Welcome to The Seneca Museum of Waterways & Industry
The Seneca Museum of Waterways & Industry is located at 89 Fall Street in the middle of historic downtown Seneca Falls and serves as a point of interest for local and regional history. The Museum provides a historical overview illustrating how the Seneca River and the Cayuga-Seneca Canal powered the rise of industry and fostered cultural development, helping to spread social reform movements.
The Museum’s primary purpose is to “delight and inform, to lift the imagination as it strikes sparks of discovery.” Visitors and children of all ages can explore hands-on and interactive displays and intriguing exhibits and artifacts. You will find friendly staff who are always available to answer questions or give a tour of the museum.
The Museum’s south entrance is on the panoramic Canal Harbor on the Cayuga-Seneca Canal, allowing some of our visitors to arrive by boat. Bounded east and west by the two largest of the Finger Lakes, Seneca County’s people have lived harmoniously with the county’s great natural beauty. Their way of life has left a historical trail, which visitors to the museum will enjoy following.
The Museum exists in a village rich in history, and rich in related institutions with a differing but complementary emphasis. Early activism concerning women’s issues culminated in the Seneca Falls 1848 Convention where the now famous “Declaration of Sentiments” was signed and the beginning of a national Women’s Rights movement was launched. Two local institutions focus on these events, namely the National Women’s Hall of Fame and the Women’s Rights National Historical Park. The Seneca Falls Historical Society purchased its present location in 1961, and is a “marvelous document of Victorian lifestyle and culture”.
The Seneca Museum occupies a unique niche in this village of historical museums. The canal, its construction, and the industry it spawned, led to a more affluent society which could concentrate on social issues such as the women’s movement and abolition among others. Our Museum offers a historical perspective on this critical piece in the history of the town which preceded the early activism. A merger of the Visitor Center with the Museum is a natural evolution because the themes of each are not dissimilar.
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