March is Women’s History Month and there’s no better place to celebrate than right here in Seneca County, the birthplace of the women’s rights movement. The first Women’s Rights Convention was held in Seneca Falls in 1848, in part organized by former Seneca Falls resident Elizabeth Cady Stanton. The convention launched the national movement for equal rights and women’s right to vote. Today, you can walk through history and celebrate women’s amazing progress with Seneca County’s Women’s Rights Trail.
National Women’s Hall of Fame
Visit the National Women’s Hall of Fame (1 Canal St., Seneca Falls) to learn about the incredible women who paved the way for future generations. Since 1973, the Hall of Fame has inducted countless inspiring women, from scientists and politicians to Hollywood stars and philanthropists. Explore the gallery and learn about the contributions these women made to society.
Women’s Rights National Historical Park
Step back in time and learn the history of the Seneca Falls Convention at the Women’s Rights National Historical Park (136 Fall St., Seneca Falls).
At the Visitor Center, you can view two floors of museum exhibits, including the “First Wave” statue installation and the “Radical Optimism” exhibit dedicated to the generations of women who fought for women’s right to vote.
The Wesleyan Chapel is the actual location of the First Women’s Rights Convention. In the 1800s the church was a local haven for antislavery activity, political rallies, and free speech events. In 1848 300 women gathered there to launch the beginning of the Women’s Rights Movement. Visit the chapel to experience Seneca Falls’ biggest piece of history.
Seneca County is home to several historic homes connected to the Women’s Rights Movement. The Elizabeth Cady Stanton House (32 Washington St., Seneca Falls) was home to Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the main organizer of the Seneca Falls Convention. Today’s visitors can tour the interior of the home that Stanton once called the “Center of the Rebellion.”
The M’Clintock House (14 Williams Street, Waterloo) was where the Seneca Falls Convention was first planned. It is also the site of the first drafting of the Declaration of Sentiments, the document that was signed at the first Women’s Rights Convention.
The legacy of the Seneca Falls Convention lives on through local businesses like Café 19 (20 East Bayard St., Seneca Falls). Café 19 strives to honor the women who led the Women’s Rights Movement by striving for excellence with its products and service. It’s the perfect spot to fuel you up for a day exploring the Women’s Rights Trail. They offer breakfast, lunch, pastries, and cakes in a café decorated with modern, chic portraits of influential women’s suffrage activists.
After you eat, be sure to check out the art walk near Café 19. Here, you’ll find the ‘When Anthony met Stanton’ statue (E Bayard St. & Spring St., Seneca Falls) that depicts the moment Elizabeth Cady Stanton met fellow women’s rights activists Susan B. Anthony. You’ll also find the ‘Ripples of Change’ monument (33 E Bayard St., Seneca Falls) that depicts four notable suffragists from the Seneca region, Laura Cornelius Kellogg, Harriet Tubman, Martha Coffin Wright, and Sojourner Truth.
Shop Women-Made Products
After you’ve honored the women of yesterday, support the women of today by shopping for women-made products in Seneca County. A great place to start is WomanMade Products (91 Fall St., Seneca Falls), a shop specializing in products that are women-made, women-inspired, and women-empowering.
Another great women-owned business is Blush by CVDesigns (102 Fall St., Seneca Falls, NY). Blush by CVDesigns offers women’s clothing and accessories, home goods, and unique gifts.