Today we don’t have to move – HOO RAY – so we set out early headed back up to the northern end of the Montezuma Wetlands Complex. This time our goal is to visit the Audubon Center which is also part of the complex. The complex is a BIG area
On our way we stop off to check out May’s Point and find the best variety of birds we’ve seen yet. All within sight of the interstate again. May’s Point is described as “a 199 acre emergent wetland impoundment”. Not sure what that means exactly but there is a viewing platform and from it this is what we see.
I’m going to step out on a limb here and say the first picture this is a Tundra swan and her cygnets pictured again here.
Due to the dark rather than orange/yellow bills I’m thinking these are Blue Winged Teals behind the Great Blue Heron.
Well now I’m not so sure since this could be an olive drab bill and thus a mallard but for sure that’s a wood duck all hunkered down away from that wing flapping.
We drive on to the Audubon Center which, when we arrive, we find out isn’t open on Mondays but we wander around the outside of the center and then take one of the trails.
Just behind the building is a field of wildflowers surrounding small ponds.
At first we think the yellow is another wildflower.
But then we listen and look more closely. It turns out to be a group of goldfinches in their bright yellow adult feathers.
We walk out a path and find the some of the ponds are dry and others are now quite small and covered in lily pads.
Looking back to the visitor center.
It’s really a much more impressive building from the back and has two purple martin houses just as the National Wildlife Refuge center did.
We return to the center and take the main trail toward the woods through what turns out to be a large number of berry bushes and vines.
I’m totally ignorant of bushes and berries that humans do not eat but there is a variety here. I assume these are things birds like.
But of course there are also berries for humans, bears and others. Black raspberries in this case. Hawkeye spots them.
We are serenaded by a Goldfinch in beautiful breeding plumage
From the berries the trail leads into the woods, out to a meadow mound and back into the woods before coming to a very nice overlook platform.
It often looks like it is going to rain here, but never does.
We see no one on the water of the largest pond and head back into the woods before returning to the center.
The property has many large trees. This is just one to give an idea of their age and size.
There are other trails at the center but the temperatures are heating up and we have other plans for the afternoon.
We drive back into Seneca Falls and have our lunch just behind the Visitor Center on a bench over looking the Seneca River as it flows through town.
Interesting bike rack.
The Women’s Hall of Fame is almost directly across the street from the Seneca Falls Visitor Center so all we have to do is come back upstairs from the river side to the street and walk across.
It is currently nearly overflowing the small building with the great columns and vivid blue door and trim. Love the detail on the building’s cap.
In 1969 the women and men of Seneca Falls created the National Women’s Hall of Fame dedicated to recognizing and celebrating the achievements of great American Women. This group of women grows with each Induction Ceremony in which 10 to 12 women are inducted. Inductions are held every other year. The next one will be in 2017. To date 266 women have been inducted.
The biographies of the women line the walls of the central room and the newest inductees are shown on the display in the middle. Behind it is a display of the original 20 inductees.
Anyone can nominate a woman to the hall although it sounds like a rigorous process. They explain that “Nominees may be contemporary or historical, but must be citizens of the United States, either by birth or naturalization. Their contribution(s) should be of national or global importance and of enduring value.”
Once you’ve filled out all the paperwork and the Hall staff checks it, the nomination is forwarded to a National Judges panel for scoring. The panel is made up of representatives from “respected national organizations” in the area in which the nominee was nominated.
The possible areas are listed on the wall. We notice when we are reading the biographies of some of the honorees that science seems to have subcategories like Medicine and Environmentalism.
Of course you would expect to see Eleanor Roosevelt, Sandra Day O’Conner, Clara Barton, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Georgia O’Keeffe and Rosa Parks on the list. Walking around and looking at all the biographies of the women on the walls, I know a great many of them but probably not half. That’s sad but it’s no wonder. In my text books and history and civics classes all the way through school and college there was little mention of the accomplishments of women outside a small group which did not include Stanton, the author of the Declaration of Sentiments.
Along with the biographies there are a few displays that focus on particular women. Right now they don’t have room for many displays. But they have big plans and the docent tells us that they are anxious to be able to display all the things about these women that are currentlly stored in their attic. I love that among the few on which they focus is one of my favorite heroines, Rachel Carson. How lucky are we all that she sounded the warning before she died of cancer perhaps caused by the very chemicals she warned us of in our water and food system. I know I’m very grateful for her work and persistance. I think Lucy and I share a similar feeling for her.
There are several stand ups of Hall of Fame women throughout the main room. Do you recognize them?
The best exhibit I enjoy the most is about the trial of Susan B Anthony.
This binder is sitting on a bench from the courthouse where the trial took place. What fun to imagine that Anthony sat there during the proceedings.
On November 5, 1872, in Rochester New York, Susan B. Anthony and 14 other women voted in the United State Election which included the election of members of congress. That was her crime.
They had successfully registered to vote several days earlier. A poll watcher challenged Anthony’s qualification as a voter. The inspectors of election took the steps required by state law when a challenge occurred: they asked Anthony under oath if she was a citizen, if she lived in the district, and if she had accepted bribes for her vote. Following her satisfactory answers to these questions, the inspectors placed her ballots in the boxes.
Apparently this was a surprise. Anthony did not expect to vote. She expected to be denied registration as a voter and then to be able to sue for her right to vote in federal court
Nine days after the election she was arrested and tried for voting “without having the lawful right to vote”. Her trial began in Canandaigua New York on June 17, 1873. After the verdict of guilty was announced, when ordered to pay the fine of one hundred dollars, Anthony declared “I will never pay a dollar of your unjust penalty”. The fine was never paid. Given all the national attention to this trial, I suspect the local officials thought themselves better off out of it.
The binder is a fascinating read and if you are interested, you can read it here. This is the editor’s introduction.
Through newspapers and published accounts, a national audience learned of the federal trial of Susan B. Anthony on the criminal charge of voting without a right to the franchise. The trial and conviction of the well-known leader of the woman suffrage movement dramatically revealed the denial of women’s voting rights at the time that the nation was debating the expansion of political rights and constitutional protections of those rights in the aftermath of the Civil War. Anthony’s vote, and that of other women, was part of an organized strategy to win in the federal courts a recognition of what the women argued was their constitutional right to vote, guaranteed by the recently ratified Fourteenth Amendment. The trial of Anthony and the legal setbacks faced by other women who attempted to vote in 1872 led to a new strategy for the woman suffrage movement and a determination to secure a separate constitutional amendment to protect women’s right to vote, a struggle that continued until the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920. The widely distributed accounts of the Anthony trial and the apparent efforts of the presiding judge to prevent a review by the Supreme Court focused attention on criminal proceedings in the federal courts and the lack of provision for appeal of criminal convictions in the circuit courts, which then served as important trial courts. The seemingly arbitrary actions of the presiding judge, who refused to let the jury decide Anthony’s guilt or innocence and enforced a traditional rule denying a criminal defendant the opportunity to testify, prompted wider debates on the protection of defendants’ rights in a jury trial.
Turns out this was an important case for more than one reason. I was so caught up in my reading, I didn’t take a picture of the bench with all the information on it, only of the binder but David got the one above with the bench behind me as I am reading the bios on the wall.
He also took this picture of a not so famous woman.
We were here for several hours reading and looking but eventually you can only read so much and sadly there are way too many women of whom I was unaware. I wish I’d had another day or two to return to read more about these women I hadn’t heard of. Even staying 2 weeks in Seneca Falls, I’m not sure I’ll get back. I’d have gladly paid the admission price multiple times. Admission is $4 for adults, $3 for seniors, $8 for families. Under 5 and members are Free.
I am sorry to say the only one of the 10 inductees for 2015 that I knew of was the dancer Martha Graham. 8 of the inductees are living and two are not. I’ll just mention a couple that I learned about by visiting today.
Marsha Greenberger Founder of the Women’s Law Center over 40 years ago. The first full time women’s rights legal advocate in Washington D.C. If you care to read her bio, you might be able to by clicking the picture.
Carlotta Walls LaNier, at the age of 14, was the youngest member of the Little Rock Nine who in 1957 integrated Central High School in that Arkansas community,
At least I can say that I knew all but 3 of the first group of 20 inductees with which the hall of fame began in 1973.
And I hope I’ll be able to say that I had my picture taken with the first woman President of the United States. I had to slouch a little to get my arm around her.
There was one small room in the back devoted to their work on getting a larger place to house the Hall of Fame. In the hallway leading to it was this board with an impressive number of mostly serious responses.
In January of 2017, the Women’s Hall of Fame plans to move into the first floor of the currently being renovated Seneca Mills building on the river across from the National Park and from Elizabeth Cady Stanton Park. This picture of the future finished building was drawn from there.
The other side of the building is pretty spectacular looking and a far cry in size from this very very small museum today. I can only imagine the wonderful exhibits with which they will fill it. Obviously I’m going to have to figure out how to return here for another visit. Probably in cooler temperatures so I can stay in the larger quieter campground with no hook ups.
The mill in the large historic limestone building opened in 1844 and employed many of the women in the surrounding area. They operated until closing in 1999 so the building has been deteriorating since then. They made all the socks for the National Hockey League, the National Basketball League and the first socks to go to the moon. How about that?
When we leave the Hall, we decide to visit the Ludovico Sculpture Trail nearby before heading back home. On the way I take this picture of the Seneca Mills builiding today.
From pictures I’ve seen of the building a few years ago, it is clear that they have done a lot of work on the main structure. You can see with the crane that it is on going in an attempt to reach their move in date.
It’s also clear when we walk over the bridge across the river that the end of the building has a lot of work left to be done. Not sure if they are going to renovate or demolish and replace. I imagine this is an historic building and thus would qualify for the National Register and some needed restoration funds but those come with rules and requirements. If you visit here next year, let me know it looks.
The Ludovico Sculpture Trail is across Bridge Street on the same side of the river as the Seneca Mills. If you read my post about the It’s a Wonderful Life Museum you will know that this bridge is one of the many reasons for thinking Seneca Falls is the real Bedford Falls. If you didn’t read it and want to, you can use the link in purple at the top of this post.
The Bridge Street Bridge is the place where Antonio Varacalli lost his life saving a woman who jumped into the river to commit suicide. This act is said to have inspired the similar scene in the movie between George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) and Clarence (HenryTravers ) his guardian angel.
You can see the Mill there in the background of the plaque.
The sculpture trail runs along the river side and begins just beyond the bridge. There isn’t any information on its name or the inspiration for it or how sculptures are selected or included. Many of the first sculptures are historical busts or statues.
Many are about or by women. First is a bust of Diana Smith elected in 2004 as the first female mayor of Seneca Falls. Near her is “Protector of the Trail” Susanne Pluretti Hawker appointed in 1994 as the first female police officer of the Village of Seneca Falls.
Amelia Bloomer is commemorated in a statue by Cherry Rahn.
In 1998, Betty Boggs sculpted this in honor of the 150th anniversary of the first Women’s Rights Conference. I believe it shows the chain of rights denied women in 1848. The shadows at the time I took this may make it difficult to make out the rights denied women. Starting at the bottom left they are property rights, voting rights, educational rights, economic rights and complete equality with men.
Beyond these is a 6 panel mural of the history of Seneca Falls. It is very difficlt to see now that the protective plexiglass has faded and no one has cleaned off the spray painted graffiti on it. What an insult to the time and talent taken to create it. This is the first thing I have found to be seriously neglected in the Village.
There is also a statue of Hillary Clinton by Dexter Benedict although I don’t think it actually looks like her but she was the first female Senator from New York.
David takes pictures of Mother Nature’s art.
The feathers and colors of the female mallard are most certainly works of art.
David decides at this point he’ll take advantage of the nice bench overlooking the water to sit and enjoy the river telling me to take my time on the rest of the trail.
The last hstorical sculptures are of Canal Diggers by Brian Pfeiffer. The Seneca FAlls is heavily populated by the Irish and Italian immigrants who came here to do the difficult and dangerous work of building the Erie Canal and the arm to Seneca Falls. They stand in the water with their tools in their hands.
From there we go on to what I’m calling art-art. This is called Free Spirit by Miriam Nelson.
Machine Lace by Sarah Fanzi. Quite intricate. I was thinking perhaps this was in honor of the Seneca Mills but I’m pretty sure what they mostly made was socks.
The trail continues on along the water and ends with some modern sculpture.
I’m not sure what either of them represent but I do know the second one is titled Working Man’s Alchemy and is by Audrey Iwanicki.
From there you can turn back or follow the trail across a river tributary bridge. Of course that’s what I do.
The path is more heavily and perhaps recently graveled and is a large oval.
When I reach the end and the turn around spot, there is yet another and even smaller trail. How can I resist.
I don’t go terribly far down the trail since I don’t want to leave David waiting for too long and have no idea where I might end up. A hike for another day perhaps.
But I do go far enough along to pick some yummy blackberries for a snack. We really have hit it right for Blackberries and Black Raspberries this summer
I’ve saved my favorite sculptures for last although they were along my way before the modern art. They are off a short spur and there were several people there when I walked by on my way out. Now I have them all to myself. Since there is no information here, I’m not sure who the sculptor is or if they were done by the same artist or not. It’s easy to tell they are an eagle soaring and a Great Blue Heron standing by the river bank.
The eagle looks different from every angle at which I view it.
Better light would have made this amazing metal work much easier to appreciate.