Seneca Museum Summer Newsletter

Seasonal Newsletter   July | Summer 2020 Issue
Upcoming Events Music in the Park 8/13, Summer Camp in a Box runs July 20-Aug 28th, September 4th – Night at the Museum    

Our New Newsletter   The Seneca Museum of Waterways and Industry (SMWI) plans to send a seasonal quarterly newsletter to share our updates on our space, events, and educational opportunities. Members and friends are updated more frequently via constant contact: by providing your email, you can be assured that you are up to date on events or changes sponsored by the Museum. At the time of writing this newsletter, NY is in phase 4 of COVID-19, and SMWI has re-opened following our preparations to do so safely: thus it seemed like a suitable time to initiate this newsletter.
    Executive Director’s Message By Rhonda Destino  
What a wild year that no one saw coming! As a small town, tourism has a tremendous influence on our economy and we want to be there for our visiting community and locals while taking every precaution. We have a commitment to provide a comfortable, safe, and healthy space for all visitors, volunteers and staff. This is a process that may be changing as more time goes on and we will remain flexible to make those needed changes and want to thank all of our visitors in advance for following our new regulations within our space to keep everyone safe.     Please Join Us! Please join me in this next year to put even more in place to ensure that our visitor’s experience is the best that it can be. Please join me in this challenge by remaining a member, coming to our events as you feel comfortable, and/or lending a skillset that you may have to our space. We currently have a couple of open seats on our board. If you are interested in being a board member, please contact me for more information.

Coming Soon: We are excited to be working with Deborah Bell, granddaughter of Nelson B. Delavan and family, to create a new Founders Exhibit space that will showcase the Delavan family and their vision for opening this amazing place in Seneca Falls.   Furthermore, we are rebranding and hope to unveil that campaign this coming summer/fall. There has been much confusion of whom and what we are and do at 89 Fall Street. We worked with some industry branding experts over the winter months to come up with our new brand: The Seneca Falls Heritage and Tourism Center. More information about this rebrand will be explained during our upcoming campaign launch.

Some of our COVID Visitor Experience Changes: When you are in the building, you must be wearing a mask (over your mouth and nose) and social distancing 6 feet apart between parties. Upon arrival, our staff will ask three simple screening questions to keep all of our guests safe. We are also currently a cashless facility. There are several sanitizing stations located throughout our open space for your convenience. Our staff will be wearing masks at all times, gloves when needed, and cleaning consistently between guests.   Despite all of the changes and closures that 2020 has seen, we are still hopeful and inspired for our future. I know that our mission will not fade as people will want to come back out and travel eventually and/or locals will want to see each other and we are creating our space to be a safe place to enjoy post-COVID for people to get out and tour. I am looking forward to this for all who want to learn.   Pictured: Staff members: Marsha (top) Laurie (bottom)
89 Fall Street Upgrades Members will be very surprised to see all of the change within our space! We have “opened up” the street level floor and redone the original hardwood floors that were underneath the late 90s carpets. This change is truly a must see! In addition, our HVAC system was redone and upgraded for the entire building. This was an extremely important project for this year as COVID recommendations are that all HVAC and venting systems work at high capacity and effectively in public indoor spaces. We also have glorious AC in our building which we have not had before. Our second floor has been redone with hardwood floors and our exhibits focus on all of the industry here and in our history. Our exhibits are spread out, and put into a one-way curation due to COVID recommendations. All of these changes have been made possible by the support of the Town of Seneca Falls (they own our building) and hours of work from volunteers and staff.
  Board President’s Message By Sheila Giovaninni
I am so excited to share a few words with you about this wonderful organization!   The Seneca Museum of Waterways and Industry was established at 89 Fall Street in downtown Seneca Falls by Nelson and Edith Delavan in 1998. It has been the Museum’s mission to captivate and educate audiences of all ages with Seneca Falls’ rich industrial and waterways history. Based on the idea of education through participation, the Museum encourages visitors, both young and old, to learn from diverse arts and cultural exhibitions and programs that are both instructional and entertaining. These include lectures, workshops, children’s summer camps, community concerts, collaborations with other local organizations such as the Women’s Rights National Historical Park, the National Women’s Hall of Fame, and the Seneca Falls Historical Society. We, additionally, take great pride in participating in the It’s a Wonderful Life Festival, the annual Canal Fest, Convention Days, and Women’s Equality Day, to name just a few!   In 2010, the Seneca Falls Heritage Area Visitor’s Center merged with the Seneca Museum of Waterways and Industry. Our priorities subsequently expanded to include a commitment of service and promotion of Seneca Falls and surrounding businesses and communities.   In 2019, Seneca Falls was selected to receive the $10,000,000 Downtown Revitalization Initiative. Our Executive Director, Rhonda Destino, has collaborated with state officials, architects, and marketing experts throughout the DRI application process. Although COVID-19 has stalled this process, we remain optimistic that our renovation project at 89 Fall Street will move forward. At this time, we are proud to announce the result of our new branding initiative. From this point forward, we will be known as the Seneca Falls Heritage and Tourism Center! The Center will continue to be the home of the Seneca Museum of Waterways and Industry, as well as, the Town of Seneca Falls’ Boater’s Amenities.   Please, join us as we venture forward to make Seneca Falls a destination for all!   You can play a significant role in our success by becoming a member of the Seneca Museum of Waterways and Industry. Please, see the membership form below, or stop in at 89 Fall Street and request a membership application, or contact us at 315-568-1510. We would be happy to send an application to you. Your continued support is greatly appreciated! Thank you!
Music in the Park This year we had to change our format and frequency due to COVID-19. We scheduled three outdoor concerts in July at People’s Park from 6 – 8pm with social distancing and mask requirements. Staff and volunteers are great ensuring that everyone is as safe as they could be. This program was supported by a grant from the Finger Lakes Community Arts Grant. This year was a special year to showcase celebrating the 19th amendment through music and each of our concerts are from women-led bands: Jess Novak Band (July 9), Diana Leigh and the Shorty Georges (July 23), the Lipker Sisters (August 13th). We were lucky enough to partner with the Seneca Falls Rotary, Martin’s Smokehouse BBQ Food Truck and the local favorite, Sprinkle Starship Ice Cream Truck for food purchases.

Summer Camp in a Box   With our partner the Seneca Falls Historical Society, SMWI is providing kids with a safe, contact-free, history camp experience. Six weeks of kits have been provided to Celebrate 100 Years of the 19th Amendment to 53 “Campers.” The kits feature history lessons and activities to keep kids aged 7-12 safely engaged at home throughout the summer for six weeks. At this time, all spots are filled and our kits were delivered on July 20, 2020. Participants will enjoy different themes and activities each week. We are hoping we will be able to have a socially distant Community Give Back Day and Ice Cream Social at the end of summer for all of the campers.
Meet SMWI’s Board of Directors Sheila Giovannini, President, is a Seneca Falls resident, and is a retired audiologist and believes that Seneca Falls is at a turning point in its history and is proud and excited to be a part of it!   Deborah Tedrick, Vice-President, lives in Pittsford, is a fundraising, event planning, writing, and editing expert. She loves Seneca Falls and the surrounding communities.   Tammy Mills, Treasurer, lives in Waterloo. Her passion is to volunteer in her community by supporting those less fortunate as well as preserving history and promoting the beauty and history of Seneca Falls. She has several years’ experience in small business accounting, payroll and income tax preparation.   Chuck Mason, Secretary, is an Auburn resident and serves as the City of Auburn’s City Clerk. In his position as City Clerk he has been involved with the establishment and operation of the NYS Equal Rights Heritage Center located in downtown Auburn.   Kyle Brady of Seneca Falls is an insurance agent at Brady and Sons Agency. He is passionate about the history of our region and our town and looks forward to his new role with our organization.   Steve Churchill is a Seneca Falls resident, is the local IT guru and owner of StoneBoat Computing. He has served four terms on the Seneca County Board of Supervisors, representing Seneca Falls and is currently a member of the Seneca County Cornell Cooperative Extension Board of Directors.   Steve Cornett and his wife moved to Seneca Falls about 5 years ago, and they met their social group through SMWI. He works for Zurich Insurance Co., and is passionate about the Museum.   Ginny DeJohn lives in Seneca Falls, is a speech therapist who continues as a supervisor of teachers and an inveterate supporter of women’s and children’s issues. She serves on the Board of the National Women’s Hall of Fame and is a member of, and Past President of the Children’s Committee.   Judy Pipher is a Seneca Falls resident, an astrophysicist at the University of Rochester, and a lover of the lake. She is active in promoting women’s issues, and is an emerita member of the National Women’s Hall of Fame’s Board of Directors.   Wendy Sparks lives in Seneca Falls, is a retired occupational therapist, and an avid birder. She is passionate about history and nature and believes it is essential to human wellbeing.   Cheryl Terryberry lives in Seneca Falls, and was a Registered Nurse and Nursing Home Administrator. She has sat on many boards locally and enjoys traveling, walking, reading, pickleball, and dancing.   James Terryberry lives in Seneca Falls, and retired from the NYS Willard Psychiatric Center and Five Points Correctional Facility. Jim has served as a Councilman for the Town of Romulus and Town of Seneca Falls, and as a County Supervisor.
Membership and Volunteers   Like all non-profits, SMWI needs YOU – as a volunteer and as a member in order to fulfill our Mission and Vision. Memberships may be paid via check or credit card to: Seneca Museum of Waterways and Industry, PO Box 388 Seneca Falls, NY, 13148. If you prefer, you may also pay via credit card over the phone (315-568-1510) or in-person at 89 Fall St. Seneca Falls. Please, know that your Membership is greatly appreciated!   Membership Level: Individual $35  Family $50  Junior $10  Veteran $25  Veteran Family $40   Click here for a membership form.
Mission Statement: The Seneca Museum of Waterways and Industry is dedicated to captivating and educating audiences of all ages with the village’s rich industrial and waterways industry.  

Vision Statement: The Seneca Museum of Waterways and Industry will be the gateway to the community, providing interactive and engaging experiences for all visitors.

Our Visitor Center and Museum is open for visitors!

As we all know, information about COVID-19 and appropriate responses to its spread are complex. As a small town, tourism has a tremendous influence on our economy and we want to be there for our visiting community and locals while taking every precaution. We have a commitment to provide a comfortable, safe, and healthy space for all visitors, volunteers and staff. This is a process that may be changing as more time goes on and we will remain flexible to make those needed changes and want to thank all of our visitors in advance for following our new regulations within our space to keep everyone safe.

When you are in the building, you must be wearing a mask (over your mouth and nose) and social distancing 6 feet apart between parties. Our public restrooms are open on our bottom floor, but our second floor is currently closed as COVID recommendations are that we open a limited space at first to provide more time for daily, frequent cleaning/disinfecting. We are also currently a cashless facility. There are several sanitizing stations located throughout our open space for your convenience. Our staff will be wearing masks at all times, gloves when needed, and cleaning consistently between guests.

The NY Canal Corporation is supposed to open our canal locks in the beginning of August. “The Canal Corporation appreciates the public’s patience during this time and urges all users to register to receive updates through the “Notice to Mariners” notification program at www.canals.ny.gov.”

We have our AC on, so come on in and enjoy the “cool” while checking out our new floors, 2020 merchandise, exhibits, and “socially distant” layout!