A Walking Tour of Seneca Falls New York
a walking tour in the Look Up, America series from walkthetown.com
by Doug Gelbert
published by Cruden Bay Books at Smashwords
Copyright 2010 by Cruden Bay Books
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the Publisher.
Today Seneca Falls is known as the birthplace of the struggle for women’s rights that began in earnest in America in the 1840s but in the 19th century the town was known for the industry that was powered by those namesake falls. Job Smith is accepted as the first white settler in the area, arriving in 1787 where he set up a portage business for travelers to get around the series of rapids that tumbled some forty feet in the course of about a mile on the Seneca River. The Bayard Land Company was formed to exploit the power pent up in the rushing waters with the industrious Wilhelmus Mynderse serving as the concern’s resident business agent. Mynderse located here permanently in 1795 and soon had a grist mill in operation. Other mills and dams and the Seneca and Cayuga Canal would follow as he carved the most lasting legacy in the village’s history. The settlement was called Mynderse Mills for a time before the village was incorporated in 1831. In a few more years Seneca Falls was the third largest flour milling center in the world.