NewEngland2011 travel blog

Barges on the Seneca River/Canal

Seneca Knitting Mills

The Bailey Bridge where George met Clarence

Parker's for lunch

Wesleyan Chapel - 1848 First Woman's Rights Convention

Locks 2 and 3

Cayuga Lake - one of the Finger Lakes

When I began to prepare this entry I discovered that all the pictures I took today and yesterday had disappeared from the chip in my camera. I have no idea how that happened. John took a few pictures, so we will work with those.

Today we drove into Seneca Falls to visit the tourist information center. We found more interesting information that we will ever have time to deal with today. We found lunch at Parker's Grille and Tap House downtown.

After lunch we went to the It's a Wonderful Life Museum. It is a small, but interesting place. Most of the memorabilia has been loaned by the actress that played the little blond girl, Zuzu. She visits the museum each year on the anniversary of the film. This year is the 65th anniversary. Frank Capra, the director, visited Seneca Falls in 1945. Several things in the movie are credited to the town of Seneca Falls.

On the bridge (known as Bailey Bridge) over the Seneca River, there is a plaque honoring a young immigrant man who jumped into the river to save a women who had jumped from the bridge. He saved the woman, but died. The community rallied around his heroism. They collected money to bring his mother and sister over from Italy. His father was in the country already. This happened in 1917, and the plaque was on the bridge when Capra visited.

When Zuzu visited the first time, she picked out a house that reminded her of the Bailey house (the one they fixed up). The number of that house is 32. The house in the movie was 320. We had a picture of the house until the picture disappeared off my camera.

There is a hotel in town named The Clarence. The logo is the outline of an angel, and the motto is "everytime a bell rings an angel gets his wings".

The museum was a lot of fun. As we were leaving, the husband of the woman who had greeted us spoke to us as we were admiring a quilt hanging on the wall. Fabrics from all over the world were used to make the quilt. I commented on the fabric from Hawaii. That led to a conversation about Hawaii. The man, Henry Law, was a historical architect and park manager for the U. S. Park Service. When the leper colony on Molokai, Kalaupapa, was declared a national park in 1980, Henry volunteered to be its first park manager. He and his wife have written a book about the colony and Father Damien. We bought the book. We had a good time talking to him and looking at the digital pictures of the colony and that side of Molokai...not open to the public.

Right down the street is the Women's Rights National Historical Park. On July 19, 1848, the first convention on woman's rights was held in Seneca Falls, NY at the Wesleyan Chapel. Part of the chapel still stands and is a part of the park. The park is actually two buildings in downtown Seneca Falls, but is owned and run by the National Park Service.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton was one of the leaders of that first convention. The women put forth a Declaration of Sentiments which follows the pattern of the Declaration of Independence. The declaration put in writing the various complaints which they were bringing against the male population. For example "He has denied her facilities for obtaining a thorough education--all colleges being closed against her".

Stanton's house still stands and can be toured, but we don't have a picture of it. Her house stood about half a block from two of the locks on the canal. We drove down to the locks and walked along the catwalk out to the center of the two locks.

One of the pictures I hated to lose was the back of Trinity Episcopal Church. The back of the building is beautiful gray stone and is within a few feet of the Seneca River. The front bell tower is getting a new copper roof.

We drove back to Arvy and took the pups out on a long walk. As soon as we could convince them that there were absolutely no squirrels in the vicinity, we gave them treats and settled them back in their beds and left them again.

This time we were headed to wine country. There are (at least) two "wine trails". One is south along the west side of Cayuga Lake. That is the one we took. We have a great guide to the wineries. We chose the one that mentioned Riesling in their write-up. We drove along the shore of the lake. This is the Finger Lake region of NY. The lakes are long and skinny and run north and south. They were made by the glaciers that retreated north from this region. The drive along the lake was beautiful and the homes were gorgeous.

The winery we went to was Hosmer. They had two nice Reislings. We did buy some to bring home with us. We wish we had more time to visit other wineries and to sight see in the lake area.

We came back to Arvy and took the dogs out again. This time they did spot a squirrel and dragged me across the campground to chase it. We have nice neighbors here. There are two women who are bicycle riders. One of them is a physician...and where, you ask, are they from??? Asheville. No joke. They have a beautiful Siamese cat.

The people next to them have a six month old pug who is adorable and a handful. The next couple is from a town nearby. They are here just for a visit for a week. They were interested in the dogs, so we talked to them for a while....until the mosquitoes took so much blood that we felt faint.

Tomorrow (Tuesday) we head further west, about 110 miles, to a campground near Niagara Falls. We have stayed in some marginal campgrounds, so we are going to splurge on a premium pull through with a pation at the KOA near Tonawanda, NY. We plan to stay at least 4 nights. We want to ride the Maid of the Mist boat. And, we want to go to Lockport and ride one of the canal barges on the Erie Canal. Also, there is a fort somewhere and a set of water falls to see.

P.S. (Tuesday a.m.)

The internet connection went down so I couldn't send this out Monday night. We are sitting in an Applebee's in a town I can't pronounce much less spell. They have free wi-fi so we are catching up while we wait for lunch.

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