Seneca Falls: We Need to Celebrate Our History

Menzo Case
Menzo Case

I’m no historian, but I’m not alone!  My family is vacationing on “The Cape.”  Before I continue, I just want to say that I love the Finger Lakes.  Each time I leave, I gain a new sense of appreciation. Why?  First, the traffic!  Ughhhh!   One hour to go literally 10 minutes, if you get my meaning. Second, the beauty!  Cape Cod is nice, but it doesn’t hold up to our Region.  Oceans just plain stink.  Ok – back to my point.

We were in a bookstore talking with two very nice women about the area. They told us about the newly found pirate ship and resultant museum.  They also gave us a quick rundown on restaurants, walking paths and groceries. We also learned a bit about the history of the area. Naturally, they asked from whence we came to which we replied, “Seneca Falls,” expecting some type of acknowledgement given its historic significance.  Nope. Nothing. We asked whether they had heard of our town and said that they should have.  Then, we explained that the first national women’s rights convention was held in Seneca Falls.  We also gave them a rundown on the Region and all that it has to offer.

Those dear women had never heard of the 1848 Convention!  Truth be known, I hadn’t remembered it either when I first moved to Seneca Falls. I sincerely wonder whether history classes today teach about America’s history and struggle to live up to its promises?  Freedom isn’t cheap and it isn’t easy!  As a nation, I think we need to review our history and see what it’s taken to be free. We need to remember the Great Compromise, one of the first steps taken to ensure equal representation among the States, which laid the groundwork for future compromises. What of the Compromise of 1850?  My point is that we need leadership today that understands a compromise is often the first step toward freedom.

August_Boats_Seneca Falls
Photo credit: Christopher Molloy

Well, actually, my point for Seneca Falls is that we need to celebrate our history!  That is why we have a statue outside of Generations’ headquarters. The banner on the statue provides a very condensed history of the loss of women’s suffrage among the States and then, the return of that right in 1920 for all women in the United States.  We need to create the Hall of Fame Walk from the new Center for Great Women to the Women’s Rights National Historical Park!  Further we need to continue our part of the Seneca-Cayuga Trial from the Wonderful Life bridge, along the Seneca Canal, under the Ovid Street Bridge, down Bayard to Washington Street, past Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s home, along Seneca Street and so on to Cayuga Lake. And, along that trail we should tell our story – America’s story.