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The mission of The Seward Homestead is to collect, preserve and exhibit historical works and items related to the early life of William Henry Seward through restoration and preservation of this historic site. We will strive to cultivate and stimulate curiosity about the life of this vitally important figure of American History.

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Preserving an historic landmark is a labor of love requiring volunteers and donations.
Peserve Our Heritage

The Mapes House

On the site of the original Seward house is the 1887 Victorian Gothic of Mortimer Mapes.
The Mapes House
It is also part of The Seward Homestead Restoration.
Learn more...

Preserving History and Honoring a Great Statesman

William H. SewardBorn 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...

Coming Nov. 20th: Politics As Usual

The 19th Century Political Gymnasium
as Seen Through Political Cartoons

Andrea ForoughiPolitical cartoons in the nineteenth century not only weighed in on public figures’ qualifications and actions but also reflected assumptions about gender-appropriate behavior and the social norms of the day. Public figures we revere today were often viewed quite differently by their contemporaries.

Union College history professor and author, Andrea R. Foroughi, will expand on this fascinating topic in a presentation on November 20th, 7:00 pm at the S. S. Seward Institute in the Village of Florida. With the upcoming presidential race so much in the forefront of today’s news, Professor Foroughi’s lecture will not only be timely but is bound to be entertaining and educational. Read more...

The Kitchen Conundrum

The Kitchen 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!

William E. MapesCaptain 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:

The Seward House View Architect's Rendering