Sunday, May 01, 2011

A Day at the Park

Seneca Falls. THE Senceca Falls:This was my second visit here, the first being in 2000 on a singularly rainy and cold day. I confess that now, as then, all of my ability to judge or critique anything fled and my response resembled that of a person on a religious pilgrimage. "Oh, my god!" I sniffed. "I'm so grateful for their work." Sniff. It's pathetic, really; and yet, there I was, at the Bethlehem of the American movement, the altar of my two gods: women's history and women's rights, acting like a complete pilgrim.

I like this wayside sign showing the different incarnations of the Wesleyan Chapel since the Seneca Falls Convention.:
The last incarnation, which included only remnants of the original building under a covering resembling a picnic pavilion, was abandoned when the park became aware of the weather's impact on the exposed walls. Hence, they decided to reconstruct the chapel insofar as they had evidence, while also being clear about the difference between the reconstructed and the original parts. Hence, the different coloration of bricks in the picture at the top of the post.

This is the wayside sign about the convention itself. Look closely and tell me if you think the man sitting at the front of the pews on the far left is Frederick Douglass, or if he is the man standing with his back to the artist. Maybe both. Fred was just that great!
Here is the inside the museum (which is next door to the chapel). They did not let me hang on him for a photo. Besides, what with all of my sniffing and gushing, I did have to retain a small scrap of dignity.
The rangers told me that he looks like James Brown. I can't disagree.

I forgot to take a picture of the pregnant woman or the little girls included in the sculpture. I also did not take a picture of the group of young women and their one guy friend, all from Geneseo, who came through. That makes me happy to see young people interested and -- based on the evidence of their t-shirts -- actively engaged in feminism. In fact, one of the things that I love about this museum is that they don't shy from the big ole F-word.

Afterwards, I went to take in one of the other joys of the Finger Lakes: the wine trails. I find this funny because Douglass and all of the other early woman's rights activists tended toward temperance.

Except Elizabeth Cady Stanton. You just know she nipped a bit, just for fun, when no one else was looking.


Ink said...

That's one of my favorite places in the world...the Women's Rights Museum, not the wine trails, though they are fun for sure.

Thanks for posting the pics!

LOL re: Elizabeth.

Digger said...

You know I love this :D

Historiann said...

I liked Seneca Falls when I visited too. I think I was there in the summer of 1998, and was a little disappointed that there weren't more tourists there. (I think Seneca Falls was, too--they had just renovated/revamped a lot of public history sites in their downtown for the 150th anniversary.)

It sounds like you're on summer break already? Congratulations! I'm schlepping through my last day of classes today.

Clio Bluestocking said...

Ink, a recent bio of ECS said that she loved tasty things. Plus, all those kids, and that husband -- what an ass!

Digger, I actually thought of you while I was there. I think I first heard of the reconstruction of the chapel on your blog.

Historian, they as still disappointed that there weren't more tourists. Of course, it was the first lovely day in ages, so everyone was probably hiking or in the wineries.

I only WISH classes were over before last weekend! This past week was the last, and the coming is finals, then I get the year-long break to get my teaching groove back and my writing groove on.

Clio Bluestocking said...

Jeez, my fingers are going faster than the letters pop up on the screen. That would be "Historiann" -- 2 ns!


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