the Mistress Suites. The hand-painted tiles around the fireplace opening are possibly the finest in the house.
The carpet in the room dates back to 1885. The desk to the left of the bay window is a lady’s desk – American 1885.

There are two fireplaces in this room. There was a wall that was taken down during renovations and they kept both fireplaces. The room has 3 stained glass windows. The entire house has 19 stain glass windows.

Stop by to get a tour of the Mansion weekdays from 10am – 3 pm, tours begin on the hour or by special arrangement. Any questions in setting up a tour please call 315-568-8412.

This week we are featuring our Drawing Room in the Becker Mansion. This room is were the family would gather for parties in the evening or were young girls would court their boyfriends. The children of the house were not allowed in this room.

The lights in the room were gas burning lights and the original lights from 1880. The rug in the room is from 1880. The stained glass windows were put in when Ellen Partridge owned the house from 1880 to 1890 and she renovated the home to be the Victorian Style it is today.

The Furniture in the room, some was left by the last owners, The Becker Family but most of the furniture and belongings in the drawing room are from local Seneca Falls families and their estates.


The Map Room.

Summer Porch.

Stop by to get a tour of the Mansion weekdays from 10am – 3 pm, tours begin on the hour or by special arrangement. Any questions in setting up a tour please call 315-568-8412.

This week we are featuring what we call our Map Room, located on the third floor of the Becker Mansion. In this room there are 100’s of maps of Seneca County and surrounding areas. Maps dating back as far as the 1790’s, image that!

Researchers have visited the Historical Society to browse through the Maps from all over the United States since we opened in 1961.

If you are looking for a Map of this area please stop by and explore the Map Room here.

We would love to have you.

Stop by to get a tour of the Mansion weekdays from 10am – 3 pm, tours begin on the hour or by special arrangement. Any questions in setting up a tour please call 315-568-8412.

This week in May we thought we would bring you our very quaint front porch at the Becker Mansion.

The screened porch is a lovely place to capture the end of your day and relax reading a good book. We’re sure that’s what the Becker family did, in fact we have a picture of Catherine Becker sitting in the rocker on the porch reading the newspaper.

If you stop by the Historical Society, Becker Mansion now that the weather is warmer we can bring you out on the front porch so you can see how elegant the porch furniture and surroundings are.


The 'Bee Hive'

Research Library.

This week we are featuring another photo from the Mansion. In this picture which we call the “Bee Hive” building on the property. This building when the Becker Family owned the Mansion from 1891- 1961 was the “Tool House”. The Gardner and the Guildsman used this building for tools and supplies for the House, the Gardens and Vineyards. They both stayed on the property while maintaining the Mansion for years.

When you visit us we can take you to the “Bee Hive: and explore.

Stop by to get a tour of the Mansion weekdays from 10am – 3 pm, tours begin on the hour or by special arrangement. Any questions in setting up a tour please call 315-568-8412.

Todays feature in the Mansion is part of the Research Library on the second floor. Community members and residents from all over the globe have called on research and genealogy that we have provided them.

The picture here is of some very old books from Harpers Pictorial History of the War of Spain to House Documents to photo albums. The books are so old that they needed to be tied so that they would not come apart and to use these books you have to use gloves to handle them. Gloves are supplied

There are many research books in the Library dating back to the 1800’s, many extraordinary books of history in our possession that are  definitely worth taking a look at sometime.

Anyone is invited to do research in our Library or call with inquiries. The library and facilities are provided free of charge to our members, nominal charges apply to non members.


Victorian Mansion Steeples

Copper Sink.

Because the windows are so high the local birds like to nest under the window steeples, and they like to sit on the windowsills.

Stop by to get a tour of the Mansion weekdays from 10am – 3 pm, tours begin on the hour or by special arrangement. Any questions in setting up a tour please call 315-568-8412.


This is a view of our spectacular Victorian Mansion steeples and third floor windows. The third floor was added on by Mrs. Ellen Partridge, who began extensive remodeling and updating which finally resulted in the 23 room Queen Ann style Victorian dwelling we see today. Ellen Partridge hired Rochester architect James Gould Cutler for the renovation. The Architectural and decorative details b Mrs. Partridge include the square niches throughout the house, painted stained glass window, gas lights, the blond oak woodwork in the dining room a main entrance and the cherry woodwork in the rest of the house, the carved fireplaces, and the 3rd floor. There re 19 stain glass windows in the entire house. Construction on the house was completed around 1885.


Today we are showing you part of the Butlers Pantry at the Seneca Falls Historical Society. Of course the Butlers Pantry served several purposes including final food preparations before serving in the Dining Room.

This photo is of the original copper sink that was used in the Mansion in the 1800’s. The sink has a marble top surface that is in very good condition. It is a beautiful sink that was used by families that resided here. Surrounding the sink are several items that we have collected through the years from donations in the area.

Stop by to get a tour of the Mansion weekdays from 10am – 3 pm, tours begin on the hour or by special arrangement. Any questions in setting up a tour please call 315-568-8412.



Gas Lights.

Main Staircase.

Drawing Room

Dining Room

To see the entire house please visit the Historical Society. Tours are from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm daily.

Here at the Seneca Falls Historical Society, Becker Mansion in the later 1800’s when Edward Mynderse built the Italianate Home and then later was renovated by Eleanor Partridge, gas lights were used throughout the mansion.

Gas-light technology was developed in England a century earlier and first used to light a public street in London in 1807. It spread to other countries over the next ten years or so; in 1816, Baltimore was the first city in the United States to light its streets with gas.

Gas lighting in homes was introduced in the early 19th century and came into widespread use in homes in the 1880s. Edison perfected the lightbulb in 1879, and electric lighting became the norm throughout the U.S. in the 1930s.

Over the years the Becker Family retrofitted the Chandelier lights to utilize electricity. The original lights are still hung in the Becker Mansion today. They are some of the most decorative and beautiful lights you will see in this area.

If you are interested in seeing this and much more, call or come in and take one of our guided tour of the Becker Mansion. Tours are daily from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm.

The Main Staircase at the Becker Mansion is a magnificent example of the late 19 Century carpentry skill.

With 6 landings ( the photograph was taken from the 3rd Floor and 5 of the landings can be seen with the checker board) winding its way to the 3rd floor, this spectacular structure greets you as you enter the Mansion. A total of 34 steps (17 steps with three landings  between each floor), each landing has intricate hand inlay work with the feature being a full sized centrally located checkerboard. The story is told how the children would play checkers on their way to bed. The 3rd Floor was where the children slept, the 2nd floor was the Main sleeping and bathroom area.


Fireplace Charm.

Ross Marvin's Navy Uniform.

This is one of many fireplaces here at the ‘Becker Mansion’ Seneca Falls Historical Society. There are 9 fireplaces at the Becker Mansion, this fireplace is in Mrs. Becker’s bedrooms on the second floor. In the Becker Mansion there is a fireplace in every room except for the kitchen, butler’s pantry and there is only 1 room on the third floor with a fireplace.

Fireplaces in the 1800’s were used daily to keep the houses warm.

The rooms were heated by open coal fires and lighting was provided by candles and oil or gas lamps. Later in the Victorian period, electricity became more widespread.

Early Victorian fireplaces had floral patterns in the iron casting but by late Victorian times the iron fireplaces were plainer with simple lines. Cheaper homes had mantels made of wood or slate and had them painted to look like marble to impress visiting guests.
Victorian houses were originally built with no insulation and very little protection from the cold or heat.

It would be seventeen years before the truth (or a well-concocted lie) would come out. Danish missionary Jens Olsen was preaching at Karnah in 1926 and his prayer meetings were well-attended. One of them saw Inuksutoq and Kudlooktoo attend and, when Olsen asked if anybody in the crowd wanted to confess their sins, Kudlooktoo stunned all concerned by standing up and saying:

“Ross Marvin did not die because he drowned, but because I shot him.”

There is still controversy regarding the real causes of Marvin’s death!!

The blue sailor’s middy belonged to Ross Gilmore Marvin, who was an Arctic explorer who took part in Robert Peary’s 1905–1906 and 1908–1909 Artic expeditions. He was chief scientist (an astronomer) and the first assistant to Commander Peary and of the successful North Pole expedition in which he lost his life under some mystery.

As told in Commander Peary’s dispatch to The New York Times, he was drowned on April 10 forty-five miles north of Cape Columbia while in command of the supporting part, yet the mystery does not end there, it was reported that Marvin “died at age 29 on one such expedition in April 1909 succumbing to either the thin ice and Arctic waters or to a rifle bullet fired by a slighted Eskimo, depending on the account.”


Edward Eugene Lay Jacket.

Mr. Norman Becker's Bedroom.

It is March Mansion Wednesday!

This week we are featuring a black suit jacket owned by Edward Eugene Lay.

Here at the Historical Society, we have several pieces of clothing that families have donated to us and we keep for display or in our extensive clothing room storage.

Born: January 13, 1877  Tyre, NY
Died: August 3, 1963  Seneca Falls, NY

Alice Emma Hollister Lay    1890-1974

Ruth E. Lay    1913-1966
Helen Addelia Lay Strong    1915-1995
Virginia Eloise Lay Waldron    1917-1997
Janice Lay    1919-1972

Edward Lay   1839-1924
Delia Freer Lay   1842-1923



I n the bay area of the room there is a rocking chair and also the desk that once belonged to Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
Mr. Becker had his own bathroom connecting to his bedroom. The bathroom was originally an entrance to the upper porch. In the 19010’s it was converted to a bathroom. The bathroom floor is a giant jig say puzzle. The bathroom marked the start to the Master and Mistress suites, and had two doors, one leading into the hall and the other to Mr. Becker’s bedroom.

To see the entire house please visit the Historical Society. Tours are from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm daily.

This week we are featuring Norman Becker’s Bedroom.
Good Victorian couples did not share the same room. There is a walk-through connecting to Catherine Becker’s room.

The four-poster bed was donated by the Sackett family. It was brought over from England c. 1940, it is a rope bed, reminiscent of those used in inns across teh early colonies. The saying “sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite” referred to these beds. The best thing that could happen to a traveler was that he or she got to sleep in a bed that had just been tightened and had freshly washed sheets, since early traveler’s were not as hygienically meticulous as we are today. Note the medallions on the bed poster. That would slide to insert a rod used to tighten the ropes, which tended to sag after many uses.

Every room in the mansion has a fireplace to keep warm.


Catherine Becker's Bedroom.

The Parlor.


Catherine Becker’s Bathroom and Dressing room appears much as it was in 1905, when the original 1880 plumbing fixtures were replaced with ceramic.

To see more of the Victorian Mansion please come for a tour.

Tours are from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm daily.

This is Catherine Becker’s room on the second floor of the Mansion.

Catherine Becker’s room is the grandest of all bedrooms in the Mansion with an adjoining dressing room and bathroom. This forms the remainder of the master and mistress suites.

The hand-painted tiles around the fireplace opening are possible the finest in the houses.

The bed was made in Philadelphia, Pa c. 1855
The carpet dates c. 1885.
Unusual lady’s desk is American, C. 1885
Desk is from 1865

Over the bed is a portrait of Frank Chamberlain and his wife, Celia Tyler Chamberlain, Seneca Falls residents, artist unknown. Given by their daughter, Mary C. Chamberlain, 1912. Frank Chamberlain was the eldest son of Jacob B. Chamberlain.


The light fixture is the original gas burning lights that were used in the mansion.

The parlor displays a stereoscope to observe.
The organ is a Reed Parlor Organ or pump organ, built in 1902, the organ was a wedding gift.

To see more of the spectacular rooms here at the Becker Mansion we have daily tours from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm.

Today we are featuring our Parlor here at the Seneca Falls Historical Society, Becker Mansion.

The parlor was used for everyday living, like our family rooms or dens today. Family would gather here for evenings alone around the fire. These rooms (including the dining room) have sliding doors (pocket Doors) which could be used for privacy, if desired.

Wallpaper is a reproduction of a paper from the 1880’s.

Black couch in the back is made of horsehair. Desk was the the original desk that Mr. Becker sat at. Mr. Becker’s picture is on the organ and a picture of the 4 of the six children.


Archive Room.

Family Tree.


It’s time for 2021 Mansion Wednesday to start. This new year we are starting with our Archive Room here at the Seneca Falls Historical Society, Becker Mansion. Often, we have the community and people from different states and even people from other countries asking for us to research family genealogy. We have a room full of photos and documentation. We have helped 100’s of family members connect with the past.


The Gift Shop is the first room you enter when visiting the Becker Mansion. In this former library/den you begin to see and feel the grandeur of this place. It is from here you begin your tour and it is also where you can purchase local history books suitable both for adults and children, along with an eclectic collection of books on a wide range of topics. A collection of jewelry, ornaments and interesting items can also be found here for purchase.


Festive Season Ready
Dining Room.

Family Tree.


The drawing room is one of the most spectacular rooms in the Mansion. This where the family would gather for large events and the women would withdraw to after a meal and the men would gather in the parlor or library. Imagine all the glamor, elegance and decorations during these parties and evenings back in the 1890’s.


In the main hallway, adjacent to the main staircase of the Mansion, what has become a tradition in recent years, the ‘Family Tree’ is positioned here. The Family Tree is beautifully decorated with pictures of known and unknown families. Every year the pictures are chosen randomly from our enormous photographic archives.


Drawing Room Christmas.

Humpty Dumpty Circus.


I thought we would take you through the ground floor of the Mansion and show you all of our festive decorations for this year.!

This picture here shows our exquisite dining room and Christmas tree, which is 12′ tall and completely decorated top to bottom. Also here is a full 10 set table with Christmas dishes, plates, glasses and napkins.

It surely is a spectacular space in our 23 room Victorian Mansion. Please stop by to see, it is so worth it! Merry Christmas everyone!

Don’t forget to stop by for a look and a tour. We are open Mon.- Fri, 9-4.


However, Delevan’s toys still survive. Upon his death in 1971, Delevan donated his collection to the Seneca Falls Historical Society, where it remains on display to this day.

The Humpty Dumpty Circus was an American-made toy line first created in 1903 by the Shoenhut Company in Philadelphia, PA. The Humpty Dumpty Circus offered a wide variety of jointed wooden figurines of performers and animals, as well as accessories such as tents and acrobat equipment. In 1950, Nelson B. Delevan- a retired engineer who founded the Delevan Manufacturing Co. in De Moines, IA- acquired the license to make the Shoenhut toys and created the Delevan Toy Company in Seneca Falls.

Unfortunately, Delevan’s toy company did not last long. With the arrival of the Korean War and the growing popularity of plastic toys, most took little interest and the Delevan Toy Company was forced to close in 1952.


Foot Powered Scroll Saw

Dining Room Fireplace.


Foot Powered Scroll Saw that we have in our industry room on the third floor.

The “Empire” was the first large saw offered by Seneca Falls Mfg Co., introduced in 1884. The “Victor”, introduced two years later, used the same “walking motion” foot pedals and 24″ flywheel. These two machines, unlike most of the other treadle scroll saws of that era, were designed for heavy work in furniture factories and pattern maker’s shops. Much heavier than the Barnes machines, these were the ultimate foot power machines of the late 19th century.


This Fireplace is located in the dining room of the 23 room Victorian House, The Becker Mansion.

This fireplace was constructed during the renovation by Eleanor Partridge between 1880 – 1890 before the Becker Family purchased the home. The wood around the fireplace is Vanilla Wood. Eleanor Partridge loved sunflowers and within the woodwork and marble of the fireplace are beautifully carved sunflowers, a design feature throughout the Mansion.



The Hoag Children

Hair Wreath.

Mr. Milton Hoag, Vice President of the Exchange National Bank of Seneca fAlls, Has been on of the representative business men of the place for nearly a half-century. A native of Montgomery County, N.Y., he was born July 29, 1830. His father, John I. Hoag, who was also a native of New York State,he  was a lawyer by profession, and died in Canajoharie, Montgomery County, when in his eighty-fourth year. Nathan Hoag, the grandfather, was born in this state and was of the Quaker faith. John I. Hoag married Sarah Combs, who was born in New York, and was a descendant of the “Jersey Blues.” She died in Montgomery County, near the Palentine Bridge, that spans th Mohawk River. They were the parents of ten children, nine of whom attained years of maturity. Milton Hoag was the eighth in the family of John I. Hoag.


In February 1851, he came to Seneca Falls, and entered the employment of his brother, Delavan, who was a member of the firm of Adams & Hoag, rectifiers of whickey.  At he expiration of three years he purchased the business, which he continued alone, being very successful. After purchasing several properties over the years in this area. One of his properties he bought, was the Hoag Hotel better known today as the Gould Hotel. Mr. Hoag was married to Rosa A. Finnegan, of Seneca Falls, and by this union he has two bright little daughters, Irene E. and Ethel M. which are pictured here. The picture is in our children’s room on the third floor of The Becker Mansion.

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.

Hair-Wreath 10-28-20

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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