The landscape in front of you looked vastly different in Elizabeth Cady Stanton's day. Instead of a serene lake, mills and factories lined the much narrower Seneca-Cayuga Canal and Seneca River. Canal boats plied the waterways; trains on the Auburn-to-Rochester railroad chugged along the opposite bluff.
When Stanton and her family traveled into town on the Seneca Turnpike, they joined herds of animals, coaches, and laden wagons-all of them kicking up choking clouds of dust.
The view of the industries hugging the canal, the Seneca River, and the Seneca Turnpike so familiar to Stanton disappeared under Van Cleef Lake in the 1915 upgrade of the canal system.
[Illustration caption reads]
Stanton's view of Seneca Falls to the west, c.1840.
Women's Rights National Historical Park
Welcome to one of the few national parks dedicated to a social reform movement-women's rights.
Here in Seneca Falls and Waterloo, in living rooms and on front porches, in private and public, a group of five women started a movement that would transform American society.
In 1848, those five women summoned reformers from across the northeast to the Wesleyan Chapel in Seneca Falls. For
two days, as many as 300 women and men considered the role of women in a democratic society. They emerged with the Declaration of Sentiments-a document that shaped a reform movement for decades to come. Indeed, it continues today.
Women's Rights National Historical Park includes the Wesleyan Chapel and the homes of some of the movement's organizers-places where radical thought turned into enduring improvement for millions across the world.