Preserving History and Honoring a Great Statesman
Born in Florida, New York in 1801, William H. Seward was one of our nation's most distinguished political leaders. Remembered primarily for his role as Secretary of State under Abraham Lincoln and his guiding influence in the purchase of Alaska as Secretary of State in the Andrew Johnson administration, Seward was also a Senator and New York Governor in his long career. Read more...
The Kitchen Conundrum
A passersby may now notice the shabby outbuilding that was once hidden behind the old “Rookies” pizza parlor and municipal parking lot. Long referred to as the “kitchen”, the building is believed to have once been a part of – or contain elements of – what was once the kitchen and slaves’ quarters of the Samuel S. Seward home before it was dismantled around 1886, moved and partially reconstructed as a barn further back on the homestead. However, little of what remains today, either inside or outside the kitchen, evokes its reputed former utility or inhabitants, making it something of a preservationist’s conundrum.
Slated to be dismantled this month to allow for construction on the adjacent property, it will be a challenge to ensure that the little building is deconstructed and studied carefully. Qualified archeologists and architects are being sought for the task of studying it as it is dismantled. The Seward / Mapes Homestead Restoration Committee is seeking public support for that initiative.
Captain Mapes, Honored at last!
Captain William E. Mapes of the 124th New York State Volunteers, The Orange Blossoms, got his wish on the sunny morning of Saturday, May 30th. A monument was dedicated to him in the Village of Florida where he was born, 150 years after he wryly requsted one. Read the full inscription of the monument.
If you have had the opportunity to read about our organization's recent events and - even better, attend them - you know that the dedication ceremony on the grounds of the Seward / Mapes Homestead was the end result of a collaborative effort to honor Mapes' memory as well as thousands of Americans like him who fought to preserve the Union.
In days to come we will say more about Captain Mapes. Author Charles J. LaRocca has become a member of The Seward / Mapes Homestead Restoration Committee. We hope he will continue to educate us about Captain Mapes and the Ornage Blossoms. His presentation entitled “Tell Them I Am Still For War” on May 27th was very engaging, informing the public just why Mapes and others of his generation just like him deserve to be remembered.
A Work in Progress: