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Honoring a Great Statesman & a Courageous Civil War Soldier

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...

The Seward/Mapes Homestead presents a rare opportunity in historic preservation to focus on the lives and accomplishments of two men deeply engaged in the American Civil War on different levels – one as Secretary of State in the Lincoln Administration and the other as a Union soldier who survived many horrific battles before being severely wounded. That soldier was Captain William E. Mapes of the 124th New York State Volunteers, known as “The Orange Blossoms”. Read more about Mapes. The Homestead is also uniquely located in the Village of Florida and has the potential to become a vital community learning and cultural center.


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Help Us Get To Work!

Please Donate If you have passed by the Homestead in recent months, you must have seen the great progress that has been made on the Mapes House. The outside is being painted and the full restoration of the Queen Anne style Victorian porch is underway. It took quite a while for state funding to come through, but it has been worth the wait. Please lend us a hand with your donation!

In October of last year, we received the go-ahead by the Village of Florida to proceed with stabilization and restoration efforts of what remains of the Seward Birthplace. An initial appraisal of the building's structure began in March of this year, with an eye towards honoring the original style of the birthplace wherever possible In early 2017, electrical power was run out to the Birthplace. Essentially, we have two restoration challenges facing us. With that in mind, we welcome continuing support from members of the community who share our ambitious goals.

For more information contact: events@sewardhomestead.org or call 845-294-3839.


Download our Seward/Mapes Homestead Brochure.

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, 2015. 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.


A Work in Progress:

The Seward House View Architect's Rendering